Brian Damage & Jamie Lithgow
The world of wrestling subjects us to a whole host of emotions. From ecstasy through to outright dejection at times. It can also create emotional moments that live long in our memories and that is the focus of this week’s Top Five as Brian and Jamie list emotional moments in wrestling.
5. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit Embrace after Wrestlemania 20
Say what we want about Chris Benoit now…but after he won the WWE World title at Wrestlemania 20 and was greeted by WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero….there was true emotion there. Real tears flowed from both men’s eyes as they both were on top of the mountain as world champions after years and years of being told they couldn’t and being held down.
4. Arn Anderson’s Retirement Speech
When Arn called it a career on an edition of Monday Nitro, you could hear the emotion in his voice. It wasn’t just Arn kayfabing a goodbye…he truly was speaking from the heart. Ric Flair who has been known to share a tear or two was a wreck the entire speech. His last official move as the Four Horsemen “Enforcer,” was to pass the torch over to Curt Hennig.
3. Edge Retirement
Another retirement that was filled with emotion. While Arn had a full career…it seemed that Edge (Adam Copeland) had so much more to give…but injuries did him in. It was hard to say goodbye to the Rated R Superstar.
2. Owen Hart’s Death
Seeing how Owen Hart was one of my favorites..his death was both shocking and painful to accept. I was mad at the WWE for wasting his talents as the Blue Blazer and for attempting such a stunt at Over the Edge.
1. Connor ‘The Crusher’ Michalek
This one still gets to me because as a Dad..there is nothing worse than seeing your own children suffer. Seeing Connor be treated like a World Champion and getting to meet his hero Daniel Bryan before his death was truly heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
5. Shawn Michaels Retires Ric Flair
Okay, so Flair did not actually retire following this match – although WWE kept up their end of the bargain and have never since booked him in a match. Moreover, the Raw tribute show that followed is a little cheesy when viewed today. However, that match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 24 still gets me. We all knew heading in that HBK would win and Flair would be forced to retire, the shock factor was not there. The raw emotion and storytelling certainly was though. Leave the memories alone…
4. Edge Retires
Nobody saw this coming. After being told by doctors that his career was over, Edge announced his retirement live on Raw a few days later. As one of my favourite ever wrestlers, and very young in retirement terms, I should have been absolutely gutted to hear this announcement. truthfully I was, until I considered that Edge had retired on top; retaining his World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania the previous week. Moreover, he retired with his health intact.
3. The Ultimate Promo
Warrior’s “every man’s heart one day beats its final beat” promo was pretty strong and emotive when he delivered it, but coming just a couple of days before to his death it is truly haunting. It’s like he knew his time was up. Hearing that promo repeated the following week was strong stuff indeed, especially being a childhood Warrior fan.
2. Connor ‘The Crusher’ Michalek
WWE take a lot of flack from its fans, but sometimes you cannot help but applaud the things that they do. The stuff they did for this wee guy, and their ‘Make A Wish’ stuff in general, is outstanding. What I truly love is that until Conor was announced as the first recipient of ‘The Warrior Award’ I had never heard his story. There’s so much good stuff like this that guys like John Cena and Daniel Bryan are involved in, but it is never mentioned on TV. This side of WWE is entirely about the kids; as it should be.
1. Raw is Owen
‘Over The Edge’ 1999 was surreal. Raw the following night is something I will never forget. In between matches superstars shared their memories of Owen. It was clear that the news had yet to sink in with so many, and understandably so. I specifically remember seeing the usually comical Mick Foley truly upset and Jeff Jarrett virtually inconsolable. This episode of Raw was, and still is, extremely hard to watch.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.