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The Next Big Thing

Top 10 Unlikely stories in wrestling: Top 5

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Hey everybody, check out part 1 here if you haven't, I've put a lot of work into it and want everybody to check it out and see if you like it.

5 HBK wins the World Heavyweight Title at Survivor Series

Again nostalgia reigned supreme. HBK had returned in 2002 as figurehead of the new look nWo in strictly a personality based presence. After the sudden end of the nWo Michaels was in limbo storyline wise, until an emotional reunion with Triple H as Degeneration X. The reunion lasted only minutes though, as Trips pedigreed his friend and turned heel. The heel turn was furthered when Triple H ambushed Michaels in the parking lot featuring the classic "Your Damn right it was me Shawn" line as his image was put up via satellite. This introduced a non sanctioned fight at SummerSlam. Whereas alot of people expected a sub standard match between the two due to Michaels ring rust, Michael Higginbotham had other idea's, and promptly went on to steal the show, and even beat Triple H by pinfall. As soon as it was over and the mood could properly set in, Triple H sledgehammered Michaels dodgy back with two sledgehammer shots. He was gone until Survivor Series in the first Elimination Chamber match, featuring Jericho, Booker T, Kane and RVD along with Triple H. In another unexpected result the crowd erupted as Shawn Michaels managed to win the World Heavyweight Title in only his second match in 4 years. By the time Michaels and Jericho competed at WrestleMania, the Heartbreak Kid decided that he was far from done and would continue all the way to 2010, becoming arguably the greatest legend in the modern era of wrestling.

4 He won the Olympics with a Broken Freaking Neck.. And Survived WrestleMania

The fact that Kurt Angle has had the career that he has had is bordering on miracle. In 1995, Kurt had a legitimate neck injury and was ruled out of the following Olympic Games he was scheduled to compete in. In The 1996 Olympic Games, Angle won a gold medal in freestyle heavyweight wrestling and he was made. In 1999, in his debut WWF match against not too interesting opposition in the form of Sean Stasiak, fans weren't digging his american hero character (when Rock and Austin's gimmicks ruled all) so Vince McMahon got a message to Angle to grab a microphone and insult the home crowd and become heel. From that stuttery start, Angle never looked back and completely ran with his dorky big headed american icon character. He was one of the fastest rising stars in the history of the business, winning Intercontinental and European titles before becoming King of The Ring, and landing the WWF Championship at No Mercy all in the space of 11 months.

Over the years Angle's presence grew and he became the ultimate performer and more championships would follow. In late 2002 he once again became the WWE Champion and embarked on a long anticipated feud to main event WrestleMania against the unstoppable Brock Lesnar that got wrestling fans salivating. The match however was thrown in massive jeopardy about 3 weeks before the event when Kurt Angle re-injuried his previously shattered neck in a match in Johannesburg, South Africa. Speculation was intense, there was an idea thrown around that Brock would pick up the title early before a beatdown by Chris Benoit to have Benoit as a heel in a new WrestleMania WWE title match. Angle however was determined to compete, and they just had him in a non wrestling role on television in the build up. The match started off shakely enough but picked up it's stride and became a classic, and Kurt dropped to originally planned winner Lesnar. When he landed after taking several F-5's, those in the know cringed at Angle's possible demise. The fact that Lesnar botched his shooting Star press and got concussed added extra danger to the match. There was a very high possibility that Angle could die in the ring, he was absolutely advised to not work the match by doctor's. Kurt Angle is one of the toughest, craziest and downright innovative wrestler's of all time, and is still adding to his legacy against all the odds.

3 Undertaker brings the streak to 8-0...and then 10-0... 15-0... and all the way up to 19-0

Mark Calloway made his WWF debut in 1990 coming off the heels of a poor character from wCw called Mean Mark Callous. Vince McMahon was at his creative best for years, coming up with magnificent gimmicks more often than not. With the Undertaker, he made his greatest ever gimmick. He had been a big star right from the off, he looked completely different from everybody else with his frightening stature and zombie persona. Paul Bearer as his manager only added to the aura of The Undertaker, not forgetting the huge part of his obsession with the mysterious urn.

In 1991, He decimated Jimmy Snuka at WM 7. His performance didn't go unnoticed, and Taker became one of the focus' of the entire organisation, partaking in feuds with Ultimate Warrior, Randy Savage and beating Hulk Hogan for the WWF title on his 1 year anniversary. The plan had gone off the rails somewhat though, as Undertaker had arguably become more over than the figurehead Hulk Hogan, and a face turn was promptly put in place as he turned on his evil partner Jake The Snake Roberts, and dominated again at WrestleMania 8.

Now Undertaker was a hugely loved face and the legend really began to grew. He was the special attraction. At WM 9, he defeated Giant Gonzalez by DQ to. It was 2 years until his next Mania appearance where he beat King Kong Bundy and then met his biggest test, mega star Diesel at WrestleMania 12. Undertaker had again won, and his WrestleMania record became a standard "Did you know?" kind of fact. He went 6-0 up at the next Mania (13) and beat Sycho Sid to claim his 2nd WWF Championship, which he would hold for the majority of the year. At WrestleMania 14, Underaker would face his biggest test, facing his brother Kane, who had dominated Taker. Taker beat him with 3 tombstones and went 7-0 up, which was truly incredible. It would get more incredible as the years went by, he beat Boss Man in Hell in a Cell at WM 15 and then Triple H at WM 17 (in his best mania match to date), and then Ric Flair 1 year later. Undertaker now, incredibly, had a win-loss record of 10-0.

At WM 19 he beat Big Show & A-Train in a handicap match, and returned as the dead man at WrestleMania 20 in Madison Square Garden in a long awaited appearance against his evil brother, the demented Kane, for the second time, where he again won and became 12-0. WWE knew, that almost effortlessly, they had a huge record in the making, that they now dubbed the streak when Randy Orton (in his legend killer guise) decided to try take out the biggest legend of all. Undertaker went 13-0 at WM 21. His next match would be a winning effort against Mark Henry at WM 22 before the streak took on a life of it's own, and was put up against the best superstars on offer, year after year. He defeated the monstrous Batista at WM 23 for the World title which brought him to the magic 15, and he repeated the trick next year this time defeating Edge for the World Title. His next 3 matches though made the streak truly legendary. He wrestled arguably the greatest match of all time against Shawn Michaels at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania and kept the streak alive, before ending HBK's historic career at WM 26 in the rematch. Last year at Mania, he narrowly defeated Triple H and became 19-0. The last we have seen is Taker lying limp in the ring and stretchered out towards the back as he gave his all to keep the streak intact. The streak is the most legendary thing currently in wrestling, and quite likely ever. When he is retired, only then can we look back on the true legacy of the streak.

2 Stone Cold Steve Austin survives potential paralysis to become the biggest thing in the industry

At the 1996 King of the Ring, Austin 3:16 was officially born. From then on it was nowhere but up for Stone Cold. When he called Bret Hart out for a match when Hart was returning to the ring after a hiatus he started to properly use his momentum. He gave some awesome heel interviews in the build up to his match with Hart at Survivor Series and when the two locked up, he never looked back. Austin was now a big player. Aside from Shawn Michaels, Austin and Hart were the best worked WWF had to offer, and in 1997 the two of them dominated the Royal Rumble, where Austin controversially own after he was properly eliminated. After missing out on a WWF championship opportunity, Austin would meet Hart again in their most classic appearance together at a submission match at WM 13. Hart may have won, but Austin won admiration due to the fact that he never passed out from the pain. It all culminated in the famous double turn when Hart continued beating down Austin post match. It was clear Austin was on the money, and he was now the biggest face in the company. The continuing feud with Hart cleared the way for an opportunity for his first singles gold when meeting Owen Hart at Summerslam for the Intercontinental Belt. Austin was due to win, and duly did, but that was not the story. Owen Hart set Austin up for a tombstone piledriver, wrongly however, and dropped Austin on his neck. This was the action that would be the eventual end for the man. At the time, Austin's life was in serious jeaporardy, never mind competing again. WWF had been losing the battle with wCw and Austin was clearly being groomed to be the figurehead of the company, so WWF backstage brass had their hearts in their mouths. How Austin reacted from this setback however is incredible. Refusing doctors orders, risking paralysis, Austin put off neck surgery for another two years.

Steve Williams had it all, many legends who were with him in the ring had spotted this, but unfortunately company suits like Eric Bischoff had not. When he was fired, he went to ECW and the Stone Cold character took it's first steps. He was injured mostly during his 1995 stay and only had two matches, but his promo's were incredible. WWF however only really checked out his in ring technique when they brought him on, and made Ted Di Biase his mouthpiece as The Ringmaster character. When Di Biase left for wCw, Austin was left alone, though had been breaking out from Ted's shadow anyway, coining himself "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, despite suggestions from creative that he call himself the Ice Dagger and Chilly McFreeze.

These dreadful hindrances to his career progression only fuelled his desire to be the best, so the neck wasn't going to stop him. When he returned, he was kept out of in ring action for several months and would only appear for promo's. But WHAT promo's. They worked a storyline where Austin was coming back to the ring against doctor's orders, and more importantly WWF orders. Austin talked more trash and began stunning officials every week he appeared all the way up to the chairman and fan interest grew rapidly. Real life was now smack bang centre stage and Stone Cold was the perfect man to carry it off. Every single week, Stone Cold became more of a living legend, and then won the Royal Rumble, had heat with Mike Tyson and won the WWF title at Mania 14. He then proceeded to take wrestling back into the main stream and break more records than Hulk Hogan in his 80's prime. The rest is history.

1 The rookie that survived a plane crash and became the most decorated wrestler in history

In 1975 Ric Flair was nowhere on the spectrum in the wrestling world. There was a very very good chance that nobody would ever have heard of Ric Flair, as hard to believe as that sounds. In 1975, he was on a plane that crashed down to the earth. Ric Flair survived, and any budding wrestling career he was destined to have was written off - He had broken his back. If Flair wanted to pursue his dream he had to alter his style completely from a power move style he used to keep his back protected. Flair came back and he was stronger than ever, he became the Nature Boy and won multiple US titles in an era where belts where kept for longer periods. In 1981, Ric Flair became the NWA Heavyweight champion and never looked back. He feuded with several names in a who's who of wrestling and began to create a dynasty as the ultra heel who was better than everyone and knew it. Stylin', Profyllin', Limousine Ridin' became staples of the character and indeed the man himself, he became the figurehead of The Four Horsemen which will go down in history as the greatest stable there ever was, and he won title after title after title, with classic match after classic match after classic match. He put over some of the biggest names to be in wrestling like Ricky Steamboat, Lex Luger and most beneficially of all, Sting.

After falling out with wCw, he turned up in the WWF with his wCw belt calling hiimself the real world's champion. Ric Flair, though absolutely massive in NWA, was about to go mainstream.

He won the Royal Rumble in 1992, the greatest Royal Rumble ever where he won the vacant title. Another WWF title would be acquired before he made his way back to wCw and continued his legacy in the more comfortable surroundings of the NWA.

Ric Flair is still active in wrestling. People on the internet give him a hell of a hard time (for about the last 10 years) for not hanging everything up and giving the young guys a chance. the fact of the matter is though that Ric Flair has been divorced 4 times in his life. He needs money to pay for his bitches people, and his legal fees, so cut him some slack. When Ric Flair is truly gone, people will remember him not just as probably the greatest wrestler ever but a guy who truly lived the business and went on well into his 60's, and quite possibly beyond. It is easy to give all the "expert" , popular opinions you can from the comfort of your computer, but we only see him on screen, we really don't know a modicum of what goes on, regardless of all the sources we think we have.

Ric Flair's official WWE retirement match with Shawn Michaels is his unofficial ending in the business. It is all heart, and would have been the ideal way to go if it wasn't for his money troubles.

He is recognised as a 16 time World Champion by all recorded bodies, even as we speak he has been invited to the Hall of Fame next year to be inducted for a second time through his Four Horsemen association, even though he is on the TNA payroll. As a manager to stars like Triple H, Batista, and now Gunner, his credibility has rubbed favourably on to his students of the game. Ric Flair is not only the holy grail of wrestling, he is the man who survived a plane crash and exceeded even his wildest dreams.

Not just an absolutely brilliant wrestler, but the greatest promo giver ever made (apart from Hollywood Rocky Maivia)

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Updated 01-15-2012 at 11:00 AM by The Next Big Thing



  1. wrestlingfan66513's Avatar
    really good blog and you make great points for everything
  2. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    To reference CM Punk quoting Johnny Ace, "I like you. I really, really like you".

    But seriously, great couple of blogs! More of the same please?
  3. TakerManiac's Avatar
    I absolutely Loved your blog

    Great Job
  4. midian's Avatar
    great list. i would have to put Austin's pre WM 19 heart problem as one of my top 5 unlikely stories in wrestling.
  5. The Next Big Thing's Avatar
    thanks for the feedback dudes.

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