Welcome to part 2 of Grizzly Bomb’s Top Ten Most Personally Memorable WWE Moments. Where Godzark and I have compiled our own memorable WWE moments. We thought that rather than try to make another in a long series of “Top X OMG Moments”, much like the WWE themselves have done, we’d prefer to share the moments that stuck with us on a personal level. The moments that made our eyes pop open in disbelief, laughter, surprise, or sheer excitement. Sure, some of these may not be universally recognized as the biggest, baddest, most memorable moments in WWE history, but to us, they were.
5.) Big Bossman Kidnaps, Kills & Cooks Al Snow’s Dog
Cheesebadger: Holy shit. Sometimes a storyline, even a sub-plot minor storyline like this one, can leave an impression on you you’ll never forget. Right around this time there was probably some big feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Rock. Sure I remember that feud, but the everyday skits about it didn’t stick with me the way THIS storyline did. In 1999, when the WWE(F) was at the height of its Attitude Era popularity, they seemed determined to make Big Bossman the most despicable heel alive. After weeks of mentally and physically torturing Al Snow with random beatings and whatnot, it seemed like things had finally gotten to a head. You see, Al Snow had made himself a little friend. A chihuahua named Pepper, whom he loved. He carried Pepper around everywhere and took care of him, so it was only a matter of time until Big Bossman dognapped Pepper. Al Snow became dedicated to rescuing his furry friend, and just as we all though Big Bossman was about to do the unthinkable, something happened.
Suddenly, Big Bossman reached out to Al Snow, asked for forgiveness, and begged Al to trust him. He insisted that Pepper was fine, and would return him to Snow. He even invited Snow over to his place for dinner, all the while assuring Snow that he had to make things right between them. Snow complied, still suspicious but desperate to get his friend back. When Snow arrived at Big Bossman’s place, Bossman insisted Snow try some of the meal he cooked for him, before he returned Pepper. A wary Al Snow took a few bites of the chinese food that had been seemingly prepared by Big Bossman, before Pepper’s ultimate fate was revealed with one shocking sentence I’ll never forget:
“Would you do me a favor, and try not to get them paws stuck in your teeth.”
The pause after that sentence seemed like minutes, as Big Bossman went on to proclaim what Al Snow was eating was in fact, 100% Grade A Pepper. That’s right, Big Bossman fed Al Snow his own damn dog. If that seems extreme, Big Bossman went on a tear continuing his reign as the worst human being alive by feuding with Big Show. How did he top himself there? Oh simple, he just interrupted Big Show at his fathers funeral, assaulted him, then stole his dead father’s casket with body inside, and literally towed it out of the graveyard behind his cop car. Yeah. That moment was almost on this list too.
4.) Unholy Matrimony of Undertaker & Stephanie McMahon
Godzark: The WWE has done some unforgettable mock weddings on their shows, but nothing will ever compare in my book to the “unholy matrimony,” between The Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon. This just so happened to play right in the middle of Stone Cold Steve Austin (who was and always will be my favorite wrestler)’s feud with Stephanie’s father, and owner of the WWE, Vince McMahon. The premise was that The Undertaker would kidnap Stephanie and tie her to his symbol, while Paul Bearer in all his wonderful pastiness and his sweet comb-over would marry Taker and Steph. This all went according to plan until the most unlikely beer drankin, finger flippin, Texas redneck anti-hero came out to save the day. The reason this moment meant so much to me was because I feel like it was the moment that pushed the “hero,” into Steve Austin’s anti-hero label. With the daughter of Austin’s arch nemesis in trouble, Steve came out and did the right thing, just because it was the right thing to do. When I was a kid, it really made me look up to Steve Austin, in a similar way that today’s youth looks up to John Cena. The impact that this moment had on me is why I believed it earned the right to be on this list.
3.) Kane Finally Unmasks Himself
Godzark: For years the WWE built Kane’s character to be The Undertaker’s brother who was burned in a fire at the families funeral home as a child. Kane spent six years behind the infamous red and black mask, supposedly in attempt to cover the hideous scars he received as a result of being burned in the fire, which was caused by his dysfunctional brother. In 2002, Kane was set up to compete in a match, where should he lose, which he inevitably did, he was required to take his mask off. I remember a friend of mine stayed over that night and I had my VCR recording this moment, only to re-watch it about 20 times throughout the night. This was the moment that changed the landscape of Kane’s career forever, and a moment that I’ll never forget.
To me the reason this moment stuck out so much, goes far beyond the storyline that was behind Kane’s character, there was also a degree of mystery to him as a person. Even though some longtime fans new that Glen Jacobs had played the unmasked character of Dr. yankem much earlier in his career, to fans that began watching during the attitude era, Jacobs was completely new. What I remember most about this moment was the fact that, as soon as it happened, as a fan I wasn’t really sure what to think, since there were no visible scars on his previously masked face. Did this mean that the whole story was a sham, or was this man so delusional that he really believed that he was burned in a fire and in fact did have these scars? It was a perfect way to keep fans sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting to see where the storyline would progress next. Either way, this moment was in my opinion, one of the greatest non PPV moments in WWE history.
2.) Stone Cold VS The Rock At Wrestlemania 15
Cheesebadger: One thing about this match that bring it some necessary context, is that in 1999, SCSA and The Rock were the two biggest names in all of pro wrestling, and arguably of all time. They were larger than life in every single way, right down to their finishing moves being sold as unstoppable, world shattering blows that no mortal man could possibly withstand. The Rock was played up as an arrogant, cocksure young jerk who could walk the walk as well as talk the talk, and Austin was the the toughest SOB in the entire WWE(F). Their feud is probably one of the best pure examples of how successful a properly done Heel Vs Face feud could be. The heights of fame and popularity their characters reached has since been unparalleled, and for months the two of them combatted each other in the ring or on the mic. When it all came down to it though, they settled things (for the first time anyway), in the ring at Wrestlemania.
To the both of them, the WWF Championship meant everything, and it was worth everything but short of your last dying breath to strive for. As a young WWF fan, seeing the both of them give each other every single thing they had, was like watching titans battle before your eyes. So many times we had seen people utterly destroyed by the one-two combo of the Rock Bottom &
People’s Corporate Elbow. Additionally, The Stone Cold Stunner was a move so devastating and rapidly given, that SCSA often could take on multiple opponents at once or end matches nearly instantly, so great was its power. After 20 plus minutes of battle, seeing these two greats kick out multiple times from each other’s finishing moves, was unheard of. I remember being absolutely awestruck at the fact that Austin had such tenacity, surviving everything the Rock threw at him, and countered a third Rock Bottom into a Stunner that won him the match and championship. Austin winning that title was a victory for all the fans of the Texas Ratttlesnake that night, and a victory for all wrestling fans who got to see an unforgettable match.
1.) Mankind VS The Rock at the 1999 Royale Rumble
Talk about an unforgettable match. Even in 1999 people knew Mick Foley was going to be a legend, but this match sealed it for me. I remember being so excited for all of the build up Mankind had, with his recent face turn, brief acceptance into DX, and subsequent title reign. Mankind being world champion was the feel good story at the time, and their rivalry was a classic case of the underdog winning. At the time Mankind was known for his tenacious ability, incredible resilience and massive tolerance for pain. He was the last man you’d ever expect to quit a match, and would literally rather die than give up. So an I Quit Match at the 1999 Royal Rumble seemed like a no brainer. How could he possibly lose?
Sure enough, for the first few minutes things seemed like they were in Mankind’s favor, as The Rock seemed puzzled at what to do to put Mankind into a state where he’d give up. You could pin the man down for 3 seconds sure, but break his spirit? Impossible. What transpired over the last 10 or so minutes, left my jaw agape during the entirety of the match. After being pushed off a guardrail 20 feet up, onto electrical wires and nearly being electrocuted to death, The Rock somehow found handcuffs, and handcuffed Mankind with his hands behind his back. Ever resistant, Mankind still fought back, until The Rock grabbed a chair.
The Rock then proceeded to wail on Mankind with chair shots directly to the head. After 10 unprotected chair shots to the head, including one to back of the head, The Rock placed the microphone next tot he mouth of an apparently unconcious (or dead) Mankind. What happened next is in my mind, still up for debate. The fact of the matter is that the phrase “I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!” was played over the loudspeakers, and the match ended with a victory for The Rock. The next night we’d discover that in storyline terms, this was The Rock’s way of ensuring his victory, by “cheating” and using a clip from a promo Mankind had made earlier. In real life, I think what happened was that people backstage were scrambling to try to end the match, which had quickly grown out of control. I assume that a certain number of chair shots were agreed upon, but as usual, Mankind and The Rock took it to the next level. After the 10th chair shot to the back of the head, Mankind is clearly unconcious, and whoever controls the soundboards at the WWF took that as an opportunity to end the match by playing that clip. I’m positive the real story behind this match is out there, but that’s how I’ll personally remember it, and that memory of watching these two men was incredible. They embodied the Unstoppable Force and The Immovable Object so perfectly, and as we all know, that contest only ends when they finally give up.
Godzark: Although we here at Grizzlybomb, like to focus on things that put people in a good mood, Cheese and I both believe it would be absolutely ridiculous not to mention somewhere on this list the scary moment that occurred a couple weeks ago on Raw. On September 1oth, Jerry “The King” Lawler had a near fatal heart attack on Raw, and as a viewer, few moments have made my stomach sink like this one did. When you watch wrestling every week for fifteen years, the show becomes defined by not just the wrestlers, but those calling the action as well. For years, Jerry Lawler has been synonymous with not only the WWE, but pro wrestling commentating in general, and any circumstance where such a person is almost lost far too soon is a scary moment for fans everywhere. In that moment I couldn’t help but think of what Raw would be like without Jerry calling the action, and to be quite honest I can’t imagine it. For fifteen years he has been that familiar voice that I hear every Monday night when I watch Raw, and the show would never be the same without him doing commentary. Thankfully, due to a stellar medical staff on hand, and Michael Cole’s quick reaction, the King is doing just fine and will be back doing commentary in no time. From all of us here at Grizzlybomb, get well soon King!
Cheesebadger: I made my feelings pretty clear here the night Lawler had his heart attack. That feeling of dread in between matches, with no commentary was resolutely ominous. I kept waiting for it to cut back to Michael Cole, and for him to give us the terrible news. Thankfully, the reports got better, but nothing was nearly as harrowing as rewinding my DVR and literally seeing Lawler in the background struggling to stay conscious, preceded by his abrupt drop off of commentary. Watching officials rush around in the backround, and the entire crowd’s attention diverted from the match onscreen, will stay with me forever. I’m incredibly glad to hear how Lawler made a full recovery, and wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully, he’ll be able to return to his home life, and take things easy for however long he has left. Long live The King!
*A few of you may notice a notable exception. That being the infamous Undertaker/Mankind Hell In A Cell Match, where Taker threw Mankind off the cage, through the cage, and into thumbtacks. Of course that’s a memorable moment but it’s at the top of EVERY best moments list on the internet, and as personally memorable as it may be to both Godzark and I, we decided to exclude it for that reason.