Two friends, after overcoming adversity, struggle, and the endless road to the top, prove the world wrong and make their dreams come true.
That was the scene at the end of WrestleMania XX when two now sadly deceased stars raised each other's hands in victory as the World Champions of WWE.
It still stands as one of the most iconic moments in WWE. Well, for those who still recognize it.
The stories of both of these stars who held up their hands in victory are tragic and sad to revisit, but the stories are polar opposites.
Eddie Guerrero was WWE Champion at the event after winning the title from Brock Lesnar at No Way Out. He would go on to the hold the title a couple more months before losing it to JBL. Guerrero would go on for another year with a few great moments especially with his long time friend Rey Mysterio.
On Nov. 13, 2005, after a good run that was rumored to be leading to the World Heavyweight Championship, Guerrero was found dead in a Minneapolis hotel room. He had died of acute heart failure. The tragedy was a horrible moment in the company.
Instead of showcasing their regularly scheduled programming, WWE honored Guerrero on both Raw and SmackDown with full episode tribute shows. Everyone mourned, including the second man of that original scene.
Chris Benoit, who would win his first WWE World Title at WrestleMania XX, would pull out one of the greatest underdog stories of all time beating two legends in Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the main event of the show.
Guerrero would come down after the match and celebrate with his long-time friend. They would hold their championships up together as true underdogs who had overcome the odds.
However, this moment was effectively erased by this second man. While Guerrero's death was an ultimate tragedy for the company, it was Benoit's death that would forever erase this moment from WWE history.
After losing many dear friends over the next few years after the event, most notably Guerrero, Benoit would no-show the WWE pay-per-view Vengeance. He was scheduled, according to Stephanie McMahon, to win the ECW World Championship.
He was found dead in his own home along with his son and wife. WWE would again have a special tribute show this time for Benoit; however, circumstances changed when the details of the Benoit murder were brought to light.
Benoit was found to the murderer of his wife and his son along with perpetrating his own suicide. The horrible events wiped Benoit from the record books of WWE, effectively crippling WrestleMania XX and its moment.
What does any of this have to do with WWE today? Well, again two long-time, hard-working friends are World Champions in WWE heading toward WrestleMania. If WWE ever felt the need to properly re-do one of the grandest moments in the company, now would be the time.
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are two men who are not "the right build," and they do not "fit the mold" of a WWE superstar; however, their natural ability has brought them to the top of the world, just as Guerrero and Benoit found themselves eight years ago.
Would WWE capitalize upon this chance? This opportunity to signify the final victories of two underdogs who have fought for years to make where they are now?
I can certainly see WWE doing this. They love to re-do their greatest achievements. They love to dig into the past for storylines, and this one "didn't even happen."
Personally, I doubt it will get close to the original impact. Many forget that while Punk is that underdog he is also a five-time World Champion. That makes the story much weaker right there. Daniel Bryan would fit perfectly, except that WWE fans in general know him as a one-year rookie.
Not exactly blood, sweat, and tears to reach that one moment as far as fans would understand who have not seen his stuff in the independent circuit, where he almost crippled himself for the business.
Also, the event has a major thorn to stop this big moment as well. The Rock and John Cena will outweigh all other moments for the show. The main thing people will be talking about when the night is over will not be Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. It will be about the outcome of Rock vs. Cena.
In the end, this moment is now or never for a second dip to help WWE erase that hole in history known as WrestleMania XX. However, it would be a huge mistake for the company to think that Bryan/Punk will be anywhere near Guerrero/Benoit.
Sorry, that ship has sailed. It is tragic but true. WWE needs to realize that.
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