The Rock Back On Raw and 100 Other Reasons Why I (and So Many Fans) Love WWE
We all have our reasons to love pro wrestling and particularly WWE. For more than 20 years, since the mid-'80s when I was 8-9 years old, I have watched wrestling.
It truly became a passion in the '90s and I rarely missed an episode of Raw. I watched hundreds of pay-per-views and more than 2,000 matches over the years.
With all that WWE wrestling I watched, I witnessed countless memorable moments. Some things or events marked me more than others, and that is what is the following slideshow will be about.
I invite you to follow me in a travel through my memory to discover 101 reasons why I love WWE.
I am sure many of you share the same reasons with me and you have probably 101 other reasons.
So, the comment section will be wide open for discussion to mention what I have not listed and, without any more introduction, let's roll in 25 years of WWE history.
The Undertaker's Gimmick
For over 20 years, The Undertaker has portrayed a dead man with a scary credibility. Only Mark Calaway can play that role without looking ridiculous. No wonder why he is The Phenom of WWE.
Randy "Macho Man" Savage's Flamboyant Style
He was unique, and he was one of the most entertaining wrestlers ever.
Even for his on-screen wedding, he was flamboyant.
Kofi Kingston's In-Ring Skills
Kofi Kingston is one of the most spectacular wrestlers I have ever seen.
He is agile like a cat, and his elevation is superhuman.
Randy Orton's Sneaky Side
The RKO is only one of many ways The Viper can strike.
Bret Hart's Technical Wrestling Skills
"The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be" is not far from the truth when we think about his technical skills.
John Morrison's Agility
He can do moves only he can accomplish. He seems to defy all laws of gravity.
And, if you have watched the last Royal Rumble, you saw him playing Spider-Man.
The Ultimate Warrior's Intensity
From his wild sprint to the ring to his rope-shaking and in all his matches, there is one word to describe The Ultimate Warrior: intensity.
Shawn Michaels' Entrance At WrestleMania XII
His entrance at WrestleMania XII was simply unforgettable.
Mankind made a very weird debut with his unique gimmick. He was creepy.
The Dominating Demolition
Demolition Ax and Smash formed my favorite tag team ever.
They dominated the tag team division for three years like no other duo.
Bobby Heenan's Management Style
Bobby Heenan is considered by many to be the best manager ever.
He was on top in a great time when managers were a crucial part of the WWF.
Mr Fuji Using Salt
If it was entertaining to see Mr. Fuji use his vintage cane to hit his protégés' opponents behind the referee's back, my favorite moments were when he used salt in the eyes.
Jimmy Hart Using His Megaphone
"The Mouth Of The South" was so amazing to annoy people with his voice through his famous megaphone.
Vince McMahon At The Announce Table
For some reason, I always enjoyed Vince McMahon as a commentator.
He knew how to put life in commentating.
Jim Ross At The Announce Table
He will always be the greatest voice of Monday Night Raw.
Raw revolutionized the world of wrestling TV shows.
Countless historic and memorable moments took place on our screen since 1993.
The home of The Rock and The Undertaker might be called the WWE "B show," but I saw the best wrestling matches on free TV on Smackdown!
The Grandest Stage of Them All...
The Showcase of the Immortals...
The Grandaddy of Them All...
Call it how you prefer; WrestleMania is the greatest wrestling show on Earth. I dare anyone to disagree.
The Making of Yokozuna's Casket
One of my favorite set of promos ever.
In the weeks before the 1994 Royal Rumble, the "making of Yokozuna's casket" vignettes were classics.
The First Death Of The Undertaker
Those who saw that moment in 1994 will probably never forget it.
After the casket match against Yokozuna at the Royal Rumble, the fans witnessed something never seen before.
The Buildup of Undertaker Vs. Undertaker
The match itself was not exactly memorable, but the long showdown leading to the Summerslam 1994 main event was one of the best ever.
WWE knew how to create hype back then.
Stone Cold's Entrance
As soon as the glass breaking noise was heard, the crowds went nuts.
Rarely matched cheers always accompanied Stone Cold to the ring.
Steve Austin's Beer Truck
A classic Austin moment.
John Cena Slamming Big Show At Wrestlemania XX
That Attitude Adjustment was impressive; no one can deny that.
The Undertaker's Entrance
The most mesmerizing entrance in the business.
Anyone who witnessed it in a live audience will probably say the same.
The gong, the darkness and the music are always special.
Triple H's Entrance
One of my favorite entrances. I'm not a huge Triple H fan, but his entrance is spectacular.
The Royal Rumble Match Concept
Not many things can match the excitement of the countdown when a new participant is about to enter the ring.
The Macho Man's Attack On Ricky Steamboat's Throat
On the Nov. 22, 1986, episode of WWF Superstars, Randy Savage launched an infamous attack on Ricky Steamboat.
It led to a classic match at the following WrestleMania.
The Outlaw Ron Bass Attacks Brutus Beefcake
It was vicious, and it ended in a bloody mess.
It was shocking to see that on a PG wrestling show, but I still remember it, even after more than 20 years.
DX Invades WCW
It was a great moment of TV and a crucial move by WWE.
The Return Of The Deadman At Wrestlemania XX
I didn't really liked the biker gimmick, so I was more than happy to see The Undertaker as The Deadman at Wrestlemania XX.
The Owen Hart Vs. Bret Hart Rivalry
This is what I consider the greatest feud in WWE history.
You can read an article I wrote to understand why:
The Stone Cold Vs. Vince McMahon Rivalry
Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon was one of the greatest feuds ever.
For over two years, the rebel employee battled the evil boss, and it created many vintage moments.
The biggest wrestling show ever.
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat is considered by many as the greatest wrestling match ever.
And Hulk Hogan slamming Andre The Giant was the legendary moment that launched the WWF into the stratosphere.
The 17th installment of the WWE extravaganza is considered by many fans to be the best WrestleMania ever. The quality of the card will probably always be unmatched.
It included one of the most anticipated matches in WWE history, between Steve Austin and The Rock, both at the peaks of their careers.
The match between Edge and The Undertaker literally kept me on the edge of my seat.
Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair even managed to pull out a classic match.
Overall, the spectacle was simply awesome. From the stage to the pyros, everything was in place for a great Wrestlemania.
Andre The Giant's Legend
He remained undefeated for 15 years.
He was a legendary attraction who could draw fans like no one, until Hulkamania.
Lex Luger Slamming Yokozuna
In 1993, on the Fourth of July, Lex Luger accomplished the unthinkable: he slammed the 600-pound Yokozuna aboard the USS Intrepid.
Jeff Hardy Jumping Off The Titantron
Like him or hate him, no one can deny his dedication.
He never hesitated to put his body on the line to entertain the fans, and he proved it when he battled Randy Orton on that Jan. 14, 2008, episode of Raw.
The Hardcore Championship
With the 24/7 rule, the title could change at any time in any place.
The brutal battles over that championship gave the fans their dose of pure hardcore.
Made famous by Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, then perfected by Edge & Christian, The Hardyz and The Dudley Boyz, the ladder match is probably the most spectacular stipulation.
From the TLC bouts to the Money In The Bank contests, ladders always offer a new dimension to wrestling.
Hell In A Cell Matches
To watch the most brutal matches, there is nothing like the Hell In A Cell Matches.
WWE even released a DVD to relate the history of that career-changing stipulation.
A vicious weapon used on so many memorable occasions.
From the straight shot on the head to the "one-man con-chair-to," chairs may be my favorite weapons.
The Use Of Steel Steps As Weapon
The steel steps have been used many times as a vicious weapon to knock out opponents.
Alberto Del Rio's Entrance
Alberto Del Rio even has his own ring announcer to introduce him.
His entrance, with his cars and his pyros, is currently one of the most spectacular in the business.
The Million Dollar Man's Laugh
Ted DiBiase's evil laugh is unforgettable.
It fit his unique gimmick perfectly.
Edouard Carpentier At The French Announce Table
For many older fans, he is the "Flying Frenchman" and a high-flying pioneer.
But for me and an entire generation of Quebecers, he is the voice of the French version of Superstars, presented every Sunday morning.
Heel Jerry Lawler At The Announce Table
Back in the '90s, Jerry Lawler was an entertaining heel commentator.
He was my favorite color commentator ever.
Countless feuds ignited on the stage of Piper's Pit.
Roddy Piper hosted the greatest interview segments in WWE history.
Evan Bourne's Shooting Star Press
This is my favorite move.
There's no more spectacular attack in WWE.
Jake Roberts' Snakes
Jake Roberts and his snakes provided many memories to the fans in the '80s.
Kane made his first WWF appearance at the first-ever Hell In A Cell match in October 1997.
The Undertaker will never forget it.
Paul Bearer's Gimmick and Creepy Voice
He was the perfect manager for The Undertaker, and his creepy voice still echoes in my head.
John Morrison's Entrance
John Morrison's rock-star entrance, with the slow-motion effect and the pyros, is genuinely outstanding.
The Sound of the Bell
To announce the start or the end of a match, I always find it thrilling to hear the sound of the bell.
Lesnar Superplexing Big Show
On June 12, 2003, Brock Lesnar superplexed Big Show from the top turnbuckle, and the ring collapsed.
It was pure Smackdown!
Undertaker Chokeslamming Mankind
It was not just another chokeslam.
It was the greatest choke-slam ever, from the top of the cell at the 1998 King Of The Ring pay-per-view.
"Mean" Gene Okerlund's Backstage Interviews
"Mean" Gene was the best to run backstage interviews.
No one can replace him.
Big Show Chokeslamming John Cena Into The Spotlight
At Backlash 2009, John Cena took what was probably the biggest hit of his career.
Howard Finkel Announcing A New Champion
Is there anyone better to announce a NEEEEEEEW Champion?
Hulk Hogan's Charisma
If we forget his wrestling skills, Hulk Hogan was the most charismatic wrestler ever to step into a wrestling ring.
His entrance, his music, his way to tear his shirt and his vintage poses made of him the biggest draw in WWE history.
One of the greatest pro-wrestling cards ever. Just take a look at it and you can understand why.
* Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio
* Ric Flair vs.Chris Jericho
* Eddie Guerrero vs. Edge
* Lance Storm and Christian (c) vs. Booker T and Goldust - For the WWE Tag Team Championship
* Chris Benoit (c) vs. Rob Van Dam - For the Intercontinental Championship
* The Undertaker vs. Test
* Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H - Unsanctioned Street Fight
* The Rock(c) vs. Brock Lesnar - For the WWE Undisputed Championship
Randy Savage's Entrance
To go with his flamboyant style, it took a flashy entrance with great music.
Edge and Lita's Live Sex Celebration
In one of the most controversial and most watched events in WWE history, Edge and Lita's live sex celebration was a classic.
The Hype Created For The '80s And '90s Pay-Per-Views
Hyping pay-per-view events seems a lost art nowadays.
There was nothing like the hype created in the '80s and '90s.
The Intercontinental Championship
Some of the greatest matches ever were battles over the once-prestigious Intercontinental Championship.
On many occasions, the bouts over this title stole the show from the main events.
Shane McMahon's Coast-to-Coast
Probably the most spectacular move performed by a casual wrestler.
Shawn Michaels' Sweet Chin Music
I just can't get tired of watching that finisher on my old tapes and DVDs.
The Stone Cold Stunner
The Stone Cold Stunner is a pure pleasure to watch, in matches or just like that, for no reason.
Ric Flair's Woooooooo!
There's no need to be complicated to be catchy.
Whatcha Gonna Do?
"Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?"
I don't know why, but I always liked that catchphrase.
Edge is the total package: great entrance, outstanding mic skills, great in-ring abilities, charisma and everything that makes him The Ultimate Opportunist.
Simple, but so entertaining and unique with the Macho Man.
And That's the Bottom Line, 'Cause Stone Cold Said So!
A vintage catchphrase.
The New Age Outlaws Introduction By Road Dogg
If "Suck It" was DX's most popular catchphrase, my favorite was Road Dogg doing his introducing speech:
"LLLLLadies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, Degeneration-X proudly brings to you its World Wrestling Federation Tag Teammm Champions of the Woooorrrrldd, the Road Dogg Jesse James, the Bad Ass Billy Gunn, the NEW, AGE, Outlaws!!!!"
Natalya's Double Sharpshooter
During the last Royal Rumble, Natalya executed a sweet double sharpshooter on Layla and Eve.
For many, WrestleMania III was the epitome of the WrestleMania extravaganza. But for me, WrestleMania IV was bigger and better.
The tournament to crown the new WWF Champion after the Title was vacated was epic and Randy Savage emerged victorious. His reign lasted more than one year, until the next WrestleMania.
In addition to the WWF Championship battle, the tag-team division saw the beginning of the longest reign with the Championship when Demolition defeated Tito Santana and Rick Martel.
The Intercontinental Title was also on the line in a match with Brutus Beefcake challenging The Honky Tonk Man. If that was not enough, the show started with a 20-man Battle Royal.
The Mega Powers Exploding
When the two biggest names in WWF united in 1988, there was nothing to stop them, except themselves.
When Randy Savage turned on Hulk Hogan, it was the beginning of a feud of epic proportions.
Survivor Series 1989
Five Traditional Tag-Team matches on the card. Five encounters with a story-line behind each of them.
Three high-profile matches were on the menu for the fans, with Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Roddy Piper, Andre The Giant, Ted DiBiase and Rick Rude as the leaders of their respective teams.
"No Holds Barred" The Matches and The Movie
In 1989, a movie starring Hulk Hogan hit the theatres called "No Holds Barred." It was also accompanied with a series of matches featuring the opponents in the movie.
If the matches between Hogan and Zeus were far from being classics, the buildup of the rivalry was amazing.
It was also a continuity of the Hogan-Savage feud started in 1988. Savage teamed up with Zeus to face Hogan and Brutus Beefcake in a series of matches through 1989.
The Ultimate Warrior Defeating Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VI
Champion vs. Champion. The established legend battling the rising superstar.
It was 1990 when Hulk Hogan passed the torch to The Ultimate Warrior in an epic encounter.
The 1992 Royal Rumble Match
If the rest of the card was not exactly memorable, the 1992 Royal Rumble match itself was one of the greatest ever.
The WWF Title was on the line, and it added intensity and hype like never before or after to the January classic.
Ric Flair was a newcomer in WWF and, at the age of 43, he was still in good shape despite his best years being behind him.
The match itself was great, but Ric Flair's celebration backstage is what made it so memorable.
The British Bulldog Defeats Bret Hart at Summerslam 1992
In front of a crowd of 80,355 fans, The British Bulldog defeated Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Title in what was a classic and probably the greatest match in Summerslam history.
Davey Boy Smith proved he was more than just a powerhouse by holding his own in mat wrestling against one of the greatest technicians ever.
For over 25 minutes, the fans witnessed an unforgettable back-and-forth encounter.
The Iron Man Match between HBK and Bret Hart
The two icons battled for more than 60 minutes in that epic Iron Man match held on the stage of WrestleMania XII.
Steve Austin Celebrating With Beer
Probably the most entertaining and memorable celebrations.
Survivor Series 1998
It was the Deadly Game Tournament to crown the new WWF Champion.
In addition to the 12 tournament bouts, there were four dark matches and two other contests on the card.
The Rock ended the grueling evening as the new Champion and he turned heel.
Following that event, the Corporation was created and the rest is history.
The Wrestlemania 2000 Fatal-Four-Way Match over the WWF Title
The WrestleMania 2000 card was somewhat average, but the main event was great. It was a Fatal-Four-Way Elimination match for the WWF Title. It was Triple H (c) vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley vs. The Rock.
But it was more than just those four. The whole McMahon family was there, rooting for their man. Stephanie was in Triple H's corner, Shane was behind Big Show, Linda was with Foley and Vince took The Rock's side.
For over 36 minutes, the four grapplers fought, and HHH ultimately emerged victorious to retain.
Kane Eliminating 11 Opponents in the 2001 Royal Rumble Match
It was an impressive record established, and it was great to watch.
Brock Lesnar's Storm On WWE
He was The Next Big Thing and no one really replaced him.
He went on a rampage for only three years, but he left a permanent mark in WWE history.
The Money In The Bank Match Concept
From the ladder match itself to the cashing of the contract, everything is great in the Money In The Bank concept.
The Rock's Promos
The Rock has many catchphrases, and all of them are pure entertainment.
His presence in a ring is a spectacle.
Vince McMahon's Dedication
I don't know any boss who would put his body on the line for his company like Vince McMahon.
He took nasty bumps, he bled and he even got his hair shaved for the fans.
Edge Hitting The Undertaker With A Camera
At the Hell In A Cell match that took place at the 2007 Survivor Series, Edge was disguised as a cameraman and he cost The Undertaker the match.
It was a shocking moment of pure greatness.
John Cena's Return At The 2008 Royal Rumble
It was an astonishing return. The expression on Triple H's face was priceless.
CM Punk On The Mic
Week after week, CM Punk is showing he is one of the best with a mic.
Beth Phoenix's Unique Style
She is my favorite Diva.
She is a gracious powerhouse with charisma, and she can actually wrestle.
Ezekiel Jackson Manhandling Big Show On Smackdown!
In the last weeks, Ezekiel Jackson did what very few ever did: he manhandled Big Show on two occasions.
The Tag Team Division in the late '80s and in the '90s
A perfect example is the match on the picture, at Survivor Series 1987, all those teams were in the same match:
* The Killer Bees
* Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel)
* The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers)
* The Fabulous Rougeau
* The British Bulldogs
* The Hart Foundation
* The Islanders (Haku and Tama)
* The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov)
* The New Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo)
This is what I call a healthy tag-team division...!
Bull Nakano Vs. Alundra Blayze
It was the only notable women's rivalry in the '90s, but what a rivalry!
On pay-per-view or on Raw, they always delivered classic encounters.
This is my favorite feud ever in the women's division.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 & 26
Those two provided so many "WrestleMania Moments" separately.
But, in the same ring, they delivered classics, two years in a row.
The Most Electrifying Return In Sports Entertainment
I don't remember hearing such a huge ovation in the last decade. I had the chills when I heard the crowd cheering for long minutes.
It was a magical moment that only WWE can provide and that I missed for a while.
The Rock, after a seven-year absence, FINALLY came back to Raw...!
As we could see with the return of The Rock on that historic Valentine's Day episode of Raw, WWE and Vince McMahon still have the touch when they want.
But despite highs and lows, there will always be classic and unforgettable moments.
You have seen 101 of my favorite moments, but I'd like to read about yours.