Upsets are more than necessary in pro wrestling. For a promotion to truly create an emotional connection with its fanbase, while cultivating an unforgettable environment for its product, upsets must exist.
Upsets have been used in various capacities in pro wrestling. They have been used to emphasize the dastardly nature of a heel, and also as a vehicle to make a young up-and-comer a star. Most unfortunately, upsets have been used to publicly embarrass talent that the powers that be feel need to pay dues.
Whatever the case, when done correctly, upset victories have lead to some of the biggest and most memorable pops that pro wrestling has to offer. True upset nirvana is reached when said moment lays the foundation to an even more memorable career.
Upon being drafted to RAW, and separated from longtime tag team partner Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin was immediately given the rocket in a main event match against Triple H.
The two battled back and forth, with Benjamin giving an overly confident Triple H all he could handle and then some, before scoring a rollup victory for the win.
The win would lead to a feud against Triple H and Evolution, which would prove to do anything but make Benjamin into a perennial main eventer.
Sheamus was crowned WWE Champion within months of his debut, but while WWE detrimentally decided that he had gotten "too big for his britches," they found it fitting to make him pay his dues to the good ole boy's network by making him do the job to noted comedy act Santino Marella.
While this mini-feud did give us the epic "tea time" segment with Santino and Sheamus, it was largely unproductive, as it hurt Sheamus and did nothing to further Marella's career.
During a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin leading up to their historic WrestleMania XIX match, the Rock engaged in a wildly entertaining side feud with The Hurricane.
When the comedic backstage feud turned physical, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin who cost the Rock a quick pinfall loss to the Hurricane, when Hurricane rolled up the Rock while he jawed with Austin.
Rey Mysterio's victory over Kevin Nash on Nitro was one of WCW's first instances of a failed experiment of mixing the cruiserweight division with the heavyweights—especially the likes of Kevin Nash.
The 5'6 Mysterio scored an unlikely victory over the seven foot tall Nash on Nitro, leading to a pay-per-view match that saw Nash avenge his upset loss with a decisive victory.
Chris Jericho was firmly established as a fan favorite, and the crowd was white hot to see the hated Triple H drop the WWE Championship to Jericho.
A buzz-worthy episode of RAW kicked off with a more than surprising victory for Chris Jericho, after he challenged Triple H to a match for the WWE Championship—tricking the ego maniacal champion into defending his title.
Following a scintillating victory for Jericho, Triple H and the power-wielding McMahon family managed to weasel the title out of Jericho's arms, using Earl Hebner as a scapegoat.
Staying true to a pattern that has almost unfairly defined Triple H as a backstage manipulator, Triple H would go on to score a series of victories over Chris Jericho, with the intention of permanently cooling him off.
With WCW trying desperately to right their eroding flagship program, the briefly prolific wrestling company hit a hard reset button with the introduction of "new blood," and decided that Billy Kidman would be the face of this movement.
Kidman wasted no time going after the biggest (and one of the oldest) dog in the yard, as he made a series of inflammatory remarks about Hogan prior to Hogan entering the building.
Eric Bischoff, who was aligned with Kidman, duplicitously returned to Hogan's side as Hogan prepared to face Kidman. Thanks to Bischoff, who counted the deciding pinfall after striking Hogan with a steel chair, Kidman would go on to score the biggest victory of his career that night.
Kidman's fortunes would all fall down as his subsequent feud with Hogan did no favors to what remained of his career.
If his jaw-dropping Royal Rumble elimination of the Undertaker wasn't enough, Maven went on to deliver yet another heart-stopping upset on the strength of a follow up pinfall victory over "The Deadman."
Maven's SmackDown victory over the Undertaker was a huge upset, albeit overbooked, but while WWE tried valiantly to make him into a big star, he never quite panned out despite a promising start for the former Tough Enough winner.
Santino Marella's introduction to the WWE was as a fan who was enjoying a special RAW show from Italy.
In a move to get the crowd as hot as possible, while adding fuel to a feud between Bobby Lashley and Umaga, Lashley connected with multiple unprotected chair shots to Umaga's head before Santino scored one of the all time most shocking upsets ever in the WWE.
Barry Horowitz was everyone's favorite Jewish jobber, and one of the most noted losers of the early 90's. In a match on RAW, against up-and-coming Skip, Barry Horowitz , who never won WWF TV matches, managed to defeat the immensely talented Skip with a rollup victory.
The "fluke" victory sparked a full on feud between Skip and Horowitz, but Horowitz would not blink as he surprisingly stood pat and defeated Skip at SummerSlam.
Horowitz has Shawn Michaels to thank for those victories.
Razor was as over as a mid card heel as one could be. One night on RAW, in a match nobody had initially thought anything of, Ramon battled in an unexpectedly competitive match against a perceived jobber, otherwise known as "The Kid."
The match quickly built an unlikely amount of suspense, until The Kid capitalized on a Razor Ramon mistake and scored the shocking upset victory over Ramon using a moonsault.
The following week, in a flawed booking move, ran a match in which heel Razor promised to award him $10,000 had he been victorious.
Ramon and The Kid would soon join forces, adding more value to Kid's unforgettable upset victory, as he would eventually go on to be a star in WWE as well as multiple pro wrestling companies.