Emotion and wrestling seems to go hand in hand, doesn’t it? No matter what happens, the world of pro wrestling is great at making us, the fans, feel a certain emotion. I’ll be honest, my emotions when watching today’s product are usually confusion and anger, though from time to time, situations do arise that leave wrestling fans very emotional; the recent announcement of Daniel Bryan’s retirement is certainly one of those situations.
Whether you want to admit it or not, wrestling certainly does play with its fans’ emotions. The following article will take a look down memory lane at some moments that tugged on our heart strings. Whether it was a memorable match, a tribute or an inspirational figure, these moments got the best of us wrestling fans. So without further ado, here are 15 of the most emotional WWE pictures.
15) The Streak Is Over
Those were the words echoed by Michael Cole: the streak is over. The feeling is pretty much summed up by this picture as the big screen indicates the eerie 21 and 1 record. Not only was the crowd absolutely stunned, but Lesnar himself was in shock when he found out he’d be the one to conqueror the streak. According to reports, Lesnar was initially not comfortable being the one to break the streak, and it actually took some convincing by Vince for Lesnar to go through with this massive upset. The Undertaker’s respect factor with his peers backstage is through the roof; as Alberto Del Rio said, The Undertaker is the “Godfather” of the WWE. Despite the displeasures of many fans, this scene will forever be imprinted as one of the most iconic and heartbreaking WrestleMania moments of all time.
14) Benoit Loses His Best Friend
According to his peers, things began to fall apart for Benoit after the passing of his best friend and former WWE star, Eddie Guerrero. While mourning his loss in a tribute video Benoit spoke about the fact that Eddie was the only one he could have went to for anything. Benoit concluded the tribute by saying he didn’t know what he was going to do without his best friend. The relationship between these two runs very deep all the way back to their days in WCW. They later jumped ship to the WWE at the same time, on January 31st, 2000. After Eddie’s passing in 2005, about a year and half later on June 25th, 2007, Benoit was found dead in his home.
13) 9/11 Tribute
Certainly one of the most special and memorable moments in WWE history. The WWE caught the eye of millions after holding a special SmackDown event honoring the country. What made this event extra special was the fact that the WWE was the first big name corporation to address the 9/11 attacks. The WWE made their stance very clear; the show will go on and we will recover from this together. It was a very emotional and powerful night for the WWE on a global scale.
12) Edge Bids A Farewell To His Co-Workers
On April 11, 2011, the WWE universe was shocked to find out that Edge was suffering from a career ending injury. After undergoing an MRI, Edge was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis. The doctors would no longer clear Edge, deeming it a massive risk which could end up in paralysis or death. Edge announced his retirement during a segment on RAW, and he was later greeted backstage by the entire roster. Later that week, Edge would show up on SmackDown officially relinquishing the World Heavyweight Championship.
11) Pat Patterson Comes Out
It was an emotional final episode on the WWE Network original Legends House. The cast of legends sat around a table and discussed some low points in their lives. The segment was very emotional with the cast talking about some people they lost, like Jimmy Hart who discussed the loss of his daughter. At the very end, Patterson finally broke out years later addressing that he is in fact gay. An emotional Patterson went on to say that he is proud of who he is, and the entire cast of wrestlers was brought to tears by this announcement. This is something Patterson kept to himself for years. Nice to see Pat finally feel liberated.
10) The Warrior’s Chilling Promo
On April 7th, 2014, The Warrior would make his final appearance on RAW before his passing the next day. Here is the chilling transcript of what The Warrior said before passing away the next day:
“No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe a final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them bleed deeper and something larger than life then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized. By the story tellers, by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him and make the running the man did live forever. You, you, you, you, you, you are the legend markers of Ultimate Warrior. In the back I see many potential legends. Some of them with warrior spirits. And you will do the same for them. You will decide if they lived with the passion and intensity. So much so that you will tell your stories and you will make them legends, as well. Ultimate. You are the Ultimate Warrior fans. And the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever!”
9) Honoring Owen
On May 23, 1999, wrestling fans were stunned after Owen fell to his death at the WWE pay-per-view Over the Edge. The very next night the WWE paid homage to Owen during a special episode of RAW, which was entitled RAW is Owen. Storylines and rivalries were all put aside for one night to pay respect and homage to such a great human being. The show took place in the Kiel Center in St. Louis.
8) NXT Pays Tribute To Dusty
On June 10th, 2015, Dusty Rhodes fell ill in his Orlando home. After being hospitalized Dusty passed away the next day. Rhodes’ impact on the business was immense, as he was one of the first ever wrestlers to bring an entertainment value to the ring. His style forever revolutionized what a typical wrestler should be like. Many believe Rhodes was the first ever sports and entertainer in the wrestling business. After his passing, the WWE held three tributes. The first took place with the entire WWE roster at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. He was also honored the next night on RAW and during an NXT taping with the entire roster honoring him with a ten-bell salute. Dusty was a tremendous mentor to many of the WWE’s developmental talent. Dusty’s legacy will live on forever.
7) Lawler Suffers A Heart Attack Live On RAW
It was a very scary sight that night in Montreal when Jerry Lawler suffered a heart attack live on the air during an episode of Monday Night Raw. Lawler collapsed during the broadcast, where he immediately received CPR by the paramedics on hand which ultimately saved his life. Lawler later underwent an angioplasty to improve the blood flow to his heart. One week later, Lawler finally left Montreal and headed back home to Memphis. Two months later, Lawler would make his long anticipated return back to the commentary booth.
6) Flair’s Final Match
Knowing Flair, you just knew if he was going out it had to be in some spectacular manner. Obviously Flair did not disappoint wrestling his final match on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania. The weekend was overwhelming for Flair; getting inducted by his best friend Triple H the night before at the Hall of Fame ceremony, then the next night facing his other best friend Shawn Michaels, in his final match on the biggest stage in pro wrestling. As Michaels tuned it up Flair already began to cry as he got up knowing his time was done. An emotional Shawn Michaels uttered the words “I’m sorry, I love you” proceeding to hit the Sweet Chin Music. Following the match a teary-eyed Flair received a tremendous ovation by the Orlando crowd.
5) Mr. WrestleMania Takes His Final Bow
It honestly doesn’t get any better than the Heart Break Kid Shawn Michaels, perhaps the greatest in-ring performer that ever lived. As you might imagine his final match was a pretty big deal. There was no other stage Michaels could have went out on than his home stage, WrestleMania. Michaels earned the nickname Mr. WrestleMania for constantly stealing the show at the WWE’s marquee event. On March 28th, 2010, Michaels Main-Evented WrestleMania for the last time, taking on The Undertaker in a streak versus career match. After losing the matchup, Michaels was given an emotional standing ovation to close out the show. The next night he was honored during RAW’s closing segment.
4) Connor Steals The Hearts Of Wrestling Fans
After getting the WWE’s attention through a social media campaign, Connor Michalek got to meet his hero Daniel Bryan. Connor had been suffering from spine and brain cancer since the age of three. Despite his illness, Connor’s attitude was infectious, and WWE superstars (including the COO Triple H) grew close to this young boy. Before a live show, Connor got the opportunity to compete in his first ever match defeating Triple H. After his passing, the WWE awarded Connor with the Warrior award at the Hall of Fame ceremony. The award was presented by his favourite wrestler, Daniel Bryan.
3) The End Of An Era
WrestleMania 28 was particularly emotional because it was truly the end of an era. With Michaels retiring, The Undertaker wrestling on a part time basis and Hunter transitioning into a new role with the company, it looked like these iconic stars were putting an end to a tremendous era of wrestling on the biggest stage of them all. Triple H and The Undertaker stole the show with Shawn Michaels as the special referee in their Hell in a Cell encounter. Following the match, the three broken, battered and bruised, walked together along the WrestleMania stage before giving the crowd a chilling salute. This moment stands alone as one of the most emotional scenes in WrestleMania history.
2) Vince And The Undertaker Get Emotional Before The Streak Ends
It truly was an emotional moment for Vince, knowing that The Undertaker’s streak was coming to a close. When Vince was asked who his favorite superstar of all time was he did not even hesitate to say “The Deadman” The Undertaker. His respect for Taker stems from years and years of hard work. McMahon acknowledges Taker’s loyalty, longevity and extraordinary commitment to his character as reasons for why he truly is the best. McMahon went on to say that The Undertaker is simply an extraordinary person and the best professional of all time. McMahon even claims that no one worked their craft better than Taker. Vince feels forever indebted to “The Deadman” for all his contributions on and off screen over the last 20 plus years. You can just imagine how high emotions were the day the streak finally ended.
1) WrestleMania XX
WrestleMania XX concluded with a very emotional ending. The show closed with the two journeymen finally realizing their dreams on the biggest stage of them in Madison Square Garden. Sadly, these two wrestlers would both pass away by 2007, three years after this event.