Wrestling has been known to provide fans with over-the-top action and gripping story lines. Aside from that, fans at often times feel a connection with wrestling superstars making them cheer on for them during matches and other events. But there are also times when wrestling provides not only cheer and joy to fan but tears as well.
The most well-known wrestling organization there is, is World Wrestling Entertainment or WWE (formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation or WWF). The company has been known for the best story lines and in-ring action for years now. Their iconic wrestlers are also something to boast about as well.
Throughout the years, WWE has provided fans with a selection of memorable moments. Fans can’t help but reminisce on the WWE’s glory days with past gimmicks like the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression. And now, they can’t help but look ahead at what’s in store for the leading brand in the industry. Its long history is also home to some memorable moments which left fans either heartbroken or in tears. Who could forget the reunion of Ms. Elizabeth and Randy “Macho Man” Savage? Something as simple as Austin’s numerous Royal Rumble wins are also notable.
WWE’s history also has its downs. Careers ended short by injuries and legendary wrestlers passing away are only some of the sad moments in WWE. Below are the 10 most tear-jerking moments in WWE history:
10. Daniel Bryan Retires
Many wrestlers’ careers have been cut short due to recurring injuries. One of these wrestlers is the very popular Daniel Bryan. His career was cut short due to recurring concussions and he was finally forced to retire in February of 2016.
Despite being in the WWE for a short time, there’s no denying that Bryan was one of the crowd favorites. As such, he was given one last moment inside the ring. Bryan was first speechless as he stood in front of his hometown and the crowd cheered “Thank You Daniel.” As he began speaking, it was obvious that the superstar was upset at his sudden retirement but he managed to rile up the crowd for one last time using his iconic “Yes!” chant.
9. Edge Retirement Speech
Another wrestling career cut short by injury is the one of Edge. Though his career is not necessarily short, it’s a fruitful one filled with accolades and records. In fact, Edge has been the World Heavyweight Champion for an overall record of 11 times.
Back in April 2011, Edge stood in front of the WWE Universe and revealed that he’s going to retire. Tests, particularly and MRI revealed that wrestling further would be harmful to him. Mid-speech, Edge finally revealed that he’s ending his career. Fans were shocked and Edge was on the verge of crying. The Rated-R Superstar had to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship belt at that time, meaning he retired a champion.
8. Nature Boy’s Last Moments In The Ring
Yet another recently retired wrestler is the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Flair has been part of several career threatening matches including ones against Vince McMahon, Triple H and Mr. Kennedy and he’s won all of them. However, his career was ultimately ended after losing to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV in a, you guessed it, a career-threatening match. The match itself was emotional as Shawn Michaels was seen uttering “I’m sorry… I love you, ” before delivering his Sweet Chin Music. A day before WrestleMania XXIV, Flair was inducted into the Hall of Fame by Triple H.
On the next episode of Raw, Ric Flair officially bid farewell to the WWE Universe who cheered on for him for the last time. Later on, Flair was joined by the WWE roster as they paid respects to the legend who was already emotional.
7. Eddie Guerrero And Chris Benoit’s WrestleMania 20 Victory
Wrestling fans know that Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were best friends in real life. After defeating Triple H at WrestleMania 20’s main event, Benoit was officially the new World Champion. Fans were already ecstatic then but moments after his victory, Benoit was surprised to see that Guerrero; who was the WWE Champion at that time, was waiting for him inside the ring. It was obvious that Benoit didn’t know Guerrero was coming. The two then shared an emotional moment inside the ring, celebrating their success in the industry.
6. SmackDown After 9/11
One of the more harrowing events in American history is the 9/11 attack which saw the death of many innocent civilians and the destruction of the World Trade Center. On Sept. 13, the WWE held a special live episode which opened with an emotional speech from Vince McMahon.
The episode itself remains one of the most emotional and gut-wrenching shows WWE has ever produced in the company’s history.
5. Jerry Lawler’s Live Health Scare
Aside from the wrestlers themselves, the WWE is kept alive with the other personalities that work outside the ring, most notably, the commentators. One of the most well-known commentators is former wrestler, Jerry “The King” Lawler.
On Sept. 10, 2012, Lawler collapsed at ringside during a live episode of Raw. Everyone in the arena looked over at ringside to see what’s going on as the WWE medical staff was there. The athletes at the ring that time were Daniel Bryan, Kane, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil, and they were also checking to see what’s going on.
After a few moments, co-commentator Michael Cole revealed that Lawler suffered a heart attack. Cole was obviously worried as he was stuttering during the announcement. Lawler returned after two months.
4. Andre The Giant’s Death And The Creation Of The Hall Of Fame
Wrestling fan’s both young and old are sure to be familiar with Andre The Giant. The 7-foot-tall wrestler was among the most popular icons during the early stages of the WWF. Sadly, the wrestler met his untimely death in 1993 due to heart failure.
Andre The Giant left such an impact on the industry, that the WWF officially created the WWF Hall of Fame for him. Of course, Andre The Giant was the inaugural inductee into the Hall Of Fame.
3. Chris Benoit’s Double Murder And Suicide
In June 2007, the entire wrestling universe was shocked at the sudden passing of Chris Benoit. What’s even more heart-wrenching and chilling was the events that transpired before and during his death.
The police entered Benoit’s home in 2007 after several missed appointments which became something of concern. The authorities discovered Benoit’s wife, Nancy and their 7-year-old son Andrew’s lifeless bodies. After a thorough investigation, it was discovered that Benoit committed the murders of his family before committing suicide.
The WWE released a three-hour tribute to Benoit but the cause of his and his family’s death weren’t known then. When the organization did find out what happened, it began to distance itself from the issue.
2. Owen Hart’s Fatal Accident
Perhaps no moment in wrestling history can be more emotional than the fatal accident of Owen Hart. At Over The Edge in 1999, Hart was scheduled to make a grand entrance. At the height of his stunt, the equipment malfunctioned and Hart fell chest first into the turnbuckle. The wrestler was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
A day after his death, Raw dedicated and episode to the superstar. What makes Hart’s death more emotional was that he was at the height of his career then, and fans inside the arena were there to watch as the superstar faded away.
1. Eddie Guerrero’s Death
Back in 2005, the WWE Universe was caught surprised with the sudden death of the high-flying superstar, Eddie Guerrero. Guerrero was found unconscious in his hotel room by his cousin and fellow wrestler, Chavo Guerrero. Chavo tried CPR on Eddie but to no avail. The superstar was pronounced dead when the paramedics finally came. The autopsy revealed that Eddie died from acute heart failure.
Both SmackDown and Raw dedicated their episodes to the fallen superstar. One of the most heart-wrenching parts of the tributes were the interviews provided by several wrestlers including Rey Mysterio, Chavo and JBL. Out of the interviews, Eddie’s real-life best friend Chis Benoit’s interview was what made fans cry out. Benoit detailed his relationship with the fallen wrestler and he had trouble finishing his lines as he was crying his heart out.