What we see in wrestling, on television or in person, is predetermined. However, most wrestling fans will recall that back in 1997, at the Survivor Series in Montreal, WWE champion Bret 'Hitman' Hart was defeated by Shawn Michaels. This event lived on in infamy, as the term "Montreal Screwjob" was born and the fallout from what happened became public knowledge. The manner in which Hart lost the title seemed unique. As many will recall, Bret was put in his own submission move when referee Earl Hebner called for the bell.
It was done because the company was concerned that he would leave the promotion with the title. Bret said he wouldn't do that, but the company didn't want to leave it to chance.
While it was the most prominent 'screwjob,' it isn't the only time where wrestlers were double-crossed and screwed out of a win or championship. Often times, the reasons were in the best interests of the promoter and not the wrestler. Throughout history some of the most notable wrestlers in the world were in fact victims of circumstance and they never saw it coming. Here are 10 Other Wrestling Screwjobs You Didn't Know About.
10 Wendi Richter vs. Spider Lady (Fabulous Moolah) - 1985
During the "Rock n' Wrestling" era of the 1980s, the top female star in the WWF was Wendi Richter. The match where Richter won the title from The Fabulous Moolah was one of MTV's highest rated moments ever. Then, in 1985, she had her title taken from her in a conspiracy that included her opponent, the referee and owner Vince McMahon Jr. It happened during a match against an unknown masked wrestler known as The Spider Lady.
9 NWA Title Tournament - 1994
The National Wrestling Alliance was a prominent name in the 1980s, prior to the sale to Ted Turner and the rebranding as WCW. One of the promoters that resurrected NWA was Tod Gordon, who owned Eastern Championship Wrestling, which was run by Paul Heyman. Heyman hosted a tournament to determine a new champion. There wasn't a screwjob or double-cross in the ring as it was determined that Shane Douglas would ultimately win the tournament and become the new NWA champion. However, after the match, Heyman, Gordon and Douglas all double-crossed the resurrected NWA by throwing down the title and picking up a new Extreme Championship Wrestling title, which stunned NWA President Dennis Coraluzzo (who was in the ring watching, and had no idea this was going to happen).
8 Frank Gotch vs. George Hackenschmidt – 1911
Many wrestling historians consider this one of the most famous matches in wrestling history. It pitted Frank Gotch, a world renowned champion, against George Hackenschmidt. Gotch had defeated Hackenschmidt a few years prior to this match up and was defending his championship. In the "rematch of the century." However, prior to the match taking place, Ad Santel, a sparring and training partner of George, was reportedly paid $5,000 to take out Hackenschmidt's knee. Due to the reported gate of $87,000, which was quite substantial for 1911, the show went on, but promoters kept the injury hidden from the public.
7 Don Eagle vs. Gorgeous George – 1950
6 Antonio Inoki vs. Bob Backlund - 1979
Backlund lost the WWF title to Inoki in Japan, and the agreement was that he would recapture it when they faced one another in the US. There was a catch, however; in the US, there would be no acknowledgement that Backlund ever lost the title. The match's conclusion had Tiger Jeet Singh interfere, causing Inoki to lose. However, there was a double-cross after the match concluded - WWF President Hisashi Shinma ruled the match a no contest and said that Inoki was still champion. This was planned by Inoki and Shinma because New Japan Pro Wrestling was going to be taping in Madison Square Garden, and they wanted to have Inoki remain champion to aid NJPW's ratings.
5 Nobuhiko Takada vs Trevor Berbick - 1991
The most notable exchange between these two featured the former heavyweight champion boxer on the UWFI show at Sumo Hall in Japan. As soon as the match began, Takada legitimately went after Trevor Berbick. He connected with incredibly stiff leg kicks that surprised Berbick because he wasn't anticipating the match to go in that direction. Berbick left the ring around the three-minute mark of the first round and refused to re-enter the ring.
4 Danno O'Mahoney vs. Dick Shikat -1936
3 Jim Londos vs. Joe Savoldi - 1933
2 Wayne Munn vs. Stanislaus Zbyszko – 1925
This match up pitted a giant of a man in Munn, who stood 6'8'' and was a successful college football player, against Zbyszko. Munn had captured the title from Strangler Lewis, with the intention of an eventual rematch.
1 Strangler Lewis vs. Henri DeGlane - 1931
This match could be said that it featured the bite heard round the world, much like the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield altercation many years later. The match was a best of three with Strangler already aware that he would win the contest and it would go three falls. Interestingly, wrestlers went back to the dressing rooms between falls.
After the second fall, DeGlane bit himself near his armpit to the point where he drew blood, then kept his arm concealed and returned to the ring for the third fall. Once the match had started he immediately started screaming, and Lewis backed off with no clue as to why. The referee saw the blood and teeth marks and disqualified Lewis, in the process awarding the title to DeGlane. Strangler was so furious that he went backstage intending to beat up the promoter. However, Bowser was prepared, with several bodyguards holding baseball bats surrounding him. Lewis quit the promotion and left for Europe.
Sources: The Wrestling Observer
Leave A Comment
Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheRichest?Get Your Free Access Now!