HEAT WEEK: 25 Hottest Heel Moments

In the fourth installment of Heat Week, John Corrigan counts down the 25 craziest, most hostile moments in wrestling history.

It’s those events when all hell broke loose, when police were called to settle down the riots. Those instances don’t happen anymore, but when they did, man, they were wild.

If you want to see real heat, check out the 25 most hellacious moments in wrasslin’ history.

25. Mark Henry “Retires”

In an Oscar-worthy performance, “The World’s Strongest Man” gave a stirring retirement speech in front of WWE Champion John Cena. With tears actually streaming down Henry’s face, he praised Cena’s efforts before suckering him into “The World’s Strongest Slam.”

24. Austin Pulverizes Team Extreme

Despite every nasty offense that Steve Austin performed in 2001, the fans just refused to jeer ol’ Stone Cold. And by Gawd, Austin tried EVERYTHING including battering not just Matt and Jeff Hardy, but also LITA with a steel chair.

23. The Cowboy Left for Dead

Eddie Gilbert lured “Cowboy” Bill Watts to the ring to denounce his support of the nefarious Russians and help Watts burn the Russian flag. As the southern crowd cheered for this jingoism, the Russians charged the ring and triple-teamed Watts, holding him down for Gilbert to bash his skull with the flag. All hell broke loose as Watts was left motionless under the Russian flag.

22. The Authority Screws Bryan

Moments after “The Miracle Kid” defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship, Randy Orton sauntered down the ramp, threatening to cash in his Money In The Bank title shot. Bryan welcomed the challenge, however, he didn’t expect special guest referee Triple H to blindside him with a pedigree. A 3-count later and The Authority was born.

21. Orton & Slater Collect the Bounty

In a storyline that totally needs to be resurrected, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race placed a $25,000 bounty on Ric Flair’s head. After weeks and weeks of the Nature Boy overcoming all obstacles, Dick Slater and Bob Orton ambushed Flair and broke his neck with a devastating spike piledriver.

20. Gilbert Runs Over Lawler

“Hotstuff” Eddie Gilbert was thrown out of Memphis by his boss, which resulted in a shoving match in the parking lot. Obviously the true boss of the Blues City is Jerry Lawler, who intervened and tried to keep peace. Unfortunately, the King became road kill.

19. Raven Brainwashes Sandman’s Family

Raven, the master of psychological warfare, developed a new strategy for winning back the ECW World Title from Sandman: topple the pillars of his life—no, not beer or cigs, but his family. Raven brainwashed Sandman’s ex-wife and his little boy Tyler into joining his Flock. Tyler was tricked into denying his relationship with his father, and even blaming his parents’ divorce solely on his dad. The creepy image of Tyler with his arms out in Raven’s pose still sends shivers down my spine.

18. Funk Suffocates Flair

Middle-aged and crazy, Terry F’n Funk battled Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in the summer of 1989 and on one occasion, actually threw a bag over Naitch’s head in attempt to suffocate the champion!

17. CM Punk Mocks Paul Bearer’s Death

On the last RAW before WrestleMania 29, Undertaker vowed to destroy CM Punk for interrupting the Deadman’s tribute to his recently deceased manager, Paul Bearer. Well, this time, Punk went even further over the line.

The lights dimmed and druids walked down the ramp, lining up as they have for many an Undertaker entrance. Then the familiar “OOOOH YESSS” of the departed Bearer bellowed throughout the arena. The crowd booed as Paul Heyman appeared at the top of the ramp, dressed as Bearer while raising the urn.

Taker went apeshit on the druids, but was blindsided by Punk. Just a few weeks after Bearer’s death, Punk dumped his ashes all over a prone Undertaker. Classless.

16. Vader Destroys Gorilla Monsoon

On his first night in WWE, the mastodon squashed Savio Vega with a thunderous Vader Bomb. The pin didn’t satisfy Vader’s appetite for destruction as he continued his assault on a prone Vega, and then power bombed the referee. Jim Cornette pleaded with his client to leave the ring, but then-WWF President Gorilla Monsoon intervened, announcing that the debuting superstar had already been suspended indefinitely. What happened next was like watching your grandpa trampled by a boar.

15. Hansen Breaks Bruno’s Neck

The Bad Man from Borger, Texas stormed into the WWWF in 1976 and within two months, challenged Bruno Sammartino for the title. During one of the bouts, Hansen broke Bruno’s neck: legend attributes it to the power of Hansen’s lariat whereas eyewitnesses claim it was due to a powerslam. Regardless, the fans were furious and Hansen was public enemy no. 1 until the Italian Stallion returned for revenge.

14. JYD Blinded by Hayes

During a tag team match against the Fabulous Freebirds, Junkyard Dog was blinded with Michael Hayes’ “magic solution” (hair cream). Fans were outraged as JYD’s wife had just given birth and the Dog couldn’t see his newborn. The Freebirds had so much heat on them that they needed police escorts for the following months.

13. DiBiase Buys WWF Title

OK, here we go: Andre the Giant challenged WWF Champion Hulk Hogan in a WrestleMania III rematch on The Main Event, a 1988 special that drew a record-setting 15.2 Nielsen rating and 33 million viewers. As Andre made the cover on Hogan, the referee counted to three despite Hulk’s shoulder being up. Andre was awarded the title and immediately surrendered the belt to Ted DiBiase. We later found out that the “Million Dollar Man” had paid for plastic surgery so Dave Hebner would have an evil doppleganger (real-life twin Earl) to screw the Hulkster.

Hulk’s iconic four-year reign had finally ended.

12. Jericho Punches HBK’s Wife

WWE recently posted a Top 10 video on YouTube of Chris Jericho’s most heinous acts and I was flabbergasted that this didn’t make the cut. Like, this is THEE most heinous, assholish crime that Y2J has ever committed. Even if it was an accident, he punched Shawn Michaels’ wife right in the face!

11. Blanchard Slaps Baby Doll

After months of Tully Blanchard carousing with his “Perfect 10,” the seedy, desperate ex-U.S. Champion demanded the services of J.J. Dillon to help him regain his title. Baby Doll had been mysteriously absent for a couple weeks while Dillon supported his new client. When she finally returned from a Christmas vacation that Dillon claimed he didn’t finance, Blanchard accused her of lying.

10. Michaels Returns to Montreal

“Who’s your daaaaaaddy, Montreal?” In the summer of 2005, in the midst of his controversial yet outstanding heel run against Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels returned to the city where he screwed Bret Hart. And the city had not forgotten.

It’s a masterclass in controlling people’s emotions.

9. Lawler Invades ECW

Moments after finally defeating his arch nemesis Raven, Tommy Dreamer was attacked by Rob Van Dam and Sabu. The duo pummeled the heart and soul of ECW with multiple chairshots until Dreamer fought back, hitting a double DDT. Then the lights went out…and ECW’s #1 enemy appeared.

Jerry “The King” Lawler ordered RVD & Sabu to finish off Dreamer as several ECW stars rushed to the ring for the rescue. One by one they were taken out as Lawler provided commentary, claiming “this bingo hall should be built with toilet paper because there’s nothing in it but shit.”

The war had begun on Extremely Crappy Wrestling.

8. D-X Mauls Davey Boy

At One Night Only in 1997, in front of 11,000 of his fellow Brits, Davey Boy Smith dedicated his European Title defense to his cancer-stricken sister. However, Shawn Michaels and his D-X comrades scoffed at the tribute and systematically annihilated the British Bulldog for more than 20 minutes, rendering the exhausted champion unable to continue. Michaels won the gold and planted the seeds for the Montreal Screwjob just two months later.

7. Orndorff Closelines Hogan

The move that hooked @AngeGold on pro wrestling.

6. The Viper Strikes Stephanie

Randy Orton and his Legacy comrades had beaten down Triple H, even handcuffing The Game to the ropes. Stephanie McMahon ran out, pleading for the pack of wolves to leave her wounded husband alone. As she climbed onto the apron, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr. surrounded her, leaving her prey for The Viper. As Triple H watched on helplessly, Orton dropped Steph with his trademark DDT.

The crowd gasped.

But he wasn’t finished. Threatening to pummel HHH with a sledgehammer, Orton tossed down the weapon and hovered above Stephanie. He pressed his face right next to hers, and in his most sickening display, planted a smooch on the “Billion Dollar Princess.”

5. Lawler Gets Shaved

The “Universal Heartthrob” Austin Idol waged war with Jerry Lawler for over a year in Memphis—the brawlers bloodied and battered each other, throwing fire balls and swinging chairs, recruiting partners and wreaking havoc. The conclusion came in April of 1987 when Idol faced the King in a steel cage hair match. Just as Lawler was about to rid Idol of his luscious locks, “Wildfire” Tommy Rich emerged from under the ring and attacked King. Memphis’ hero crumbled under the onslaught and ended up shaved while fans rioted around the cage.

4. HotRod Kicks Cyndi Lauper

As Dick Clark (yes, the legendary ball-dropper) presented pop sensation Cyndi Lauper with an achievement award for spawning the Rock N Wrestling Era, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper crashed the party.

3. Savage Crushes Steamboat’s Windpipe

The angle that led to the greatest match in WrestleMania history: “Macho Man” slams the ring bell across the throat of “The Dragon.”

2. Horsemen Jump Dusty

In the fall of 1985, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair successfully defended against “Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff in a steel cage match. Afterward, Koloff’s uncle stormed the cage to double team the Nature Boy, so Dusty Rhodes entered the structure to not only battle the evil foreigners but also rescue his arch rival. Unfortunately, Dusty’s selflessness proved to be his downfall as the Andersons charged the ring and attacked the “American Dream,” holding him down while Flair leaped off the top turnbuckle and crushed his savior’s leg. Hard Times lied ahead.

1. “I’d Like to Talk to Tom”

It was shocking back in 1988, and it would be taboo today. Tom Pritchard had beaten “Dirty White Boy” Tony Anthony in a hair match in the Continental Wrestling Federation. Well, Anthony’s girlfriend Mystic showed up the next week with a black eye, pleading for Pritchard to come out and console her. It ended up being the ultimate swerve.

John Corrigan
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John Corrigan

Columnist / Assistant Editor at Wrestledelphia.com
John Corrigan
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