From the Bowery: WWE Countdown: Biggest Backstabs
Posted by Robert Leighty Jr. on 03.19.2014
For the first time I have an issue with the top spot!
From the Bowery: WWE Network: Biggest Backstabs
-Still loving the Network and what has surprised me the most is that I tend to just watch whatever is on the Live Feed instead of looking for something in the library. Besides catching this show weekly, I have also found myself plowing through the Legends of Wrestling series. Now for this week the topic for the countdown is backstabs. This should prove fun because really who doesn’t love a good double cross? Let’s get to it.
-The talking heads discuss the reasons why a back stab happens and Paul Heyman says it best: you have to do what you got to do. Big Dave’s “I’m going to rip your head off” to Rey at Bragging Rights (In Pittsburgh) is still awesome. Cena laughs at fact he always gives people chance after chance even though they turn on him. He’s no Sting, but he has a point.
10: Trish Stratus turns on Jericho
-This started with Jericho having a crush on Trish and Christian having one on Lita, so they made a $1 Canadian bet to see which one of them could get the girl in bed. Nice! Trish is actually here to discuss this one and Bryan mentions that men in general are pigs. Seeing footage of Trish and Lita from their glory days makes this pretty awesome already. Jericho eventually falls for Trish and that causes a riff between the best friends, and Christian challenges Jericho for Mania XX. Trish turns on Jericho at Mania and instantly becomes 1000 times hotter as a heel for reasons I still can’t explain. Christian jokes that he was better looking and Trish made the right choice. Not sure her turning is Top 10 off all time worthy, but heel Trish on this countdown is a good thing.
9: Owen turns on Bret
-Cesaro rules all as he immediately places all the blame on Bret by claiming he was being very selfish in the build. Styles and Bryan put over how hard it had to be for Owen to be in the shadow of Bret. Things started at Survivor Series 93 in the elimination tag match where Owen is the only member of the Hart Family to be eliminated. Cesaro continues to be awesome as he covers what happened at Survivor Series and how Bret is the one that cost Owen in the match. They patched things up and fought for the Tag Titles at Rumble and that’s when…..wait, Vince Russo just made an appearance as one of the talking heads and kind of caught me off guard there. Let me regroup here as Cesaro brings things back to blaming Bret for trying to be a hero at The Rumble by trying to fight on one leg. That leads to the awesome moment of Owen kicking Bret’s leg out from under his leg. Lawler mentions that it catapulted Owen’s career in the WWE and sadly that may have been a bad thing with the way things turned out. I mean not to think too deeply, but it Owen never gets that run with Bret, perhaps he retires early and he may still be here today. The other side is the belief that when it’s your time, it’s your time. Sorry, enough of that as we continue with the countdown.
-Actually we don’t as they take a break and toss it to Damien Sandow. He defends his turning on Cody at Money in the Bank in a tremendous way where he mentions it wasn’t a backstab, but instead an act of friendship. You’re Welcome!
8: Hogan turns on Andre
-Yeah, this is way too low as it this is the angle that led to the Biggest Match in the History of History. The set-up was tremendous as Andre was presented with a trophy for being undefeated for 15 years, but then they give Hogan a bigger trophy for being Champion for 3 years. It would be so cool if Hogan was presented with a trophy for hosting Mania this year that was bigger than the Andre Memorial Battle Royal trophy just for shits and giggles. CM Punk mentions that Andre was completely justified as he more than anyone deserved a WWF Title Match. Cena and Punk discuss the tearing off of the shirt and the crucifix, which may have been accidental, but was perfect symbolism. Heenan was of course the shit stirrer in all this and Hogan accepts the match for Mania III which capped the Golden Era of the 80’s Wrestling Boom. This is my childhood being played out in front of me and I am marking out while watching Hogan slam Andre for the thousandth time. Again, way too low, but just one man’s opinion!
7: Slaughter turns on America
-Sarge tells the story himself as he went from All American Hero who would lead the crowd in the “Pledge of Allegiance” to Iraqi sympathizer just after the Persian Gulf War. Sure it was in horrible taste, but this is pro-wrestling we are talking about here. Paul Heyman is giddy talking about it and you can tell he would have no issue trying this in ECW if he could have. Again, while it poor taste it made for nuclear heat in his match against Hogan at WrestleMania VII. Bryan’s reaction is pretty funny as apparently it blew his mind as a little kid that Sarge could turn his back on his country. They cover him burning Hogan’s shirt and compare it to burning the American Flag and that may be what they wanted us to think, but not even close. Slaughter mentions that he has no regrets to this day, so good on him for that I guess.
6: Evolution Turfs Orton
-Way too high here as was their feud being on the Greatest Rivalries DVD. Why people have such a hard on for this feud is beyond me as both men have had better feuds with countless others that they had better matches with as well. Anyway, Orton wins the World Title at SummerSlam (from Benoit, though not shown), and of course that isn’t going to sit well with HHH who spent all summer losing to Benoit. They get cool points for playing “Line in the Sand” and then they discuss how the group held all the titles at one time. From that point there was nowhere to go but down, and Hayes says it best that HHH was building for the future with Evolution: Namely his future! Ambrose says Orton should have been smart enough to get out of the HHH’s path when he won the Title. This all leads to the now famous thumbs down to Batista and Orton gets dropped and turfed from the group. Batista mentions that really Orton turned on them and someone mentions that since that day Orton has been paranoid. Good point there!
-Things are recapped to this point.
5: Paul Bearer turns on The Undertaker
-This was a great turn because you really couldn’t imagine Bearer being with anyone else besides Taker, though I guess Mankind was as good a choice as anyone really. The original Mankind character is brilliant, and will always remain my favorite Face of Foley. Taker and Mankind feud during the summer of 96 and it leads to the first every Boiler Room Brawl. It was a precursor to the crazy ass brawls of the Attitude Era, but probably ran a little long. Still, points for taking a change on something different. At the conclusion of the match, Bearer turns on Taker by hitting him in the head with the urn. Ambrose and Bryan mention that they were shocked when they saw it. Matthews wonders what drew Mankind and Bearer together and Lawler sums it up by saying Bearer turning on Taker was unthinkable. At least they didn’t go with Taker turning on Paul in 2004 and murdering him on PPV with the cement truck.
4: Hardy v. Hardy
-They recap the success of the team and soon everyone realized that Jeff was the star of the team. Jeff goes on to win the WWE Title and that leads to jealousy from one brother against the other. Hardy has several mishaps and it comes to ahead at the Rumble when Matt blasts Jeff with a steel chair to end the team for good. The rumor at the time was that it was going to be Christian returning from TNA to help Edge in taking out Jeff, but apparently the WWE wanted to swerve the fans who thought they had it all figured out. Lita thinks in the end it did give Matt a chance to show a different side to his character.
-We take another break to discuss a Gold Digging Diva. They mean Sunny and holy piss did I forget how incredibly hot she was in 1996 when her star started to shine in the WWE. They are even nice enough to include her on the beach in a bikini. Various people talk about how Sonny would manage whatever team had the Tag Titles, and really if you were the champs wouldn’t you take her as well? Sunny in her cowgirl motif with the Gunns is pretty fantastic as well. Gene kills it by saying Sunny could manipulate him by just saying hell to him. Gene was always a lecherous old man as you could tell by the way he flirted with Woman and Liz while doing interviews with Flair in 96.
3: The Third Man: Hulk Hogan
-There better be 2 mind blowing choices above this (one I think I know) because this is my favorite backstab off all time by far. Everyone should know the story by now so no real need to recap things in too much detail. The short version: Hulk Hogan shocks everyone by joining Hall and Nash to turn heel and forms the n.W.o and thus kicks off WCW’s reign atop the wrestling world and making millions of dollars. Everyone discusses the 6 Man Tag at WCW and someone mentions he thought Luger would end up being the 3rd guy. That’s exactly what WCW wanted people to think when Luger got carted out of the match. Slater mentions that he was heartbroken as a kid when it happened. Cena discusses it and immediately I can only think of what kind of reaction we would get if Cena ever did the same thing. Hogan then cuts the promo of his life after the match. Hayes calls it a historic moment and one that will go down in the history of our business.
2: The Montreal Screw Job
-Ok, what the piss is left now? I figured this would be #1, and really only thing I would have accepted over Hogan’s turn. They discuss Hart turning down WCW in 96 and resigning with the WWF for the now infamous 20 year deal. Vince mentions he quickly realized Bret may not have been worth that much money and just over a year later they break the deal and Bret ends up signing with WCW as the WWF Champion. Vince Russo pops up again and mentions the only thing Vince was worried about was Bret showing up on Nitro with the WWF Title. To fix that problem we get the Montreal Screw Job and everyone was losing their minds in the wrestling world. Nobody could believe what they were seeing and of course Steph has to show up and tells how Vince spun that moment into the Mr. McMahon character. Bret was rather pissed as one would expect as he says he didn’t even want to go to WCW and he was lost in the shuffle. No kidding!
-Ok, this had better be good to top these last two.
1: The Rockers Explode
-Ummmm, just No! This is the first time I will disagree with the top choice during the run of the series. I love this moment as much as the next man, but no way this is better than the previous 2 we just saw. I would be perfectly ok with this at number 3, but the fans have spoken I guess. No matter my quibbles, this is the moment that launched the singles career of Shawn. There was tension brewing between Marty and Shawn as they appeared on The Barber Shop and Shawn was being an arrogant prick, but they shake heads to seemingly work things out. Unfortunately for Marty he gets his head taken off with a Super Kick and then has his head rammed through the Barber Shop window. Ziggler makes sure to note the awesomeness of Heenan as he gives one of his greatest lines ever, “Jannetty tried to dive through the window to escape.” Why Heenan is the greatest ever.
-Just like last week I don’t get a preview for next week as perhaps they just cut it off since I am not watching the live feed version.
The 411: As always a fun show and maybe even more fun this week since I didn't agree with the top choice. Everything else on the list was solid though a ton of stuff left off in favor of more recent turns, but just have to accept these things when fans have the power.