I'm an odd duck when it comes to sports. According to my wife, I'm a hater.
While I generally like to see people happy, sports fans can be an unbearable lot when their teams are winning. For this reason, I prefer watching visiting squads win on enemy soil and will cackle like Jim Neidhart as the wind gets knocked out of the home crowd.
Coming into this year's WrestleMania, my rooting interests are with the Bloodline and Roman Reigns. Having become the self-appointed Noble Scribe to the Tribal Chief, I eagerly await his victory at the Showcase of the Immortals, where we are practically guaranteed to see a wave of sadness wash over all the little Nightmares and Cody Rhodes supporters on hand in SoFi Stadium.
In anticipation of that glorious moment, I present the most epic gut punches to fans in World Wrestling Entertainment history.
Bruno gets mauled by Bear
A then-record crowd of 21,106 at Madison Square Garden fell into stunned silence as the nearly eight-year reign of WWWF Champion Bruno Sammartino ended after a loss to the "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff.
Fans openly wept for Bruno as Koloff was escorted from the ring by police. Those in the New York area were still reeling weeks later, prompting baseball hall of fame writer Dick Young to say in the New York Daily News, "Did you see where Bruno Sammartino lost the wrestling title? Now there's nothing left to have faith in."
Rest in peace, Hulkamania
At the 1991 Survivor Series, Hulk Hogan met his gravest challenge when he stepped into the ring to defend the WWE Championship against the Undertaker. Despite a valiant effort by the Hulkster, WWE's pale rider put Hogan six feet under with a tombstone piledriver and an assist from Ric Flair.
The mood inside the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit quickly resembled a funeral as grief-stricken fans watched medics and officials tend to a beaten Hogan. Hulkamania would rise from the dead six days later to briefly reclaim the title. But for the first time in Hogan's heyday, he was made to look feeble and vulnerable.
The end of the Undertaker's undefeated WrestleMania streak is arguably the most shocking moment in WWE history as longtime wrestling enthusiasts watched Brock Lesnar do the unthinkable.
Midway through the bout, the Undertaker suffered a concussion that would hamper his performance, leading to an uneasy feeling throughout the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as the match built to a depressing conclusion.
Many fans and performers maintain that the Dead Man's hallowed record should've remained intact. While the saying, "Nothing lasts forever," is typically true, the iconic images of fans' reactions will likely live in infamy.
Cardiff goes cold
Clash at the Castle in 2022 was widely regarded as WWE's best spectacular of the year, as sixty-thousand-plus revelers packed into Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. At times, they often resembled a merry band of soccer fanatics as they chanted, cheered, and serenaded their favorite WWE superstars.
The raucous roar of the U.K. faithful reached a fever pitch in support of their European brother Drew McIntyre as he closed in on capturing the Undisputed Universal Championship from Roman Reigns. With McIntyre a second away from victory, Reigns' cousin Solo Sikoa came from nowhere to break up a certain three-count.
Reigns would soon recover and hit a spear for the victory, sending the hopes and dreams of McIntyre and those in attendance to the bottom of the River Taff.