As you know, the WWE Network has so much programming and on demand videos that it can be overwhelming just deciding what to watch. For me, I get the “netflix syndrome”, where I scroll, scroll, scroll, and then decide, that’s what I want to watch. Even during a viewing of one thing can lead you to wanting to watch something else. The original programming is fun to catch as well, and that’s where I wanted to go with this post.
WWE Countdown is just like the name implies, a countdown of a topic. There have been a couple of episodes featuring the best entrances and fantastic finishers of superstars. This week’s caught my eye in the title “Biggest Backstabs”, so I will take you along for the viewing as I watch and list the countdown of what’s in here. I’ll give my own take on it as well, and you can feel free to comment below with your list of biggest backstabs.
Right off the bat, in the introduction, this countdown is being very open with the term backstab. To me, one of the biggest was Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty in the Barbershop segment. I can recall Triple H turning on X-Pac at a Wrestlemania to join the corporation. Don’t forget Matt Hardy cost Jeff Hardy a big title some years ago. Those are backstabs.
But just in the intro, you had Stone Cold shaking hands with Vince at the end of Wrestlemania 17, which was more of a heel turn, and not a backstab. Jumping into the countdown, we’ll get Trish Stratus, Christian, and Chris Jericho.
10. One Dollar…Canadian
Christian and Chris Jericho having a bet on who will nail Trish or Lita first. Yep, that’s the basis for this segment on the countdown. We’re off to a flying start. Talk about your soap opera, Trish Stratus in the middle of a war between Jericho and Christian.
You think that the bet will ruin things, and we get a one on one match with Christian and Jericho at Wrestlemania. You had Trish do the “backstabbing” or should we say back slapping as she slapped the taste out of Jericho a few times, and gets her revenge on him for the best. 10 Things I Hate About You WWE style. That was a good short feud for Jericho and Christian, and probably put a bigger spotlight on Trish, which is always an interesting way to go.
9. Hart Breaker
Bret Hart vs Owen Hart. Now this a backstab I can get behind. You knew that Owen would eventually be able to break out on his own, and what better way to do that than break out from the family? You get some great matches out of Owen and Bret after the numerous times that Bret stated he wouldn’t fight Owen no matter what. Granted, Bret got the better of the feud when it was all said and done at Wrestlemania 10 when even Owen won the match against the brothers because Bret got to walk out of Mania as WWF Champion.
Give Owen a ton of credit as he made something out of this for himself and many will say he’s probably one of the top guys to never win the big title of being WWF Champion. This was a great backstab, and I do agree this does belong on the list.
8. A Giant Backstab
Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant. This was before my time of watching, but Andre and Hogan was a big deal at Wrestlemania 3. Before that, they were the best of friends. All puppy dogs and smiles right? What better way to throw your best friend under the bus than Piper’s Pit? He was the king of drawing lines in the sand for people. Andre the Giant was undefeated for a while, and he gets a smaller trophy than Hulk Hogan in the Pit segment.
Who does Andre bring in to stir the pot? Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who of course, was a notorious manager and regarded as the best manager in some circles. We get the match at Mania 3, and Hulk gets to be the one that slams him to the mat, something that hadn’t happened before. Hogan wins the match, and we get #8 on biggest backstabs.
7. Sgt. Turncoat
Ahh, the infamous Sgt. Slaughter turn to the Iraqi side. One that probably wasn’t the best idea when it was all said and done after Slaughter ended up receiving plenty of threats after this whole incident. I get it you want to set up a heel turn, why not have the most patriotic guy, sorry Mr. Hacksaw, turn on America. Talk about the timing as well, it was right during the Iraqi war…the first one. But the good for Slaughter was that it got him a title run. And who gets the ultimate revenge on Slaughter? Hulk Hogan. Yes, America!
6. Thumbs Down
The face turn of Randy Orton. The slow fall of Evolution. Four guys made up of Triple H, Ric Flair, Batista, and Randy Orton. Two young guys in Orton and Batista rolling with some veterans in the ring, Flair and Triple H. This was WWE’s “Four Horsemen” idea in my mind. Slowly, but surely, each member of Evolution would go their separate ways, but for that small time, they were on top of everything.
Randy Orton got to be the one that got thumbs down from Triple H as he celebrated winning the World Heavyweight Title, and gets kicked out of the faction for that. I love the crowd’s reaction to that moment of Batista holding up Orton and then just drops him on his back. That definitely got the wheels going for where Randy Orton would end up as a main event player.
5. As the Urn Turns
Paul Bearer lays the urn to Undertaker during the end of the Boiler Room Brawl at Summerslam 1996. Such a weird concept for the match as Mankind and Undertaker started in the Boiler Room, but had to come to the ring to get the urn from Paul Bearer. I don’t even know how the live audience saw it was it was on those old televisions that looked straight out of school from the 90s. The ones you would wheel down to watch some video in your room.
Paul Bearer lays the urn to Undertaker and Mankind gets it handed to him. Uncle Paul as Mankind would put it after that. I think when you look at the history of Mankind and Undertaker and what this moment played into it, I would probably put this backstab even higher on the list.
4. A Twist of Fate
Another brother rivalry, Jeff and Matt Hardy. When they were first around, the Hardy Boys were one of those teams that I thought would just stick it out. But Jeff always garnered a bit more of the attention, and let’s face it, big brother, Matt, didn’t care for that after a while. What better way to make that known? A steel chair to the head and costing Jeff the title to Edge is an exclamation point for that. I was even live at that Smackdown event where Matt Hardy had “the chair” that he took out Jeff with. That was a good moment for Matt to finally earn some of that spotlight, but for the most part, he was the “Marty” in that tag team.
3. The Day Hulkamania Died
Hulk Hogan turns on WCW, but to me, that’s more of a “heel turn” and not necessarily a backstab. It’s a huge moment in the career of Hulk Hogan. He probably needed something different at that time and this probably turn his career for the best. You had the NWO, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, stating that they had a third member for Bash at the Beach. Who was that third member? Was that third member even in the arena?
All would be answered with one simple leg drop, Hulk Hogan was the leader. Once again, it was the crowd that just drove the point home. Trash was filled in the ring. Kids were crying. People were sitting there with their mouths opened. It’s up there as one of the best moments in wrestling history. Hulk Hogan became Hollywood Hogan after that, but we all know the red and yellow colors were always lurking underneath the black and white.
2. The Montreal Screwjob
Now this is a very interesting choice in the number two spot? Did Bret backstab Bret? Did Bret Hart backstab Vince McMahon by signing with WCW? Did Shawn Michael backstab Bret by being a part of the plot? I don’t even know how I feel about it on the list as it was such a real life situation and you look at the rest of this as storyline driven. But like Hogan’s turn to black and white, there’s no way, you can talk about wrestling history without this moment.
I am ultimately glad that Shawn and Bret made peace. Bret and Vince made peace. Everyone was able to move on from what was such a moment in WWF at the time.
1. The Kick Heard Round the World
I don’t question this as the top spot in the countdown. This was another moment that just made for great television. It set the path for both guys involved as well. Shawn Michaels would break that glass ceiling of his career. Marty Jannetty was just flat on his back in his career. At least, Marty did get his revenge when he won the IC title from Shawn one RAW episode. But for the most part, this was all about putting the spotlight on Michaels, and well, we all saw where that went. All it took was one kick through the glass for Michaels to get his career going off the right foot.
Tags: Wwe Countdown