First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who took time out of their schedules to vote for Hustle Madness. I know that it's a lot to read and a lot to think about, and I appreciate that so many of you were dedicated enough to do it.
Hustle Madness 2013 - Greatest WWE Moment Of The Last 30 Years (Round Two)
Apr 2, 2013 - 3:55:38 AM
I'm not going to waste any more time. Let's get right into the results of the first round..
#1 The Undertaker Throws Mankind Off The Cell defeats #16 Edge's Mid-Air Spear To Jeff Hardy At WrestleMania 17, 217-44
Nobody should be surprised at the outcome here. While the margin of victory may be bigger than some anticipated, it was a #1 VS #16, after all.
#8 Mick Foley Wins The WWF Title For The First Time defeats #9 Kane's Debut, 175-86
Even though Foley won this by a comfortable margin, it seemed to be a lot closer in people's hearts. I got a lot of comments from people that praised how well done Kane's debut was, and how great the build to it was, but in this particular round, it just happened to go up against a moment that featured more of a historical value. Remember, without Foley winning the title, and Eric Bischoff putting the title change down on Nitro in an attempt to bury the WWF, who knows if we'd even be watching Raw and Smackdown these days? We might very well be watching Nitro and Thunder instead.
#5 Austin & Tyson defeats #12 John Cena's Return In 2008, 135-126
Even as a Cena fan, I was shocked by this one. Obviously, Cena isn't an internet favorite, but this was a lot closer than I thought it would be. The reason was simple, and was what I mentioned.. Cena, and the entire company, as a whole, fooled us all. We bought everything that was said about the severity of Cena's injury, and how his rehab was going. When Cena came back, everyone was able to put their feelings about him aside, even if for just a few seconds. That's why it fared so well here, but in the end, it couldn't top the sheer magnitude of "Iron" Mike Tyson and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin having a physical altercation on Raw.
#4 Beer Bath defeats #13 Live Sex Celebration, 179-82
This one almost surprises me. Almost. I kind of assumed that Lita being sexual, and accidentally showing off one of her bare breasts, would give the Live Sex Celebration better numbers, but a handful of people pointed out that it was pretty much countered by Edge appearing to be erect in his boxer briefs during the segment, so.. yeah. More about the Divas and Superstars than we thought we'd see.
#6 Eric Bischoff Is The New Raw General Manager defeats #11 WCW & ECW Form The Alliance, 184-81
Pretty comfortable win for one of the most surreal moments in the history of professional wrestling. The forming of The Alliance had a bit of a rally towards the end, picking up nearly 80% of the votes I tallied today, otherwise this would have turned into an even bigger blowout.
#3 Chris Benoit's Death defeats #14 Shane McMahon's Leap Of Faith, 137-124
This is one of the more interesting results of the round. At face value, you'll just see that a #3 seed barely beat a #14 seed, but you have to dig deeper than that. I received numerous comments about how the deaths of wrestlers should not have been included in a list of "Greatest" moments, and let me admit right here that I should have renamed the tournament. I wanted something like "Most Memorable" instead of "Greatest", but "Greatest" fit better in the title. In no way, shape or form am I saying that wrestlers passing away is "great". In this particular instance, though, I think a lot of people would have voted against Benoit, no matter what the tournament was called, simply because of how the final weekend of the man's life went down.
#10 The Rock's Return In 2011 defeats #7 Steve Austin Breaks His Neck, 135-126
Another very close one. The lead was traded several times throughout the week. Judging by some of the reactions that I saw, some of you may be prisoners of the moment with The Rock being the WWE Champion and set to headline WrestleMania 29 in a little over a week. Maybe not, but no matter what the reasons are, this was the first upset of the tournament.
#2 Hulk Hogan Bodyslams Andre The Giant defeats #15 Triple H Marries Stephanie McMahon, 202-59
Does this mean that people are still upset about Triple H being in the McMahon family? Does this mean that people appreciate how great a feat it was for Hogan to lift up the two-ton Andre and cause a 9.7 earthquake, which left many of the 5.3 million people in attendance at the Pontiac Silverdome that night homeless? Whatever it is, the #2 seed moves on in blowout fashion.
#1 Hulkamania Is Born defeats #16 Miss Elizabeth Saves Randy Savage From Queen Sherri, 134-127
We were this close to the biggest upset in Hustle Madness history, folks. All signs point to me seriously underseeding the emotional reuniting of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. It isn't just Hogan hatred, as my previous paragraph will attest to. People just reminisced back to Elizabeth hopping the railing, running into the ring and making the save for her man, and for the tearful hug they shared after it was over. I'll admit.. I was really rooting for the upset here, and I was closely monitoring this one all week long. It is what it is, though.
#9 Brock Lesnar's Shooting Star Press at WrestleMania 19 defeats #8 Shane McMahon Is The New Owner Of WCW, 142-119
While it obviously isn't on the same level as people dying, Brock's Shooting Star Press at WrestleMania 19 is something else that wouldn't be considered a "Great" moment by a lot of people. However, a lot of people actually voted for it because of how funny botches can be. It didn't cause any serious injuries to Brock, so it's easier for people to look back at the moment he hit the mat and laugh. Another close one here.
#12 Eddie Guerrero's Death defeats #5 The Nexus Debuts, 140-121
Yet another close one in the Blue bracket, and yet another interesting result involving someone's death. This one turned out to be an upset, and I think it was carried by who Eddie Guerrero was. Again, the people who voted for this weren't saying Eddie's passing was "great", but there was just so much praise for the man's life and what he accomplished in the ring, and I think that nostalgia helped the upset here. This was another tough matchup to choose from, as the debut of The Nexus was just phenomenally done, but someone had to lose here.
#4 Steve Austin's First WWF Title Win defeats #13 The Rock & John Cena - One Year Away, 192-69
Well, there goes that "prisoners of the moment" idea I had earlier, although some Cena fans would probably just say the inclusion of Cena is what cost the #13 seed here. You can't deny how important Austin's win at WrestleMania 14 was, though. Everything he accomplished and did for the business in the years to come, and this is where his career's peak really began, as he was officially put on the map as a main event guy here.
#6 The Chicago Crowd At Money In The Bank 2011 defeats #11 The Undertaker's Return At WrestleMania 20, 200-61
Ladies and gentlemen, don't ever let anyone tell you that crowd noise isn't important. Crowd noise, or a lack thereof, is incredibly important in wrestling. It has the ability to take the good and make it great, the great and make it legendary, the average and make it good, or even flipping the script with taking the good and making it bad. If you watch Money In The Bank 2011 on mute, you'll see a really good night of wrestling. If you watch it with the sound on, you'll witness a legendary night. Even with Taker's epic return, I'm not surprised that the Chicago crowd moves on here.
#3 Vince McMahon Is Stunned For The First Time defeats #14 Evolution Turns On Randy Orton, 207-54
The #14 seed actually picked up 11 of the last 14 votes I counted, otherwise this would have been an even bigger blowout. Can't say enough about the moment that basically started one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the business. Well, you can say enough, and I'll prove it by moving on.
#10 Shawn Michaels Kicks Out Of A Tombstone At WrestleMania 25 defeats #7 Triple H Returns At Madison Square Garden In 2002, 145-116
This was one of the matchups I was looking forward to the most. One is an all-time personal favorite of mine, and the other featured an all-time classic crowd reaction. Both moments had the lead on a few occasions during the week, but in the end, Michaels kicking out of the Tombstone just pulled away. That sucked so many people into the moment. Everyone was sure the match was over, and people all over the world had the exact same expression on their face that Taker did when the match wasn't over. Great stuff, and perhaps I underseeded it a bit.
#15 Edge Retires defeats #2 Jerry Lawler Suffers Heart Attack On Raw, 156-105
Quite the upset if you're strictly looking at the seeds. However, I think it shouldn't necessarily be a huge surprise to anyone that Lawler lost. On that night, we were all Jerry Lawler fans, no matter what we thought of him before the heart attack. We wanted him to get better. Then he got better. Then he returned to commentary, and a lot of the pre-heart attack feelings towards him returned from people, who feel he has more than worn out his welcome and want him to just retire already. Put that up against someone who did retire, and who the majority of people want to return, and you had the recipe for an upset right from the beginning.
#1 Ric Flair's Retirement Ceremony defeats #16 John Cena Is Raw's Top Pick, 174-87
You folks are weird. So many of you hate on everything Cena does, but this is another Cena-related moment that performed a lot better than I was expecting it to. To be fair, though, Ric Flair isn't viewed the same way as he was back in 2008, when his retirement ceremony took place, and that played a major role here. Had Flair went off into the sunset in 2008, never went to TNA, and only made the occasional non-wrestling appearance on WWE television at special events like Raw 1000 or anniversary shows, I have no doubt in my mind that this would have been a much bigger blowout. As it is, though, Flair has really tarnished his legacy in the eyes of many wrestling fans, and it showed in some of the comments I received. The #1 seed still won comfortably, though, but keep an eye on how it performs in the future.
#9 Bret Hart Locks Steve Austin In The Sharpshooter At WrestleMania 13 defeats #8 The Rock Challenges Hulk Hogan, 150-111
This was the perfect example of what a moment can really be, as far as being etched into people's minds. Austin's screaming face, covered in blood, is the lasting image from WrestleMania 13, and that helped it get the "upset" win here. So many of you mentioned going back to watch the match all over again just to watch the final stretch, and I can't really blame you. Rock challenging Hogan for WrestleMania 18 was a special moment, sure, but it doesn't carry the lasting legacy that Austin's bloody face does.
#5 Chris Jericho's Debut defeats #12 Supermarket Brawl, 213-48
Well, perhaps I did underseed Jericho's debut a bit. However, I did point out that the average wrestling fan (especially the internet wrestling fan) likes Jericho's debut a lot more than I did, so I pretty much saw this coming.
#4 The Montreal Screwjob defeats #13 Ultimate Warrior Beats Hulk Hogan At WrestleMania 6, 204-57
If Robert Stack were still alive, he would have wanted to have The Montreal Screwjob on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. That's how crazy the story has become through the years, and just what it has done to all of us. Some of us are sure everything that happened was a work, and that Vince McMahon teamed up with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels to swerve the wrestling world. Others are sure Bret really was screwed, with that particular group split up into two sections.. those who think Michaels knew what was happening, and those who didn't. We'll probably never know the entire truth, and that mystery is what keeps the aura surrounding that night alive.
#6 Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit Hug To Close Out WrestleMania 20 defeats #11 The Undertaker's Debut, 190-71
Emotion wins here. There really isn't much more to say about it. Yes, The Undertaker's legendary WWF/WWE career was kickstarted by his memorable debut, but topping the pure emotion of two best friends finally reaching the top of the business together.
#3 Pillman's Got A Gun defeats #14 Goldberg's Debut, 160-101
This one surprised me, too. Obviously, based on my seedings, I "predicted" a victory for the #3, but I figured the margin of victory would be bigger. I looked at it in a simple way. On one hand, you have someone making a big debut. It was great television, but we had seen debuts before Goldberg, and we have seen debuts after Goldberg. Brian Pillman pulled a gun on Steve Austin and threatened to kill him on television. That was different. However, a lot of you looked at things in a more complex manner, and that's why these votes can be so much fun.
#7 Pipe Bomb defeats #10 Brock Lesnar's Return, 173-88
Many of you broke it down for me in your reasoning for why you voted the way you did. Brock's return was an electric moment, made even better by a super hot Miami crowd, but the Pipe Bomb promo created a new megastar in CM Punk and helped to change the current climate of wrestling. When you look at it in that way, it's no surprise what won here.
#2 First Smackdown After September 11th, 2001 defeats #15 Randy Savage Is Snakebitten, 169-92
First off, I appreciate some of the honest responses I received about this one. I got more than a couple non-Americans who voted for the #15 seed here, saying it was because you didn't have the same wave of patriotism that an American would have had after September 11th. Those people said they understood how important it was for Americans to see another sporting event take place on television, but that they just couldn't get into the same state of mind. I get that. It's fine if you feel that way. Didn't help the #15 seed win, though, as you can see.
#1 Austin 3:16 defeats #16 DX Mocks The McMahons, 234-27
Well, damn.. this didn't last long at all. It was pretty much over before it began, and at one point, the winner received nearly 80 consecutive votes. Ufa.
#8 The Rockers Split Up defeats #9 Katie Vick, 216-45
I guess it's a good sign that more people weren't voting for what is almost universally viewed as the worst storyline in wrestling history, isn't it?
#5 DX Tries To Invade Nitro defeats #12 The Kat Goes Topless On Pay-Per-View, 182-79
It just wasn't a good round for titty balls. We already had a topless Lita get eliminated from the tournament, and now, we have a topless Kat being eliminated. This shouldn't have come as a big surprise, though. DX trying to invade Nitro was one of the more memorable shots fired during the Monday Night War, and an absolutely ballsy move. Maybe TNA should give something like that a shot one day. Well.. maybe not.
#13 The Undertaker Becomes The American Badass defeats #4 First Episode Of Raw, 139-122
Another big upset here, but I'm not sure if I quite understand it. Taker's debut? Lost. Taker's return from being an American Badass? Lost. Taker becoming said American Badass? Won. I figured that the "Deadman" version of Taker would be more popular, especially seeing as this version of Taker went up against the first episode of a show that would go on to change wrestling forever, but again, this is why I put the votes in your hands and let you do whatever you want to do.
#11 Roddy Piper Smashes A Coconut Over Jimmy Snuka's Head defeats #6 Steve Austin Turns Heel At WrestleMania 17, 148-113
It seems as though many of you agree with me about Austin's heel turn being wasted. He had some great moments during that run as a heel, but the fact that they turned him heel in his home state, drawing a huge face pop very nearly Shockmastered the entire thing, if you ask me. That looked to have led to another upset in this tournament.
#3 Owen Hart's Death defeats #14 Big Show & Brock Lesnar Bring The House Down, 180-81
Well, even with some slight "controversy" over wrestler deaths being involved in this tournament, all three that were included have moved on to the second round, so I guess that's.. something. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they perform in the next round, though.
#10 Eddie Guerrero Wins The WWE Title defeats #7 Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho Win The Tag Team Titles, 203-58
I had people say I should have switched these two seeds. I guess I can understand that, but the added intrigue of Triple H's injury led me to seed the Tag Title victory higher than the WWE Title victory, even though one title is the pinnacle of the wrestling industry. It wouldn't have mattered, anyway. If Eddie's win was the #7 seed, how many of the people who voted for it would have changed your vote? Exactly.
#2 This Is Your Life, Rock defeats #15 Bobby Heenan Debuts The WCW World Title On WWF Programming, 160-101
Highest rated segment in wrestling history for a reason. It didn't win by as big a margin as I thought it would, but The Rock and Mick Foley basically riffing an entire segment together is still beloved. In fact, a lot of you mentioned that you went back and watched it all over again after you read my original write-up. Heenan having the WCW World Title on WWF television was crazy to see, but it didn't stand out like the #2 seed did.
Now that this round is over, let's look at the second round matchups you'll be voting on..
#1 The Undertaker Throws Mankind Off The Cell VS #8 Mick Foley Wins The WWF Title For The First Time
#5 Austin & Tyson VS #4 Beer Bath
#6 Eric Bischoff Is The New Raw General Manager VS #3 Chris Benoit's Death
#10 The Rock's Return In 2011 VS #2 Hulk Hogan Bodyslams Andre The Giant
#1 Hulkamania Is Born VS #9 Brock Lesnar's Shooting Star Press At WrestleMania 19
#12 Eddie Guerrero's Death VS #4 Steve Austin's First WWF Title Win
#6 The Chicago Crowd At Money In The Bank 2011 VS #3 Vince McMahon Is Stunned For The First Time
#10 Shawn Michaels Kicks Out Of A Tombstone At WrestleMania 25 VS #15 Edge Retires
#1 Ric Flair's Retirement Ceremony VS #9 Bret Hart Locks Steve Austin In The Sharpshooter At WrestleMania 13
#5 Chris Jericho's Debut VS #4 The Montreal Screwjob
#6 Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit Hug To Close Out WrestleMania 20 VS #3 Pillman's Got A Gun
#7 Pipe Bomb VS #2 First Smackdown After September 11th, 2001
#1 Austin 3:16 VS #8 The Rockers Split Up
#5 DX Tries To Invade Nitro VS #13 The Undertaker Becomes The American Badass
#11 Roddy Piper Smashes A Coconut Over Jimmy Snuka's Head VS #3 Owen Hart's Death
#10 Eddie Guerrero Wins The WWE Title VS #2 This Is Your Life, Rock
I have to say this, folks.. your votes will not count unless you vote for every one of the matchups. After going through the votes, I saw a handful of people that left out one or two matchups for whatever reason. I was able to get back to some of the voters to get their missing votes, but with others, I found the "mistake" too late, so I had to throw out all of their votes. Make sure you get everything sent in. Also, you can still vote, even if you didn't vote in the first round. It's perfectly alright. All of the ways to vote are the same as last week, and you have a little more than a full week to get your votes in. The voting period for this round ends at 8pm EST on Friday, April 5th. Happy voting!
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