Ron Shaw defeats David Sammartino November 22, 1985 Philadelphia, PA – I remember watching this as a kid and thinking, “WTF!” Ron Shaw was a perennial WWE jobber who was not given a push or big win ever up to this point. David had begun to flounder a bit but was still a name on the card due to his last name and push. The biggest surprise to me when this match started was seeing David Sammartino so early on the card. Shaw eventually won the match when David gave up to a bear hug, one of his father’s signature moves and that was no coincidence. What fans like me didn’t know is that Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon were at great odds behind the scenes and this was done as a big f-you to Bruno. For my money this may be the biggest upset in WWE history, at least the biggest I ever saw. Some have called this the phantom submission match but watching it again on YouTube nothing seemed strange about the result in regards to a screw job.
123 Kid defeats Razor Ramon May 17, 1993 New York, NY (RAW) – The 20th anniversary of this classic WWE moment just passed and of all shocks this is probably the most memorable in WWE history. The Lightning Kid had been doing jobs for several weeks on WWE television yet had shown some promise. The idea of someone like Kid pinning Ramon at that time was unthinkable. Kid nailed a moonsault block and scored the upset on Monday Night RAW. Ramon (Scott Hall) did the job and Kid’s name was immediately changed to the 1-2-3 Kid. A star was born and the upset was ranked #20 by the WWE on its list of top 100 RAW moments.
Barry Horowitz defeats Bodydonna Skip June 28, 1995 Wilkes Barre, PA (WWE Action Zone) – Horowitz was the lovable jobber for years in the WWE. Horowitz has some competitive matches but he was never given any kind of push. Skip on the other hand was a former WWE tag team champion along with Zip and was managed by the beautiful Sunny. The finish was great as Skip stopped to do pushups and show off for Sunny while Horowitz came from behind and cradled him. Jim Ross’ call of “Horowitz wins!” is one of the greatest of his career. Horowitz went on to beat Skip again at SummerSlam but didn’t find much success after his series with the late Chris Candido.
Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino January 18, 1971 New York, NY – This is a repost from my top 10 WWE Shockers blog. “Nobody expected it! Bruno once told me that he thought he went deaf after he lost because the place was silent. They were so shocked they were speechless! Behind the scenes Bruno wanted a reduced schedule and the plan was put in place to have Koloff transition to Pedro Morales. Koloff bodyslammed Sammartino, went up top, dropped the knee, and won the title in front of a stunned New York crowd ending Bruno’s seven year historic reign.”
Santino Marella defeats Umaga April 16, 2007, Italy (RAW) – Fresh off of having his head shaved at WrestleMania 23, Vince McMahon picked Santino “out of the crowd” to get in the ring and wrestle Umaga in a No Holds Barred Match. McMahon mocked Santino for a few minutes before unleashing the beat Umaga. Umaga dominated Santino for a few minutes before Umaga’s rival Bobby Lashley hit the ring. Vince tried to counter with a chair but ran out of the ring once Lashley grabbed it. Lashley nailed Umaga on the head with it three times, hit a spear, and then put Santino on top for the upset (remember Vince made it No DQ). Like the Hororwitz upset, Jim Ross was awesome here when calling it the “upset of the century.”
The Blue Meanie defeats JBL July 7, 2005 Sacramento, California (SmackDown) – My old buddy The Blue Meanie pulled off one of the biggest upsets in WWE history. Meanie had an incident with JBL two weeks before at the ECW themed One Night Stand pay per view where JBL shot on Meanie over a misunderstanding. Meanie was booked two weeks later for an unlikely No DQ match with JBL. Meanie tells the story in a recent RF Video Shoot Interview about he and JBL burying the hatchet before the match. The B.W.O. reunited on this night but it was Batista’s interference which helped Meanie get the notch in the win column. Batista came in and gave JBL a spine buster as the crowd went wild and put the Blue Guy on top for the unlikely 1-2-3.
Shelton Benjamin defeats Triple H March 29, 2004 Cincinnati, OH (RAW) – Benjamin was teaming with Charlie Haas at the time but was drafted away from his partner to RAW for singles competition. At the encouragement of Steve Austin, Benjamin challenged Triple H to a match. Triple H was the big dog in town and while fans expected a fun match, nobody expected Hunter to lose. Benjamin got the pin with a Stinger splash after being nailed by Ric Flair and appeared on his way to a monster push. Instead he was jobbed regularly to Hunter and Evolution so badly that the upset didn’t even matter a few months later.
Maven defeats The Undertaker February 5, 2002 (SmackDown) – Maven was the first winner of Tough Enough and received a big push when he eliminated The Undertaker during the 2002 Royal Rumble. The elimination sparked a feud which was overshadowed by Taker’s other feud at the time with The Rock. The two wound up wrestling on SmackDown in a Hardcore Title match. Taker was destroying Maven until The Rock came down, nailed the Dead Man with a steel chair, hit a Rock Bottom, and left the ring. A beaten Maven crawled on top of The Undertaker to score the upset in front of a rabid crowd and win the hardcore championship.
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