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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Goose Bump Moments
September 21, 2005 by Langdon Beck


Have you ever felt like wrestling in its current state just isn't any good" Have you ever wondered why you still watch it"

Maybe you feel like that sometimes. But there are moments in wrestling that are just so damn cool they send a shiver down your spine. These are the goose bump moments; they are, simply, why we love wrestling.

A truly great entrance will almost always result in a goose bump moment. You've heard Michael Cole and Tazz referring to The Undertaker's entrance as 'bone-chilling'. Any Undertaker fan can testify to getting that exact feeling when the lights go out and that gong hits, every time the Dead Man makes his way to the ring. There's a reason why the guy's still so damn popular!

On a smaller scale, there's CM Punk's entrance in Ring Of Honor. It may not have extravagant lighting or smoke like the Undertaker, but when the first notes of Miseria Cantare (The Beginning) play, and fans bang the guardrail in time to the song, it's just as spectacular. On a personal level, I get goosebumps on both arms and chills down my back every time I hear it.

Fan participation in an entrance is a vital part of another goose bump moment. What was possibly the defining moment of ECW's One Night Stand did not take place in the ring; it took place in the audience. The Sandman made his way through the ECW faithful, as each and every one of them sang as loud as they could: "Exit light, enter night, take my hand, we're off to Never Never Land..." If that didn't give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, are you sure you're watching the right show"

There are the one-off, unique entrances that may never be repeated. Once again it's fitting to bring up CM Punk. On August 13th of this year, ROH staged "Punk: the Final Chapter" in his hometown of Chicago. When Punk came out for his final ROH match against Colt Cabana, his eyes were red from crying. He was overcome with emotion as the ring was literally flooded with streamers. And he wasn't the only one - ring announcer Bobby Cruise later wrote of how he could barely keep his composure. I'm not ashamed to admit that when I watch this show on DVD, Punk ain't gonna be the only one crying like a baby.

The Rock's entrance isn't quite unique, but in present-day WWE, the reaction he gets certainly is. It's extremely rare for an entire arena to explode with noise nowadays, but when The Rock makes one of his all-too-infrequent appearances, it happens. There's nothing like hearing an unexpected "If you sa-melll........" followed by thousands of people screaming at their top of the lungs to make you think 'man... I wish I was there' followed by 'man... I love wrestling'.

Finally, take yourself back to May 2002. It's the final episode of SmackDown before the Judgment Day Pay Per View and Hollywood Hulk Hogan is getting ready to defend the Undisputed Title against the Undertaker. The introduction to Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) plays and the noise is deafening. Hogan comes out, resplendent in t-shirt, tights, sunglasses and feather boas. He slowly heads to the ring, poses, and the noise is still deafening. The 'Hogan, Hogan' chants begin. Five minutes later, the ovation is still going strong. Fast-forward another five minutes, and a visibly emotional Hogan has finally managed to get the crowd to quieten long enough to start his promo. No matter what your opinion of Hulk Hogan is, moments like that really are amazing.

Next are those moments that leave you in total and complete disbelief, like the one at the conclusion of a 2003 match on SmackDown between Brock Lesnar and the Big Show. We'd seen Brock hit Show with suplexes and even the F5 before, but when he placed Big Show on the top rope for a superplex, nobody thought he'd pull it off. He did. But that wasn't the end of it. When their collective 800 pounds hit the canvas, the impact was such that it collapsed the ring. There was a collective intake of breath from everyone in attendance, followed by a chorus of "HOLY SHIT!" that even Tazz took part in. Nobody saw it coming, and that made it all the more impressive.

There's the goose bump moment that comes with a big move that you didn't previously believe possible, that leaves you in mild shock after witnessing it. For example, a Jack Evans moonsault with two full rotations, the Rottweilers' Cop Killa-Double Stomp combination, or Paul London hitting the Shooting Star Press from the top of a mangled ladder with the fans chanting "please don't die" in the background. Then there is the move to top all moves - THE MOVE. You know the one.... Primetime Elix Skipper at TNA Turning Point, walking the cage like a tightrope before hitting a hurricanrana on Chris Harris. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was speechless after seeing that move, pointing at the TV and silently shouting "No way! No way!"

Finally, there's those unprecedented shock moments that come from out of nowhere, leaving you questioning what the hell just took place and if what you're seeing is really happening. The twists and turns of storylines, like Hollywood Hogan joining Hall & Nash at WCW Bash At The Beach, Eric Bischoff (ERIC F'N BISCHOFF!!!) debuting on RAW in 2002, or, more recently, Matt Hardy, an independent wrestler at the time, attacking Edge on a WWE show.

For many fans there really isn't anything better than just plain great wrestling. Whether it's the way certain matches start with beautiful chain wrestling with constant counters and reversals (from the likes of Ultimo Dragon and Great Sasuke), or the chemistry between two wrestlers such as Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn or Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, or big moves and near falls that leave you breathless (as seen this month in the main event of TNA Unbreakable), or the aftermath of a contest, where the live audience give the competitors a standing ovation and you KNOW you've seen something special.

It's not just in-ring action, though. Truly great promos can also be goose bump moments. It's a rare thing when a wrestler cuts a promo and makes you believe every single word he's saying, but when it happens it's nothing less than breathtaking. One of the best examples is Cactus Jack's 'Cane Dewey' promo from ECW...it just felt so real. They don't do them like that anymore, that's for sure.

Announcers and fans can make for some great goose bump moments. Jim Ross has long had the ability to 'make a bad match good and a good match great' as Mick Foley put it, but one call sticks out in my mind. It was at King Of The Ring 1998, during the Hell In A Cell match between Mankind and the Undertaker. Mankind had just been chokeslammed through the roof of the cell:

"Enough is enough! Would somebody stop the damn match!" JR yelled... I get goose bumps thinking about it even now, as Ross's call was not part of a wrestling match, but a legitimate cry for my well-being."' - Mick Foley

More often than not it can be the fans rather than the wrestlers who create goose bump moments. In ECW, it wasn't an irregular occurrence to see top guys leave for the 'big leagues'. Whether the wrestler in question was a beloved babyface or a despicable heel, when their time for farewell came, the fans showed their appreciation with applause and 'Please Don't Go' chants. You could see that men like Eddy Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Cactus Jack and Taz were genuinely touched by the reaction they received.

One of the greatest fan-related goose bump moments of recent years wasn't seen by many people. A short time after the death of Classy Freddie Blassie, RAW presented the British PPV 'Insurrextion' from Newcastle, England. The tribute video package made for Blassie was played, and once it had finished, all 11,000 fans in attendance rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation, chanting Freddie's name despite the fact that very few had ever even seen him manage, let alone wrestle. Both JR and Jerry Lawler were caught off-guard by the sheer scale of the admiration for a true legend.

Speaking of video packages, two stick in the mind as being real goose bump moments. The first was shown at the end of what is possibly the best WWE Pay Per View of all time, WrestleMania X-Seven. Set to the tune of 'My Way' by Limp Bizkit, it replayed almost all the great moments of the night, from the opening fireworks to Stone Cold's shocking alliance with Mr. McMahon. I don't care how much you may dislike Limp Bizkit - I'm certainly no fan - just try watching that video package without getting a tingly feeling going down your arms, back and neck. Its four and a half years after the event and I still get goose bumps when I hear that song.

Then there's the video Ric Flair supposedly put together as a way to deter Vince McMahon from bringing back the nWo. 'Desire: History' has been hailed as the greatest video package WWE's production team have ever put together, and for good reason. All the top wrestlers and moments in WWE history - how can you not sit back after watching it and think 'now THAT was cool'"

Finally, there are the once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, career-defining moments that show all but the most hardened 'smarks' just why wrestling is great. Here are three of the best:

1. WrestleMania XII. Shawn Michaels makes his way to the ring for perhaps the most important match of his life via a zipwire. A little over an hour later, Michaels broke down and fell to his knees, holding the WWE Championship and openly weeping. The boyhood dream had become reality, and the emotion in the air was tangible.

2. In May of 2003, Ric Flair had a match with World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. Many - including Flair himself - thought he was washed up and, no matter how great he was in his prime, couldn't put on another classic match again. How he proved them, and himself, wrong. In one of the best RAW main events in quite some time, Flair laid it all on the line and came so close to beating the Champion. Afterwards, the Nature Boy stood in the ring, a beaten man. But the Greenville fans were all cheering for him. Out came the entire RAW locker-room, led by Shawn Michaels, to pay tribute to Flair in the ring. There were speeches, standing ovations, hugs, toasts and tears, and it was the night where Ric Flair became Ric Flair once again.

3. Chris Benoit has it locked in! The Crossface! The fans that had packed Madison Square Garden for WrestleMania XX were going wild, and the fans who were watching at home were on the edge of their seats, saying to themselves 'Come on, tap, Triple H, tap...' I know I was. Would the Game tap out" Nobody knew. And not just the casual fans, because the so-called 'smart' crowd couldn't be certain either - at least, not since "news" had made its way onto the internet claiming that, contrary to earlier speculation, Benoit would NOT be winning the title at 'Mania. It all came down to that one moment. Triple H tapped. Thousands of fans across the world cried out. "YES!" Chris Benoit had realised his dream, and after eighteen years of blood and sweat had become the World Champion. As Benoit and Eddie Guerrero stood in the ring with tears in their eyes and embraced as confetti fell from the ceiling, it was impossible not to feel affected by it. This was what being a wrestling fan was all about.

Everyone has their own personal goose bump moments. These are mine. Maybe you disagree, but the next time you're feeling disenchanted with wrestling, remember those moments that gave you goose bumps and remind yourself why you're a fan, and why you probably always will be.

by Langdon Beck --- [View Langdon Beck's Column Index]..


Shawn Compton wrote:
First I must say that all of these moments are truly goosebump moments and that your column was a very interesting one. Each of the moments you wrote about gave me goosebumps and I have a few extra to add. The Shooting Star Lesnar did and 'Mania XIX is the ONLY move ever that sent chills up my spine and I've watched wrestling for over 15 years. Ric Flair's return promo in September 1998 on Nitro, Goldberg defeating Hogan for the World Title on Nitro, Sting's return to the ring at Starrcade 1997. There are so many more but these are the most prominent in my mind. Very good column and hope to see some more.
oskari kivinet wrote:
Finally someone decided to write about the best part in wrestling. Those moments when you're standing up and shouting your lungs out with everyone else in the crowd or just feeling your heart picking up the pace when you're watching a match at home. I got my best goose bump moments in 2003 at Baltic Brawl 2003 in Finland, my home country: I was standing in a corridor at the arena waiting for the show to begin, I had my A.J. Styles t-shirt on and suddenly "someone" said behind me: "Hey, dude! Nice Shirt!" You'll probably guess who likes A.J. Styles-shirts... But the biggest not-that-personal moment: Have you seen the part of RAW in 2003 after it goes off the air and Bischoff is begging Vince not to put him in a match at No Way Out and suddenly Stone Cold comes out" Perfect...
Alan Piggott wrote:
I have to say, all the examples are so true. I don't actually know the lyrics to Enter Sandman, so I was just sitting there going doo doo doo when watching ECW One Night Stand. When I saw Hogan at the WWE Hall of Fame on the WMXXI DVD, I was marking out insanely. Great column, it bought tears to my eyes
NPagHarrisonSJ wrote:
Just got goose bumps reading this! So many memories! For me, the shock of Stone Cold screwing the WWE at 'Invasion' is up there too. Say what you like about the storyline being botched - that was a mad moment...
Matt wrote:
I agree completely. It's those moments that allow me to sit through RAW and occasionally SMACKDOWN (it's pretty rough on the blue half of the WWE) anymore.

The Rock's entrance will always get me and I wonder if he'll make a showing at WWE Homecoming on USA. It's the type of entrance that you would watch an entire three hour show that might very well suck as hard as the last couple of years of WWE, just to get a glimpse at.

One great goose bump moment that stays in my head was during the time of the "Two man Power Trip" of Austin and Triple H. After merciouslly beating the Hardys (and Lita the week before) they were about to go after Lita for a second week in a row after dispatching Matt and Jeff then...enter the Brothers of Destruction slowly making their way to the ramp. Pulling up elbow pads and nonchalantly striding towards the asses they were about to kick. The reaction of Austin was especially great, as his face was lit by Kane's Pyro and he mouthed the words "What the f*ck!" With half anger and half fear.

Another would have to be with Taker and Jeff Hardy. Again, it's the facial expressions. Hardy, after a supreme beating hobbled to his feet while hanging on to the ropes and just screamed for Taker in a half howl, half pain induced dementia filled scream, that he wasn't done. The Taker makes his way back to the ring and is about to put Hardy's lights out, but just gives the greatest look on his face of "This kid is willing to die right here and now if he has to." and then Taker pats him on the head and raises his hand. Just Classic.
Ry-Doggy-Dog wrote:
I agree with you 100%. I get goosebumps when I see a wrestler take a really hard bump, or see them do an amazing move like Elix Skipper walking the cage. Again, great column
Julian wrote:
This article is a very excellent read. So good to the point where I read it about 3 or 4 times. I completely agree with Langdon in that I always remember those great moments hat remind me why I am a fan. My top 3 moments are:

1) Benoit and Eddie at WM 20. Seeing those 2 guys in the middle of the ring at a conclusion of a Wrestlemania with World titles is a prime example that hard work pays off. Those 2 traveled the world together, wrestled together in the same companies, were fed up together, left WCW together, and worked their way up the ladder together. FOr those 2 to be on top of the world at that moment was amazing.

2) Y2J winning the Undisputed Championship. As a kid, I always wondered what would happen if WWE(F) and WCW were one company and who would be champion. It was a reality in 2001 and when they unified the titles, I couldnt be any happier that Chris Jericho would be the one who was champion., since I am a huge Y2J mark.

3) Shane Douglas throws down the NWA title. When he declared himself the ECW champion and said Its Extreme Championhip Wrestling, I dotnknow if anyone would predict the revolution that was to take place, that was ECW.
Marco Lima wrote:
I would to compliment Mr. Beck for an outstanding column. Just thinking about those moments, reliving them in my mind gave me goosebumps. I am of the opinion that as much as the Internet helps me follow wrestling (I live in Brazil and they don't show it over here), it also ruins many os the surprises, appearances, and feeling of unpredictability that goes with it. I think that if I did have acess to wrestling on TV, I would stay away from all sorts of news and spoilers just I could bask in these "Goose Bump Moments"

There are few others I feel merit a mention:

- Arn Anderson's speech to the NWO at the Four Horsemen Reunion ("We don't wear white hats")

- The 1990 Royal Rumble when Hogan and the Warrior Squared off.

- Survivor Series 1992 when Mr. Perfect's Music played andit seemed he wasn't going to come out, but eventually did to a MASSIVE pop!

- ECW One Night Stand when Paul Heyman shouted "Matt Frickin Hardy"!

- 2002 Royal Rumble when Autin had just cleaned out the ring and as the next guy came out...."Time to play the game............" played in the Arena. That was pretty bione chilling IMHO.

- Back in the late 90s when Nailz was going around beating everyone up and he decided to stick around longer when it was time for the Undertaker to wrestle. He would not leave the ring so Taker walks right up to him and they stare down for at least a minute before Mailz leaves. Everyone thought it was gonna happen right there and then!

Some moments just stay in your mind forever!
milly48 wrote:
Brilliant article, it's goose bump moments like those that are one of the things make wrestling great. I 'marked out' when Benoit won the title at WM XX and when he and Guerrero celebrated in the ring together it was amazing, it still stands at my favorite WM moment ever so I'm glad to see you mentioned it.
matt iluvchristian wrote:
royal rumble 2002 when mr. perfect returned i openly cried................. my hero rip
Michael Sears wrote:
I thought that was a very well written article. All I am doing here is chiming in with a few of my personal favorite moments: WrestleMania 1990-When the Ultimate Warrior pinned Hulk Hogan; Nitro 1998, when Goldberg pinned Hogan; RAW 2004, when The Rock returned to stand up for Eugene; WrestleMania XX, Benoit making Triple H tap out; WrestleMania X-8 with Hulk Hogan hulking up against The Rock and watching the fans reaction; Uncensored 1997, when Sting kicked the entire nWo's ass; KOTR 2001, when Kurt Angle sent Shane McMahon through the glass panes; RAW 1998, Stone Cold teasing at playing Mr. McMahon's stooge, only to tear off his suit and promptly stun Vince; RAW 1999, the debut of Chris Jericho; TNA 2004, the debut of Jeff Hardy; RAW 2002, with Jeff Hardy coming oh so close to becoming WWE champ. My God there are so many others!!! So in closing, I totally understand your article and I agree wrestling needs more of that today.
Anthony wrote:
I would have to say the most goose-bumpiness moment I can remember are the few minutes before the Rock called out Hogan on Raw. The two superstars were standing in the ring, face to face, and the fans almost imperceptibly altered their chants from "Rocky!" to "Hogan!" and back to "Rocky!" and back to "Hogan!"
dennis wyatt wrote:
What a great column,I am 39 and have been a fanatic since the old Wrestling at the chase was big,I am a collector of all things wrestling ,mainly figures (about 200 or more now ) and magazinzes (over 800)the earliest being 1979,your article "goose bumps" is the kind of things I love to read,it makes wrestling fun again,as a long time fan I stay up on it all the time,but its great to get away from behind the scenes & personal lives and back to why we watch it,That being said I would like to add a couple goose bump moments of my own,my favorite was from the old ICW days when Macho Man was the king pin,he and his gang of thugs put Bob Roop on the shelf "indefinatly",A few weeks later He brought in a masked man called The Assassin with his deadly "Suger hold" he destroyed lesser men on the way to his main Target,the contract on Ronnie"the one man gang"Garvin,long story short,in the eventual match when it looked as though garvin was down in the ring,done in by Assassin,Macho came into the cage with a ball bat,handed it to Assassin,so he could count out the bounty for the deed,as he did this,Garvin hopped up behind him quietly,Assassin slipped the bat to Garvin,who then kicked the crap out of Savage,moments later,Assassin unmasked to reveal himself as Bob Roop who had been out for a long time,,,that was before our area had cable,so ICW was the coolest ever,,2 more quick hits,,The Wrestlemania ,Hogan vs. Sid,Pappa Shango came to aid Sid,all of a sudden Ultimate Warriors music hit out of no where,he had been out of WWF,I still watch that match over & over,most recent just seeing Kevin Von Eric again,and the worst ever bumps,while watching Raw the day after the death of Owen Hart,Very chilling,seeing the reaction of his fellow wrestlers,I'll never forget it,lastly your column,Please keep up the good stuff & thank you for making wrestling fun again,
Jeff Swan, wrote:
1987" 2nd Annual Jim Crocket Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament. When Magnum TA (Terry Allen) made his way to the ring ... weeks after a nearly fatal automobile accident ... to greet his friends, Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff. That was a tear-jerker.
T.D.Stevenson wrote:
Fantastic Column. Lokking back at some of those moments reminds me of why I watch wrestling. I agree with most of yours and others who have added their comments. Some of mine include

When Jake Roberts had Randy Savage tangled in the ropes and unleashed the cobra on him.

Bobby Heenan at the WWXX hall of fame ceromony and his comments about Gorilla Monsoon

At the live events I've had the pleasure to attend, witnessing the Undertaker entrance or chanting 'You Suck!' along with the whole arena have given me goosebumps
wrote:

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