Who doesn’t love a good underdog victory? Seeing someone completely unexpected come out of nowhere to pick up an important victory is just so satisfying to see.
The crowd love it, the audience watching at home love it, and it provides a great feelgood moment for the wrestler who wins.
One of those happened this weekend, as NXT superstar Mansoor in his own country created a massive upset, winning the 50-man battle royal at WWE Super Showdown.
There have been a lot of wrestlers in WWE who have picked up an unexpected and awesome underdog victory. Here are just 5 examples of when an underdog picked up a victory.
1. Santino Marella vs Umaga – Raw, 16th April 2007
When an ‘ordinary citizen’ was chosen by Vince McMahon to challenge Umaga for the Intercontinental Title, everyone assumed that it would be a total squash and Umaga would destroy the man. For the first couple of minutes, it looked like Umaga would dominate him, particularly when Vince made it a No Holds Barred match. However, thanks to a huge assist from Bobby Lashley, this ‘fan’ was the brand-new Intercontinental Champion.
Yes, this was done to further the McMahon and Umaga vs Lashley feud, but that shouldn’t take away from the shocking moment when Santino Marella became the new IC Champion in what was supposedly his first ever match as a wrestler. He might have dropped the title a couple of months later, and he never truly reached these heights again, but no-one can deny that when Santino beat Umaga, it was an awesome moment, and a true underdog victory.
2. The Hurricane vs The Rock, Raw – March 10th 2003
Even though he was largely used as a comedy character, The Hurricane was a great wrestler, and was always beloved by WWE fans. When he began having segments with The Rock in 2003, people knew they were going to get some humorous moments, especially as these two were two of the most charismatic people on the roster. After some great comedy – with The Rock calling The Hurricane ‘The Hamburglar’ being a particular highlight – they agreed to a match. As you would expect, The Rock dominated the match, until a distraction from ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin allowed Hurricane to roll The Rock up and pick up the victory.
The Rock’s facial expression when he lost was golden. He deserves credit for agreeing to this and making The Hurricane look like an absolute star. Sadly, they never wrestled each other again, but the fact that The Hurricane managed to score a pinfall victory over The Rock makes it an awesome underdog victory.
3. Maven vs The Undertaker – Smackdown, February 7th, 2002
As one of the winners of the first season of Tough Enough (what a show that once was), it would be fair enough to assume to say that Maven would go on and become a huge star in WWE. He had everything going for him. He had a good “look”, he was very charismatic, and wasn’t that bad in the ring. Then, in the 2002 Royal Rumble, Maven actually eliminated The Undertaker of all people, and everyone in the arena went mad, amazed that this rookie had eliminated one of the favourites to win the whole thing. Obviously, Undertaker didn’t take too kindly to be being eliminated by a rookie and proceeded to get back into the ring and beat the crap out of Maven, eliminating him and then proceeding to take him backstage and inflict further punishment on him there.
Two weeks later, Maven was granted an opportunity at Undertaker’s Hardcore Title. As you would imagine, Undertaker was dominant for most of the match, and it looked as though Maven would be a sacrificial lamb for Big Evil. However, thanks to interference from The Rock, Maven beat Undertaker to become the new Hardcore Champion.
Although it was a hardcore match, and therefore there were no rules, it was still a huge shock to see Maven beat The Undertaker. After all, this was a man who was unbeaten at Wrestlemania, and a multi-time WWE Champion, whereas Maven was still a rookie. As a result, it was monumental news when Undertaker lost and a massive moment for Maven though – one that has lingered on in a lot of people’s memories ever since.
4. 1-2-3 Kid vs Razor Ramon – RAW, May 17th, 1993
One of the original underdog victories, and still one of the most shocking: Razor Ramon was one of the top heels in WWE at this time, and everyone assumed that the 1-2-3 Kid was another enhancement talent brought in to make Razor look good. He dominated the match, and the only offence the Kid got in was his match-winning Moonsault. When he got the pinfall, you could hear everyone gasp as they realised that a ‘jobber’ just beat one of the WWEs top stars.
Razor sold the loss perfectly, incensed that he had lost to a rookie. This still remains one of the most shocking moments in RAW history, because unlike any of the others on this list, it wasn’t part of a storyline (at least to begin with), and no-one knew who the 1-2-3 Kid was. Yet here he was, beating Razor Ramon clean. Kid, of course, would go on to have a great career as X-Pac, and became one of the most popular stars of the Attitude Era. None of that would have happened though, without this huge underdog win against Razor Ramon.
5. Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton vs Kurt Angle – Wrestlemania 22, 2006
The biggest underdog in WWE history, it should come as no surprise that Rey Mysterio is on this list. One of the hardest working wrestlers in WWE, Rey had scratched and clawed his way to the top, which culminated in this emotional title win at Wrestlemania 22.
The sad thing is, this probably never would have happened if it hadn’t been for the tragic loss of Eddie Guerrero in late 2005. Rey then started to dedicate his matches to Guerrero, and it became a feel-good story, as the fans started to will Rey Mysterio towards the World Heavyweight Title. Then the Royal Rumble happened – Rey entered at Number 2, and it looked impossible for him to win. However, after lasting over an hour, Rey lastly eliminated Randy Orton to win the match and guarantee himself a title match at Wrestlemania. However, after being provoked by Orton, he put his title shot on the line at No Way Out. Orton won the match, and it looked as though the dream was over. Teddy Long however, had other ideas. He re-added Rey to the match, making it a triple threat, and then suddenly the dream was back on.
Not only did Rey have to face Randy Orton, he also had to deal with World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle who had just come off a great series with The Undertaker. Add a notoriously difficult Chicago crowd, and it didn’t look good for Rey. However, we all know what happened next. Rey pinned Orton, becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion, and the ‘Ultimate Underdog’ had completed a famous victory. The most likeable star in WWE history had finally won the big one, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when it happened.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!