Three seconds. That's all it takes. For years now, announcers have been telling the same story over and over during pro wrestling matches: three seconds is long enough to make someone famous, to make them an icon.
That's not entirely true, though. Yes, a big victory can certainly put you on the map, but it won't make you the top guy overnight. It'll probably take a series of big wins as part of an ongoing underdog or rising babyface story arc to anoint the new guy. And at the very least, you'll need a full match as the catalyst.
WWE calls it "grabbing the brass ring." And your brass ring moment, your big breakout match, has to be something special.
In the major companies, like WWE and New Japan, your big breakout match can't simply be a kickass wrestling bout that sets the fandom buzzing. It has to be a bout where the machine is behind you, ready to use that kickass match as the launching pad to send you into the stratosphere.
Fans are always hoping that their chosen favourites will have their big breakout match and rocket to the top of the card. It's nice to dream, and it's hard to resist fantasy booking these sorts of things, but unfortunately, for some fan favourites, it's simply never going to happen.
(One caveat before we start: yes, if management changes in a major way, perhaps some of these big breakout moments could finally happen. But for now, under the current regime, it's a no-go.)
Author, puzzle guy, and lifelong consumer of pop culture. I'm a nerd for wrestling, Star Wars, literature, trivia, and all sorts of other things. Feel free to mock and/or praise me and my scribblings at @glennmandirect on Twitter.