One of the features that makes sports entertainment so unique is that the writers can plan for how they want fans to feel. Sure, there's excitement in unscripted sports, but imagine if football or rugby was pre-planned instead.
There's been storylines in WWE where you can pinpoint the second the company expects people to experience certain emotions. Naturally, it doesn't always work, but when it does it creates special moments. Nothing impacts viewers more than a scene that makes them cry.
It can happen out of nowhere, like when a wrestler is forced to retire, or it can come from a storyline that's built so perfectly that fans are genuinely heartbroken by its outcome.
If you're reading this and thinking about how nothing in WWE has made you shed a tear before, check out the list and seek out all 10 moments when you're done. If your eyes aren't glossy by the end, you might be made of stone! For this list, the entries will mostly be moments in kayfabe instead of tragedies that have affected the wrestling business over the years...
10. The Bloodline Attacks Sami Zayn
The Bloodline storyline is the greatest in modern wrestling.
There's been so many heartbreaking moments since it started in 2020, but the most impactful was at Royal Rumble 2023, when Sami Zayn fought back against Roman Reigns.
Zayn used to annoy Reigns, his cousins the Usos, and the wiseman Paul Heyman. Eventually, he won them over and was allowed to join the group as the Honorary Uce. Jey and Jimmy took longer to come around to Sami, but when 2023 started he, alongside Solo Sikoa, was a fully fledged member of the family.
Kevin Owens was his old family. They'd travelled the world together, from Ring of Honor all the way to WWE. The moment that made fans cry came when the Tribal Chief had just brutalised Owens and handcuffed him to the ropes. Sami tried to talk him out of carrying on the assault, so Roman handed him the chair so he could finish the job on his former best friend.
Are you ready for one of the biggest shifts in emotion in recent WWE history?
He hit Reigns instead and all hell broke loose. Jimmy, Solo, and Roman beat Sami as fans watched on in horror. Everything had been building to this moment, but it was tragic to see everything come crashing down for Zayn in such a violent way.
Jey wanted nothing to do with it and got out the ring.
The way they weaved this saga together made it so emotional. The WWE Universe was genuinely sad to see what happened to Sami.