10 Modern Wrestling Pops That Sent Shivers Down Your Spine
Wrestling should always make you feel something. Here are the moments that did that best.
On the most basic level, like any other form of entertainment media, wrestling is all designed to elicit the best possible pop from the crowd when the good guy overcomes the villain. As we know however, it always seems to be much more complicated than that.
Sometimes when a moment is expected to be accompanied by thunderous cheers from the crowd, it is greeted by virtual silence, such as when Roman Reigns faced Triple H at WrestleMania 32 - while other moments designed to get cheers are met with vociferous boos, such as when Batista when the 2014 Royal Rumble.
Other times, moments generate pops when WWE were intending the crowd to boo. This is especially a problem WWE have today, with fans often choosing to cheer the supposed heel because they prove to be more entertaining than the face, such as during Chris Jericho and Kevin Owen's run together from 2016-17.
However, if there's one thing that is missing during the empty arena era of wrestling shows, it is the cheers heard by an audience when someone they love finally achieves success. Drew McIntyre should have beaten Brock Lesnar to the adulation of over 60,000 people at WrestleMania, however instead his crowning moment came to amid the silence of the WWE Performance Center. Though Drew finally climbing to the top of the wrestling mountain will be a moment long cherished by WWE fans, it will likely never be mentioned in the same breath as Hogan slamming Andre or Mankind winning the title.
Here are some moments that might.
10. Brock Is Back
WWE programming was in an awkward spot coming out of WrestleMania XXVIII.
The show was mostly built around John Cena vs The Rock and The Undertaker vs Triple H, however only John Cena was going to be around afterwards, leaving him and CM Punk to carry the company through its post-'Mania blues season. The fact that the much maligned John Laurinitus had just taken control of both Raw and Smackdown meant hopes were not exactly high for WWE going forward.
However, one beacon of light shone through the period, and that light was Brock Lesnar. Having seemingly wrapped up his time in UFC the previous year, it felt nailed on that Brock would return to WWE and prove himself once more after his disastrous departure match at WrestleMania XX with Goldberg.
Fans spent much of the Raw after WrestleMania chanting for Brock Lesnar, desperate for The Beast Incarnate to show his face on WWE TV for the first time in eight years. When John Cena invited The Rock out to congratulate him on his win, Brock's music hit, and the roof flew off the arena.
Lesnar's time in the UFC had added a whole new element to his character, with his F-5 to Cena establishing him as an immediate threat as the most legitimate combat athlete in WWE history. Though we may be sick to death of him now, fans will always cherish the moment The Next Big Thing returned, which kickstarted the idea of the Raw after WrestleMania as the night for big returns in WWE.