10 Times WWE Pleasantly Surprised Us

[Applause] any now-legendary words of my dad on my 18th birthday not all surprises a good son but I guess you've turned out ok repressed memories I've been forced to confront in therapy to one side for a moment WWE is by its very nature in the shock business we usually call them swerves admittedly but using them correctly is about 80% of the challenge when writing pro wrestling but pleasant surprises are different they only come around when this love-hate relationship we all have with WWE lays out a very predictable very bad decision by the company only for them to actually do the right thing instead it's rare yes as their reputation for dunderheaded this new word is well-earned but when they do crop up there all the more satisfying for it whether Vince is going soft in his old age or trips is just getting better at twisting his arm we'll likely never know but whatever my name is Adam Cleary on these are 10 times WWE pleasantly surprised their audience number 10 Becky winning the Royal Rumble a lot of people will tell you that they knew absolutely knew that Becky Lynch was going to win the Royal Rumble the fact is though that this is WWE and despite us all having this grand image in our heads of Becky opening and closing the show the moment she tapped clean - Oscar you feared the worst then when the women's rumble arrived halfway through the show traditionally implying that it wouldn't end with a show-stealing moment we feared the worst again even the most hopeful Becky Lynch fan like me assumed would be getting a by-the-numbers Charlotte win with the angle then playing out awkwardly on TV but no not only did they orchestrate a really exciting way to get it into the match they also stack the deck against her enough to keep Charlotte as the logical booking decision but then but then this on a night when everyone started so sure they'd get that moment WWE showed all the signs of disappointing us only to then spring the surprise look at my lil face number 9 Kurt Angle replaces Roman reigns a bizarre mumps outbreak shortly before October 2017 s TLC pay-per-view created the sort of ripple effect that had previously hamstrung WWE Vince McMahon for all his faults has a proven track record of over delivering on a replacement when he has to make changes still few could have forced saw his off-the-wall solution to Roman reigns absence just days before a blockbuster main event helicoptering in raw general manager Kurt Angle to side with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose WWE ramped up the anticipation for the main event tenfold with less than 48 hours to go what's more they even over delivered on the booking of the match setting it out in such a way that they saved his conversion to kill a wrestling machine for the very closing moments it was in hindsight one of the best possible scenarios pulled from the brink of one of the worst and it wasn't even the only fire they've been forced to fight that night number 8 AJ Styles replaces Bray Wyatt there's something about the unexpected finn bálor match and more on that later that seems to bring out the best in everyone that said life certainly made an awful lot easier when AJ Styles is the guy on the other end of the surprise the phenomenal one was drafted over from SmackDown for one night only on the raw exclusive TLC 2017 when Bray Wyatt as we mentioned caught the mumps though it deprived us all of ever seeing exactly what the the company had in mind for the sister Abigail concept it instead served as a reminder of what Bala had to offer at the top of the card the demon was a megastar in victory over the man who would be WWE Champion within weeks of this match Styles for his part kicked off what would perhaps go down as his best ever month within the organization number seven embracing TNA for all the heirs the TNA pretended to be arrival to WWE nothing actually sold this idea more than Vince McMahon's refusal to acknowledge them on television through genuine ignorance towards their product or a nod feeling every time the group genuinely penetrated WWE's outer walls TNA were largely left on a sports entertainment island or they were rather until said Island drifted so far out to say that Vince McMahon couldn't even see them an influx of former impact zone headliners have since made their way into the company and WWE have thankfully furnished Network documentaries and their ilk with plenty of moments that bolster their tales take the exceptional Hardy Boys retrospective last year a subtitle scene between Eric Bischoff and a drug-addicted Jeff during his lowest ebb was a fascinating insight into his life's darkest timeline that wouldn't have been made possible without the loose working relationship that exists between the groups today number six the women's revolution WWE Raw February 2015 and The Bella Twins versus Paige and Emma is allotted precisely 30 seconds of match time the entire segment with entrances and post match beatdown swells it to a whopping three minutes this was not uncommon at the time after the give divas a chance hash tag immediately then caught fire online WWE responded with their usual stock phrase of we hear you I mean Vince literally tweeted that along with the hash tag at the time a cynical response that everybody expected to result in a few token pushes and cosmetic changes to the division but some four years later almost exactly we sit on the verge of three women themselves some of the company's biggest and best book stars headlining WrestleMania change was always coming yes but the fact it was genuinely revolutionary and not just the usual bare minimum has been the biggest shock of all no vibe the WrestleMania 31 main event Brock Lesnar's WrestleMania 31 WWE Championship match against Roman reigns was already over delivering before Seth Rollins raced down that enormous ramp like a kid who'd missed the school bus the big dogs bloody grin served as a mark of his indestructibility in the face of somebody that had assumed total domination as per usual I mean let's not get this twisted Roman wasn't getting cheered here but many of the fans that usually hurled disdain at him were frozen in awe at his remarkable fighting spirit or they were and tailed Rollins music hit delivering the fan friendly lusion at the exact right moment WWE provided a winner the entire venue could leave satisfied over a surprising WrestleMania ending that left the community in shock and a genuine historic first no other holder of that briefcase had ever chosen the show of shows finale to spring their surprise challenge Rollins who was by this point the heel architect and destroyer of the shield but crucially not yet quite the abuse stepchild of Triple H and Stephanie was popular enough on his own terms to be the one to take the title not that anybody saw it coming number four WrestleMania 10 a rare public apology from Vince McMahon to talent and fans alike Bret Hart pointed WWE Championship coronation at WrestleMania 10 was apparently so exciting the McMahon himself had to leave the broadcast booth to get involved one year earlier Hart had been forced to point Hogan towards the ring to take a title he proudly warned just minutes earlier 12 months on though and Hogan's 1980s co-star Randy Savage was pointing towards Bret as the man trusted with guiding the company through the choppy waters to date choppy waters that would include rivaling the Hulkster himself as he moved to WCW to try and turn their business around just a year after helping tank WWE's for once and more importantly for a change McMahon genuinely and earnestly put his faith in Bret and atoned for his gross misjudgment a year earlier under the hallowed roof of Madison Square Garden and surrounded by the babyface roster in a literal and figurative show of support the Hitman was at long last the man well not the man but yeah that's yes number three ECW's one-night stand in an industry fueled by hyperbole it's not uncommon for wrestlers and promoters alike to talk about things because they're profitable rather than because they're profound but one-night stand 2005 survives both reviews and Ari watches with such power that if any performers on the card called at the greatest night of their life I would absolutely believe them well anybody except the blue meanie Paul Heyman's a worker so big he can be seen from space but his tears felt real enough for him to have to ponder them off during his speech midway through the show but the big takeaway here of course was the Tommy Dreamer where's his ECW heart on his sleeve so visibly it's a wonder he hasn't died from accidentally bleeding it on this one night WWE smartly monetized ECW in the best possible way before settling on the absolute worst a year in a bit later predictably this was because Vince McMahon gave Paul Heyman virtual autonomy for pun very much intended one night only number two making amends with former talent yet another positive element of modern-day WWE the Triple H has been the one to take credit for is the re-emergence of many old faces that had once been frozen out the old adage used to be painfully true that nobody ever left on good terms in the 1980s it was because of diametric philosophical opposition in the 1990s WCW major money offers and the 2000s because well McMahon no longer had time nor truck for sentimentality if not hunter himself then something must have played to Vince's softer side in recent years wrestlers thought never to be a part of the product again or an earthed for moving Hall of Fame moments then given beautiful send-offs when they sadly passed for all the organization does wrong it has at least started to take its role as gatekeeper of all wrestling seriously for these last few years routinely servicing fans with the memories and matches of everybody regardless of how good their relationship with them was number one Finn Balor's 2019 maybe in the space of one evening WWE did more to elevate Finn Balor as a bonafide main eventer than they had in the entire two years before it almost almost as if making him look great is really really easy because it is what's particularly bizarre though is that this was possibly the plan all along braun strowman's if he injury worries may have been wobbling the company but it seems as though common sense finally prevailed the monster among men's moment in the Sun will eventually come but it wasn't going to happen underneath the heat of the Phoenix sky Balor as Bala I'm not the demon lost to Brock in extremely credible fashion and leaves a painted at rematch with him on the table for future use Lesnar seemed to absolutely revel selling for him despite the size difference and Bala reminded everyone that he always delivers a main display when shockingly he's permitted to wrestle main events regardless of the Royal Rumble result Finn's left in the best position he's been in since his SummerSlam flirtation with the war paint like all those other times over the last few years WWE lost interest again almost immediately after that but if Bala want 2019 to reflect a new year new him Vince McMahon needs to embrace an identical change so yes those were 10 times WWE pleasantly surprised their audience let us know we've missed any out in the comments below and of course don't forget to Like share and subscribe in the meantime thank you very much for watching I have of course been Adam clearly a pleasant surprise from Adam will born and I'll see you soon