WWE and its superstars hold a special place among the hearts of the pro-wrestling fans as most of them grew up loving the business by watching their weekly shows and PPVs. The WWE Superstars have made the fans happy, inspired them, and on some occasions, given them hope. However, there are certain moments when the WWE made the fans sad, both on-screen and in real life.
Such moments had left a lasting scar on the fans’ hearts that took a long time to heal, and there are many that took place in the past ten years itself. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the saddest WWE moments of the past ten years in chronological order.
10 Jerry Lawler’s Heart Attack – September 2012
The September 10, 2012, episode of Raw saw Jerry Lawler teaming up with Randy Orton to defeat CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler in a tag team match. Following that, he continued his commentary duties, and while calling a match between Team Hell No and The Prime Time Players, he collapsed at the announcers’ table.
Michael Cole, who was a heel at the time, had to break character and let the fans know about his colleague’s condition. WWE revealed that Lawler suffered a heart attack and had to undergo an angioplasty to improve blood flow to his heart. Fortunately, The King made a speedy recovery and returned to his duties on the November 12, 2012, episode of Raw.
9 The End Of The Streak – April 2014
For over two decades, The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak was one of the prime attractions of WWE’s biggest show of the year. It was also one of the defining factors of The Undertaker’s legendary career.
He held the record for 21 WrestleManias and defeated the likes of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Kane over the years to solidify the streak. However, WrestleMania 30 came as a surprise for the WWE fans as they witnessed Brock Lesnar conquer The Deadman’s undefeated streak after a hard-hitting contest. The cameras captured the total shock in the faces of the fans all over the Superdome as they witnessed a true end of an era.
8 The Ultimate Warrior’s Death – April 2014
WWE honored The Ultimate Warrior’s iconic career by inducting him into the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame. Linda McMahon inducted him into the Hall of Fame, and he made an appearance on the Raw after WrestleMania 30 and delivered an inspiring promo for the fans.
Unfortunately, he passed away the next day after collapsing while walking to his car with his wife outside their hotel. He was 54 when he passed away, and to honor his legacy, WWE announced the Warrior Award for those who have “exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of the Ultimate Warrior.”
WWE awarded the inaugural Warrior Award at the 2015 Hall of Fame Ceremony to Connor Michalek, an 8-year-old fan who battled cancer since he was three, who passed away on April 25, 2014.
7 Daniel Bryan’s Retirement – February 2016
Daniel Bryan was at the top of his career with multiple world championships to his name when he announced his first retirement from in-ring competition in 2016.
Bryan revealed that he had to make the decision after sustaining multiple concussions and seizures. The announcement took the fans by surprise, and when Bryan came out to make his retirement speech, it was hard for both him and the fans to face the hard reality. It was one of the most emotional segments in WWE history, and the fans sounded in unity to honor the career of Daniel Bryan.
6 Finn Balor Relinquishing The Universal Championship – August 2016
It’s not an everyday sight in WWE that a new superstar breaks into the main event picture out of nowhere and claims the ultimate prize in a very short time. Finn Balor managed to achieve that feat after he got called up to the main roster in the 2016 brand split.
He debuted on the July 25, 2016, episode of Raw and entered the newly-introduced Universal Championship picture straight away. He became the No.1 contender and took on Seth Rollins at the 2016 SummerSlam PPV. Balor defeated Rollins at the event, to everyone’s surprise, and became the inaugural Universal Champion. However, his reign lasted only one day as a result of a shoulder injury sustained after taking a buckle bomb from Seth Rollins during the match. He relinquished the title the next night on Raw and sadly couldn’t get his hands on the title again. The fact that Balor has been a midcarder since then just makes this sting more.
5 Paige’s Retirement – April 2018
Paige is a second-generation wrestler and had the business running in her veins when she started her training to become a pro wrestler. She made her WWE debut in 2011 and went on to become the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion in 2014.
She made a historic main roster debut on the Raw after WrestleMania 30 and defeated AJ Lee to become the Divas Champion. Her career was going great until she suffered a career-ending neck injury which forced her to announce her retirement on the April 9, 2018, episode of Raw. The fans felt very bad after witnessing a promising career coming to an end and are still hoping that she’d make a miraculous recovery similar to Edge and Bryan Danielson.
4 Roman Reigns’ Leukemia Announcement – October 2018
After multiple failed attempts, Roman Reigns finally defeated Brock Lesnar to win his first Universal Championship at the 2018 SummerSlam PPV. He held the title for 64 days and defended it against the likes of Finn Balor, Braun Strowman, and Baron Corbin before he relinquished the title and made a shocking revelation.
He delivered an out-of-character promo on the October 22, 2018, episode of Raw and revealed that his leukemia was back after 11 years of being in remission. After that, the fans who had been booing him started to respect the man behind the Roman Reigns character and started sending him prayers and good wishes from all over the world.
3 Shad Gaspard’s Death – May 2020
WWE awarded the Warrior Award to Shad Gaspard at the 2022 Hall of Fame Ceremonywith his son and wife accepting the award alongside Gaspard’s tag team partner JTG.
Shad Gaspard sacrificed his life to save his son from a strong rip current in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles. Tributes poured in from all over the world towards Gaspard’s heroic and selfless act that exemplified the spirit of a true father and human being. WWE honored the legacy of Shad Gaspard with multiple tributes, and the superstars who have known and worked with Gaspard shared the moments they lived with him.
2 Every Superstar Release Of The Budget Cuts – 2020 to 2022
2020 paved the way for multiple careers to end thanks to WWE’s pandemic budget cuts. Superstars like Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Karrion Kross, Nia Jax, Aleister Black, Keith Lee, Samoa Joe, and many others got released in the name of budget cuts despite the company making record profits in the period.
Reports claim that the deed was carried out by the newly appointed President and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan, whose prime objective was to maximize revenue for the company.
1 Scott Hall’s Death – March 2022
The death of the legendary WWE Hall of Famer Scott Hall shook the pro-wrestling fraternity to its core. He fell and broke his hip while in his house in March 2022 and lay on the floor for days before Diamond Dallas Page found him and took him to the hospital.
A blood clot was dislocated during his hip replacement surgery, which resulted in him suffering three heart attacks and being placed on life support. His family rushed to his side, and they made the tough decision to take him off life support, resulting in his death on March 14, 2022. WWE aired a heartfelt tribute to the fallen legend on that day’s episode of Raw, with the fans paying their final respects to Scott Hall.
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