WWE Goes Through Pay Per View Chaos
Tables Ladders and Chairs
Only a few days out from the WWE Pay Per View 'TLC', 2 wrestlers had to be pulled from the show (Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt) and another (Kevin Owens) from a live show. The chaos was caused by a Viral Infection (Meningitis). Lucky for WWE and it's viewers the organization has a wealth of part-time and 'Hall of Fame' talent on the sidelines.
The main event event match was going to have the newly reformed 'Shield' taking on five men (The Miz, Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Cesaro and recently returned Kane). So with Reigns being pulled from the match it was announced that RAW GM Kurt Angle would replace Roman and have his first match in a WWE ring for eleven years. With Bray Wyatt out as well his match with Finn Balor was changed to Balor v's Smackdown Live star AJ Styles (These two have never faced each other but have both lead 'The Bullet Club' overseas at different times).
All of a sudden, two days out from the PPV this tragic set of circumstances had actually helped WWE create the most exciting and unpredictable show in years!. The modern day wrestling big show had finally acquired an ingredient that had been lacking for a long time...unpredictability.
Finn Balor v AJ Styles lived up to all expectations. The battle of the former 'Bullet Club' leaders was an energetic, hard hitting and an emotional match which culminated in a victory for Balor. It was great to see the guys throw up a 'To Sweet' hand gesture together after the match on a WWE Pay Per View. This was the first 5 star match i have witnessed in all of 2017 so far. A RAW superstar versus a Smackdown Live superstar also made the night special. With 'Survivor Series' coming up which also pits RAW v Smackdown Live, it is likely we will see Balor v Styles 2.
AJ Styles has got to be given an MVP award for this effort. He flew back from Argentina with 24 hours notice and wrestled the match 24 hours later. Massive effort from Styles, he is quickly becoming the modern day Shawn Michaels.
The main event had Kurt Angle inserted into 'The Shield' to cover for Roman Reigns. Angle's return to the ring after eleven years out of WWE added much excitement to this show that likely would not have been there otherwise. It is great to see 'The Shield' back together and it will help Roman finally get some cheers, but Angle's return coupled with AJ/Balor gave TLC an aura of anticipation.
Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins gave Kurt an honourary Shield Swat Jacket before the match and they made their way to the ring together. I would have liked to see Kurt's entrance kept seperate for such a big occasion but after Braun Strowman put Angle through a table mid-match, it gave Kurt a chance to have his big (re)entrance. He should have come back out in his red, white and blue trunks but that wouldn't be realistic enough would it! (like anything in wrestling is ever realistic).
The match itself started good but had to much brawling in the midway section. When Angle was coming back they dragged it on to long but once he had returned the match picked up once more. The ending was cool with Miz taking all the babyface finishers then followed by a 'Shield Powerbomb' with Kurt doing Roman's spot. Angle got the pin and the victory for the good guys.
It will be interesting to see where Kurt goes from here. He will obviously climb back in the ring again but can he go the full distance with one of todays younger wrestlers?. Time will tell.
Other Occasions When WWE Pay Per View's Turned Chaotic
The obvious choice for most chaotic occasion on WWE Pay Per View was at 'Over The Edge' in 1999. Owen Hart was to descend from the rafters as his character 'The Blue Blazer' and enter the ring via a harness. The harness malfunctioned while Owen was just starting to descend which sent Hart plummeting 75 feet into the top rope of the wrestling ring. Owen Hart later died from his injuries at the Truman Medical Centre in Kansas City.
The accident was not seen live on PPV as a vignette for his upcoming Intercontinental Title Match against 'The Godfather' was playing at the time. The controversial decision was made to continue the show and the WWE have copped alot of heat ever since for doing so.
Beware Of Dog 1996
At the 'In Your House 8' Pay Per View also known as 'Beware Of Dog' in 1996, the stadium and external power kept going out ruining the live feed. As Stone Cold Steve Austin made his in-ring entrance to face Savio Vega in a strap match, the power went out for the first time. It was caused by major thunderstorms in the Florence South Carolina area where the show was being held. It cut out a few more times but commentator and company owner Vince McMahon had already decided to broadcast the show redone live again (except the first two matches) on the following Tuesday night. The Tuesday show went ahead without any hitches.
Benoit Was To Become ECW Champion
By now most wrestling fans would know the tragic end to the Chris Benoit story. He murdered his wife and son and went on to hang himself two days later. This is why you will never hear Benoit mentioned again openly in WWE (but his matches can still be seen on WWE Network). What some fans may not know is the PPV he was a no show for (Vengeance 2007), Benoit was booked to beat CM Punk and win the ECW Championship. Because of the chaos of Chris' no show John Morrison was inserted into the match and became the champion.
December To Dismember
On December 3rd 2006 WWE booked an ECW exclusive Pay Per View 'Elimination Chamber'. By this stage ECW was the watered down WWE version but still had Paul Heyman as one of the head bookers. The show has been called "The worst pay per view of all time" by some critics and was the lowest earning PPV ever until the WWE Network started (90,000 buys).
The main event was a six man elimination chamber match that included CM Punk, Hardcore Holly, Test, Big Show, Bobby Lashley and Rob Van Dam. Vince McMahon decided that Lashley was leaving as the ECW Champion but Paul Heyman was more in favour of a more extreme competitor like CM Punk winning. As usual Vince made the last call, Lashley won and everyone hated the show. After it's poor performance Vince typically blamed someone else so Paul Heyman was told to go home (he remained under contract though and didn't resurface in WWE for years after this).