5 memorable announce-table 'bumps' in WWE
Batista and Randy Orton prepare to put Daniel Bryan through the table at WrestleMania 30The announce table at ringside in WWE serves a very important purpose. It’s the command central for the broadcast team, the home of the commentators for the course of the event. Michael Cole directs the traffic between himself and the men on either side of him, and the location is used several times during the course of the program to break from the action. Cole and company are there to segueway from one segment to another while updating fans as the night goes on.Of course the table is also there to smash grown men through and as long as that is the case, it will never be free from harm. Many superstars have taken this bump over the years, and it’s never a safe one to take as injury is always a possibility. But that does not stop the bump from happening; it serves as a turning point in a match or as a very dramatic finish. It’s a guaranteed way to pop the crowd, and that reaction is enough to keep this spot as a constant go-to device for the company. The commentators’ job may be to call the action but it’s also to get out of the way when necessary, and that will likely not change any time soon.
#5 Booker T attacks Stone Cold Steve Austin, King of the Ring 2001
When WWE bought out rival competitor WCW in 2001, the wrestling world was turned upside down. The highly entertaining and sometimes vicious Monday Night Wars had finally come to an end as Vince McMahon moved ahead of Ted Turner and overtook WCW to corner the market on pro wrestling entertainment. It seemed as though the promotion from down south had indeed expired and that WWE was the only game left in town.
But King of the Ring that same year saw the shocking debut of Booker T. Booker was the man holding the WCW championship when the company folded, and he brought a world of frustration and a fiercely competitive nature with him when he attacked Stone Cold Steve Austin. The WCW champ would not be denied his new place in wrestling’s top company and he definitely made a statement against WWE’s top guy.
The table spot itself may not look that destructive, but Austin did suffer a legitimate back injury as a result. This particular moment is even more memorable thanks to the fact that it signaled the first shot in what would come to be known as the WCW/ECW Invasion angle. It stands as the first real confrontation between the two sides as controlled by WWE.
#4 Daniel Bryan vs Batista vs Randy Orton, WrestleMania 30 2013
Daniel Bryan’s meteoric rise to the top of WWE remains one of the most inspirational stories in recent memory. The indie star that found success in Legion Halls and high school gyms found himself in the world’s biggest pro wrestling company, and that company was featuring him on the grandest stage of them all. But Bryan’s journey was wrought with turmoil as Triple H and The Authority were determined to stop him.
WrestleMania 30 saw the Yes Man defeat The Game in a must-win match. With his victory over WWE’s Chief Operating Officer, Bryan was then thrust into the main event against Randy Orton and Batista for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Evolution members did everything in their power to prevent Bryan from winning but in the end, even their combined efforts were just not good enough.
However, Bryan did take some serious bumps throughout this match including going through the announce table. The Batista Bomb into the RKO was dangerous; it looked painful and was a potential career-ending move. This fact was not lost on the fans, who were legitimately concerned for Bryan’s well-being and doubted if he could actually win the match and enjoy his WrestleMania moment.
#3 The Undertaker vs Dean Ambrose, SmackDown 2013
In 2013, The Shield was riding high. Every superstar that stood in their path went down and all those who dared to speak against them were silenced. They were like a collection of mercenaries, working to terminate any and all threats against them. John Cena, Chris Jerico, Randy Orton and The Rock were just a handful of guys that had gone down to The Hounds of Justice, as their reign of terror overwhelmed WWE.
But things got very real very fast for The Shield when they met up with The Undertaker on SmackDown. Dean Ambrose was the man to step up against The Phenom, who was not at all intimidated by the odds against him, nor was he unwilling to run from a fight. If The Shield wanted blood, they would have to get it the hard way because The Deadman would not be that easy to eliminate.
Of course that’s exactly what The Shield did when they triple teamed him outside the ring and powerbombed him through the table. The moment was made all the more significant because of the fact that the legendary Undertaker was putting over three younger stars.
The spot went a long way to giving Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns even more credibility in the eyes of fans.
#2 Jeff Hardy vs CM Punk, SummerSlam 2009
Jeff Hardy and CM Punk had one of the most natural rivalries in WWE history. The two men had completely different ideologies, with Punk living the straight edge lifestyle and Hardy living more like a rebellious rock star. Their chemistry was organic and their matches were dynamic, with each man leaving it all in the ring every time they faced off against each other.
Hardy has made the highlight reels of WWE for many different spots involving tables and chairs, but it was his suicide dives from the top of the ladder that always brought the fans to their feet. It was that spot Hardy used at SummerSlam in 2009 to accentuate the intensity between him and Punk, causing the crowd and everyone watching at home to realize exactly how far he would go for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The move may have been done in order to “win” the match but it backfired on Hardy, who was carried out while Punk managed to climb another ladder to retrieve the strap and become the new champ. But there was no doubting Hardy’s commitment to the fans, who expected the daredevil to deliver on the big stage. And he did exactly that.
#1 Mick Foley vs Undertaker, King of the Ring 1998
Mick Foley was perhaps the most daring and most unpredictable superstar WWE had ever seen. His willingness to sacrifice his own body for the sake of entertaining the fans was legendary, and his desire to leave a lasting mark on the business was always evident. Foley may not have been the best looking or the most athletic but he was definitely the bravest; no spot was too big and no amount of torture was too harsh.
That was proven to WWE fans in 1998, when Mankind climbed the Hell in a Cell and fought The Undertaker. As the crowd watched the two men negotiate the somewhat soft steel under their boots, it became clear that something epic was about to happen. This would not be just a Cell match, this would be the Cell match, the one to define the gimmick and the WWE brand for years to come.
When Foley was sent flying over the top plummeting down to the earth below, fans watched in horror. Was this really happening? Had Undertaker thrown Foley off the Cell? As Mankind’s body crashed through the announce table, the realization hit that a landmark moment had just taken place. That moment stands as the most dangerous, most shocking bump in WWE history.