5 Most emotional moments in WWE history
WWE isn't just about the in-ring action or the associated storylines. Vince McMahon's company touches lives in all spheres of life. WWE and fans have come to accept that the organization has a larger encompassing role.
Thus, there's a high degree of responsiveness when it comes to real-world elements and as a result of the same, we've seen some really emotional moments in WWE history.
Be it the actual health of a Superstar, stories of courage, tragedies, or any other incident, the WWE Universe has had an outpouring of emotions – ranging from despondency to euphoria – on umpteen occasions.
Without waiting much longer, let's look at five such emotional moments that really rocked the WWE Universe.
#5 Roman Reigns tells the WWE Universe that he has leukemia
Roman Reigns has had an on-off relationship with fans given his quick rise to the main event scene around WrestleMania 31. But he was finally finding his footing after beating Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in 2018 and had won the Universal Championship for the first time in his career.
That's when life threw another curveball at him. Just weeks before his scheduled triple threat match for the Universal title against Lesnar and Braun Strowman, Reigns took centerstage on RAW and announced to gasping fans that his leukemia was back.
The Big Dog delivered an emotional speech where he outlined the first time he was diagnosed with the disease when he was only 22 years old. He explained his desperate situation before adding that he fought it then and was going to whoop leukemia again this time.
Unquestionably, this resulted in a very emotional situation for the fans present in the arena and those watching from their homes. We also saw a very emotional side of Superstars such as Triple H, Paul Heyman, and Braun Strowman backstage.
#4 Daniel Bryan announces his retirement
Daniel Bryan is one of the most-loved Superstars in WWE history. Through his feuds with The Authority and subsequently The Wyatt Family, Bryan gave birth to the Yes Movement and in turn became the biggest babyface of the company.
After WrestleMania XXX, injuries started to take a toll on Daniel Bryan's career. He underwent neck surgery and missed considerable time that year. The American Dragon returned in 2015 and had a short run with the Intercontinental Championship before being written off WWE TV in April 2015. About 10 months later, he would announce his retirement during the 8th February 2016 episode of RAW.
Bryan has since made his return and only recently fought for the IC title on SmackDown again. But at the time, it was tough for the WWE Universe to truly accept that they would no longer be able to see such a huge fan favorite wrestle again.
Bryan shed light on his history with concussions and that he had to step away from the ring for his family. He delivered a heartfelt retirement speech, talking about how he was going to miss the fans and WWE in general, which led to a truly emotional moment with the arena breaking out into "Yes!" chants.
#3 Connor "The Crusher" Michalek beats Triple H
We've read several stories of WWE Superstars changing the world of wrestling, here's an anecdote of how a wrestling fan managed to do the same.
Back in October 2012, a video of a 6-year-old Connor Michalek – who had been diagnosed with brain and spine cancer since the age of three – asking to meet Daniel Bryan went viral. The news reached WWE CEO Vince McMahon who guaranteed that Connor would eventually meet The Leader of the Yes Movement. Connor was able to meet Bryan on two occasions in 2012 and 2013.
Connor and his family were eventually to be a part of the WrestleMania XXX weekend after the company learned that he didn't have much time on his hands. Prior to the go-home episode of RAW, the company decided to put together a small segment for him.
Before the doors to the show were opened, members of the WWE roster surrounded the ring and cheered for Connor as he walked down the entrance ramp to the tune of his favorite wrestler Daniel Bryan. He then got into the ring, punched Triple H in the face, and pinned him for the win in what was a truly remarkable moment in WWE history.
Connor was the first person whom Daniel Bryan embraced after he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Show of Shows. Only a few days later, on 25th April 2014, Connor left the world aged eight.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon set up Connor's Cure later that year, a non-profit organization for pediatric cancer research. According to various reports, Connor's Cure had already raised a million dollars by 2016 and helped over 100 families in the process.
#2 Vince McMahon speaks up on SmackDown after the attacks of 9/11
11 September 2001 is the darkest day in the history of the United States of America. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon changed the entire world and WWE was no different.
The September 13 episode of SmackDown was different from anything the company had ever done. The country was at its lowest at the point when WWE decided to go ahead with the show which was held at the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas.
It was the first-ever public gathering of the size following the events of 9/11 and Vince McMahon delivered a powerful speech as he spoke about the indomitable will of Americans and urged an emotional crowd to show the world that they weren't scared. He added:
"Make no mistake about the message this public assembly is sending to terrorism tonight and that message quite simply is that we will not live our lives in fear... America's heart has been wounded, but her spirit, her spirit shines as the beacon of freedom, a beacon of freedom that never has been, nor ever will be extinguished."
The WWE Chairman's words were met with raucous applause, as the arena reverberated with chants of "USA! USA!" in what was an extremely remarkable display of unity.
#1 WWE pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero following his death
Few Superstars have touched as many lives as the late Eddie Guerrero. One of the greatest Superstars of all time, Guerrero was loved by fans the world over, despite being a heel for the majority of his WWE career.
Unfortunately though, Eddie Guerrero had a few vices that were well documented in his storylines. He had issues with substance abuse and alcoholism. Tragedy struck on 13 November 2005 when Guerrero was discovered unconscious in his hotel room in Minneapolis. He had suffered a heart failure and passed away in his prime at the age of 38.
WWE fans and Superstars were dumbfounded alike at his sudden demise. The company paid homage to Eddie on the episode of RAW the next day. The show started with all WWE Superstars on the stage as Vince McMahon delivered a moving speech in honor of Guerrero.
It was truly the most emotional setting in WWE with Eddie Guerrero's friends and colleagues in the company mourning his loss. Several WWE Superstars had also worn a black armband with the initials EG in his honor. The likes of Ric Flair, Rey Mysterio, Big Show, Chris Benoit, and money others were in tears as the bell tolled 10 times in honor of the late Eddie in what was a truly gut-wrenching moment.