10 shocking moments from WWF (WWE) 1992
- A look back at some of the more shocking moments of 1992. A year in which the big transition would begin.
1992 is normally seen as the last great year for the WWF before the exodus of talent and the numerous legal cases brought against it forced the company to take a backseat and rebuild. Here are 10 shocking moments from WWF 1992:
#1 Bret Hart wins his first WWF Championship at a non-televised event
Typically, championship victories in professional wrestling are reserved for the big occasions. Vince McMahon and others have described pro wrestling as being all about the ‘reaction business’. What better way to cement a new champion than to have him win the belt for the first time at a WrestleMania or Summerslam?
While there are a few exceptions, typically the biggest stars like Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and John Cena have all waited until a WrestleMania to finally achieve their biggest dream to represent the company as its champion.
So back in 1992, a rather surprising decision was made to have Bret Hart defeat WWF Champion Ric Flair at a non-televised event. What makes this even more shocking is that Bret was being billed as a potential replacement for Hogan as the top guy in the company at the time.
He wasn’t quite ready by this stage, but the McMahon family knew they would have to start transitioning to smaller, more athletic competitors in light of the many concerns around steroid use throughout the company.
Bret, a loyal employee who began with Vince back in the mid-80s, was the perfect choice owing to his popularity and how he represented wrestling as something you had to work hard for and more importantly train for. No longer could a tall, muscle-bound Superstar be filled with drugs and paraded in front of crowds of naive audiences. Reality was calling, and Bret was the man to respond.
While the footage is now widely available online, Bret’s victory in Saskatoon, back in October 1992, would not have been seen by a substantial number of WWF fans. These were the days before the internet and dirt sheets when kayfabe was still very much protected. Imagine being a child back then, with no access to the footage and having to wait until the video was released before witnessing your hero change the wrestling business forever.
Unfortunately, whenever we now look back at WrestleMania 10, and the sight of all the babyface wrestlers celebrating with Bret in the ring, part of the occasion is ruined by the fact that Bret had been there before, albeit without any of the fanfare and spectacle of a WrestleMania main event.
The most recent example of something similar happening was Samoa Joe’s NXT Championship victory at a house show, which almost broke the IWC. But today, it would seem absurd for a new WWE Champion to be crowned at a house show, especially one that was so highly anticipated.