Professional Wrestling has seen its fair share of legendary storylines that have wowed the fans for decades on end. Whether it be Austin vs McMahon, Hogan's reign as WWE Champion in the 80s, or Brock Lesnar's path of destruction in recent memory, there's no dearth of memorable angles in the storied history of WWE.
One of the most repeated and mimicked storylines of all time is the "mystery attacker" angle. Over the course of the past several decades, we have seen this storyline done on many occasions, and some of them have become etched into the minds of pro-wrestling fans. Recently, we saw the storyline on an episode of SmackDown Live. The Big Dog Roman Reigns was passing through a backstage area, when a structure fell on him. Thankfully, Reigns narrowly escaped and seemed to be fine. Let's dive down memory lane and take a look at 5 greatest "mystery attacker" storylines in WWE history.
#5 Johnny Gargano shocks the NXT fans
Back in 2018, Johnny Gargano's character began taking a turn towards the dark. He started showing signs of instability, and the persona began taking over during his matches. At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV, Johnny Gargano was set to compete in a Triple Threat Match for the NXT title, alongside Aleister Black and Tommaso Ciampa. Black was later found unconscious in a parking lot and was unable to compete in the match. This prompted WWE to change the bout to a Last Man Standing Match, with Gargano losing the same.
Later, Gargano was revealed as the mystery attacker of Black, and turned heel in the process. He superkicked an unsuspecting Black in front of William Regal and uttered the words: "I'm right here."
The two Superstars met at NXT TakeOver: WarGames II, with Black coming out on top in the end.
#4 Mickie James revealed as Becky Lynch's mystery attacker
This was one of those rare occasions where the WWE Universe didn't have to wait for long to find out the identity of the mystery attacker. In December 2016, Mickie James signed a multi-year deal with WWE, and was set to return to WWE TV in a main roster capacity. On an episode of SmackDown Live weeks later, Alexa Bliss defended her SmackDown Live Women's title against Becky Lynch inside a steel cage.
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The ending to the match saw a woman coming in and helping Bliss to retain her title. The Luchador mask-clad woman immediately revealed herself as a returning Mickie James, to the astonishment of Lynch as well as the fans. The pair of Bliss and James proceeded to unleash a beatdown on Lynch and went on to form an alliance with each other.
#3 The Great Khali puts down John Cena's challengers
At WrestleMania 23, John Cena defeated Shawn Michaels in the main event of the night, retaining his WWE title in the process. Weeks later, all three top contenders for John Cena's WWE title were found in various backstage areas, in unconscious states. Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, and Edge were all attacked by a mysterious Superstar.
Cena was later interrupted by none other than The Great Khali, who was revealed as the one who attacked Cena's challengers. Khali went on to challenge Cena for the WWE title, after defeating Shawn Michaels in a #1 contenders match on Raw.
Cena later defeated The Great Khali at Judgment Day by making him submit to the STFU. At the next PPV named One Night Stand, Cena again defeated Khali, handing the giant his first pinfall loss.
#2 Triple H turns on Shawn Michaels
After WrestleMania 18 was done and dusted with, Shawn Michaels returned to WWE. Soon after, he aligned with Triple H and convinced him to choose Monday Night Raw over SmackDown. The Game agreed and the two reformed D-Generation X. On an episode of Raw, the duo came out sporting DX gear. Just when the two were about to perform their signature DX taunt, Triple H hit a Pedigree on Michaels.
Michaels was mysteriously attacked later in a parking lot, and his head was put through a car window. A segment on Raw saw Michaels showing a CCTV footage from the night he was attacked, revealing that the mystery attacker was Triple H. The Game thus turned heel on his best friend and the two Superstars went on to have a "Non-sanctioned Match" at SummerSlam, which Michaels won.
#1 Rikishi does it for The Rock
At Survivor Series 1999, Stone Cold Steve Austin was run over by a car in a parking lot, writing him off TV. At Backlash 2000, Austin came back to WWE and helped The Rock win the WWE title by attacking Vince McMahon and Triple H. Soon after, WWE Commissioner Mick Foley ran an investigation to find out the identity of the mysterious attacker.
Rikishi came out and revealed that he was the one who attacked Austin, and that he "did it for The Rock". According to Rikishi, Austin being removed from the top spot would open the doors for fellow Samoan The Rock to bag said spot.
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The rivalry resulted in a No Holds Barrer Match at No Mercy. Austin left Rikishi a bloody mess and was attempting to run him over with his truck, but was stopped by the officials, and the match was declared a "no contest".