It's no longer a secret that professional wrestling is scripted. While the action is genuine, the outcomes of the matches taking place are predetermined as per the storyline plans. But that does not mean that wins and losses don't matter. In a company like WWE, where the roster is so huge, everyone is just looking to get a push. In short, wins do matter.
There have been many incidents of WWE Superstars refusing to lose matches to maintain their credibility. But on the contrary, there have been times when certain WWE Superstars refused to win a match even though the WWE creative team and Vince McMahon wanted them to. But why, you may ask, would someone do that?
Let's take a look at five WWE Superstars who refused to win a match. Comment down and let me know your views on whether it was the correct decision or not!
#5 Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg - WWE Survivor Series 2016
Starting with a massive shocker - Brock Lesnar. 'The Beast Incarnate' doesn't have a great reputation among the WWE Universe. Amongst other examples, he has been criticized for winning the WWE title and then not defending it, as well as not putting over younger WWE Superstars.
Interestingly, Brock Lesnar refused to win his match against Goldberg at Survivor Series 2016, which was the latter's comeback match to WWE over a long absence. The entire match was put together to promote the WWE 2K17 game and the plan was for Lesnar to win and get revenge for his WrestleMania XX loss to the WCW icon.
While many expected Brock Lesnar to win the match, what happened at Survivor Series surprised everyone, as Goldberg squashed Lesnar in just under 90 seconds. Interestingly, it was reportedly Brock Lesnar who convinced WWE to change plans - as he saw money in the feud being continued past Survivor Series.
As a result, what was supposed to be a one-off match for Goldberg extended to multiple appearances. Goldberg entered the 2017 Royal Rumble, then won the Universal Championship at Fastlane 2017, before ultimately losing the title to Brock Lesnar in their much-anticipated third match at WrestleMania 33. Lesnar's refusal to beat Goldberg as originally planned helped WWE generate millions in revenue.
#4 Edge vs The Undertaker - WWE WrestleMania 24
WWE letting Brock Lesnar break The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania 30 is one of the most controversial decisions in WWE history, with many fans still not happy with it. However, long before Lesnar's victory, WWE had wanted Edge to be the one to break the streak at WrestleMania 24.
In a recent interview with The New York Post, The Undertaker's wife and WWE Superstar Michelle McCool revealed that the 'Rated-R Superstar' refused to do that.
“I remember a few years prior at WrestleMania  versus Edge, they talked about Edge breaking the streak and it was Edge that was actually like ‘That makes zero sense. I don’t want to do that. Why would I do that? ' The fans already love him. What’s it going to do for Edge?"
After seeing his streak build for so many years, it was obviously tough to watch Brock Lesnar end it. The Undertaker himself, though, has admitted that he felt the day would always come for him to lose, suggesting that his eventual defeat would help WWE do bigger business in the future.
There's no denying the impact that his win over The Undertaker had on Brock Lesnar's career. It solidified him as one of the company's very biggest attractions and the victory is still something that Paul Heyman brings up on the microphone to the day - some six years later!
Given that Edge was forced to take nearly a decade away from the ring due to neck injuries in 2011, it is doubtful that he would have gained as much from breaking the streak as Brock Lesnar did. It is likely for the best that Edge argued against what was initially planned.
#3 JBL vs Chavo Guerrero - WWE RAW (Eddie Guerrero tribute show)
Eddie Guerrero's untimely death in November 2005 was one of the saddest days in WWE history. To honor his legacy and contribution to the industry, WWE celebrated Guerrero's life with tribute episodes of both RAW and SmackDown in the days following his passing. The entire locker room was shocked, but one person who was naturally deeply affected was Eddie's cousin, Chavo Guerrero.
WWE Hall of Fame member JBL requested to face Chavo on the SmackDown tribute episode. Despite being a main event level Superstar at the time, JBL absolutely refused to take the victory, insisting that Guerrero should win the bout.
Chavo revealed the following about his match with JBL on WWE SmackDown's Eddie Guerrero tribute show:
“That whole day I was in a daze. I really don’t remember a whole bunch of it. I only really remember who was there to be honest. It was like an out of body experience. I do remember that they asked me if I wanted to work. They said, “You can just go home now if you want.” I said, “No, no. I want to work. I have to work on this day.” JBL came up and he said, “I want to work with Chavo.” He may have just dropped the strap to somebody and he had already been the champ and been who he was. He said, “I want to work with Chavo.” So I said, “Ok, let’s do it.” He was the one who said, “I’m putting you over right in the middle.” I was like, “No, no, no, no, no. Absolutely not.” He said, “Absolutely we are.” We just had an idea but we really called that match out there. We kind of just went with it.”
It was the correct call and a great way for both JBL and Chavo to honor the late, great Eddie Guerrero.
#2 Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho - WWE No Mercy 2008
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels is considered by many to be one of the best in-ring workers in history. Having had several iconic feuds and matches, Michaels has made a huge name for himself in the hearts of the WWE Universe.
Among those classic feuds was his heated rivalry with Chris Jericho in 2008. The two clashed at that year's No Mercy in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. While Michaels was originally scheduled to win the match, he refused to do so, knowing that he was nearing the end of his career and didn't need a further title reign to cement his legacy. Michaels also wanted to give a high profile win back to Jericho, having defeated him at WrestleMania 19.
Having retired in 2010, Shawn Michaels continues to make special appearances for WWE and is also involved in running NXT alongside Triple H. Chris Jericho, on the other hand, joined All Elite Wrestling in 2019 and has proved himself to still be one of the top all-round performers in the business, even at the age of 49-years-old.
Michaels knew that Jericho could be a long-term World Champion when he refused to beat the Canadian in 2008. Jericho has more than proved him right in the years since.
#1 Curt Hawkins refused to end his losing streak in WWE
The final entry on this list is a man who made losing a match so popular that the WWE Universe came to enjoy watching him lose. Yes, we are talking about Curt Hawkins, whose losing streak in WWE might never be broken by anyone in the future.
Curt Hawkins returned to WWE in 2016 and while it looked like WWE might push him as a top Superstar, it was the opposite that happened as he kept on losing matches continuously. Speaking to the Sam Roberts Podcast, Hawkins revealed an occasion when he begged WWE to let him lose a match on Main Event.
“My main priority has always to do the best that I can, in whatever situation that I have been placed in. I have always tried to do my best, whatever match I am in I try to steal the show in regards to what I am allowed to be doing...What really sparked it all was that there was some online article that said that Curt Hawkins just lost his 100th match in a row. I think that, I’m not taking shots at anyone else, but most of my colleagues would be upset at that sort of thing.
“There’s been times since that article where I was having matches; in particular I had a match on Main Event against Heath Slater that I was supposed to win, but I thought, wait, hold it, no, please, no. This could be something. There’s no sense in ending this story on Main Event. Who begs to lose matches? I literally did that, though, where I said that I can’t win matches, and they were cool about it. In the first place, they were telling me that I did a good job and that I am going to win a match. But I was like, no, you don’t understand.”
Hawkins' 269-match losing streak finally ended at WrestleMania 35 when he won the RAW Tag Team Championship with Zack Ryder - which was certainly a bigger stage than a random episode of Main Event!