WWE is a professional wrestling company where we see many entertaining storylines. WWE puts a lot of thought into making these storylines as entertaining as possible. Some storylines are planned in one year advance - for example, John Cena vs The Rock at Wrestlemania 28. Obviously, not all these storylines are great. WWE often pays more attention to those matches which are more important to the company.
Many times WWE is forced to alter their originally planned storylines because of some real-life event. It could either be a personal issue with a superstar or fans trying to force a decision out of WWE. We have seen WWE push some wrestlers just for American pride. These decisions are made just so that WWE can profit more from these storylines even if they don't like it themselves.
In this article, we will take a look at 5 instances where a WWE Title was forced to change hands due to some real-life event-
#5 Randy Orton Wins WWE Title at No Mercy 2007 after John Cena's Injury
Injuries often force WWE to change their storylines. Six days before No Mercy 2007, John Cena suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury on Raw. His match against Randy Orton at the PPV was canceled. Well, we'll never know what WWE had initially planned for the match, but those plans had to be changed. Vince McMahon awarded Randy Orton with the WWE Championship.
Orton lost his title to Triple H in the opening match of No Mercy. Later that night, Triple H successfully defended his title against Umaga. The title was on the line again in the main event of the show. In a Last-Man-Standing match between "The Game" & "The Viper", Orton won back the WWE Championship.
John Cena was supposed to be out for six months but came back early. His return at Royal Rumble 2008 is one of the most famous returns ever.
#4 John Morrison Wins ECW Championship After Chris Benoit Incident
In 2007, the ECW Championship was vacated because the champion Bobby Lashley was drafted to Raw. WWE booked CM Punk Vs Chris Benoit in a match for the ECW at Vengeance. This was a match that the fans wanted for a very long time and it was like a dream come true.
But sadly this didn't happen because Chris Benoit killed his wife, son & finally himself just a day before the PPV. WWE had to rush in a replacement and Johnny Nitro was given the chance. Nitro ended up defeating CM Punk for the title and the feud went on for months.
According to many reports, Benoit was booked to win the title and become the veteran superstar that ECW needed. But WWE had to handle the situation and booking Nitro was the best solution that they had.
#3 CM Punk Wins the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank 2011
This storyline between CM Punk & John Cena might be the best one in the last decade. CM Punk VS John Cena was booked for Money in the Bank 2011 in Punk's hometown of Chicago. WWE had everyone believe that CM Punk was going to leave the company after his famous "Pipe Bomb" promo. The interesting thing was that CM Punk's contract was actually coming to an end. Fans were predicting that Punk would either lose to Cena or Del Rio would cash in even if he wins.
But WWE swerved everyone that night. CM Punk defeated John Cena and also managed to defeat Del Rio after he tried to cash in on Vince McMahon's command. CM Punk eventually ended up re-signing with the company.
So WWE did a great job of turning this real-life situation of Punk's contract into an amazing storyline that helped Punk win the WWE Championship.
#2 Vince McMahon Screws Bret Hart as he was leaving for WCW
Survivor Series 1997 took place in "Hitman's" hometown of Montreal, Canada. He was booked to defend his WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels at the PPV. But Bret was going to leave WWE as he had already signed a deal with rivals WCW. Vince said WWE couldn't afford to sign Bret again and he wanted him to put over Shawn Michales for his last match.
Bret Hart refused to put over HBK in his hometown. Their rivalry was very personal and they legit hated each other. Bret could have dropped the title to anyone, even Shawn, but not in his hometown as he believed he was their hero. So Bret was told that this match would end in a DQ. Vince always wanted Bret to drop the title because he was fearing that Hart might leave the company with the WWE Title. So Vince planned something that Bret Hart never knew.
Vince McMahon told the referee to ring the bell even though Bret Hart didn't tap out to Shawn Michaels. Vince did what was best for the company. Shawn ended up winning the title and Bret was screwed.
#1 Kurt Angle Wins WWE Title Because of 9/11
The World Trade Center incident or 9/11 is one of the biggest ever tragedies in the history of the United States. It's weird how this affected WWE, but they had to change some of their plans due to this incident.
WWE Smackdown tapings were canceled on the night of 9/11 and instead, they did a live show on Thursday. This show was very emotional for everyone but still, the wrestlers did their best to entertain. WWE just wanted to keep their fans happy in that moment.
WWE Unforgiven was imminent later that month. Kurt Angle was booked to fight Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Championship. This was an incredible match and WWE fans were left shocked when Stone Cold lost after tapping out to an Ankle Lock. WWE created a reason to have a rematch because Austin's hand was under the rope when he tapped. But nonetheless, it was a rare thing to see Austin tap out in those days.
WWE only made this decision so that Angle could become the American Hero who took down the bad guy. This was nothing but WWE giving their audience a hero that America needed at that time. It was just a symbol of pride and Kurt Angle was always a great choice.
Leave your comments below and let us know of any other such instances where WWE had to change their plans due to a real-life incident.