When I think back to Brock Lesnar's and Kurt Angle's rise to stardom in WWE, there's one moment for each of them that really solidified their status as main event players. Moments where you believed that they were all they were pushed to be.
For instance, I feel that Brock Lesnar really came into his own with his squash of Hulk Hogan on the Smackdown before SummerSlam 2002, and by cleanly defeating The Rock in the main event, really hit his stride as a main eventer that he didn't quite reach when knocking out the Hardy Boyz with the F-5.
As for Kurt Angle, I really feel like he became recognized as a main eventer, and not just some guy who sometimes wrestled against the big guys, when he beat the crap out of, I want to say Raven and Justin Credible in a hardcore match, and then the WWF people came down and Undertaker did this thing where he kinda friendly-liked brushed Kurt's head. That little moment right there was the one moment where Kurt was elevated to be on the same level as 'Taker and The Rock.
I can't really recall most of the other main-eventers moments, Triple H didn't hit his until probably the excellent Cactus Jack feud of 2000.
Steve Austin's would probably be the 'Blood From a Stone' image from Wrestlemania XIII.
edit: I think Big Show is another one of those guys like Kane that can be pushed into the main event simply by walking out and chokeslamming some people. See: His addition to the WWF's team for Survivor Series 2001, and his taking out the Undertaker prior to winning the WWE title back in 2002.
Please feel free to correct me at will and add your own insights.
(edited by Mack Salmon on 30.1.04 1422) This will get added at the end of each post you make, below an horizontal line. This should preferably be kept to a small enough size.
Didn't HHH need to feud with Vince (over Steph?) to be viewed as main event caliber, able to carry a PPV when Austin was out with a broken neck?
Foley, well, since WCW announced his winning the WWF title on another network.
A couple of others - Jechicho when he first beat HHH, but HHH had it reversed minutes later. He's been kicked around too much since then, but always manages to consistently entertain.
Kane is arguably a main eventer (certainly for house shows) since he unmasked.
The same for Big Show, but only since his feud with Brock.
Steph since she got to make the booking decisions. Vince, when his father sold him the company, after he made his billions, and then he didn't feel bad about fulfilling his dream to become the World Champ.
Shane McMahon since he ditched the Mean Street Posse, and Linda understood he was serious about the family business.
The McMahons will always be Main Eventers as long as they own the company. The fans will readily accept a McMahon in the Main Event of a Raw/Smackdown as long is it doesn't happen 2 or more weeks in a row. Notice the pops they get when they come back after an absence?
Benoit for now since winning the Royal Rumble from the 1st position. Or maybe when he and Jericho beat the Two Man Power Trip (when HHH tore his quad), but he too has been trashed too much since.
HBK since he came back from his retirement has always been M.E. caliber, but when did it start?
Flair since, well, was it before Moolah gave up her women's title? Same for Taker?
Goldberg since he was shoved down everyone's throat.
Hardcore Holly since he came back from a broken neck and announced he was going to break Brock's - nevermind, he'll never be a main eventer.
Eddy since the WWE may have finally woke up.
Randy Orton is not there yet, but getting there, and his work the past few weeks and the Foley feud will help convince a lot of fans.
Finally, I think Brock was legitimized when the fans forced the WWE to turn him face as everything he did was cheered. Same for Rocky, but the most electrifying man in sports entertainment can play both face and heel, while smiling Brock lost much of his aura.
Undertaker came in and immediately got treated the same as Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage. Ric Flair came in and the same happened with him. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho came in and feuded with the likes of Triple & The Rock...and they became major players. Heck, Rikishi was an upper-echelon guy before the weight of his gimmick dragged him down.
FLAMES: 25-17-4-3 for 57 points LAST YEAR: 32-35-12-3 for 79 points PACE: 42-29-7-4 for 95 points
Rikishi was a "main eventer" from the time it was revealed that he hit Austin to the time it was revealed that it was Triple H's idea. He got one main event out of it, the 6-man Hell in the Cell at Armageddon 2000. Then (I think) he got hurt and came back as the same dancing face he always was.
If you talk about defining moments, these can be tough. I would say the defining moment for Jericho must have been the never happening HHH win. Yet after that he has mostly been in the midcard. Yet then again..since that there was always the idea that he COULD take the title at any night (he still has that, which makes him M.E.)
For Benoit it must have been last year's Rumble match against Kurt. He lost, yet he gained everyone's respect. Even when used in midcard matches there was always the idea that if he were given another shot he could take it. He got close when he was involved with Austin and Angle during Stone Cold's heel turn, but the injury cut that short.
Rikishi might have main evented one night, but he never had, or will have that moment. He just isn't that much of a threat.
In WWE Booker T never quite had that moment, and I don't think it will come. Everything pointed in the right direction at WMxix but it didn't happen.
RVD..he still might have that moment where he really gets the main event feel. His invasion era matches with Austin didn't have -that- feel to it. He didn't move to the next level. Yet he is one of those guys that can become credible overnight by simply making it happen.
And what about Kane? He had that main event feel the moment he walked in during HITC. Simply because he decimated the Taker. Over years it sort of dropped a bit yet he is always one angle away from being the big red monster who can headline a card. Now without a mask he is much more intrigueing imo and thus main event material usually.
I expect Randy Orton's moment to be the ending of the feud with Foley. Knowing Mick he will probably job in the end and not mind, but even if Foley were to come out victorious it will still help Orton reach that next plateau.
Foley's main event moment btw? Being screwed by The Rock/Vince in the Survivor Series (was it 98? sigh..so long ago)
Originally posted by gugsRikishi was a "main eventer" from the time it was revealed that he hit Austin to the time it was revealed that it was Triple H's idea. He got one main event out of it, the 6-man Hell in the Cell at Armageddon 2000. Then (I think) he got hurt and came back as the same dancing face he always was.
Don't forget the stint with HAKU/MENG as a tag team. It lingered around like a bad fart. Funny thing is I sorta miss the "Bad Man" heel Rikishi. Sorta freshened things up for a little bit. Almost like Evil Coach and now he's just getting, for the most part, annoying.
Originally posted by RingmistressOh come on, the real MVP of Raw last night - ROSCOE P. COALTRAIN!
I don't think it's just a question of can they get solid workrate over, I think it's a question is that they have to get solid workrate over. They've got to go back to the basics, take the fans back to grade school with this one.