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There's no holding me baaack...

Even Professional Wrestling, the macho "soap opera for men", has had its moments where a man can't help but let tears come to his eyes in between the grunts and Ho Yay.

Examples of Professional Wrestling/Tear Jerker include:
  • The ending to Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair at WrestleMania 24 was this all the way. It was hard not to see Ric Flair, an old, beaten veteran whose career was riding on a victory, struggle to his feet knowing full well that Michaels was going to hit his superkick and end him. The fact that Flair had to beg Michaels to do it, and once Michaels did he first audibly said, "I'm sorry, I love you," and then, right after the win was official, hugged Flair made it even worse. Seeing Flair pull himself up, knowing he was done was bad enough, but having Shawn apologize prior to hitting his finisher was heartbreaking. Flair's farewell on the following Raw made maybe even more tears than the match itself: Flair got a huge This Is Your Life-style sendoff, with many of his old compadres from N.W.A. and WCW (most prominently the rest of the Four Horsemen) coming out to greet him, followed by the entire roster of WWE - faces and heels - coming out to the ring to applaud as "Leave the Memories Alone" played on the P.A. and the crowd repeatedly chanted "THANK YOU, RIC!" Sadly, WWE putting their all into what they thought was legitimately Ric's retirement was out and out wasted when Ric Flair returned to the ring a little over a year later in TNA, the result of financial debts from years of money mismanagement. Sigh.
  • The ending to Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker II at Wrestlemania 26. Michaels did everything he possibly could to put down the Deadman but he just couldn't win. What really brings chills is that unlike Flair who accepted his retirement at the hands of HBK, just before Taker could finish off Michaels with a final devastating Tombstone, Michaels taunted Taker with his signature thumb across the throat and slapped Taker showing that Michaels would NEVER stop fighting. Then after the pinfall, Taker shook HBK's hand acknowledging Michaels once and for all as one of the best to ever set foot in the ring. Manly Tears were shed.
    • The next night on RAW, Shawn Michaels would give his retirement speech, topped off by Triple H closing the show by leaving two DX glowsticks on the ramp in the shape of an X.
      • Also a CMoH/TearJerker for all DX fans to realise they won't tag team together ever again.
        • Try, just TRY and listen to Tell Me A Lie again after HBK's retirement and not shed a tear.
  • WrestleMania 20's ending scene (pictured) is one of those it's impossible not to feel a wide range of emotions at. There are both tears of glory, over having seen both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit reach the summit after climbing the mountain for many years, and of sadness when you consider the two's eventual fates.
  • Speaking of Eddie Guerrero, his tribute shows that aired after his untimely death. The tribute video set to Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" made things so much worse, as did seeing guys like The Big Show and Benoit bawling their eyes out. See it here
    • The real killer was that night's main event match between Chris Benoit and Triple H, where after Benoit won, the two men embraced in the middle of the ring, both having broken down crying.
    • The Reality Subtext behind the Eddie Guerrero story only deepened the tragedy, resulting in a sort of Redemption Equals Death both in and out of Kayfabe. Guerrero had crashed a car and nearly killed himself while doped out of his mind years earlier, and eventually went to jail and lost the support of his wife, Vickie. He finally returned, reconciled with Vickie, and won the WWE Championship....and then became so jealous of Rey Mysterio that he transformed into a Complete Monster and lost the support of Vickie again. After a brief Despair Event Horizon, Eddie got better and challenged for the World Heavyweight Championship. He had embraced Christianity by this point and was trying to rid himself of his "Lie, Cheat & Steal" gimmick. When facing Batista for the WHC, he was tempted to hit Batista with a chair when the referee was not looking but resisted the temptation - and lost the match. This was the last pay-per-view match he ever had before his death.
    • This troper was devastated when she found out Eddie died (she still remembers looking one of her friends right in the eyes the next day and telling him the news in a dead serious tone so he would get it). And then Benoit died, and she didn't find this out until two hours before Raw...cried even harder than she did for Eddie (and like everyone else, had a lot of trouble believing that it was a Familicide).
      • This troper came home celebrating his 13th birthday, when to see the results of Raw, a picture of Eddie showed up. However, it had 1973-2005. I sat there, frozen for an hour. My parents, who absolutely loathe the WWE, broke down alongside their son. Worst. Birthday. Ever.
    • Given that the man cleaned himself up and was off drugs (including steroids) for over four years when he died, who wasn't? crying over him?
    • This troper still cries whenever he watches either the first few minutes of the first of two tribute shows WWE put on in the week following his death (which included an absolutely heartbreaking tribute video set to Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt", as well as several WWE wrestlers crying as members of the crowd -- many crying themselves -- started chanting "Thank you, Eddie!") or the video announcing Eddie's induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
    • The area this troper lived in had been suffering a massive drought. The night she received the phone call about Eddie's death, she went outside onto her porch to have some privacy on the phone with her friend. It started to rain for the first time in months. She stayed outside in it for the whole hour it rained, bawling.
    • Those episodes were so hard to watch--seeing The Big Show in tears was enough to get me going--but easily the saddest moment for this troper was Chris Benoit's video tribute. Seeing him so stoic and calm in the first two-thirds was bad enough, but when he completely broke down at the end...forget it. It's this troper's opinion that if Eddie was still alive, Chris and his family would still be alive.
    • This troper doesn't even really watch wrestling anymore. But all my memories of the day Eddie Guerrero, my all time favorite wrestler died..bordered mostly between crying and feeling absolutely horrifically depressed. The tribute shows just multiplied it by a factor of ten.
    • A few years back, just under two years after Eddie's death, this troper went to a TNA fan festival and met his older brother, Hector Guerrero. I gave him a one-of-a-kind collectible of Eddie's, telling him I thought he would like to have it...and then was unable to help from bursting into tears. I was embarassed to no end to do that in front of him, but before I could flee, Hector pulled me close, hugged me, and sat down to talk to me for about 15 minutes about Eddie, God, and Christianity. That 15 minutes has done more for this troper's faith in God than 25 years of attending church did, and to this day, Hector checks in on me from time to time to make sure I'm doing okay.
      • Give the man a CMOA, as well.
  • How about the Owen Hart show? It's most notable moment was Jeff Jarrett speaking on him, which even today makes this troper have to hold back tears of his own.
    • This troper spent most of the two days after the death of Owen Hart in tears, and a good portion of the week in a similar state. The fact that it happened during an event I was watching just added the initial feeling of being punched in the stomach.
    • What makes the whole deal worse is that consequences of Owen's death rank among the most foolish imaginable. A bad mock-superhero gimmick combined with a goofy descend-from-the-ceiling entrance while strapped into a rig that released way too easily. The decision that The Show Must Go On despite his death (it happened during the infamous "Over the Edge" PPV) is still debated to this day. The Death of WCW explained it best:

 Owen didn't die due to a heart problem likely brought on by the excessive steroid abuse; he didn't overdose on the popular combination of alcohol and pain pills; he didn't die by any fault of his own. Owen James Hart died because he was a company man, a pawn in a ratings battle that had already been over for a long time.

    • No wonder the very mention of his name can drive even the most heatedly divided crowds to chant "OWEN! OWEN!" for several minutes straight.
    • This troper was in sixth grade when Owen died. She got special permission from her teacher to do a show-and-tell presentation to her class about him and how it was so stupid the way he died. She broke down at the end of it. Ten years later and she still gets deeply upset over his death, to the point where she can't watch any of Raw Is Owen without breaking down all over again.
    • Watching the event live on PPV and seeing the usually smiling Jerry Lawler sit down at the annouce table and tell Jim Ross, "It doesn't look good" with the most shell-shocked look on his face hit this then 13-year-old troper like a semi-truck. I hugged my dad and cried as Owen was one of my favourite wrestlers
  • The Chris Benoit tribute was just as bad (and in fact ended on the WrestleMania 20 ending shot) especially in light of what it turned out led to his death.
    • I can still recall where I was when I heard about Benoit. I'd just logged on to see if I could grab a preview of Raw later that night. I honestly thought it was a joke. I still wish it was. I took off my glasses and bawled for several minutes straight, then passed the info on. My friend dropped his cell phone when I messaged him about it.
    • Worse for this Troper. I was staying in my dad's at the time, which meant no internet. When RAW opened cold (I missed the "In Memory of" screen), my mind was immediately cast back to the Eddie tribute show. When Vince said Benoit's name I broke down crying. I had idolised Benoit for years, even going so far as to be the only person with a sign for him at a show in Dublin (which Benoit noticed and nodded to, despite me and my friend not being in the best seats). When I learned how Benoit had died, my passion for wrestling faded. I can never forgive the business for claiming the lives of, in my mind, two of the greatest ever (Benoit and Eddie).
      • Apparently, Chavo Guerrero called Benoit on one of the days the murders took place on (either that or a few days before) and noted in an interview that he "didn't seem himself."
  • The speeches at each year's Hall of Fame can run into this, especially for deceased inductees. It's probably to call the Hall of Fame ceremony each year the most emotional night in wrestling, in both good and bad ways.
  • The Sandman and Raven feud in ECW. Especially the moment where, over the whole matter of Raven brainwashing his ex-wife and child, Sandman eventually broke down crying himself. The fact that everything Raven said and did had an element of truth to it made things that much worse.
  • In Ring of Honor there's CM Punk's final match (ironically after a storyline in which he'd won the ROH World Championship, turned heel and threatened to take it with him to WWE), and the whole of the Samoa Joe Farewell Tour.
  • In Pro Wrestling NOAH there's Kenta Kobashi's real-life kidney tumor diagnosis in late June 2006... possibly the only thing that could force a hiatus for a wrestler who'd already sacrificed his knees to keep the company afloat in its infancy. Fortunately, while it would be almost 18 months later, he would recover and actually returned to the ring in a match that gave NOAH its first legitimate sellout in months (if not over a year) and itself was a tearjerker. The whole scene was so emotional that the ringside announcer could be heard crying as he talked during Kobashi's entrance. (Tragically, months after that it would be reported that his mother was diagnosed with cancer.)
  • A few months earlier, in February 2006, WWE Tough Enough III winner Matt Cappotelli was forced to relinquish the OVW Heavyweight Championship and leave wrestling to undergo treatment for a cancerous brain tumor, and gave a tearful farewell speech on OVW's locally-sydnicated TV show. The video circulated around the internet wrestling community, and brought tears to many eyes.
  • The end of Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Randy Orton at No Way Out 2006, where Rey lost to Randy, who had been tormenting him over being a "charity case" for several weeks at that point. Usually Rey has half the acting ability of a rotten banana, but seeing him all but burst into tears in the ring at the end and knowing that there was probably some real life anguish involved was hard as hell to watch.
    • A little more context: This was just a few months after Eddie Guerrero died, and Rey had won the Royal Rumble match, with Orton being the last elimination. Orton had goaded Rey into a one-on-one match for the title shot at Wrestlemania that the Rumble winner earns, and then he beat Rey by pinning him while using the ropes for leverage. Rey was later added back into the Wrestlemania match and won.
  • Lillian Garcia singing the American National Anthem on the SmackDown! show just two days after 9/11 as the entire roster stood on the ramp, hands on hearts.
    • Hey, how about that night as a whole? Yeah, there was some amazement, and in fact could just as much be one massive C Mo A, but not only was it just two days after 9/11? It was the FIRST public event larger than a town hall meeting not going on at either Ground Zero in NY or the Pentagon. And when people told him to just put it off for a week, Vince literally said "No, we have to do this; the American people need it, and if we stop our lives because of fear then we play right into these peoples' hands." Seeing the entire WWE break character, and put on a two-hour tour-de-force exhibition for no reason other than to show "WE WILL NOT BE COWED" is enough to make someone stand up and cheer or get completely teared up... Or both.
  • June 13th, 2009 will be a date many Japanese wrestling fans will never forget: on that day, legendary Japanese performer (and Pro Wrestling NOAH co-founder) Mitsuharu Misawa died of a heart attack resulting from a spinal cord injury after taking a belly-to-back suplex during a match.
  • Some of Mick Foley's "Anti-Hardcore" promos, most especially the one where he tells of how he wanted desperately as a youngster to prove that wrestling could be a legitimate, respected sport. Then he had his ear thrown in the garbage in Munich in 1994, and a Nurse stare at him in shock, saying "It's all a big joke"? (He even had to tell the medics, "Vergessen sie nicht, bitte, mein ohr in der plastiktasche zu bringen!", literally, "Please don't forget my ear in the plastic bag!") There comes his revelation, and he ends it with, "Professional wrestling... will never be respected. No matter how many bones I break, no matter how many ears I lose, no matter how many brain cells have to die!"
  • Nigel McGuinness and Bryan Danielson wrestled their final match in Ring of Honor against each other on September 26th, 2009. After the match and their farewell speeches, Danielson had the production crew cue up "his favorite song one...last...time" - and the crowd sang Europe's "The Final Countdown" (Danielson's ROH theme) as the two took their final bows in the promotion before the grateful New York crowd. This Troper, while not there live, heard a recording of this a little something in his eye...
  • On the 1997 Thursday Night Raw, Shawn Michaels had to forfeit his WWF Championship due to a knee injury and claiming that he had to "search for his smile that he lost". This moment was very controversial because it was rumored that Michaels didn't want to drop the title to Bret Hart at the upcoming WrestleMania 13. During the actual show, Hart shot at Michaels, calling him a "phony little faker" who's suffering a "pussy-foot injury".
  • When this troper was around the age of five, his favorite wrestler was Stone Cold Steve Austin, and he watched Wrestlemania 19, he saw, for the first time, Stone Cold lose. This troper sat on his staircase for hours, bawling his eyes out.
  • Positive achievements can also trigger, if not tears, at least goosebumps in any wrestling fan.
  • Randy Savage and Ms. Elizabeth getting back together after the "retirement" match @ Wrestlemania VII. Six years of angles built up to one big moment. Women (and some men!) in the crowd were in tears.
    • Bobby Heenan lampshaded the sappiness: "This is sickening!"
      • Sadder still with the death of Elizabeth in 2003 and then the death of Savage in 2011. Am I the only who likes to think they're reunited again somewhere?
  • The retirement speech of Tommy Dreamer - the last ECW Original on the active WWE roster - on the December 29, 2009 episode of ECW on SyFy reduced a good number of fans to tears, including some who weren't even fans of Dreamer.
    • Seeing Beulah and his daughters at ringside, and watching Tommy carry the girls up the ramp and wave goodbye while his original ECW theme, "Man in a Box" played was extra-tearjerking.
  • I literally cried when Kurt Angle Angle Slammed The Rock to win his first WWF Championship. It was the first right thing that WWF had done in years.
  • Trish Stratus's retirement match at Unforgiven 2006. She was probably the only female superstar WWE built up that ever got a "storybook" ending. In her hometown of Toronto, she faced off against WWE Women's Champion Lita, whom she had faced in her very first match and with whom she'd had an on-and-off rivalry with. In the end, she made Lita tap out to the Sharpshooter (to quote Jim Ross, "a move as Canadian as Canadian [gets]!") to win her seventh and final Women's Championship, breaking the record of The Fabulous Moolah (who had six) and earning her a standing ovation from the thousands of fans in the crowd. Hearing the "thank you, Trish" chants and seeing Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and a teary-eyed Lillian Garcia give her standing ovations is enough to make anyone get teary eyed.
  • Randy Orton winning the World Heavyweight title definitely counts since he had made history (he was the youngest man to ever become a World Champion). Either he is a really good actor, or he was genuine when he won - he was visibly shaken and could barely stand before the waterworks came. Then he shook Benoit's hand to start off his face turn and cap off the moment.
  • Another person who got even more emotional than Randy Orton at winning a title was Candice Michelle. The girl who came in as a Diva Search contestant that didn't even make it to the finals worked extra hard to improve her wrestling and was rewarded with a Women's Championship reign. When she won, she promptly burst into tears and could barely walk back up the entrance ramp. An article on said that in the locker room, Candice said, "I was always told I couldn’t do it and couldn’t be a contender and would never be a good wrestler. That I was just an actress, that I was just eye candy. It’s taken more than three years for me to prove that’s not true." Whether or not Candice really said this, it's still enough to get anyone choked up.
  • In January 2009, Lisa Marie Varon (better known as Victoria) was announced to be retiring after over seven years with WWE. What makes this even more sad is that she spent half of that time being a jobber and source of comic relief; it left many wondering how long it would be before she'd had enough. Indeed, she was even made to lose her last match against Michelle McCool (though this IS standard protocol in wrestling - someone leaving the company puts a new wrestler over on the way out), and the retirement speech she gave afterwards wasn't even shown on TV. It was posted on, and it was indeed a tear jerker to see Victoria stand in the ring and say "I can't tell you what an awesome rollercoaster this has been. But the thing I'm gonna miss is each and every one of you fans. I do this for you, and I love you with all my heart, and thank you so much for your support" and a "Please don't go" chant from the fans should definitely get the waterworks going. She then hugged the commentators, high-fived fans in the front row with tears streaming down her face, and blew kisses to the fans in attendance. To cap it all off, she pulled the familiar "psycho pose" she had adopted during her first heel run. Of course, her retirement didn't last long - she popped up in TNA under the name Tara about six months later.
  • Although virtually unknown in the U.S., or even this generation, the legendary El Santo truly deserves a mention here. Originally starting out in 1935 this silver masked luchador represented the best of mexican pro wrestling. He went on to become one the biggest stars in the 50's and 60's to the point where he had a comic book series and had 50 films made about him (with cameos in two more). He became a superhero for so many of his fans and continued to fight it out in the ring until retiring in 1982 at 64 ending one of the longest professional wrestling careers in history (47 years). The last three matches of his career featured some of the greatest Mexican pro wrestlers in history such El Solitario, Huracan Ramirez and Gory Guerrero. For those wondering, yes Gory was the patriarch of the legendary Guerrero wrestling family, Eddie was his son and Chavo his grandson; yet El Santo is still considered more famous. His page must be read for tropers to understand the amazing legacy of this man.
  • The 7.22 episode of TNA Impact ended with an emotional promo from Tommy Dreamer, who, along with Mick Foley, Raven, Stevie Richards, and Rhyno, had been "invited" to TNA by Dixie Carter. Whether or not it was a Worked Shoot, he gave a heartwrenching promo about watching his friends and the company he loved be fired and ruined by WWE. He asked for one night to celebrate ECW and prove to the wrestling world that they're still worth the effort of a company and love of the fans.
  • Fatal 4 Way 2010. Seeing the audience booing, chanting "Boring!", and basically crapping all over Eve Torres and Gail Kim doing an amazing Camel Clutch/Boston Crab combo on Alicia Fox really broke my heart.
    • They were chanting "boring" while Eve was locking in the camel clutch but immediately popped once Gail got in there.
  • Sacrifice 2008. Roxxi Laveaux getting her head shaved. Damn you, Vince Russo!
  • AJ's elimination from season 3 of NXT. Here was a girl who had dreamed of being a diva since she was a little girl and had been a huge WWE fan her whole life. With one week left in the competition she was eliminated in 3rd place. She burst into tears and gave one of the most heartfelt speeches I've ever heard. Even the people at SLAM Wrestling were calling her elimination a travesty.
    • Thankfully it ended well for her; she resurfaced as one of the WWE Divas a few months later.
  • April 11, 2011 - Edge announcing his retirement. He came out on Raw and gave a Kayfabe-breaking, heartfelt speech about how this life was all he'd ever wanted. From when he was a little kid named Adam Joseph Copeland watching Wrestlemania VI, to when he and his best friend were training in Canada as wrestlers, Edge dreamed of becoming a professional wrestler. He went from that awestruck little kid to a twenty-seven time champion (11 world title reigns among them), the most championships anyone in the WWE has ever held. His final match in the WWE was a successful title defense of the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania, and he was so grateful to have been able to go out in the pinnacle of his career. Unfortunately, as a result of his surgically-repaired neck, he risks total paralysis if he continues to compete. The fans gave him multiple standing ovations, many Superstars have been Tweeting their support of him, and "#ThankYouEdge" and "Adam Copeland" (his real name) have been trending on Twitter for almost 24 hours straight.
    • The most heartbreaking part? He gives the hypothetical question about if he would do everything again--the training, injuries, pain, sleepless nights and travelling--and answered that he'd do it all in a heartbeat. (cries)
  • Hulk Hogan's made nasty comments on his Twitter about other wrestlers before, and his real-life animosity with Macho Man Randy Savage was well-known. So when Savage tragically died in a car accident, fans braced for the worst from Hogan. What we saw instead were a serious of heartfelt tweets about how Hogan and Savage had just started talking again and how much Hogan regretted a decade of animosity and missed and respected his friend.
    • The death of any wrestler I watched as a kid, whether I cheered them or booed them then, happens way too often and always makes me tear up. People told me wrestling was fake, I knew it was, but they made me suspend my disbelief for a little while. Thanks.
    • Jay Lethal's dedication to the legendary Randy Savage.
    • It obviously goes without saying, but the video tribute to Randy Savage that Vince McMahon personally gave the green light to, after years of a grudge, and the song choice; The Scientist by Coldplay. The song was definitely picked for meaningful lyrics.
  • While it was a part of a storyline, Triple H's "I love you, Pop" to Vince when he relieved Vince of his duties as chairman was absolutely heartbreaking.
    • YMMV; this troper found that moment to be incredibly narmy.
    • You forgot the best part of that scene, where the crowd went from chanting "Na na na na" to "Thank you Vince" in the space of a few minutes.
  • When WCW aired its last Nitro on March 26th, they aired this tribute video to WCW. Despite all the bad things that befell WCW during its last years, this video tells you "It's over, WCW is gone for good and will never return!" Fans who followed WCW for years knew what was going to be taken away from them.
  • An unfortunate entry from outside the ring, a documentary produced by ESPN as a brief examination of the rise and fall of Scott Hall. A lot of it is very poignant, but it really stings at the end:

 Scott Hall: I just laugh as a defence, so I don't cry.

  • Kharma made her debut on Smackdown in 2011, but then had to be sidelined because she was pregnant. Now, you may ask, "Why is this a sad moment?" Well...the baby didn't make it and she had to hide this to the media because she was afraid of how the public would react after she announced it. Dear lord, please give this woman a hug...
  • This WWF Attitude promo from 1998 that features WWF legends Gorilla Monsoon, 'Classy' Freddie Blassie, Killer Kowalski, Ernie Ladd, and Pat Patterson. It was a heartbreaking promo when it first aired, but its even sadder now knowing that all of them except Patterson have died, and Patterson himself is in his 70s now.
  • A happier Tear Jerker: 1-4-2010 - Bret Hart returns to WWE for the first time since the Montreal Screwjob. Several moments come to mind: 1) The first words Hart says: "I guess hell froze over", referring to what his late parents and brother Owen would have said if they heard that Bret has returned to the WWE. 2) His sincere thank you to the fans "for carrying him in their hearts, never to be forgotten." 3) Some fans started a "Welcome Back" chant, but eventually the entire arena started to chant loudly and in unison. 4) And of course the big moment, Hart and Shawn Michaels hugging in the middle of the ring, signifying the end to their 13 year feud.
  • Diamond Dallas Page posted a tribute to his late friend and fellow wrestler, Chris Kanyon, on his Youtube account. Kanyon, under pressure from being both gay and bipolar, committed suicide in 2010. For most of the tribute, Page is smiling, obviously lost in memories of happier times with his friend. Then, toward the end, Page, visibly choked up, says his last goodbyes to Kanyon: "God bless ya, 'cause I'm sure that, wherever you are, man, that you're happier than when you were here."
  • The promo and the accompanying music for the Vince McMahon vs Hulk Hogan match in Wrestlemania XIX. Just watch it.
  • This one sentence from CM Punk after an infamous segment involving him, Chris Jericho and a bottle of liquor:

  "The one thing that was going through my mind was...(really long pause)...I smelled exactly like my father used to".

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