“I don’t give a damn what you people want”, is the usual reply from the chairman, Vince McMahon, when the fans express their opinions. For example, where the f*ck are our WWE ice cream bars!? Here are some instances when the WWE actually listened to the fans.
5. Zack Ryder’s US Championship Win
Self-proclaimed, “Internet Champion” and “Long Island Iced-Z”, Zack Ryder, gained his first major push back in 2011 which resulted in a storyline that led to his United States title win. Ryder was unhappy with his position in the company and so started a YouTube web series called “Z! True Long Island Story” which became extremely popular amassing 12 million views to date. “We Want Ryder” chants were echoed by fans and his surge in popularity, resulted in the WWE having no choice but to give the “Internet Sensation” more airtime. He started to appear frequently on RAW and became involved in backstage segments with John Cena. Ryder even main-evented RAW for the first time in his career, partnering with Cena against The Miz and R-Truth, a match in which they lost but that is beside the point. Ryder’s big break came in the TLC pay-per-view in 2011 when he won the United States Championship from Dolph Ziggler. Despite his success in 2011, Ryder pretty much got a Browski Boot up the a** the following year as he returned back to his jobbing ways.
4. Rey Mysterio’s World Heavyweight Championship Win
After the tragic death of Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio gained a lot more popularity with the crowd being Eddie’s best friend and soon became a massive Babyface of the company. As a result, the WWE capitalised on the situation by allowing Mysterio to win the 2006 Royal Rumble. He entered as the second participant and lasted a total of 62 minutes, a Royal Rumble record. The quite literal Babyface then went on to compete at WrestleMania 22 for the World Heavyweight Championship in a triple-threat match between himself, Randy Orton and the champion at the time, Kurt Angle. Mysterio won the match after pinning The Viper following a 619 and a West Coast Pop.
3. Jeff Hardy’s WWE Championship Win
When Jeff Hardy began his wrestling career with the WWF, at the time, he started off as a jobber. However, Hardy captured the crowd’s attention with his unorthodox high risk manoeuvres, quickly becoming a fan favourite. The man would probably jump of the Empire State building just for the hell of it! In April 2003, Hardy’s wild behaviour resulted in his termination from the WWE. Some of the reasons for his departure include: his sloppiness in the ring, showing up late to events or even not showing up at all. I think that is all the reasons… oh wait, how could I forget… his drug abuse! Hardy was reportedly addicted to painkillers and crystal meth and refused to go to rehab to sort out his problem. Hardy made a return to the WWE in 2006 and it was clear that he had lost none of his popularity since. As a result, the WWE were compelled to push Hardy and placed him in a feud for the WWE championship which he went on to win in 2008.
2. Rehiring Matt Hardy
In 2005 Matt Hardy was fired from the WWE on the basis of unprofessional conduct after he made public comments towards his then real-life girlfriend, Lita, who cheated on him with his friend, Edge. The affair became public knowledge and this led to “We want Matt” and “You screwed Matt” chants whenever Edge and Lita were on-stage. In addition to this, wrestling fans started an online petition to bring back Matt Hardy which amassed over 15,000 signatures. The issue became too hard to ignore and so thanks to the fans demands, the WWE re-signed Hardy and gave him a personal feud with Edge.
1. WrestleMania 30’s Main Event
Perhaps one of the most recognised instances where the WWE fans’ voices were heard was the main event for WrestleMania 30. The main event of WrestleMania 30 was supposed to be between The Apex Predator, Randy Orton and The Animal, Batista, however, fans were not embraced by the idea. Instead, fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan in the main event, who was a massive Babyface and hugely popular by the crowd. Daniel Bryan was reportedly supposed to face Sheamus, however, the WWE realised that if Daniel Bryan wasn’t booked in the main event of WrestleMania 30, fans would become outraged. As a result, the WWE had no option but to include Bryan in the main event and changed the match to a triple threat match. Bryan went on to win the match and the WWE championship and “Yes!” chants soon erupted throughout the whole arena.