wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE This is Awesome Report: ‘Most Awesome WWE Debuts’

November 27, 2022 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
AJ Styles Royal Rumble Image Credit: WWE

-Been a little sick this weekend because my son was sick on Thanksgiving and gave me whatever he has. I thought I could relax after Survivor Series, but then this show started playing. Let’s get to it! Oh, I loved Survivor Series!

-Run Time: 48:24

-Greg Miller welcomes us to the show and today it’s all about WWE debuts no matter if they were a surprise or announced in advance.

-Opening video package has the talking heads discussing the importance of making an impact in you debut. Santino tells us he was very nervous and it was live TV. Some of the ones shown: Brock, Flair, Mickie James, Bayley, The Rock (shocked he is only in the honorable mentions), Sami Zayn, Ezekiel (Elias tells us he was very proud of his brother). The Mountie on a horse! Bret Hart talks about the power of Vignettes and really Razor Ramon and Mr. Perfect are the poster child for great vignettes that made guys instantly look like a star. Same for Dibiase with his Million Dollar Man character. Becky Lynch talks about her debut as does Big E which lets us see AJ Lee and that’s always appreciated. Vince coining Drew McIntyre as a future World Champion. Solo talks about his debut at Clash at The Castle. HHH debuting and winning with a Diamond Cutter!

-Back to Greg as we start the main list.

The Undertaker

-Survivor Series 1990 Ted Dibiase promises a mystery partner for his team. Of course, it ends up being The Undertaker and he had the character down the second he walked through the curtain. Drew: “I just thought this guy was scary.” Mick Foley says he doesn’t know if he has ever been drawn to a character so quickly. Gargano asks who would have thought when Taker made his debut that he would go down as one of the greatest of all time?

-Peacock commercials!

John Cena

-Vince McMahon throws down the gauntlet to the entire roster to step up and show RUTHLESS AGGRESSION. From there Kurt Angle throws out an open challenge to anyone who he has never wrestled, and it’s answered by generic looking John Cena. Cena busts on his hair and Roberts this was a Cena that had nothing that made him stand out from other WWE Superstars. The talking heads do their “RUTHLESS AGGRESSION” impression. Gargano notes that Cena had it. Theory mentions that Cena became the poster guy for this new era. Cena says it was all about recognizing that this match with Kurt was an opportunity. Bayley knew she had to keep an eye on Cena because he was in the ring with Kurt Angle. Speaking of Angle he talks about the respect he has for Cena and how he stepped up. They show Taker giving Cena props backstage after the match to close this portion.

-Miller notes that Cena offered his own open challenge a decade later and someone answered the call.

Kevin Owens

-AWESOME! They touch on KO’s debut in NXT and winning the NXT Title from Sami Zayn. Something, something destined to do this forever. John Cena is the US Champion and has weekly open challenges and this time NXT Champion, Kevin Owens answers the call. No match though as KO goes toe to toe with Cena on the mic and then decks him before hitting the pop-up powerbomb. KO says it was surreal and was like an out of body experience. Aww, KO being interviewed by Renee Young! I loved the dynamic they had.

-Peacock commercials!

Ronda Rousey

-We go back to the first every Woman’s Royal Rumble Match. Carmella says they made history with not only the match, but they were the Main Event. Gargano brings up that there were rumblings Ronda may sign with WWE. Roberts mentions Ronda was posting picture on social media of her being in another country. Asuka wins The Rumble and Ronda makes her debut to pop the crowd. Just a note they have both Elias and Ezekiel as talking heads in this show which is a nice touch. Ronda makes her in ring debut at Mania and kills it in a tag match with Angle against HHH and Steph. HHH is more than willing to show ass and let Ronda beat him up. She taps out Steph and Ronda says that was one of the most fun days in her life.

-Miller says we go from The Baddest Woman on The Planet to the World’s Largest Athlete.

The Big Show

-We go back to 1999 as The Big Show (Paul Wight) breaks through the ring during an Austin/McMahon cage match. We go back a bit more to get some Giant highlights in WCW. They note he looked like a star and there was no way Vince wasn’t drooling over getting the big man to the WWF. Back to the cage match which didn’t draw as big as a buy as you would expect for Austin/McMahon in a cage. WCW actually drew more that same month with Hogan/Flair at SuperBrawl. It may have been hurt by the fact it was on Valentine’s Day. Rough day for me as I wrecked my car because of a snowstorm trying to get my girlfriend back to her house. Wight breaks through the ring and tosses Austin into the cage which breaks and lets Austin fall to the floor, which gives him the win.

-Peacock commercials!

Kane

-This is a solid list so far. Top Dolla says Kane has the best debut in the history of wrestling. They talk about the build-up as Paul Bearer mentioned Taker burned down his parents’ funeral home, killing his family. His brother survived and Bearer promised he was coming. Four months go by and Kane makes his debut to cost The Undertaker his Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels. You can tell Top Dolla is a massive Kane fan as he is marking out here. Taker talks about selling the moment. Kane gives Taker a rough looking Tombstone and thankfully he would get better.

-Miller asks Who Would be Next?

Goldberg

-We see Goldberg wrecking fools in WCW and becoming white hot in the process. They work in Vince telling us he purchased his competition and owns WCW. Goldberg doesn’t come over because he was being paid a lot to sit at home and I don’t blame him. It takes two years but WWE teases Goldberg is coming during a vignette at WrestleMania XIX. The next night on RAW The Rock is taking his victory lap about finally beating Austin and the crowd knows what is coming as they chant for “Goldberg.” The Rock tells them to stop chanting for his accountant, Ira Goldberg. That’s why Rock rules! Goldberg does make his debut and he spears the shit out of Rock as he sells it like death.

-Peacock commercials!

-Miller talks about a Phenomenal Surprise!

AJ Styles

-YES! There were rumors, but when it happened I legit ripped my shirt off and threw it across the room. We go back to The Royal Rumble where Roman had to start #1 and defend his WWE Title. AJ Styles makes his debut at #3 and the place explodes. I have watched the debut on YouTube countless times and it still makes me pop. Top Dolla says even if he didn’t know who AJ Styles was, you got into the vibe with the music. They talk about how AJ had built up a resume as we see photos from TNA and AJ holding the IWGP Title. Cool! Zeke tells us that AJ lives up to his nickname and Elias agrees with his brother. AJ says it is a moment he will never forget. Go watch the crowd footage of the debut. The pop sounds even better.

The Shield

-I mean, this was pretty much a given. Hey, that’s CM Punk! The Shield debut 10 years ago at Suvivor Series by jumping from the crowd and attacking Ryback and Cena which helps CM Punk retain his WWE Title. Ryback eats a Triple Powerbomb through a table as Drew talks about how all three games came from NXT. Dean Ambrose (with @JonMoxley listed as his Twitter handle) says they were in full on attack mode. Obviously old footage but they credited his current twitter which is nice. Drew Gulak dares anyone to find 3 guys who came in together and were as successful as them. Priest says you knew they were going to be great immediately. Gargano calls them three homerun stars and it was from that debut. BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

-Peacock commercials!

-Miller says the next one is stands out as The Most Awesome!

Chris Jericho

-HELL YEAH! I mentioned I watched AJ’s debut countless times, well Jericho’s debut tops that. They discuss the Millennium Clock and how everyone was trying to figure out what it meant. It runs out during a Rock promo which is huge. The lights go out, the pyro hits, and IT’S THE MILLENNIUM BITCH! The roar when “JERICHO” flashed on the screen is still amazing. KO says he was going crazy watching at home. Jericho with the biggest shit eating grin ever welcomes us to RAW IS JERICHO and he is here to save the WWF. Oh, inject this in my veins for the rest of my life. He looked like a star from the jump even though they didn’t know what to do with him for the first few months. The Rock gets his comeback though and Jericho sells it fantastically. I mean, he debuted and got to have a promo battle with The Rock!

-Miller says he was in there for Jericho’s debut and it changed his life. It is why he is so dedicated to WWE.

-Next time: MOST AWESOME VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME! WCW/NWO REVENGE! I LOVE THIS SHOW!

-This was fun because as I have noted I am a sucker for lists and I love debuts. There wasn’t much to argue about with this one and props to them for not shafting Jericho and sticking him in the honorable mentions list just because he works in AEW. Definitely check this one out and have fun remembering some great moments in WWE history. Thanks for reading!