Column: "How 3 Seconds Changed a Career"

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"How 3 seconds changed a career"
By: Matt R-W

Time is a marvellous thing. The human race is the only species on the planet which has a clear concept of time; what it is, how it works, how it can be marked. In the world of professional wrestling, time is an important measure; how long people watch a show, how long a match goes on for, how long a promo takes. We often think as time in the long term, but what I want to look at is the short term - 3 seconds. 3 seconds that have changed the careers of wrestlers.

WrestleMania 13 : Bret Hart vs Stone Cold : The double-turn
In arguably one of the best WrestleMania matches, three seconds after this match changed two careers. Going into this match, Bret Hart was the wrestler everyone loved and adored, whereas Stone Cold was hated. The match itself was an instant classic and if you haven’t watched it then go and check it out. At the end of the match, Ken Shamrock (the then UFC Fighter) gave the win to Hart as Stone Cold passed out. What happened next is referred to as the “double-turn”, with the crowd turning on Hart and cheering on Austin. Those few seconds, with Hart starting his attack on Stone Cold changed the crowds perception of both wrestlers. In my eyes, this was the starting point for the Attitude Era. Without it, who knows where the careers of both wrestlers would have gone.

Raw House Show, 27th Dec 2017 : Sasha Banks, Bayley and Mickie James vs Absolution : Paige's Injury
Unfortunately, wrestling isn’t the safest profession. There are reasons why they put the “Don’t try this at home” warnings on shows. During a 6 woman tag match in the Nassau Coliseum, Sasha Banks injured Paige to an extent where she was forced to retire. There was no intent or malice, it was a pure accident. The same can be said of the injury suffered by Sting in his match with Seth Rollins at Night of Champions 2015. We see wrestlers, both male and female, as strong and untouchable, and think that they will always be there. Injuries happen, and sometimes they are severe enough to force a retirement. Injuries occurring isn’t a WWE only problem, it could happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Paige had a long time ahead of her in the ring, both as a singles wrestler and as part of Absolution. However, in a few seconds during that match, that time was reduced to 0.

Royal Rumble Match at the 2002 Royal Rumble Match : Maven eliminates The Undertaker
Going into the Royal Rumble match, Maven had won the first series of Tough Enough and had a brief mini feud with Tazz on SmackDown to give him a starter storyline. Going into the Rumble match, it was fair to say that there weren’t any high expectations. After the Rumble match, it was all that many fans spoke about - Maven from Tough Enough eliminated The Undertaker. Prior to Maven arriving to the ring, The Undertaker was triple teamed by (the newly re-united) Team Xtreme and was distracted by them. This led for Maven’s most famous three seconds, executing a dropkick on The Undertaker and sending him over the top rope. Those three seconds allowed Maven to solidify his place on the SmackDown roster and also showed how much stock was held him in. With that dropkick, his career was kickstarted and was no longer known as “Maven from Tough Enough” but simply as “Maven”.

Closing thoughts
There are so many different occurrences I could have included in this column, but I chose the three that were the most important to me. The Hart-Austin match is a must watch match for any wrestling fan, the Paige injury effectively stopped the career of my favourite female wrestler and as for Maven, if you see my Twitter feed you’ll understand my feelings towards him. Three seconds can quickly come and go and it isn’t a large measure of time. But three seconds can make all the difference between a win or a loss, or in some instances a career.

Matt R-W