Now I don't quite have an opening story like getting punched by a meth head, but I have a few more questions about "surprises" and what most of the smarks thought of them
– Hogan's turn at Bash of the Beach
– Foley "retiring" at No Way Out 2000
– Jericho winning the Undisputed title
– Jericho's debut in 99
– Undertaker returning at Judgment Day 2000
– Eric Bischoff debuting on Raw
– HBK retiring in 98
And one small bonus, was it known that Bret was leaving prior to Survivor Series 97? Obviously the Screwjob wasn't expected, and I'm not bringing up Montreal being a work, but I've just wondered if Bret leaving was known
Bret leaving was national news in Canada weeks before.
I think we've done most of these before, but we'll hit 'em again for fun:
– Hogan's turn was speculated but no one thought they'd seriously do it, and it hit like an atomic bomb online as a result.
– For Foley's "retirement" people were bummed but figured he'd be back.
– With the Jericho thing most people thought they'd do Rock v. Austin as the finals, so the Jericho win was clearly out of nowhere as far as that goes. People were definitely happy about it, though.
– Jericho's debut was HUGE. People went crazy for it, although everyone knew he was coming in around that time.
– I think people knew Undertaker's return was coming around then, but I don't exactly recall.
– WWE made no secret of Bischoff's "surprise" debut, and the feeling was that they botched it from day one.
– HBK didn't really "retire", he just took time off for his back surgery and then never came back. Even as early as Survivor Series 98 there was speculation that he'd be the mystery entrant who turned out to be Gillberg. I think you can even hear fans chanting for Shawn when they're doing the ring intro for that match, in fact. It wasn't until the commissioner role that people kind of bought once and for all that he was gone.