Growing the Beard/Professional Wrestling

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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  • Anytime you put a wrestler in a hardcore match with Mick Foley, this will happen.
    • The Undertaker had grown stagnant as a wrestler, and hadn't wrestled an interesting match in years. Then Mankind shows up in 1996, and proceeds to take The Undertaker to the limit, now, both men are legends.
    • Triple H had recently won his second World Title from the Big Show, but fans didn't really take the guy as a serious champion. Most still saw him as Shawn Michaels' Depraved Bisexual cohort from DX. Until his matches with Cactus Jack at the 2000 Royal Rumble and his other match with Cactus Jack in a Hell in a Cell at the 2000 No Way Out. For the next 10 years, he became the top dog of the company. He's wrestling royalty.
    • Randy Orton was considered nothing more than a bland third generation wrestler who only got there because his dad was Cowboy Bob Orton. Kind of like how fans first responded to The Rock. After a feud with Mick Foley culminating in a match at Backlash 2004, he became a real main eventer, and beat Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship at the main event in SummerSlam four months later. Today, he's practically the face of the company.
    • Edge had already built up quite the midcard following thanks to the three-way feud between he and Christian, the Hardy Boys, and the Dudley Boys in the early 2000s, but most people didn't take him seriously as a main event talent, even with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it WWE title reign under his belt in early 2006. Enter Mick Foley again, and a hardcore match at Wrestlemania 22, and suddenly Edge had become cemented as not only a main event talent and worthy champion, but a future legend.
  • Kurt Angle was always seen as a great wrestler, but people didn't start calling him the greatest wrestler of all time until he shaved his head after losing a Hair Match to Edge in 2002 (making this, in a way, a reverse Growing The Beard!). He would get his first legitimate reign as champion later that year.
  • Dwayne Johnson began his pro wrestling career as Rocky Maivia, a one dimensional Face in a time where people wanted something more. He would shortly make a heel turn, constantly refeer to himself in the 3rd person, take the mic and run with it, and even main event Wrestlemania as The Rock. Now many consider him one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and easily the most charismatic man in wrestling history.
  • The entire industry of Professional Wrestling itself is one of the great American success stories, going from "soul patch" to "Greek Orthodox priest" in a mere three generations. A key splash of Minoxidil came in the 1930s, when Boston promoter Jack Pfefer started to move the image of the business away from "actual sport" to stylized, circus-style entertainment. But the beard really got bushy in the 1990s with the advent of Monday Night Raw: now the disjointed spectacle coalesced into a weekly soap opera with recurring characters and much more interesting storylines. The final touch, arguably, was Vince McMahon establishing himself as an on-screen villain toward the end of that decade, providing a sort of axis for his elaborate fictional world.