The contract signing has become one of the most common storytelling devices by wrestling promotions. WWE is usually the promotion that overbooks them, but a number have created great results. The call is to build tension or advance a story for a bigger payoff when the match comes.
WCW, TNA, and AEW have also used signing the contract more restrictively than WWE with rarer instances on television. Not all segments are successful, but the best ones did their job of providing instant entertainment and sparking interest for the future. Each of the following contract signings was the best to use that kind of segment in wrestling.
ten John Cena and Rob Van Dam
Great ECW One Night Stand 2006 the main event between Rob Van Dam and John Cena featured Van Dam cashing in his Money in the Bank contract by announcing it ahead of time. WWE had a contract signing segment to make it official between RVD representing the new ECW and Cena.
The signing ended with Paul Heyman calling out the ECW originals to return for the new brand to enter the ring and attack Cena. It was a surreal visual showing Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and many other ECW greats beating Cena in a WWE ring.
9 Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant
One of the earliest examples of a successful contract signing featured Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant before their historic Wrestle Mania 3 match. WWE knew it would be the biggest match in company history at that time and wanted to show it.
The signing of the contract showed the tension between Hogan and Andre in a new way. Both men sold the intensity of the feud and added more appeal to the match. This segment helped set up the match that changed the future of WWE and WrestleMania for all time.
8 Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy
TNA had one of the most unique contract signings that helped introduce a new character. Matt Hardy’s Broken era really began with the signing of the contract filmed at Hardy’s compound. Jeff wanted a match with his brother and had to go to his house to make it official.
Broken Matt’s new accent and overall presence took everyone by surprise trying to figure out what was going on. The signing’s ending saw Reby Hardy throw a doll that Jeff thought was Matt’s child for a distraction and a brutal attack from Broken.
7 Ronda Rousey Joins WWE
WWE made headlines when Ronda Rousey was first signed in 2018. Rousey debuted at Royal Rumble event, but she had a segment scheduled for signing her official contract following the Disposal chamber Event.
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle informed Rousey of the negative comments made about her by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to kick off the schedule for their match. Rousey put Triple H through a table for an incredible moment that added momentum to her start.
6 Kenny Omega and Adam Page
AEW delivered a few fun contract signing segments, but one meant more than the others. Adam Page challenging Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship at Complete equipment 2021 paid off a long-term storyline dating back to the company’s early days.
Omega attempted to intimidate Page with his arrogance, but Hangman cut a stellar promo letting Kenny know things had changed with him finding his confidence. Unfortunately for Page, Don Callis was disguised as a cameraman and helped Omega land a brutal sneak attack to bloody his opponent.
5 The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar
One of the many reasons fans were stunned by Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30 was the construction of the match. WWE didn’t go out of their way to complicate the storyline, with only one standout segment.
The signing of the contract between the two saw Brock bragging and showing little respect for the Deadman. Undertaker responded by stabbing Lesnar’s hand with the pen and knocking him through a table to a huge ovation from the audience.
4 Triple H and Steve Austin
WWE made the rivalry between Triple H and Steve Austin quite personal from late 2000 to early 2001. The big climax was a Three Stages of Hell match at No way out 2001 consisting of a traditional match, a street fight and a cage match.
Vince McMahon made it clear that they weren’t allowed to physically harm themselves between signing the contract and the day of the show. Triple H faked Austin by pretending to sign and waiting for Stone Cold to add his signature first. The manipulation tactic resulted in Triple H brutally beating Austin before officially signing him, as Austin was not allowed revenge for weeks.
3 Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan
WCW rarely signed contracts, but there was one segment worth mentioning among the best. Roddy Piper finally received his match with Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1996 when signing the contract world war 3 1996.
WWE’s long history has seen them now in opposing roles with more tension than ever. Hogan’s evil nWo persona saw him reveal that Piper had undergone hip surgery, while the rest of the nWo held him back. Hogan’s embarrassment had fans rallying around Piper as the face more than ever.
2 John Cena and CM Punk
WWE found magic when CM Punk had their infamous Summer of Punk in 2011 for a feud with John Cena. SummerSlam 2011’s big rematch saw Triple H moderating him inside the ring. Punk had some cutting words for Cena and Triple H with his worked on set promos.
The back and forth between Cena and Punk reminded us why this was WWE’s biggest possible match at the time. Their chemistry was electric to make the audience more invested in the nuances of reality before the game, thanks to this contract signing.
1 Triple H & Batista
The peak of the Triple H vs. Batista feud came when Batista signed a contract Wrestle Mania 21 title shot. Eric Bischoff and Teddy Long were there to represent Raw and SmackDown with contracts for the title he had chosen to fight for.
Triple H attempted to manipulate his Evolution teammate into leaving Raw to challenge JBL for the WWE Championship on SmackDown. Batista heard Triple H’s plan and received a huge ovation when choosing Triple H as his opponent. The moment Batista gave thumbs up and put Triple H through a table was perhaps the best overall memory of his career.
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