Not ready for a close-up
The camera never blinks. From the lunar landing to the collapse of the Berlin Wall, television cameras have offered an unflinching gaze at history. During two memorable encounters within WWE, however, television cameras inadvertently became history.
During Survivor Series 1996, WWE Champion Shawn Michaels faced his former bodyguard, Sycho Sid, when the 6-foot-9 tower of terror seized a television camera and employed it to strike his opponent on the way to his first WWE Title reign. Two months later, at Royal Rumble, Michaels wielded the same weapon to soften up Sid in a successful effort at reclaiming the WWE Championship. For helping two Superstars capture sports-entertainment's most coveted prize, the television camera lands in the No. 5 spot on WWE.com's list of "Unlikely Weapons That Impacted WWE History."
In November of 1996, at Survivor Series, Michaels was escorted to the ring by his mentor. Jose Lothario. As the match progressed, Sid had clearly grown frustrated by his opponent's resilience and, at one point, reached down to a WWE cameraman at ringside. Snatching the man's equipment, Sid cracked Lothario across the face with it, propelling him onto the concrete below. Moments later, as Michaels tended to his mentor, Sid brought the camera down onto his back, then dragged HBK into the ring to pin him for the victory.
Two months later at Royal Rumble, Michaels paid his rival back in kind. With Sid's attention focused on Lothario, who was perched on the ring apron, The Showstopper quickly took advantage. Clutching another WWE camera, Michaels clobbered his opponent across the face and back. The jolts damaged Sid enough to set up Sweet Chin Music, which HBK administered to render Sid unconscious and reclaim the WWE Title in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.
Although television cameras were there to record the day's events, they suddenly became a part of them. For the two Superstars who employed the cameras as weapons, they truly did help to usher in a "golden" age of television.