10. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WWF: 3/96-11/97)
Alright now onto Part 3!
4. ECW From April, 1995 Through June, 1997-Tommy Dreamer vs. Raven:
In January of 1995 Raven had left the WWF and his Johnny Polo gimmick forever and entered ECW as Raven. A disturbed, anti-social, sadistic, genius who had a high threshold for pain and quickly adapted to the hardcore style of wrestling that ECW was pioneering. During the same time period Tommy Dreamer had finally after a year of fighting had won over the fans and was accepted as a true hardcore wrestler so here we have a feud between the new upstart and the newly accepted fan favorite but oh boy was there ever a catch. It turned out that Raven and Tommy Dreamer grew up together and had known each other since they were twelve years old. Dreamer was the jock and “Big man on campus” while Raven was obviously the obscured loner who wanted revenge on Dreamer for their childhood days. Raven was not the only one as he had a lackey in a very young Stevie Richards and also a young and beautiful woman in Beulah McGillicutty who also grew up with Raven and Dreamer but she was an ugly girl who wanted Tommy but could not have Tommy and thus she wanted revenge on Dreamer. Unbeknownst to Tommy, Beulah had matured into one of the most gorgeous women ever to step foot into the wrestling business.
These two men battled over and over and over again with Dreamer always beating the crap out of his demented nemesis but every single time but in the end Raven would pin Dreamer. One of these battles included a Steel Cage Match in July of 1995 in which Tommy handcuffed Raven to the cage and hit him with the now famous, “Chair Shot Heard ‘Round the World!” somehow though Raven would still win the match. Raven usually won with interference and had many followers who then became known as “The Nest” (Later known as the Flock in WCW). Nest members included Stevie Richards, The Blue Meanie, Beulah, Louis Spicolli, Kamona Wanalaiya, Big Dick Dudley, Dudley-Dudley, and Brian Lee for starters.
Dreamer though had some friends on his side including the Pitbulls, The Sandman, Terry Funk, The Public Enemy and even Luna Vachon. All of which had previous relations and or altercations with Raven. Luna feuded with Beulah while the “Mad-Dogs of War” were after the Dudley’s and Raven and Richards for the ECW Tag Team Titles. Raven though had some friends that were not in his nest including Shane Douglas, Francine and yes Cactus Jack.
This feud was absolutely amazing because of all of its twists and turns including Beulah announcing to the world that she was pregnant with Tommy’s baby in January of 1996 and also this feud saw the first ever lesbian angle in wrestling history when it was revealed in April that Beulah was not pregnant and was cheating on Tommy with Kamona! This got ECW kicked off the air on every channel that was syndicating their show.
In June of 1997 at Wrestlepalooza it would be Raven vs. Dreamer in Raven’s final match in ECW before going to WCW. On this night at the ECW Arena Tommy finally did it and pinned Raven for the 1-2-3 and just as he was going to DDT Raven onto a stop sign he screamed out “E-C-f***in’W!” Dreamer had finally got the victory on his arch nemesis and sent him packing as only the “Innovator of Violence” could do.
This feud comes in at number four for many reasons. This was the first true adult based feud in wrestling as it opened the door to everything we see in wrestling today. Most feuds in the 1990’s did not last longer then a couple months but this feud lasted over two years and even though many of the participants would change, the key element stayed the same and that was Dreamer never pinning Raven. For two years no matter what Tommy did Raven would win and it kept the feud interesting and really made Tommy a sentimental favorite. It was also one of the biggest providers of spin off feuds in wrestling as during this feud Dreamer feuded with Brian Lee in which they had a Scaffold Match where you had to knock your opponent off the platform through three tables below and also Raven would have his famous feud with the Sandman which featured his son and wife joining Raven, a Barbed Wire Match that gave Raven his first reign as ECW Champion and the crucifixion of the Sandman. As stated above the bWo was formed and Beulah and Francine would feud out of this as would Dreamer and Shane Douglas, and even Raven and Douglas.
This was the provider feud for everything that happened in ECW for three years. It was the pioneering feud that led to the Attitude Era and our feud at number three as if it was this feud that showed that pro wrestling could appeal to an adult audience and it was the gateway for ECW’s future mainstream success and for everything we have seen in professional wrestling since. This was the opening of the door to so much as it established Raven as one of the most complex stars ever, Dreamer as ECW’s Franchise Player, Paul Heyman as a true creative genius and most importantly it would officially establish ECW as the revolutionary force behind professional wrestling in the 1990’s and be the true catalyst of the third golden age of professional wrestling.
3. WCW From July, 1996 Through December, 1998-WCW vs. nWo:
The heel turn would lead to one of the biggest changes in pro wrestling as not only did the immortal Hulk Hogan turn evil but now WCW would be the top promotion in the world and Nitro would now out draw the WWF’s RAW for 84 straight weeks.
In the coming months the nWo as they called themselves started recruiting and literally stealing talent from WCW, including The Giant, Scott Norton, Ted Debiase who was recruited to be the manager, Buff Bagwell, Vincent (Formerly known as Virgil in the WWF), Syxx Pac (Better known as X-Pac), and the biggest coo of them all in Sting or at least what we thought was Sting. For months the world was wondering if the pride of WCW had really sold out and joined the enemy camp? At Fall Brawl-The War Games we got our answer. In the double ring, double caged, structure of death “Sting” came out fourth for the nWo but WCW had a fourth member and that was the real Sting! Sting was questioned by everyone in WCW and he revealed that he was faithful and cleaned house leaving Hogan, Hall, Nash and the fake Sting in a heap but then told Flair, Arn Anderson and Luger who made up Team WCW to stick it for not trusting him and left the match. This resulted in Sting going silent for fourteen months and it left WCW three on four with nWo and as a result would lose the match.
This was not the only blow WCW would face as Hogan was the WCW Champion and desecrated the belt by spray painting nWo on it, guys were jumping camp and WCW President Eric Bischoff joined the nWo. Things were looking bad for WCW and it appeared that it could not get better as the nWo was able to defeat the fabled 4 Horsemen and cause dissension in the ranks.
WCW kept fighting though as despite guys like Randy Savage, Scott Steiner, Konnan and Kurt Hennig jumping ship, The Giant would return home to WCW and hero would step out of the shadows and be the night in shining armor for WCW and more importantly be Hollywood Hogan’s and the nWo’s biggest nightmare as Sting had returned. Long black hair, white face paint, black ring attire, a black trench coat and a baseball bat in hand, Sting had came back and made claim to the WCW Title.
At Starrcade 1997 it was Hogan vs. Sting for the WCW Title and more importantly for WCW it was for the survival of their company as on the Nitro before Starrcade the nWo took over Nitro and proclaimed that it would be theirs after Hogan defeated Sting. The match was controversial as Hogan appeared to pin Sting after hitting the famed Legdrop but new WCW wrestler and referee for the night, Bret “Hitman” Hart accused Nick Patrick of a fast count and knocked him out then restarted the match. The result was Hogan tapping out to the Scorpion Death Lock and Sting would save WCW and be its new champion.
The nWo would never be the same as a rift would start to happen between Hogan and Nash and in the coming months Nash would split up the nWo and formed the vastly popular Wolfpac. Guys like Sting, Konnan, Luger and Randy Savage would join the Red and Black attack and now the two versions of the New World Order started feuding but yet each wanted to still take over WCW, they just wanted to do it their own way.
In July of 1998 Goldberg would defeat Hulk Hogan to become WCW Champion. Goldberg was unstoppable and undefeated and kept WCW right in the think of things as regards to their company war with the WWF who had recently retaken the top spot with Steve Austin and the Attitude Era when at the 1998 Starrcade the champion would face Wolfpac leader, Kevin Nash in the main event for the WCW Title. The match was back and forth and Goldberg was looking for the spear when Scott Hall of all people who had turned on Nash months back was dressed as a camera man and used a stun gun on Goldberg. This would result in Nash hitting his Jackknife Powerbomb and doing the unthinkable as he would pin Goldberg, end his undefeated streak of well over 100 matches and become WCW Champion.
It appeared that the Wolfpac was now in control but on the next night on Nitro it would all come crashing to a quick halt for everything that was in WCW as on this night the new champion was scheduled to face Hollywood Hulk Hogan for the title. Hogan and Nash would get face to face and then Hogan would poke Nash in the chest. It was the “Poke heard around the world” as Nash would “collapse” and let Hogan pin him and win the WCW Championship again. All of the nWo would reform under the Wolfpac name but the incident was so disheartening to the fans that they turned away from WCW and the entire feud would end almost completely unnoticed.
WCW never recovered and as a result the New World Order would be treated like the Four Horsemen as they would be reformed and brought back a few times to bring back interest but failed. This feud comes in at number three on the list because it was the only feud ever to save a company and then destroy a company. The WCW vs. The nWo changed wrestling forever as this was not evil stable vs. one man but evil stable against good stable in a battle for total control. Oh how true that would be as the backstage turmoil that revolved around everybody would lead to the eventual demise of World Championship Wrestling. It is the feud that saved Hulk Hogan’s career and helped define pro wrestling’s third golden age and for that this feud comes in at number three on the list of Wrestling’s 10 Greatest Feuds.
Why was Chyna referred as the “9th Wonder of the World?”
Because Andre The Giant was known as the “8th Wonder of the World!”
I must split my Medium TimBoski’s into two groups this week as let me introduce my “Well Done TimBoski’s!” These people not only got the question right but also named the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World for me in their answer so here they are: Mike Like, Stewart Akers! Congratulations!
Now here are the rest of my awesome readers who got the question right: Anthony Magnafas, Az Prod, Benito04, Big Bad Bailey Dog, Joe Lanza, Bryan McCormack, Chris H, Dacerialkil1, Dan Brooks, Dave Parent, Denny, ECWN64Man, Sabas Garza, J Bet, Jake Drury, James Billington, Joe Balrog (The Owner of thebalrogslair.com and yes it is fantastic being a part of your site!), Maradona, Conor McGuckin, Morpheus, Nick, Rosebeaver, Oliver Bond, Paul Reaney, PhenomRich, Rattle Snake, Rob Taylor, Mr. Robinson, Dave Romero, Ross Hutchings, Ron Watson, Ryan Cotter, Scott Lowe, Shaun Tilton, David Fisher, Jon Gomez, Theodore Brown, Thomas H, Jim, Twisted Jon, Stuarty T, Whisper in the Wind, Mitch Winter. Congratulations!
Alright here we go with this weeks question. Remember if you think you know the answer please send it to email@example.com along with your feedback and good luck!
Name all of the men who won their 1st WWF Championship at a WrestleMania?
Well kiddies that about does it for Part 3 of the 10 Greatest Feuds Series and next time we will reveal the top 2. I would like to dedicate this column and the entire series in loving memory of Grandmother Rosemarie Manioci-Kelley who passed away last Tuesday. I love you grandma and I know you are watching over all of us. Remember to please send your feedback and trivia answers to firstname.lastname@example.org and until next time LATER!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
If you are interested in becoming a columnist or simply love reading wrestling columns and would like to interact with the Column Staff here at WrestleZone please check out the Columns Lounge. Simply click HERE and you can take part in the fun today
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?