10. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WWF: 3/96-11/97)
And now here we go with Part 2!
7. The WWF from March, 1987 through August, 1988-Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant:
Enter into the picture Andre the Giant! Andre was wrestling’s most recognizable star before Hulk Hogan and was the only true national superstar during the territory days. The Giant and Hogan were great friends and often tag team partners when on an episode of Piper’s Pit, Jesse “The Body” Ventura announced to the world that Andre the Giant had something to say to champion, Hulk Hogan and the following week Hogan was in the pit as was Andre but he was accompanied by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Andre then announced that he only showed up to challenge Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship at WrestleManiaIII. Hogan was absolutely flabbergasted and shocked until Andre ripped the shirt and the crucifix right off the champion and then Hogan accepted the match.
On March 29th, 1987 at WrestleManiaIII, 93,173 fans packed the Pontiac Silverdome just outside Detroit, Michigan to see Hulk Hogan defend his title against the monster himself, Andre The Giant. It was on this night that the unthinkable happened when Hogan picked up Andre and bodyslammed him in the center of the ring and then hit his legdrop and pin the giant 1-2-3 for the whole world to see as Hulk Hogan became the true icon of professional wrestling and would be immortalized forever.
A lot of people thought the feud had ended right there but it did not. On November 26th, 1987 the World Wrestling Federation introduced to us the Survivor Series. A night where five on five teams would compete in elimination style matches to determine who was the ultimate survivor. In the main event it was Hulk Hogan’s team that included Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco and Bam-Bam Bigelow against Andre’s team who had Butch Reed, Rick Rude, One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy. Hogan would be eliminated fourth on his team by count out and that would leave the giant one on one with Bigelow. In the end Andre proved to be too powerful for the “Beast from the East” and would win the match and be the ultimate survivor.
The victory helped propel Andre right back into title contention but the story does not end there. Welcome “The Million Dollar Man,” Ted Debiase into the picture. Debiase was new into the WWF but wanted to make a sudden impact so he decided to flaunt his money around and try to buy the World Wrestling Federation Championship off of Hulk Hogan. When Hogan denied the buyout, the man of millions had a plan. He cohobated with Andre and came to an agreement in which Debiase would pay Andre the money he was going to give to Hogan if Andre could win the WWF Title and then give it to Debiase.
Andre accepted the deal and on February 5th, 1988 Andre would battle Hulk Hogan for the title knowing that if he were to win he would relinquish it to Ted Debiase. The match was back and forth until Hogan was finally able to get the upper hand, knock Andre down and then hit the legdrop but Virgil who was Debiase’s bodyguard distracted the referee and couldn’t make the count. With Hogan distracted this gave Andre the opportunity that he needed as he grabbed Hogan from behind and headbutt him three times. He would then turn Hogan around and hit a single underhook suplex and land on Hogan. Earl Hebner would begin to count but at one Hogan got his shoulder up. Hebner kept counting and got to three and awarded Andre the championship in which he quickly turned and gave the belt to Ted Debiase. It was then later revealed that the “Million Dollar Man” paid a man to have plastic surgery so that he would look like referee Earl Hebner. In light of this news WWF President, Jack Tunney declared the title vacant and at WrestleManiaIV there would be a fourteen man, single elimination tournament to crown a new champion.
At WrestleManiaIV Hogan and Andre who received first round buys would meet in the second round. It was a wild affair that saw Hogan suplex Virgil on the floor and put him in the hospital. Andre and Hogan both fought over a steel chair and then alternated shots and both of them ended up getting disqualified. After the match the battle continued until Hogan slammed Andre. After the match Andre told the world that it was part of a master plan to eliminate Hogan from the tournament and make Debiase’s road to the title easier. Debiase would make the finals and meet Randy Savage for the vacant WWF Championship.
Debiase came to the ring with Andre and the giant was quick to distract the “Macho Man.” This made Savage turn to Elizabeth and send her to the back in which she returned with Hulk Hogan. Hogan would nail Ted Debiase in the back with a chair and Savage would drill the flying elbow and win his first World Wrestling Federation Title.
This enraged not only Debiase and Andre but Bobby Heenan as well and on August 29th, 1988 the WWF brought us SummerSlam from Madison Square Garden and in the main event it was Hogan and Savage vs. Andre and Debiase with Jesse Ventura as the Guest Referee. After twenty minutes Hogan would pin Debiase despite Ventura not wanting to make the three count and would win the feud over Andre The Giant.
This feud comes in at number seven because it was the true passing of the torch as the old star in Andre gave the flame to the new icon in Hulk Hogan. A lot of people would think this feud would come in higher but believe it or not nobody really remembers that it was because of these two that the first Survivor Series and SummerSlam took place. Hogan and Andre are two of the greatest names in wrestling history and it was the feud that defined Hulkamania, the WWF and the second golden age of the 1980’s. It is because of the contributions of two of our biggest pay per views and arguably the most memorable moment in wrestling history that puts this feud on our prestigious list.
6. The NWA from January, 1989 through May, 1989-Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat:
These two then encountered into a feud about conflicting personalities and lifestyles. Steamboat almost the working class hero who would come to the ring with his wife and son by his side while Flair would always dress nice and be around many ladies. Flair said that he was going to live the life the way he felt a world champion should and that he had respect for Steamboat and his family but could not understand how “The Dragon” could be with the same woman every night.
Flair did this to get into the number one contenders head as he started bringing more and more women to him to the ring for interviews and even changed managers for this match. Instead of going with the Horsemen’s own James J. Dillon, Flair called an audible and brought in Hiro Natsutyah (Spelling could be off) from Japan who knew Steamboat. Steamboat though was undaunted by Flair’s mind games and even ripped Flair’s thousand dollar suit and coat off during an interview.
On February 20th the match was set for the ChiTown Rumble. Flair vs. Steamboat for the title but Flair decided to play with Steamboat’s head just a little more before the match as “The Dragon” was already in the ring a trumpet played about a dozen of Chicago’s most beautiful ladies to the ring and then Flair would walk out right in between them all and then threw some roses to the crowd as he kissed one of those ladies and then the match was on.
A hard fought pure wrestling classic was fought as both men for over twenty minutes did everything they could to defeat his opponent. In a back and forth match Steamboat was able to gain some momentum and went up for the flying crossbody and nailed it but knocked down referee Tommy Young in the process. While the ref was down Flair went for the third figure four of the match but was rolled up and then referee Teddy Long (Yes SmackDown general manager Theodore Long) would come into the ring and count the 1-2-3 and Ricky Steamboat would accomplish his dream and be the NWA Champion.
Flair could not believe he lost especially under such controversy so he enacted his rematch clause and in April at the sixth Clash of the Champions (A NWA/WCW televised supershow on TBS), Steamboat would defend the title against Flair in a best two out of three falls match. Flair would win the first fall with a small package but would submit to the double chicken wing in the second fall so here we go with the third and deciding fall of a sixty minute time limit, two out of three falls match. With five minutes left Steamboat went for the double chicken wing again but Flair countered and both men fell back with Steamboat still holding onto the hold and both men were on their back when the referee counted to three. Referee Tommy Young declared Steamboat the winner even though both men’s shoulders were down.
Flair brought his lawyer in to dispute the three count and was thus given another rematch. This time though it would be at Wrestle War89 with a one fall, one-hour time limit with a very special stipulation. If the match would go the hour with no winner, a panel of three judges would determine the winner. For over forty minutes these two men would put on one of the most exciting matches ever witnessed as they were alternating chop for chop, punch for punch, hold for hold and move for move until Steamboat fell off the top rope and landed on the floor hurting his knee. Flair would take advantage but the champion would continue to fight and bring back some momentum to his favor. Steamboat went for a body slam but his knee gave out as he took Flair over and Flair rolled him through and held on to win back the NWA Title. After the match Steamboat and Flair shook hands and gave each other gratitude for one of the greatest matches ever put on for the title.
This feud is on the list because it set the standard for what a series of matches is supposed to be. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat put on three of the most memorable matches in wrestling history and to this day they are still talked about and more importantly then that, every series of matches ever to take place since is compared to Flair vs. Steamboat. This feud comes in at number six because these matches still hold up today and would captivate audiences now as they did fifteen years ago. It was the feud that solidified both men’s spots as two of the very best ever and even though there was a story line to it and it brought the fans in, it was the wrestling that kept them in and kept them watching and that is why this feud comes in at number six.
5. The WWF from November, 1996 through July, 1997-Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin:
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin entered the World Wrestling Federation in 1996 under the name “The Ringmaster.” Austin ditched the gimmick and at the 1996 King of the Ring he would make the statement that would put the world on notice as it was on this night that he uttered the words: “Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!” After that Austin would go on to defeat Jake Roberts and win the King of the Ring and tell the world that he was on his way to the top by any means necessary.
Bret Hart was on an extended vacation or a short retirement depending how you look at it but was looking to make his return at the 1996 Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden. Austin saw this as his golden opportunity as he would provoke not just Bret Hart but also the WWF into giving him a one on one match so that he could use the “Hitman” as a stepping-stone. Well Bret Hart would be damned if any upstart was going to use him as a stepping stone and at the Survivor Series Hart would pin Austin and make a successful comeback. Austin those was not satisfied as he was pinned while he had the Million Dollar Dream on Bret Hart and Austin wanted revenge.
He would get it at the 1997 Royal Rumble, as he and Hart would be the last two men in the match. Hart was able to throw Austin over the top but the referees were distracted while trying to get the Nation of Domination and Ahmed Johnson to the back and didn’t see the elimination. Austin crawled into the ring and threw Hart out and would win the 1997 Royal Rumble and get his shot at the Champion at WrestleMania13. The champion however would not make it to WrestleMania as Shawn Michaels suffered a knee injury and relinquished the belt but this was good news for Austin as he would get his shot one month sooner in February but it would be at Final Four In Your House against Bret Hart, The Undertaker and Vader and the winner would be champion but then have to defend it the next night against former champion, Sid in a steel cage match.
Hart would last eliminate the Undertaker and win his fourth WWF Title so the stage was set for the next night on RAW as Hart would defend against Sid in a cage match but with very special stipulations. Austin was the Royal Rumble winner and still feuding with Bret Hart and was in line for the title shot at WrestleMania13 but the Undertaker since he finished second in the final four would get a shot at the title if Sid won the cage match. Both Austin and the taker interfered but in the end experience beats determination and hatred as Sid would beat Hart to become champion.
Hart felt screwed out of the title and was extremely frustrated with everybody and even shoved Vince McMahon. Austin laughed it up and called Hart a crybaby and whiner and told him to shut his trap before he shut it for him. Austin was gaining popularity that made Hart even angrier as he felt he was losing his legion of fans to this rouge, anti-hero who hated everything and everybody.
Austin was obviously furious but knew he had pushed Hart passed his limits and was already scheduled to meet the “Hitman” at WrestleMania regardless but he was confident and he told Hart that he could beat him in his type of match, a submission match. The WWF hired Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) SuperFight Champion, Ken Shamrock who happened to be a submissions expert as the referee and at WrestleMania13 Bret Hart and Steve Austin would have the match that would change the WWF forever. The least watched WrestleMania in history bared witness to one of the bloodiest, craziest one on one matches ever as these two fought each other up and down and all over Chicago’s Rosemont Horizon (Allstate Arena), hitting each other with everything they could fine including chairs, ring bells and using cable and anything possible. The fans were split during the match and Hart would eventually make the bloody Austin pass out to the Sharpshooter and win the match. Austin never gave up and the “Hitman” was not done beating on his hated rival. This infuriated the fans as Austin had gained everybody’s respect and Austin would wake up and limp off on his own to an “Austin-Austin-Austin” chant.
Bret Hart had had it with American wrestling fans because of this. Here was a guy that was the good guy and supported everything that was good against evil and fought for the people who felt the people had turned their backs on him for an evil, no good, bastard who was only there for himself and nobody else. Austin fed on this and severely injured Hart’s knee but oh no he was not done. After the injury Austin called out Hart on RAW with a wheelchair and told him that they could have a wheelchair match but then stood up and just told Hart to come out so he can kick his ass. Hart came out and Austin kicked his ass. The “Hitman” would be on the shelf for three months because of the injury but he was not done with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin yet. In May, Austin was awarded a shot at the Undertaker for the WWF Title at Cold Day in Hell In Your House. Hart along with his newly reunited Hart Foundation of Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart and Brian Pillman would prevent Austin from winning the title.
In the “Hitman’s” absence his foundation would continue his war for him, as Owen would win the Intercontinental Title while the Bulldog was still European Champion and of course Pillman was just wreaking havoc like he always did. Austin was outnumbered and needed help. He didn’t want but he needed it and he got it in Goldust, Ken Shamrock and the Legion Of Doom and there would be a ten-man tag match in July at Canadian Stampede In Your House. The odds were stacked against Austin and his unwanted team as they were going against a cohesive unit in their hometown of Calgary Alberta, Canada. It is called the greatest ten-man tag match of all time as for half an hour these teams battled it out for pride and to prove who was top dog in the World Wrestling Federation. On this night Owen Hart who returned to the ring after Austin injured his knee earlier, would roll up the “rattlesnake” and get the win for the Hart Foundation.
It was this feud that started the “Attitude Era” and it would be this feud that would be the catalyst for the WWF’s reemergence as the number one wrestling promotion in the world and its eventual take over of WCW. Hart vs. Austin comes in at number five because it signaled a changing of the guard in professional wrestling as no longer would the goody two shoes be the heroes, but the anti hero, the man that everyone in the world could identify with, the hard working, 9-5 just shows up and does his job man would emerge as the new hero. Gone were the cookie cutter storylines and gimmicks but an attitude that was going to kick ass and leave everyone behind in its dust would emerge and it was this feud that started that change and it was this feud that propelled Steve Austin into superstardom and it was this feud that told us that the World Wrestling Federation was changing forever.
What made Ric Flair’s Royal Rumble win so significant?
I got a lot of answers this so let me set the record straight. He did NOT enter number one. He was number three and yes he did last over an hour but that was NOT what I was looking for. The answer: The WWF Title was vacant and Flair won the Rumble and became WWF Champion!
Our Medium TimBoski’s are: Barf Master, Alex Maki, Andy Bellch, Ben Reynolds, Brett Mix, Carlo Cardelli, Chris Bailey, Conor Dineen, D-Chan, David Elliot, Romeo Pace, Dwayne Nicholls, Gary Dinsdale, Gavin Langdon, X, HiFi, Jim Gadziemski, Julio Morgan, King Pin, Lauren Sandler, Linda Lester, Lino Casas, Lost Boy David, Matt Herrmann, Mcguckin, Michael Cook, Morpheus, Mtrack, MNUL, NDBailey, Nic Car Bel, Ninja Turtle, Obi, Paul Reaney, Richard Godin, Ryan Cotter, Scott Lowe, Sebastien Malette, Shameem O’Gara, Steve H., Stew Akers, Styling Gentleman, David Fisher, Jon, Goldust2002, and Will C. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Ok here we go with this week’s question which will be much harder and remember if you think you know the answer then please send it along with your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and good luck!
This week’s question is tough because you better know both your wrestling and your world history! Why was Chyna called the 9th Wonder of the World?
Well that does it for part 2 of the 10 greatest feuds ever! As I always I hope you enjoyed it and please do not be afraid to send your feedback and trivia answers to email@example.com Next week is part three where we countdown numbers 4 and 3. Until next time LATER!
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