Best Wrestling Feuds of All-Time 5-1

#5 Bret Hart vs HBK

This was less a feud and more of a rivalry but damn was it good in and out of the ring, culminated in one of the most controversial and historic nights in Wrestling History.  These guys took similar paths to the WWE, starting in tag-team wrestling, each eclipsing their partner, moving from the IC Title to the World Title all right around the same time.  Their rivalry/feud really was born out of the fact that the two guys were the best at exactly the same time.  After a few matches here and there shit got real at Wrestlemania 12 when Hart and HBK squared off in a 60-man Iron-Man match.  You need two amazing athletes to entertain for 60 minutes and these two guys did just that.  After the match is when things took a turn for these two outside the ring.  Their feud continued when Bret turned Heel after Wrestlemania 13 and then between Summerslam and Survivor Series in 1997.  The feud got pretty personal on and off television as it became public that Bret was leaving the WWE for WCW before the end of the year.  What happened to Bret at Survivor Series is known as the “Montreal Screw Job” as Vince had the bell rung prematurely to make it look like Hart had given up when in fact he did not.  This was to ensure Bret didn’t keep the WWE title and bring it with him to WCW (I think) which Hart claims he would never do.  Too bad this match never got a definitive ending because the debate rages on who was better and personally a case could be made for both guys.

I wanted to post a video of the Iron-Man match highlights and this is the only one I could find that didn’t have a Creed or Nickleback soundtrack.

#4 WCW vs NWO

Everyone knows that when the WCW debuted Hall and Nash and then their mysterious partner ended up being Hulk Hogan thus forming The New World order that WCW had found one of it’s hottest story lines to date.  As the NWO grew in it’s numbers week after week it set up what was essentially WCW vs NWO and within this grew many small and memorable fueds. Randy Savage and Diamond Dallas Page had a long standing rivalry throughout the WCW vs NWO storyline as well Roddy Piper and Hogan who rekindled their feud from the early 80’s and even headlined WCW’s flagship Pay-Pre-View Starcade 1996 drawing huge numbers and helping usher WCW as the top wrestling promotion in the world. Hogan and Sting, Nash and Goldberg, NWO black and white vs NWO Wolfpac but the one angle they really dropped the ball on was a newly reformed Four Horseman vs the NWO.  Ric Flair and Arn Anderson were always seen as the face of WCW along with Sting and this was an opportunity to really capitalize on the WCW vs NWO angle but it didn’t really pan out.  It all came a head at the 97 pay-per-view War Games in which Ric Flair, Curt Henning, Chris Benoit and Mongo took on Nash, Buff Bagwell, Konnan, and Syxx…but Henning turned on the Horseman, which made it a handicap squash and that was the end of the angle and Flair who was always the face of WCW would disappear.  After the NWO squashed the Horsemen, the snowball that was the NWO had just started to roll, but it rolled into the some weird directions along the way.

WCW vs NWO needed a conclusion but it dragged on for about 2 years too long with 3 hour Nitros, 15 minutes walks to the ring by 20 guys in the NWO, Sting in the rafters at the end of every Nitro and burying the talented guys on the roster while featuring the same NWO crap every week and never evolving.  I really can’t stress enough that I think Nitro went off the rails by making the show 3 hours, and the first ten minutes of the show started the same exact way every week.  There was an entrance I couldn’t embed that took 17 minutes, and they had 13 guys in the ring passing the mic around.

#3 USA vs Canada

There’s no better way to get heat from a crowd than to insult the old stars and stripes but this time around it felt a little bit more real.  As Bret Hart turned heel after Wrestlemania 13 he reformed the Hart Foundation and they became to biggest heels in the company.  Problem is in his home country of Canada they were as popular as ever, pepper in Bret Hart and his growing contempt with the product being unsuitable for kids and his eventual departure thus created a powder keg of a great angle.  Watching the heat from the American crowds and the pops in the Canadian crowds, it was wild and I had never seen anything like it.

Anti-American promo’s Bret would cut were great and were at aimed directly at American wrestling fans and his distaste for where the business was heading.  Then he and the Hart Foundation would arrive in Canada and heralded kings.  The USA vs Canada angle brought on some great matches and small feuds such as Owen and Austin for the Intercontinental title, Bret and The Undertaker for the world title, and Bret versus a pretty laughable character created specifically for this angle known as the patriot.   If you go on Netflix and watch the documentary “Hitman Hart” Wrestling with Shadows and you watch the interviews with the fans outside the arena it’s fascinating.  For one I miss the days of marks because it was so much fun back then, and also you realize how hot this angle/rivalry was.

#2 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage

This was really the mother of all feuds that was perfectly paced, plotted out and really set the precedent for years to come.  This feud had a huge evolution starting at Wrestlemania 3 where Savage had the match that stole show and Hogan had the match that sold the show.  This pushed Savage as a fan favorite and Hogan into another stratosphere which culminated at Wrestlemania 4 where the title was up for grabs and it was Savage who won the tournament.  This solidified Savage as a big time player and with villains The Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant looming around him it only made sense that he team up with Hogan which they dubbed “The MegaPowers” First things first they had such a hard time shaking hands and it was such a big deal in produced such ridiculous promos as this.

This team of Hogan and Savage would headline the first ever Summerslam vs Mega Bucks (Million Dollar Man and Andre the Giant) and again at Survivor Series.  But you could feel any moment the cart was going to fall off the rails and at the Royal Rumble things began to deteriorate.  Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage from the Rumble and then Savage began to grow jealous of Hogan and Savage’s wife Elizabeth.  Savage and Hogan would then become bitter enemies and feud all the way to Wrestlemania 5 where Hogan defeated Savage ending his 371 day reign as Champion, a feat pretty much unheard of today.  Their feud continued through the next year as Savage teamed up with Zeus, Hogan’s cinematic nemesis in the film “No Holds Barred”. Years later Hogan would screw Savage in WCW by joining the NWO, but then Savage joined the NWO for no inexplicable reason, and once again things were inconsistent and stupid.   The word is these guys had legit heat out of the ring as well but the details are muddy at best. If you wanna try and decipher the lyrics of Randy Savage’s 2004 rap song “Be a man, Hogan” you are more than welcome.

#1 Austin vs Vince

What hasn’t been said about the feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin?  It’s my belief as WCW took the top spot in the wrestling industry it was this feud that brought it back to the WWE’s side and essentially won the war.  After the screw job in Montreal it was finally made into a storyline that Vince was indeed the man in charge of the WWE instead of some stooge doing commentary.  Fans already hated Vince because of what he did to Bret so why not make him an evil million boss and square him off against the hottest wrestler in the world in Stone Cold Steven Austin.  This story pretty much wrote itself since Austin was playing the anti-hero badass, why wouldn’t he clash with his uptight boss?  People related to this story as week after week as Austin did all the shit we wished we could do to our boss and get away with it.  As these guys feuded Austin had some brutal matches set up by Vince with guys like The Rock, The Undertaker, Dude Love, Kane and even Vince himself.  As the feud finally came to a head Vince actually got in the ring with Austin and had what was a pretty stellar match considering Vince is not a wrestler.

So this feud spanned about a years worth of TV and made every episode of Raw must see TV week after week and gave us some truly entertaining TV.

Vince McMahon’s WWE was losing the ratings battle to WCW in 1997 so Vince virtually took it upon himself to go on TV week after week, creating one of the best villains in Wrestling history and save his own company, resulting in the demolishing of WCW and putting himself and his company at the top of the mountain.


~ by ATOM on November 12, 2011.

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