Hulk Hogan

RottenMarks favorite Wrestlemania matches! (Part 1)

With WWE's biggest show of the year right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite matches from the past Wrestlemania's. These matches may not be the best on the card, but they hold a place with me as my favorite. Like my selections? Want to let me know why not? Please leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite matches were!

OH, each match poster is a WWE Network link! Enjoy!


$15,000 Slam Challenge

WRESTLEMANIA
1985

The $15,000 Slam Challenge was a match between Big John Studd and challenger, Andre the Giant. This took place at Wrestlemania from Madison Square Garden on March 31st, 1985, and was originally called by Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura. The match featured some decent offense from both big men. It concluded with Andre slamming Big John Studd to an amazing pop from the New York City crowd. He was awarded a small WWF duffel full of “money” and celebrated with it. The duffel was snatched by the heel manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who ran away with it. This was a short and concise match that didn't expose the big men for too long. Although, both guys appeared to be gassed a few moments after the opening bell. Andre was his usual lumbering self, but he at least appeared more able and happy. Studd was his usual bland self. A good wrestler to do the job, but not much more than that. This match clearly established who the dominant big man in the WWF was at the time.

 

THE BRITISH BULLDOGS VS. THE DREAM TEAM

WRESTLEMANIA 2
1986

The WWF Tag Team Titles match from Wrestlemania 2, is the most entertaining on the card. The commentary was provided from Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund and Kathy Lee Gifford. The Bulldogs were seconded by Capt. Lou Albano and rock musician, Ozzy Osbourne. While the Dream Team (Brutis Beefcake & Greg Valentine) were managed by “The Luscious” Johnny Valiant. The match itself is awesome. The Bulldogs are in top form, Valentine and Beefcake are good opponents for these younger and stronger newcomers. The build in this match is great. Entertaining on a lot of levels. It was a great showcase of the quality of tag team wrestling in the nineteen eighties. The post match speech from Captain Lou Albano is hilarious, Bulldog is excited, and Ozzy agrees to stay in contact with the Bulldogs.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RICKY STEAMBOAT

WRESTLEMANIA 3
1987

"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 3 is an amazing match. The champion, coming into the match, was the Macho Man. Accompanied by his long-time manager, Miss. Elizabeth. The challenger is Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, an amazing wrestler that is seconded by George “The Animal” Steele. This match is a clinic. Macho Man is so damn good in that ring. His selling for Steamboat is some of the best in the game. Definitely the best in the WWF at the time. There is so much effective storytelling in this single match. It’s the true main event of Wrestlemania 3.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. TED DIBIASE

WRESTLEMANIA IV
1988

The final match in the WWF Championship Tournament from Wrestlemania IV. A main event bout between two highly proficient competitors that was a good pay-off to a less than stellar Pay-Per-View. Macho Man, who was accompanied by Miss Elisabeth and eventually Hulk Hogan, came into this match with a nearly empty tank. He had already fought three times earlier in the evening. While DiBiase, seconded by Andre the Giant, was a lot fresher. Having only competed twice. Both guys got to showcase some tremendous technical ability, while churning out an entertaining match. This was a good match that would have been so much better without Hogan being around at all. Macho could more than carry the title.

 

MR. PERFECT vs. THE BLUE BLAZER

WRESTLEMANIA V
1989

Mr. Perfect vs. The Blue Blazer was a exhibition match from Wrestlemania V in 1989. A match between Curt Hennig and Owen Hart, umm… yes please. A technical bout that is way too short, but still one of the more entertaining matches on the card. Owen looks great, his dropkicks and moves are delivered with such precision. Mr. Perfect did his job of being the smarmy, cocky heel that everyone wants to see lose. It was a great match that had a less than perfect ending.

 

HULK HOGAN vs. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

WRESTLEMANIA VI
1990

The Ultimate Challenge was a match at Wrestlemania VI between the WWF Intercontinental Champion, The Ultimate Warrior and The WWF Champion, Hulk Hogan. This was a double-title match between these titans of the squared circle. The winner keeps the world title and vacates the intercontinental strap. Yes, it took me a long time to actually enjoy a Hulk Hogan match on a Wrestlemania card. Maybe part of that is due to the hype of this match, it's through the roof. Ultimate Warrior’s pop is deafening. The place goes nuts. Then Hogan comes out and it’s even louder. These two stars were clearly the top characters in professional wrestling in 1990. Every box is checked in this match. Hogan is red hot. The Ultimate Warrior is the new, hungry talent that has nearly the same popularity. It’s a huge match that has two titles on the line. Such a big time main event. Both guys gave it so much more than they had usually done in past performances. A rare showing of wrestling talent from both Warrior and Hogan. Great match, great ending.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR

WRESTLEMANIA VII
1991

“Macho King” Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior was a Career Ending Match at Wrestlemania VII in 1991. Dressed to the nines, Macho King showed his vivacious pageantry in a triumphant entrance. He was accompanied to the ring by the sinister “Macho Queen” Sherri, who interfered incessantly. Warrior came to the ring with little gusto. A man ready for a fight. He had clearly been pushed to the edge by King and Queen Macho in the months leading up to Wrestlemania. They had even added some additional story-line by showing Randy Savage’s former valet, Elisabeth, in the crowd as a spectator. This match is clearly a culmination of the popular story lines that Savage had seeded throughout his career in the World Wrestling Federation. It’s tremendous. One of the top Wrestlemania matches that might not leave you with a dry eye.

 

RANDY SAVAGE vs. RIC FLAIR

WRESTLEMANIA IIX
1992

“Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair was a grudge match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, that took place at Wrestlemania IIX in 1992. Ric Flair was on an incredible streak at the time as the champion. He and Randy Savage had a great feud going. Flair had seemingly wooed Elisabeth away from the Macho Man and justice needed to be delivered. Justice in the form of a flying elbow. This was a heavy hitting bout with some fantastic storytelling and a brutal beating. Ric Flair is a master in the ring and works in an amazing way with Randy Savage. When he is busted open the match takes this incredibly dramatic edge. It’s beautiful. One of my favorite Wrestlemania matches for sure. These two were made to fight. There isn’t a more appropriate match to chant “Fight Forever” at. A five star match all the way.

 

THE HEADSHRINKERS vs. THE STEINER BROTHERS

WRESTLEMANIA IX
1993

The WWF Tag Team Championship was defended in one of the only decent matches at Wrestlemania IX. It was fought between The Headshrinkers and The Steiner Brothers. A good back-and-forth for each team. The Steiners were the clear favorites, but the Headshrinkers were no slouches. They had shown in the past that their hunger for tag team gold makes them very formidable competitors. Scott Steiner was the showcase of the entire match, he did well selling for Fatu and Samu, but appeared to be overwhelmed halfway through. It was sloppy, dangerous and odd. However, the ending makes the whole thing worth it. This is by far the worst match on this list.

 

BRET HART vs. OWEN HART

WRESTLEMANIA X
1994

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart was, and is the greatest opening match for any Wrestlemania to date. This particular brawl took place at Wrestlemania X on March 20th 1994. A civil war between two brothers striving to become THE MAN in the World Wrestling Federation. Bret Hart is playing the role of the face here. He was the new focus of the company after Hogan and Warrior left, with Randy Savage retiring from serious competition. Owen Hart had been fledgling in the mid-card with a number of gimmicks like The Blue Blazer and even teaming up with Koko B. Ware. Playing the heel in this match signaled his arrival as a viable top-spot competitor.  The match is a technical powerhouse. Tremendous storytelling and a grandiose display of their wrestling ability. You can feel the emotion, the suspense and the intrigue all playing a part in this fight between two brothers.

 

SHAWN MICHAELS vs. DIESEL

WRESTLEMANIA XI
1995

No Friends in Matters of Gold was a match between the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and the WWF Champion, Diesel. Two good friends and members of the Kliq, these guys would go in there and give it everything. This was a star-studded affair. Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Nicholas Turturro were given special positions during the match as bell-keeper and special announcer. Shawn Michaels was led to the ring by his partner “Sycho” Sid alongside buxom model, Jenny McCarthy. And World Champion Diesel was led to the ring by Playboy and Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson. Everyone was in their prime, and looked fantastic. The match was fast-paced, well-executed and it told a good story. Michaels was a smarmy heel and Diesel was the clear crowd-favorite.

 

THE UNDERTAKER vs. DIESEL

WRESTLEMANIA XII
1996

The Undertaker vs. Diesel took place during Wrestlemania XII in 1996. Kevin Nash was leaving the WWF for WCW and this served as his send-off. A great showing of respect between both men. If you want to see a good match between two big guys, then this is just what you're looking for. A real battle of the monsters. Hard hitting action from both giants as they hit each-other with finisher after finisher. This is Undertaker in his prime.

 

BRET HART vs. STEVE AUSTIN

WRESTLEMANIA 13
1997

The Submission Match from Wrestlemania 13 between Bret Hart and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is one of the best matches in the history of professional wrestling. It is my personal favorite match of either competitor, and is a clinic for anyone that potentially wants to get into wrestling. The storytelling is beyond reproach. It also has the honor of being the single match that turned the tide of wrestling in the nineties. This bout ushered in the attitude era. Anything can happen, for better or worse. From this match forward, it was cool to be a heel.

KEEP CHECKING WITH ROTTENMARKS FOR UPDATES THIS WEEKEND TO THIS LIST!

Grudge Match #3: Sean Waltman & Scott Hall (Part 3)

GRUDGE MATCH

Sean Waltman & Scott Hall

PART 1PART 2PART 3


Sean Waltman re-joined the WWF in 1997 after he was fired from WCW by Eric Bischoff via FedEx. He would start a campaign with D-Generation X to "free" his friends from the evil clutches of WCW. However, his friends never made the jump. Scott Hall and Kevin Nash both stayed with WCW until it's demise in 2001. It wasn't until 2002 that Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan would make their return to the World Wrestling Federation as the New World Order.

 

The storyline played out with "Hollywood" Hogan going back to being a face and various Kliq members joining the nWo. This alliance brought back the duo of Sean and Scott. Almost four and a half years since they had last met up. 

THe nWo (X-Pac, Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) vs. The Rock & "Hollywood" HUlk Hogan

Three on Two Handicap

WWF Monday Night RAW

During the RAW episode on March 25th, 2002. The WWF would hold their first brand extension. It was the first time that the WWF roster would be split into two separate divisions, WWF Raw and WWF Smackdown. A lottery was held on RAW with General Manager Ric Flair choosing the entire New World Order as a single entry. 

 

The Rock, Kane & "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan vs. The nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & X-Pac)
Six Man TaG Team Match 
WWF Smackdown - March 28th 2002

X-Pac would stay as a part of the new nWo and feud with his former partner Kane. During a hardcore match between X-Pac and Kane on WWE RAW, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash would intervene allowing X-Pac to steal Kane's mask.

The nWo (Scott Hall & X-Pac) & The Undertaker vs. Steve Austin & Bradshaw
Three on Two Handicap
WWF Monday Night RAW - April 15th 2002


Scott Hall & X-Pac vs. Steve Austin & The Big Show
Tag Team Match
WWF Monday Night RAW - April 22nd 2002

 

The nWo (The Big Show, Scott Hall & X-Pac) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Ric Flair and Bradshaw
Six Man Tag Team Match
WWE Monday Night RAW - May 6th 2002

The night before the May 6th edition of Monday Night RAW, X-Pac, Scott Hall and various other WWE performers were involved in a drug-fueled nightmare flight dubbed the Plane Ride from Hell. Wrestlers were drunk or on DMT, Ric Flair had been flashing stewardesses, Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar had a shoot fight and X-Pac cut off Michael Hayes' ponytail among other atrocities. However, the entire time Scott Hall was asleep and not participating in the antics. Regardless, both X-Pac and Hall would be gone from the WWE in a number of weeks. This event didn't help. 

If you're in the ring with me I'll work for free.   - Scott Hall to Syxx-Pac

If you're in the ring with me I'll work for free. 
- Scott Hall to Syxx-Pac

A new promotion was interested in bringing in the Kliq to draw a few views. That promotion is NWA/TNA. Scott Hall had already been competing in singles competition against the likes of Jeff Jarrett. However, in September of 2002 Sean Waltman made his way over as Syxx-Pac. He and Scott Hall formed a Tag Team and competed in the first Tag Team Gauntlet for the Gold Battle Royal. 

 

Tag Team Gauntlet for the Gold
Tag Team Battle Royal & Sudden Death Match
NWA Total Non-Stop Action - September 18th 2002

Part 2 - Part 3

Syxx-Pac had a lot to prove in a new promotion. He ran in like a fireball and set fire to the ring. Not literally. But he did impress. Interesting note, there is a cool little meet-up between Syxx-Pac and a young CM Punk. 

Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac vs. Elix Skipper & Brian Lawler
Tag Team Match
NWA Total Non-Stop Action - September 25th 2002

This would be nothing more than a cup of coffee for the two friends. Scott Hall would start to sporadically show up and Syxx-Pac would move onto singles competition in the X-Division. In 2007, the duo showed up in Mexico competing for Asistencia Asesoría y Administración or AAA. They competed in another Battle Royal this time it was the Copa Antonio Pena 2007 12 Man Gauntlet. Syxx-Pac, sticking with tradition, changed his name for this appearance back to X-Pac. 

 

Copa Antonio Pena 2007 12 Man Gauntlet
12 Man Battle Royal
AAA Sin Limite - Homenaje A Antonio Pena 2007 - October 7th 2007

Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5

Both Waltman and Hall were part of Konnan's stable called La Legión Extranjera or the Foreign Legion. They would help eachother out and interfere in each other's matches. However, these were mostly singles matches and they wouldn't last together for very long. 

In 2010 Scott Hall and Sean Waltman would return to TNA. They would make their debut on Impact in a segment with the also debuting Hulk Hogan. Kevin Nash would also join them creating a new stable called The Band. They wouldn't do much but beat down various wrestlers including their own. In March, Hall and Waltman would tag again this time against their brother Kevin Nash and Eric Young. 

The Band (Syxx-Pac & Scott Hall) vs. Kevin Nash & Eric Young
Loser is Banned from TNA Tag Team Match
TNA Destination X 2010 - March 21st 2010

Nash would rejoin the group and it would start to evolve into a feud with Eric Young. Young would recruit the help of Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy to participate in a Six Man Tag Steel Cage Match. 

The Band (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac) vs. Eric Young, Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy
Six Man Tag Steel Cage Match
TNA iMPACT! - March 23rd 2010

Impact Wrestling is pretty wretched at maintaining their back library and they apparently don't have a streaming service. Which is a shame. I was actually looking forward to watching this feud. Anyway, The Band would continue to haunt around TNA. But their tag team mostly consisted of the combination of Nash and Hall. Syxx-Pac was brought back into the fold for a match with Team 3D. This storyline also involved Bubba the Love Sponge. Yay. 

The Band (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac) vs. Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) & Jesse Neil
Six Man Hardcore Match
TNA iMPACT! - April 6th 2010

Scott Hall and Sean Waltman have one of the best relationships in professional wrestling. I had asked a few wrestlers on Twitter what their impressions were on working with those two specifically. The consensus is good. Konnan said that working with Hall and Waltman during their WCW days was "Great!" I suggest you all listen to Konnan's podcast about the nWo. I really enjoyed it. I hope that we hear more from these guys in the future. I would love to add a fourth part to this series. 


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