Favorite Matches: Honorable Mentions

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been on a quest to pen love letters to my ten favorite wrestling matches. Nine of them have already been written with one more to go. Professional wrestling, like any form of entertainment, is subjective. What I like is going to be different from what someone else enjoys, and that’s ok. That is part of the reason why I wrote about each of these matches. To celebrate, not delineate, or force my opinion upon anyone. As my good buddy Dave once told me, “Hey, you like what you like.”

Before reveal post reveal my favorite match of all-time, I’m going to dedicate this post to some of the matches that go in my honorable mentions category. Anyone of these matches could have taken a spot in my top ten. Some of them did when I started this journey. Some of the matches will speak for themselves, while others will require more explanation.

Without further ado…

Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard: I Quit Steel Cage Match – Starrcade 1985: A lot of wrestling matches today resemble a dance more than a fight. Magnum and Tully exuded utter hatred for one another that may never be duplicated. Every punch and kick was thrown with the sheer intention to make the other man say the words “I Quit.” Magnum finally won the U.S. Championship after months of Tully escaping by the skin of his teeth. Side Note: This match inadvertently exhibits how wrestlers today can’t throw a punch.

Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase – Mid South Wrestling 11/6/85: An angry Dick Murdock came out before the match, saying he was the rightful contender. DiBiase told his old mentor that he was yesterday’s news and received a brainbuster suplex on the concrete floor for his troubles. Blood, blood everywhere. DiBiase somehow got to his feet and competed in the match. Everyone was on the edge of their seat, wondering if a heel DiBiase could pull off the miracle of miracles to win the world championship. All around phenomenal storytelling.

Sting vs. Diamond Dallas Page – WCW Monday Nitro 3/23/98: This was an unadvertised babyface vs. babyface affair as U.S. Champion DDP challenged Sting for the world title. I felt so lucky to see this match at the time. It was a clean match with no shenanigans or outside interference where both wrestlers fought tooth and nail. Sting won with the Scorpion Death drop, helped DDP to his feet afterward, and shook his hand out of respect. DDP lost but showed everyone he was world championship material.

Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1/4/19: Sometimes, I get so excited about something, the finished product is doomed before it can begin because it can never live up to my impossible expectations. Omega vs. Tanahashi is the match I wanted more than any other from the moment I became a fan of the current form of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Despite the pre-match drama of Omega’s eventual departure from the company, both wrestlers put on a stellar performance. If you played a drinking game of how many times my jaw dropped during this match, your liver would tap out.

Macho King Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VII: This career match between two titans of the squared circle personified professional wrestling. Great action and high stakes drama were executed to its fullest. Warrior vanquished the Macho King. Moments later, the Macho Man was reborn as he reunited with the lovely Miss Elizabeth. Tears galore were shed as wrestling’s it couple paraded around the ring. I can’t believe this match didn’t make my top ten.

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H:  3 Stages of Hell – No Way Out 2001: A two out of three falls match where each fall had a different stipulation. The first fall was a regular match. The second fall was a no disqualification match. The third was a steel cage match. This was the big blow-off where Austin would finally get revenge against Triple H for having him run down by a car one year earlier. Austin made his big return, won the Royal Rumble, and was set to main event WrestleMania 17 against The Rock. The action, storytelling, ring psychology, and selling were all on point. It was all topped by a shocking finish where Triple H pinned the rattlesnake.

Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero – Halloween Havoc 1997: Many call this the greatest match in WCW history. Mysterio put his mask on the line to get a shot at the WCW Cruiserweight title. They took high flying wrestling to the next level and had a great story going into the match. Eddie was a bastard of a heel, and Rey exuded the heart of a warrior. There was no doubt after this one that Eddie and Rey were two of the best in the business. Another match that could have easily made my top ten.


Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask: New Japan Pro Wrestling 8/5/82 – Tokyo, Japan: Between April 1981 – April 1983, Tom Billington and Satoru Sayama revolutionized the wrestling business with seven innovative matches. The emotion and athleticism these two put on display was uncanny and still holds up today. The fifth match is considered their best outing and won the Wrestling Observer Match of the Year. However, you can’t go wrong with any of their bouts.

Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VI: This was the wrestling equivalent of Superman versus Batman. An epic dream match where no one knew who was going to win. Warrior won in a torch passing moment to capture the world and intercontinental titles. It doesn’t hold up too well today as to match quality. However, at the time, it was great.

Maverick Wild vs. Doug Williams: NECW – Somerville, MA 6/22/01: This match occurred on an independent show promoted by New England Championship Wrestling (NECW). I attended the event as a networking opportunity when I was breaking into the business. Maverick Wild had been the best wrestler in New England, while British grappler Doug Williams had earned the same reputation across the pond. They wrestled a superb fifteen-minute draw that got better and better with each bump on the canvas. The wrestling, ring psychology, and intensity on display represented everything I wanted to be as a professional wrestler. This match will stay with me forever.

My Favorite Matches

Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 25

Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Survivor Series 1996

Kurt Agle vs. Chris Benoit – Royal Rumble 2003

Bret Hart vs. Undertaker – One Night Only 1997

Ricky Steamboat vs. Macho Man Randy Savage – WrestleMania 3

Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart – Summer Slam 1991 

British Bulldog vs. Owen Hart – Monday Night Raw 3/5/97

Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog – Simmer Slam 1992

WWE and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Team Up

During my formative years, the only thing that rivaled my love for bear hugs and body slams were four brothers from the sewers of New York City. WWE Hall of Famer Sting and Nickelodeon announced at New York Comic Con that WWE and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have joined forces for an action figure collaboration titled Ninja SuperstarsContinue reading “WWE and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Team Up”

Is Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat Overrated?


On March 29, 1987 at WrestleMania III there were 78,000 fans who were enthralled with every slam, punch and suplex thrown in a match that involved two of the best wrestlers on the planet. When the final bell rang at14:35 in the contest, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was crowned as the new WWF Intercontinental Champion by defeating Macho Man Randy Savage. This is arguably the greatest wrestling match of all-time, however, its reputation has been tarnished over the years due to how the match was prepared and laid out.   Continue reading “Is Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat Overrated?”

Randy Savage vs. Jushin Liger: I Never Knew This Happened!


One of the fun things that comes with being a fan of any genre are the undiscovered gems you stumble upon. That wow factor kicks into overdrive because it sounds too good to be true when you find something that you never knew existed.

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger are two of my favorite professional wrestlers. Up until this past weekend, I would’ve called you a liar if you said they actually wrestled each other. Well, they did in fact tango in the squared circle.

Their one and only encounter took place on July 17, 1996, in Sapporo, Japan, during a New Japan Pro Wrestling tour. Savage was one of four wrestlers representing WCW and hurt his leg on a dive the night before in a losing effort to Ric Flair.

According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a sellout crowd 6,400 fans filled the Makomanai Ice Arena as Savage hobbled to the ring for his showdown with the esteemed junior heavyweight. Liger entered next with his usual flash and energy as an admirer handed him a bouquet.

While the match was only eight minutes and really nothing special, it was a nice novelty to see two of the all-time greats dance one time. It was odd seeing Savage being the bigger of the two wrestlers since he was often the smallest guy in the ring.

Despite winning the match with his patented flying elbow drop, Savage really worked to put Liger over as a serious threat. He played defense most of the time due to his leg injury, sold like a champ for the palm strike, and took a Liger Bomb.

Wrestlers have always been expected to wear their working shoes when traveling to Japan. However, looking at the landscape of superstar American heavyweights at the time, I don’t think that many of them would have gone out of their way to make a wrestler in a weight class below look like credible.

It was fun to see Savage out of his element and with Liger. Again, the match is nothing to write home about, but this one time encounter is worth a gander if you a fan of these colorful titans of the mat. The Madness versus The Thunder, Ooh Yeah!


Somebody Get Me A Condominium On The Moon: Randy Savage Makes The Hall Of Fame

macho_man_randy_savage_photo_by_windows8osx-d50ciu8After all this time, it’s finally official. Macho Man Randy Savage will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania 31. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the HOF’s legitimacy, Savage’s induction is long past due.

To me, Randy Savage will always represent the moment professional wrestling became a lifelong passion of mine. While channel surfing on a hot summer night in 1988, I stumbled upon a Mega Powers promo and was immediately drawn in as they vowed to bankrupt the Mega Bucks at Summer Slam 88.

Continue reading “Somebody Get Me A Condominium On The Moon: Randy Savage Makes The Hall Of Fame”

It’s Time For The IC Title To Rise


Most people that dream of a career in athletics or entertainment aspire to be a world champion or recognized by an academy of their peers as the best. I, on the other hand, had childhood ambitions of becoming the WWE Intercontinental Champion. Sounds kind of odd, right? Someone dreaming of being second best instead of number one is not normal. The thing is, I didn’t look at it that way.

Those who watch professional wrestling enjoy it for one or all of its different facets. I enjoy it for the matches more than anything and to me, the WWE title meant you were the biggest star while the IC title states that you were the best wrestler. That’s what I wanted to be, the best wrestler and tell great stories in the ring like Don Muraco, Ricky Steamboat, and Randy Savage.

Intercontinental title matches were one of, if not, the hottest match on the card. Summer Slam 1991 was a significant moment for me as a wrestling fan. Bret Hart upended Hulk Hogan as my favorite wrestler when he defeated Mr. Perfect for the title. Their match spoke to me in a way that I can barely put into words. It was epic, dramatic on its own accord, and was simply about being the best wrestler.

The IC title was highly regarded and held such prestige. Today, not so much. It’s an afterthought at best. So, I wrote about how WWE could fix that problem for my debut article at What Culture.com where I was invited to join them as a featured columnist. I’m very appreciative of this opportunity and can’t wait to get into the thick of things. Check out 5 Ways WWE Can Make The Intercontinental  Title Relevant Again.

Ten Greatest WWE Champions of All Time

The WWE championship is the holy grail of professional wrestling. It’s the belt that every aspiring, and current, wrestler dreams of holding. Having this honor bestowed upon you means you are the best  that this business has to offer which in turn produced some of the most memorable feuds. Today, I will rank the top ten WWE champions of all time.

To say this list was hard to compile would be a huge understatement. 42 wrestlers over a 50 year time span made for several list changes. The thing to remember is that all lists of this type are subjective. You do the best you can with a criteria that makes sense to you.

For example, Money is extremely important, but being a big draw doesn’t define a wrestler. Iron Man 3 made over four hundred million at the box office but it’s not going to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Continue reading “Ten Greatest WWE Champions of All Time”

What if the Fake Diesel and Razor Ramon Actually Worked?


In the Summer of 1996, Professional Wrestling’s Monday Night Wars were heating up. The nWo became an instant ratings bonanza for World Championship Wrestling while the World Wrestling Federation was struggling for their piece of the pie. In August of that year, Jim Ross announced that Diesel and Razor Ramon were heading back to WWF. This created a tidal wave of controversy as the men who performed as Razor and Diesel, were under contract to WCW.

Continue reading “What if the Fake Diesel and Razor Ramon Actually Worked?”

The Conquistadors: All Gold and No Glory

Conquistador is Spanish for “conquerors” and is applied to Spaniard soldiers who explored the New World in the 16th century. In the late 1980’s, the squared circle of the World Wrestling Federation were treated to Conquistadors of a different variety. Gone were the warriors of strategic battle tactics and enter the two individuals who never came close to conquering anything.

Continue reading “The Conquistadors: All Gold and No Glory”

Come With Me On A Trip Down Summerslam Lane

(Blog I wrote for gerweck.net)

As the WWE celebrates the 25th anniversary of their summer time extravaganza, a trip down memory lane seemed appropriate. 1988 was not only the first installment of this popular yearly event, but the first pay-per-view event I ever watched.


August 29th of that year was only the second day of my wrestling fandom. An episode of “The Superstars of Wrestling” the night before sucked me in as the “Mega Powers”, comprised of Hulk Hogan & Macho Man Randy Savage, hyped their tag team match against Andre the Giant and The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, the “Mega Bucks.” Continue reading “Come With Me On A Trip Down Summerslam Lane”