Category Archives: WWF

Legends of Wrestling: The Undertaker

TheUndertaker

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My WrestleMania Playlist

*I do not claim ownership of any photos.

HULKVANDRE

WrestleMania III
– Intercontinental Championship Match:
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
– WWF Championship Match:
“The Immortal” Hulk Hogan (c) vs. Andre the Giant

WrestleMania IV
– 20 Man Battle Royale
– Vacated WWF Championship Tournament Finals:
“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

MANIA-MACHO

WrestleMania V
– WWF Championship Match:
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (c) vs. “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan

WrestleMania VI
– WWF / Intercontinental Championship “Title for Title” Match:
“The Immortal” Hulk Hogan (WWF) vs. The Ultimate Warrior (IC)

WrestleMania VII
– Career Ending Match:
The Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho King” Randy Savage

WrestleMania VIII
– Intercontinental Championship Match:
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper (c) vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart

RODDY-V-BRET

– WWF Championship Match:
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair (c) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

MANIA-ricflair

WrestleMania X
– Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “The Rocket” Owen Hart

MANIA-OWEN

– Intercontinental Championship “Ladder” Match:
“The Bad Guy” Razor Ramon (c) vs. “HBK” Shawn Michaels

WrestleMania XII
– Hollywood Backlot Brawl:
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs. Goldust
– The Undertaker vs. “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel
– WWF Championship “Iron Man” Match:
Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) vs. “HBK” Shawn Michaels

MANIA-HBK

WrestleMania XIII
– “I Quit” Match w/ Guest Referee – Ken Shamrock:
Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
– Chicago Street Fight:
The Nation of Domination vs. Ahmed Johnson & The Legion of Doom

WrestleMania XIV
– The Undertaker vs. Kane

MANIA-TAKER

WrestleMania XV
– WWF Championship “No DQ” Match:
The Rock (c) vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

MANIA-STONE COLD-15

WrestleMania 2000
– WWF Tag Team Championship “Triangle Ladder” Match:
The Dudley Boyz (c) vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian

WrestleMania XVII
– The Undertaker vs. Triple H
– WWF Championship “No DQ” Match:
The Rock (c) vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

WrestleMania XVIII
– No DQ Match:
The Undertaker vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
– The Rock vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan

ROCKvHOGAN

WrestleMania XIX
– “HBK” Shawn Michaels vs. “Y2J” Chris Jericho

WrestleMania XX
– Handicap Match:
Evolution vs. The Rock & Sock Connection
– WWE Championship Match:
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Kurt Angle

GuerrerovsAngleWM20

WrestleMania XXI
– “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match
– The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
– “HBK” Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle

WrestleMania XXII
– Hardcore Match:
Edge vs. Mick Foley
– Women’s Championship Match:
Trish Stratus (c) vs. Mickie James
– Street Fight:
“HBK” Shawn Michaels vs. Mr. McMahon
– WWE Championship Match:
John Cena (c) vs. Triple H

MANIATriple-h-vs-john-cena

WrestleMania XXIII
– World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker

WrestleMania XXIV
– Career Threatening Match:
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair vs. “HBK” Shawn Michaels
– WWE Championship “Triple Threat” Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H vs. John Cena

WrestleMania XXV
– Handicap Match: “Y2J” Chris Jericho vs.
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, & Jimmy “Supefly” Snuka
– The Undertaker vs. “HBK” Shawn Michaels

IMG26

WrestleMania XXVI
– Career Threatening Match:
“HBK” Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker

WrestleMania XXVII
– Randy Orton vs. CM Punk

WrestleMania XXVIII
– Hell in a Cell Match w/ Guest Referee – Shawn Michaels
The Undertaker vs. Triple H
– WWE Championship Match:
CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho
– The Rock vs. John Cena

WrestleMania XXIX
– The Undertaker vs. CM Punk

WM29_Photo_151_original

Legends of Wrestling: Edge

WWE-Edge

“The Rated R Superstar” debuted in the WWF in 1998. Originally, his persona seemed to be a mainstream version of ECW’s Raven. Edge made his PPV debut at SummerSlam 1998, teaming with Sable in a mixed tag team match against Marc Mero and Jacqueline. That fall, Edge joined Gangrel and Christian to form “The Brood,” a group primarily known for their unique entrance.

The Brood was absorbed by The Undertaker’s “Ministry of Darkness” in 1999. They participated in a very controversial moment at WrestleMania XV, hanging The Big Boss Man from the Hell in a Cell. Soon after this, The Brood was booted from The Ministry. Gangrel also forsook Edge and Christian, forming “The New Brood” with The Hardy Boyz.

Even though Gangrel started the epic feud, both teams set their sights on winning the managerial services of Terri Runnels, competing in the first ever tag team ladder match. The Hardy Boyz were victorious, but both teams made their mark. Edge and Christian actually teamed with The Hardy Boyz at Survivor Series 1999, having won each other’s respect.

Both teams challenged The Dudley Boyz for the WWF Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triangle Ladder Match. Edge and Christian captured the titles, then they turned on the fans. Even without the crowd support, they dominated the tag team division for the next year by defeating The Dudleyz and The Hardyz in the first ever TLC Match at SummerSlam 2000 and TLC II at WrestleMania XVII. Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, defeating Kurt Angle in the finals, which caused dissention between he and Christian, who became jealous of Edge’s success in singles competition. The duo eventually split up and battled each other for the Intercontinental Championship.

Edge had rivalries with the likes of William Regal and Eddie Guerrero in 2002 and had two more reigns as a tag team champion. One with his boyhood hero, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, and another with Rey Mysterio. Edge injured his neck early in 2003 and was out of action for well over a year.

When Edge returned in 2004, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Randy Orton, but he and his fans became frustrated with his inability to live up to his potential and become the World Heavyweight Champion. He was actually jeered in his hometown of Toronto at SummerSlam 2004. Edge snapped and cost Shawn Michaels the World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday 2004. At WrestleMania XXI, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, guaranteeing himself a title shot within the next year. He also became vilified for his relationship with Lita, which lead to heated rivalries with both Kane and Matt Hardy. Kane crashed Edge and Lita’s wedding and tombstoned the priest. Edge waited until New Year’s Revolution 2006 to finally cashed in his title opportunity, defeating John Cena after Cena had successfully defended the WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber Match.

Edge’s title reign was brief and he inexplicably blamed Mick Foley. Edge defeated Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match at WrestleMania XXI, then resumed feuding with John Cena for most of 2006. After trading victories with John Cena, Edge formed another tag team with Randy Orton, called “Rated RKO.” Despite their potential, this duo never really synced and dissolved their partnership early in 2007.

Edge won the Money in the Bank contract for a second time, defeating Mr. Kennedy, then he cashed in to steal the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker. Ironically, Edge tore his pectoral muscle in an altercation with Kane and was forced to relinquish the title. Edge returned and began a torrid love affair with Vickie Guerrero, the new G.M. of the SmackDown! brand. Edge was in the main event of WrestleMania XXIV, defending the World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker. The Undertaker remained undefeated at WrestleMania, winning the title, and he also bested Edge in a Hell in a Cell Match at SummerSlam 2008.

Edge’s on-again-off-again relationship with Vickie Guerrero continued to payoff as he made a surprise return at Survivor Series 2008 to win the WWE Championship. He then lost the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2009 in the SmackDown! Elimination Chamber Match, only to win the World Heavyweight Championship later that night in the RAW Elimination Chamber Match. Since Vickie Guerrero wasn’t the G.M. of RAW at the time, no reasonable explanation was ever given as to why this title change was permitted. Because of a bizarre love triangle with Vickie Guerrero and The Big Show, Edge lost the World Heavyweight Championship to John Cena in a Triple Threat Match with The Big Show at WrestleMania XXV.

Edge formed yet another tag team, this time with Chris Jericho in the summer of 2009, but suffered an Achilles tendon injury and was replaced by The Big Show. Chris Jericho and The Big Show became the Slammy Award winning “Tag Team of the Year 2009.” Edge returned and won the 2010 Royal Rumble Match, making him one of the most decorated WWE superstars of all time, but he failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXVI.

Edge was one of the superstars who united against “The Nexus,” a faction of upstarts who invaded RAW in the summer of 2010, then returned to SmackDown! and won the World Heavyweight Championship from Kane at TLC 2010. As his career began to wind down, Edge had several successful title defenses against Dolph Ziggler, who was Vickie Guerrero’s new charge, before his final match, successfully defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania XXVII. Christian was in Edge’s corner for his final match. Edge was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Christian one year later on the eve of WrestleMania XXVIII.

Legends of Wrestling: The Ultimate Warrior

UltimateWarrior

In 1987, a spaceship which had departed from parts unknown arrived in the World Wrestling Federation. From this ship emerged… THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR!!! He first appeared on the grand stage as an entrant into the 1988 Royal Rumble Match, but he was not yet an icon and was eliminated quickly. He then defeated Hercules Hernandez, of The Heenan Family, at WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City.

The Ultimate Warrior first made his mark when Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake was injured by “The Outlaw” Ron Bass. Beefcake was the #1 Contender for The Honky Tonk Man’s Intercontinental Championship, so Honky was now without an opponent for SummerSlam 1988. The Warrior substituted and defeated The Honky Tonk Man in a record time to win the prestigious Intercontinental Championship. The Warrior was also the sole survivor in the opening match of Survivor Series 1988.

The Ultimate Warrior competed against “Ravishing” Rick Rude in a super pose-down at Royal Rumble 1989, which ended in a no contest after Rude gave The Warrior a cheap-shot. The Ravishing One then defeated The Warrior at WrestleMania V for his title with assistance from Rick Rude’s manager, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Their rematch as SummerSlam 1989 was one of the greatest matches in the career of The Warrior. With assistance from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, The Warrior regained his title. The Warrior was a sole survivor once again, this time in the main event of Survivor Series 1989.

At Royal Rumble 1990, The Ultimate Warrior crossed paths with “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, the WWF Champion. The Hulkster inadvertently eliminated The Warrior and set the stage for the “ultimate challenge” at WrestleMania VI in Toronto. Champion vs. champion. Title for title. The Warrior made history by becoming the first superstar since the birth of Hulkamania to score a legit victory over Hulk Hogan, also becoming the first superstar to hold both the Intercontinental and WWF Championships. The Warrior was then forced to relinquish the Intercontinental Championship by Jack Tunney, president of the WWF, so he could focus on the defending the WWF World Title.

The Ultimate Warrior successfully defended the gold at SummerSlam 1990 against his long time nemesis, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, in a Steel Cage Match. The Warrior was a sole survivor yet again at Survivor Series 1990, earing his way into the grand finale match of survival, where he and Hulk Hogan were victorious. The Warrior refused to defend his title against “Macho King” Randy Savage, likely because The Macho King had his manager, Sensational “Queen” Sherri, issue the challenge on his behalf, so Savage interfered in The Warrior’s match with Sgt. Slaughter at Royal Rumble 1991, costing Warrior the WWF Championship.

The Ultimate Warrior and “Macho King” Randy Savage, two of the top stars of their era, faced off in a Career Ending Match at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles. The Warrior was victorious in this show stealing match and (temporarily) retired Randy Savage. The Warrior then resumed his feud with Sgt. Slaughter, teaming with Hulk Hogan in a Handicap Match at SummerSlam 1991 against The Triangle of Terror: Sgt. Slaughter, Col. Mustapha, & Gen. Adnan. Sid Justice was the special guest referee. Hogan and The Warrior were the winners, but The Warrior disappeared from the WWF immediately following the match. Warrior had, just prior to SummerSlam, been double crossed by Jake “The Snake” Roberts, who aligned with The Undertaker and Paul Bearer, but there was no resolution to this rivalry.

The Ultimate Warrior made his surprise return to the WWF at WrestleMania VIII in Indianapolis, saving Hulk Hogan from Sid Justice and Papa Shango. The Warrior then challenged “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the reigning WWF Champion, at SummerSlam 1992. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig interfered in the match and The Warrior won via count out, but titles cannot change hands on a count out. Warrior and Savage formed “The Ultimate Maniacs” alliance and were set to face Ric Flair and Razor Ramon in a tag team match at Survivor Series 1992, but Warrior again vanished from WWF programming. He was replaced by Mr. Perfect in the match.

This time, The Ultimate Warrior remained gone for over three years before returning at WrestleMania XII in Anaheim to decimate Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He was set to face Goldust for the Intercontinental Championship at In Your House a month later, but Goldust had injured his knee earlier in the night and intentionally got himself counted out to retain his title. After defeating Jerry “The King” Lawler at King of the Ring 1996, The Warrior was to team up with Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson against Camp Cornette: Vader, Owen Hart, & The British Bulldog at the next In Your House, but abruptly left the WWF for a third time and was replaced by Sycho Sid.

The Ultimate Warrior resurfaced two years later in World Championship Wrestling, confronting “Hollywod” Hulk Hogan on Monday Nitro. The Warrior participated in a #1 Contenders’ War Games Match at Fall Brawl 1998, then was defeated by Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc 1998. Members of the New World Order interfered in the match and The Warrior’s brief tenure in WCW came to and end soon after.

The Ultimate Warrior came out of retirement in 2008 for a match against Orlando Jordan in Nu-Wrestling Evolution. The Warrior won and relinquished the NWE Championship all on the same night. The Warrior will soon be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on the eve of WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans.

Let’s get ready to rumble!!!

Posters are property of WWE

Posters are property of WWE

Greatest WWF/WWE Champions: 1985-2013

Photo is property of wwe.com

Photo is property of wwe.com

*WCW, ECW, & TNA titles count towards a superstars iconic status.

20. Mick Foley
– 3 time WWF Champion.
– 1 time WWF Hardcore Champion.
– 8 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time WCW Tag Team Champion.
– 2 time ECW Tag Team Champion.
– Winner of the first Boiler Room Brawl at SummerSlam 1996.
– Entered the 1998 Royal Rumble Match as three different personas.
– The Hardcore Championship was created in 1998 specifically for him.
– One half of the “The Rock & Sock Connection” with The Rock.
– WWF Commisioner in 2000.
– 1 time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
– 1 time TNA Legends Champion.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2013.

19. Edge
– 4 time WWE Champion.
– 7 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 5 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 11 time WWF/WWE Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time WCW United States Champion (during the “invasion” angle in 2001).
– He and Christian were the winners of the first “TLC” Match at SummerSlam 2000.
– 2001 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– Winner of the first “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXI.
– Won the Money in the Bank contract from Mr. Kennedy in 2007.
– Winner of the 2010 Royal Rumble Match.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2012.

18. “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel
– 1 time WWF Champion.
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 2 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– WWF “Triple Crown” winner.
– Defeated Mr. Bob Backlund for the WWF Championship in a record time.
– Longest reigning WWF Champion of the 1990s.
– 5 time WCW Champion.
– 9 time WCW Tag Team Champion.
– One half of “The Outsiders” with Scott Hall.
– Formed the “New World Order” in 1996 and then the “The Wolf Pack” in 1998.
– Winner of the WCW World War III Battle Royal in 1998.
– Ended Bill Goldberg’s undefeated streak at Starcade 1998.
– 1 time TNA Tag Team Champion.
– 2 time TNA Legends Champion.

17. The Ultimate Warrior
– 1 time WWF Champion.
– 2 time Intercontinental Champion.
– Sole survivor for three consecutive years at the Survivor Series, 1988, 1989, & 1990.
– First superstar with a legit victory over Hulk Hogan in a main event.
– Only superstar to simultaneously hold the WWF and Intercontinental Championships.
– First WWF Champion to defend the gold at SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble.
– Retired “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania VII (albeit temporarily).

16. Andre the Giant
– 1 time WWF Champion.
– 1 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– Member of “The Heenan Family,” 1987-1990.
– Sole survivor in the main event of the first Survivor Series in 1987.
– His WWF Championship victory drew the highest ratings in pro wrestling history.
– WWF Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 1993 (posthumously).
– The WWF Hall of Fame was christened with his induction.

15. Brock Lesnar
– 3 time WWE Champion.
– 2002 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– Youngest WWE Champion in history when he won the title at SummerSlam 2002.
– Winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble Match.
– Only athlete to be a champion in the NCAA, WWE, & UFC.

14. CM Punk
– 2 time WWE Champion.
– 3 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 1 time ECW Champion (under the WWE umbrella).
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 1 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
– WWE Champion for fourteen months. The longest title reign of the new millennium.
– 2 time winner of the Money in the Bank contract, 2008 & 2009.
– Leader of both “The Straight Edge Society” & “The New Nexus.”

13. Randy Orton
– 11 time WWE Champion.
– 3 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 1 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
– Third generation superstar.
– Member of “Evolution,” 2003-2004.
– Youngest World Champion in history when he won the title at SummerSlam 2004.
– Sole survivor for three consecutive years at the Survivor Series, 2003, 2004, & 2005.
– Formed “The Legacy” in 2008.
– Winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble Match.
– Money in the Bank contract winner in 2013.
– Unified the WWE & World Heavyweight Championships at TLC 2013.

12. Chris Jericho
– 1 time WWF Undisputed Champion.
– 3 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 9 time Intercontinental Champion, which is a record.
– 5 time WWF / WWE Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time WWF European Champion.
– 1 time WWF Hardcore Champion.
– 2 time WCW Champion (during the “invasion” angle in 2001).
– 1 time WCW Television Champion.
– 4 time WCW Cruiserweight Champion.
– 1 time ECW Television Champion.
– Unified the WWF & WCW Championships at Vengeance 2001.
– Won the Slammy Award for “Superstar of the Year” in 2008.
– Won the Slammy Award for “Tag Team of the Year” in 2009 with The Big Show.
– Winner of 1 Elimination Chamber Match, 2010.

11. Kurt Angle
– 4 time WWF/WWE Champion.
– 1 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 1 time WWF European Champion.
– 1 time WCW Champion (during the “invasion” angle in 2001).
– 2000 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– 5 time TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
– 2 time TNA Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time TNA X-Division Champion.
– 2 time winner of the TNA “King of the Mountain” Match, 2007 & 2009.
– Formed the “Main Event Mafia” in 2008.
– TNA Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2013.

10. Triple H
– 7 time WWF/WWE Champion.
– 5 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 4 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 2 time WWF/ WWE Tag Team Champion.
– 2 time WWF European Champion.
– 1997 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– Co-founded DeGeneration X in 1997 and assumed the leadership role in 1998.
– Winner of the first “Three Stages of Hell” Match in 2001.
– Winner of the 2002 Royal Rumble Match.
– Temporarily retired the Intercontinental Championship in 2002.
– Formed “Evolution” in 2003.
– Reformed “DeGeneration X” in 2006.
– Winner of 4 Elimination Chamber Matches, 2003, 2005, 2008, & 2009.
– Became the C.O.O. of the WWE in 2011.

9. John Cena
– 11 time WWE Champion.
– 3 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 3 time WWE United States Champion.
– 4 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
– Winner of both the 2008 & 2013 Royal Rumble Matches.
– Winner of 2 Elimination Chamber Matches, 2006 & 2010.
– Money in the Bank contract winner in 2012.
– Has competed in 10 consecutive WrestleManias.
– The figurehead of the WWE during the modern era.
– Was once defeated by Kevin Federline 😉

8. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
– 16 time World Champion (NWA, WCW, & WWF combined).
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 3 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
– 6 time NWA/WCW United States Champion.
– 2 time NWA/WCW Television Champion.
– The figurehead of the NWA/WCW during the 1980s.
– Leader of “The Four Horsemen” throughout multiple incarnations.
– Brought the WCW Championship with him to the WWF in 1991.
– Winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble Match.
– Member of “Evolution,” 2002-2005.
– 2 time WWE Hall of Fame inductee, 2008 & 2012.

7. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
– 2 time WWF Champion.
– 1 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 4 time WCW Champion.
– 1987 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– One half of the “The Mega Powers” with Hulk Hogan.
– Won a 14 man tournament at WrestleMania IV.
– Defeated “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan for the King’s Crown Championship in 1989.
– Married Miss Elizabeth at SummerSlam 1991.
– Winner of the WCW World War III Battle Royal in 1995.
– Joined the “New World Order” in 1997, then formed “The Wolf Pack” in 1998.

6. Bret “The Hit Man” Hart
– 5 time WWF Champion.
– 2 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 2 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– WWF “Triple Crown” winner.
– 2 time WCW Champion.
– 1 time WCW Tag Team Champion.
– 5 time WCW/WWE United States Champion.
– One half of “The Hart Foundation” with Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart.
– 2 time winner of the King of the Ring tournament, 1991 & 1993.
– Winner of the first (WWF) Ladder Match in 1992.
– Co-winner of the 1994 Royal Rumble Match with Lex Luger.
– Competed in 12 consecutive WrestleManias.
– Reformed “The Hart Foundation” in 1997, as a faction, not a tag team.
– Victim of the Montreal “Screw Job” at Survivor Series 1997.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2006.

5. Shawn Michaels
– 3 time WWF Champion.
– 1 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 3 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 5 time WWF/WWE Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time WWF European Champion.
– The first WWF Grand Slam Champion.
– One half of “The Rockers” with Marty Jannetty.
– Hired “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel as his bodyguard in 1993.
– Winner of both the 1995 & 1996 Royal Rumble Matches.
– Winner of the first Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII.
– Formed “DeGeneration X” in 1997.
– Winner of the first Hell in a Cell Match at In Your House: Bad Blood in 1997.
– WWF Commisioner, 1998-2000.
– After a four and a half year layoff, made a comeback at SummerSlam 2002.
– Winner of the first Elimination Chamber at Survivor Series 2002.
– Reformed “DeGeneration X” in 2006.
– Retired “Nature Boy” Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV.
– Competed in the Slammy Award winning “Match of the Year” multiple times.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2011.

4. The Undertaker
– 4 time WWF/WWE Champion.
– 3 time World Heavyweight Champion.
– 6 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– 1 time WWF Hardcore Champion.
– 1 time WCW Tag Team Champion (during the “invasion” angle in 2001).
– Undefeated at WrestleMania, 21&0, since 1991.
– Winner of the first Casket Match at Survivor Series 1992.
– Winner of the first Buried Alive Match at In Your House: Buried Alive in 1996.
– Formed “The Ministry of Darkness” in 1999.
– Has twice defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF/WWE Championship.
– Winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble Match.
– Retired Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXVI.

3. The Rock
– 8 time WWF/WWE Champion.
– 2 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 5 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– 2 time WCW Champion (during the “invasion” angle in 2001).
– Third generation superstar.
– Joined The Nation of Domination in 1997 and assumed the leadership role in 1998.
– Youngest WWF Champion in history when he won the title at Survivor Series 1998.
– One half of the “The Rock & Sock Connection” with Mick Foley.
– Winner of the 2000 Royal Rumble Match.
– WrestleMania victories over Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, & John Cena.
– Ended CM Punk’s fourteen month reign as WWE Champion at Royal Rumble 2013.

2. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
– 6 time WWF Champion.
– 2 time Intercontinental Champion.
– 4 time WWF Tag Team Champion.
– 2 time WCW United States Champion.
– 2 time WCW Television Champion.
– 2 time NWA/WCW Tag Team Champion.
– One half of “The Hollywood Blondes” with Brian Pillman.
– 1 time Million Dollar Champion.
– 1996 King of the Ring tournament winner.
– Winner of the 1997, 1998, & 2001 Royal Rumbles, which is a record.
– The “Attitude Era” was ushered in with his victory at WrestleMania XIV.
– Rivalry with Mr. McMahon helped the WWF win the Monday Night War.
– Co-General Manager of Monday Night RAW with Eric Bischoff, 2003-2004.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2009.

1. “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan
– 6 time WWF/WWE Champion.
– 6 time WCW Champion.
– 1 time WWE Tag Team Champion.
– The longest reigning WWF Champion of the 1980s.
– The figurehead of the WWF during the “Rock & Wrestling” era.
– Competed in the main event of eight of the first nine WrestleManias.
– One half of the “The Mega Powers” with “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
– Undefeated at SummerSlam, 6&0, since 1988.
– Winner of both the 1990 & 1991 Royal Rumble Matches.
– First WWF Champion to defend the gold at WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and King of the Ring.
– Formed the “New World Order” in 1996.
– Made a comeback to the WWF in 2002.
– WWE Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2005.
– TNA Wrestling General Manager, 2011-2013.

Greatest Superstars who were never WWF Champion

WWF 1988 - 1994

*Here are scenarios where these grapplers could have become champion.

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper
The Hot Rod could have won the title at The Wrestling Classic in November of 1985, then lost it back to Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania II. How that changes history: King Kong Bundy’s push is aborted and there is no boxing match with Mr. T at WrestleMania II. No great loss. Roddy Piper competed in WCW in the late 1990s, but even when the WCW Championship changed hands like a hot potato, The Hot Rod still could not capture the gold.

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
The Dragon revolutionized pro wrestling with his Intercontinental Championship Match against “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania III, but asked to take the summer of 1987 off to tend to his family. That is not the way to get in Vince McMahon’s good graces. Had he put the needs of the promotion ahead of his personal life, he might have challenged Hulk Hogan for his spot as top baby-face circa WrestleMania IV just as The Ultimate Warrior did at WrestleMania VI. How that changes history: Ricky Steamboat would have been booked as one of the elite along side Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. There might not have been room at the top for The Ultimate Warrior. Ricky Steamboat did win the WCW Championship from “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in 1989.

“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
Andre the Giant could have been allowed to sell the title to The Million Dollar Man on The Main Event after his controversial win over Hulk Hogan. Ted DiBiase then loses the belt to “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV. How that changes history: There is no title tournament at WrestleMania IV, but the big matches that were part of the tournament like Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant and Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude could still be booked. The main event also remains the same.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts
After turning heel over the summer, Jake Roberts could have defeated Hulk Hogan at Survivor Series 1991 instead of The Undertaker. How that changes history: Since The Undertaker’s first title reign was short and barely even acknowledged for several years, his career would not have suffered much. The Undertaker was a protégé of Jake Roberts at the time, so The Phenom could still be part of the angle and the title would probably still be declared vacant before the 1992 Royal Rumble.

“Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig
Tough to say as, unfortunately, Mr. Perfect was not involved in many angles with WWF Champions save for a brief feud with Hulk Hogan circa the 1990 Royal Rumble. Maybe he could have ended The Ultimate Warrior’s reign at Royal Rumble 1991 and then been in the main event of WrestleMania VII against Hulk Hogan? How that changes history: Sgt. Slaughter gets shafted big time, which I am not advocating. I am trying to come up with scenarios which do not alter history too much. Curt Hennig was at least the AWA Champion before joining the WWF in 1988.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude
Another tough one. Rick Rude departed for WCW while The Ultimate Warrior was the WWF Champion. He would have been another candidate to bridge the gap between The Warrior and Hulk Hogan in 1991 since he already beat The Warrior at WrestleMania V for the Intercontinental Championship. How that changes history: It was not my intent to pick on Sgt. Slaughter’s title reign, but erasing a reign of Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, or The Ultimate Warrior would alter WWF history to such a degree that it would be total fantasy booking without any link to reality. Rick Rude had three reigns as the WCW International Heavyweight Champion during the transitional period when the promotion showcased two heavyweight champions.

Owen Hart
Owen could have defeated Bob Backlund at the Madison Square Garden houseshow the weekend after Survivor Series 1994 instead of Diesel. Owen had helped Backlund win the title. Betraying Backlund and taking the belt from him could have been phase two of Owen’s plan. Owen loses the belt to Diesel at Royal Rumble 1995. Bret “Hit Man” Hart interferes in that match. How that changes history: Diesel still faces Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XI, but Bret and Owen’s respective matches are a bit more tricky. Even with Yokozuna as his mystery tag team partner, Owen may not have challenged for the WWF Tag Team Championships. Owen could have fought Bret in the “I Quit” Match with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as guest referee, taking the place of Bob Backlund. Bret vs. Backlund at WrestleMania XI was the weakest of the matches they competed in during their 1994-1995 rivalry anyway, but I do not enjoy leaving Yokozuna without a match. The roster was real thin at the time and I cannot think of worthy adversary for Yoko.

Lex Luger
The Lex Express steadily derailed after he failed to take the gold from Yokozuna in the main event of SummerSlam 1993. In my own humble opinion, it was for the best that Yokozuna was booked as this unstoppable heel champion until WrestleMania X. Vince McMahon also chose wisely by having Bret “Hit Man” Hart be the hero who slayed the monster. The only other opportunity I can think of to make Lex champion would be to interrupt Diesel’s year long title reign in 1995. Lex could win the belt at the King of the Ring and lose it back to Diesel at SummerSlam. How that changes history: King Mabel never main events a pay-per-view and perhaps Lex does not jump to WCW and appear on the inaugural Monday Nitro, effecting the early days of the Monday Night War.

Razor Ramon
Not unlike Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon was a perennial contender for the Intercontinental Championship. The only WWF Championship Match I can recall him competing in was against Bret “Hit Man” Hart at Royal Rumble 1993. That was not the right time for him to become champion, nor should he have ended Diesel’s 1995 reign. A likely scenario would have been for Scott Hall to not join WCW in 1996, remain with the WWF, turn heel, and feud with Shawn Michaels. They could have had another Ladder Match? They were tied at one a piece, so a rubber match to settle things? How that changes history: Scott Hall appearing announced on Nitro caused the Monday Night War to escalate in a big way. Scott Hall and subsequently Kevin Nash changed the industry forever in 1996. Like Roddy Piper, Scott Hall was one of the few WCW main event talents to not have a run with the WCW Championship in the late 1990s.

Honorable mentions…

The Honky Tonk Man
He had the charisma, but not quite the wrestling skills to be the WWF Champion.

“The Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich
He had the body builder physique the WWF loves, but lacked the promo ability.

“The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith
The same situation as with Kerry Von Erich. Great physique, generic promos.

Jeff Jarrett
An Intercontinental Champion who became WCW and TNA World Champion.

Goldust
With his androgynous gimmick, he could have challenged Shawn Michaels in 1996.

Ken Shamrock
Had he not returned to ultimate fighting, he may have become the WWF Champion.

Legends of Wrestling: Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan

Long before he rose to prominence, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan arrived in the WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) in 1979. He dubbed himself “The Hulk” after the Marvel Comics character – without permission – and was given the surname “Hogan” by Vincent J. McMahon. Hogan was managed by “Classy” Freddy Blassie and competed in several matches against his greatest foe, “The Eighth Wonder of the World” Andre the Giant. Hogan was unceremoniously released from the promotion in 1981 when he was cast in the film “Rocky III” because Vincent J. McMahon did not want any of his wrestlers to double as actors. Hogan then moved on to Verne Gagne’s AWA (American Wrestling Association) where “Hulkamania” was born thanks in large to his appearance in “Rocky III.” Gagne – not unlike Vincent J. McMahon – was a wrestling traditionalist and reluctant to showcase Hogan as his World Heavyweight Champion. Hogan defeated reigning AWA Champion, Nick Bockwinkel, who was managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, on at least two occasions, but the decisions were reversed both times due to the behind the scenes financial disputes between Hogan and Gagne.

History was made when Vincent K. McMahon purchased his father’s promotion, which was now known as the WWF (World Wrestling Federation). Vince Jr. saw the potential which The Hulkster possessed and resigned him in late 1983. It did not take long for Hogan to reach the zenith as he defeated The Iron Sheik for the WWF Championship on January 23, 1984. Over the next several years, the WWF went from a mere regional promotion to a national promotion to a global phenomenon. This expansion was known as “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” and Hulk Hogan was its figurehead.

1985 was especially a landmark year for both Hulk Hogan and the WWF. First, Hogan defended his championship against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper at MTV’s War to Settle the Score in a match that ended in a No Contest and setup the main event of WrestleMania. Hogan teamed with “Rocky III” costar Mr. T in a match against Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. Boxing legend Muhammed Ali was the guest enforcer. Both these events were held at Madison Square Garden. Hogan and Mr. T were victorious at WrestleMania, but the rivalry between The Hulkster and The Hot Rod continued. They squared off one more time at The Wrestling Classic and Hogan retained his title by DQ.

Bobby “The Brain” Heenan had also made the jump from the AWA to the WWF and sought to bring an end to Hulkamania. Almost every member of “The Heenan Family” would challenge Hogan for the his title at some point. King Kong Bundy lost to Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania II in Los Angeles, a Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship, but Heenan scored a coup when he convinced Andre the Giant, who had become a friend and mentor to Hulk Hogan in recent years, to join The Heenan Family and turn his back on The Hulkster and his fans. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant for the WWF Championship in the main event of WrestleMania III was the absolute biggest match in pro wrestling history. Over ninety three thousand (alleged) fans set an indoor attendance record in Pontiac, Michigan’s Silverdome to witness this epic clash of titans. Hogan was the underdog for the first time ever, but he pulled off the upset win with the body slam heard around the world and his signature atomic leg-drop. The torched had officially been passed.

Later in 1987, on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Hulk Hogan came to the aid of “Macho Man” Randy Savage at the behest of Savage’s valet, the lovely Miss Elizabeth. This new alliance was dubbed “The Mega Powers.” In 1988, “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase offered to buy the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan, who flatly refused. DiBiase then recruited Andre the Giant to win the title on his behalf, which he did on The Main Event. Andre was not permitted to relinquish the belt to DiBiase and the title was declared vacant. Hogan and Andre squared off again at WrestleMania IV in Trump Plaza, but this rematch is less heralded because it ended in a double DQ. Randy Savage defeated Ted DiBiase that same night for the WWF Championship. The Mega Powers bested the duo of Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant at the inaugural SummerSlam. Jesse “The Body” Ventura was the guest referee in that match.

The Mega Powers eventually exploded as a result of Hulk Hogan’s grandstanding and Randy Savage’s manic paranoia. Hulk won the WWF Championship for a second time by defeating The Macho Man in the main event of WrestleMania V, also held in Trump Plaza. Hogan then spent the latter part of 1989 feuding with Zeus, his co-star from the film, “No Holds Barred.” At the 1990 Royal Rumble, The Hulkster crossed paths with The Ultimate Warrior, reigning WWF Intercontinental Champion. The main event was soon announced for WrestleMania VI in Toronto. Hulk Hogan vs. The Warrior, title for title. The ultimate challenge was unique with two fan favorites battling each other. The Skydome jinx established itself and The Warrior won the title, but Hogan was gracious in defeat. Hulk then filmed “Suburban Commando” while recovering from the injuries he suffered at the hands of Earthquake.

The Hulkster returned and won his second consecutive Royal Rumble in 1991, then he won his unprecedented third WWF Championship at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles from Sgt. Slaughter, who was an Iraqi sympathizer during the Gulf War. Hogan lost the title to The Undertaker at Survivor Series 1991, then was announced to compete against “Nature Boy” Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII in Indianapolis, but his opponent ended up being Sid Justice instead. The Hulkster won that match via DQ with some help from The Ultimate Warrior, then apparently retired from the WWF. He made his return one year later and competed twice at WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas. First, in the WWF Tag Team Championship match, then he defeated Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in an impromptu match. Hulk Hogan’s new record of five title reigns would last for eight years.

Shockingly, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan made the jump to Ted Turner’s WCW (World Championship Wrestling) in 1994 and won the WCW Championship from Ric Flair at Bash at the Beach. “Macho Man” Randy Savage also made the jump and he and Hogan reformed their partnership. A Steel Cage Match between Hogan and Big Van Vader at Bash at the Beach 1995 was showcased on an episode of the hit TV series, Baywatch. WCW fans were nowhere near as receptive of Hulkamania as WWF fans were because of The Hulkster’s tired catchphrases and the corny matches he competed in, such as a Monster Truck Battle with The Giant (a/k/a The Big Show) at Halloween Havoc 1995. Hulk decided to shake the wrestling world to its foundation by joining The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) at Bash at Beach 1996 to found the nWo (New World Order). His signature colors changed from red and yellow to black and white. The nWo dominated WCW for the next two years and “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, as he was now dubbed, did whatever was necessary to hang onto his title, aligning with Eric Bischoff, the executive producer of the company. The nWo even hosted their own pay-per-view in 1997 called Souled Out. Two major loses suffered by Hollywood Hogan during this time period were to Sting at Starcade 1997 and to Goldberg on Monday Nitro in the summer of 1998.

After a cage match between Hollywood Hogan and Randy Savage at Uncensored 1998, the nWo splintered into two different factions, nWo Hollywood and The Wolfpack. The nWo reunited in early 1999 to knock Goldberg of his pedicel, but the fans had begun to lose interest in this renegade stable. In the summer of that year, Hulkamania walked back into our lives as Hulk Hogan again donned the red and yellow for a six man tag team match on Nitro. This “second coming” was short lived however since WCW fell into financial turmoil in 2000, during the “New Blood” angle where Hogan was relegated to a feud with Billy Kidman of all people, then Hogan was publicly fired by writer Vince Russo at Bash at Beach 2000. WCW was bought out by Vince McMahon in 2001.

The three founding members of the nWo returned to the WWF at No Way Out 2002, but despite of their heels tactics, “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan was rooted for in his loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto. Hogan was booted from the nWo after the match, but Hulkamania was still running wild. Hulk won the WWF Championship for a sixth, and thus far final time, from Triple H at Backlash 2002. The name of the title was then changed to the WWE Championship since the company was now World Wrestling Entertainment. Hulk was again defeated by The Undertaker at Judgment Day 2002, then after a brief reign as WWE Tag Team Champions with Edge, The Hulkster was put out of action by Brock Lesnar. Hulk Hogan returned in 2003 and defeated Mr. McMahon in a Street Fight at WrestleMania XIX in Seattle. He has not competed at a WrestleMania since, but did appear at WrestleMania XXI in Los Angeles, the night after his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2005. The WWE Universe was clamoring for one more match. Hogan answered the call, defeating Shawn Michaels as SummerSlam 2005 in a “Legend vs. Icon” match. Hulk made just a few sporadic appearances in the WWE over the next several years.

Once again, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan made waves by joining TNA (Total Non-Stop Action) Wrestling in 2010, not as an active wrestler, but as an executive, though he did compete in a tag team match on Impact to help bring attention to this small promotion. At Bound for Glory 2010, Hulk and Eric Bischoff formed a group called “Immortal,” which had Jeff Hardy as its figurehead. They tried to recreate the fervor of the nWo, but lost a great deal of momentum due to Jeff Hardy’s personal “demons.” Hogan stepped back into the ring at Bound for Glory 2011 to square off with “The Icon” Sting. Sting was victorious, but more importantly, helped Hulk see the light and Hulk left Immortal immediately following their match. After that, Hogan was a strict General Manager in TNA, being tormented for most of 2013 by “Aces & Eights,” a rogue gang led by Bully Ray (a/k/a Bubba Ray Dudley).

Hulkamania will undoubtedly live forever and the red and yellow is going to be running wild in the WWE once again as The Hulkster is returning as the host of WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans.

Legends of Wrestling: The Rock

The Rock WWF-WWE

Dwayne Johnson, a third generation superstar, made his WWF debut at Survivor Series 1996. This event was held in the most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. He competed under the name “Rocky Maivia,” borrowing “Rocky” from his father “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson and “Maivia” from his maternal grandfather “High Chief” Peter Maivia. It was a traditional Survivor Series tag team elimination match and Rocky became the sole survivor. Just a few months later, Rocky won the prestigious Intercontinental Championship on a special Thursday night edition of RAW by defeating Hunter Hearst Helmsley. These two rising stars would become bitter rivals in the years to come. Rocky made his WrestleMania debut at WrestleMania XIII in Chicago. He faced The Sultan, who in actuality was his cousin Rikishi Phatu under a mask. After the match, Rocky was saved by his father Rocky Johnson. This wholesome “goodie two shoes” routine was not embraced by the fans and they soon turned on Rocky. He was serenaded with chants like “Rocky Sucks!!!” and “Die, Rocky, Die!!!” It wasn’t long after that he lost the Intercontinental Championship to Owen Hart. Rocky then vanished from WWF programming for several months while nursing an injury.

In the fall of 1997, Rocky reinvented himself by joining the controversial faction, “The Nation of Domination,” and shortening his in-ring name to “The Rock.” The Rock was now brash and arrogant, trash talking fans as retribution for them turning their backs on him. The Rock then had a run-in with his greatest rival, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who in defiance of Vince McMahon, surrendered the Intercontinental Championship to The Rock, only to then (in typical rattlesnake fashion) toss the championship belt into a river. The Rock’s next opponent for the IC Title was the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock. They battled at both Royal Rumble 1998 and WrestleMania XIV, with The Rock hanging onto his title by hook or crook. During this time there was also a power struggle between The Rock and Faarooq, the leader of The Nation. The Rock eventually usurped Faarooq and led The Nation for the remainder of its existence. Ken Shamrock finally defeated The Rock in the finals of the 1998 King of the Ring tournament, then The Rock reignited his feud with Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who was now a member of D-Generation X and known as Triple H. Triple H defeated The Rock at SummerSlam 1998 in a Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Championship.

The Rock was then booted from The Nation, bringing an end to the group, and was finally embraced by the fans, who accepted him as the “People’s Champion.” This was short lived however as The Rock defeated Mankind at Survivor Series 1998 in the finals of the “Deadly Game” tournament for the vacated WWF Championship with the aid of Mr. McMahon. The Rock had become the youngest WWF Champion in history and re-dubbed himself the “Corporate Champion.” Mankind then upset The Rock for the championship a month later in a match that helped to turn the tide of the “Monday Night War.” The Rock and Mankind continued to clash for WWF Championship in 1999. The Rock bested Mankind in an “I Quit” Match (documented in the film “Beyond the Mat”) at Royal Rumble 1999, only for Mankind to win the title back in the Halftime Heat “Empty Arena” Match. The rivalry culminated when The Rock defeated Mankind in a Ladder Match on Monday Night RAW, which led to The Rock defending the title against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the main event of WrestleMania XV. It was a “No DQ” Match and Austin won the championship for a third time in his career. The Rock gained a measure of revenge by throwing Stone Cold into a river just as Austin had submerged the IC Championship two years prior.

The alliance between The Rock and the McMahon’s quickly soured when he failed to regain the championship from Stone Cold. The Rock was on his own and again held the moniker of “People’s Champion.” In the fall of 1999, he formed an unlikely tag team with Mankind known as “The Rock & Sock Connection.” The Rock and Mankind won the WWF Tag Team Championships on three occasions. The Rock then won the 2000 Royal Rumble Match, but did not receive a one-on-one WWF Championship match at WrestleMania 2000. Instead, he, The Big Show, and Mick Foley (in what was his final match before officially retiring) all challenged Triple H for the gold in a Fatal 4-Way Match. Triple H retained the title thanks in large to his father-in-law Mr. McMahon, but The Rock won the title from Triple H twice in the next several months, first at Backlash and again at King of the Ring, making him a five time champion, tying the then record with Hulk Hogan and Bret “Hit Man” Hart. His fifth title reign was also the longest of his career. That reign was ended by Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle at No Mercy.

The Rock won the championship back from Kurt Angle at No Way Out 2001, making him a record breaking six time champion and setting up a rematch with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania XVII. Once again, The Rock was screwed over by Mr. McMahon, who shockingly (and somewhat inexplicable) sided with his arch nemesis, Steve Austin. The Rock was then banished from the WWF by Mr. McMahon, allowing him to star in “The Scorpion King.” The Rock returned at the behest of Mr. McMahon to aid the WWF in defending itself from the invading WCW / ECW Alliance. The Rock won the WCW Championship from Booker T at SummerSlam 2001, but there was lots of dissention in the WWF locker room when The Rock lost and quickly regained the WCW Championship from “Y2J” Chris Jericho. Despite of this turmoil, The Rock was the sole survivor when Team WWF defeated The Alliance at Survivor Series 2001. Mr. McMahon and his then co-owner “Nature Boy” Ric Flair choose to unify the WWF and WCW Championships. The Rock and Steve Austin were odds on favorites, but Chris Jericho defeated both at Vengeance 2001, becoming the first Undisputed Champion.

Perhaps the biggest victory in The Rock’s career was at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto when he defeated Hulk Hogan, who had returned to the WWF after a nine year absence. After WrestleMania, the WWF was divided into brands, RAW and Smackdown!, and rechristened as the WWE. The Rock was the # 1 pick for the Smackdown! brand, which was appropriate since the program was named after one of his many catchphrases. The win over Hulk Hogan may have cemented The Rock as one of the all time greats, but he spent the next two years as a part-time superstar, splitting his time between competing and making movies like “The Rundown” and “Walking Tall.” Though his appearances were sporadic, he still won the WWE Championship for a seventh time. A record that would last seven years. He lost the championship to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2002 and Lesnar became the new youngest champion in history. The fans also began to tire of The Rock around this time, feeling that he had gone “Hollywood” and abandoned them, so The Rock renounced the people in 2003 and defeated Hulk Hogan once again at No Way Out. The Rock still had once last hurdle to overcome and that was to defeat “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in their final showdown at WrestleMania XIX, which he did. The next night on RAW, The Rock hinted that he would retire, but was instead challenged by former WCW Champion Bill Goldberg, who was making his WWE debut. Goldberg defeated The Rock at Backlash and “Brahma Bull” would not compete again for almost a year. The Rock returned for WrestleMania XX in Madison Square Garden, the same arena where he debuted eight years earlier, reuniting with Mick Foley to take on Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista in a Handicap Match. “Evolution” defeated “The Rock & Sock Connection” and the “Great One” quietly retired.

Seven years later, the “People’s Champion” triumphantly returned to be the emcee of WrestleMania XXVII in Atlanta, but a war of words between himself and John Cena escaladed into The Rock costing Cena the WWE Championship in the main event against The Miz. John Cena accused The Rock of being a hypocrite for leaving the WWE while still in his prime whereas The Rock claimed that Cena was an unworthy successor to the stars of the “Attitude Era.” The Rock vs. John Cena was announced as the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII, but first they had to team together to defeat The Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) at Survivor Series 2011 in the logical venue that was Madison Square Garden. WrestleMania XXVIII emanated from The Rock’s hometown of Miami and he eventually overcame John Cena just as he had both Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin at WrestleMania’s past.

The Rock was encouraged by his victory and set his sights on the WWE Championship. CM Punk had held the gold for fourteen months, 434 day to be specific, before finally being beaten by The Rock at Royal Rumble 2013. The Rock was now a ten time world champion and a rematch with John Cena at WrestleMania XXIX in New Jersey was made possible by John Cena’s victory in the Royal Rumble Match that same night. The Rock gutted his way through the match after suffering a hernia in the opening minutes, but was finally bested by John Cena after dominated the feud for two years. Only time will tell what is on the horizon for the People’s Champion when it comes to returning to the WWE.

Classic WWF Pay-Per-Views: 1996

WWF 1995 - 1997

ROYAL RUMBLE
January 21, 1996
Fresno, California

Whether it was the lackluster WrestleMania XI or the crowning of King Mabel, I lost interest in the WWF over the coarse of 1995, but the promotion made a turn beginning in 1996 with the Shawn Michaels concussion angle, Sunny introducing programming in provocative vignettes, and Goldust taking a “shine” to Razor Ramon. It was compelling television once again.

Vince McMahon and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig were your commentators for the Royal Rumble, a PPV which featured the first ever free-for-all match. Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. The winner would enter the Royal Rumble Match at #30 while the loser would be stuck with #1. Hunter had initially won by using an illegal foreign object, then WWF President Gorilla Monsoon reversed the decision. Jeff Jarrett vs. Ahmed Johnson was the opening match of the actually PPV. Johnson won via DQ after Jarrett broke a guitar over his head. “Double J” made the jump to WCW not long after this event.

The Smokin’ Gunns (Billy & Bart) successfully defended the WWF Tag Team Titles against The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) w/ Sunny, despite Sunny feigning an injury in an attempt to distract the champions. Razor Ramon lost the Intercontinental Championship to Goldust, who was being joined at ringside for the first time by Marlena. The 1-2-3 Kid interfered in that match and cost “The Bad Guy” his title. Goldust now had all the gold, if I can paraphrase Mr. Perfect. Wrestling fans had never seen anyone quite like the bizarre Goldust and he clearly made some people uncomfortable.

For the first time, the Royal Rumble Match was not the main event ( I’m not counting the 1988 Royal Rumble because that was not a PPV). Hunter Hearts Helmsley was #1 and the first superstar he had to contend with was Henry Godwin, his opponent in the infamous “Hog Pen” Match. Mr. Bob Backlund and Jerry “The King” Lawler were the next two entrants, then Godwin covered all three heels in nasty slop. Jake “The Snake” Roberts returned to the WWF at entrant #7 to a huge pop and he used a new unnamed python to drive Jerry Lawler from the ring. The King then hid under the ring for about a half hour. Yokozuna, the winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble Match, entered at #9.

The 1-2-3 Kid (#10) was chased to the ring by Razor Ramon, who was not entered in the match. Actually, Scott Hall never competed in a Royal Rumble Match. Usually, he was defending the Intercontinental Championship. Vader (#13) made his WWF debut, being managed by Jim Cornette. “The Rocky Mountain Monster” was WCW’s resident monster heel in the early to mid 1990s. Shawn Michaels, returning from his kayfabe injury at entrant #18, eliminated both Vader and Yokozuna. Vader then gave Yokozuna a cheap shot, reentered the ring and cleaned house, but WWF Gorilla Monsoon allowed all grapplers to remain in the match. This setup animosity between Monsoon and Vader, which played out the next night on RAW. Vader actually Vader-Bombed Monsoon and put him out of commission until WrestleMania XII. Shawn Michaels then found Jerry Lawler hiding under the ring and eliminated The King just as “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel entered the match at #22. Diesel eliminated Hunter Hearts Helmsley, who’d been in the match four nearly forty five minutes. I guess only The Kliq could eliminate one other?

“The Ringmaster” Steve Austin made his WWF Pay-Per-View debut as #24. After he received a much needed gimmick makeover several months later, this superstar would revolutionize professional wrestling. “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (#29) lasted until the final four for the third time in his career, but for the second year in a row he was eliminated by Shawn Michaels. Diesel eliminated Kama (#23), then HBK super-kicked his former paid bodyguard over the top rope for his second consecutive Royal Rumble victory, tying a record with Hulk Hogan. Diesel appeared as if he was going to batter Michaels, but the two dudes with attitudes shared a high-five instead.

However, Diesel was still a sore loser as he confronted The Undertaker and Paul Bearer while they made their entrance for the main event. Diesel was peeved that he wasn’t the challenger for Bret “Hit Man” Hart’s WWF Championship. Diesel claimed that he was not afraid of the dark. When the match finally began, the crowd support was split right down the middle. Both baby-faces bent some rules and were jeered accordingly. It had been over four years since Tuesday in Texas, over four years since The Phenom was the WWF Champion, and looked like he had the title won after he planted Bret Hart with his signature Tombstone Piledriver, but Diesel returned and pulled the referee out of the ring before he could count The Hit Man’s shoulders down. The Undertaker had won the match by DQ, but obviously not the championship. Diesel also flipped Undertaker the “bird.” Such audacity from Big Daddy Cool.

On the Royal Rumble post-show (a short lived segment), The Undertaker vowed that he would have his revenge, so Gorilla Monsoon decided that Bret Hart would face Diesel in a Steel Cage Match at In Your House VI: Rage in the Cage. The Undertaker was not deterred and, in horror movie like fashion, emerged through the ring canvass and pulled Diesel down into the abyss. Bret Hart was booked almost as if he was lucky to still be champion. Regardless of that, The Hit Man had a date with destiny at WrestleMania XII with Shawn Michaels.

WRESTLEMANIA XII
March 31, 1996
Anaheim, California

Shawn Michaels was living the dream, becoming the focal point of WWF programming even though Bret “Hit Man” Hart was still the WWF Champion. First, HBK put his #1 Contender’s spot on the line in a match with Owen Hart at In Your House VI: Rage in the Cage, then WWF President “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (filling in for Gorilla Monsoon) declared that the main event of WrestleMania XII would be a sixty minute Iron Man Match.

On the free-for-all, The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) w/ Sunny won the vacated WWF Tag Team Championships from The Godwins (Henry & Phineas) w/ Hilly Billy Jim. “The Huckster” defeated “The Nacho Man” in a farcical match with Billionaire Ted as guest referee. The joke was that WCW had nothing but old dogs who couldn’t be taught new tricks. Little did the WWF know that they were poking the bear. Vince McMahon and Jerry “The King” Lawler were on commentary for the Pay-Per-View. Camp Cornette (Vader, Owen Hart, & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith) defeated Yokozuna, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, & Ahmed Johnson in the opener. If Yokozuna’s team had won, then he would’ve had five minutes alone in the ring with Jim Cornette, his former manager.

Razor Ramon had failed a drug test, conveniently right after declaring his intentions to jump to WCW, so “Rowdy” Roddy Piper took his place in the angle with Goldust. They would face-off in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl. The Intercontinental Championship was not on the line. The first half of this brutal fight was taped the day before, then footage of the O.J. Simpson chase was shown to bridge the gap between the pre-tape and their arrival at the Arrowhead Pond. The Hot Rod beat Goldust down, then tore his ring gear off, revealing lacy lingerie underneath. Though there was no way to technically win this street fight, Roddy Piper’s bagpipe music blared, so I guess he was the victor.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin (w/ Ted DiBiase) defeated Savio Vega by using The Million Dollar Championship as a weapon. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, just like Steve Austin, was making his WrestleMania debut. Helmsley was escorted down to ringside by Sable. He had a different valet for every match during his blueblood gimmick, but Sable was the only one who was incorporated into a storyline. His opponent was making his return to the WWF… The Ultimate Warrior!!! Triple H is now the self-proclaimed “king of kings,” so I find it enjoyable to see him decimated by The Warrior. It was a short lived return for the man from parts unknown, but the crowd was electric to see him in action once again. An underrated WrestleMania moment. After the match, Helmsley scolded Sable and got into a scuffle with “Wildman” Marc Mero, formerly Johnny B. Badd in WCW, whose interview he’d interrupted.

The Undertaker vs. “Big Daddy Cool” Diesel was the co-main event of the evening. Diesel had gone full blown heel after turning on Shawn Michaels at a houseshow. The Undertaker’s undefeated streak was still an afterthought at this time, but Diesel was his biggest opponent in terms of star power. Jimmy Snuka and Jake Roberts were basically past their prime while The Giant Gonzales and King Kong Bundy were the monsters of the month. Diesel was the longest reigning WWF Champion of the 1990s and a soon-to-be free agent. Diesel actually dominated the match and planted The Undertaker with two Jackknife Power-Bombs. However, The Phenom rose to occasion, recovered and went 5-0 with his patented Tombstone Piledriver.

Jose Lothario, the trainer of Shawn Michaels, was on hand to witness HBK make the most daring entrance in WrestleMania history, zip-lining from the rafters and down into the crowd. Bret “Hit Man” Hart, the reigning WWF Champion, was stoic as always. A contrast in personality to say the least, but the these two world class superstars put on a wrestling clinic for sixty minutes. The Hit Man caught Michaels as he was coming off the top rope and locked in the Sharpshooter. The finish of their first title match back at Survivor Series 1992, but this time Michaels held on until the time limit ran out. Draws mean that the champion retains his gold automatically, but Gorilla Monsoon was back from his injuries and ordered the match to resume under sudden death rules. Bret Hart was clearly not happy with the decision, returned to the ring and was hit with two super-kicks. HBK scored the winning pinfall, becoming WWF Champion (and a triple crown winner) for the first time in his illustrious career. Bret Hart did not shake hands with his successor. It also appeared as if Shawn Michaels was gloating and rubbing salt in the wounds. Bret Hart went on a eight month sabbatical after this while Shawn Michaels continued to live the dream.

The WWF may not have been at its most popular in the mid-1990s due to stars jumping to WCW and steroids / sex scandals, but WrestleMania XII should be ranked as one of the best ever. A solid card, top to bottom, with many new superstars debuting alongside established ones. It’s also nice to see the Bret Hart / Shawn Michaels rivalry revolving around competition and titles as appose to petty jealousies like it would in 1997.

KING OF THE RING
June 23, 1996
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

After In Your House VII: Good Friends, Better Enemies, both Diesel and Razor Ramon made the jump to WCW. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was initially penciled in to win the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, but his inclusion in the Madison Square Garden incident (where he and Shawn Michaels celebrated with Diesel and Razor) left him out in the cold. This was a pivotal moment in WWF history as new superstar would emerge to win the crown and set a new era in motion.

Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Owen Hart (sidelined with an injury) called the action. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was no longer being managed by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase after he lost a “Caribbean Strap” Match to Savio Vega at In Your House: Beware of Dog II. (A rematch necessitated by a blackout.) DiBiase would also join WCW with The 1-2-3 Kid. Stone Cold defeated “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) in the semi-finals, then he went to the hospital to have his mouth stitched up. Meanwhile, Jake “The Snake” Roberts defeated Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) via disqualification in the other semi-final match.

The Smokin’ Gunns (Billy & Bart) w/ Sunny successfully defended their WWF Tag Team Titles against The Godwins (Henry & Phineas) w/ Hilly Billy Jim. Sunny turned out to be some gold-digger, chasing the belts. She went from The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) to The Godwins to The Smokin’ Gunns in a matter of weeks. Ahmed Johnson won the Intercontinental Championship from Goldust. It seemed as if Ahmed was on the fast track to becoming the first African-American WWF Champion. The Ultimate Warrior defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler in what turned out to be The Warrior’s final PPV for the WWF. Mankind, A/K/A Cactus Jack in both WCW and ECW, made his WWF in-ring PPV debut, scoring an upset victory over The Undertaker with some “inadvertent” help from Paul Bearer.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin returned to best Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament. Dok Hendrix was on hand for the coronation. Stone Cold wasn’t interested in wearing the crown or holding the scepter, but he did utter the phrase “Austin 3:16 says I just whopped your ass.” He wasn’t pushed right away, but his potential was now blatantly obvious.

In the main event, a rematch from In Your House: Beware of Dog, Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defended the WWF Championship against “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith (w/ Jim Cornette and Diana Hart-Smith). Obviously, Owen Hart wasn’t all that impartial on commentary. He led the cheering section for his brother-in-law. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig was originally signed as the guest referee, but Gorilla Monsoon switched him to the outside enforcer at the last minute. The British Bulldog had a long history of losing big matches to HBK. The Intercontinental Championship back in 1992 and the 1995 Royal Rumble Match. Their title match at In Your House: Beware of Dog ended in a draw since they pinned each other. Shawn Michaels was the victor yet again in this match, but was immediately jumped by Vader and Owen Hart. HBK was saved by Ahmed Johnson and The Ultimate Warrior. The WWF was setting up a six man tag team match for In Your House: International Incident.

So much for “best laid plans” as The Ultimate Warrior was indefinitely suspended from the WWF for failing to appear where advertised. Psycho Sid returned after almost an eight month absence to team with Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson against Camp Cornette. Vader scored the winning pinfall on HBK, thusly becoming #1 Contender for the WWF Championship. This was so much more interesting than the summer of 1995 with King Mabel, but it was all for not as the eyes of the wrestling world was focused on WCW after Hulk Hogan turned heel at Bash at the Beach, aligning himself with The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) to form the nWo.

SUMMERSLAM
August 18, 1996
Cleveland, Ohio

The most anticipated free-for-all (at least for the male viewers) was the Bikini Beach Blastoff. The “beach” turned out to be an aboveground pool with sand sprinkled around it. At least WCW actually went to the beach for Bash at the Beach 1995. The highlight was seeing Sunny, Sable, and Marlena clad in swimwear. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the reigning King of the Ring, also defeated Yokozuna on the free-for-all in a match where the top turnbuckle snapped off when Yoko attempted his patented Bonsai Drop.

Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig called all the action. Owen Hart defeated Savio Vega in the opener. Owen was infringing on “Cowboy” Bob Orton by wrestling with a cast on his arm that he could use as a weapon. The Smokin’ Gunns (Billy & Bart) w/ Sunny successfully defended their WWF Tag Team Championships in a 4-Corners Match. One of the contending teams was The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Leif Cassidy). Cassidy would later become better known as Al Snow. Psycho Sid defeated “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith. Jim Cornette was not in the corner of either Owen Hart or The British Bulldog during their matches because he was too busy preparing Vader for his title match.

Goldust (w/ Marlena) was victorious over “Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable). Mankind came down to ringside during this match and called Sable “mommy.” Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler played up on The Snake’s real life struggles with substance abuse. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry served as the guest color commentator and tried not to laugh at The King’s drunk jokes, but he could not help himself. Lawler won the match by using a bottle of whiskey as a weapon.

Faarooq (former WCW Champion, Ron Simmons) had recently made his debut in the WWF, taking out Ahmed Johnson with a stiff kick that caused a legit injury. Johnson was forced to relinquish the Intercontinental Championship and he never truly regained his momentum. Faarooq was to be managed by Sunny and have gladiator gimmick, but that was all dropped in the fall of 1996 when the Nation of Domination was formed.

The Undertaker vs. Mankind in a Boiler Room Brawl was another match that brought us closer to the Attitude Era. The match began in the bowels of the arena and the goal was to get to the ring first and retrieve the urn from Paul Bearer. They fought with pipes and garbage cans. Mankind was even pushed off of a ladder. The Undertaker arrived at the ring first, but Paul Bearer would shockingly refuse to hand him the urn. Undertaker was dumbfounded, then Bearer bashed him over the head with urn. The same thing that had happened at King of the Ring, but this time there was no way for Bearer to pass it off as an accident. Bearer then polished up the urn before handing it to Mankind. Bearer and Mankind exited together, leaving The Phenom in a heap. The Undertaker’s druids then appeared and carried him away as if he’d been martyred.

Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defended the WWF Championship against Vader (w/ Jim Cornette) in the main event. The match initially ended with HBK being counted out, meaning that Vader was not the champion. The match was resumed, then HBK was disqualified for using Jim Cornette’s tennis racket. Vader was still not the champion. The match was resumed once again and Shawn Michaels finally won via pinfall. Jim Cornette gripes to this day that Vader was meant to win the title and that Michaels had politicked his way into retaining the belt. Vader had been ascending the ladder since his arrival at the 1996 Royal Rumble, but it was basically downhill for him following this match, while HBK was still golden.

Backstage politics aside, of which I am sure every WWF Champion was guilty, Shawn Michaels was on top of his game in 1996. No one could really touch him. Every match was better than the last. His next title defense was against Mankind at In Your House: Mind Games. Vader, Psycho Sid, and The Undertaker all got involved. WCW was now winning the ratings war, but the quality of main event competition in the WWF was still second to none.

SURVIVOR SERIES
November 16, 1996
New York City, New York

Jim Ross (sort of) turned in heel in the fall of 1996 and claimed that he had negotiated the returns of Diesel and Razor Ramon. They turned out to be imposters. Glenn Jacobs, who had earlier portrayed Dr. Isaac Yankem and would go on to be Kane, was the fake Diesel. Bret “Hit Man” Hart returned for real though, accepting the challenge of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Psycho Sid defeated Vader in a #1 Contender’s Match at In Your House: Buried Alive, setting up the main event of the 1996 Survivor Series.

The WWF returned to Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena, for a Pay-Per-View for the first time since WrestleMania X. Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, and Jerry “The King” Lawler were on commentary at the start of the show.

The reigning WWF Tag Team Champions (Owen Hart & “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith) teamed with The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Leif Cassidy) to take on The Godwins (Henry & Phineas) w/ Hilly Billy Jim and the new duo of Doug Furnas & Phil Lafon. Surprisingly, the newcomers, Furnas & Lafon were the survivors. Mankind was defeated by The Undertaker in the “Buried Alive” Match at the previous In Your House, but since The Phenom was jumped by Paul Bearer’s goons following the match and buried, the perception was that he was the loser. Paul Bearer was kept in a cage for this contest. The stipulation being that Undertaker could get his hands on his former manager if he was victorious. Undertaker descended from the rafters in new, all black ring attire. This was the most tame of the four PPV matches these two superstars had in 1996, but Undertaker finally picked up the clean win. However, he did not get to Paul Bearer because he was attacked by The Executioner (Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy of The Fabulous Freebirds).

“Wildman” Marc Mero (w/ Sable) teamed with “The Stalker” Barry Windham, Rocky Maivia, & Jake “The Snake” Roberts. This was the first PPV (or closed circuit) WWF event for Barry Windham since the first WrestleMania. Jake Roberts was filling in for an injured Mark Henry. Getting injured would become the hallmark of Mark Henry’s career. And most important of all, this was the debut of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Their adversaries were captained by Hunter Hearst Helmsley, the new Intercontinental Champion. Helmsley was briefly mentored by “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, but Hennig vanished from the WWF for a third time. This time, he would jump to WCW and not return to the WWF until the 2002 Royal Rumble. Helmsley’s team was comprised of Goldust (w/ Marlena), Crush, and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Since The King was in action, Sunny joined Vince McMahon and Jim Ross on commentary. The match came down to Goldust and Crush against Rocky, who pulled off the upset, becoming the sole survivor. The fans chanted his name… even though they would soon turn on the rookie sensation.

Bret “Hit Man” Hart, like all the great champions, became synonymous with Madison Square Garden. It is where he won the Intercontinental Championship from Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam 1991 and the WWF Championship from Yokozuna at WrestleMania X. The only one not impressed with Bret Hart’s legacy was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Stone Cold derided Hart for his pink tights and good guy persona in general. This match has been overlooked over the years because their match at WrestleMania XIII was such an epic showdown, but the finish was quite clever, harkening back to Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania VIII, with The Hit Man countering the Million Dollar Dream into a roll-up. “The Excellence of Execution” was back, but he had not seen the last of Steve Austin.

Yokozuna competed in his final PPV, teaming with Savio Vega, Flash Funk, & Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Snuka was the surprise mystery partner. Flash Funk was making his WWF debut. Funk had previous competed as 2 Cold Scorpio in ECW. There opponents were Vader, Faarooq, Diesel, & Razor Ramon. Again, these were imposters portraying the Diesel and Razor Ramon gimmicks. Jim Cornette served as a commentator instead of staying in the corner of Vader. Perhaps due to time constraints, the match ended on a quick double DQ.

Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) defended the WWF Championship against Psycho Sid in the main event. HBK received the sort of crowd reaction that is usually reserved for John Cena nowadays. New Yorkers were ahead of the curve when it came to jeering baby-faces. Sid resorted to striking Jose Lothario with a TV camera. This was enough to divert HBK’s focus and Sid won the match and the title with a Power-Bomb. The dream was over for Shawn Michaels. I guess this was suppose to turn Sid heel, but just like the confrontation with Hulk Hogan at the 1992 Royal Rumble, the fans were vocal in their support of Sid. Vladimir the Super-Fan (look him up on Facebook) was one of the first to congratulate Sid, the new WWF Champion.

Psycho Sid successfully defended the WWF Championship against Bret “Hit Man” Hart at In Your House: It’s Time. Shawn Michaels was a guest color commentator and HBK inadvertently (?) distracted The Hit Man. Thus bringing and end to what was a bounce back year for the WWF in terms of quality storytelling even if it would take until 1998 to turn the ratings war with WCW around.