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Legends of Wrestling: The Undertaker


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Greatest WWF/WWE Champions: 1985-2013

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*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.

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: Rob Van Dam


Rob Van Dam – Mr. Monday Night – Mr. Pay Per View – The Whole F’N Show – was a breakout star in the hardcore promotion ECW… Extreme Championship Wrestling. He, along with the “Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal, Death-Defying” Sabu, held the ECW Tag Team Championships, but it was Rob Van Dam’s 23 month reign ECW Television Champion that set him above all the rest. His greatest rival may have been Jerry Lynn, who was dubbed by many as the “The New F’N Show.” Unfortunately, the promotion went out of business before RVD had the opportunity to become the ECW Champion.

RVD arrived in the WWF in 2001 when several former ECW and WCW competitors incomprehensibly banded together to form an anti-WWF “Alliance.” As bizarre as the circumstances were, RVD was instantly embraced by fans for his brazen personality and world class athleticism, eclipsing the popularity of more well known superstars. RVD won the WWF Hardcore Championship three times that year, battling the likes of Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, and The Undertaker. After the misbegotten invasion came to a merciful end, RVD won his first of six Intercontinental Championships from William Regal at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto. The WWF was then re-branded as the WWE. RVD was drafted to Monday Night RAW and contended with Eddie Guerrero for not only the Intercontinental Championship, but to also see who the true master of the “frog splash” was.

Additionally, RVD retired the WWE European and Hardcore Championships during the transitional period. RVD was defeated by Brock Lesnar in the finals of the 2002 King of the Ring tournament and, at the time, was considered one the greatest superstars to have never won any world championships. It seemed like that injustice would finally be rectified at Unforgiven 2002 when he challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, but “Nature Boy” Ric Flair interfered in that match and cost RVD his long awaited opportunity.


RVD formed an odd couple tag team in 2003 with the “Big Red Monster” Kane. These two raised the ire of RAW General Manager, Eric Bischoff, and were actually bumped from the WrestleMania XIX card in Seattle to make room for the Miller Light “Catfight Girls.” Though RVD and Kane eventually won the WWE Tag Team Championships, fending off many of Eric Bischoff’s hand picked challengers along the way, they never bonded and Kane turned on his partner, defeating RVD in a “No Holds Barred” Match at SummerSlam 2003.

RVD successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship against challengers such as Chris Jericho and Christian before being defeated by Evolution’s Randy Orton at Armageddon 2003. RVD then formed another partnership in 2004 with Booker T and together they defeated Evolution members Ric Flair and Batista for the tag team titles. After their successful title defense in a Fatal 4-Way at WrestleMania XX in Madison Square Garden, RVD and Booker T were drafted to SmackDown!, but their partnership did not carry over. RVD formed yet another team, this time with Rey Mysterio, and they too won tag team gold. The RVD / Rey Mysterio combo came to an abrupt end when a severe knee injury sidelined RVD for most of 2005. He made a surprise return at ECW One Night Stand and vowed to make a significant impact when he returned to the ring fulltime.

RVD Autograph

RVD fulfilled that promise in 2006, once again as a member of the RAW roster, by winning the “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXII in Chicago. He cashed in his guaranteed title shot at ECW One Night Stand II. It was the crowning moment of his hard fought career, defeating John Cena for the WWE Championship and being awarded the ECW Championship by Paul Heyman. The man who had been branded as the greatest superstar to have never won a world championship now held two at the same time. RVD lost the WWE Championship to Edge on RAW in a Triple Threat Match which also involved John Cena, then lost the ECW Championship to The Big Show after surprisingly being double crossed by Paul Heyman. RVD never received a one-on-one rematch for either title. In 2007, RVD banded together with fellow ECW Originals and they were victorious in an 8-Man Tag Match at WrestleMania XXIII in Detroit with RVD scoring the winning pinfall. It was the final PPV victory of RVD’s WWE career for several years as he allowed his contract to expire in the spring of that year, but he was a surprise entrant in the 2009 Royal Rumble Match.

RVD signed with the “boutique” TNA Wrestling in 2010. It wasn’t too long before he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. He was then forced to vacate the title after being injured by “The Monster” Abyss. RVD never regained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but did have a reign as the TNA X-Division Champion before leaving the company in 2012. He then returned to WWE at Money in the Bank 2013. RVD defeated United States Championship Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam, but it was via a DQ, so the title could not change hands. Rob Van Dam is currently setting his sights on Alberto Del Rio and the World Heavyweight Championship.

SummerSlam 2013 – Predictions

SummerSlam 2013

  • WWE Championship Match w/ Special Referee – Triple H:
    John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
  • *Daniel Bryan, but Randy Orton will then cash in Money in the Bank.

  • World Heavyweight Championship Match:
    Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Christian
  • *Christian, who may have Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner.

  • CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)
  • *Brock Lesnar. A new Paul Heyman guy might interfere.

  • Ring of Fire Match:
    Kane vs. Bray Wyatt (w/ The Wyatt Family)
  • *Bray Wyatt. He needs to win this match. Kane is yesterday’s news.

  • Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
  • *Damien Sandow because Cody Rhodes is a lackluster baby-face.

  • Natalya (w/ The Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Eva Marie)
  • *Brie Bella. I’m pulling for Natalya, but WWE loves the Bellas.

  • Mixed Tag Team Match:
    Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee (Divas Champion) & Big “E” Langston
  • *Toughest to call. I’m partial to AJ Lee, but I’ll say Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn.

  • United States Championship Match:
    Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
  • *Rob Van Dam. The Shield has lost so much momentum.

    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.