From The Bowery: WWE Countdown: Biggest Blunders

From the Bowery: WWE Countdown: Riveting Rivalries

-This one should be interesting because the WWE released a Top 25 Rivalry DVD (that I previously reviewed) not that long ago and now we get this shortened version. Now the fans obviously voted for this one, but it will be interesting to see how it compares to the DVD release.

10: Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

-This is the rivalry that made WrestleMania and made Vince a wealthy man. They discuss how Piper was the most hated man on the planet. The WWF was on fire in their partnership with MTV and The Rock N Wrestling Era brought the WWF to mainstream audiences. Piper and Hogan had The War to Settle the Score on MTV and that match ended in a no contest thanks to run-ins from Piper and Mr. T. That set up WrestleMania and Piper talks about how Vince had every dime riding on the show. They talk about how some guys might fold, but with Hogan and Piper you knew they would deliver. Piper brings up his now common line of how people loved to pay to see him get the crap kicked out of him. Fun stuff here!

9: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat

-Miz buries WCW, but says that the Flair/Steamboat rivalry is what got him watching WCW. They discuss how the two were polar opposites as Steamboat came out with his wife and kid, while Flair came out with 6 women. Hayes puts over that to be the top dog you had to get in the ring with Flair and perform to his level. These two feuded years prior to the 89 series, but those matches are the three discussed here. The one in Chicago gets talked about the most as Teddy Long and Road Dogg put over that much. Flair calls Steamboat the greatest opponent he has ever faced. Regal says it best when he calls their matches and rivalry: perfect, just perfect!

8: The Rock vs. Triple H

-HHH brings up how they were rivals from the get-go and basically fought each other up the card. The Rock says HHH was his first big time program and he got booed out of the building by the fans. That’s when he knew the babyface crap wasn’t working and he reinvented himself with the Nation of Domination. At the same time HHH takes over DX and thus we have 2 warring factions and it was awesome. The same vibe was felt during the Shield/Wyatt wars, but sadly they didn’t get the chance to run as far. Rock and HHH have the ladder match at SummerSlam for the IC Title that made both men. HHH discusses how the rivalry always kept a wedge between the two because each wanted the top spot and they were fighting for it at the same time. Ambrose says that deep down they probably didn’t like each other that much. True that! HHH does say that The Rock is part of the reason HHH is where he is at because of how they pushed each other.

7: Edge vs. John Cena

-Absolutely loved this rivalry and always feel it gets forgotten because for whatever reason WWE wants to push Cena/Orton as the rivalry the defined the post Attitude Era. Edge says it was basically Lex Luther vs. Superman. It all started when Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank on Cena to win his first WWE Title. The reaction from the crowd is still fantastic and really did seem like a new era, but Cena won the belt back a few weeks later. They show some of the Live Sex Celebration and I thank them for it. Edge talks about being thrown into the Long Island Sound and then how he had fun slapping Cena’s dad. In a cool touch they headlined back to back PPVs for the Title in one of two’s hometown (Boston and Toronto). JR calls it one of the 10 best rivalries he has ever seen in the business. I’m just happy that in the end Edge won the last match between the two that mattered which not many people can say against Cena.

6: The Undertaker vs. Kane

-Vince Russo makes sure to mention that Paul Bearer was a huge part in the success of the rivalry and questions where it would have been without him. I assume we won’t be getting anything from Taker on this one due to him rarely ever breaking character. They recount the origin story between the two and really this shit sounds like a comic book. Kane discusses how it brought an emotional reaction out of Taker which had never been seen. In the beginning Taker refused to fight his own brother, but like most brothers Kane tried to set Taker on fire in a sealed casket and once Taker returned it was on! The first of 6,000,000 matches between the two took place at Mania XIV and it still may have been the best match of their long running series. After that they fought in nearly every kind of stipulation match possible and went from allies to rivals seemingly on a monthly basis. Kane talks about how he has been able to reinvent himself and how the rivalry has been on and off again for nearly 2 decades. He also brings up how he was only person to beat Taker in 3 straight PPV (2010). Kudos to him for that I guess.

5: The Rock vs. John Cena

-Why yes, I do have issues with this one being so high. The Rock talks about how he didn’t know Cena personally, but heard about Cena talking shit on him during interviews. They made the match for Mania a year in advance and I will say that I was there in attendance for that moment. They have the match at Mania and for some reason the skip over all the trash talking between the two. The Rock wins the match and after Rock ends Punk’s epic reign as WWE Champion and Cena wins the Rumble we get Twice in a Life Time. Everyone knew what was going to happen and sure enough Cena wins the title at Mania XXIX. My friend lost his mind when Cena won and was only more pissed when they shook hands after the match. Cena again says that don’t see eye to eye, and that is legit. Cole angers me (and sure it is his opinion) when he calls it the most riveting wrestling in WWE history. The man has lost his mind and/or is just a corporate spewing puppet, though really who could blame him. He makes sure to mention their 2 matches headlined the Manias that rank 1 and 2 in buyrate.

4: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage

-Hell Yes! This is my favorite rivalry of all time and being a 7 year old kid during this time there was nothing greater than the Mega Powers uniting. Clay talks about how nothing can separate friends like a beautiful woman. Hogan says that Randy was the ultimate protector of Liz so they ran the story that Hogan would give her a little extra look or a thumbs up. The break up is the stuff of legends and nothing will ever top the rant that Savage went on before drilling Hogan with the WWF Title. The match at Mania is also one of my favorite matches ever and I think gets short changed because people are pissed Hogan won. Everyone talks about how they were perfect for each other and how they defined an era. They short changed this one a bit as the rivalry continued for years both on and off screen, and only finally seemed to settle just before Savage’s death.

-We take a break to discuss the greatest diva rivalry: Lita vs. Trish. They talk about how they came in at the same time and were complete opposites of each other. Trish says they had to educate the fans and build the Divas division. They got the chance to Main Event RAW and had one of the best Diva’s matches you will ever see including Lita near killing herself on a dive to the floor. Lita calls it the match she is most proud of in her career. The Miz says that they are both hot and can go in the ring. They talk about Trish’s final match and again it was a hell of a match with the perfect ending.

3: The Rock vs. Steve Austin

-You have to think Austin/McMahon is number one, but curious to see what could be #2 in front of this one. This is the rivalry that defined that Attitude Era and you had 2 once in a generation Superstars that just happened to be in the same place at the same time and they each wanted to be the best in the business. They go on to headline WrestleMania XV, X-Seven, and co-headline XIX and if by some miracle they decided to let them Main Event WM XXXI people would drop their money in a heartbeat. Jericho says the same thing as all you have to do is say Rock vs. Austin and you know people will pay to see it. Just seeing the package put together here makes me want to see them go at it one more time, but sadly that seemingly will never happen again. Rock calls it the greatest rivalry in WWE history.

2: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

-No clue why this one slipped my mind, but damn right this deserves to be #2 and a case can be made for this being the greatest rivalry in WWE history just due to length and historic impact. I mean they released a DVD chronicling just this rivalry and it wasn’t just a cash grab like that Rock/Cena one that even I didn’t want to buy. Shawn wins the title from Bret at Mania XII and Bret is rather pissed as he feels he is being phased out. Nattie says it started out as professional rivalry and turned real personal, real quick. As Bret said they worked themselves into a shoot. The Montreal Screw Job gets brought up as expected and Russo says that McMahon tried to appease Bret with any and every scenario, but Bret wouldn’t budge. Bret says that he felt cheated by Shawn and he felt cheated by Vince. Shawn says they were the two guys that could deliver in the ring and they carried the WWE during the mid nineties. Punk calls it the best rivalry inside and outside of the ring in WWE history.

1: Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon

-No shock at all here as this is the rivalry that kick started the Attitude Era and won the war for the WWE in their battle with WCW. There was no rivalry that has connected with the paying audience more than this one because everyone related with Austin and everyone has an issue with the boss and authority in general. From the ashes of the Montreal fallout Vince was smart enough to use that hatred from the fans and turn himself into the Mr. McMahon character and Austin was red hot during this period as he ascended to the biggest superstar wrestler on the planet. They talk about how it would have been hard to have one without the other because Austin needed that authority figure to rebel against and McMahon needed someone to stand up to him. Vince was just tremendous as he took beating after beating and embarrassment after embarrassment in the war as only he can. Thankfully it seems that his daughter is starting to do the same after the mud pit situation with Vicki and the arrest angle on last night’s RAW. The first Stunner to Vince is still cool to see even if Vince took it horribly. The matches they had were never ***** classics, but they never had to be.

-For those curious this is how the DVD ranked the Top 10 rivalries:

10: Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard

09: Undertaker vs. Kane

08: Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz

07: Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair

06: The Fabulous Freebirds vs. The Von Erichs

05: The Rock vs. Steve Austin

04: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant

03: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat

02: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

01: Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin

-So the top two spots were the same, and again I can’t argue with either of those, but everything else is noticeably different between the two lists. I will side with the fans on this one just because they put Hogan/Savage in the Top 5, while the WWE DVD had it at 12 for some reason.

The 411 : I enjoyed this one more than most just because of the topic. There is nothing like a great rivalry in wrestling and really nothing like it in the sports world. The fan's did a pretty decent job with the voting this one as that is one solid top 4. I still am kind of bummed that on this one and the previous DVD release that Sting vs. Vader or Sting vs. Flair (especially) can't crack anyone's list.

 

Final Score:  7.5

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From The Bowery: WWE Countdown: Biggest Blunders

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From The Bowery: WWE Countdown: Biggest Blunders