Recently, WWE.com ran a list of the 50 greatest WWE Championship matches. Here are the picks that made the list from the 1980s and my thoughts on them:
- Hulk Hogan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in the steel cage from Saturday Night’s Main Event (December 1986) — This was the famous match where Hogan and Orndorff culminated their ’86 feud and featured a great spot where both men climbed out of the cage and hit the floor at the same time. The refs restarted the match, which Hogan won.
- Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. “Million Dollar Man” Ted BiBiase in the WrestleMania IV tournament final (March 1988) — This match not only capped a great storyline in which Hogan lost the WWF Title to Andre the Giant, but it also began a year-long build to Hogan regaining the belt from Savage at WrestleMania V. Savage fought four matches this night in 1988 to begin his first world title reign.
- Savage vs. Hogan at WrestleMania V (April 1989) — There were excellent little hints and details building up to this match all year long between Manias. In many ways, the booking of this bout, which Hogan won, are similar to some of the year-long builds you see today for WrestleMania main events.
- Iron Sheik vs. Hogan (January 1984) — This house show match at Madison Square Garden was the birth of Hulkamania, with the Sheik serving as the interim champion between Hogan and Bob Backlund. This match had a great line from color commentator Pat Patterson as Hogan made his comeback: “I’m so excited I don’t want to talk. I want to watch the match!”
- Hogan vs. Andre at WrestleMania III (March 1987) — Don’t ask me how WWE.com ranked this match #3 on the list instead of #1, but that’s another discussion for another day. Simply put, this is the most famous match in wrestling history, which also happened to take place at the greatest WrestleMania of all time, in my opinion. As the WWE.com write up puts it, the match is “required viewing for any card-carrying member of the WWE Universe.”
What took the #1 spot on the list? The Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels iron man match from WrestleMania XII. Talk about a political pick. The match was good, but the greatest title match ever? Please.