THE RANT - My Favorite 5 Matches of All Time

Posted By James Walsh on 07/14/18

What makes for a great wrestling match varies by your tastes. So, any list of the "Best" or "Greatest" really is the opinion of the person or group that contrives said list. With that in mind, here is a list, in no particular order, of some of the matches I find to be the reason I love pro wrestling.

1. Hollywood Hulk Hogan versus The Rock - WrestleMania X8
Here you had guys who were not going to do a whole lot in the ring by the standards set by the Internet. And yet, the crowd never left their feet and the match produced moments that will live forever. In the end, wrestling is a mind game. You work the audience in the way a sporting event only can in rare instances. With this match, you had the two biggest icons of pro wrestling squaring off. Hogan was the older veteran who was maybe a little more physically limited. The Rock was the younger athlete but probably the first person since Hulk Hogan who actually totally understood just how to play the audience. While I would love to say Hulk won the match, weall know the Rock did. But, both men won in reality. They produced a match that inspires wrestlers to this day including Cody Rhodes.

2. Bret Hart versus Davey Boy Smith - Summerslam 1992
What a beautiful story of a man and his brother in law knocking the shit out of each other in front of an emotionally torn sister/wife. Athletically, and story wise, this match is the match you could show to anyone and say, "How can you say wrestling is stupid?" It was beautiful. Joking aside, I don't know that it could have been done any better than it was.

3. Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant - WrestleMania III
When you talk about guys who did not do a whole lot yet worked the crowd, this also fits. Hulk was the more athletic of the two in this match against an Andre the Giant that had seen better days physically. But, what they did and how they did it made that match special. I realize many also say the Steamboat/Savage match was great from this card. And, it is great. But, this match is still remembered as the match of the night.

4. Randy Savage versus Diamond Dallas Page - Spring Stampede '97
DDP was becoming a star before this match with the best finish in the business since the DDT. But, this match, and this win, made DDP. For a guy who defended the "Macho Man" at every turn, seeing Savage find an opponent that put on as good of a match with him as Steamboat did cemented that Macho could still go. And, he was selfless for putting Page over. Positively selfless.

5. Sting versus Big Van Vader - Great American Bash 1992
The quintessential big man versus little man match with perhaps the stiffest shots you'll ever see. Incredible match!