10 Weird Wrestling Matches That Drew Incredible TV Ratings

The Rock vs. Brooklyn Brawler = the real "Once In A Lifetime"...

Mr McMahon and the Stooges

What do pensioners, a token jobber from the 1980s, and an oversexed piece of "Meat" have in common? Trawl through the Wrestling Observer's archives, digging deep enough into individual quarter hour TV ratings between 1998-2001, to find out.

Those skeptical of just how hot the product was on both sides of the Monday Night Wars, consider this: Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Shawn Stasiak and The Brooklyn Brawler were in some of the highest-rated U.S. TV matches ever during that period. Hell, even forgotten WCW gimmicks like Kenny Kaos popped a number in throwaway tag-team matches. For every Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker main event (from the 28 June 1999 episode of Raw) that pulled a 9.5 quarter and can be explained away by combined star power and a compelling story, there are other matches that drew good ratings without those things, and it's bloody weird.

What was it that had fans gripped by these often short, uninspired matches when there was something more interesting happening on the other channel? Maybe WWE missed a trick by not pushing Brawler more...


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood. Also a pro wrestling commentator and former manager with a love of sparkly jackets.