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10 Most Prestigious Wrestling Tournaments Of All Time

10. The 2005 Gold Rush Tournament (WWE)

This surprise tournament was one of the most unexpected booking decisions in recent WWE history, in that it was so shockingly good. Thrown together seemingly at the last minute, the Gold Rush tournament was meant to elevate more stars to the main-event level, as well as to give World Heavyweight Champion Batista new opponents to fight after defeating Triple H. This tournament was a perfect example of such a booking strategy working perfectly, as it gave all participants, especially eventual winner Edge, several opportunities to showcase their skills. The majority of the matches were longer, more equal contests, which made them more dramatic, as either contestant was perceived as a potential winner. In the end, Edge was elevated to the main-event level following the tournament, achieving its original purpose. Not only were his matches with Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and Kane excellent for RAW matches at the time, but the tournament also helped build more heated feuds between Edge and Shawn Michaels, and Edge and Kane. By the end of the tournament, Edge was perceived as not just a devious heel who won the first-ever MITB briefcase, but as a genuinely good wrestler with excellent storytelling abilities. If this tournament were held more regularly, and was used to elevate more Superstars, it would be higher on this list.
 
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Alexander Podgorski is a writer for WhatCulture that has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was 8 years old. He loves all kinds of wrestling, from WWE and sports entertainment, to puroresu in Japan. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Political Studies and French, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He speaks English, French, Polish, a bit of German, and knows some odd words and phrases in half a dozen other languages.