Vince McMahon thought he had all the answers to keeping his business well and truly booming as the 1990s kicked off.
Powering his way through the supercharged second half of the 1980s on a crest of a Hulkamania wave, McMahon's golden goose and bronzed adonis had started trying to break Hollywood rather than break his back on those notoriously hard WWE rings, but a seemingly perfect replacement was waiting in the wings to take his place.
Ultimate Warrior was the star that defined the year for the organisation, for better and worse. His ascension against Hogan at WrestleMania VI was an impeccably agented and worked masterclass, and the "Ultimate Challenge" end-of-the-world showdown between the two babyfaces remains responsible for millions of fans' (your writer included) discovery and adoration of pro wrestling through the company's luminous lens.
Unfortunately, 1990 was also the year where perception eventually stopped shielding the reality. The company had dropped off from their 1989 box office pinnacle - a trend Hogan may well have noticed before taking time away and literally handing his spot over to Warrior on the 'Grandest Stage'. He was back by the end of the year being readied for a return to the top spot and another year that failed to arrest the decline.
The people responsible for the golden era were about to lay a massive egg. But more on that later...
10. Ultimate Warrior Wrestled Phil Collins
And for all the marbles!
Yes, it might have been just for another version of the music video for Phil Collins' monster smash hit "Two Hearts", but the two went to war anyway. Included as part of the 1990 television special "But Seriously...Phil Collins", the match takes place as part of the ongoing story within the show about television executives looking for the best way to promote the former Genesis man's big event.
It's agreed that a co-promotion with pro wrestling is smart, and though Warrior hilariously appears to be the executives' second choice after Hulk Hogan, the supposed new flagbearer for the market leader rocks up to sing and dance alongside Collins before knocking him all over the shop in a joke mismatch that forgets the punchline.
It's remarkably wooden considering the conceit - Warrior doesn't project much considering projecting made up most of his act, and Collins' selling was that of Steve-O and Chris Pontius' after taking a beating from Umaga a decade and a half later. But then, he did have a little bit of jackass in him.