10 Wrestling Grudges That Changed The Business

Some real and not-so-real grudges that transformed history and turned miseries into millionaires.

Vince McMahon Jesse Ventura

Wrestling is great.

Real life doesn't afford the opportunity to take every petty grudge, societal ill or enormous personal conflict and permit physical and athletic violence to be the solution. But that's wrestling's stock-in-trade! The best of wrestling remains the best of escapist entertainment, because rarely does the wrestling industry dive too deeply into the things that might be too close to the bone. The issues are instead fairly broad manifestations of actual problems, meaning the route one solution - a fight in a 20x20 ring - suits as a perfect finale. These things are predetermined, and so are the aforementioned acts of violence. Everybody wins!

Or do they? Grudges drive the best of the worked spectacles, but as The Undertaker and every other old-timer will tell you ad nauseam, this is a goddamned business, kid.

The people acting out these morality plays are there to make money for themselves more than the ones they're across the ring from. Real grudges are just as likely to form as those that appear on screen from the mind of a promoter, and unlike the escapist aspect of the industry, both kinds can have enormous consequences...

10. Bullet Club Is Fine

Vince McMahon Jesse Ventura
Twitter (@ALL_IN_2018)

It spoke to the political power and financial stroke of Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and other associated key players in the Bullet Club civil war of 2018 that such a vast number of wrestlers and companies were required to get on board.

Omega and Rhodes headlined an ROH Supercard Of Honor show as well as NJPW's King Of Pro Wrestling event (along with Kota Ibushi), such was the commercial appeal of their drawn-out dissent, and when the wrestlers weren't in the ring, they were expanding on the conflict (and their own storyline world) on Being The Elite.

It was September's All In that served as a proof of concept for All Elite Wrestling, folding in all of the regulars as well as a pro wrestling philosophy markedly different from WWE's. It's ironic - the comedy-laden "Bullet Club Is Fine" plot wasn't the most popular amongst ROH and NJPW purists for how much it leaned on Sports Entertainment trappings, but the spiderweb storytelling took those principles way beyond what the market leader had been capable of and into a brand new era.


Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett