10 Wrestling Matches Fans Can’t Agree On

One man's treasure is another man's utterly tedious hour of self-preservation.

Ospreay Ricochet
New Japan

I'm a fairly cynical purveyor of the wrestling landscape. That said, there are certain matches which are absolutely impossible to discount. Their brilliance can not be denied.

Steve Austin Vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 was a revelation in state-of-the-art content, unparalleled psychology, and business-busting storytelling. The famed 1990 All Japan Pro Wrestling bout, pitting company Ace Jumbo Tsuruta opposite the man who supplanted him on the night, Mitsuharu Misawa, was similarly revolutionary in that it shaped the in-ring style of AJPW in the years to come, and anointed the company's next figurehead.

A match doesn't have to make a star to reach greatness. The history of wrestling glows with incandescent classics.

Conversely, some matches have polarised the wrestling fandom to such an extent that they have generated an almost philosophical level of discussion. How long is too long? To what extent should wrestling, an industry predicated on pretend warfare, use real violence to get itself over? At which points does methodical become boring?

Those questions will rage on and on - but what follows are the most pressing ever posed...

10. The Undertaker Vs. Mankind - WWF King Of The Ring 1998

Ospreay Ricochet

Mick Foley, as Cactus Jack, had long been in the business of using real-life violence to get himself over.

At Clash Of The Champions X in 1990, Foley was tasked with wrestling Mil Mascaras - a performer so selfish that he infamously eliminated himself in the 1997 Royal Rumble match. He was happier to make himself look stupid than make somebody else look good at his expense. Knowing that Mascaras was giving him nothing, Jack made the match memorable by careening off the apron and smashing the back of his skull onto the exposed concrete below. The man was so dedicated to his art that he risked serious injury in the match, the failure of which nobody would have blamed him for.

As Mankind, he took two more psychotic bumps in his 1998 King Of The Ring Hell In A Cell bout with the Undertaker. Falling off and through the Cell, Foley had succeeded in his mission to equalise Shawn Michaels' workrate a few months prior through sheer spectacle. It was an infuriating transgression of wrestling logic to many old school minds. Foley had raised the bar by intentionally destroying himself.

Ultimately, he did not break the more sacred tenet of endangering his opponent. His artistic choice was his own; thankfully, only he is qualified to answer the question.


Former Power Slam Magazine scribe and author of Development Hell: The NXT Story - available NOW on shop.whatculture.com!