There was so much entertainment about wrestling in the 1990s. The wrestlers had their personified songs, celebrations, chants, and smacks. They were scenes too beautiful to be unnoticed. To those who had their reservations about it being a pre-acted sport, there were thousands of people who did not care whether it real or fake. People simply wanted to watch their favorite wrestlers. You could argue that very few entertaining activities brought people of different nationalities together, as much as wrestling did in the 1990s.
Every big fight made the first discussions at work or any social gathering. Wrestling was the sport with the biggest characters in the 1990s.
Here are a few wrestling moments which earned a place in the minds of the audience.
Hogan’s victory launched the “Hulkamania” slogan, which the WWF often used in his extraordinarily successful decade. The Sheik defeat was highly welcomed and regarded by different surveys as the most interesting wrestling moment ever. Hulk Hogan later became the face of the WWE in the 1980s.
The Top 10 Wrestling Moments from the 80s to the 90s!
10. Bruno Sammartino vs. Larry Zbyszko
The emergence of every wrestling star requires a humiliating battering of a dominating character. Some wrestlers were extraordinarily successful at this, while others failed, irrespective of how long they tried. Larry was an example of those who failed to neutralize themselves of preexisting perceptions no matter how hard they tried.
Larry was always known as Sammartino’s protégé, and no matter how hard he tried to earn a name for himself, he never went beyond the tagline of a protégé. He challenged his teacher to a fight, having grown frustrated at the tag imposed on him by the audience, who was his teacher’s favorite all through his career. He had a chance but failed to take his chance.
In the presence of 36,000 people at the Shea Stadium in 1980, Sammartino humiliated Larry in a match that set a yardstick upon his career. Larry never earned a name for himself.
9. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
There were very few wrestlers who could successfully beat those at the height of their powers, like Andre the Giant. His imposing body figure was a nice description that was worth fitting into his name. Andre was on a decent run of 15 years without a defeat. He was not the wrestler that fights every week, but he has a decent record of success against the absolute best in the wrestling world.
Hulk Hogan was that character that cared less. His name was on every lip on March 29, 1987. The 90,000 people that came to watch the match reminded one of how important wrestling was to the entertainment industry in the 1990s. Hulk Hogan was the man of the moment, and that was a fact even Andre the Giant could not change. The 80s was a remarkable success for Hulk Hogan, and he impressed the enormous number of people who came to cheer him to victory.
8. Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
This was one of those interesting storylines in the wrestling world. Savage and Hogan started as partners, and they were formidable. Savage’s real wife, Miss Elizabeth, was staunch support for Savage, and he was highly protective of her. The relationship between the two wrestlers grew sour after Hogan accidentally knocks out Savage from a Royal Rumble match. Followed by series of suspicion about Hogan’s interest in his wife, Savage felt the best way to end their partnership was a fight.
The duo met in a very fierce match, but Hulk Hogan kept his success in the 80s. There were series of matches between these two famous wrestling faces, but Hulk Hogan did not spare his former friend in any of their matches. The two later reunited in 1993 and had a short term together.
7. Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
New stars were already coming into the spotlight at the close of the 80s, and one familiar name that took the baton from Hulk Hogan was the Ultimate Warrior. The Ultimate Warrior may not have the ability to connect with the fans as much as Hulk Hogan. However, he made up for that with his techniques and abilities. The Macho Man (Randy Savage) was equally a familiar name with the fans, but the Ultimate Warrior cemented his place as one of wrestling’s greatest characters. Beyond his career-defining fight with Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior considers the match as his biggest match ever.
6. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
The Hart family was one of the first families to be known for wrestling. All the brothers were involved in wrestling, while the females married wrestlers. In such a family, the battle for superiority was inevitable. Bret was unarguably the family’s face in wrestling. Beyond that, Bret was the face of WWE in the 1990s. Owen was promising and looked set to achieve more than his brother could ever set his eyes on. However, he wanted to shed off the scales of being Bret’s little brother.
The sports lovers would argue that the match did not live to its expectation as Bret had shown more than that in earlier matches. Also, all that either wrestler needed was to escape the ring, whether one severely beaten the other wrestler or not. The brothers claimed afterward that their management instructed them to ensure the match was extremely free from violence. Nevertheless, the match was one of the best in the 1990s.
5. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
The scene in California was one of the best wrestling fights fans have seen. A young Michaels whose only success was in the intercontinental championship was up against the WWE’s face of the decade.
Bret was not a character that enjoyed the fancy entry and the cheers. He was a profoundly serious character. On the other hand, Michaels had a luxurious entry into the stage, his face glowing as he stirred down from the roof of the ring. The two wrestlers battled in the ring for over 40minutes, trying different techniques to knock out their opponent. In the end, it was the young Michaels that stole the show with his kick, two of which Bret had earlier taken to the face.
4. Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior
The end of an era and the emergence of a new Alpha Male in the wrestling industry. Rarely have the fans of WWE experience a huge night like this. Hulk Hogan, the man who dominated every wrestling news, was beaten in style and a remarkable fashion. The Ultimate Warrior announced himself with an impeccable display. It was a long night for Hogan after which he went into a well-deserved break from wrestling.
3. Mankind vs. The Rock
“I wanted to bring out a part of Rock that the fans have never seen,” Mankind said years later after his fight with The Rock.
Some wrestlers come to the ring and give a show knowing it was all about the payment for your role, but Mankind was a distinctive character.
The match genuinely brought out a viciousness in the Rock’s role, and it was an attribute that became a part of his long and successful wrestling career. Foley (Mankind) took eleven chair hits to his head with his hands tied to his back. The Rock later admitted it was just meant to be four, but it just went on and on as the fans cheered. Foley’s WWE boss knew he was the unpredictable face of wrestling, and he marked a new turn to wrestling as the levels of violence escalated into the 21st century.
2. Mankind vs. The Undertaker
A broken jaw, a dislocated shoulder, and broken teeth were the rewards for going outside the script. Mankind admitted he lied to Mahon when he asked if he had been to the top of the cage and whether it was safe to jump down from there. This was completely weird, but it was not the first time Mankind will cross the entertainment lanes. The fear, the curiosity to know what has happened to the flying wrestler filled the air, but he was often back on his feet and stretched out due to severe injuries he suffered. There was even a famous photo of Mankind’s broken teeth in his nose.
1. Hulk Hogan vs. Iron Sheik
There was so much uniqueness about this match. This match cemented Hogan’s place as the fan’s favorite of the 80s. The Iron Sheik was notable for scorning the United States by displaying Iran as a superior face. Rightly so, the Sheik has a decent record against an opponent from the United States.
On January 23, 1984, Hulk Hogan was to the United States as David was to Israel in the popular bible story. Coming out in a fancy T-shirt with the “Made in the United States” slogan, Hogan knew he was up against a man who was not scared of breaking the will of other wrestlers.
Like in movies, wrestling sometimes appears as a war between Good and Evil, like a villain versus hero series. The only notable difference was the unpredictable nature of wrestling. Sometimes victory goes to the villain, and the hero suffers, but this was not going to be the Madison Square Garden case. The Sheik had his moments, using his famous “Camel Clutch” smack on Hogan, but it was not strong enough to neutralize the will of the American wrestler who was committed to stripping the Sheik of his bragging right.
From a large audience to beautiful characters with so much uniqueness, nothing in entertainment came close to what the late 1900s offered.
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!