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  • Connor Ewens

Every WWE Golden Era PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 3/3 - The Stats

After a nice digestible 30 shows reviewed and ranked for this series, it is time once again to break down some of the facts and figures from my coverage. I'll start with a definitive list of all shows ranked from best to worst.

Every WWE Golden Era PPV Ranked Best to Worst

1) Survivor Series 1987

2) Survivor Series 1988

3) Royal Rumble 1993

4) King of the Ring 1993

5) Royal Rumble 1988

6) Survivor Series 1989

7) Summerslam 1992

8) Royal Rumble 1991

9) Royal Rumble 1992

10) This Tuesday in Texas

11) Summerslam 1991

12) Royal Rumble 1990

13) Royal Rumble 1989

14) Summerslam 1989

15) Survivor Series 1990

16) Wrestlemania III

17) The Big Event

18) Wrestlemania VI

19) Wrestlemania VIII

20) Survivor Series 1992

21) The Wrestling Classic

22) Summerslam 1988

23) Wrestlemania VII

24) Summerslam 1990

25) Wrestlemania V

26) Wrestlemania

27) Survivor Series 1991

28) Wrestlemania 2

29) Wrestlemania IV

30) Wrestlemania IX

249 matches across these 30 shows, I also briefly reviewed the tag match featured on the 'No Holds Barred: The Match, The Movie' show, a grand total of 250. Only a singular 5* match in this era (0.4%), with another 10 being rated 4* or higher (4%). 37 matches were rated 3-3.75* (14.8%), 75 were rated 2-2.75* (30%) and 69 were rated 1-1.75* (27.6%). Down at the bottom end, 41 matches were rated 0.25-0.75 stars (16.4%) and 17 matches I gave a nil rating (6.8%). Looking at all of the matches rating below 1 star, does it shock you that the most have came from Hogan matches? It's a tie to be honest, him and the Undertaker both with 5 matches each rated below a star. Other consistent stinky workers include Jim Duggan, Junkyard Dog and Hercules. On the other end of the scale, out of the 11 matches rated 4* or higher, does it surprise you that the most comes from Randy Savage? Of course not. 5 matches for him, a close second for Bret Hart who was featured in 4. Insanely, third place goes to wrestling's biggest talentless asshole Ultimate Warrior with 3.

Looking at main events and MOTN winners now. For main event appearances I'm excluding Rumbles because I can't really be arsed, plus the match is less about an individual and more about the booking of the full match. So, excluding any Rumble main events (5), Hulk Hogan has main evented 16 events. 16 out of 25 events is 64%, that's a crazy number of main event appearances. Second most falls to Randy Savage at 6, followed by the Ultimate Warrior who had 5. Bret Hart and Ted DiBiase both had 4 main event appearances. Match of the Night winners, the most goes to Bret Hart, unsurprisingly. He had 14 in total, 7 alongside Jim Neidhart. Both Randy Savage and Davey Boy Smith collected 7 MOTN's, Ted DiBiase just behind with 6. The most impressive team were the Fabulous Rougeaus, together being a part of 6 MOTN's only rivalled by the Hart Foundation.

Top 10 Worst matches of the Golden Era

Wrestling is a balance between greatness and the drizzling shits. With every classic there is also matches like these:

10) Andre the Giant vs Jake Roberts, Wrestlemania V - ranking this low because this is due to Andre not being physically capable of putting on a good match by this stage. I want to be lenient on the legend, but this match was still painful to watch.

9) Terry Funk vs Moondog Spot, The Wrestling Classic - This is less about how poor the ring work is (though it wasn't great) and more about poor booking. It was done to keep Funk looking strong, but the booking was nonsensical and a waste of time.

8) Junkyard Dog vs Moondog Spot, The Wrestling Classic - This match was more about how poor the in-ring work was. Moondog Spot was terrible to watch and I don't want to watch another match of his. JYD is pretty legendary but he was never a good worker.

7) Kamala vs Undertaker, Survivor Series '92 - These two had a terrible match at the UK Summerslam, but this one is somehow worse. Early years Undertaker was not very fun to watch and Kamala might be one of the worst wrestlers and gimmicks in a disgusting wombo combo. Not very long, but still pretty awful.

6) Team Slaughter vs Team Mustafa, Survivor Series '91 - The worst elimination tag match of the era right here. Whilst Texas Tornado and El Matador were great wrestlers, they couldn't compensate for the lack of skill the rest of them had. A clunky mess that wouldn't pass testing for torture devices.

5) Roddy Piper vs Mr T, Wrestlemania 2 - I hate boxing in wrestling. This was boxing in wrestling. It was also poorly officiated. Can we stop doing boxing matches WWE please?

4) Yokozuna vs Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania IX - Barely a match but it's the significance of it that is more insulting. WWE and Vince McMahon struggling to move on and try to build new stars. They could have positioned Bret as their new top guy, but instead they fell back on relying on the Hulkster to draw, even though at this point the entire fan base was so sick and done with him at the top all of the time. This was an insulting end to a terrible show.

3) Beverly Brothers vs Bushwhackers, Royal Rumble '92 - Painful trash comedy at it's finest. Luke and Butch spend too much time being insufferably gross that they forget they have to actually wrestle. 15 long, soul crushing minutes too.

2) Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice, Wrestlemania VIII - The worst Mania main event, ever? Sid is terrible at everything except being tall and having hair that looks like ramen. Not only is this match badly wrestled, but the finish is terribly botched that Sid kicks out of the finish otherwise expose the business. Papa Shango fucked up big time, but even that wouldn't have saved this crap.

1) Undertaker vs Giant Gonzales, Wrestlemania IX - Not a surprise this is top of the shit heap. One of the worst wrestling matches EVER, regardless of gender, skill level, generation or company. It's so awful that you have to watch it once to understand. It's like 90% choking, 5% chloroform and also 5% whatever wrestling they attempted. Somehow, they decided to do a rematch of this too which is either hilarious or sinful.

Top 11 Best Matches of the Golden Era

There is only 11 matches rated 4* or higher so I might as well talk about them all. The very best of the Golden Era right here, but what was the best?

11) Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage, Summerslam '92 - A more than great rematch from their Wrestlemania epic with a well told story. It had a cheap finish but it was fitting with the story and characters involved.

10) Orient Express vs The Rockers, Royal Rumble '91 - The best match on this card by country miles. This was a fast paced back-and-forth clinic in tag wrestling that wouldn't be out of place in the modern era.

9) Ultimate Warrior vs Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania VI - A real clash of the titans between two of the Federation's biggest stars. Considering the in-ring level of both these men, this exceeded any and all expectations for this match.

8) Ric Flair vs Randy Savage, Wrestlemania VIII - Flair's first WWE run was a short one but it was a great one. This match perfectly captured the hatred these two had for each other, a high intensity feud with a great blow off on the grandest stage.

7) Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect, Summerslam '91 - Two of the companies best technical wrestlers ever going at it for almost 20 minutes, what more could you ask for?

6) Bret Hart vs Roddy Piper, Wrestlemania VIII - The passing of the torch moment Hogan would never give Hart, happened here instead. Piper put over Bret strong in possibly Piper's best match ever.

5) Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage, Wrestlemania VII - There is so much emotion in this one as we;l as huge stakes on the line. If this truly was Savage's last match, he would have went out on an all time career high.

4) Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat, Wrestlemania III - A match unseen before in the WWF at this time. These two wrestled a ground-breaking epic that many fans still hold as the best match of all time to this day.

3) Bret Hart vs Mr Perfect, King of the Ring '93 - This match is nearly exactly as long as their Summerslam encounter. This is just more of an amazing thing, with amazing wrestling, amazing storytelling and amazing booking. The stars aligned.

2) Royal Rumble 1992 - Over 30 years later and it is still hailed as one of the best Rumble matches ever. Ric Flair's amazing solo performance, Bobby Heenan's amazing commentary work, the match is near flawless. There is a justified reason this is so heavily praised.

1) Bret Hart vs British Bulldog, Summerslam '92 - Not only is this one of the best matches of all time, but one of the greatest shows of professionalism and excellence by Hart for helping Davey through it. Hart calls this his most proudest moment and he should be proud of how amazing this came out.

10 match recommendations from the Golden Era

These might have missed out on the top 11 list, but these matches I definitely recommend checking out:

10) Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff vs Hulk Hogan & Mr T, Wrestlemania - Whilst not exactly a great match, it's the first main event of Wrestlemania so it is quite significant. The crowd noise is unbelievable and it was a real spectacle.

9) Hart Foundation vs Brain Busters, Summerslam '89 - Two of the best tag teams in history demonstrating tag team perfection. This is the stuff that FTR would watch to go to sleep with good dreams.

8) The Rockers & Tito Santana vs Rougeaus & Rick Martel, Summerslam '89 - Another slice of great tag team wrestling featuring 6 men who were reliable at putting on good matches throughout the era.

7) Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat, The Wrestling Classic - This match only goes about 5 minutes but it is a lovely little teaser to what we would see from them at Wrestlemania in the near future.

6) Ted DiBiase vs Randy Savage, Wrestlemania IV - whilst the tournament and the show was overall disappointing, this was a solid match and the deserved crowning moment for Savage winning his first world championship.

5) Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania III - Not a good match, but one of the most historic and significant main event matches in wrestling history. The irresistible force meets the immovable object.

4) Hart Foundation vs Demolition, Summerslam '90 - Just another display of how good tag team wrestling was in this era.

3) Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels, Survivor Series '92 - Though their match 5 years later would be far more memorable and controversial, this match I believe pre-dates their hatred for each other and was a showcase of the future for the WWF.

2) Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania V - It took WWF 5 years but they finally pulled out a great main event match with one of the best told stories of the period. It's easy to look back and see Hogan as the villain, but Savage played his role as possessive, jealous partner perfectly.

1) Glamour Girls vs Jumping Bomb Angels, Royal Rumble '88 - I hark on about the JBA all of the time because they're that good. Something the WWF women's division had never seen and wouldn't see anything close for nearly 15 years.

That is my coverage over the Golden Era done, thanks for reading along. My next series will cover the New Generation era, which is approx 40 shows so that will be coming in the next few weeks. Take it easy.


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