WWE Rivalries are known for keeping the fans off the hook with their intense drama and fascinating storylines. These neck-to-neck fierce battles between iconic superstars have greatly impacted sports entertainment history and gained countless fans worldwide.
Let’s talk about the unforgetful rivalries, drama, and passion these superstars bring to the squared stage.
1. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The legendary feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock is among the greatest rivalries in professional wrestling history. The rivalry escalated in 1997 when Austin won the Royal Rumble match, guaranteeing him a shot at the WWF Championship at WrestleMania.The Rock, then a member of “The Nation of Domination,” stood in Austin’s way. Hence, Austin came out victorious and claimed the WWF Championship.
These two faced each other multiple times in “Showcase of the Immortals.” The third and final encounter between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania XIX is considered one of the most iconic matches in WWE history. Ultimately, The Rock emerged victorious in this heightened battle.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
The rivalry between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker created a saga of dominance and brutality that sent shockwaves through the WWE Universe. Undertaker, known as the Deadman with his supernatural presence and Lesnar’s raw power and athleticism, always created an otherworldly aura around their matches.
WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, Louisiana, marked a turning point when The beast (Lesnar)) broke The Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak, solidifying his status as a force to be reckoned with. Their battles showcased their unwavering determination to prove their superiority, with their Hell in a Cell match standing out as one of the most memorable and physically intense encounters.
3. Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage’s rivalry was speculated in WWE during the 1980s and 1990s. Their larger-than-life characters and in-ring abilities made for an explosive combination. The feud began when Macho Man Randy Savage accused Hogan of pursuing his manager, Miss Elizabeth. Their WrestleMania V clash for the WWE Championship contains 14 matches, and the main event was Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage. They showcased their immense talent and ability in the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, making their feud one of the most iconic and emotionally charged in WWE history.
4. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
The rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart was a masterclass in technical wrestling and storytelling. Their differences fueled their on-screen feud, creating a solid atmosphere of hostility. The rivalry reached its maximum outrage in the 1997 Survivor Series, ending in the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” that forever changed professional wrestling.
Despite the backstage drama, Michaels and Hart showcased their exceptional wrestling abilities through their matches, attracting fans worldwide. The contrast in their styles added an extra layer of excitement, with Michaels as the high-flying risk-taker and Hart as the master technician.
5. John Cena vs. Randy Orton
The rivalry between John Cena and Randy Orton is one of the longest-running and most intense in WWE history. Throughout their careers, Cena consistently held the position of the leading heroic character in WWE. At the same time, Orton seized his role as a villainous character, and the two wrestlers frequently engaged with each other, which feuded their ongoing rivalry.
One of the defining moments occurred at SummerSlam 2009, where they engaged in an epic “I Quit” match. Both men combined won 30 world titles in their careers. Their decade-long rivalry stretched to 2014; each superstar solidified their position as a top-tier superstar.
6. Triple H vs. The Undertaker
The long-standing rivalry between Triple H and The Undertaker engrossed the WWE Universe for years. Their encounters inside Hell in a Cell and No Holds Barred, also known as no-disqualification matches, showcased their willingness to go to any lengths for victory. The stakes peaked at WrestleMania XXVIII when Triple H put his career on the line against The Undertaker’s remained victorious, keeping his undefeated WrestleMania streak intact, creating an unforgettable clash of iconic figures.
7. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
While it may not claim the title of the most famous or intense rivalry, this matchup holds significant importance in the WWE due to its vital role in ending the career of one of its legendary superstars. It was a sight to behold as The Undertaker made an impressive comeback, and Michaels showed his incredible energy and determination.
Roughly a year later, Michaels made a crucial intervention during the Elimination Chamber, resulting in The Undertaker relinquishing the World Heavyweight Championship. This unexpected twist set the stage for a career versus streak showdown at Wrestlemania 26, yet another extraordinary clash that ultimately sealed Michaels’ retirement.
8. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant
Turning WrestleMania into the marquee event it is today, arguably the most famous wrestling image of all time, featured Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant; these two men engaged in an iconic rivalry. Their significance goes beyond their in-ring abilities, with Andre embodying the unstoppable monster and Hogan representing the relatable hero. Without them, professional wrestling wouldn’t have reached its current stature.
At WrestleMania III, when Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant came face to face in the main event of the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, 33 million people saw this broadcast match.
During The Event, André emerged victorious and claimed the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Hogan, despite Hogan’s shoulders never being on the mat throughout the three-count. The referee’s attention was diverted by Virgil at the precise moment when Hogan attempted to pin André, thus laying the groundwork for the outcome.
9. The Undertaker vs. Kane
Known for its enduring nature, this rivalry has charmed the wrestling world for years. From their explosive debut in 1997, accompanied by their shared ‘father’ Paul Bearer (one can only imagine their mother’s imposing stature), to the present day, these two have rarely ceased their feud, except for their dominant alliance as the Brothers of Destruction.
While the Undertaker consistently delivers greatness, Kane appears to lack direction when engaged in feuds with anyone else. Notable figures such as Matt Hardy, Edge, and his partnerships with the Big Show and MVP couldn’t extract the same level of performance from Kane as the Undertaker does.
Both wrestlers, accompanied by profound in-ring psychology, showcase remarkable agility and strength when facing each other. Given their extensive history and intertwined past, they possess a profound understanding of each other, akin to genuine brothers.
10. The Rock vs. Triple H
Their journey culminated with all the magnetic elements of a soap opera, but it all started with one of the most great ladder matches in the history of WWE. At that time, they were both rising stars, yet to become the undeniable future Hall of Famers they would eventually be.
The Iron Man match, won by Triple H, stands as one of the highlights of their careers. However, the true embodiment of their rivalry was witnessed in the Fatal Four Way match at WrestleMania 2000, where Vince McMahon betrayed The Rock in favor of helping Triple H retain the championship belt.
WWE rivalries have shaped the landscape of sports entertainment, fascinating fans with their intense battles and compelling storylines. From The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin to Triple H vs. The Undertaker, these rivalries have had a lasting impact on WWE’s history. Their clashes, fueled by passion and marked by unforgettable moments, continue to define the essence of professional wrestling. As fans eagerly forecast future rivalries, let us celebrate the rivalries that have engrossed audiences and showcased the power of storytelling, athleticism, and the ability of WWE superstars to leave a lasting impact.