Storylines: Favorites and Most Hated
Best Loved Storylines
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Vince McMahon
Is there anything more red-blooded American than contempt for your boss? So when a storyline comes along where a guy’s sole job is to beat the snot out of his boss, what’s not to love? Austin and McMahon carried out an incredible feud from 1997 to 1999 that was absolutely enjoyable. People tuned into Raw every week just to see what the Texas Rattlesnake would do to Vince next. Everything from beating Vince over the head with a bedpan while he was laying in a hospital bed to giving the ring a beer bath to crushing the Rock’s car with a monster truck. It was the most unpredictable and enjoyable storyline in wrestling history.
2. Four Hoursemen (Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham)
The Four Horsemen was the greatest wrestling stable EVER. While there were many incarnations of the group, the greatest incarnation had World champion Ric Flair, U.S. champion Barry Windham and World tag team champions Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard. This incarnation feuded strongly with Lex Luger (whom Windham had turned on to join the Horsemen) and Dusty Rhodes. As Arn would say more than a decade later, “We are the original gang!”
3. Jerry Lawler vs Andy Kaufman
Growing up in Memphis, you respected the King. But this Andy Kaufman from Taxi comes and tries to make a name for himself by wrestling women. It wouldn’t have been much had Lawler and Kaufman not appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982. Kaufman died in 1984, but the stories live on that he had talked about faking his own death only to reappear decades later. The 1999 movie Man on the Moon with Jim Carrey was made about his life and highlighted his wrestling antics. Over thirty-five years later, people are still talking about their feud.
4. Tables, Ladders & Chairs
In the world of tag team feuds, you can’t get any better than the heat and interest generated by the Hardy Boyz, the Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian. The Dudleys were the masters of using tables. The Hardys were the masters of the ladder. Edge & Christian were the masters of using chairs. When these three collided, it made for sensational matches over the WWF World Tag Team Titles.
5. Team 3D vs Steiners vs Voodoo Kin Mafia
When all three teams were in TNA, the feud was billed as all three teams having held the World Tag Team Titles from ECW, WCW and WWF all at the same time. According to the official title histories of those titles, there wasn’t a single day when all three teams held their respective World titles. However, there are 111 days between October 13, 1997 and October 12, 1999 where two of the teams held titles at the same time. However, these three were the three greatest tag teams of the 1990s. Only in TNA were these three teams in the same promotion at the same time.
Most Hated Storylines
1. nWo (New World Order)
When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash first appeared on the May 27, 1996 episode of Nitro, I was all in favor of the angle. Recruiting the former WWF talent on the WCW roster? Absolutely! Letting the storyline flounder for almost five years? No. Have multiple variations and a “B-Team”? Ridiculous! I switched over full-time to Raw and never looked back at Nitro or Thunder until The Day Wrestling Died.
2. Vince McMahon’s Kiss My Ass Club
No one has ever said that Vince McMahon lacked ego strength. However, when he decided to add to the debauchery in the WWE, he could have gone in many different ways. Forcing the wrestlers and commentators to prove their loyalty is one thing. A egotistical billionaire wanting to drop trou in the middle of the ring? Totally unnecessary.
3. Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael as a Horseman
While the Horsemen were the greatest stable in wrestling history, the head writers had their idiotic moments with writing for them. Many people questioned Paul Roma’s time in the Horsemen, but he was at least a legitimate asset for the Horsemen. Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael was a washed-up football player who decided to give pro wrestling a try. Absolutely worst Horseman ever!
4. Sid Vicious as a Horseman
Someone had the crazy idea of the Horsemen needing a monster in the stable. So, they brought in Sid Vicious. He was truly one of the most vicious wrestlers in the 1980s, but he was not Horsemen material. Before McMichael’s entrance into the Horsemen, Vicious was considered by most people to be the worst Horseman ever. Vicious had a wonderful career before and after his Horseman stint. This was just a small blip on the radar.
5. A Non-Wrestler as World Champion
Both WCW and WWF had their share of non-wrestlers as the World Heavyweight champion. Two were power-hungry executives (McMahon and Russo) that did it strictly for storyline purposes. But what was the purpose for David Arquette being the WCW World Heavyweight champion? Even the wrestlers agree that this was the worst angle ever actually played out in wrestling.