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The world of WWE is built on larger-than-life characters and the epic clashes that unfold between them. From bitter blood feuds to legendary battles for championship gold, these rivalries have fueled the fire of professional wrestling for decades. So, put on your war paint, grab your folding chair, and let’s dive into the 10 greatest WWE rivalries of all time.
Top 10 WWE Rivalries of All Time
|Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon
|The Rock vs. Mankind
|Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
|The Undertaker vs. Kane
|Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
|Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
|John Cena vs. Edge
|The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
|Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
|John Cena vs Randy Orton
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon
This clash transcended the traditional wrestler vs. wrestler dynamic. It was blue-collar rebellion against corporate tyranny, personified by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s middle fingers and beer guzzling defiance against the tyrannical chairman, Vince McMahon. Their verbal barbs were legendary, their brawls were brutal, and their Austin Powers parodies were downright hilarious. Their fights redefined what it meant to be a top star in WWE, and its influence is still felt today.
The Rock vs. Mankind
The Rock‘s electrifying charisma and Mankind’s deranged tenacity made for a combustible mix. Their “Rock Bottom” vs. “Sock Puppet” battles were brutal and often hilarious, with Mankind taking bumps that would make lesser men whimper (including falling off Hell in a Cell!). Their “This is Your Fault” segment remains a cornerstone of Attitude Era comedy, and their respect-filled post-match hug at WrestleMania XV is a heartwarming moment of closure.
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
This rivalry began as a tag team brotherhood in The Hart Foundation, but jealousy and ambition drove a wedge between them. Their technical in-ring battles were masterpieces, showcasing their incredible work ethic and story-telling ability. The Montreal Screwjob, where Michaels “won” the WWE Championship through questionable means, remains one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history, adding an extra layer of bitterness and intrigue to their feud.
The Undertaker vs. Kane
This gothic saga explored themes of family, betrayal, and the supernatural. The Undertaker, the stoic Deadman, and Kane, his fiery younger brother, clashed in epic Hell in a Cell matches, buried each other alive, and even summoned fire and brimstone. Their rivalry transcended wrestling, becoming a dark and compelling drama that captivated audiences for years.
Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
The Mega Powers ruled the 80s, but jealousy and misunderstanding drove them apart. Their friendship shattered in a tearful betrayal, making way for a series of epic clashes. Hogan’s Hulkster persona battled Savage’s “Macho Madness,” culminating in a legendary WrestleMania VIII match where Hogan retained the WWE Championship by ripping off Savage’s tights (and exposing his wedding ring, the symbol of their broken bond).
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
From tag team partners in D-Generation X to bitter rivals, Triple H and Shawn Michaels’ journey is one of friendship, betrayal, and redemption. Their in-ring chemistry was undeniable, producing classic Ladder Matches and brutal Hell in a Cell encounters. Their eventual reconciliation and reformation of D-X added a heartwarming layer to their story, proving that even the fiercest rivals can find brotherhood again.
John Cena vs. Edge
WWE’s poster boy John Cena faced his greatest challenge in the cunning and ruthless Edge. Their rivalry raged across multiple championships, Money in the Bank cash-ins, and brutal TLC matches. Edge’s spear was Cena’s Kryptonite, and their battles often blurred the lines between good and evil. This rivalry tested Cena’s perseverance and cemented Edge’s legacy as one of the best heels of his generation.
The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
This unlikely rivalry pitted the smarmy Hollywood A-Lister, The Miz, against the beloved underdog, Daniel Bryan. Their clash resonated with fans yearning for something different, and their mic battles were pure gold. Bryan’s “Yes!” movement brought the WWE Universe together, while The Miz embodied the entitled “It Factor” mentality. Their WrestleMania XXX encounter, where Bryan defied the odds and captured the WWE Championship, is a timeless underdog story.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
This rivalry broke barriers and shattered expectations. Sasha Banks and Bayley, best friends turned bitter rivals, showcased the athleticism and storytelling prowess of women’s wrestling. Their NXT championship battles were instant classics, and their emotional feud for the Raw Women’s Championship redefined what a women’s main event could be. This rivalry proved to be an exceptional draw as both of them showed tremendous chemistry. Furthermore, this rivalry also paved the way for the women’s revolution in the WWE.
John Cena vs Randy Orton
The leader of the Cenation and the Legend Killer have faced off countless times in the WWE. However, be that as it may, it doesn’t take away the fact that both of them share exceptional chemistry and deliver exceptional matches. The never give up attitude of John Cena facing off against the cunning and opportunistic traits of the Viper is always a treat to watch. It, till date, remains as one of the longest and most memorable rivalries in both men’s career and WWE history.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The feud began in 1997 when Paul Bearer, The Undertaker’s former manager, disclosed the existence of Kane, The Undertaker’s half-brother. According to the storyline, Kane survived a fire that The Undertaker supposedly caused as a child, resulting in the death of their parents. Kane made his first appearance at Badd Blood: In Your House, disrupting The Undertaker’s Hell in a Cell match against Shawn Michaels and causing him to lose.
Some memorable matches between Triple H vs Shawn Michaels are:
– The unsanctioned street fight at SummerSlam 2002
– The three stages of hell match at Armageddon 2002
– The triple threat match at WrestleMania XX
– The Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood 2004
John Cena and Edge have competed against each other in 11 singles matches on pay-per-view. Cena emerged victorious in 7 of these matches, while Edge won 4.
One of the most memorable moments in their rivalry was the beer truck incident on Raw in 1999. Austin drove a beer truck into the arena, sprayed McMahon, The Rock, and Shane McMahon with beer, and mocked them on the microphone. The crowd went wild as Austin celebrated with a beer bath.