There are moments in professional wrestling forever etched in our mind that create the illusion of perfection. Matches, shoot interviews, rivalries, even commentary from the announcer’s table – they have all created moments we remember like they were yesterday.
Two men – 14 world titles and a history of wrestlers coming up together through Smokey Mountain Wrestling, trying to reach their dream, trying to make sure the world knew about both of them.
When I think back to my wrestling youth and feuds or rivalries that have brought me to the edge of my seat, Orton and Cena make the list, but there are others who move ahead of them. Orton and Cena stepped into the ring Monday night and wrote another chapter in WWE lore.
Move for move, tit for tat, point for counterpoint. The best performers tell a great story in a match – both men have done that over the years without much disappointment.
Now, in what Cena called the final chapter between the two before Elimination Chamber, it was Cena who had the last laugh. Was it foreshadowing about what will happen at the pay-per-view? Ask Sheamus, Christian, Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro if they are willing to lie down and allow Cena to win at the pay-per-view and claim a15th world title, drawing himself closer and closer to Ric Flair’s record.
If you were to ask me the top five wrestling feuds of all time, I could ramble off the following:
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat
The three-fall series at Clash of Champions. The idea that both wrestles could go back to the 1970s and create some of the same drama as it did back in the 1970s. Flair once said wrestling Steamboat was more like a ballet than a wrestling match. That – is respect. No one gave Flair a better match than Steamboat.
Harley Race vs Jack Brisco
For all the fun we have made of Brisco over the years, he and Race put on shows that were wrestling clinics. Toe holds, arm bars, drop kicks and then we got to see Race’s brawling style he made famous in Missouri and Kansas City. If there was a tougher wrestler in the NWA in the 1970s and 80sother than Race, could someone please show me?
Buzz Sawyer vs. Tommy Rich
For almost two years, this was the feud everyone knew about in the south. Sawyer and Rich battled stem to stern, tearing down arenas, making wrestling seem as real as it could be. There was a very real hatred for both of them and in the end, the battle that brought out the best and worst in each of them nearly killed them both.
Dory/Terry Funk vs. Jack Brisco
Dory Funk may have been the toughest mat wrestler there was in the 1970s. Terry Funk may have been the roughest. Each brought out the best in Jack Brisco. And when the two or three wrestled each other, all you could say is there was magic. Brisco and the Funks both held the NWA World Heavyweight Title and when they met, the title was usually on the line.
CM Punk/John Cena
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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