Rivalries or feuds is an essential part of professional wrestling and today I'm gonna be counting down the best rivalries that happened in the squared circle!
Some of the criteria on how to judge a great rivalry: it drew a lot of money and attracted a lot of audience/fans, how memorable it is (i.e. stood the test of time) and how much impact it made in Pro Wrestling.
Also like always, this list is just my opinion so feel free to leave your favorite rivalries in the comments below.
So without further ado, let's take a look at the 10 Greatest Rivalries in Pro Wrestling!
Frank Gotch vs George Hackenschmidt
This feud started in the early 1900's back when wrestling was just pure legit wrestling, catch wrestling as they call it.
Basically "The Russian Lion" George Hackenschmidt became the very first ever World Heavyweight Champion in wrestling, he has beaten challenger after challenger who tried to take his belt, in comes Frank Gotch.
In their first title bout which drew a lot of people, Gotch won over George who has been the World Champion for 1,605 days. They shook hands after the match.
Their second match however is one of the most controversial wrestling matches of all time. The match drew over 30,000 people. Basically George came to this match with an injured knee, there were claims that some of Gotch's "business partners" paid his trainer to legitimately injure his knee during a training session.
Even though he wasn't 100% George still competed in the match and Gotch took advantage of the injured knee, the match only lasted 20 minutes in comparison to their first bout which lasted over an hour.
Gotch & Hackenschmidt were both huge sports icons in their time. Their matches were globally covered, these two made professional wrestling known all over the world, without them wrestling wouldn't be as successful as it is today.
Trish Stratus vs Lita
These two definitely changed Women's Wrestling in a good way. Back then you really only got one woman who was dominating the whole division and that was The Fabulous Moolah, but in the 90's until early 2000's Trish & Lita were at the top of the Women's Division in the WWE.
Not only they're both gorgeous women, but they can wrestle too! Their matches together are always great and whether it is for the Women's Championship or just a straight up wrestling match, they never fail to deliver a great match for the fans and we all loved it!
Both women are now happily retired and were inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. These two definitely paved the way for this generation's women wrestlers.
The Fabulous Freebirds vs The Von Erichs
If there is one thing that people remember WCCW for it was the feud between The Fabulous Freebirds and The Von Erich Brothers! Their rivalry was a major draw, whenever these two teams have matches together, it was always sold out!
This feud really stood the test of time and is still being remembered and watched by many fans to this day. Especially now that The Freebirds were recently inducted to the Hall of Fame, I hope more younger fans would get to see the epic bouts between these two great factions.
Bruno Sammartino vs Larry Zbyszko
For those of you who don't know how this rivalry came to be, basically Larry Zbyszko was the pupil of Bruno Sammartino and they were always successful in tag-team matches together!
But then on one match where Bruno and Larry in what was supposed to be just a typical friendly match, Larry grabbed a chair and hits Bruno with it repeatedly! The crowd were shocked by this and this turned Larry as one of the most hated wrestlers of that time. Remember this was a time where a lot of fans still think wrestling is "real."
Anyway that angle would lead to their cage match at Shea Stadium in front of a sold out crowd. In the end the teacher thought his student one final lesson, as Bruno went over Larry much to the crowd's joy!
Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage
The two first started out as a tag-team known as "The Mega Powers" but later on it seemed like Hulk Hogan was being way too friendly with Ms. Elizabeth which made Macho jealous, because of this the two broke up and started what was considered by many as the greatest feud in WWE!
The two finally faced each other at WrestleMania V. In the end it looks like Hulk was about to get pinned as Savage prepares to drop his elbow drop but The Immortal One manages to kick out, he then gave Savage the leg drop and winning over the feud and had his second reign as WWF Champion!
Flash forward in WCW, this feud continued. We all remember that moment where this time it was Hogan who betrayed Savage and gave him the leg drop after he was assaulted by The Outsiders, forming the nWo. The two feuded for the WCW Title and Hogan once again was victorious.
For over a decade of rivalry, Macho Man never managed to pin Hulk Hogan! This rivalry however wasn't only happening in the ring but outside as well. We all know that Savage had various issues with Hogan, but according to Randy's brother, Lanny Poffo in the end both men buried the hatchet before Savage sadly passed.
The Undertaker vs Kane
It all started in October 1997 where The Big Red Machine along with Paul Bearer attacked The Deadman and so one of the most legendary rivalries in WWE began.
Kane & Bearer then challenged The Undertaker for a match in WrestleMania 14, Taker won that face-off and kept the streak going but it wouldn't be too long before the two had more matches against each other.
Two months later the first ever Inferno Match happened and it was between these two, with fire surrounding the ring, Taker got the better of his younger brother once again. The two would later feud for the WWF Championship.
We advance in WrestleMania 20 where The Undertaker made a surprise return and fought Kane once again for a match in which he won. Years later, the two would constantly team up and reunite as The Brothers of Destruction.
In all honesty, if The Undertaker and Kane were to have their final matches, I hope it would be against each other on WrestleMania. That would be an awesome sight wouldn't it?
Rock N' Roll Express vs Midnight Express
Whether it's in the NWA,AWA,or other promotions all over the world these two teams would always have fantastic matches together and like I said it was such a great rivalry that it was even being booked around the 2000's.
All four wrestlers (5 if you included Dennis Condrey) were all great performers in the ring and whenever you watch a match between these two teams you will just never be disappointed!
The rivalry between The Dudleys,Hardys,and Edge & Christian is great but for me the battle of these two legendary tag-teams will always will be the greatest.
Ric Flair vs Sting
It all started as the battle of the rising superstar (Sting) against the veteran (Flair.)
The most memorable match that these two had was in the first ever Clash of Champions where the match is claimed by many as an "instant classic" where Sting fought Flair for the World Title which ended in a 45 Minute Draw, if you haven't seen that match yet then I highly recommend it!
Over the years Sting & Flair would have more great matches against each other, taking each other to the limit. In fact the first and last Monday Nitro were headlined by both of these legends.
Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart
HBK & The Hitman put everything they got in each of their matches, with the added real life heat going on between these two wrestlers at the time, it added more intensity for the rivalry!
While they've had tons of great matches together, there is always one thing that fans will always remember this great rivalry for and that is the "Montreal Screwjob." The match itself was actually great it was just really overshadowed by the controversial ending.
The two also had a great faction rivalry where HBK and DX feud against Bret and The Hart Foundation.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs The Rock
Now it's very rare to have two top guys in a promotion, back in the 70's you only got Bruno Sammartino,80's was ruled by Hulk Hogan,but in the 90's you got both Stone Cold and The Rock fighting each other to see who's the real top dog in the WWF.
This feud started in the mid-card and then slowly making it's way up to the main event. Both men have headlined multiple PPV's and have faced each other at WrestleMania, three times! All were great matches.
Oh and how can we forget all of the great promo wars between these two guys? It was just amazing!
In fact from what I hear from other fans around the internet that this rivalry is the reason why they fell in love with professional wrestling in the first place. The feud between Rock and Cena is a joke in comparison to this.
So yes Stone Cold vs The Rock takes the cake as the greatest pro wrestling rivalry of all time here at MWC!
Now you might be wondering, where is the Austin vs McMahon feud? Well I strictly just had this list focused on rivalries between actual wrestlers, and not wrestlers between authority figures.
Don't get me wrong, that is one of the greatest, if not the greatest feud ever in wrestling and it definitely changed WWE but I did not include it on this list because of the reason I just mentioned. Hopefully you'll understand. If not then, deal with it.
Thanks for reading.