My 10 Favorite WWE Matches – #5

Previous Entries:
#10 – Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle, 60-Minute Iron Man WWE Championship Match (SmackDown!, 9/18/03)
#9 – Mankind vs. The Undertaker, Hell in a Cell Match (King of the Ring 1998)

#8 – Shane McMahon vs. Mr. McMahon, Street Fight (WrestleMania X-Seven)
#7 – The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family, Six-Man Tag Team Match (Elimination Chamber 2014)
#6 – TLC II: The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian, WWF Tag Team Championship (WrestleMania X-Seven)

The day was January 4, 1999. Raw was taped 6 days prior, at the Worcester Centrum, while WCW Nitro was live from the Georgia Dome. WCW was going through with their usual nonsensical shenanigans, leading to a world title match between Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash, and to make sure nobody switched channels, Eric Bischoff ordered announcer Tony Schiovone to spoil the end of Raw for everyone watching TNT. “We understand that Mick Foley, who wrestled here once as Cactus Jack, is going to win their world title. That’s gonna put some butts in the seats. Feh!” Well, Skee-ah-vone was right – about 600,000 butts were put into the seats of Raw and the USA Network.

#5 – Mankind vs. The Rock, No Disqualification WWF Championship Match (Raw, 1/4/99)

Let me make it perfectly clear, off the bat: this match is less than 10 minutes long, littered with overbooked outside interference, by way of DX in Foley’s corner and The Corporation in Rocky’s corner, and the biggest pop was because of Stone Cold Steve Austin nailing The Rock with a steel chair. Also, The Rock was wrestling in track pants and a track shirt. But if you were watching this in 1999, let alone in that building for the match itself, it is one of the greatest sights you could have ever seen in professional wrestling. But this goes back to what I said before, about how a story can make or break a match. The same goes for pivotal moments; the moment Stone Cold’s music hit, the crowd EXPLODED; I swear, there has never been a louder crowd pop in wrestling, not even when Dolph Ziggler won the world title on the Raw after WrestleMania 29. Anyway, when Austin came out and nailed Rock with the chair, and when Mankind pinned Rock and won the belt, that created, what I consider to be, the most pivotal moment of the Attitude Era. You have college kids everywhere in the crowd, brawling and mayhem everywhere, a Rock Bottom through the announce table, and the biggest wrestling pop EVER. And it would go down in history as the night that Vince McMahon won the Monday Night War.

But meanwhile, on Nitro…

Nash-Hogan-finger-poke-gifs-001

Butts in the seats, only they’re at Raw.

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