You are here /wrestling
/John C.
Guest Columns

John C.



Raw, WWF's Most Memorable Matches, R&R and More!

I have a few hundred emails sitting in my box that I need to get to but that will have to wait because I am back baby! I will do my best to reply to every email that was sent to me in the last week but it will take a bit of time because I am pretty busy. To everyone who wrote me I would just like to say thanks for all of your support, for the most part it has been positive. I have quite a few things to write about today (most of them were written a few days ago) and oh yes the R&R is back this week! Without further Apu (yeah, I meant to say that just like Moe did in the Simpsons episode where Krusty sells out for the Canyanero), here she blows...

Special Bulletin! My NCAA Final Four picks are: St. John's, Michigan State, Temple and Connecticut. I take MSU over Temple in the final. Duke has a good team but Temple will stop them because of their defense and their experienced PG Pepe Sanchez. MSU takes it all due to their experienced guards like Cleaves, Bell and Peterson. I am a little biased though because I live pretty close to the MSU campus and I have always rooted for them or Michigan. I only picked Connecticut cause I think the South is wide open and there usually is at least one underdog to make it to the Final Four. Tough break for Cinci; they would have been my pick but with Martin out I do not think they have a chance. I remember every Final Four since about 1982 when I first was hooked on basketball back when I was seven. I do not think I have ever gotten my final four correct so take it easy on me if (more like when) I am wrong! The best weekend in sports is always the Final Four, WrestleMania and the NCAA Final. I am pumped baby!

And now back to your regularly scheduled program err...column

The WWF's Greatest Matches On March 1st, I wrote a column about the greatest matches in WWF history as well as the best PPVs and feuds. To read this column all you have to do is CLICK HERE. The feedback to the column was pretty good with most people asking about two matches that I left off the list. The first match was Mankind/Taker from KOTR '98 and since so many of you asked about it I figure I should share my reasoning here. The reason I did not include Foley vs. Taker at KOTR '98 in the greatest matches list is because it was a match that featured two huge bumps. Two huge bumps do not make a great match in my opinion and that is why this match was omitted. The match as a whole was not structured well due to the fact that both guys had a lot of nagging injuries to deal with, which Foley pointed out in his book. It is one of the most memorable matches in the history of wrestling but it was not great in terms of star ratings. I think more people know about this match more than any of the twenty on my list but that does not necessarily make it great. The bumps were fantastic but as a whole the match lacked a lot of the things that make a match great. As I said, it has its place in wrestling history but it is more memorable than it is great.

The other match was the Hardys vs. Edge & Christian ladder match from No Mercy '99. First off, if I did a list of the top 25 matches it would be on that list because I rated it at ****1/2. It was a great match but not on my list mainly because the psychology was not great, there was not much of a feud and it was a little spotty. However, it was great and if it is in your top 20 I have no problems with that. Plenty of people asked me "how did the Ultimate Warrior make your list?" I am sure it surprised a lot of you but I really enjoyed the Savage/Warrior match from WM7. There was a good storyline, there was good heat, Savage went from being a villain to a hero in a span of about 30 minutes and it was a good match in my eyes. I do not really like the Warrior but I will admit that I liked Randy Savage in his WWF days cause he produced a lot of good matches. As I said in the column, everybody's criterion for a good match is different so take it easy if they disagree. I have two emails (reader comments in italics) that I would like to share now:

James wrote me about one match on my last that surprised a few people:

What's up John? I've seen every single one of those matches that you posted and they were all great. However, I was just wondering why you felt that the Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel match was deserving of your top 20 list considering that you said Kevin Nash was one of your five least favorite wrestlers. I am aware that Shawn Michaels is your all time favorite since you also stated that on the same post as the one with Kevin Nash. I was just wondering why you feel that Nash, being one of your least favorites, contributed to one of you favorite all time matches. I just find that very interesting and I would like to know your thoughts on that. James

It is true that I dislike Kevin Nash with a passion but his match with Shawn Michaels in April '96 was a fantastic match. It was probably the greatest display of one man carrying another to a ****3/4 match. Michaels bumped everywhere that night including a powerbomb through an announcer's table, which was rare at the time and is still impressive today. Who could forget Diesel taking Mad Dog Vachon's leg and using that as a weapon? The best part was seeing Diesel job and leave the WWF. I do not like Kevin Nash but I really enjoyed that match mainly due to the superb work by Michaels. In 1996, Shawn Michaels was as good as ANYONE has ever been and he proved that in this match. Thanks for the mail James.

Longtime friend and HUGE Shawn Michaels mark Steph had this to say about my greatest feuds:

John, I'm a bit disappointed! Shawn vs. Bret doesn't even make honorable mention?? That would have been my top choice, if you're going to talk about every aspect that surrounded the feud. What made it most memorable was the fact that these two guys really hated each other, and it showed. It made for unpredictable live TV, and the fact that at the time, both Michaels and Hart were considered "ticking time bombs" behind the scenes. Hart vs. Austin was a great feud, but the one thing that didn't do it for me was hearing these guys come out during interviews (TV, radio, magazine, etc.) and talk about how much they respected each other. Didn't hear it from Shawn or Bret, and that's one reason why that feud was so memorable. Steph

When I first typed it up I had Shawn vs. Bret on there as honorable mention but I guess I deleted it by accident. I edited the thing many times and I guess I hit the wrong button and got rid of it. You are right, Shawn vs. Bret was a good feud but they only had 3 head to head PPV matches against each other. The first was in '92, which left no doubt in terms of a winner cause Bret just won the world title while Shawn was just starting out in singles. The Ironman match disappointed me because of all the resting the guys did. To their credit, I think they did a good job but I believe it is too much to ask wrestlers to go out there for over 60 minutes. Their last match was Survivor Series '97, which obviously ended in dramatic fashion. Just because Austin and Bret were friends does not tarnish the quality of their feud. It was the best feud ever and I think Shawn vs. Bret could have been if they were friends cause they would have wrestled each other more often. Shawn vs. Razor was a lot better because they were friends and the same sort of thing could be said about the Bret vs. Owen feud; they worked harder cause they were family. Thanks Steph.

Now that I have taken care of the greatest matches it is time to take a look at some of the most MEMORABLE matches of all time. There is a big difference between great and memorable. A great match is one that garners a high star rating but does not necessarily have to be an important (or main event) match. Memorable matches are usually ones that headline PPVs or surprise people by having some sort of aura about them making it special. The list that I am about to share features four five star matches and several matches that were horrible but still are memorable. If you ask why Hogan vs. The Iron Shiek is not here it is because the match took place on TV (from a show in MSG), not PPV. Here they are with the event of match listed and a brief comment from me:

The Ten Most Memorable Matches in WWF PPV History
1. The Undertaker vs. Mankind (King of the Ring, 1998) - Never before has one man taken as much punishment as Mick Foley did in this match. I will never forget it and neither will you. Need I say more?
2. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WrestleMania 3, 1987) - In front of the biggest North American crowd ever -over 90,000 people packed the Pontiac Silverdome- wrestling's most famous feud came to halt. Although there were few wrestling holds I think the entire world erupted when Hogan slammed Andre and pinned him. I am sure the workrate freaks love how I have this one as my number two but you have to look at the facts people!
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Survivor Series 1997) - Who could ever forget the "screwjob heard round the wrestling world?" The match itself was pretty good but it's the ending that is really memorable. Did Bret screw Bret, did Vince screw Bret, did O.J. do it, do you know where Vince's football is? So many questions, so little time.
4. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania 13, 1997) - This is the best match ever to take place in North America so I had to put it in here. This is the night that saw Steve Austin become the biggest face ever even though he lost the match and never gave up (it was an "I Quit" match). This match featured the best double turn and blade job of all time. I will dedicate a whole column to this match very soon.
5. Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 14, 1998) - This is the match that OFFICIALLY made Steve Austin king. It's memorable because it was Austin's first world title reign, Mike Tyson made the pinfall and it was the last match of Shawn's tremendous career.
6. The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 6, 1990) - For me personally this is one I will never forget because I was at this one live in Toronto. The match was not as bad as you might think but it did feature a LONG bearhug (too bad I was too young to drink), a ref bump and one of the hottest crowds (not to mention a big crowd) ever. The memorable thing about it was that this was the first time that the two most popular wrestlers faced each other in a match to headline 'Mania. Warrior pinned Hogan and we thought Hogan was passing the torch but it turns he wanted to piss on the torch for another 10 years!
7. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Badd Blood, 1997) - This is the first ever "Hell in a Cell" match. It was so good it left us with a high standard for every HIAC match that would follow. The debut of Kane, the bumping of Michaels, the blade job of Michaels, the brilliant storytelling made this one really special. I have written about this match before so you know that I loved it.
8. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 10, 1994) - This is the first ladder match to take place on a WWF PPV. I liked their second ladder match better than this one but I will never forget this one because it came first.
9. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WrestleMania 12, 1996) - Shawn's first world title win, this one being a 60-minute "Iron Man" match. My favorite wrestler of all time won his first world title; I HAD to throw this one in here.
10. Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart (WrestleMania 10, 1994) - The opening match of the greatest PPV of all time saw Owen defeat his older sibling in what was a huge upset at the time. It was brilliant because it helped Owen become a main eventer and provided one of the best feuds ever.

For those that keep asking, I would just like to say AGAIN that I have always been a fan of heels and always will be so I was not a huge Hulkamaniac. However, I know wrestling would not be as popular without the success of people like Hogan and Warrior. I always liked the heels such as Mr. Perfect and Dibiase but I respect what Hogan and Warrior did. What Hogan did for wrestling was great but what he is doing now is just pathetic. I know some people will disagree with the list so if you do I suggest you mail me about it!

Raw Thoughts
I thought Raw was a pretty good show this week even though there were times when the crowd was dead silent. Vince's return was done pretty well and the show as a whole was better than the past few weeks thanks to the great work by Eddy Guerrero and the title win by Dean Malenko.

  • I am glad that the WWF FINALLY gave everybody the Rock vs. HHH main event that we all knew was coming. Vince's return was nice to see but I do have a little problem with it. I think it was dumb to show him on the Titantron coming out of a limo, hitting HHH and then finally coming to the ring. That took way too long. They should have kept the cameras on what was going on in the ring and have Vince walk out without anybody knowing he was there. However, Vince tends to be a glory hog so that is probably why they did what they did. The best thing about it is that he showed no camaraderie with the Rock, he did not have any mic work and his actions spoke for him. By doing that we knew he was a face and we know that the Rock did not go running to the boss for help.

    I am tired of Rock vs. Big Show but their match on Raw was better than the No Way Out match. It was a good finish but I hope the WWF does not turn into a McMahon family feud again cause the wrestlers need to shine too. The finish reminded me of the January 4, 1999 Raw that saw Mick Foley win the title after Steve Austin ran down and gave the Rock the Stunner. Even though I read the spoilers of that match I still marked out like a five-year-old. I am sure some people felt the same way about this run in by Vince even though yours truly did not go nuts this time around, I thought it was enjoyable..

  • I know I say this a lot but after last night's performance I need to reiterate the fact that Eddy Guerrero is the epitome of what a heel should be. It's not just because he illegally helps his friends win, it is because of the little things like the way he looks, walks and acts. When this guy gets healthy (he is very close to that) I just know he will be one of the top ten wrestlers in the WWF. The only thing going against him is his size but other than that he is as talented as anybody in the business. The powerbomb on Lita was fantastic and I must give props to her for taking such a brutal bump even though it was the second biggest bump of the night by a person. Eddy rules and if he continues this pace he may overtake Jericho as my favourite.

  • I remember seeing a poll on some website recently, I think it was Scoops, asking fans who they thought would be the first of the Radicals to win gold. I am pretty sure that Dean Malenko finished last in the voting and honestly if I remembered to vote I would not have picked him. Putting the belt on a guy like Malenko is not a bad move though. Now that Dean is the Light Heavyweight (LH) Champ the division is really set to improve. Dean is going to bring prestige to a belt that was dead a few months ago. While he does that, he is going to help the WWF's younger workers like Esse Rios, Too Cool, Christian and the Hardys. Malenko is one of the nicest guys in the business, a great worker and when he retires from in ring competition I think he will make a fantastic booker. He is having fun in the WWF right now and he is working really hard so I am happy that the WWF felt confident enough to reward him for his efforts. The Radicals won both their matches on Raw even though the tag match was somewhat boring the workrate was pretty good.

  • I am not sure what to think of this whole Jericho/Angle thing with Bob Backlund being involved but the crowd sure likes it. I am glad the feud has continued but I am hoping that they will be able to get one of the belts off Angle soon cause there are others out there who deserve a belt.

  • The Mae Young thing was edited out on TSN again. We were "treated" to watching the Edge & Christian Titantron video for about 3 minutes. Throughout the night JR was saying "we will find out how Mae is doing" but we never actually saw it. I read about it later on and from what I read it seemed to have gone well. I still do not think powerbombing a 77-year-old lady is "cool" but if she can take it then all the power to her. I do not care that I missed it, I just thought people would like to know. To the people who like to bash TSN, just remember that Raw airs twice every week compared to once in the USA. So you did not see a 77-year-old lady go through a table, big deal! Props to the Dudley's for being fantastic heels week after week cause they are BY FAR the best heel tag team the WWF has seen in a long time. (You thought I was going to say since the Godwinn's didn't you!)

    Overall, it was the best Raw or Smackdown since No Way Out so things are looking good now. The only thing I think the WWF needs to do is announce matches for 'Mania cause it is the "Granddaddy of 'em all" and we need to know who is wrestling. The buyrate for the event should be very high anyway so it does not matter whether they hype matches before. Personally, I would like to see some of the matches announced two or three weeks in advance.

    Warning: The upcoming R&R is hotter than a dancing bobcat with its ass on fire and the NFL Champion St. Louis Rams. The R&R is mostly a light hearted look at wrestling so don't be afraid to laugh!

    Ranting & Raving with Johnny C. - 03/14/00
    Is it a coincidence that the R&R returns on the same week that sees Mideon return to Raw in an actual role? Hmmmm, maybe it is...Is it me or does Bob Backlund have the worst hair ever?...I watched WrestleMania 10 recently and noticed Mabel (aka Viscera) was wearing the purple and gold outfit that is painful on the eyes. Worst of all, it said "Whoomp there it is" on the front...Why do fans chant ECW at a WWF show? Next time I go to a Raptors game I'll chant "NFL! NFL!" and see how many people I scare. Better yet, how about a "CBA! CBA!" chant...Matt Hardy is STILL looking to land a moonsault on Steve Blackman so if you see Blackman tell him Matt's looking for him. Good improvised rollup though. You almost fooled me; well not really...I am sick of reading posts about that chick Darva Conger being a "celebrity" at WrestleMania. Darva Conger is not a celebrity! If she did not want to marry pizza boy why did she go on national TV in the first place? Ugh, why do I even know the names of people like her, Lorena Bobbitt and "400 pounds of fun" Monica Lewinsky...The Crash Holly "hardcore matches" are funny but they could be funnier. Still, the idea is good and I enjoy them...A few weeks ago somebody wrote me to say Nicole Bass is in some sort of bondage video. If you ever want to think of "unsexy thoughts" just do that. Make sure somebody is there to catch you when you faint though...Al Snow rules and he continues to be the funniest bastard (along with Mick Foley) in wrestling week after week...Mideon delivered the coolest line on Raw this week: "I'll get colder ice!" It's like Dennis Knight (Mideon's real name) is the next Pat Patterson but the difference is Patterson likes men while Knight likes animals. Ugh, that was disgusting! Anyway, say it with me kids, MIDEON EQUALS RATINGS!...You know those "vertically challenged" people known as "The Twin Towers" on Raw? I think they are related to WCW head booker Kevin Sullivan. Wait a sec, they are taller than Sullivan; sorry about that mistake...It's nice to know that B.B. is not fired cause she has a nice persona.. oh to hell with it, she has a nice rack! There I said it! I never thought I would be jealous of a guy named Sparky Plugg but I am...I miss Jerry Lynn in ECW, he and Tajiri really are the two guys that I enjoy most in ECW...If Viscera tried to do the Worm I guarantee the ring would break...Is there anybody that understood what Tazz was saying on Raw? I think he should have more mic time but what the hell was that?...I think the Headbangers, Ivory and the Godfather proved why they aren't on Raw anymore. Thanks Vince, at least you realized that their level of sucktitude (it's a made up word) is pretty high...I haven't understood a word Sid has said in nearly two years. My question is, am I alone in that regard?...As I wrap up this week's R&R I want to share with you my two WrestleMania guarantees. 1. The Rock will win the world title and 2. Pete Rose will be tombstoned by Kane yet again! I bet Pete is only taking these tombstones because he thinks it will help him get in the Baseball Hall of Fame...Damien Demento...Damien Demento...Damien Demento...Damien Demento...(Thanks to SLAM magazine for inspiring me to use an ending like that! It's a basketball magazine for those that don't know.)

    In Closing...
    That was definitely a long column but it was one that I enjoyed writing. I am not sure if I am going to do the R&R every week but I am hoping that you send me your thoughts on it so I can decide something. Should I do it every week, every other week or just stop doing it? It's up to you so let me know by EMAILING ME! I will be back Friday with Drq (hopefully) for a preview of WCW Uncensored this Sunday night. After that I will probably do some sort of column on Tuesday with another "All Time" list. The weekend after that I should have the column posted about my favorite match of all time. I will get to your emails as soon as possible so until next time have a great week!

    Smell ya later,
    John C.
    Big3 Oratory

    Mail John C.
    AOLIM: JohnC1104
    Visit Big3 Oratory

  • BLAH


    Design copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications
    Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission