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Top 10 WWE Wrestling Rivalries

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Nick Miller
These heated rivalries lit up our television screens and generated countless classic wrestling moments. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 WWE wrestling rivalries.
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Top 10 WWE Wrestling Rivalries

These heated rivalries lit up our television screens and generated countless classic wrestling moments. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 WWE wrestling rivalries.

#10: Edge and Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz


These three tag teams all came to prominence during the legendary Attitude Era. The six men were a major part of the company’s tag team golden age, and helped take the division to the next level with the introduction of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. At both Wrestlemania 2000 and Wrestlemania X-7, the three teams would face off for the WWE’s tag team titles in a pair of legendary matches that elevated the entire division. Despite most of the men going on to varying degrees of singles success, their time as heated tag team rivals will always be fondly remembered by fans.

#9: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant


This classic wrestling rivalry spawned arguably the most famous moment in wrestling history. The match between Andre the Giant and the Hulkster at Wrestlemania 3 featured an at-his-prime Hulk Hogan taking on a goliath. When Hogan picked the seven foot four giant up off his feet and body slammed him onto the mat, the audience went wild, giving birth to the “bodyslam heard around the world.” Although the legendary figures would meet at again at the following Wrestlemania, Andre’s declining health and Hogan’s… well, Hogan-ness… meant that the second matchup was a disappointment for fans. Despite that, we’ll always have fond memories of one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history.

#8: Trish Stratus vs. Lita


While you could make the argument that women’s wrestling in the WWE is at an all-time peak, it wasn’t always that way. Through the early 2000’s, Lita and Trish clashed time and time again, showing off their incredible in-ring abilities and chemistry at each opportunity. During a period of women’s wrestling filled with bra-and-panty matches and slap fights, Lita and Trish were out there showing that the women could be every bit as good as men’s. The pair’s on-again/off-again friendship fueled their bitter rivalry; one that culminated with Trish’s retirement match, where she came out victorious over Lita and won the Women’s Championship on her way out the door.

#7: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn


Despite being the most recent rivalry on our list, the bad blood shown between these two sometimes-best friends is enough to crack the top 10. Kevin and Sami have a long and complicated history that has led to some of the most brutal and intense moments in recent WWE history. From the cringe-inducing ladder spots to relentless flurries of punches, the pair have showed off their incredible in-ring chemistry and skills together in multiple matches over the past several years. Despite their current status as once-again best friends, we see more conflict coming between these two superstars in the future.

#6: The Undertaker vs. Kane


The Brothers of Destruction have now been allies for a long time, but that wasn’t always the case. Kane debuted during the first-ever Hell in a Cell match, taking place between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker in 1998. Kane ran in and attacked the Dead Man, costing him the match and a creating a rivalry between the two. The fittingly theatrical story behind the feud involved a childhood fire that killed the Undertaker’s family, all except for Kane. The pair had some solid matches before they eventually teamed up, but it’s the fantastic storytelling and impactful debut of Kane that mark this rivalry as a true classic.


#5: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels


These two all-time greats had a limited number of encounters compared to the other entries on our list. However, each time they met was something truly special. From their early clashes in the 90’s to their marquee Wrestlemania bouts, it’s hard to find a better pairing of characters and styles. Michaels and the Undertaker both rose to the top of the company over the course of the 1990’s, and spent the 2000’s riding high atop the card. The pair’s rivalry would culminate with a match at Wrestlemania 26 putting The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak against Shawn Michaels’ career. It would be Michaels’ final match, and a fitting end to a legendary feud.


#4: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon


The ultimate anti-authority feud. Say what you will about the ongoing involvement on the McMahon family onscreen, but the original rivalry between the recently-introduced Mr. McMahon character and the Texas Rattlesnake is one of the most entertaining rivalries of the Attitude Era. Fresh off the heels of the Montreal Screwjob, audiences immediately hated McMahon’s arrogant boss figure. The need for the WWE to compete with WCW along with Stone Cold’s undeniable charisma catapulted this feud into new levels and a style of storytelling unseen in the company before. Though many have tired of the authority trope by today, some still love the McMahon character, and it’s all due to this rivalry.

#3: John Cena vs. CM Punk


This most unlikely of pairings led to a series of incredible matches around CM Punk’s title run from 2011 to 2013. The face of the WWE against the fan favorite created dramatic television, and the sheer caliber of wrestling from these two elevated all of their matches. Their classic at Money in the Bank 2011 is regarded by many as the finest WWE match in the past 10 years, and the Straight Edge Superstar’s notorious pipe bomb promo heavily involved Cena, creating one of the more memorable Raw moments in recent history. It’s unlikely CM Punk will ever return to the WWE, but one final match against Cena is something we’d love to see.


#2: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart


Ah, the Montreal Screw Job. It’s impossible to know how much of this wrestling legend is fiction and how much is truth, but there is no doubt that the rivalry between the Heartbreak Kid and Bret “The Hitman” Hart was heated. Michaels’ was notoriously hard to work with during this period of time, and he and Bret did not get along. This led to a number of intense and exciting matches between the two, including a fondly-remember Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12. The Screwjob itself is not easy to watch, but everything before that moment is wrestling gold, and set the bar for future rivalries in the company.

Before we unveil our top pick, here’s some Honorable Mentions

Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

The Undertaker vs. Mankind


#1: The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin


Both The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s in-ring careers are highlighted by this era-defining rivalry. The two men spent much of the 90’s building their image and defining their place in the company. At Wrestlemania 15, The Rock and the Rattlesnake faced off for the world Championship, but their rivalry wasn’t over yet. In the closing years of their careers, the two put on two more highly-regarded Wrestlemania matches for the WWE title that would cement their place as two of the top stars of all time.
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