Best WWE Rivalries of All Time – Top 10 Legendary Rivals

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time

In the history of WWE, there have been numerous rivalries that have been highly enjoyable, but there are some that were exceptionally intense and passionate, making them unforgettable for generations to come. These rivalries were so well-executed that they gave the impression that the wrestlers involved were genuine enemies. WWE’s top wrestlers have delivered outstanding performances both inside and outside of the ring, demonstrating their exceptional skills on the microphone and in the ring. These intense rivalries have been a key element of WWE’s entertainment for decades, providing fans with compelling storylines that drew them into the action. The best rivalries in WWE history have helped wrestlers become Hall of Fame superstars, and selecting just ten of them is an incredibly challenging task.

Top 10 WWE Rivalries

The below table represents the Top 10 WWE Rivalries of All Time. Check out the below to know their description. 

S.No

Best WWE Rivalries

1

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon

2

The Undertaker vs. Kane

3

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock

4

Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

5

Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant.

6

John Cena vs. CM Punk

7

Hulk Hogan vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

8

John Cena vs. Edge

9

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

10

Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz

TRENDING

Top 10 Greatest Rivalries in WWE History

Let us see each rivalry of WWE in detail.

1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon

The most epic rivalry in WWE history is undoubtedly that between ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and the corrupt, billionaire owner of the company, Vince McMahon.

Austin represented the rebellious employee who refused to conform and made trouble wherever he went. On the other hand, McMahon was a greedy businessman, preoccupied with exploiting talent for money and making sure they all followed his lead.

Their feud began when Austin captured the WWE Championship but didn’t fit McMahon’s desired image of a top star, leading to inevitable clashes. This resulted in the most successful and iconic rivalry in the history of the company, and it was the defining feud of the Attitude Era.

Austin made McMahon’s life a living hell, creating some of the most unforgettable and comedic moments in WWE television history. Whether he was drenching McMahon in beer, arriving at the ring on a Zamboni for a beatdown, or pouring concrete into his million-dollar Corvette, Austin became an inspiration to rebels everywhere and stood up to authority.

The feud has continued through the years, and as recently as WrestleMania, Austin has made surprise appearances to deliver his legendary finishing move, the Stone Cold Stunner, to the Chairman of the Board.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

2. The Undertaker vs. Kane

The Undertaker and Kane’s epic sibling rivalry is often considered one of the greatest stories ever told by WWE’s creative team. Kane made his WWE debut after being left for dead in a fire that killed his parents. He was guided by Paul Bearer to seek revenge against his older brother The Undertaker, who had split from Bearer months earlier.

Despite Kane’s mental and physical attacks, Undertaker refused to fight him, as he had made a promise to their parents before their deaths. However, at the 1998 Royal Rumble, Kane attempted to burn Undertaker alive, breaking the promise and starting their epic feud.

Their first WrestleMania showdown at WrestleMania XIV was highly anticipated, and Undertaker managed to retain his unbeaten streak by defeating Kane with a Tombstone piledriver.

Over the next 12 years, the brothers would continue to clash in headlining pay-per-views, adding new, complex chapters to their epic storyline.

While other rivalries may have featured bigger stars and higher stakes, none were able to match the mythology and storytelling that Kane, Undertaker, and WWE’s creative team were able to achieve over the decade-plus of their intense battles.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

3. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock

The rivalry between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock, much like that of Hart and Michaels, was driven by the fact that only one wrestler could hold the top spot in WWE. Both wrestlers arrived at WWE around the same time and faced creative challenges on their way to becoming superstars. They became household names and helped elevate the company to new heights of success. Their chemistry, both in the ring and on the mic, made their rivalry even more captivating.

The Rock was a charismatic talker with an electric personality, while Austin was a straight-talking badass who chugged beer, flipped middle fingers, and took down opponents with Stone Cold Stunners. They couldn’t have been more different, and that contrast was what drew fans to their feud.

Over a five-year period, they clashed in three WrestleMania classics, sold out arenas, and entertained audiences. Their rivalry culminated in a memorable match in 2003 that turned out to be Austin’s final bout for almost two decades. To this day, both Rock and Austin remain fan favorites and are remembered as two of the most beloved wrestlers in history. Their contributions during WWE’s influential Attitude Era helped shape the industry as we know it today.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

4. Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

In the 1990s, Bret “Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels were fierce competitors vying for the top spot in WWE. Despite being smaller than many of their opponents, they won over fans with their exceptional in-ring skills. However, only one could emerge as the top dog, leading to a competitive and bitter rivalry both on and off-screen.

Their most famous encounter was at WrestleMania 12, where they competed in a grueling 60-minute Iron Man Match, resulting in Michaels winning the world title and Hart leaving WWE for six months. Upon his return, Hart became increasingly disillusioned with the company under Michaels’ reign, escalating the animosity between them.

Personal insults and backstage altercations further heightened tensions, leading to a highly anticipated showdown at Survivor Series in 1997, which culminated in the infamous Montreal Screwjob and Hart’s departure from WWE.

Despite the feud’s conclusion, bitter interviews and insults continued to be exchanged between Hart and Michaels until they finally made amends in 2010. Their intense rivalry, fueled by the desire to be the best, remains a significant chapter in WWE history.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

5. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant

The fractured friendship between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant stemmed from jealousy, a common cause of such splits. Hogan’s rise to the top and receiving accolades that were once Andre’s caused bitterness, leading the Giant to turn against him. Manipulated by Bobby Heenan, Andre challenged Hogan at WrestleMania 3, which drew a record-breaking 93,173 fans to the Pontiac Silverdome. The legendary battle was just the beginning of their long-standing rivalry.

Over the next year, Hogan and Andre faced each other in numerous matches, including a historic network broadcast and WrestleMania IV. They also competed in tag team matches and other megacards, attempting to settle their differences and recapture the magic of their first encounter.

Their rivalry defined wrestling fandom for a generation, much like Hogan vs. Savage and Reigns-Lesnar or Steve Austin-Rock after them. It was a battle between industry giants that enhanced its impact, and even today, WWE features it heavily in video packages for significant events. This enduring legacy solidifies its place as one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

6. John Cena vs. CM Punk

In 2011, a feud between John Cena and CM Punk erupted, pitting the white knight of WWE against the anarchist who sought to bring about change by disrupting the establishment. Their rivalry burned bright for a brief but impactful period, cementing its place in WWE history.

At Money in the Bank that July, Punk vowed to end his contract with the company by leaving with its world title. To do so, he had to defeat Cena, a formidable big-match competitor. Punk emerged victorious, but he ultimately re-signed with the company, leading to more matches between the two for the industry’s top prize.

Each subsequent match between Cena and Punk felt like a highly anticipated prizefight, with two of the biggest stars battling for championship glory or the right to compete in a title match. The high stakes, quality of the matches, and palpable tension between the polar opposites captivated audiences, resulting in some of the most memorable matches, moments, and promos in recent WWE history.

The only downside was Punk’s departure from WWE in 2014, which prematurely ended a rivalry that still had plenty of untapped potential on television.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

7. Hulk Hogan vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage

The arrival of “Macho Man” Randy Savage in WWE saw him targeting the top dog, world champion Hulk Hogan, in his quest to become a star. The two competed in house shows, including a showdown at Madison Square Garden, before Savage gained popularity and the two formed the Mega Powers. Together, they battled the corruption of “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant, until Hogan’s “lust” for Miss Elizabeth caused their downfall. At WrestleMania V, they faced off in a highly anticipated world title clash that Hogan won, and they continued to feud on broadcast television Main Event and even in WCW. For many fans, Hogan vs. Savage was the top rivalry in professional wrestling for a whole generation.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

8. John Cena vs. Edge

The rivalry between John Cena and Edge began when Edge successfully cashed in Money in the Bank to win his first WWE Championship. Their feud grew increasingly personal with every match, starting with Edge’s victory over Cena in his hometown of Boston, followed by Cena’s win in Toronto the following month. They competed in various matches, including straight-up singles, TLC, and Last Man Standing matches, all while trying to establish themselves as WWE’s future.

The highly competitive feud elevated both Cena and Edge to stardom. It gave Cena much-needed credibility at a time when fans were starting to reject him as the future star, while it propelled Edge to the main event scene. Edge’s performances during the matches and promos with Cena silenced his doubters and established him as the top heel in WWE for three years.

This rivalry solidified Edge’s place in the Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon him in 2012.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

9. Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

Although some may argue that Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar’s inclusion on this list is simply due to its newness, a closer look at the rivalry and all that it has encompassed proves that it has rightfully earned its place. For six years, the feud has continued and included three WrestleMania main events, one of which was a massive championship unification bout at this year’s Showcase of the Immortals. Reigns and Lesnar are undeniably the biggest stars of WWE’s current era, which only adds to the significance of their rivalry.

The feud featured several high-profile matches that heavily relied on signature and finishing moves, akin to a showdown between two heavyweight boxers. It captured the attention of fans and showcased the star power at the top of the card. The roles, wins, and championships have been exchanged between Lesnar and Reigns, and the program appears to be far from over. It wouldn’t be surprising if, in future iterations of this list, The Tribal Chief and The Beast Incarnate find themselves ranked even higher.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

10. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz

The competitive rivalry between the Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, and the Dudley Boyz during the Attitude Era brought tag team wrestling to new heights. The three teams aimed to elevate their own stars and engaged in incredible matches, including tag team ladder and tables matches and the revolutionary Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches, which set a high standard for their peers. Despite the presence of top stars like Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H, these teams managed to steal the shows and establish themselves as crucial elements of WWE’s presentation. They broke out of the undercard, gained increased exposure, and eventually became legitimate stars, with their creativity enhancing the product and leading to the implementation of new gimmick bouts. Three of the six performers went on to become world champions, largely due to their performances throughout this legendary tag rivalry. While there were other notable rivalries that didn’t make the list, the impact of these three teams on the industry and their introduction of a new style of athleticism and risk-taking to the product make it nearly impossible to leave them off.

Best WWE Rivalries of All Time - Top 10 Legendary Rivals

Which is the Best WWE Rivalry of All Time?

The rivalry between ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon is considered by many fans to be one of the best in WWE history. It began in the late 1990s and was characterized by Austin’s rebellious persona and his constant defiance of Mr. McMahon’s authority as the owner of the WWE. The rivalry involved numerous memorable moments, including Austin’s famous beer truck incident, where he doused Mr. McMahon and several other wrestlers with beer. The rivalry also featured several high-profile matches, including a steel cage match and a match at WrestleMania XV, which saw Austin defeat The Rock to become the WWE Champion. The Austin vs. McMahon rivalry helped to establish Austin as one of the biggest stars in WWE history and cemented Mr. McMahon’s reputation as one of the greatest heels in wrestling history.

Conclusion

In conclusion, WWE has provided some of the most memorable and unforgettable rivalries in the history of sports entertainment. These rivalries have helped create iconic moments that have been etched in the minds of fans for generations. The top 10 rivalries that have been mentioned, including Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon, The Undertaker vs. Kane, Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs The Rock, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, John Cena vs. CM Punk, Hulk Hogan vs. ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, John Cena vs. Edge, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, and Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz, have been carefully chosen due to their exceptional storylines, unforgettable performances, and cultural significance. These rivalries showcase the passion, dedication, and talent of WWE’s top wrestlers, who have become legendary superstars, and continue to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.

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