Jump to content

The History of the WWE Championship.


Max Power
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm a boring man. And boring men do boring things. I was at work today, thinking of various WWF and WWE Heavyweight title changes over the years and I thought it would be fun to watch a load of random title matches. And then I had a better idea. I'd watch every title change since Hogan's first win up to the present day. All should be on the Network (maybe Bret/Flair aside), and I can lob a review on here.

 

If anyone has any comments or memories of any specific title changes then knock yourselves out.

 

Here we go...

 

DATE: January 23rd 1984

 

CHAMPION: The Iron Sheik.

 

CHALLENGER: Hulk Hogan.

 

THE MATCH:

 

Sheik is in the ring following a backstage interview with Mean Gene, and is accompanied by a curiously dressed Freddie Blassie. He's dressed like my Granddad used to when he went on holiday, complete with hankie on his head to keep the sun off. Gorilla and Pat Patterson (I think) have the call. Gorilla says a lot of people have "hatred in their hearts" for the current champ. The belt looks like it's 400 years old.

 

Hogan's music hits and the place goes absolutely nuts. He's so over. Naturally he works heel, attacking Sheik before the bell and choking him. The crowd don't care one bit. Hogan chokes Sheik with his own robe and takes him down. The crowd are losing their shit.

 

Clothesline, eye rake and standing choke follow. "He's an animal" says Patterson. Sheik looks to be in a world of pain. Big Boot gets a one count, and a "flying elbow" gets one and a half. Hogan whips Sheik into the corner but then misses a clothesline. "One of the best wrestlers to come out of Iran" references Gorilla. Not too sure what his competition is.

 

Sheik is on top now, with some of the worst offence in the history of mankind. He lays the boots into Big Terry before hitting him with a backbreaker with the point of impact being Hogan's right thigh. He goes for the cover as some woman in the crowd screams "PLEASE NO". Luckily for her, Hogan powers out and the fans go BANANA. Sheik loads up his right foot and toe pegs Hulk in the spine. Hogan sells it as a nuclear warhead to the kidney. Our Champion looks to capitalise by locking in a Boston Crab. Gorilla thinks it could be curtains for "The Hulk".

 

Sheik is blowing out of his arse and Hogan finally powers out. "WHATAMANOUVRE" cries Monsoon, and somewhere McMahon took a note. Gutbuster Suplex is followed by a boot to the kidney as Sheik applies the Camel Clutch - his "patented hold". (If anyone knows why this move is named as such please let me know).

 

Hogan is fading fast as The Champ is in control. But wait, what's this. It looks like an epileptic fit but in reality it's "the Power of the Hulk". Hogan gets to his feet with Sheik on his back - which is no mean feat as he is essentially squatting 300lbs. He backs Sheik into the corner and DOWN GOES THE CHAMP. People are literally jumping for joy in the aisles. Their excitement is about to be amplified though as Hogan runs the ropes and drops the leg on Sheik as the referee counts one...two....three. Sheik kicks out a smidgeon after three, but I've no issues with that as it took the ref ages to get into position and then to actually count.

 

Unsurprisingly, the roof LITERALLY blows off the Garden and some people are going to become very rich indeed.

 

NEW CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan

 

RATING: I don't think I'll do star ratings for each match because I don't feel like it. What I think I'll do is make a list of each match and try and rank them in order of how much I enjoyed each one. The in ring action here was pretty pathetic, but the crowd reaction and the historical significance give it a little boost. As it's the first match, it's currently my number one.

 

RANK:

 

1. The Iron Sheik v Hulk Hogan.

 

--

 

Tomorrow it's Hogan V Andre and some twin magic.

Edited by Max Power
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

DATE: Februay 5th 1988

 

CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan

 

CHALLENGER: Andre The Giant

 

THE MATCH:

 

Firstly, four years with the belt! Wow. You didn't get that in WCW in 2000. Ventura and McMahon have the call. The Body has never seen Hogan in this shape he says. Hogan rushes the ring and Andre with Ted Dibiase and Virgil scarper. The Million Dollar Man and his Manservant are dressed like John Travolta circa 1977. Andre doesn't look in great shape, and coming eleven months after their match at Mania 3, I'm not expecting Kobashi against Misawa here. The crowd go nuts as Dave Hebner parades the title around all four corners. Ventura feels good because Hebner is reffing this match rather than Joey Marella. Hmmm. Hogan rips the shirt off and The Giant looks utterly nonplussed.

 

Hogan charges Andre but is distracted by Dibiase and Virgil. He quickly turns the tables with a Big Boot to Virgil who bumps spectacularly over the top rope. Ted is dealt with too. The Champ then unloads on Andre who is rocking already. The Giant takes all of Hogan's best shots and stands taller than the Major Oak. Andre looks tired and in severe pain. It's a little sad to see to be honest. Right hand to Ted. Hulk kicks some dollar bills too, which float to the ground in a lovely image. But Andre remains stoic. Hogan backs The Big Man into the corner. He rakes his face like the babyface that he is. Clothesline. "WHAT A CHEAP SHOT MCMAHON", as Hogan rakes the eyes again. Jesse see's through Our Terry's facade. Hogan ascends to the top rop a la Flair, and the result is the same. Andre lobs Hogan to the canvas, WHATAMANOUVRE.

 

But wait. Hogan rolls out of the way of the following elbow drop and Andre again looks in great pain. He probably is to be fair, and I hope he had 40 bottles of Bud after this one. Hogan to his feet. His selling is lovely. Hogan goes for the cover but is chokes by Andre. "A smart move" according to The Body, who's heel commentary is sublime as he abused Hulk for the same tactic but 90 seconds ago. Andre still chokes Hogan. The Champ is fading.

 

Right hands from Andre. "HOGAN HOGAN HOGAN" scream the fans as The Giant whips Hulk into the corner. Scoop Slam from Andre, and he lays in some boots like I imagine Michael Flatley would. Jesse can sense a title change. Andre is all over Hulk here. Headbutt. "Referee Hebner has done an outstanding job so far" according to Ventura. Big Boot from Andre and its sad to see The Giant fall over whilst performing the move. He simply cannot support his own bodyweight. Hogan to the outside. Virgil chucks him back in.

 

Andre chokes Hogan with his singlet. It looks like he's breastfeeding him. Chokehold. BUT HERE COMES HOGAN. Hulk is shaking like Muhammed Ali as he makes his comeback. Punches. Eye Rake. Pumches. FLYING CLOTHESLINE FROM THE SECOND ROPE. Its Leg Drop Time, but that merchandise king Virgil tries to interfere. Hogan hits his finisher but the ref is distracted.

 

Andre is back. Headbutt. Andre hits a weird hyrbid of suplex and hiptoss. He get's one.....Hulk raises the shoulder....two....three. Dave Moleman is looking right at Hogan as he kicks out but continues to count anyway. Bizarre. Hogan protests, but it's all over. Andre is the New Champion. He immediately relinquishes the belt to Dibiase, but that's another story.

 

NEW CHAMPION: Andre The Giant, technically. Although it is subsequently declared vacant.

 

RATING: Another difficult one. The action was horrible. The crowd was white hot. But the finish was a big bag of bollocks. Dave Hebner is three feet away and looking directly at Hogan as he raises the shoulder. I know it's part of the yarn and Earl Hebner then shows up to muddy the waters further, but the actual performance of the finish is shite.

 

RANK:
 

1. The Iron Sheik v Hulk Hogan

2. Hogan Hogan v Andre The Giant

 

--

 

We're heading full throttle towards Wrestlemania IV.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it starts with Hogan - before Hogan and McMahon wrestling was in smoky bingo halls right? On a serious note, its just ease of access and it seems a logical starting point.

 

--

 

DATE: March 27th 1988

 

CHAMPION: Vacant

 

CHALLENGERS: 'Macho Man' Randy Savage and 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibiase

 

Well here we are. Our first foray into a Wrestlemania. I've skipped all the ring intros with guest timekeepers and ring announcers. Bollocks to that. Some blondie smiles into the camera whilst an old bloke explains what's happening. He can't even read from his cue card. Monsoon and Ventura have the call.

 

Dibiase enters with Andre to no music. There are a few boos, but nothing drastic. Mind you, the card has been about four hours of utter shite so I can't blame them. Virgil is at the hospital. Ventura would prefer to go down a dark alley accompanied by Andre rather than Elizabeth. Each to their own Mr Governer. The Macho Man arrives to Pomp and Cricumstance. Jesus Christ, Elizabeth is extremely pretty. I think that's the best way to describe her. Macho has a white cape and ski goggles on. I don't really like it. The camera pans the crowd and there must be a fair view in attendance.

 

"YOU CAN CUT THE TENSION WITH A KNIFE" says Gorilla as the bell rings. Lock up. "We'll see who wants it the worst" muses Monsoon. The crowd is flat as fuck. In fact it isn't, as immediately they start chanting "Hogan! Hogan". Hammerlock and reversals into a side headlock. Macho into the ropes. Andre interferes again drawing more Hogan chants.

 

More hammerlocks, arm ringing by both men. Ted takes over with punches and chops in the corner. He takes control. Two count and kick out to utter silence. Sunset flip is countered by Savage to a minor pop. Dibiase stalls and this is becoming a little tedious. At least with Hogan's matches there was huge crowd reactions. Ted trash talks the crowd and they give him the abuse he's after. Macho is whipped into the ropes and he responds with a clothesline after building some serious speed by running the ropes twice. Ted to the outside. Macho goes up top but Andre stands in the way of the fallen Dibiase. It's quite the visual to be fair as Savage gives the crowd a knowing look and they beg for him to fly at The Giant.

 

Savage sends Elizabeth to the back. She moves at quite the lick for someone wearing high heels. Certainly faster than my dearest fiancee, who requires supporting from house to car like an octogenarian whenever she wears a slight heel. The crowd sense something and chant for Hogan. In the meantime Dibiase with a "Pearl Harbour Job`" according to Monsoon. Ted takes over again, and again the crowd chant Hogan. Chinlock. "OH LOOK AT THIS, ELIZABETH RETURNING WITH THE HULKSTER". Macho in the chinlock must be pissed off as his big moment is merely a sideshow. Hogan has a chair. Savage is down in the ring. Fuck this is funny. What does Hogan do to even the odds. Does he distract the referee? Does he attack Andre and take him out of the equation? No! He SITS DOWN in Savage's corner and folds his arms like the teacher has split him up from all his mates in class and made him sit on his own next to the speccy kid at the front like my Spanish teacher used to do.

 

Ted unloads on Savage in the corner. Randy is spent. The Million Dollar man distracts the referee as Andre chokes Savage. "HERE COMES THE HULKSTER" to even the odds. Instead of taking out Andre, he hilariously grasses him up to the referee for interfering. What a babyface! But Savage is up. No he isn't. Clothesline. More heel beatdown. Suplex. Savage kicks out. Gutrench. Two count. Slick offence from Dibiase. I always thought he should have gotten a run with the belt around this time but i don't know when - certainly not here, and certainly not over the next year as 'Mania was masterful. Maybe the stars just didn't align for him. Scoop Slam by Ted. He goes up top. Macho Man is up and its the Flair Spot, as Savage hurls Dibiase fucking miles into the ring. Savage now heads to the top rope and he moves at three times the pace of everyone else involved. Flying elbow but Dibiase rolls away and points to his noggin - being the intelligent chap that he is.

 

Sleeper by Dibiase. Andre distracts the referee in a spot that always defies logic. I fucking hate it. When the heel is on top, the heel manager chooses this moment to distract the ref? Bizarre. Anyway, Hogan uses this tangeant to belt The Million Dollar Man across the spine with the chair. Ventura can't belive Hogan would stoop to that level. Hogan slides out of the ring quicker than I've ever seen him move and Dibiase is prone. Savage goes up top again. Ted is more than half the ring away, but it doesn't matter as Randy hits a picture perfect flying elbow and gets the one....two.....three. Finally the crowd goes nuts and we have a new champion! Hogan, being the smart businessman that he is, presents Savage with the belt and picks a chair up threatening the heels and ensuring he has all eyes on him. The three faces embrace in the middle of the ring and so beginnings a beautiful story. Roll on tomorrow.

 

NEW CHAMPION: Macho Man Randy Savage.

 

RATING: Between the ropes the action was far better than the two Hogan matches I watched, but the lack of crowd reaction did sully it a little. But coming at the end of a shit show I can give them a pass for that. Not bad.

 

RANK:

 

1. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage v 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibiase

2. The Iron Sheik v Hulk Hogan

3. Hulk Hogan v Andre The Giant

 

--

 

See you tomorrow as we fast forward a year.

Edited by Max Power
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members

Just looking at Max's "rank" it dawned on me that probably my three favourite matches in WWF/E history weren't for the belt. Warrior/Savage at WM7, Bret/Austin at WM13 and HBK/Taker at IYH: Badd Blood.

 

Now got me thinking what would be my favourite match with a WWF/E World title change ever. The 1992 Rumble is the obvious one and the final four in 1997. Both vacant title matches oddly. One with an actual defence is far harder. Will see how this goes and see if I'm inspired.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just looking at Max's "rank" it dawned on me that probably my three favourite matches in WWF/E history weren't for the belt. Warrior/Savage at WM7, Bret/Austin at WM13 and HBK/Taker at IYH: Badd Blood.

 

Now got me thinking what would be my favourite match with a WWF/E World title change ever. The 1992 Rumble is the obvious one and the final four in 1997. Both vacant title matches oddly. One with an actual defence is far harder. Will see how this goes and see if I'm inspired.

See you at Backlash 2000.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Paid Members

That Hogan Andre finish is one of the best and original finishes to a title match ever. Dibiase spending all that money on the plastic surgery to create an identical looking person to Dave Hebner. If you had been watching at the time you would have been gob smacked!

 

I think it was one of the SCG Radio shows where they read feedback from people who hated that. Maybe their "jumped the shark" show. I was astounded. I always thought that was a genius angle. The plastic surgery aspect was pushing it a bit but the angle is brilliant even with that and it was a great way to protect their drawing card while freshening everything up.

 

 

Just looking at Max's "rank" it dawned on me that probably my three favourite matches in WWF/E history weren't for the belt. Warrior/Savage at WM7, Bret/Austin at WM13 and HBK/Taker at IYH: Badd Blood.

 

Now got me thinking what would be my favourite match with a WWF/E World title change ever. The 1992 Rumble is the obvious one and the final four in 1997. Both vacant title matches oddly. One with an actual defence is far harder. Will see how this goes and see if I'm inspired.

See you at Backlash 2000.

 

I don't recall that being a great match. The pop for Austin and the title change is incredible but back then, I liked the Judgment Day match far more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll admit to never watching the Hogan Twin Ref angle until about three years ago, so obviously don't have the benefit of reacting as someone of the time.

 

--

 

It's time for Wrestlemania V. Now this is something I dig. The build up was sublime, a year long slow build finally reaching boiling point with Macho Man snapping at Hogan and belting him in the treatment room. It's certainly in the top five angles they've ever done, maybe even the top two. As for the match itself? Well let's have a look.

 

DATE: April 2nd 1989.

 

CHAMPION: 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

 

CHALLENGER: Hulk Hogan

 

It's Monsoon and Ventura again. The Dream Team of commentary. Here comes Macho. He looks sublime. What attire. A step up from last year. Gorilla argues with The Body, with the two having different viewpoints about Lust Hogan. Elizabeth is out now. "What a golddigger she is Gorilla" muses Jesse. He predicts that Liz will side with whoever wins. She looks incredible by the way. Lovely bone structure. "HERE COMES THE HULKSTER" bellows Gorilla as The Main Man enters to a huge pop. Real American is a tune and a half. Jesse moans that Hogan should have entered first as he is the Challenger. Even then Jesse hated Our Terry. It's bell time.

 

Macho poses to boos as Hebner shows the crowd the belt and the prize that is up at stake. The two men feel each other out and Jesse absolutely tears into Hogan. Macho bails. Hogan overpowers The Champ in the early stages. "HOGAN HOGAN HOGAN" scream the fans. Macho off the ropes, shoulder block by The Hulk. Macho bails. He gives Elizabeth some jip, who "deserves it"

 

Macho back in and rakes the eyes. He slows things down and bails again. Brilliant exchange by the commentators as they discuss how Freddie Blassie took Ventura's career "down the toilet in 81". Great stuff. Macho hides behind his ex/current/future Squeeze. "GIMME A BREAK". The heat is off the scale.

 

Hogan with the front facelock, into a headlock. Back suplex by Savage but Hogan rolls away from the follow up elbow. "Illegal closed fists" from Hogan. Savage back in control. He goes up top, Double Axe Handle. Hogan kicks out at two. Ventura just catches "Donald Trump chewing his nails outside the ring". An amazing sentence when you think that 27 years later he's the most powerful man in the world. Savage in charge now. Hogan feeds off the crowd though. Savage yanks the hair of The Hulk. Armbar now. Good crowd heat.

 

Hogan begins to fight back and reverses an armbar with a pull of the tights and Savage bumps like a trouper through the ropes. He rams Macho's head into three turnbuckles like he's Ric Flair in a strap match. Hogan is fired up now. Ventura hates The Pukester. Both men are down. Hogan is bleeding. Savage sticks him in a rear chinlock so everyone gets a good luck at the red stuff. Blood into Hogan's tache. Chinlock continues. Hulk begins to fightback. The pace quickens, Hogan catches a Savage big boot and hits an atomic drop but Macho counters the following move for a roll up. Handful of tights, two count. Big crowd pop for that sequence.

 

Savage taunts Hogan. Ventura implores him to go after the eye. Hogan is on dreamstreet. Macho is the fucking man here. What a heel. He treads on Hogan's hand. He taunts him again. But here comes Hogan, punches in the corner. Clothesline. Scoop slam over the top rope. Sweet bump by Macho. The crowd goes nuts, big spot that for the time. Liz checks on Savage who wafts a backhand at her. She shits a brick and hides. Savage pulls Hogan outside and rakes the eye. Savage is nuts. Hogan wants to ram Savage into the ringpost but Elizabeth pleads with him not to and stands in his way. The distraction causes Macho to reverse and Hogan eats the steel instead. Liz now checks on Hogan even though it was her interference that leads to him getting cleaned up. "She's a troublemaker Monsoon" says The Body. Yeah that's her middle name. Savage berates her though. His eyes have gone here and I'd love to know how much coke he did before bell time. Macho sends Liz to the back. It's one on one now.

 

Savage up top. Double Axe Handle to the outside onto the steeel barricade. White Men Can Jump. Savage leapfrogs back into the ring to massive heat. This is great. Scoop Slam. Knee Drop. Two count. Savage chokes Hogan with his wrist tape. Fuck knows where the ref was. The crowd tries to rally The Challenger. But Hogan is offering nothing. He's fucked. Macho must be long odds on in running if Betfair was a thing in the 80s. Savage up top. Brilliant image as he stands atop of the turnbuckle, arms like a cricket umpire signalling a six. Crowd transfixed upon him. Hogan in the middle of the ring. He hits a picture perfect flying elbow. One....Two....NO, its Hulk Up time.

 

Punch. Headshake. Punch. Headshake. Spaz fit round the ring. Punch. Finger wag. Block and punches reversed. Big Boot. Here it comes. Leg Drop, one...two....three! The crowd go nuts and this makes Ventura sick. What a match.

 

NEW CHAMPION: Hulk Hogan

 

RATING: The best match so far, and it might take some beating for a while. Savage is the fucking man, a supreme performance and some marvellous work - whether it be between the ropes or whether it be him being a cunt to Elizabeth. Hogan played his part too, offering mini comebacks at just the right time to suck the crowd into the match before being cut off by Macho. It's interesting to see how much the Hulking Up routine has developed since the last Hogan match I watched (13 months beforehand), and this now was the finish he would perfect and stick with for the next twenty years. Magic.

 

RANK:

 

1. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage v Hulk Hogan

2. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage v 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibiase

3. The Iron Sheik v Hulk Hogan

4. Hulk Hogan v Andre The Giant

 

See you in 364 days, unless it was a leap year.

Edited by Max Power
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...