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LOVPODAMANIA: The Best Wrestlemania Matches Part 4

It's the final countdown!

Celebrities Attend UFC 170 - Rousey v McMann Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Welcome to part 4 in this list of the Best Wrestlemania Matches of All Time!

25 – Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Big Show – WrestleMania 24: A Big Show match in the top 25!? Say what you will about the Giant or celebrities at Wrestlemania, WWE pulled a masterstroke recruiting ‘Money’ Mayweather and crafted a near-perfect celebrity match from start to finish. WWE quickly repositioned Mayweather to be a heel after the cocky boxer was given tepid early reactions as a heel. They built the match having the normally placid giant snap after being punched (legitimately) by Mayweather, an exchange which left him with a broken nose. The match itself, the undefeated boxer took serious offence in the form of throws and slams, whilst his entourage took most of the damage (it was hilarious seeing his bodyguards flying across the ring, rolls of money literally falling out of their pant pockets), Mayweather took the bout seriously enough that he was seen in legitimate danger. He sold the height difference, the power difference and this added to the legitimacy and overall fun of the match. Two world class sports entertainers proving you don’t need technically sound headlocks and 450 splashes to have a first-rate pro wrestling match.

24 –Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair – WrestleMania 24: “I’m sorry, I love you”, the final words Michaels mouths as he prepares to superkick Ric Flair into retirement. Probably the most well-done emotional retirement in wrestling history. The honour of ending Flair’s career was bestowed on his friend and fellow wrestling legend, HBK. There were very few wrestlers Flair would have trusted to lay out and call the entire match, but he followed the guidance of the Heart-Break Kid who was able to get Flair through not only an acceptable match, but a very good one. His retirement segment the next night on RAW was amazing, as was his Hall of Fame speech the night prior. This was Ric Flair’s weekend, a well-earned honour for arguably the greatest wrestler of all-time.

23 – Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 26: Not as highly lauded as their WM25 match, the steaks were upped in this WrestleMania rematch. It was labelled ‘career vs streak’ and it was given the honour of main-eventing the show, despite not being for the world title, an honour usually only reserved for matches featuring megastars or outside entities. In the end, the Undertakers hand was raised in victory once more, and Shawn Michaels rolled off into the sunset after stealing the show at one more WrestleMania.

22 – The Rock vs Steve Austin – WrestleMania 19: From one Texan’s retirement match to another. While HBK was in a place of inner peace by WM26, Steve Austin was not at WM19. This one almost didn’t happen, Austin had been heavily ‘medicating’ with alcohol (and probably much more) the night before and nearly didn’t make the match. He was rushed to the hospital the morning of the PPV and when he returned, demanded that Kurt vs Brock be given the main event as he wasn’t sure he could have a main-event worthy match in the condition he was in. The Rock was on the outs too, a burgeoning Hollywood career was taking off and he was about to leave wrestling full-time. Thus, the stage was set for the Attitude Era’s two brightest lights to face-off one last night on the grandest stage. The build-up had been magnificent, ‘Hollywood Rock’ now a heel cutting hilarious promos, the infamous Rock Concert, belittling the likes of the Hurricane was at the top of his game as an entertainer but he still had a 0-2 record against Austin and he aimed to rectify it. What followed was a textbook Austin/Rock match. Lots of brawling, square-up’s, punch trade-off’s, stealing each other’s finishing moves, lots of near falls. They had the Safeco Field fans eating out of the palm of their hands. The Rock eventually the victor after a third Rock Bottom and he shared a moment with Austin before rolling out of the ring to let Austin bask in the final standing ovation of his active wrestling career.

21 – Bret Hart vs Roddy Piper – WrestleMania 8: The lore of Roddy Piper was that he would never job clean, because of this McMahon never put a title on him because he could never fully trust that the Hot Rod would do business and drop it back. At the Royal Rumble 1992 things changed when Piper went to McMahon and requested the opportunity to put potential star Bret Hart over at the upcoming WrestleMania. Piper liked Bret’s attitude backstage and respected his in-ring work and wanted to do the Canadian the favour to help boost his singles run. At WM8, the two friends had a classic face vs. face contest, battling back-and-forth before Piper caught Bret in a sleeper hold. Bret leveraged off the top rope and into a pinning position, holding down Piper for three and claiming the intercontinental title, his first singles title in the WWE. It was a classic passing-the-torch Mania match that gave Bret enough shine that just a year later, he would be walking into WrestleMania in the main event holding the world title.

20 – Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart – WrestleMania 12: ‘Shawn vs. Bret’ has a backstory longer than a Tolkien epic. The two premier workers of their generation, Shawn and Bret hated each other’s guts. The standoffish Canadian vs. the vulgar American. By March 1996, the Kliq was at breaking point, Nash & Hall were ready to bolt for WCW and Shawn Michaels was an egomaniac, out of control. Although there was not yet the venomous animus that would build over the next 18 months, there was a healthy mistrust between the two combatants. It was with this backdrop that the two were set to go out and work the first ever 60-minute Ironman match in WWE history. What followed was a technical clinic. The one problem? It was pretty boring! Perhaps being the first of its kind, perhaps the mistrust and unwillingness of either participant to look weak, perhaps the pressure of headlining WrestleMania but for whatever reason, the emotional strings that should have been in this match did not bear its fruits and the match, whilst timed to perfection and ended up feeling antiseptic and anticlimactic. The decision to have 0 falls within the time-limit and have the men go into overtime also felt like a cheap cop out to give Bret an excuse in defeat. This was a highly important match in the annals of Mania history and in the history of two of the greatest performers in company history, thus its high ranking on the list. I will however continue to argue that it is far from the epic entertaining match that WWE try to position it as in retrospect. Rock/HHH, Brock/Lesnar, Michaels/Angle for example would all go on to have far more entertaining ironman matches.

19 – Edge vs Chris Jericho vs Shelton Benjamin vs Chris Benoit vs Kane vs Christian – WrestleMania 21: The original money in the bank was wild. If the genesis was the WM10 ladder match and the second evolution was the WM17 TLC match, the third big innovation in the WWE high-spotfest match was the WM21 MITB match. Conceived by Jericho as a way to get a glut of upper-mid-card acts on WrestleMania without a storyline, this concept proved so successful it eventually spawned its own PPV. The original iteration of MITB remains the strongest in my opinion, for its freshness, for its innovative without overly pandering spots but mostly for Shelton freakin’ Benjamin. On paper, the least of the 6 participants, Shelton absolutely stole the show with an array of crazy bumps and ladder spots, most memorable being where he runs up one ladder and does a mid-air clothesline to a participant on another. Like the TLC matches, this original MITB set the tone for the next decade of this type of match. It ranks so highly because its winner Edge, used the MITB to win his first title and break through the glass ceiling, it gave him his character as ‘the ultimate opportunist’ which finally saw him cement his place as a top-tier talent, something he had really struggled to do in the previous couple of years.

18 – Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Hardy Boyz – WrestleMania 16: Personally, I prefer this one to the WM17 match that as you can guess at this point, I must have ranked higher. The spots in this one, I think, feel more organic, there was less pressure and it completely stole the show on an otherwise average card. At this point ‘TLC’ was not a thing in the WWE, this was billed as a ‘triangle ladder match’, but the concept was similar, climb the ladder and retrieve the titles. The Hardyz, ladder specialists, the Dudleyz, table masters, and E&C, connoisseur of the chair. This match would establish these 6 mid-carders as near main-event level superstars. After this they appeared on billboards, they would headline house-shows, they would star on talk shows. It was a star making performance as the six men threw their bodies to the floor, mat and wood from great heights in an all-out carnage filled 15 minutes. WM17 would get the bigger plaudits, and it probably is a lot more polished but this is the original but this one always feels that bit more special.

17 – The Rock vs John Cena – WrestleMania 28: The natural continuation of the ‘dream-match’. First, we had Andre vs Hogan, then it was Hogan vs Rock and at WrestleMania 28 we got Rock vs Cena, I imagine come WM40, Cena will come back and put the biggest star in the company over. This one has always felt a little lesser than those others, though. The attitude-era finishing move heavy match style felt out of place in 2012, the year-long build, whilst electric at times, also dragged on for too long and the tag line, ‘once in a lifetime’ became utter farce when the match was repeated at WrestleMania 29. Heavily cheered by the live crowd, The Rock did live up to the theatre of the occasion, as did Cena, who has often become the pantomime villain for these big matches. Ever the pro, Cena carried the Rock to a serviceable match and put him over clean to set up the WM29 rematch (which I didn’t include on the list at all, despite it not being a whole lot worse than this match, it was completely pointless and not special at all). When the pantheon of biggest matches of all-time are discussed in 20/30 years, this is a keystone match when two of WWE wrestling’s biggest mega-stars touched. Was this one of the greatest WM matches ever? Probably not, but the moments were huge and the build was emotional and felt legitimate. The promos between the two became scathing and the one-up-man’s-ship became very real.

16 – Daniel Bryan vs Triple H – WrestleMania 30: I’ve spoken already about Daniel Bryan’s somewhat rocky road to this WrestleMania and how he had to stumble over many roadblocks to get there, so I won’t repeat myself but to say going into this one, he and Triple H’s perceived heat was white-hot. The crowd were amped up to see the Authority take their licks for the injustice they had dealt the bearded saviour. Triple H has had a lot of negative WrestleMania experiences, a lot of let-downs and a lot of self-bloviating moments. This might be his greatest WrestleMania performance. He is completely selfless in putting Bryan over, he makes him look like a star, as does Stephanie whose valet work on the outside is top notch. Her screeching support of her husband on the outside and berating of Bryan all adds to the heat of the match. She eventually gets her comeuppance too. Triple H eventually comes to dominate proceedings after a lot of back-and-forth textbook ‘big match WWE style’ wrestling. Bryan fights back with a flurry of kicks, eventually flying across the ring hitting the running knee for a clean 1-2-3. The men worked this match super-smartly knowing Bryan had to save something for the triple-threat main event he would have to fight later, but without denying the fans anything less than 100%. This match could have been a main event, it worked equally as an opener and sent Bryan on his way to a star making night.

15 – Chris Benoit vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 20: In 2017 this match no longer exists, sadly. For the sake of this list, Benoit’s heinous crimes are not taken into consideration, but in WWE-land, where stockholders hold every move the company makes to account, Chris Benoit, understandably, is stricken from history. WM20 was the ultimate celebration of his career. After years of fighting in the mid-card, arguably the best wrestler on the planet in the 90s and 00s, and certainly the most under-appreciated, Benoit was given his big night, going over the biggest two stars in the company, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, clean in the middle of the ring. This is probably the best triple threat match I’ve ever watched, the action was fast-paced and hard-hitting, there were lots of near-falls and no-one ever looked like they were tanking. Benoit was given the full push, January-April. He came in the Royal Rumble at #1 spot and outlasted all 29 men. He walked into WrestleMania the underdog and made Triple H tap to the Crippler Crossface. This match was close to breaking the top 10, it does lose a little lustre with Benoit’s deletion from WWE history and with the knowledge of what he went on to do. Also, the fact that his title reign was far from the star making moment it seemed at the time. He was quickly shunted down to being a mid-card champion whilst HHH & HBK remained the headline acts before dropping the title to young Randy Orton at SummerSlam.

14 – Edge & Christian vs The Dudley Boyz vs The Hardy Boyz – WrestleMania 17: A repeat of the WM16 match with the rules a little more firmed up, the spots a little tighter and glamourized. If WM16 made the six competitors household names, WM17 was confirmation of it. On a stacked card with four or five main event worthy singles matches, this one was given just as much time and importance. The six men matched, and some argue, bettered the triangle ladder match and TLC I from SummerSlam. When the bar is so high, to keep jumping over it means taking risks, some of the spots bordered on ridiculously dangerous, but provided some unforgettable WM moments. The spear from a ladder which Edge gives Jeff Hardy who is dangling from the titles hung above the ring is up there with WM13 blood dripping from Austin’s face or WM3 Hogan slamming Andre. They are post-card moments that will live on forever.

13 – Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 10: In September 1993 Shawn Michaels was suspended after testing positive for steroids and subsequently banned by WWE after he refused to accept guilt. This left the intercontinental title vacant, fortunately for McMahon, Razor Ramon was one of the hottest acts on the card at the time and Michaels Kliq buddy stepped in to hold together the mid-card and lead the charge with the IC title. This created a problem, when Michaels returned with the IC belt there was two champions. A match between the two was forged for WrestleMania 10, in a new concept for the WWE, the ladder match. It had been trialled on a house show between Shawn and Bret, but the format for the contest was basically unwritten, the two men had an empty slate on which to carve whatever future they could fathom for the ladder match. That the match, in many forms, is probably the staple WWE gimmick match today tells you all you need to know about how successful Razor and Shawn were. Everything here is pure creation and innovation, whether it be using the ladder as a weapon, jumping from the ladder, the various techniques of suspending disbelief that the two men couldn’t just grab the title quickly while the other was down – it was all fresh and new at WM10. To some, this match may seem dated, it doesn’t have the incredible flips and high spots that have come to be associated with ladder matches in the 21st century, but in terms of psychology, work rate and innovation, the first one is still the standard bearer.

12 – Randy Savage vs Ric Flair – WrestleMania 8: One of the greatest builds to a WrestleMania title match, the jet-flyin’, wheelin’, dealin’ son of a gun, Ric Flair had already conquered the WWE. He was the world champion and the alpha-dog of the company. It was with this that Naitch set his sights on conquering Miss Elizabeth, the pure and innocent valet of Randy Savage. Flair claimed that he had an affair with Elizabeth before she got with Randy and that he owned ‘compromising’ photos of ‘Liz that he would show the world. The Macho Man did not take kindly to the public humiliation of his wife and aimed to take down Flair and take his title off him at WM8. Savage, one of the greatest workers in WrestleMania history and Flair, one of the greatest workers of all-time, had a hard-hitting, psychologically sound match with Flair working to take out Savage’s leg and finish him with the figure-four leg-lock. It would be Savage who prevailed in the end and left holding both the title and his woman. An interesting footnote to this one is that this match could and arguably should have been the long-awaited Hogan vs Flair grudge match on PPV but for whatever reason, WWE passed on the opportunity, citing a lack of interest on the house show circuit for the dream match.

11 – Owen Hart vs Bret Hart – WrestleMania 10: The greatest brother vs. brother match in WrestleMania history. Bret had long been the alpha brother in the Hart family, its most successful and most technically proficient wrestler until little brother Owen came along and tried to steal the spotlight. The two brothers crafted the greatest opener in WrestleMania history, a chain-wrestling masterclass full of technical manoeuvres, reversals and counters. But it was the gamesmanship between the two, the ‘I’m better than you’ mentality, the little celebrations Owen throws in after winning the exchange on a collar and elbow tie-up, that made this one so engrossing. The shock of this match is that the heel and underdog Owen is given the upset victory, what makes the match even greater is that WrestleMania 10 ends with Bret Hart beating Yokozuna, in his 2nd match of the night, for the WWE title. As Bret is held aloft the shoulders of the superstars, the hero of the locker room, the camera cuts to a jealous Owen on the rampway, who despite his victory over his brother, is still left forgotten in the shadow. Perfect booking that set up the next 4 months of their feud.

10 – Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage – WrestleMania 5: The Mega-Powers collide. This story began all the way back at WM4 when the Macho Man won his maiden WWE title, aided and celebrated by his then-friend Hulk Hogan. But with success came paranoia. Savage began to question his friendship with Hogan, was he hitting on Miss Elizabeth? “THERE WAS LUST IN YOUR EYES!” growled Mach’ in an infamous gruff promo. Was his motivation to take back the world title? Well at the Royal Rumble when Hogan eliminated Savage, the Macho Man did not react kindly and struck the first blow, turning heel and setting up this match at WM5. Looking back now, its hard to believe that Hogan was the babyface. Macho Man would certainly have been the darling of the internet fans in 2017 with his over the top personality and impeccable work rate, but too, were his fears not founded? Miss Elizabeth refused to commit to Savage, remaining in a ‘neutral corner’, nor were his suspicions that Hulk was out to get his gold back unfounded, the elimination may have been part of the match, but it was far from a babyface action and did suggest Hogan had designs on Savage’s title. When all was said, and done in this legendary feud, it was still Hulkamania running wild and the Hulkster had his hand raised in victory with arguably the greatest in-ring performance to show for his efforts up to this point of his career.

9 – Ultimate Warrior vs Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania 6: A year later the shoe was on the other foot. Hogan was the champion and the #2 babyface was chasing hot on his heels. After 5 years of ‘Hulk Rules’, there was a change in the sea and the time of the Warrior came. Billed as the ‘Ultimate Challenge’, the IC title Warrior put up his gold for the opportunity to take Hogan’s gold, and his spot at the number one star of the company. Neither of these men were considered work-rate marvels, nor where the expectations high that this would be anything more than a glorified version of the WM3 main event where smoke and mirrors and suspension of disbelief would have to win out over reality, it is to the ultimate credit of Warrior and Hogan that they performed probably the best match of either man’s career in front of a rabid Toronto Skydome. In a symbolic gesture, it would be Hogan passing the torch to the Ultimate Warrior at the end of the match, though as the coming months would show, it was a responsibility he would prove not fit to carry.

8 – Steve Austin vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 14: I’ve very rarely seen this match listed amongst the greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time, which makes its inclusion at 8th somewhat of a surprise, however when you put all of the pieces together, I think it is appropriately ranked. WrestleMania 14 was the launching point of Stone Cold Steve Austin as a megastar, it was the launching point of the Attitude Era and it was the farewell to Shawn Michaels. It was the biggest and best use of celebrity in WWE history, Iron Mike Tyson was amazing in the build-up to these shows, from his wooden-looking crotch chops parading around with D-X, to his infamous square off with Austin (“I always got a little sign language, so here’s to ya!”) he undoubtedly brought unprecedented mainstream eyes to the product, which in 1998 was only just beginning to recover from a 2 year pounding at the hands of WCW and the N.W.O. Neither man was in prime physical condition, Austin had been dropped on his neck months earlier by Owen Hart and narrowly avoided paralysis, Michaels had severely injured his back in a casket match with Undertaker 2 months prior and was struggling to even walk, under those conditions, perhaps the match is not the HBK vs Austin match that some were hoping for, but it isn’t bad either. Both men get in their signature offence and take some pretty hefty bumps considering their conditions. There is a palpable buzz around the arena for the entirely of the match, with Tyson lurking on the outside. In the end, Tyson double-crosses Michaels and punches him for good measure, the ‘Austin Era’ began and the rest was history, within 3 years, WCW & ECW had to shut their doors, the WWE was the only game in town and Stone Cold Steve Austin was the biggest wrestling star on the planet.

7 – Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage – WrestleMania 3: The greatest intercontinental title match of all-time and one of the most important matches in WWE history. This was the match that ultimately paved the way for the Hart’s, Michaels’, Punk’s & Bryan’s, proof, back in 1987 that fans cared about work rate and that a technically perfect match could be just as big of a draw as seeing two larger than life characters’ clash. The build for this one was that Savage had crushed Steamboat’s larynx with the ring-bell and it was used throughout the match with Savage targeting, ultimate babyface, Steamboat’s neck throughout. It was a match that remained an influence on the next generation of WWE superstars, Chris Jericho states he learnt and used to copy the match, move for move with his friends and it was his inspiration for getting in the business.

6 – Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 25: Wrestling publication ‘PWI’ had Steamboat/Savage as their greatest match for 22-years until Taker and Shawn dethroned it. This match was not for a title, it was not the main event, this match was all about Mr. Wrestlemania vs. the streak, two of wrestling’s elder statesmen proving they were still the best on the big stage, and that they did, putting together a modern classic, full of twists, turns, near falls and big spots. Who can forget the moment when near 7ft Taker flew over the top rope and landed on his head in a botched spot. Or the near-fall tombstone and the look of disbelief on Undertaker’s face when Michaels got his shoulder up. Or the superbly crafted finish as Michaels moonsaulted himself into a tombstone piledriver for the 3-count. A perfect match that was so warmly received it received the honour of a main event rematch the following year.

5 – The Rock vs Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania 18: Icon vs. Icon. This one has so much in common with Hogan’s performance at WM6 it is uncanny. The greatest wrestler of all-time is the greatest worker, and in a carny business, there is no greater worker than Hulk Hogan. Both 6 and 18 (coincidentally both at the SkyDome) are moments for Hulk Hogan to put over talent, and on both occasion, he manages to steal the limelight, without ever taking away from the quality of the match. The SkyDome crowd makes this match, Hogan and Rock have a very serviceable match, but with the volume muted, I don’t this makes the top 70 matches, it is the emotion involved, the bizzaro reaction of the Toronto crowd who turn on The Rock and cheer the evil N.W.O. Hollywood Hogan who just a couple of weeks before had tried to crush Rock with a semi-truck while he lay prone in an ambulance. Rocky, to his credit, played along with the crowd, and it is in their face-off’s, subtle facial expressions and reactions to the crowd that make this the classic it is. One of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history is when Hulk makes his trademark ‘Hulk Up’ comeback on the Rock, it is one of the loudest pops I have ever heard, everyone in the SkyDome was emotionally invested in this match. The post-match celebrations are great too, as Hogan turns face, teaming with The Rock to take out his N.W.O. buddies Nash and Hall before posing with the Great One. A most unlikely comeback for Hogan after the death of WCW.

4 – Ultimate Warrior vs Randy Savage – WrestleMania 7: The match is good. Very good. Warrior always turned up for WrestleMania with his working boots on and Randy Savage is one of the greatest WM performers of all-time but the lasting legacy of this one is the post-match shenanigans. The loser of this match had to retire, and after Warrior claimed victory over the evil Macho King, he was forced to hang-up his crown. This did not sit well with his new beau Queen Sherri Martel, who stormed the ring and began berating and kicking the downed Savage, then the camera cuts to the audience as Miss Elizabeth, the Macho Man’s spurned former valet and partner jumps the guardrail to protect her man, she tosses Sherri to the outside and as Savage gets up their eyes lock and he realizes she came in to save him, the two embrace and Savage’s music plays. Coming into the match as a heel, in one moment, every heart in the arena melts, wrestling as soap opera in its greatest form as it was our knowledge of the past 6-year history of Savage and Liz’s on-screen relationship that made this reconciliation mean so much.

3 – Bret Hart vs Steve Austin – WrestleMania 13: My personal #1 favourite match in WWE history. The story in this one is so beautifully told in the ring. Austin came in the heel and left the babyface as he and Hart completed a double-turn in a ‘Submissions Match’. The key to this was as Hart become more bitter and twisted in his quest for victory, Austin would become more determined not to quit. In the end, while locked in the sharpshooter, blood gushing and running down his face, Austin refused to tap, refused to give in and eventually passed out from the pain, losing the match but gaining the respect of every fan watching live. JR would call him the ‘toughest SOB’ and Austin lived up to that moniker. A perfect match.

2 – Steve Austin vs The Rock – WrestleMania 17: “You think you’re special, you do…” The greatest promo package to any WrestleMania match? Without a doubt. These two juggernauts fought in the ultimate WrestleMania main event that celebrated the closing of the most successful era in WWE history. They had seen off WCW. The war was won but the battle to be #1 within WWE still raged on and at #1 and #1a stood Austin and Rock. The two most entertaining, the two biggest draws, the two best promos – they were neck and neck at every level and in this match, neither was positioned as heel or babyface. Both men cited their ‘need’ to beat the other, to be the alpha dog. What ensued was a textbook Attitude Era style match cranked up to 11. There is only one match in WWE history bigger than this one…

1 – Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant – WrestleMania 3: I hear the wrestling purists lining up at my door now with pitchforks… When a match becomes so famous it leaves the realms of reality and falls into legend it can only be placed at #1. To hear this one re-told now, it sounds like something from Roman Mythology. Would Andre ‘do business’? Course he would, he was a consummate professional who had no problem putting over Hogan. Would Hogan be able to slam Andre? Course, he’d done in loads of times prior to this show. But the legend is far greater than the reality, and if one match in history deserves its mythic status, it is this one. This match drew 93,000 to the Pontiac Silverdome, it is undoubtedly the greatest promoted pro-wrestling match of all-time. The angle coming into it was great too, with Andre turning on his friend Hulk Hogan with the help of pro-wrestling’s greatest manager, Bobby Heenan. At Royal Rumble 1988, a contract signing took place, Andre ripped Hulk’s crucifix from his neck, drawing blood. Hogan, to his credit, sold Andre’s threat completely, he looked doe-eyed and petrified of the Giant’s threat, while never backing down, vowing to slam and slay the giant, like a modern-day David.