With Extreme Rules 2016 coming up this Sunday on the WWE Network, Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com goes “extreme” as we look back at some of the greatest street fights, wars and bloodbaths from the archives of (what else) but the WWE Network.
Whether as blow-offs to a big feud or as chapters of an ongoing war, “Street Fight” matches, generally a fan favorite, have played an integral part in the history and foundation of professional wrestling going back decades. With so many to choose from, these are just 10 of the hardcore gems to be found right now on the WWE Network.
— “Atlanta Street Fight” (WATCH – 1:45:46)
“The Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant & Miss Atlanta Lively w/Big Mama vs. The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton & “Lover Boy” Dennis Condrey) w/Jim Cornette
NWA Starrcade ’85: The Gathering ? November 28, 1985
This is undoubtedly one of the wildest, most bizarre matches on the list. Jimmy Valiant, dogged by Cornette’s Midnight Express for some time, was unable to find a partner “bad” enough to join the fight until Miss Atlanta Lively (Ronnie Garvin in drag) showed up on the scene, joining Valiant and Big Mama to make up the “Street People”.
— “Non-Title Grudge Match” (WATCH – 1:29:16)
Stan Hansen vs. Big Van Vader (IWGP Heavyweight Champion)
WCW WrestleWar ’91: WarGames ? February 24, 1991
2016 WWE Hall of Famer Stan Hansen and Big Van Vader were no strangers to one another when they met on February 10, 1990 in the Tokyo Dome, an infamous match that saw Hansen inadvertently pop out Vader’s right eye. The feud was reignited in WCW in 1991 in a match every bit as stiff and physical as anything they did in Japan. Though it whetted the fans appetite for more this war turned out to be the lone televised match between the two in WCW.
— WCW World Tag Team Championship – “Broad Street Bully Match” (WATCH – 2:02:08)
Special Guest Referee: Dave Schultz
Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)(c)
WCW Slamboree ’94: A Legend’s Reunion ? May 22, 1994
This match is the epitome of a wrestling war. While the “Chicago Street Fight” from Spring Stampede ’94 is widely considered the mother of all street fights, this wild brawl runs a close second. With Maxx Payne on the outs in WCW and Dave “Evad” Sullivan injured, booker Kevin Sullivan stepped in to team with Cactus Jack to challenge The Nasty Boys. This marked Cactus and Sullivan’s first WCW Tag Title win of any kind, and ended The Nasty Boys 2nd reign at 210 days.
— “ECW Death Match” (WATCH – 22:41)
Cactus Jack vs. The Sandman w/Woman
ECW Hardcore TV #95 ? February 14, 1995 (TAPED: January 14, 1995)
One of ECW’s most memorable feuds was between Cactus Jack and The Sandman. The two were known to either tear the house down or stink it out. This is one of the truly classic hardcore wars between two of ECW’s most iconic stars; a wild, bloody battle that is almost too much for even a rodeo arena to contain.
— “Falls Count Anywhere Match” (WATCH – 1:17:54)
The Taskmaster vs. Chris Benoit
WCW Great American Bash ’96 ? June 16, 1996
One of the last truly old-school “Falls Count Anywhere” matches, this all-time classic only gets better with age. Before Woman and Jacqueline the fight was over pride and the on-going feud between The Dungeon of Doom and The Four Horsemen, and what a fight it was.
— ECW World Tag Team Championship (WATCH – 29:22)
The Gangstanators (New Jack & Kronus) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley)(c) w/Sign Guy Dudley, Big Dick Dudley, & Joel Gertner
ECW Hardcore TV #231 ? September 22, 1997 (TAPED: September 20, 1997, ECW As Good As It Gets)
By this point in 1997 The Dudley Boyz had cleaned out ECW’s tag team division multiple times over, taking out two of ECW’s greatest tag teams, The Eliminators and The Gangstas, in the process. The remnants of those teams, New Jack and Kronus, paired to take on The Dudley’s on this night. In winning this bloody war, New Jack and Kronus ended The Dudley’s 3rd reign as ECW Tag Team Champions at 34 days, marking New Jack’s 3rd and Kronus’s 4th tag title reigns respectively.
— Championship Unification Match – “Extreme Death Match” (WATCH – 2:17:52)
Sabu (FTW World Heavyweight & ECW World Tag Team Champion) w/Bill Alfonso vs. Taz (ECW World Heavyweight Champion)
ECW Living Dangerously ’99 ? March 21, 1999
In 1998 Taz, as part of an ongoing feud with ECW Champion Shane Douglas, introduced the FTW title (2:15) in May. In December, with the Taz/Douglas match imminent, Taz intentionally dropped the FTW belt to Sabu who, after Taz defeated Douglas at Guilty as Charged ’99 for the ECW title, used the FTW belt to get this match. This match is an all-out war that just may be the most hardcore battle these two ECW legends ever waged against one another.
— “Street Fight” (WATCH – 1:35:53)
Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon
WWF King of the Ring 2001 ? June 24, 2001
After Shane McMahon, the then “owner” of WCW, interrupted Kurt Angle’s Olympic gold medal ceremony reenactment (41:41), Angle was hell-bent on embarrassing and defeating “Shane O’Mac”. This match is easily one of the most extreme matches in WWF/E history, leaving Shane with a concussion and Angle a fractured coccyx. After nearly 15 years this match is as shocking now as it was the night it happened.
— WWE Intercontinental Championship – “No Holds Barred Match” (WATCH – 58:54)
Mick Foley vs. Randy Orton(c)
WWE Backlash 2004 ? April 18, 2004
With a story that simmered for over 10 months, highlighted by viscous attacks, including kicking Foley down the stairs (1:14:32) and savagely punching Foley in the head (41:33), the Orton/Foley feud was one of the best in modern WWE history. One of WWE’s most violent matches ever, this war helped elevate Orton to main event status and make Mick Foley relevant again.
— “Extreme Rules Match” (WATCH – 2:22:08)
John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar
WWE Extreme Rules 2012 ? April 29, 2012
After 8 long years Brock Lesnar returned to WWE (1:33:24) the night after WrestleMania XXVIII to confront John Cena, who was coming off a monumental loss to The Rock, and bring “credibility” back to World Wrestling Entertainment. This bloody brawl, arguably the most violent, most anticipated match in event history, was the kind of old-school war WWE fans hadn’t seen in many, many years.
Though times and tastes change, there’s nothing quite like a good old fashioned street fight!
While Extreme Rules isn’t likely to produce a bloodbath, it could produce the next great war. From Charlotte/Natalya to Jericho/Ambrose to Reigns/Styles, the stage is set for some truly epic battles.
That’s all for this week’s TBT – thank you for reading! If you’re subscribed to the WWE Network, check out these brawls, see them for yourself, and let us know what you think below.
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Don’t forget, Extreme Rulesis this Sunday, so until next week, see ya at ringside!
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