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Appreciating Sting, Undertaker, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan

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For fans of a certain age, the world began with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair as the non-identical twins of a bi-polar wrestling landscape. As the months passed, great challenges came and went. Old foes (Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes, etc.) and new (Ted DiBiase, Magnum TA, etc.) were fended off with regularity and either faded to the lower reaches of the card or were simply never heard from again.

But as the 80's became the 90's, something special happened.

The Undertaker was unveiled at the 1990 edition of Survivor Series. His terrifying visage and uniquely agile big man moveset was a revelation. Fueled by the nightmares of 8 year old boys across the globe, The Undertaker would defeat Hulk Hogan for his WWF Championship one year later in a match aptly titled "The Gravest Challenge." Aided by Paul Bearer and the mysterious power of the urn, and buoyed by two new match types created specifically for him, the Casket Match and Hell in a Cell, the Undertaker's remarkable reign of fear continues to this day.

Ric Flair was the most flashy and flamboyant wrestler in all of WCW until a blond-spiked, high flyer, with a seemingly infinite wardrobe of matching tights and facepaint combinations burst onto the scene. Initially viewed as a minor threat to Flair's dominance, Sting shattered that perception at the first Clash of the Champions when he fought Flair to a time limit draw. Sting would eventually topple Flair for his first NWA World Championship at The Great American Bash in 1990.

Within months of each other both men overthrew their greatest, and heretofore unbeatable, rival. Twenty five years later both men battled the two greatest forces in today's WWE in Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. And they more than held their own.

Sting's injury and Hulk's recent ex-communication underscore how rare and special this career endurance is. It only takes one false step or one off-color comment to end a wrestler's career.

In Sting, 'Taker, Flair, and Hogan, we're talking about four living legends here, folks. Think about this as Undertaker faces Lesnar once again at Hell in a Cell or if Sting returns to wrestle again. None of us, least of all professional wrestlers or their fans, are promised a tomorrow.

Celebrate the past, relish the future, and cherish today.

***

wrankings

OFFICIAL WRESTLER WRANKINGS FORMULA

ANY WIN = 2 POINTS

US OR INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE BOUT = 1 POINT

WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT = 3 POINTS

NON "BIG 4" PPV BONUS = 1.5X

SUMMERSLAM, SURVIVOR SERIES, ROYAL RUMBLE = 2X BONUS

WRESTLEMANIA = 3X BONUS

The WWE season begins on the day after WrestleMania 31 and culminates with WrestleMania 32. The wrestler who accumulates the most points over the course of the season, wins the coveted Wrankings Championship!

***

Monday Night Raw-- 9/7/15

  • Ryback - 2 points (win)
  • Randy Orton - 2 points (win)
  • Miz - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 9/8/15

  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Bo Dallas - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown-- 9/10/15

  • Seth Rollins - 2 points (win)
  • Cesaro - 2 points (win)
  • Monday Night Raw-- 9/14/15

  • John Cena - 2 points (win)
  • Cesaro - 2 points (win)
  • Sting - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 9/15/15

  • Rusev - 2 points (win)
  • Bo Dallas - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown-- 9/17/15

  • Kevin Owens - 2 points (win)
  • Big Show - 2 points (win)
  • Kofi Kingston - 2 points (win)
  • Night of Champions-- 9/20/15

  • Seth Rollins - 9 points (WWE title bout, win, US title bout, no win)
  • Sting - 4.5 points (WWE title bout, no win)
  • John Cena - 4.5 points (US title bout, win)
  • Kevin Owens - 4.5 points (IC title bout, win)
  • Ryback - 1.5 points (IC title bout, no win)
  • Dolph Ziggler - 3 points (win)
  • Monday Night Raw-- 9/21/15

  • John Cena - 3 points (US title bout, win)
  • Seth Rollins - 1 points (US title bout, no win)
  • Ryback - 2 points (win)
  • Sheamus - 2 points (win)
  • Big Show - 2 points (win)
  • Main Event-- 9/22/15

  • Sheamus - 2 points (win)
  • Stardust - 2 points (win)
  • Smackdown-- 9/24/15

  • Dean Ambrose - 2 points (win)
  • Roman Reigns - 2 points (win)
  • Cesaro - 2 points (win)
  • -----------------------------------

    WRESTLER WRANKINGS, WEEK 26 *TOP TEN*

    1. Seth Rollins -- 80.5 points

    2. John Cena -- 61

    3. Ryback -- 55.5

    4. Neville -- 55

    5. Sheamus -- 39.5

    6. Dean Ambrose -- 38.5

    7. Roman Reigns -- 37.5

    8. Randy Orton -- 37

    9. King Barrett -- 33.5

    10. Kevin Owens -- 33

    Thanks for reading, Cagesiders. We'll see you back here next week!

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