10 Best WWE Tournaments

There can be only one winner.

Feeling confident after the roaring success that was the first WrestleMania, WWE presented their second pay-per-view in late 1985 in the form of the one-night tournament The Wrestling Classic, which took place thirty six years ago today (November 7). 

Unlike WrestleMania, this was a one-off event and, while the tournament took up the bulk of the show, the main draw was Hulk Hogan defending his WWE Championship against Roddy Piper. 

The tournament itself was fine, but the with fifteen matches on the card, most of the tournament bouts weren't given much time to develop and a lot of them were over before they could get going. 

So as nice as it is to see Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat wrestle, or Savage take on Dynamite Kid, it's hard to get too excited about bouts you know aren't going past the five minute mark. 

And the final - which was a comparative marathon at nine minutes - ended with the Junkyard Dog beating the Macho Man via countout. 

Still, tournaments in general are pretty great and can be a great vehicle for storyline, character and career progression. They give us something to invest in and are prone to throwing up surprises from time to time, too. 

I mean, come on, who doesn't love a tournament? 

Well, I hope the answer's not you, dear reader, because I'm here to talk about ten of WWE's best. 

10. WWE Title Tournament - WrestleMania IV

Ted dibiase hulk hogan andre the giant wrestlemania iv

The fourth WrestleMania was all about the tournament to crown a new WWE Champion. 

The title was vacant heading into the event, after Andre the Giant had controversially beaten Hulk Hogan for it, before giving it to Ted DiBiase after the Million Dollar Man paid off the Eighth Wonder of the World. 

Naturally, WWE President Jack Tunney wasn't going to stand for such shenanigans and put the strap up for grabs in a fourteen-man single-elimination tournament. 

The star power was high, with Hogan, Andre, DiBiase, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts and Rick Rude all sticking out as potential winners. 

One issue the tournament had was that all of the matches (twelve in total) took place on one show, which also had four other non-tournament bouts. As a result, few of them got a chance to develop. 

There were a couple of upsets, like Greg Valentine beating Steamboat in the first round, and some creative booking, too. 

In the end, it was the Macho Man's night, as he got past Butch Reed, Valentine and One Man Gang before upending DiBiase in the final. It was a great one-night performance from Savage and a great moment for a deserving performer, who got to win his first WWE Title on the Grandest Stage. 

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Lewis Howse

Written by Lewis Howse

Features journalist for and script writer for the Cultaholic YouTube Channel.