As you guys know on this week’s SmackDown! (which aired on the 4th of January), Randy Orton and Sheamus both announced themselves as participants in the Royal Rumble match, and a feud seems to have begun between the two. The two had a very good verbal exchange on SmackDown! (which like most things was ruined by the Big Show) and Randy Orton stealing Sheamus’ spotlight was also a very good touch.
A game of who can out-do the other is always a good way to begin a face vs face feud and I personally love these sort of feuds. You love to see who the fans are starting to back and as the tension starts to grow the more interested you start to get. This may or may not result in someone turning heel, but if it does turn someone heel, it’ll likely be Orton. Come on, Orton has been a stale face going absolutely nowhere for a while now. I think a change of character can refresh the viper and him turning heel on one of the top faces of the business can certainty send him on the right tracks.
Face vs Face feuds are rare because it breaks the Heroes vs Villians rules of wrestling. But they are a nice touch to the product, so I am all for this. Also, this seems to all but confirm the rumor that Randy Orton vs Sheamus will take place at Wrestlemania. Whether that will be for the World Heavyweight Title is still up in the air, considering Big Show is still the World Champion and Dolph Ziggler could cash in Money In The Bank at anytime. But if it does, it’ll likely be that one of them wins the rumble, and one of them wins the World Title at Elimination Chamber which sets their match for Wrestlemania. That is ALLLLLLL OK in my book. 🙂
So, with a face vs face feud emerging, it’s only fitting that I give you guys my top 4 Favorite Face vs Face feuds in Wrestling. In no particular order….
1) The Rock vs Chris Jericho in 2001
As the Invasion storyline was the talk of the town in WWF, one of the better mini-feuds within the WWF/Alliance feud would be the build of tension between fellow WWF members The Rock and Chris Jericho. On October 8th 2001, WCW Champion The Rock and Chris Jericho teamed to take on Alliance members Rob Van Dam and Shane McMahon on RAW IS WAR. Near the end of the match Jericho got busted open by Shane McMahon, and as he looked to hit Shane with the chair, he accidentally hit The Rock with the chair costing them the match. Afterwards, The Rock confronted him about the chair shot which led to the two brawling in the locker room. Jericho would then become the number one contender for The Rock’s WCW Title on SmackDown! by defeating Rob Van Dam, and would beat The Rock at No Mercy to become the WCW Champion. Jericho would start to rub it in The Rock’s face which led to the two fighting again backstage at Rebellion. The Rock would win the WCW Title back on RAW IS WAR in November, but Jericho attacked him afterwards. This would eventually lead to Jericho hitting The Rock with a “Breakdown” at Survivor Series after being eliminated in the “Winner Takes All Match” between the WWF and The Alliance (to determine which entity would survive) to turn heel and nearly cost WWF the match. Jericho would then defeat The Rock in the next two Pay-Per-Views and becoming Unidsputed WWF Champion at Vengeance. It was a cool storyline to cause tension within the opposing factions. At around the same time Rob Van Dam and Steve Austin was feuding within the heel Alliance. There were reasons to back/hate either of them guys. While they tried to make Jericho out to be the bad-guy, he was still cheered when he beat The Rock by cheating at No Mercy. Great Feud.
2) CM Punk vs John Cena in 2011
It’d be hard not to include this in the list. CM Punk (heel at this point) won a triple threat match on the 20th of June which earned him the right to fight for John Cena’s WWE Championship at the Money In The Bank Pay-Per-View in his hometown of Chicago. He announced after the match that his contract with WWE expires on the night of Money In The Bank, and said he would leave with the WWE Championship that night. As you may know, the next week on the 27th June edition of RAW, CM Punk would cause Cena to lose a tables match to R-Truth, and sat on the stage and delivered a shoot promo which included Punk attacking The McMahon family and calling John Cena an ass-kisser. His mic got cut off and he was suspended by Vince McMahon. After Cena convinced McMahon to reinstate Punk, Punk returned two weeks later on the RAW before Money In The Bank to a hero’s welcoming in Cena’s hometown of Boston, which would make CM Punk a sort-of anti-hero. Someone who wasn’t exactly a nice guy, but wanted great things for the WWE. CM Punk would defeat Cena at the Money In The Bank PPV and left the WWE Champion. He returned 8 days later and fans were divided in support between the new face in town CM Punk and John Cena. These had a great few weeks of verbal exchanges in the next couple of weeks following Punk’s return, and it caused division between the WWE universe, and it breathed new life into the product and made things a hell of a lot interesting in WWE. Best storyline in a REALLY long time for WWE.
3) The Rock vs Steve Austin in 2001
NOTE: Couldn’t find the promo for this one. Just put in the heel turn at Wrestlemania.
A classic WWF feud and probably the best feud ever in wrestling history. But only in 2001 was there ever a face vs face feud between the two. In 1999 and 2003 The Rock was always heel and Austin was always heel. This was a little different. There was always history between the two. These two feuded before leading up to Wrestlemania 15. But their match for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 17 was set after Steve Austin won the 2001 Royal Rumble and The Rock won the WWF Title at No Way Our. In the interest of tension, Debra (Austin’s wife at the time) was declared by Vince McMahon to be the manager of The Rock. Austin said that if anything would happen to Debra, The Rock would be held responsible. Eventually, something did happen to Debra – Kurt Angle would put her in the ankle lock. Steve Austin would then deliver a Stone Cold Stunner to The Rock for putting Debra in danger. Debra was eventually dropped as The Rock’s manager, and The Rock And Stone Cold had their match at Wrestlemania. This match saw the heel turn of Steve Austin, when he aligned himself with Vince McMahon and clobbered The Rock with chairs about 100 times to win the WWE Championship and turn on the WWF Fans. What made this Face vs Face feud so good was that there was already tension their from their old feud and that tension would just explode at Wrestlemania. What a match that was. 🙂
4) Undertaker vs Batista in 2007
WWE was just awesome in 2007, and large factor in that was the feud between Undertaker and Batista on SmackDown! These two never really mixed it up before up until this point, but their match at Wrestlemania 23 was set after Undertaker won the Royal Rumble in January 2007. Undertaker opted to fight for the World Title held by Batista at that event. I remember these two had a hell of a fight on the SmackDown! before Wrestlemania, which was cool because they made the security guards looked like pussys as they beat the hell out of each other. Undertaker defeated Batista at Wrestlemania in classic to win the World Heavyweight Championship. On the SmackDown! after Wrestlemania, Batista confronted Undertaker simply saying, “Congratulations. I want my rematch”. At Backlash, he got it. These two competed in Last Man Standing, which ended in a draw after neither man could get up after a spear of the stage by Batista. This Last Man Standing match was just epic. They had part 3 on May 8th 2007 (which aired on SmackDown! on the 11th) with a Steel Cage match which ended in another draw, after both men’s feet hit the floor at the same time. Then Undertaker got injured and lost the World Title to Edge, but Batista would win the World Title back at Unforgiven 2007… the same night The Undertaker made his return. At Cyber Sunday, they had Part 4 – A standard one-on-one match with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special referee. Batista finally defeated The Undertaker and would beat him again inside Hell In A Cell at Survivor Series, which would end their feud. The thing is, these two didn’t need to cut amazing promos to build up the feuds. The matches were just so great and epic, that they didn’t need to cut promos and stuff. People wanted to see these to face each other and that was all the feud needed to be successful and their matches was quality.
That’s my opinion anyway. Guys remember to follow me on Twitter @TomRobinson5199, and send your thoughts. What Face vs Face feuds do you think are the best? More blog posts to come for you guys. Stay tuned!