1001 MATCHES – HOFers

This section is all guys who have been enshrined in the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. Not judging on whether or not said person should be in the Hall of Fame but just using it as a starting point to knock out some matches. And because I want to add extra layers of difficulty to myself – I only picked matches featuring HOFers who hadn’t had a match selected already. My brain is stupid.


621) JOE STECHER vs. EARL CADDOCK (01/30/1920)

Joe Stecher – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Earl Caddock – Inducted in 2003

As far as anyone can tell – this is the oldest wrestling match that appears on tape (at least that is almost in its entirety). I have used, and will continue to use, the phrase “historical significance” and this match is the prime example of that logic.

~!~

622) JIM LONDOS vs. BRONKO NAGURSKI (11/18/38)

Jim Londos – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Bronko Nagurski – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Again – rare footage of two guys that are talked about in hushed tones by wrestling historians. Londos is like the Greek El Santo so now I want someone to compare him and Hogan on Twitter and ask Meltzer about it. And Nagurski is a great “in or out of the wrestling bubble” guy because if you are baffled by the fact that Nagurski is more known as a Hall of Fame football player than I don’t have time for you.

~!~

623) BUDDY ROGERS vs. LOU THESZ (06/21/50)

Buddy Rogers – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Lou Thesz – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

~!~

624) GORGEOUS GEORGE vs. HANS SCHNABEL (11/03/50)

Gorgeous George – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

~!~

625) VERNE GAGNE vs. LOU THESZ (01/25/52)

Verne Gagne – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Lou Thesz – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

God Bless the Chicago Film Archives where all three of these great quality matches came from. If you haven’t seen Buddy Rogers, Lou Thesz or Gorgeous George before you have seen guys who took heavily from them. And Verne killed a man once so there’s that.

~!~

626) KARL GOTCH vs. MICHIAKI YOSHIMURA – JWA (05/01/61)

Karl Gotch – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

I think we can count the number of Karl Gotch matches on tape on one hand but again you might not have seen Gotch but you have seen a metric ton of guys who have learned from him.

~!~

627) IVAN KOLOFF vs. PEDRO MORALES – WWWF (02/08/71 – WWWF World Heavyweight Title)

Ivan Koloff – Inducted in 2015

Pedro Morales – Inducted in 2017

There are better Koloff matches out there (that aren’t just him later in life working with the Russians). This, however, kills two birds with one stone. Pedro Morales is now a Hall of Famer… Whee?!?!?!?!?!

~!~

628) WAHOO MCDANIEL vs. JOHNNY VALENTINE – MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING (Either 09/26/74 or 10/03/74 – NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title)

Wahoo McDaniel – Inducted in 2002

Johnny Valentine – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Dean started an entire thread based around this match

“This feud is what got stiff, strong style over in the Carolina territories, which had been a tag team territory before Valentine showed up. ┬áThis is the feud that redirected the crowd towards my personal favorite style of wrestling. Both these guys would lay it in.”

~!~

629) MICK MCMANUS vs. KUNG FU – WORLD OF SPORT (04/24/76)

PART ONE : PART TWO

Mick McManus – Inducted in 2012

This is an unofficial mask match more due to weird British TV rules. At this point – UK folks should probably accept that you got McManus in and be happy with that. Poor poor Big Daddy.

~!~

630) SUPERSTAR BILLY GRAHAM vs. MIL MASCARAS (WWF 12/19/77)

Superstar Billy Graham – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Mil Mascaras – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Reviewed in DVDVR #174

~!~

631) PAT PATTERSON vs. BOB BACKLUND – WWWF (09/24/79 – WWWF World Title Cage Match)

Pat Patterson – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Bob Backlund – Inducted in 2004

One would hope that y’all will watch these type of Patterson matches instead of the forest fire that was Patterson wrestling folks in drag.

~!~

632) JACKIE SATO vs. TOMI AOYAMA – ALL JAPAN WOMEN (01/04/80)

Jackie Sato – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

This comes from the same show that has the Rimi “Jaguar” Yokota vs. Chino Saito match that Dean put on the original 100. This is a real good match to watch to start easing yourself into Joshi.

~!~

633) MAD DOG VACHON vs. CRUSHER BLACKWELL – AWA (05/22/83 – Algerian Death Match)

Mad Dog Vachon – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

The video linked is just the ending of the match – the full match you can get on the 80s AWA set. Still a good way to see what great brawlers both guys were instead of just relying by proxy of Mad Dog’s leg being used as a prop in a Bret Hart/Diesel match.

~!~

634) THE FABULOUS FREEBIRDS (MICHAEL HAYES/TERRY GORDY/BUDDY ROBERTS) vs. KERRY, KEVIN AND DAVID VON ERICH – WORLD CLASS (11/21/83 – Elimination Match)

The Fabulous Freebirds – Inducted in 2005

Somehow – even with doing an entire section on Tag Teams – a Freebirds match had never been picked (plenty of Terry Gordy though. Watch all the Terry Gordy you can.). Clearly – somewhere in a list of 1001 matches there should be a Freebirds/Von Erichs match. In reality, it probably should be the 7/4/83 one but this match is endearing in its goofiness thanks to the booking and rules. It is also a David showcase and folks should make sure they understand that David truly was the best Von Erich and would have been a megastar if he didn’t die.

~!~

635) LIZMARK vs. EL SATANICO – CMLL (03/09/84 – NWA Middleweight title)

Lizmark – Inducted in 2001

El Satanico – Inducted in 2001

Wonderful synergy with them both being inducted the same year. You will never go wrong watching Lizmark/Satanico matches. Okay, maybe a little wrong from time to time. Don’t accept any substitute Lizmark’s like when WCW put Atlantis in a Lizmark mask and tried to claim he was Lizmark Jr. because WCW.

~!~

636) DR. WAGNER vs. EL SOLITARIO – UWA (12/01/85 – Mask Match)

Dr. Wagner – Inducted in 2013

El Solitario – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Another two birds, one stone match. Long time rivals finally culminate their feud with a mask match. Super depressing when you realize that Solitario, who wasn’t even 40 yet, would be dead four months later.

~!~

637) MASAKATSU FUNAKI vs. YOJI ANJO – UWF (06/14/89)

Masakatsu Funaki – Inducted in 2006

I love that Funaki decided to return to wrestling and is still kicking around now (Pun oh so totally intended).

~!~

638) LEGION OF DOOM (HAWK & ANIMAL) vs. GENICHIRO TENRYU/HULK HOGAN – WWF/SWS (03/30/91)

Road Warriors – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Genichiro Tenryu – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Hulk Hogan – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Like the Freebirds, somehow no Road Warrior matches had been picked and here I go selecting one where they are working as LOD. I always dig Hogan in Japan. Plus, you got Tenryu. And the fact that the Road Warriors aren’t as good as your childhood memories make them out to be means this is a perfect pick.

~!~

639) KONNAN vs. CIEN CARAS vs. JAKE ROBERTS – AAA (08/28/1993)

Konnan – Inducted in 2009

Not really a match but much more of a lucha riot.

~!~

640) VINCE MCMAHON vs. HULK HOGAN – WWE WRESTLEMANIA XIX (03/30/03)

Vince McMahon – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Hulk Hogan – Inducted in Inaugural 1996 Class

Every Vince match is the same. He gets his ass kicked and bleeds a lot and there is a lot of nonsense. Vince and Hogan finally being able to say mean things about each other under the guise of it being for the match was nice.

~!~