I have a lot of favourite feuds, I’m probably the worst person to be writing this up. See, I get really – some would say overly – invested in what wrestling is, and what it can be. The infancy of a feud is two performer’s potentials stretched out in front of them, and when they meet that horizon, it can be magic. We saw that last night with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, a thing I will not spoil for you if you’ve yet to watch NXT TakeOver: R Evolution (GO WATCH IT). I also love well done feuds because they embrace continuity, and more than friendship or wrestle hugs or glitter in wrestling, I just want things to make sense.
As such, I end up getting really wrapped up in the slightest bit of referential ephemera from past promos or matches. The Handsome Dan Barry trying to avenge the death of his former tag team partner Ken Scampi at the hands of an Italian Chef Stereotype and a giant snow crab. The Estonian Thunderfrog waging war on the Polar Baron and his evil stable The Bloc Party because they broke his Hammer of Peace and made him cry. Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko because of course Eddie Guererro and Dean Malenko. Chuck Taylor vs. Children. Great feuds make you feel both ends of the emotional spectrum that wrestling tries to live within. You want the guy you love to win more than anything, and can end up hating the guy who tried to beat him for years. I still get irrationally mad that Mini Psychosis never got his comeuppance after being super mean to Mascarita Dorada every time it comes up. I am not a cool person.
There are so many legendary feuds to choose from, but I think Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid may have moved me the most. Watching their matches with Japanese commentary so long ago opened up this whole new world of what storytelling in wrestling could be. Their ability to convey emotion and set the tone for a match without commentary I could understand, and without promos or video packages spliced in beforehand was game changing for me. And not only did they just beat the living daylights out of each other, they evolved. From match to match they learned their opponents strengths and weakness, learned to counter what had hurt them before, and conversely had to come up with a new and different approach when the offense they relied on was countered. I love their feud from the very depths of my heart and want to rewatch everything immediately now that I’ve brought it up.
So what say you, dear readers? Who still has you mad from that one time they did a thing to a guy you liked thirty years ago? Who had you in the palm of their hands every time they met in the ring? Let us know in the comments below, or else my new favourite feud just might be ME AND YOU!
Just kidding, I love you all. Let’s talk wrestling!