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WCW WWF Year-End Award

1991 Year End Awards (Best Matches And Wrestlers)

Hello everyone and welcome to my final article on 1991. In this special piece, we will take a look back at some of the best matches in both the WWF and WCW. Then we will mention the top five matches for each company, followed by a top five list for both companies overall. After that, we will see who were the wrestlers in both companies (followed by overall, much like with the matches) that got more points. This will be according to the point system I use on every show, which you can see here. We’ll finish by looking at the PPV buyrates and TV ratings.

Before starting, one last announcement regarding the point system: the wrestlers involved in the 5th best match of their particulary company get 1 point, those in the 4th best get 2 points, those in the 3rd best get 3 points, those in the 2nd best get 4 points, and those in the best match of the year will get 5 points. As for the overall list (both companies put together), the points will double – meaning the participants in the 5th best match will get 2 points, and so on.

TOP 5 WWF MATCHES

Note: The Royal Rumble match is not eligible for this list. I will always give the edge to regular wrestling matches, since it’s pretty hard (not impossible, but pretty hard) to see a Rumble match that isn’t fun. Thus, I don’t include it in order to open the door for other matches.

5) Ted DiBiase vs. Bret Hart (Saturday Night’s Main Event April 27th)
IMG credit: WWE

We kick off our list with what can be described as a hidden gem of some sorts. On the WWF’s only edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event from 1991, airing a little over a month after WrestleMania VII, the company booked Bret Hart against the veteran ‘Million Dollar Man’, in what was Bret’s first big chance to impress during his singles push. Having famously met in other instances, most notably during the Survivor Series match in 1990 that saw Undertaker make his debut, the two finally got to show what they could do in a singles match. They worked a fantastic nine minute match, with DiBiase (and Sensational Sherri) adding tons of heat to the bout and helping Bret score a number of hot false finishes near the end. This was Bret passing his first test as a singles wrestler, with the crowd showing they cared about him as a singles act. The match lacked a finish and it would’ve been a lot better with more time and a proper story, but this was really good for what it was. (Rating: ***1/2)

4) The Hart Foundation vs. The Nasty Boys – WWF World Tag Team Championship (WrestleMania VII)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

From Bret’s first big test as a singles wrestler to his last hooray as a member of the legendary Hart Foundation tag team alongside Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart. On a night where they dropped the WWF’s World Tag Team straps to The Nasty Boys at WrestleMania, they decided to put on a pretty good performance on their way out. The challengers injured Bret’s back early on and went to work on it throughout the rest of the bout, while Bret fought from underneath and sold like a champ. The Nasty Boys stole the belts with the classic Jimmy Hart megaphone finish on Anvil, putting an end to one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history in the process. (Rating: ***1/2)

3) The Rockers vs. The Orient Express (Royal Rumble)
IMG credit: WWE & ringthedamnbell.wordpress.com

If one ever talks about a fast-paced, exciting, innovative tag team match that was very much ahead of its time, a picture of the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1991 opener should pop up. The Rockers and The Orient Express were given nearly twenty minutes to kick off the event, and delivered a spectacular match full of impressive spots, reversals and nearfalls in front of a really hot crowd that loved absolutely everything they did. The finish was a great example of that, with Kato slingshotting Marty Jannetty right into… an inside cradle on Tanaka to steal the win. If you’ve never seen this one, it definitely deserves a look. (Rating: ****)

2) Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart – WWF Intercontinental Championship (SummerSlam)
IMG credit: WWE & hammyreviews.wordpress.com

When fans or even younger wrestlers from this generation admit they have a soft spot for the Intercontinental Championship, it’s because of matches like this one and because of title holders like the two involved in it. Bret was in the midst of his first big singles break, as already mentioned in previous entries, while Mr. Perfect had spent most of the previous year (apart from a relatively brief Kerry Von Erich reign) being one of the greatest IC Champions of all time and putting on brilliant performances after another. Unfortunately, he broke his back shortly before this match and was on his way out for an extended period of time, but he still had enough gas left in the tank to put ‘The Hitman’ over in what was a true all-timer of a match at SummerSlam. Bret Hart didn’t allow Perfect to get the upper hand by pulling hair or any other kind of cheating like he normally did, always responding in the same manner before finishing Perfect with a creative Sharpshooter to capture his first singles title in Madison Square Garden. (Rating: ****1/2)

1) The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage – Retirement Match (WrestleMania VII)
IMG credit: WWE & wrestling.pt

Finally, here is the very best match of the company (and overall) throughout the whole year, at least in one man’s opinion. I understand and respect if you appreciate the technical masterpiece between Perfect and Bret, for example, over a more story-driven match such as this one, but this match is just way too special. The match is full of great moments and told a brilliant story from bell to bell, from Sensational Sherri constantly interfering in order to try and prevent her meal ticket from having to retire, to the famous dramatic spot that saw Warrior kickout of five Macho Elbows, to Sherri beating up Savage once he’d lost and meant nothing to her anymore, to the chilling post-match angle between Savage and Miss Elizabeth which saw the former go from the most hated heel in wrestling to the most beloved star in five minutes. It’s absolutely amazing, and the winner of the SmarkDown awards for best match of 1991. (Rating: *****)

TOP 5 WCW MATCHES

5) The Steiners vs. Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase – IWGP World Tag Team Championship (Clash of the Champions #15 June 12th)
IMG credit: WWE

We’re kicking off the list over on the WCW side with a bang, which is exactly the best word to describe this absolute tussle! The Steiners defended the IWGP Tag Team straps against Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase and the four guys decided to just beat the living shit out of each other and see who could hit harder for fun. At one point, Chono kicked Rick Steiner so hard that he literally broke Rick’s head gear in half! The Steiners obviously responded with their signature violent suplexes and Steinerlines, before Scott finished Hase with the Frankensteiner. A hidden gem that is truly worthy of eight minutes of your time. (Rating: ***3/4)

4) The Steiners vs. Sting & Lex Luger – WCW World Tag Team Championship (SuperBrawl)
IMG credit: WWE & sportskeeda.com

Babyface versus babyface matches tend to be a massive pain in the ass more often than not, both for the audience as well as those working them. It’s easy to understand why, as the crowd will feel divided and uncertain on who to support, thus creating a very weird scenario for everyone involved. This is a rare example in which that wasn’t the case. Four of the most popular babyfaces in WCW at the time went at it over the Steiners’ World Tag Team Title, and started off slow as a sign of mutual respect. That was until Sting questioned a blind tag by the Steiners that he missed (which actually happened), at which point the friendship was thrown out the window and added a lot of drama to the match, with the four wrestlers exchanging some great sequences and reversals to their big moves before Nikita Koloff got involved in the finish. Another great match from The Steiners in 1991. (Rating: ****)

3) Arn Anderson vs. Bobby Eaton – WCW World Television Championship (SuperBrawl)
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com

One of the “lost arts” that lapsed fans always bring up that is missing in modern wrestling is solid in-ring psychology. Many people actually don’t undertand what that really means, and this match is a perfect explanation actually. ‘The Enforcer’ saw an opportunity to take advantage when he rammed Bobby Eaton’s leg into the post early on, and smartly spent the rest of the bout targeting said injured body part. Bobby tried numerous times to make his valiant comeback, but his leg gave out every single time and allowed Arn to stay in control. Even when Eaton blocked a flying splash with his knees, it hurt him more than it did Arn in a brilliant touch. It wasn’t until he reversed another one by using a punch that he was able to make his big comeback, capturing Arn’s TV Title with the Alabama Jam after a terrific encounter. (Rating: ****1/4)

2) WarGames (WrestleWar)
IMG credit: WWE & upprox.com

This can’t be shocking, right? Nine out of ten WarGames are going to be freaking awesome, and 1991’s wasn’t the rare exception. The match was designed to get the big monster Sid Vicious over, with all the big spots involving him, including the finish. However, it was the exciting Brian Pillman that stole the show, showing incredible babyface fire by fighting all Horsemen members despite coming in with an injury. The finish of El Gigante throwing the towel after Sid botched the powerbomb that caused Pillman to land on his neck wasn’t exactly the best, but pretty much everything else in this match absolutely rocked. (Rating: ****1/2)

1) The Enforcers vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes – WCW World Tag Team Championship (Clash of the Champions #17 November 19th)
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter

When Ric Flair left for the WWF earlier in the summer, a massive void was left in the main-event scene of the Atlanta-based organization. The company was in desperate need of established big names, and that’s when Ricky Steamboat jumped ship after a really weird WWF run where he was simply called “The Dragon” and all of his status as a wrestling legend in the past was erased. Nah, really. The former NWA World Heavyweight Champion made his return at the 17th edition of Clash of the Champions, replacing the injured Barry Windham as the partner of the young Dustin Rhodes to challenge the Enforcers (Anderson & Zbyszko) for the World Tag Team straps. You could feel the relief in the crowd once Steamboat was announced, and the energy in the arena was off the charts. The moment was incredible, but the kickass match that they delivered was equally great, before Steamboat & Rhodes’ title win nearly took the roof off the arena in Savannah, Georgia. You should ABSOLUTELY give it a look, and it stands as the winner of the SmarkDown awards for the best WCW match of 1991! (Rating: ****1/2)

TOP 5 MATCHES OVERALL

5) Arn Anderson vs. Bobby Eaton – WCW World Television Championship (WCW SuperBrawl)
Esta imagem tem um texto alternativo em branco, o nome da imagem é image-34.jpeg
IMG credit: WWE & culturecrossfire.com
4) WarGames (WCW WrestleWar)
Esta imagem tem um texto alternativo em branco, o nome da imagem é image.jpeg
IMG credit: WWE & upprox.com
3) The Enforcers vs. Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes – WCW World Tag Team Championship (WCW Clash of the Champions #17 November 19th)
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter
2) Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart – WWF Intercontinental Championship (WWF SummerSlam)
IMG credit: WWE & hammyreviews.wordpress.com
1) The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage – Retirement Match (WWF WrestleMania VII)
IMG credit: WWE & wrestling.pt

TOP 10 WWF WRESTLERS OF THE YEAR

Note: this is based on my point system used throughout each and every show of the year

10) Ted DiBiase (18.5 points)
Every WWE Championship And The Match That Defined It – Page 3
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture
  • Position in 1990: 5th (-5)

The reliable ‘Million Dollar Man’ had a memorable 1991, which he spent mostly feuding with his former bodyguard, Virgil. The two kicked off their program at the Royal Rumble after a win over the departing Dusty & Dustin Rhodes, and would go on to wrestle each other in singles matches at both WrestleMania and SummerSlam. The veteran was mostly used to get over younger wrestlers in 1991, such as Virgil and Bret Hart, as we saw in the match that made it to the list of top WWF matches. Another highlight of Ted’s year was the addition of Sensational Sherri after WrestleMania, which added a lot to the act.

  • DiBiase’s best WWF match in 1991: Vs. Bret Hart (SNME April 27th)
9) Shawn Michaels (18.75 points)
Shawn Michaels
IMG credit: WWE & angelfire.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

Rocker Shawn Michaels makes his first appearance on our list after a fantastic breakout year alongside his partner Marty Jannetty. They kicked off the year with an absolute banger against The Orient Express at the Royal Rumble, followed by a very good match with Haku & The Barbarian at WrestleMania VII. They were less featured in the second half of the year, until the split was first teased during their Survivor Series elimination match in November. Michaels spent most of the year working tag team matches, but he also had a number of great individual showings against established stars such as Mr. Perfect and even Ric Flair, in which he proved he had everything to be a future big time player himself. The future ‘Heartbreak Kid’ sits atop his fellow rocker Jannetty with a 1 point difference, which really are just a couple of pins that Shawn earned in tag matches.

  • Michaels’ best WWF match in 1991: W/ Marty vs. Orient Express (Royal Rumble)
8) Hawk & Animal (tied at 19.6 points)
IMG credit: WWE & denofgeek.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

Here we have a rare situation of two wrestlers tied in the same position, with said wrestlers being the legendary tag team of the Road Warriors, the reigning WWF World Tag Team Champions at the end of 1991. The dominant duo spent their year kicking ass and taking people’s heads off with the dreaded Doomsday Device, with the highlights being a very quick win over Power & Glory at WrestleMania, a dominant win over the Orient Express at The Main Event and, most importantly, defeating The Nasty Boys in a street fight at SummerSlam to capture the WWF Tag Team belts.

  • LOD’s best WWF match in 1991: Vs. The Orient Express (The Main Event V)
7) Nasty Boy Brian Knobbs (20 points)
IMG credit: WWE & wrestlinginc.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

This might come as a surprise to most people. However, the truth is the Nasty Boys had a pretty strong 1991, including a run with the WWF Tag Team Championship. They achieved that after defeating the Hart Foundation in a very good match (that was already discussed) at WrestleMania, retained over established WWF teams such as the Bushwhackers before entering a feud with Legion of Doom, whom they would drop the belts to in a street fight at SummerSlam. Knobbs stands out above Sags because he participated in the Royal Rumble match in January, and actually made it to the final four, while Sags competed in a dark match before the show that night.

  • Knobbs’ best WWF match in 1991: W/ Sags vs. Hart Foundation (WrestleMania VII)
6) The British Bulldog (22.35 points)
IMG credit: WWE & calgarysun.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

After his run alongside Dynamite Kid as the British Bulldogs in the 1980s, Davey Boy Smith made his return to the WWF in the beginning of 1991, now as a singles powerhouse wrestler. The British Bulldog was given the difficult task of feuding with The Warlord throughout the entire year, working with him at every single WWF PPV of 1991(!), and Davey Boy made it work in spite of Warlord’s limitations. Their meeting at WrestleMania exceeded all expectations and then some, and while their other matches didn’t quite reach that level, they were still all perfectly watchable thanks to Davey Boy. The fact that Bulldog nearly made it to the top five while working with Warlord throughout the whole year shows how good he was, and that he is truly deserving of the spot.

  • Bulldog’s best WWF match in 1991: Vs. The Warlord (WrestleMania VII)
5) Randy Savage (23.25 points)
IMG credit: WWE & jivesoulbros.wordpress.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

‘How in the hell can a man that was retired and out of action for most of the year make it to the top 5 of the WWF?’ That is a very legitimate question, but you just have to expect things like this from the amazing Randy Savage. He was in the match that won the awards for #1 match of the year of both the WWF and overall, which earned him a lot of extra points (as mentioned earlier), and gave him such a boost. Savage started off the year as the arrogant ‘macho king’, alongside his sensational queen Sherri, until his loss to The Ultimate Warrior in the retirement match at WrestleMania humbled him and turned him back into the ‘macho man’. Savage did commentary alongside Vince McMahon and Roddy Piper on television while he was away, until the evil Jake Roberts started a program with him and the fans asked for his reinstatement. That finally happened in November, and the two would have a fantastic feud that saw Roberts’ cobra infamously bite Savage in the arm on TV, before the two wrestled at This Tuesday in Texas in December. He might’ve been away from the ropes for most of the year, but he showed he’s one of the best ever in the few times he did step inside them in 1991.

  • Savage’s best WWF match in 1991: Vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VII)
4) The Ultimate Warrior (24.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & pwmania.com
  • Position in 1990: 1st (-3)

The Ultimate Warrior had a pretty crazy 1991, a year that perfectly encapsulates his career. He entered the year as the reigning WWF Champion, put his career on the line against Randy Savage at WrestleMania and won, and then just as he was entering a promising feud with The Undertaker and Jake Roberts… he was gone. Just like that, puff. Much like Savage in the previous entry, being in the top match of both the WWF and overall lists gave him a huge boost in points, as Warrior only worked up until SummerSlam. The highlight of his year is obviously the Savage feud and match, with him famously walking towards the ring instead of running, saving his energy for what was the most important match of his life.

  • Warrior’s best WWF match in 1991: Vs. Randy Savage (WrestleMania VII)
3) Mr. Perfect (28.85 points)
IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.cl
  • Position in 1990: 7th (+4)

Much like The Ultimate Warrior, Curt Hennig only worked up until SummerSlam, but due to completely different circumstances – a severe back injury. Up until that, Mr. Perfect was on fire as the WWF Intercontinental Champion, with incredible performances against the likes of Big Bossman at WrestleMania, winning a battle royal (in which he was obviously the MVP) at the only Saturday Night’s Main Event of that year, in televised matches against the likes of Shawn Michaels and, most notably, in his final match in over a year against Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart at SummerSlam. Curt stands to this very day as arguably the greatest IC Champion, and that’s mostly due to his work in this particular year. He was off for the final four months and he still picks up the bronze, so imagine what could’ve been had the injury never happened! This guy was always a joy to watch, and this spot is much, much deserved.

  • Perfect’s best match in 1991: Vs. Bret Hart (SummerSlam)
2) Hulk Hogan (32.1 points)
Ask 411 Wrestling: What is Hulk Hogan's Longest Singles Match? | 411MANIA
IMG credit: WWE & 411mania.com
  • Position in 1990: 2nd (same spot)

Hulk Hogan’s 1991 wasn’t exactly the most interesting compared to some others wrestlers already mentioned, but his constant presence in main-events, his win/loss record and his multiple title wins allows him to be here. As well as the Royal Rumble victory, which was his second in a row. He kicked off the year still (sort of) feuding with Earthquake, before he stood up as the American hero against the WWF Champion, Sgt. Slaughter, heading into WrestleMania. Their feud continued all the way until SummerSlam, after which Hogan started a program with the young Undertaker. A possible future big match with the ‘real world champion’ Ric Flair was constantly teased throughout the fall as well, but we know where that is going…

  • Hogan’s best match in 1991: Vs. Ric Flair (MSG November 30th)
1) Bret Hart (37.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & lastwordonsports.com
  • Position in 1990: 3rd (+2)

No one can tell for sure if this would’ve been the case had Mr. Perfect stayed healthy and active the whole year, but Bret Hart secures the award for WWF’s top wrestler of 1991 regardless, according to my point system throughout the whole year. Bret kicked off the year as one half of the World Tag Team Champions as a member of the Hart Foundation, and closed it as the reigning Intercontinental Champion. His highlights along the way include the match with the Nasty Boys at WrestleMania, the hidden gem at SNME against Ted DiBiase, and above all else the IC Title classic with Mr. Perfect at SummerSlam. 1991 was a big test for ‘The Hitman’ and his true breakout year as a singles worker, and the results are reflected with his presence in our awards: #1 WWF wrestler, and in 3 out of the top 5 best WWF matches (#5, #4 and #2), with the Mr. Perfect match also securing the #2 spot in the overall list. Unquestionably Bret proved he could hang with the big boys in the top spots, and we’ll get to see more of him in years to come. Let’s see if he can keep this spot in 1992!

  • Bret’s best match in 1991: Vs. Mr. Perfect (SummerSlam)

TOP 10 WCW WRESTLERS

10) Bobby Eaton (28.75 points)
  • Position in 1990: 5th (-5)

Much like the ‘Million Dollar Man’ over on the WWF list, we have a fellow veteran kicking off the top 10 WCW wrestlers list. And much like DiBiase, Eaton drops five places after securing the 5th place in the 1990 list. The late great ‘Beautiful’ Bobby is mostly known as a legend of tag team wrestling, most notably as a member of the awesome Midnight Express. However, Eaton spent the whole year of 1991 as a singles wrestler, briefly holding the Television Championship as a transitional champion from Arn Anderson to a young bluechipper by the name of ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin. He finished the year back on the heel side of the locker room, alongside the likes of the aforementioned Steve Austin and Rick Rude as a member of Paul E. Dangerously’s Dangerous Alliance.

  • Eaton’s best WCW match in 1991: Vs. Arn Anderson (SuperBrawl)
9) Flyin’ Brian Pillman (32.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & fightgamemedia.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

Here’s a man who is a very strong contender for breakout star of the year, at least over on the WCW side. The highly charismatic and exciting Brian Pillman started the year by being the MVP of the WarGames match, in a field that featured talents such as Ric Flair, Sting or Arn Anderson! He continued to impress throughout the spring and summer, with many good-to-great match against Barry Windham or the Freebirds’ Badstreet, before becoming the company’s inaugural Light Heavyweight Champion at Halloween Havoc. The future sure looked bright for the young Flyin’ Brian.

  • Pillman’s best WCW match in 1991: WarGames (WrestleWar)
8) Ric Flair (33 points)
IMG credit: WWE & bleacherreport.com
  • Position in 1990: 1st (-7)

1991 was certainly a different year for the two biggest professional wrestling companies in North America, and a major part of that had to do with Ric Flair, one of (if not the) most iconic World Heavyweight Champions in WCW/NWA history, switching sides for the WWF. That explains his big drop on the list, going from WCW’s top dog in 1990 (and #2 overall) to the 8th position in 1991. That being said, it’s still impressive that Flair is even on the list, considering he only wrestled until early in the summer. Flair defeated Sting at a house show in January to win the belt, in the process also becoming the first ever official WCW Champion ever. Flair worked the WarGames in February before starting a feud with Tatsumi Fujinami, defeating him in a title-for-title affair at SuperBrawl. Other notable moments for Flair included rare title defenses on episodes of Clash against Scott Steiner and Bobby Eaton. That was all until, as you know, Flair left for the WWF over a disagreement with WCW management (they wanted to cut his hair and call him Spartacus, for fuck’s sake…) and debuted in McMahonland as the ‘real world champion’.

  • Flair’s best WCW match in 1991: WarGames (WrestleWar)
7) Rick Steiner (33.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & alchetron.com
  • Position in 1990: 3rd (-4)

The Steiners are one of my favorite tag teams of all time, and were by far the best in 1991. I mean, just look at the list of top matches, they appear in three of the top five WCW matches! All of those matches came during their reign as World Tag Team Champions in the first half of the year, with all of them being absolute kickass tussles. Their reign only ended when Scott suffered a serious injury in July, forcing the explosive duo to vacate their straps. Rick’s highlights of the year were the matches alongside his brother against Sting & Lex Luger at SuperBrawl, or against Masahiro Chono & Hiroshi Hase for the IWGP titles at Clash, a match that saw Rick literally get his head gear kicked in half!

  • Rick’s best WCW match in 1991: WarGames (WrestleWar)
6) Larry Zbyszko (34.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

Up until the summer, Zbyszko’s only appearance on the series had been as apart of the WarGames match in February, where he replaced his future tag team championship partner Arn Anderson due to injury. However, after Ric Flair’s departure and Barry Windham’s babyface turn, the enforcer was, hmm, enforced by Zbyszko! The two entered a tournament for the World Tag Team Titles that were vacated by the Steiners, and captured the gold by beating the unlikely duo of Rick Steiner and Bill Kazmaier in the final. They did their best to avoid a title match against the young Dustin Rhodes and former Horseman Barry Windham, going as far as breaking Barry’s arm to do so. The returning Ricky Steamboat would side with Rhodes to win the straps in WCW’s best match of the year in November, as the Enforcers dropped the gold in style.

  • Zbyszko’s best WCW match in 1991: W/ Arn vs. Steamboat & Dustin (Clash #17)
5) Dustin Rhodes (36.5 points)
IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

It’s really weird to think about this and it seems like ages ago already, but Dustin Rhodes actually started the year in the World Wrestling Federation. After he and his father lost to Ted DiBiase & Virgil in their last date at the Royal Rumble, they immediately went back to Atlanta. Dustin’s first few months in WCW didn’t exactly set the world on fire, with him scoring questionable singles wins on PPV over established veterans such as Terry Taylor and Buddy Landel, whilst not putting on the most solid performances in the world. The second half of the year was a completely different story, though, with Dustin being moved onto the tag team scene, scoring a reign as one third of the Six-Man World Tag Team Champions (that title didn’t last long) and, most notably, as the World Tag Champ alongside the iconic Ricky Steamboat. He was involved in the top WCW match of 1991, and put on a great singles match at Halloween Havoc too, in 15-minute broadway with Steve Austin over the TV Title.

  • Dustin’s best WCW match in 1991: W/ Steamboat vs. Enforcers (Clash #17)
4) Scott Steiner (38.75 points)
Scott Steiner vs Stunning Steve Austin For The WCW TV Title in 1991:  SquaredCircle
IMG credit: WWE & reddit.com
  • Position in 1990: 4th (same spot)

I’ve already mentioned everything there is to be said about the Steiners earlier in Rick’s entry, so I’ll focus a little bit more on Scott individually and mention why Scott is ahead of his brother on the list. Scott Steiner continued to be perhaps the most exciting wrestler to watch in both companies throughout the year, with the intense and physical style of his matches leaving the WCW fans in awe, especially when he delivered his amazing Frankensteiner! Scott is ahead of Rick because he had a World Title Match with Ric Flair at the first Clash of the Champions of the year, while Rick didn’t wrestle at all on that show and, also, qualified for the battlebowl in the main-event of StarrCade, while Rick did not.

  • Scott’s best WCW match in 1991: WarGames (WrestleWar)
3) Arn Anderson (39.75 points)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture
  • Position in 1990: not on the list (new entry)

In third place comes the man who I like to call pro wrestling’s ‘silent assassin’. He might not always be the most impressive, and he’s rarely in the big news coming off a show, but you can always count on consistent solid performances from him. And just like that, quietly, ‘The Enforcer’ secures a spot as WCW’s third best wrestler of the year. He spent most of the first half of the year as the Television Champion, putting on solid matches with challengers like Tom Zenk before dropping the strap to Bobby Eaton in a terrific match at SuperBrawl. He followed that up with the work in the tag division alongside Larry Zbyszko, which gave us that absolute classic against Dustin Rhodes and the returning Ricky Steamboat. Had Arn not been injured in February and worked the WarGames, he actually would’ve secured the top spot in both WCW and overall. See what I mean with the silent assassin line!

  • Arn’s best WCW match in 1991: W/ Zbyszko vs. Steamboat & Dustin (Clash #17)
2) Sting (40 points)
IMG credit: WWE & thesportster.com
  • Position in 1990: 9th (+7)

Sting climbs seven spots compared to 1990, due to his serious injury suffered early that year before his World Title reign. Sting dropped the gold back to Ric Flair at a house show in January, immediately moving on to other things. That included competing at WarGames, challenging for the Steiners’ World Tag straps alongside Lex Luger in a brilliant match, briefly feuding with the returning Nikita Koloff, and a brief US Title run that saw him feud with the Dangerous Alliance, dropping the gold to Rick Rude in November before winning battlebowl at StarrCade. It was a different year for the Stinger, and it was definitely much better than that weird feud with The Black Scorpion the prior year.

  • Sting’s best WCW match in 1991: WarGames (WrestleWar)
1) Lex Luger (42.25 points)
IMG credit: WWE & f4wonline.com

I often mention in my reviews how people often don’t give Lex Luger credit, probably because they are only more familiar with his work later in his career. Luger in his first WCW run, however, was a fantastic worker and here’s the proof: the winner of the SmarkDown awards for wrestler of the year. And that’s not just in WCW, but also including the WWF as well, scoring more points than names such as Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Sting and literally everyone else. Luger started the year as a popular babyface and the reigning United States Champion, with a PPV match against Danny Spivey that exceeded everyone’s expectations and then some. After putting on his best match that year in the aforemention Tag Title match alongside Sting at SuperBrawl, Luger climbed onto the main event scene as the heel World Champion, with the legendary Harley Race by his side. Luger delivered the goods in his title match against Ron Simmons at Halloween Havoc, before putting Sting over in the battlebowl’s dramatic finale at StarrCade. It was a very strong year for the ‘Total Package’, who finishes the year as the reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion and as the winner of the SmarkDown award for wrestler of the year.

  • Luger’s best WCW match in 1991: W/ Sting vs. Steiners (SuperBrawl)

TOP 10 WRESTLERS OVERALL

10) Flyin’ Brian Pillman – 32.5 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & fightgamemedia.com
9) Rick Steiner – 33.5 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & alchetron.com
8) Larry Zbyszko – 34.75 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & Twitter
7) Bret Hart – 37.5 points (WWF)
IMG credit: WWE & lastwordonsports.com
6) Ric Flair – 37.5 points (WCW/WWF)
IMG credit: WWE & totalwrestlinghistory.wordpress.com
5) Dustin Rhodes – 37.5 points (WWF/WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & pinterest.com
4) Scott Steiner – 38.75 points (WCW)
Scott Steiner vs Stunning Steve Austin For The WCW TV Title in 1991:  SquaredCircle
IMG credit: WWE & reddit.com
3) Arn Anderson – 39.75 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture
2) Sting – 40 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & thesportster.com
1) Lex Luger – 42.25 points (WCW)
IMG credit: WWE & f4wonline.com

PPV BUYRATES & TV RATINGS

WWF

Pay Per Views

Royal Rumble (Jan. 19th) – 440.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Royal Rumble Match; The Ultimate Warrior(c) vs. Sgt. Slaughter for the WWF Championship)

WrestleMania VII (March 24th) – 400.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Sgt. Slaughter(c) vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship; The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage in a retirement match)

SummerSlam (Aug. 26th) – 405.000 PPV buys (main attractions: “match made in heaven”; “match made in hell”; Mr. Perfect(c) vs. Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Championship)

Survivor Series (Nov. 27th) – 300.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Hulk Hogan(c) vs. The Undertaker for the WWF Championship; Flair’s team vs. Piper’s team)

This Tuesday in Texas (Dec. 3rd) – 140.000 PPV buys (main attractions: The Undertaker(c) vs. Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship; Randy Savage’s return to wrestling vs. Jake Roberts)

TV specials

The Main Event V (Feb. 1st) – 6.7 TV rating (main attractions: Jack Tunney announces the number one contender for the WWF Title at WrestleMania; Sgt. Slaughter(c) vs. Jim Duggan for the WWF Championship)

Saturday Night’s Main Event (April 27th) – 7.7 TV rating (main attractions: battle royal; The Ultimate Warrior vs. Sgt. Slaughter in a rematch from Royal Rumble; Ted DiBiase vs. Bret Hart)

WCW

Pay Per Views

WrestleWar (Feb. 24th) – 160.000 PPV buys (main attractions: WarGames; Lex Luger(c) vs. Danny Spivey for the US Championship; Big Van Vader returns to WCW vs. Stan Hansen)

SuperBrawl (May 19th) – 150.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami in a title for title match; The Steiners(c) vs. Sting & Lex Luger for the World Tag Team Championship)

The Great American Bash (July 14th) – 145.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Lex Luger vs. Barry Windham in a steel cage match for the vacant WCW Championship; Sting vs. Nikita Koloff in a russian chain match; scaffold match)

Halloween Havoc (Oct. 27th) – 120.000 PPV buys (main attractions: Lex Luger(c) vs. Ron Simmons 2/3 falls for the WCW Championship; chamber of horrors match; ‘WCW Phantom’ mystery)

StarrCade (Dec. 29th) – 155.000 PPV buys (main attractions: battlebowl battle royal; lethal lottery tag matches)

TV specials

Clash of the Champions XIV (Jan. 30th) – 3.9 TV rating (main attractions: Ric Flair(c) vs. Scott Steiner for the WCW Championship; Doom(c) vs. Sting & Lex Luger for the World Tag Team Championship)

Clash of the Champions XV (June 12th) – 3.9 TV rating (main attractions: Ric Flair(c) vs. Bobby Eaton 2/3 falls for the WCW Championship; Sting vs. Nikita Koloff)

Clash of the Champions XVI (Sept. 5th) – 3.7 TV rating (main attractions: Lex Luger & Ron Simmons’ contract signing for Halloween Havoc; Sting(c) vs. Johnny B. Badd for the US Championship; The Enforcers vs. Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmaier for the vacant World Tag Team Championship)

Clash of the Champions XVII (Nov. 19th) – 4.3 TV rating (main attractions: Lex Luger(c) vs. Rick Steiner for the WCW Championship; Sting(c) vs. Rick Rude for the US Championship)

COMMENT SECTION

And what about you? What is your opinion on the year of 1991 for WCW and the WWF? Use the following feedback form to share it!

And that’s it, we’re now officially turning the page from 1991 into 1992 here on SmarkDown. Make sure you keep tuning in and don’t miss any review, starting with the WWF’s Royal Rumble. Thanks for reading and for your constant support. See you soon!