The best thing one can have said about them in the wrestling industry is that they’re one of the greats. An industry based off the scripting of the results and promoters deciding who gets pushed to become champions or main eventers makes it difficult to achieve said greatness. However, the lucky ones to get the important accolades are typically the ones fans want to see. That gives an incentive for the performer to work toward earning the fans’ respect in becoming the best at their craft. There are many former champs and superstars, but very few can say they made history in the record books.
Wrestling fans pay attention to every detail of the show and remember just about everything that happens in a historical sense. The rise of the internet and WWE’s growth as a brand has given more reason to dig into the history of the promotion. CM Punk’s one-year-plus reign as WWE Champion was the first time many fans realized the longer reigns of the past era. The Divas Revolution may have sparked an interest in learning about how long The Fabulous Moolah held the title. Of course, there are wacky records too, like matches or losses in fast time.
We’ll go across the board and look at all aspects of the history of pro wrestling when it comes to records. Some are very surprising and seem impossible to believe, given the various changes that have taken place over the years. The best and worst will be discussed, taking a glance at just how impressive some of these feats are and pondering if they will ever be topped. Maybe you will appreciate some of these performers a little more or learn something about the past legends of the industry, but hopefully it just highlights how important some of these are. Without further ado, here are the top fifteen wrestling records that will shock you.
15. Kane: 44 total Royal Rumble Eliminations
The Royal Rumble is the most exciting show of the year and Kane has been a pivotal part of it for the past two decades. Kane has never actually won a Royal Rumble match, but he’s been among the most dominant participants. The Big Red Machine has a total of 44 eliminations in the history of the Rumble match, including Drew Carey. The next closest person in the record books is Shawn Michaels at 39 eliminations. Roman Reigns is the only person on the active roster with a realistic chance to top it, but he’s only halfway there at 23. Kane may have another Rumble match or two in him and he’ll always be associated with the annual battle royal.
14. Goldberg: 173-0 Record
Bill Goldberg’s push as an undefeated phenomenon for WCW created one of the best win-loss records of all time. WCW protected him from day one and presented him perfectly for fans to organically get behind him. Goldberg went without a loss for over two years before falling to Kevin Nash at Starrcade 1998. Many wrestling promotions have tried to duplicate the Goldberg streak in recent years and it always fails. Ryback in WWE and Crimson in TNA were two of the unfortunate stories. Goldberg had the benefit of the perfect timing and the ideal environment for his undefeated streak to reach new highs.
13. The Dudleyz: 23 Tag Title Reigns
The Dudleyz are the most decorated tag team in wrestling history due to racking up gold in almost every major wrestling promotion. Bubba Ray and Devon started their careers in ECW with eight tag title runs before getting signed by WWE. Vince McMahon made a great decision bringing them in as the duo racked up ten tag title reigns, including the WCW gold during the Invasion storyline. The Dudleyz would win titles in TNA and New Japan in their decade away from WWE. It totals up to 23 tag title reigns in the biggest wrestling promotions of past the 20+ years.
12. WrestleMania 32: 101,763 Fans in Attendance
One of the recent instances of a new impressive feat in wrestling was the record-setting crowd at WrestleMania 32. WWE packed 101,763 fans into the AT&T Stadium in Dallas for the biggest crowd in North American wrestling history. The card left a lot to be desired with many stars injured and lackluster matches, but the attendance was a resounding success. Given the amount of seats needed in a venue, it is unlikely WWE will ever break this record unless they can add more people to another WrestleMania event in Dallas. The goal was breaking 100,000+ for the first time when agreeing to run WrestleMania in AT&T Stadium and they achieved it.
11. Santino Marella: Lasted 1 Second in Royal Rumble
An embarrassing record to have is the shortest time spent in a Royal Rumble match, and Santino Marella has the dishonor of holding it at just one second. The 2009 event featured Santino getting tossed out instantly as he entered the ring by Kane. Marella was portraying a comedic heel and it actually made perfect sense for him to set the record this way. The concept of time makes it impossible for anyone to pass Marella’s record, but it may very well be tied one day. Santino has a great library of humorous moments, but the Rumble elimination will always be the most infamous one.
10. Rey Mysterio: 1 hour, 2 minutes in Royal Rumble
The opposite spectrum of the Royal Rumble featured Rey Mysterio setting an impressive record for most time spent in the Rumble. Mysterio pulled off the ultimate underdog victory by winning the 2006 Royal Rumble entering in the second slot. That meant he was required to last the entire match by staying in the ring for over 1 hour and 2 minutes. Mysterio eliminated Triple H and Randy Orton at the end to win and get a World Championship title shot at WrestleMania 22. The record is one to be proud of and showed Mysterio’s endurance as one of the best wrestlers of his time.
9. Chris Jericho and Jerry Lawler vs. Tazz and Naked Mideon: 3 Second Match
The fastest match in WWE history took place on an episode of Raw pitting Chris Jericho and Jerry Lawler against the bizarre team of Tazz and Naked Mideon. Tazz and Lawler were feuding at the time and the villainous Tazz was humiliated to be randomly paired with Naked Mideon as his partner. The hijinks of course led to Tazz getting upset and Lawler rolling him up when the bell rung to score the pin fall victory in a total of three seconds. A match ending within seconds is intended to be comedic and that was once again the case here. Tazz’s comeuppance provided a great laugh in the shortest match possible.
8. Demolition: 478-Day Tag Title Reign
Any 80s wrestling fan has great memories of Demolition. Between the unique look rocking face paint and the awesome entrance theme, Ax and Smash left an impact in the tag team history of WWE. The most important facet of their time in WWE featured the longest tag title reign ever in the company. Demolition defeated Strike Force to capture the titles and would hold them for 478 days. The long reign is something we will likely never see topped. The New Day are the current champs and have held it for 300+ days, but you can feel the reigning nearing an end before they can top Demolition’s record.
7. Honky Tonk Man: 454-Day Intercontinental Championship Reign
The Honky Tonk Man was never accused of being the most athletic performer, but he somehow found a way to become the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. The title reign lasted 454 days following the title win over Ricky Steamboat. Honky Tonk finally lost the Intercontinental Championship to Ultimate Warrior after a year and change of talking trash as the comedic heel champ. The record has lasted the test of time for almost thirty years now and it is hard to envision someone topping him in this generation of shorter title runs. Honky Tonk still brags about the record at local independent wrestling shows and conventions.
6. Bruno Sammartino: 4,040 Total Days As WWE Champion
Bruno Sammartino was the first huge star for WWE and it showed with his lengthy title reigns as the World Champion. Sammartino only held the title on two occasions, but it accumulated to a total of 4,040 days. The first title reign was a historic 2,803 days lasting almost eight years and he followed it up with a reign of 1,237 days. Sammartino’s record will never be matched. To put it in perspective, John Cena’s twelve reigns as WWE Champion have accumulated about one-fourth as many days as Sammartino’s time holding the strap. These astounding numbers will never be topped and it will be shocking if anyone can match half of it. The times have changed, but the accomplishment of Bruno will not get lost in translation.
5. The Fabulous Moolah: 28 Years As Women’s Champion
The Fabulous Moolah will always be in the discussion of breaking down the greatest female wrestlers of all time. Her greatest achievement is having a 28-year reign as the first ever WWE Women’s Champion. Moolah won the title in 1956 and held it for a total of 10,170 days before losing it to Wendi Richter in 1984. There are some reports that the title changed hands at various live events, but it was never recognized. Moolah is definitely going to live on in the history books as there’s no possible way anyone will match or top this record. It’s hard to find female wrestlers that perform in the ring for 28 years, let alone hold a title that long.
4. Kane: 1500+ WWE Matches
Kane is on the list for a second time in an even more impressive record than his Royal Rumble success. WWE has showcased Kane on television consistently for nearly twenty years and it made him the most active in-ring performer in company history. Kane has wrestled 1,555 matches as of this writing and is only adding to the total as his career continues. Unlike many other veterans, Kane still enjoys working house shows and every TV show he is needed on. Big Show, John Cena, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston are the only other active performers currently at 1,000+ matches. Ziggler and Kingston have a chance to break Kane’s record, but it is unlikely.
3. Dr. Death: 10 Years Undefeated
The undefeated streak of “Dr. Death” Steve Williams is one that very few wrestling fans are aware actually happened. Williams was as tough as anyone in the business and presented himself as a legitimate badass from day one. Dr. Death went fifteen years without taking a loss in All-Japan Pro Wrestling and various other promotions all over the world. The first pin fall defeated in that time frame came after fifteen years to Raven of all people in ECW. Williams did the job cleanly to put over ECW’s top star, but it wasn’t the scenario you would expect such a streak to end in. I guess that’s why most are shocked to find out about how long he went unpinned.
2. Andre the Giant: 15 Years Undefeated
WWE always celebrates the legacy of Andre the Giant and has good reason to do so due to how successful he was. Andre was the most successful big man of all time and that was partially thanks to having a fifteen-year-long undefeated streak. WrestleMania 3 delivered massive success and could be argued as the most important show in WWE history. The main event featured Hulk Hogan finally being the one to defeat Andre by pin fall in front of 80,000 fans. This was the best way a long undefeated has ended in pro wrestling, but it never would have meant anything if Andre didn’t have a strong run in such a long time period.
1. Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan WrestleMania 3: 33 Million Viewers
Most fans would guess an episode of Raw with Steve Austin or an episode of Nitro with the New World Order was the most watched wrestling show, but that’s not accurate. Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant having their highly anticipated WrestleMania 3 rematch on NBC for The Main Event special. The telecast brought in a record 33 million viewers for a 15.2 television rating. This was almost double the rating Raw and Nitro would get during the legendary Monday Night Wars. Hogan and Andre set a television record that we will never see matched. WWE can have another boom period, but it is impossible to get that many people to watch a wrestling television show again.