10 tournaments that stood out

The Wrestling Classic

Contrary to popular belief, the first sports-entertainment pay-per-view was not WrestleMania but rather The Wrestling Classic, a November 1985 event whose centerpiece was a 16-Superstar tournament. The unique event provided a glimpse into rare matchups between black hats (Terry Funk vs. Moondog Spot) and fan favorites (Ricky Steamboat vs. Davey Boy Smith) that wouldn’t have occurred had it not been for the luck of the draw. Elsewhere, Dynamite Kid, predominantly a tag team competitor, impressed all with a run to the semifinals.

Junkyard Dog eventually took home the honors, defeating Randy Savage, but his victory was not without controversy. Unlike “Macho Man,” who wrestled four separate contests that evening, JYD received a bye in the semifinals, prompting color commentator Jesse Ventura to launch into a vehement protest. After JYD, the night’s biggest winner had to be Michael Hamley, a WWE fan who scored a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III in a related sweepstake.