WWE History: 7 greatest babyface rivalries

Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle
Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle

Last week on Monday Night Raw, we saw AJ Styles win two successive matches to bag an opportunity to face WWE Universal Champion, Seth Rollins, at Money in the Bank.

The WWE Universe didn't see this match coming, as Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles was a WrestleMania caliber rivalry, and no one expected it to kick-off this soon. Nevertheless, we are bound to get The Phenomenal One vs The Beastslayer at the upcoming PPV.

Tonight on Monday Night Raw, the two Superstars faced off, and the crowd actually showered mild boos on AJ Styles! For years now, AJ Styles has been one of the biggest babyfaces on SmackDown Live, but it seems like the WWE Universe loves Rollins a tad bit more than AJ!

The booing aside, both Superstars are babyfaces at the moment, contrary to what we are used to witnessing in a WWE ring. Let's delve into the past and take a look at seven of the greatest babyface rivalries in WWE history.

Also read: 5 storylines WWE abruptly canceled

#7 Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles

Rollins and Styles
Rollins and Styles

The only reason why Seth Rollins and AJ Styles takes the last spot in the list is that the feud has just kicked off. Although the WWE Universe is aware of the fact that this rivalry is going to lead to a bunch of memorable moments and matches, it still has a long way to go in terms of becoming one of the top rivalries of all time.


This encounter has been touted by many as a dream match, with both being possibly the two best wrestlers in the promotion today. If WWE plays its cards right, the rivalry could go on to headline multiple PPVs, including The Biggest Party of the Summer, SummerSlam 2019.

#6 The Undertaker vs Triple H

End of an Era
End of an Era

Although these two Superstars met at WrestleMania 17 in 2001, Triple H was a heel back then. The Game came back to WWE from a short hiatus in 2011, to interrupt The Undertaker and challenge him to a match at WrestleMania 27.

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The bout was your usual classic Undertaker showcase, with The Phenom emerging victorious in the end. It wasn't the end of this rivalry though, as Triple H came back the next year to ask for a final shot at the streak.

The stakes couldn't have been higher, as The Undertaker met Triple H inside Hell in a Cell, with Shawn Michaels acting as the special guest referee.

The match was an incredible display of storytelling, with The Undertaker surviving a Sweet Chin Music and a Pedigree to extend his streak to 20-0.

#5 Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle

Lesnar and Angle at WrestleMania 19
Lesnar and Angle at WrestleMania 19

This rivalry was the highlight of SmackDown for almost the entirety of 2003. This was when Monday Night Raw was home to Triple H's "reign of terror", and SmackDown was the show to watch.

The two Superstars acted as both babyfaces and heels at different points during the rivalry, but there was a period during the summer when both wrestlers had become the best of friends. Lesnar had beaten Angle at WrestleMania 19, and the two Superstars had hugged it out to end the show on a high note.

Also read: 5 WWE Superstars who forgot the script


Their newly formed friendship was the talk of the town, as WWE presented backstage vignettes showing Lesnar and Angle trying to one-up each other via light-hearted pranks. The duo was featured in a triple threat match at Vengeance 2003, with Big Show thrown into the mix.

The bout was contested for the WWE Title, with Angle winning back the championship. Lesnar and Angle's friendship became history on an episode of SmackDown when Lesnar betrayed Angle to join forces with Vince McMahon.

#4 The Undertaker vs Batista

A rivalry for the ages
A rivalry for the ages

Possibly the greatest Superstar in WrestleMania history, The Undertaker won the Royal Rumble match for the very first time in 2007, after eliminating Shawn Michaels in his hometown.

On an episode of Monday Night Raw, He came face to face with three champions: WWE Champion John Cena, World Heavyweight Champion Batista, and ECW World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley.

The Undertaker chose Batista and thus kicked off one of the greatest babyface rivalries of this century.

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The duo had a classic at WrestleMania 23, with The Undertaker securing the World Heavyweight Title. Their rematch at Backlash 2007, as well as on SmackDown, ended in a draw.

The Undertaker and Batista met again, months later at Cyber Sunday, where Batista defeated The Deadman with the aid of two Batista Bombs. The next month, he managed to put down The Phenom again, after a returning Edge interfered and cost The Undertaker the World Title.

The rivalry was not only well received, but it also gave the WWE Universe a bunch of classic encounters between two of the most popular Superstars on SmackDown at the time.

#3 Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior

Hogan vs Warrior
Hogan vs Warrior

At WrestleMania 6, Hulk Hogan faced The Ultimate Warrior in a match billed as "The Ultimate Challenge". The WWE Champion, Hogan, took on the Intercontinental Champion, Warrior, in one of the most publicized matches in WWE history.

This was a time when Vince McMahon was looking towards the future and had decided to replace Hogan with Warrior as the top Superstar in the company. Hogan and Warrior were alike in a lot of ways, with both donning colorful attire, and preaching positivity and good demeanor.

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The match, although not a technical classic by any means, was very well received, and turned The Ultimate Warrior into a huge star. His backstage problems with Vince McMahon hampered his chances of becoming a WWE main-stay as the top champion, but this rivalry is still considered by many as one of the greatest of all time.

#2 John Cena vs Shawn Michaels

Cena delivering an AA on Michaels
Cena delivering an AA on Michaels

After Shawn Michaels lost a spot in the main event of WrestleMania 23 following his elimination in the Royal Rumble match in 2007, he set his sights on WWE Champion John Cena. The two went on to meet at The Show of Shows and actually ended the PPV, with fans expecting The Undertaker vs Batista to be the headliner.

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Cena retained his title, but this was far from over. Several weeks later, the duo met on an episode of Monday Night Raw.

Shawn and Cena went on to have an instant classic. The two Superstars wrestled for an hour, in what many consider to be the greatest Raw match of all time. Michaels calls it one of his all-time favorite matches.

It's amazing how trying to do that hour-long match didn't seem like such a big mountain to climb. It really helps when you have a history with someone. John and I were coming off of the WrestleMania [23] match and because of that, we had a decent amount of story points to work around, so it was easy.

#1 The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels

Two of the very best
Two of the very best

When Shawn Michaels challenged The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 25, no one knew that this bout would go on to become possibly the greatest match of all time! The Undertaker had never beaten Michaels and was hell-bent on doing the same.

A 30-minute classic at WrestleMania's 25th Anniversary ended with The Undertaker defeating Michaels in a five-star bout.

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The next year, Michaels became obsessed with ending The Undertaker's streak and cost him the World Title in the process. This led to the duo meeting again at WrestleMania 26, with The Undertaker emerging victorious a second time in a row.

As per the stipulation of the match, Michaels retired from active competition. The visual of Michaels thanking the crowd of 70,000 fans is widely regarded as one of the greatest endings to a WrestleMania. This was a rivalry for the ages, between possibly the two greatest babyfaces of all time.

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Edited by Anthony Akatugba Jr.
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