Hi there wrestling nuts and welcome back to Pounding 7’s. We are continuing our series on the Power Rankings of the 1980’s, and have reached 1983. Last week, Ric Flair took over the top spot away from Bob Backlund, after Backlund dominated the first three weeks. Will Flair maintain the number one ranking in 83? Who falls out? Who joins the ranks? Find out right now!
The Iron Shiek
The Sheik joins the ranks as one of the best in 1983 as he dethroned Bob Backlund in December to win his first and only World Heavyweight Championship with the camel clutch.
Piper’s most notorious match, maybe of his career took place in a classic against Greg Valentine at Starrcade 83 in a Dog Collar match, where he was victorious. Piper was a regular contender for the United States title.
7. Hulk Hogan
Hulkamania was about a year away, but he came back to the WWE as a face along side World Champion Bob Backlund, and would begin a run for the ages. Some say that 83 was the birth of Hulk Hogan’s mainstream career.
6. Don Muraco
The Magnificent Don Muraco held the Intercontinental Championship from January 1983 all the way through the year. He faced all comers, including a big match with Jimmy Snuka inside the cage. We still see the highlights of Snuka jumping off the top of the cage, however we don’t see or remember that Murarco won that match.
5. Greg Valentine
Valentine maintains his ranking this year as he was the NWA United States title holder from April through the end of the year. As we stated earlier, he lost in a non-title match to Roddy Piper at the first ever Starrcade in the Dog Collar match, a match that could have gone either way.
4. Harley Race
In June, Race defeated Ric Flair to become the NWA Champion for record setting 7th time, breaking Lou Thez’s record of six title runs. He would hold the title until November before dropping it back to Flair at Starrcade.
3. Bob Backlund
Despite losing the championship, Backlund was the WWF World Heavyweight Champion for the entire year of 1983 before dropping it to the Iron Sheik at the end of December 1983. Backlund capped off one of the best career runs with the World Championship.
2. Nick Bockwinkle
Bockwinkle won the AWA World Championship back in January, and would hold the championship for the entire year. While not well known to the casual wrestling fan. Nick Bockwinkle has one of the most dominant runs of any World Champion in 1983.
1. Ric Flair
Whoooooo! Flair repeats as the top guy on the Power Rankings in 1983. He began the year as the NWA Champion, dropped it to Harley Race in June, but regained the championship to begin his domination of the championship throughout the 80’s. We obviously will get into more of Ric Flair in years to come, but 83 was definitely the year of the Nature Boy.
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