Dear reader, let me level with you. The chain of events that led to Zeus entering a wrestling ring and facing off against Hulk Hogan are among the greatest atrocities ever committed by mortal man.
You see, it all goes back to a little movie called No Holds Barred in which the Hulkster and an actor named Tiny Lister both starred. As a wrestling fan, you are likely aware of the large baby oil stain this movie left on the entire film industry, but if you are not familiar with it, then let me say that it was the first movie WWE ever produced, it starred Hulk Hogan and it was a disaster.
See, in the movie Hogan played a wrestler named Rip who an evil network head wanted to sign to his show. Rip refused, so the promoter got a psychopath named Zeus (Lister) instead, who would actually kill his opponents in the ring. Like, really for real.
While attending a match with his little brother (public murder is family entertainment), Zeus locates and promptly beats the bejesus out of said little brother, sending him to the hospital.
From there it is so on between the two, and they fight at the big event and Rip actually appears to kill Zeus by knocking him off of a high perch and sending him crashing into the ring. Because that's how all movies should end, realistically.
To say that the movie was a critical and commercial disaster would be an understatement. The two-hour opus about Vanilla Ice romancing women on his motorcycle was better received. You might imagine that after such a wondrous experience, the WWE would bury this movie and everything about it like a pirate would bury treasure that was especially cursed and haunted.
You might think that, but then, that would mean that you aren't Vince McMahon.
Not only did WWE not ignore the film, but it actually brought Tiny Lister in to wrestle an actual wrestling match as Zeus. Now let's recap. This is a movie character who we had seen attempt murder numerous times, being brought in to wrestle Hulk Hogan, who was not playing his movie character Rip.
In other words, Zeus was bent on the destruction of a guy who happened to look like the guy he hates, and chose to forgo his murderous tactics to pin him in a wrestling match. He then claimed that he hated Hogan because he (meaning Zeus) had been the real star of the movie. So was this Tiny Lister wrestling Hogan, Zeus wrestling Rip or a movie character coming to life to wrestle a wrestler?
Off to a great start!
The match that resulted is exactly what you'd expect from an unprotected actor jacked up on steroids. It was awful in ways that only future alien species picking through the remains of our society will ever be able to properly analyze.
In person, Zeus was no bigger or scarier than anyone Hogan ever wrestled, and since nobody had seen the movie (lucky for them), he just looked like some dude with the crossest cross eye imaginable in there against their unbeatable hero. Hogan beat Zeus rather handily, and that was pretty much it.
Zeus disappeared a few months after, having never won a match, never to be seen again in the wrestling universe (until Hulk Hogan brought him into WCW as Z-Gangster, but we'll graciously ignore that).
Tiny Lister went to to a much more successful acting career, playing great roles in movies like Friday and The Dark Knight and even being the awesome president in The Fifth Element, but this role will haunt him until the day he dies. He's the winner of this prestigious contest and the top of this countdown.
I'm sure he's thrilled.