At its best, Kilkenny-Wexford was a rivalry that carried an innate understanding of drama and timing.
At its worst, it was a procession. For most of the Brian Cody era, Kilkenny laid waste to Wexford (and just about everyone else). Save for the odd glimpse of Wexford flare, it was a contest that seemed to live in the deep recesses of memory only.
But thanks to the introduction of Davy Fitzgerald to the mix, along with the emergence of a talented group that won Leinster U-21 titles from 2013 to '15, the rivalry has been reborn ahead of the latest meeting between the sides at Wexford Park on Sunday.
From when Cody took charge to before the Model men secured the services of Fitzgerald for 2017, the Cats' win percentage in the fixture stood at over 82 per cent across pre-season, league and championship.
In the intervening seasons, that figure has been turned on its head. Wexford now hold the upper hand, winning 58 per cent of encounters (seven out of 12). Last year's Leinster final win underlined that it was a real rivalry once again.
It's been a remarkable turnaround for the Slaneysiders. Eleven of the side that suffered a 13-point drubbing to Dublin in 2016 featured in last year's provincial decider victory over Kilkenny.
Fitzgerald's energy and organisation, along with the maturing of their best underage bunch in years, have combined to breathe new life into the duel.
For former Wexford star Tom Dempsey, games against Kilkenny were the best of times and the worst of times.
The image of Eddie Keher calmly tying his lace before converting a free that put Wexford to the sword in one of their many encounters in the 1970s is seared into his brain. From there, he was hooked.
"He put the nail in the Wexford coffin," Dempsey recalls. "There was such drama, even then. And then Wexford came back in '76 and hammered Kilkenny, totally out of the blue. There was always the taste of the unexpected in those games."
Many of Wexford's best days are intertwined with games against Kilkenny. Dempsey reckons the night Davy's troops toppled the Cats in Wexford Park in 2017 signalled the latest rebirth.
Once again, there was more than a hint of drama. Fitzgerald was confined to his box in the stand and from there he steered his side to a third win over their neighbours that year. As the locals went off to celebrate, Thin Lizzy's 'The boys are back in town' rang out over the tannoy.
"The one thing I will say about the rivalry is it's ferocious and it will be again on Sunday. Some of the Munster rivalries, I remember Tipperary and Clare, they almost bordered on hatred.
"Even though there is an incredible rivalry with Kilkenny and they have had much the better of it, I don't think that real hatred ever seeped in.
"We have tremendous respect for what they have done, particularly during the Cody era when we probably used them as a barometer of where we were, which was tough because they were so much better than everyone else. We always respected them and I think, behind it all, [there is] a little liking in Kilkenny for Wexford as well.
"But I will say this, three years ago in Wexford Park in the Leinster semi-final when Wexford won by three, which really signalled Davy's and our return back to parity to a certain extent, I don't think there was a better or more exhilarating night in my life in Wexford Park than that. It was just fantastic."
That was just Cody's second defeat to Wexford in the championship in his time in charge. The other came in 2004 when Michael Jacob conjured a last minute goal which quite literally brought Cody, who had stationed himself behind the goals at the Canal End, to his knees.
"That day the ball came straight off the turf and back into (Jacob's) hands. Sometimes for Wexford over the years that bloody ball would come off the turf and out for a 65.
"But when your luck is in your luck is in. I'll tell you, we do deserve a bit of luck even though Kilkenny were very hard to beat.
"I always go back to DJ's 12 steps (1991), even the Leinster final in '93 with the famous Eamon Morrissey point where they worked the ball from corner-back up the field three minutes into injury time. What other team has the composure to do that and get the equaliser? You have to admire them."
And if there were glory days, there was deep suffering at the hands of the Cats too.
"At one point in their four-in-a-row they were just completely superior to everybody and I think Wexford had fallen back quite considerably," Dempsey continues.
"Everything we were doing, Kilkenny was the yardstick, and then they'd give us a sound beating.
"Maybe we should have been looking for incremental step-ups rather than 'ah, we have to be where Kilkenny are'.
"They was a very unrealistic barometer for a couple of years. And when you judge yourself against Kilkenny it does put a pressure on you, but the last few years have been very enjoyable, the atmosphere is great every time we play them and we have a chance every time we play too."
Dempsey had his own great days. 1996 and everything the All-Ireland win under Liam Griffin entailed sits apart, but there was a deep satisfaction after they beat Kilkenny in the Leinster decider the following summer.
"The one thing I would say that I think sums up Kilkenny and Wexford is... We won the All-Ireland in 1996 and we beat Kilkenny in the Leinster final in '97," he recalls
"Arguably, there was nearly more satisfaction being All-Ireland champions the evening of the Leinster final in '97 having beaten Kilkenny as Leinster champions.
"That was the moment we really felt the tin hat was put on it.
"It showed a bit of consistency. We beat Kilkenny in '96 in the Leinster quarter-final and they were a few players short and a bit injury-hit.
"I remember DJ had a thing on his leg and maybe wasn't himself, so we kind of proved that as All-Ireland champions we can beat the best. And really, Kilkenny hurling is the best and it's where you judge yourself.
"I remember sitting down with a couple of the lads that evening and thinking 'you won the All-Ireland last year and now you have beaten Kilkenny in a Leinster final'. It's testament to the respect we hold them in.
"When I think about inter-county hurling and Wexford, those few times that we won (against Kilkenny), they were the Rolls-Royce of days for us."