One of the saddest things in life is a wish that will never come true. Growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, my heroes weren’t Superman, Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, or even James Bond Jr. (okay, no one liked him). My heroes were colorful and larger-than-life athletes that I only got to see on weekends (around noon mostly) called “wrestlers.” One obstacle people which some never seem able to hurdle is that wrestling is “fake.” What baffles me about this, these same people would idolize comic-book characters, cartoons, TV show stars as if they were the real deal. Wrestling is fiction, yes, but it’s also a performance art and the fact that it is live shouldn’t take away from its value, it should add to it.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss why I’m here today. Remember the colorful characters I mentioned? At some point, they slowly began to be traded in for less color and more attitude. Contemporary context changed the nature of the roster. Eventually, simply by the sands of time, we watched our heroes vanish and be replaced by the next generation of stars, to be cheered by the younger audience. Although there was and always will be some cross-over, we would love to see (if only once) our heroes of yester-year answer the bell one more time to show up the new blood. With that, I assembled a dream card. There are a handful of matches that I know would be not only fun for any nostalgic wrestling fan, but for the new fans as well. I’m sure many of these events take place in the arena of our imaginations, this one is just a glimpse of my own.
Choosing a match to kick things off is never easy, however, I’m going to go with a nice contrast in style, but similarity of gimmick:
JBL Vs. Ted Dibiase
While both of these guys boast about their wealth and success, JBL brings a brute force style to the ring, where as Ted DiBiase’s method was very technical and calculated. These styles would actually make for a good match and the build up would be fun to watch as well. Perhaps the millionaires would try and out-do each other in very humorous ways.
How it would go: Although JBL would have the power advantage, eventually DiBiase would overcome JBL’s momentum building and try and keep it a wrestling match to stay on top. Unfortunately, DiBiase wouldn’t possess the strength to maintain the Million-Dollar Dream. JBL would power out of Ted’s finisher alla the “getting low and elbowing in the stomach” method. In DiBiase’s desperation, he would maintain the hold as a headlock, ultimately whipping Bradshaw into the ropes, giving Bradshaw the opportunity to nail the Clothesline from Hell and score a win.
Winner by Pinfall: JBL
Next, we would move to a tag team contest. This is one that I know fans want to see and frankly, it should have happened.
The Rockers Vs. The Hardy Boyz
These two teams would have to bring their “A” game to show one-another up. Both teams are amazingly similar. They represent rock music of their era and have both technical ability as well as high-flying moves – all while acting as a team.
How it would go: Most tag team matches are pretty much the same: the heel tag team eventually isolates a member of the face tag team and wares him down more and more. Eventually, the worn down fan favorites tags his partner who is completely fresh and surging with adrenaline. Gorilla would refer to this man as “a house of fire.” The match could go anyway still, but rallying the crowd was the idea. These two teams, however, are not only both faces, but aren’t quite as methodical. There would be a great deal of quick tags and high impact flying maneuvers. No rest holds for these guys tonight! Eventually it would come down to team-work, as any good tag-match should. The Rockers would have a little more edge here (remember, they are tag team specialists) and eventually lead to them keeping one of the Hardy’s at bay, while the other one would be pinned for a victory.
Winner by Pinfall: The Rockers
Next would be not particularly a great athletic match, however, a great meeting of the minds:
Doink the Clown Vs. Goldust
The fun of this match would be watching the build up. Both characters were notorious mind-game players and it would be thrilling to watch them try and get the best of each other. Watching just how the characters interact in the ring would be a trip too. While Doink had some pretty off-the-wall pranks to play on his poor opponents, Goldust would touch a never with his homo-erotic behavior and bizarre style. Could one make the other crack?
How it would go: It’s hard to see a clear ending for a match like this, because frankly, the meat and potatoes would be the build up to the match and the match itself. The ending would almost be inconsequential to the audience I think. Perhaps a bucket of water tossed onto Goldust would set him off and he would drop his facade, or maybe being rubbed the wrong way (and I do mean “rubbed”) would make the clown not so fun loving anymore. I see this match ending in a double disqualification, not because I wouldn’t want to pick a winner, but because winning or losing the match really doesn’t seem like it would affect any fan.
Now it’s time to give the audience another tasty treat. What we’re doing here is taking a wrestler who was a little ahead of his time and mixing him up with a more modern superstar.
Ricky Steamboat Vs. Rob Van Dam
Although they have similar in-ring styles, Steamboat had less charisma, but more intensity whereas RVD is the opposite. This contrast in gimmick, but similar style (again) would make for a most enjoyable match.
How it would go: Again, not a great deal or rest holds would take place here. For the most part, these two would have a few speedy go-arounds followed up by a pause in the action just long enough for a thunderous applause from the crowd. Eventually, RVD’s hardcore background would aid him in enduring whatever punishment Steamboat could dish out. Steamboat would find himself on the receiving end of a 5-star Frog Splash and that would be all she wrote.
Winner by Pinfall: RVD
By now, although having some fun, you realize that these aren’t the huge names you were expecting to see. Well, it’s at this point in the evening that we throw the crowd a match worthy of a headline, but drop it into the middle of the card to remind everyone that “there’s plenty more where that came from.”
Andre the Giant Vs. The Undertaker
You’re probably wondering why the background for this picture is white, whereas the rest were all black. Anyway, we have a match here that the fans are going to eat up, as well they should. Both of these guys have had amazing careers spanning several decades. Andre the Giant began as the beloved hero that took care of business. If you were a bad guy, Andre would eventually make you squeal like a pig. Eventually, however, he was taken by the darkside and became the evil monster that the heroes had to overcome. The Undertaker followed an opposite path. He began as the unbeatable monster who would wreck anyone that dare try to be a hero. Seduced by the light however, he became the hero that got it done. When a monster would cast a shadow on the WWF/WWE, eventually they’d cross paths with the Undertaker, which would be their final undoing. I for one am glad that Undertaker has stood the test of time so long. Although he represents both eras really, he and Andre missed each other by a hair. Andre was more or less finished by April of 1990 and Undertaker surfaced in November of the same year. Although Andre would return for about 5 months in 1991, he was no longer so much a wrestler as just a figurehead, never wrestling on TV. These two greats represent the irresistible force and immovable object.
How it would go: Andre and Undertaker both strike fear in their opponents, however this would be neutralized between the two of them…or would it? Clearly, Andre has the size and strength advantage, but after a while of kicking the Undertaker around the ring, Andre would grow less confident watching the Undertaker continue to take whatever he could dish out and keep coming. The Undertaker’s speed and stamina would carry him through the match quite convincingly. Although the Undertaker isn’t know for his brute strength, he has been known to call upon it when needed and would impress the audience by taking everything Andre could throw at him and eventually hoisting him up for a tombstone. Although he may not get all of it, it would be enough to put the Giant away.
Winner by Pinfall: Undertaker
At this point in the evening, the Rock would enter the sold out arena and cut a promo on how he is just shocked that he is somehow excluded from the festivities of the evening. All these great superstars in one place and somehow, we have no match for the Rock. Unfamiliar music would play to any devout WWF/WWE fan and a superstar would emerge to a mixed reaction, however, a great match would be about to begin:
The Rock Vs. Sting
Am I serious, the Rock Vs. Sting? Well you know, it’s a sea of past and present superstars from Titan Sports Inc., why not throw a nice swerve to the audience? I mean, come on, aren’t you a little curious? The Rock was supposedly “passed the torch” and was the guy! Sting was always the main hero of WCW, he was the do-gooder that eventually saved the day. Well, what good wrestling event is good without a little surprise.
How it would go: Both competitors would be evenly matched for the most part. They’d first feel each other out, then do some mat-wrestling. Eventually, they’d break down and throw the sportsmanship out the window and brawl, which is good because that is what we all want to see. After enough time went by, the Rock would have to hit a big move on Sting, but a knocked out ref would be unavailable to make the count. Why would this have to happen? Let’s call it like it is folks, in reality, if this match were to ever happen, Sting would have to be the victor. We know the Rock isn’t above doing a job, where Sting probably would be and he probably wouldn’t want his first and only WWE match to be a loss. The Rock making a 3 count pin sans ref would be the way of showing the audience that he could indeed put away the Stinger. Ultimately Sting would have to catch a second wind. I don’t see it being a simple ending though. A few minutes in the Scorpion deathlock followed by the dramatic breaking of the hold would get the fans going. Eventually, we’d see the brawl climax when the Stinger successfully would apply the Scorpion death drop.
Winner by Pinfall: Sting
What a night, some great matches and a few more ready to go. Now we need a nice battle of the one-minute killer titans, the guys that would be in and out of the ring in about 5 minutes. A big one from the past and a big one from the future, who else could I be talking about?
The Ultimate Warrior Vs. Brock Lesnar
Finally! I dunno about you posers out there in Wrestling Land, but this is a match I would personally mark out for like crazy! Two guys know for brutality and strength as well as finishing off opponents quickly. Who would be the victor?
How it would go: Although Brock can mat and chain wrestle, we wouldn’t see much of that. The match would be high impact, loud, bone-rattling goodness. The Ultimate Warrior would begin a campaign to knock Brock off his feet and wisely get the crowd behind him. Eventually, Brock’s brutality and strength would prove too much for the Warrior…or would it? After whipping the Warrior around for an F-5, the Ultimate One would bounce to his feet, running in place and beating his chest, much to the shock and dismay of Mr. Lesnar. In a panic, Lesnar would charge the Warrior, only to be met with a clothesline. After reaching his feet, another clothesline. After one or two more clotheslines, Warrior would take Brock down with a mighty flying tackle. The crowd would wonder, “Is he gonna do it?” Warrior would then lift the big frame of Brock Lesnar over his head and drop him on his face, followed by a big splash. As Vince would say, “A cover, a count, a victory.” Did I mention this match would be 5 minutes long?
Winner by Pinfall: Ultimate Warrior
Now to let the crowd recover a little with one last tag match before we roll into the main course of our singles competition.
Demolition Vs. Dudley Boyz
Another nice doozy of a tag match, no finesse here, just brute force. Sure there are a lot of people that like to think of the Legion of Doom when it comes to the big tag teams, but while they were off in the NWA and AWA (and WCW for that matter), Demolition was carrying the torch in the WWF. They were the tag champs for quite some time in the late 80s. The Dudleys dominated the competition in ECW. Although I haven’t witnessed the entire ECW library, I’ve seen quite a bit of it. I can only recall the Dudleys losing one time in a tag match, and Buh-Buh Ray losing a singles match to Taz.
How it would go: We get to see these guys go straight at each other, full force when the bell rings. It would take the ref a few minutes to calm both teams down and get them in their respective corners. Eventually, the Dudleys would isolate one of the Demos and beat on him until he tagged his partner (who would of course be a “house of fire”). Although Demolition could isolate a member of the Dudleys long enough to deliver their finisher, they wouldn’t have much more time left for a cover, the other Dudley would break the count. The Dudleys, however, have been in tornado tag matches many-a-time. Eventually, they’d drop one member of Demolition hard enough to keep him down, most likely through a table. It would be shortly after that they would deliver the 3D and capturing the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Dudley Boyz
What more could we possibly see tonight? Why not see how two great workers…work together? Take the guy from the 80s who was said to sweat the details and mix him up with a guy who apparently always gets the details right.
Randy “Macho Man” Savage Vs. Triple H
There is no doubt in my mind that any wrestling fan, love or hate these guys, should have at least put this match together in their head at one time. Neither of them have a great reputation among the smart fans, we’ve all heard crazier and crazier stories about Macho Man as time has gone on, and Triple H, well, he certainly scored his meal-ticket. Triple H may have a strength advantage, however, Macho Man has plenty of power, but also agility and quickness. Charismatically, there is no contest, Macho Man all the way.
How it would go: There would be a good amount of chain wrestling here. These guys are seasoned pros. Any good fan can watch matches and see mis-ques and botched spots in 95% of the matches today. These guys wouldn’t have a single one. My bet is that we would see the crowd shift (marginally) in the favor of the Macho Man, simply by his ability to play to the crowd more. We’d see good moves and good sells to said moves as well. Eventually, like many great matches, it would have to go from a wrestling match to a brawl. Personally, this is the match I’d select to be bloody for the evening, just to really sell the battle. Eventually, Triple H would set up the pedigree, however, Savage would sneak out of it and shove Triple H back into the corner with authority. This would cause Triple H to drop to the ground. Savage would ceremoniously hop on to the top rope and deliver his patented flying elbow for a 3 count.
Winner by Pinfall: Randy “Macho Man” Savage
After a match like that, we need a real humdinger to keep the pace going. No curtain-jerker is going to break the flow now. I don’t even need to set this one up, the match has its own merit.
Bret “Hitman” Hart Vs. Kurt Angle
Now we are going to see some wrestling. Both these guys can chain wrestle with the best of them…nuts to that, these guys ARE the “best of them.” Bret Hart is extremely technical. Although somewhat lacking in power, he is quick and agile, not to mention clever. Despite not being the most powerful athlete in the business, Hart has chopped down some of the biggest and baddest in wrestling’s history. Angle, no stranger to technical skills either, is a little more powerful, conditioned extremely well, also clever, but perhaps not quite as agile as Hart, however. In a match like this, it would boil down to pure heart and hunger.
How it would go: These two men would display great mat skills. We would see holds, lots of holds. The holds typically wouldn’t last long, however, as both men could escape most of them in their sleep. Bret would take to the sky here and there with a few drop kicks and impact maneuvers. This could throw Angle’s game a little bit. Eventually, Angle could use that power advantage to overcome Bret’s attacks and make Bret wrestle his match. Eventually, Angle would hit the Olympic/Angle slam and cover Bret Hart… for a two count. Angle, shocked by this, would probably beef with the ref. While conjuring up what his next plan of attack would be, Bret would recover a little and catch a second wind, which unfortunately Kurt Angle would discover via Bret’s famed playing possum. Bret would then hit his trademark moves, an inverted atomic drop, a snap suplex, a Russian leg-sweep and an elbow from the second turnbuckle on the inside. Of course, the most he would see is a two count as well. It is when Bret tries to slap on the sharp-shooter that Angle would snatch his foot into the ankle lock. Bret would try to get to the ropes to no avail. Kurt Angle would eventually secure his finisher by locking his legs around Bret’s. For any other superstar, this may guarantee a victory. Bret, however, would seize this opportunity to use Kurt’s crossed legs against him and reverse the ankle lock into the sharp-shooter. The crowd would go ape. Kurt Angle would now be the one trying to get to the rope. Once he is too close to the rope, Bret would pull him away, back to the center of the ring. Angle would have no choice, but to tap out.
Winner by Submission: Bret “Hitman” Hart
Well, we have come this far, you’ve waited and waited. This has been “a happening.” It is now time for the main event! What could possibly follow these matches? What superstars would follow up the evening and send us off at the end of the event with a feeling of completion?
Hulk Hogan Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Nobody bitch to me about this being the main event. The figure heads of the two generations were clearly Hogan and Austin. Whether you love or hate these guys, I can’t think of a single fan who wouldn’t mark out for this match, even if they would pretend not to because it isn’t the “cool, smart fan” thing to do. This is an event to entertain everyone and these two could do that with the best of them. What’s more, they had completely different styles. Hulk Hogan was the ultimate hero. Train, say your prayers, take your vitamins, believe in yourself, be true to yourself and true to your country. Steve Austin drank beer, used filthy language (both verbal and sign language) and welcomed the fans to cheer for him if they wanted, but he “didn’t really give a damn.” Of course he mastered playing to the crowd without playing to them. Both of these guys were the heroes of their generation, who would be the top hero of all time? Hogan would clearly have the power advantage. Austin could brawl like no other, however. Hulk Hogan usually tilts the charisma scale completely in his favor, however, Austin maybe the one superstar who could neutralize this advantage.
How it would go: Hogan would try and present himself in a sportsman-like way, however Austin would have no part of it. The two legends would have quite a fight. If there is one other match I’d elect to see blood, it would be this one. These guys could easily take it out to the floor and use some of the around-ring arsenal to assault one-another. I’m sure we would see a few ref bumps as well. I’d also count on seeing both superstars mock the other by using each other’s taunts, as well as each other’s signature moves during the match. Eventually, Austin would attempt to put away the Immortal Hulk Hogan with the Stone Cold Stunner. After kicking out at two, with authority, we would see the Hulkster Hulk-Up! Steve Austin would become the victim of three hay-makers, a big boot and the Hogan Leg-drop. Again, we would see a near-fall, Hogan’s crowd supports sighing with disappointment and Austin’s sighing with relief. Hogan would try to repeat his normally winning formula. This time, however, Austin would duck the mighty big boot. Upon Hogan turning around, Austin would deliver a kick of his own to the mid-section, followed by a second Stunner. Austin with a cover, hooking the leg, would score a fall. Austin winning this match is the passing of the torch that could never be, but should have been. The symbolism of Austin being the established number one guy in the industry officially would solidify his spot which he was in already during his run. It maybe after the fact, but this would be the event that this “passing of the torch” took place. After raising Austin’s hand, Austin would offer Hogan a beer, or two, or three. The two mega powers of wrestling history would celebrate as the announcers said their farewells and the curtain came down to end the show.
Winner by Pinfall: Stone Cold Steve Austin
This is just my take on an event like this. Perhaps you, the reader, may have a match of your own that you would like to see, or a different opinion of how one of these matches would go. Feel free to comment.