There was a time when each year in pro wrestling, the wrestling bookers from the various wrestling territories would get together and promote cross promotional mega-cards that allowed the fans an opportunity to see matches that they never thought possible. I can remember reading Pro Wrestling Illustrated as a kid and flipping to the last few pages which was where they used to put the regional results from various shows around the country. I remember seeing some of the best booking in the history of the pro wrestling industry.
Starrcade 1983 was the first time that I can remember seeing some of the greatest matches of all time that included talent from all over the country competing on one stage. It was the precursor to WrestleMania, and showcased a variety of matches that commanded the attention of the entire wrestling world. More than the main event pitting Ric Flair against Harley Race, the matchups on the undercard solidified Starrcade as a pivotal time in the industry as smaller regional territories began to see the merits of national marketing. Matches like Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood vs. the Briscos and Abdullah the Butcher vs. Carlos Colon gave the fans a chance to see talent that they were not as familiar with which broadened the audience and helped the NWA grow.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]I can remember WrestleRock 86 which was a joint venture by the AWA and NWA which featured matches with talent from both organizations. That card saw one of my absolute favorite matches take place inside a steel cage as the Road Warriors battled Michael PS Hayes and Jimmy Garvin. It was a site to see as the Road Warriors defeated the future Freebirds partners in a grueling battle.
Superclash was a concept that started in 1985 and continued until 1990 that pitted stars from various promotions against one another once a year as an opportunity to see the best of the best from around the world compete. I remember in 1985 seeing Mil Mascaras retain his IWA title against Buddy Roberts, Krusher Khruschev, Ivan, and Nikita Koloff retain their NWA 6 man tag team titles against Crusher, Dick the Bruiser, and Baron Von Raschke, but most of all, I remember seeing Jumbo Tsuruta, Giant Baba, and Genichiro Tenryu defeat Harley Race and the Long Riders in a six man tag that introduced me to Japanese wrestling for the first time. No match at any Superclash garnered more attention that at Superclash III when Jerry Lawler defeated Kerry Von Erich to unify the AWA world championship with the WCWA world championship that was filled with controversy and intrigue.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]As we head toward a new installment of WrestleMania history, I can’t help but think how much more entertaining it would be to see this type of booking between promotions from around the world. Can you imagine ShowMiz taking on Beer Money Inc.? How about an Ultimate X MITB Ladder Match? Shawn Michael vs. Sting, AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton, Kane vs. Abyss, Desmond Wolf vs. Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston vs. The Pope, Teddy Hart and Jack Evans vs. The Hart Dynasty vs. The Motor City Machine Guns in a 3 way dance, Jushin Liger vs. Rey Mysterio, Yuji Nagata vs. HHH, The Undertaker vs. Judas Mesias, etc. Then we would have a truly diverse and all encompassing Pay Per View. As unrealistic as the proposal is, these and other matches would have to be more compelling that watching Morrison and R Truth challenge for the tag team titles as #1 contenders after having 1 match together in the past. A 10 man MITB match sounds good, but it is too much to follow. The Taker vs. Michaels match has potential, but it has been done before and the internet world already knows who is going to win. This year’s card may have some appeal but a card that pits the best of the best against each other would be that much better. Here’s to wishful thinking I guess.
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