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27 WrestleMania Matches That Should Have Happened (27-21) – Inside the Wheelhouse

Bret Hart vs. Ricky Steamboat would have been a great WrestleMania matchWhat specific WWE WrestleMania match did you always want to see? Was it something that immediately made you want to shell out the money for the event on that one match alone? Is it two Wrestling superstars that you never thought you’d see wrestle in the ring, let alone on the WrestleMania stage? Or is an amazing feud that never got the proper WrestleMania showcase?

I got inspired to countdown the 27 Best WrestleMania matches that never happened after all of the Sting vs. Undertaker talk got going on and the talk of “WrestleMania Dream matches” picked up a ton of steam. Now some of these matchups may have occurred on other cards in the past but in my opinion they are WrestleMania worthy.

For arguments sake I kept it to the WWE roster and people who have been on the roster at some point in their careers. I also kept it to era of the wrestlers being on the roster at the same time. That limited it to discussions of Steve Austin vs. Randy Savage type match because we would never get that match today. I limited it to potential matches that we could see one day at or at one particular time. With that being said let’s look at my list of “The 27 Best WrestleMania matches that never happened” as we go through #’s 27 – 21.

27. Hulk Hogan vs. “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase

At WrestleMania 4, when I was just a little ol’ Wrestling fan, I thought this was going to be the Main Event to crown the new WWF World Heavyweight Champion. I thought Hogan would get past Andre again and go up against the evil “Million Dollar Man” who had hit the scene as a really good heel. To this day I still wonder why these two never locked horns in a WrestleMania singles match, granted they faced off at WrestleMania 9 in a Tag Match, but nobody remembers or should I say, they try to forget that WrestleMania.

DiBiase wanted to buy the WWF World Championship belt away and at one point he did when Andre won the World Title after the “Evil Twin Brother Referee” angle happened. It appeared that we could see DiBiase and Hogan in the Finals after the Tournament was announced as I was too nieve to think the WWF would go in a different direction to help elevate the very talented Macho Man Randy Savage. While DiBiase was in the WrestleMania Main Event it was not against Hogan.

DiBiase really never regained the heel heat he had going into WrestleMania 4 which was sad to see because he was a really good heel. The WWF decided to build towards Hogan/Savage at WM5 which made a lot more sense and never revisited what could have been between Hogan & DiBiase. I still believe to this day that DiBiase could have been a newer edition of a Piper-like heel by making people hate him more then they loved Hogan.

26. Jeff Hardy vs. John Cena

This may come as a surprise to many wrestling fans for being on this list but when you look at the popularity levels of these two superstars a couple years ago, we could have had another Hogan/Savage popularity contest on our hands. Cena is the modern day Hogan with the drinking the milk, eating the vitamins and saying the prayers. Hardy is a complete opposite but is still beloved by children and females alike which help raise his popularity level over John Cena in 2009.

They were the flag holders of a new generation of WWE Superstars for the company. Cena was the biggest face on the RAW brand while Hardy was the biggest face on the Smackdown brand. Had they put these two wrestlers in the ring together and at a WrestleMania, it would force fans to pick between their two heroes on the game’s greatest stage.

When it comes to Jeff Hardy we will always wonder “what could have been” as he left the WWE at the height of his popularity and went to a lower rated TNA company where he is secluded to ratings in the mid 1’s now. Cena is Cena and always be, but the thought of these two popular monsters in the ring would equal the necessary WrestleMania buyrates the company wants. They could have been at one time a Savage/Hogan with the heights of their popularities in the WWE.

25. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit

While the WWE tries to erase all the good Chris Benoit did in the ring because of the horrific things he did outside of it, I can’t help myself but wonder how excited of a wrestling fan I’d be had the WWE ever presented this match at WrestleMania. It seems like at every WrestleMania the WWE tries to give pure wrestling fans that match that will quench their thirst (Angle/Michaels, Jericho/Michaels, Steamboat/Savage, Hart/Michaels, Hart/Hart etc.) and this would be one of those matches. It would be two of the best wrestlers for that time period going at it on the greatest stage, putting on a wrestling clinic.

This match wouldn’t even need a title to make a person want to watch it, that’s how good these two are in the ring together. While they had previous match on different cards and with titles on the line, this is a match that would help make the decision to want to order WrestleMania that Sunday. Imagining these two amazing in-ring professionals going at would be a sight to see and with it all taking place on a WrestleMania mat would be amazing.

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Benoit and Jericho are credited today as inspirations for current up & coming wrestlers. These two could have put on a similar art work of a match that left people wanting more after Savage/Steamboat at WrestleMania 3. Sadly, like Chris Jericho says in his new book “Undisputed” all those images are now erased from our minds and wrestling libraries forever.

24. Ricky Steamboat vs. Bret Hart

Wow, imagine these two wrestling icons battling it out in the ring and putting on a mat classic. Just thought of knowing I could go back and watch Ricky Steamboat vs. Bret Hart over and over again in my wrestling library is already getting my amped for this dream match then never was. Two of the best gifted wrestling in the ring with each other at one time would scream “WrestleMania classic” to me had the then-WWF done this matchup.

While they were both on the WWF roster at the same time, they weren’t at the same level of importance in the eyes of Vince McMahon. Steamboat during the early WrestleMania’s (his last was WM4) was when Hart was coming up and when Hart got his break at WM8 after a win against Roddy Piper, Steamboat was long gone. So despite not being at the same level as each other on the roster, they did serve the then-WWF roster at one time.

Hart and Steamboat could go out there for 60 minutes & put on a show for everyone. We all know the greatness they did in the ring with other opponents, but imagine what they could have done in the ring had they worked with each other. Sadly we will never know and it will rest on the “Best WrestleMania matches that never happened.”

Editor’s Note: Bret Hart has said in interviews that Hart vs. Steamboat was originally scheduled to take place at WrestleMania 2.

23. Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena

There are three wrestlers in the WWE in the last decade that got a monster push; they were Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Batista. But when you look at the most popular of those monster pushes it has to be Lesnar and Cena. They were/are the “Supermen” of their times on the WWE roster, very rarely looking weak, if ever at all and being the top draw for the company.

Lesnar and Cena did face off in a Main Event of a PPV for the WWE World Championship mind you at Backlash 2003. But at that time the WWE really didn’t see or maybe know they had a future megastar in their hands with Cena and it wasn’t what it could have been had it happened at a WrestleMania. Both at that time were on different climbs in their wrestling careers and had they both been at the top at the same time, it would be a huge deal.

If Lesnar ever returns to the WWE someday (which I believe he will) it’s probably only Cena that can have that “dream match” with Lesnar out of the entire current roster. Interesting how Cena is one of the most hated wrestlers by the internet/18-34 age group, yet is still involved in current dream match talk. Lesnar/Cena would be epic and be worthy of a WrestleMania showcase.

22. Batista vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton

I will always remember these three wrestlers as the biggest superstars of the current WWE era of wrestling. It was right around 2004-2005 when the WWE decided to elevate new wrestlers and it was these three they chose to take the ball. Imagine if those three wrestlers that were responsible for the current change we see in the WWE now, wrestled each other at a WrestleMania.

It could be based around “who is the one responsible for the current era in the WWE.” You would see television packages leading up to the match based off of their huge climbs all around the same time. Let’s not forget WrestleMania 21 saw Cena vs. JBL, Batista vs. Triple H and Orton vs. The Undertaker, at that time it was three established veterans facing off against three future stars for the next chapter of the WWE.

Whether your fans of their work or not, it would be a pretty big deal had it happen at WrestleMania. We know all the statistics out there, these three wrestlers don’t go very long without ever being in a Main Event of a PPV or holding a World Championship. They are important to the current landscape of the WWE, why not have them battle it out in the biggest of matches at WrestleMania? It would scream buyrates for fans would want to know “who really was the leader of the Ruthless Aggression era of the WWE?”

21. Roddy Piper vs. Randy Savage

How these two never linked arms to start off a match at a WrestleMania is still mindboggling to me. But when you really look back at the WWF/WWE history it was just that these two were either really big heels or really big faces at the same time. Had they ever given us this match it would have been big in the eyes of the wrestling fan base.

Piper and Savage are definitive pieces of what wrestling is today in the 1980s. All the wrestlers in the 80s helped lay down the foundation to wrestling we see today. They took it out of that “carnie atmosphere” and made it into a “sports entertainment.” It only seems fitting that these two could have headlined or co-headlined (it was the Hogan era remember) a WrestleMania against one another.

A Piper/Savage matchup could have been huge and could have made Savage an even bigger face had Piper played the heel in the role. Imagine a WrestleMania where you had Hogan/DiBiase and Savage/Piper as the Main Events? That would be the up & coming heel taking on the established face while the up & coming face took on the established heel. We will always be left to wonder and of course “fantasy book” why this match between Savage & Piper never happened at a WrestleMania.

What do you think of my list of “The Best 27 WrestleMania matches that never happened” matches 27 – 21? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at [email protected] and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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