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WWE: Wrestlers Who Could Have Carried WrestleMania

Leave it to the WWE to move from one legendary tradition at WrestleMania and create something totally new to help create new hype and drama.

If it is true that Triple H and The Rock could be headed to a WrestleMania 31 showdown, then let me be the first to say Hallelujah. This is a former feud that could have some legs and could sell many tickets at the new Levi’s Stadium. It’s only fitting to bring The Rock to the millions (and millions) of fans in the WWE on the company’s grandest stage.

As a fan of professional wrestling and someone who loves WrestleMania, here are a few wrestlers who I would have loved to see headline the event, and could have carried it on their backs in grand fashion.

BARRY WINDHAM

The son of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan. He is best known for his appearances with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

In NWA/WCW, he was a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a one-time United States Heavyweight Champion, a one-time Television Champion, a one-time Western States Heritage Champion, a four-time NWA (Mid Atlantic)/WCW World Tag Team Champion and a one-time NWA United States Tag Team Champion with Ron Garvin.

In the WWF, he was a two-time World Tag Team Champion with his brother-in-law, Mike Rotunda. On March 31, 2012, Windham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Four Horsemen.

CURT HENNIG

Hennig is recognized by WWE as a one-time world champion, having held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship for 373 days (the seventh-longest reign in history). He won three additional world championships: the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship once, and the I-Generation World Heavyweight Championship twice. A two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, Hennig has been named by WWE as one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time, and was the longest-reigning champion of the 1990s.

Hennig returned to the WWF for a brief period in 2002, being one of the last three men remaining at the Royal Rumble. He later challenged for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in TNA, prior to his death on February 10, 2003.

KERRY VON ERICH

The Modern Day Warrior and the Texas Tornado. He was part of the Von Erich family of professional wrestlers. He is best known for his time with his father’s promotion World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), where he spent eleven years of his career, and his time in World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Adkisson held forty championships in various promotions during his career. Among other accolades, he was a five-time world champion: a four-time WCWA World Heavyweight Champion and one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion.

TERRY FUNK

Funk has appeared in the NWA, AWA, WWF/E, WCW, ECW, ROH, and TNA.

In major promotions, Funk is a three-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once and ECW World Heavyweight Championship twice.

He is the only man to have been inducted into the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, NWA, Hardcore, Wrestling Observer, and St. Louis Wrestling Halls of Fame.

Funk is often noted for the longevity of his career, which has included multiple “retirement” matches.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he and his brother Dory Funk were two of the best mat wrestler to ever appear in a ring.

RON SMMMONS

In WCW, Simmons was a one-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion; as the first African American to win the title, he is recognized by WWE as the first black world heavyweight champion in professional wrestling history. He was also a one-time WCW World Tag Team Champion with Butch Reed and a one-time WCW United States Tag Team Champion with Big Josh.

In the WWF, Simmons was a three-time WWF Tag Team Champion with Bradshaw as one half of the Acolytes Protection Agency. As the leader of stable The Nation of Domination, he also competed for the company’s singles championships on pay-per-view, headlining the 1997 King of the Ring event against The Undertaker for the WWF Championship. Simmons was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

DUSTY RHODES

He is a current trainer currently working for WWE. He makes occasional on-air appearances on other WWE television and pay-per-views and works as a backstage booker and producer in WWE’s NXT Wrestling developmental territory. Billed as “the son of a plumber”, Rhodes’ character was that of the American working man, particularly in promo videos such as his famous ‘Hard Times’.

Rhodes is a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and during his time in Jim Crockett Promotions (the forerunner of WCW), he was a former United States Champion, and multi-time Television, World Tag Team, and Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He has also won many regional championships during his wrestling career.

He is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

OWEN HART

Among his many accolades, Hart was a one-time world champion, having held the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship during the USWA’s partnership with the WWF, a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, a one-time WWF European Champion, and a four-time WWF World Tag Team Champion.

He was also the winner of the 1994 WWF King of the Ring. A staple of the WWF’s In Your House pay-per-view series from 1995–1998, Hart wrestled more matches at those events than any other performer with 22, including three headlining slots. He also main-evented SummerSlam 1994 in a steel cage match against older brother Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, which remains one of only five WWF matches in history awarded a full five stars in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

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