Wrestling dream matches are few and far between…or are they? Here are ten dream matches that actually took place.
1. Hulk Hogan vs. Bret Hart Nitro 98: Given WCW’s deep talent roster, it’s no surprise Hulk Hogan worked dream bouts in the promotion. As we’ve covered in previous videos, Bret Hart claims Hogan was supposed to wrestle him and drop the WWF Championship in 1993. That didn’t happen but fans got to see the two battle during the 28 September 1998 edition of Nitro. Unfortunately, the match was a short dud that saw Bret Hart injured and stretchered out. Sting would take “The Hitman’s” place only for Hart to return and attack the Stinger, yet another questionable WCW swerve and a waste of what could have been a true dream match.
2. Triple H vs Bret Hart RAW 1997: While Triple H wasn’t a main event player yet, he was no curtain jerker in 1997. Working alongside Shawn Michaels in D-Generation X. On 6 October 1997, Triple H battled WWF World Champion Bret Hart in a match designed to continue the heat between DX and the Hart Foundation. While this match didn’t go to a conclusive finish, it was still entertaining, featuring interference from Shawn Michaels and Chyna that allowed Hunter to claim a count-out victory.
3. Hulk Hogan vs. Rick Rude: House Shows January 1988: Wrestling lore has it Hulk Hogan didn’t want to work with “Ravishing” Rick Rude because the “Ravishing One” worked stiff. They did lock up though in January 1988, working a live event at the Boston Gardens and another in Vancouver, British Columbia. While it’s hard to say how a program between the two would have played out, the Boston match can be found on the video Hulk Hogan: The Unreleased Archives, giving fans an idea of how Hogan and Rude worked together.
4. Steve Austin vs. Eddie Guerrero Smackdown! 2000: Eddie’s star was on the rise but he wasn’t a WWF main event player yet when he faced “The Texas Rattlesnake” in November of 2000. Still, that didn’t stop him and “Stone Cold” from having short but action-packed match that was heavy on brawling. Two years later, the WWE set the stage for what looked like an Austin vs. Guerrero feud, but that year, Austin walked out on the WWE after they asked him to lose clean to Brock Lesnar on free TV and with no build-up.
5. Brock Lesnar vs. Chris Benoit: Smackdown 2004:This battle between two wrestling machines saw the Beast Incarnate battling the Rabid Wolverine on the 4 December 2003 SmackDown!. What Benoit lacked in height, he made up for in fight, giving Lesnar more than he bargained for, and getting Lesnar to tap out in the Crippler Crossface. The only problem was there was no referee to make the call as he’d been taken out accidentally. Lesnar grabbed a chair, blasted Benoit, and got a TKO win. Despite the screw job ending, this was a captivating bout and one you should check out if you haven’t seen it.
6. Razor Ramon vs. The Undertaker: House shows 1992 & 1993: “The Bad Guy” was still playing a bad guy when he tangled with ‘Taker in September 1992, taking a powder after “The Dead Man” nearly hit the Tombstone on him. The two scrapped again, this time in early 1993 when Razor walked out again, after a chokeslam by the Undertaker must have made Ramon take the “discretion is the better part of valor” route. The second Razor/Undertaker match can be found on the WWF Coliseum video, WWF: Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em.
7. AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura Wrestle Kingdom 10: Yes fans, this did happen and it was everything you hoped for and more. Nakamura was IWGP Intercontinental Champion when he defended the title against “The Phenomenal One” at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 10. The leader of the Bullet Club fell to Nakamura in a 24-minute classic. New Japan Pro Wrestling fans were shocked when they learned A.J. Styles, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson and Shinsuke Nakamura were leaving the promotion for the WWE. Don’t be surprised to see A.J. and Nakamura battle again, this time in the WWE. Editor’s Note: Naturally, this is one of WrestleLamia’s first articles and took place before AJ’s dynamic debut in the WWE.
8. Goldberg vs. Randy Orton RAW 2003: The 18 August 2003 RAW featured Randy Orton taking on Bill Goldberg. The Evolution member undoubtedly hoped to soften Goldberg up for his upcoming SummerSlam match with World Heavyweight Champion Triple H. With “Stone Cold” Steve Austin serving as guest enforcer, Goldberg overcame Ric Flair’s interference, pinning Orton after hitting the Spear and Jackhammer. A win by Goldberg seemed inevitable but it was still an entertaining match.
9. Rob Van Dam vs. Shawn Michaels RAW 2002: Shawn Michaels’ return to action was highlighted in a battle of the high-flyers as “The Show-Stopper” battled “The Whole F-n Show,” just weeks after Michaels won the World Heavyweight Championship at the 2002 Survivor Series. This match could have been one for the ages but instead served as a way to continue the program between Michaels and Triple H. What the fans did see of HBK and RVD was memorable, with both men showing what made their matches so electrifying.
10. Brock Lesnar vs. Hulk Hogan SmackDown! 2002: Hogan-haters complain the Hulkster never put anyone over but that’s not what happened during this 8 August 2002 SmackDown! episode where Lesnar kicked out of Hogan’s Legdrop of Doom, knocked him out with a bearhug, then delivered a bloody post-match beatdown. Hogan wasn’t at the height of his abilities, but he was no jabroni either, having recently held the WWE Championship.
Ten dream matches that actually happened. Have you seen these matches? If you haven’t, be sure to check them out.