I always wished I could have seen Kurt Angle vs. CM Punk. I probably never will now. Angle vs. Bryan too, another one I’ll never see. Two dream matches.
There used to be tons of dream matches like that on WWE’s horizon, matches that were quite literally money. Matches where you either know the match quality is going to be incredible, like the two examples above, or where the magnitude of the event is so great, when two titans square off for the first time, that the match quality doesn’t even matter, it’s just great to see them in the ring. We got to see one of those in 2002 with Rock vs. Hogan and I loved every minute of that.
Rock vs. Cena was another and they did the right thing there with Rock going over, unlike what happened when Cena faced Lesnar, but they did it in the wrong way. The People’s Elbow isn’t a credible finisher in this day and age any more than a leg drop and if they’d just taken the time to do a Rock Bottom after it, I think it would have cemented the win more.
I digress. The point is, it’s another area where WWE is sort of…failing miserably. I meant to sugar coat that a bit and find ways to make it less harsh on them, but actually I can’t be bothered, they just really are. Shouldn’t there be a lot more dream matches to spice up crowds like these matches did? I know there are injuries at the moment, and also some great matches on this year’s Wrestlemania card, but there are no dream matches.
It’s particularly annoying when they have the commodity of a lifetime in Brock Lesnar, for who knows how long. I’d be doing everything I could to get as many dream matches with him in at the big events as I could. They’ve already done Cena, Taker and Trips so admittedly that’s the biggest guns thrown right at Lesnar already, but isn’t it telling that those are the biggest guns?
Who could be left for Brock? Who’s left who has the big match feel?
Ambrose vs. Lesnar at Mania is great and I think the best match of the current card, but it’s most definitely an undercard match. If Brock were at the top of the card again, champion once more, who could he be facing?
We should be rubbing our hands with glee thinking of the potential opponents and once in a lifetime match ups, but Rock aside, I can’t think of any who really get my pulse racing.
Also, is it not also telling that we have to focus on returning, semi-retired talent to be able to think of big matches? We should be faced with, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, an invincible face vs. an invincible heel, both main roster full-time guys, who are finally going head to head after butting those heads for months.
But that’s pie in the sky, because title challenges come month to month not year to year. So let’s take that as another example – the title match. Let’s say Roman wins at Mania. Who’s next?
Well, I thought it was going to be Ryback. I think he wins his match at Mania now though and goes after Reigns later. Well when he does…let’s just say we know Ryback isn’t winning the title. I won’t bother going into why, he just isn’t.
Cena, at some point, will have a title match this year. Trips will probably want a rematch after Mania, but if Shane gets control of Raw, he might not (on screen) get to have that say. So you have Cena, Trips and Ryback as potential challengers. You have to figure Ambrose, Orton and Rollins will be in the picture as well.
So the main event picture for 2016 will possibly involve Rollins, Reigns, Ambrose, Cena, Orton, Triple H, Lesnar and Ryback. Well…that’s great isn’t it? That’s a great pick of wrestlers for the main event! Only…I’ve seen most of those matches already, or will have by the time my post-Wrestlemania hangover is cured. Having seen them before doesn’t mean there won’t be great, innovative matches of course, but it will be down to Creative to make sure the storylines are good enough to keep us all interested because I can’t think of one match up out of that lot, save for Brock vs. Orton, that I haven’t seen already.
So what else do you have for me WWE?
Well, just below that, that’s where my dreamland starts to become reality.
Think about a main event picture revolving around Cena, Orton, Zayn, Owens, Styles, Balor, Shinsuke, Gallows, Anderson, Rollins, Reigns, Wyatt and Ambrose. Backed up by Brock and Ryback and maybe even Joe.
Sixteen wrestlers who all interconnect in such an exciting way that I can barely contain that excitement at what could be coming my way over the coming twelve months.
I can pick you out three dream matches now after barely thinking about it for five minutes.
Orton vs. Zayn. Brock vs. Styles. Cena vs. Shinsuke.
Those are three examples but there’s so many more I could choose. It’s really a great time to be watching WWE when you think of the match ups they’ve got in their locker room. Only there’s this nagging thought at the back of my head. Because they’ve also got some great match ups with the first set of guys I mentioned. It’s true, not all of them will be in the main event picture at the same time and maybe some will get there quicker than others, but I’m talking broader, year-long picture. Maybe even beyond that.
It’s beyond that where I think they need to think more of. The fact I’ve seen most of the match ups from the older boys already is tantamount to the fast turnaround we’re seeing in wrestling at the moment, despite some feuds seeming to go on forever. The fact is, wrestlers aren’t kept apart these days in the same way that they were because they’re not built up in the same way that they were. I never ever want to see Randy Orton vs. John Cena again, but I couldn’t say the same about Rock vs. Austin back in the day because I didn’t see them fight multiple times in a year.
That’s the only problem with the amazing roster the WWE has – they don’t fill me with any confidence that they won’t make a bust of the next vein they have to mine before we get far enough down the road.
So imagine my distaste when I saw AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens advertised for SmackDown this week. I know, I know – I’m being a killjoy and great match ups are what we all invest in watching this business for, but to throw away that match on SmackDown bugs the hell out of me. That’s one of the matches you could have built up to as a really big deal. Teased a feud for weeks, maybe months, then have something snap and all hell break loose ending with a PPV match or series of PPV matches. It should be a big deal. Instead it’s on SmackDown.
I know there’ll probably be more, longer, better matches between them (NOTE I haven’t read the SmackDown spoilers or seen the show so this is from the standpoint of the match announcement not what actually happened) but that’s not the point. I’ll have seen it. I’ll have seen them hit their moves on each other and I’ll have at least a small flavour of how their future matches are going to go. In short, this will spoil it for me.
I’m also, however, not an idiot. I know they need to advertise big matches and it’s something I think they should do more of. I know they get stick from people like me (including, actually, me) for putting on matches on TV that are just PPV repeats or matches we’ve seen a million times before like the aforementioned Cena vs. Orton, but to give away some of your best match ups before they’re even in a proper feud…well, I’ve said it already, it bugs the hell out of me.
It’s short-term and it’s sad and it makes me want to get down on my knees and beg WWE not to throw away all the great matches they have with the sixteen wrestlers above in one year. Let me have some reserved for the future. Let me look forward to something.
Save me something.
Not just until Wrestlemania 33 or 34, but beyond that. Give me something huge that they’ve built to over time and established as almost a myth. Something we all think will never happen. A true once in a lifetime match. Not necessarily something not seen in another promotion, but something that hasn’t been seen in WWE, even for a lesser title. Something completely new and built to be the biggest deal that WWE has had to offer. I don’t even mind which wrestlers – I just want the biggest of matches.
That’s a dream match.
So what about you guys? Out of the wrestlers I picked above, what would your three dream matches be?