Ever since WCW was bought out by WWE, fans have clamoured for a number of dream matches between the two companies. Some happened, some didn’t. But there are so many matches the fans were absolutely dying for that Vince McMahon never managed to provide. The remain as dream matches in WWE that never happened. Here is my top ten list of those matches.
10. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs Goldberg
The two titan’s on each side of the Monday Night War. Both bald, goateed bad-asses with black trunks and a chip on their shoulder. Steve Austin and Bill Goldberg were the two biggest hard men in the Attitude Era, each lifting their company up to new heights.
WWE would best WCW in the Monday Night War, and had the opportunity to put on some real dream matches. One of these was Goldberg vs Steve Austin. Goldberg even challenged Austin to a match on the Jay Leno show in 1999, which came to nothing.
When WWE bought WCW in 1999, fans were in the frenzy as two which big WCW stars would face WWE’s biggest stars. Sadly for the fans, Vince McMahon didn’t buy out Goldberg’s multi-million dollar deal, so the former WCW Champion sat on the sidelines.
Goldberg would finally join the WWE in 2003, but by that time injuries had piled up and forced “The Texas Rattlesnake” to hang up his boots. We never got the famed Goldberg vs Austin match. Although Goldberg vs The Rock was the next best thing, it never lived up to that unending hype of “What if?”
The match, if it was booked, could have made the list of the best Stone Cold Steve Austin matches of all time.
9. NWO vs De-Generation X
The battle of the 1990s is encapsulated by the New World Order vs De-Generation X. The two warring factions ran roughshod over WCW and WWF respectively in the late 1990s, and fans were clamouring to see Triple H, Shawn Michaels and co. take on the menacing NWO.
There was never enough crossover for the two teams to face each other. Injuries to Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash made sure the stars never aligned for the teams to face off.
The two teams did have one moment together, as the NWO ran in to help Sting in his match against Triple H at Wrestlemania 31. It was the closest we got to NWO vs DX, and was an all time great Wrestlemania moment.
8. Shawn Michaels vs Daniel Bryan
In the summer of 2013, Daniel Bryan was the most popular man in WWE. He had just beaten John Cena for the WWE title at Summerslam, but had it cruely ripped away from him by Randy Orton and Triple H. At Hell in a Cell, he faced off against Orton for the WWE Championship, but was attacked by special guest referee Shawn Michaels.
HBK had been retired for a number of years, but this seemed like the perfect match to bring him back. He trained Daniel Bryan when he was just starting out, so the story was ready made for an emotional, final match for the Showstopper.
Sadly, Michaels stayed retired. He never wrestled again. Please don’t google if he ever wrestled again.
7. John Cena vs Hulk Hogan
This one is more of a fantasy match, but there was a point in time where both these men could have worked together.
In 2007, John Cena was the WWE Champion, and a dominant champion. Hulk Hogan was past his prime, but as he had his last match in 2011, could still somewhat go in the ring. He even returned in 2007 for Raw’s 15th anniversary, saving Hornswoggle from The Great Khali.
John Cena vs Hulk Hogan could have been a main event match at Wrestlemania 23 or 24. While Cena was part of the WWE title match at Wrestlemania 24, he was defeated by Randy Orton despite winning the Royal Rumble, A marquee match similar to The Rock vs Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 18 would be ideal for the pair, and would surely be another great Wrestlemania moment for the pair.
6. Kurt Angle vs Bret Hart
Bret Hart and Kurt Angle will go down as two of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history. The Hitman’s career was cut short by injury in 2000 by Goldberg, but was approached by Kurt Angle prior to Wrestlemania 20 to see if he’d like to dance one more time.
Hart declined however, being unable to wrestle. He was unable to take any bumps at all due to his multiple concussions, and would not be cleared to wrestle a full much.
Angle said he wouldn’t have to a take a bump at all, but Hart declined, saying “Nah, it won’t be the Bret Hart match that I want to be and I can’t do that“
So, I understood why Bret didn’t want to do it. Because he had the stroke and he had a lot of bad luck, you know, some things happened that made it medically difficult for him to come back and be at his very best. I told him, you know, listen, you didn’t even have to bump at all. I’ll do all the bumping and he was like, ‘Nah, it won’t be the Bret Hart match that I want to be and I can’t do thatKurt Angle
5. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs CM Punk
While this match seems like a “cross generations” match, there was a moment in time where it could have happened, according to CM Punk.
A confrontation between the pair on a backstage segment fuelled the fire for a match between the two. A further interview by Jim Ross to promote WWE 13 made fans sure that the match was going to happen.
Despite being top of the fans wishlist, Austin stayed retired and we never got the “Straight-Edge Superstar” going up against the Beer swilling “Texas Rattlesnake”. Who knows how the bout would have gone, but Punk and Austin certainly had their ideas on Twitter.
If this did happen, it certainly would have been one of the best Steve Austin matches of all time.
4. Dean Ambrose vs Mick Foley
Mick Foley was set to return in 2012 to WWE with a match with FCW Graduate Dean Ambrose. Ambrose set on about a social media campaign, insulting Foley for turning a generation of wrestlers onto hardcore wrestlers, contributing to their deaths. He even started confronting the hardcore legend at signings and fan events, hyping up to the eventual match.
Sadly, Foley was never cleared the wrestle due to injuries suffered over the countless years. Ambrose would later debut as part of the Shield. He would become a world champion, and later move to AEW as Jon Moxley and become the second ever AEW Champion.
3. The Rock vs Shawn Michaels
Number three on the list of WWE Matches that never happened is one you’d really think would have happened. The Rock was in WWE for 2 years before Shawn Michaels’ first retirement, but the pair never crossed paths in the ring.
Rumours have swirled about The Rock’s reluctance to face the Heart Break Kid. According the Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels “Insulted the Rock when he was a kid in Hawaii”, although others have stated that it was something to do with Shawn Michaels and the Rock’s Grandmother.
WWE did try to get Shawn and Rock to work together, but the Rock nixed the idea. He refused to work with Shawn Michaels, and it will forever be a match that fans will have to see only in their dreams. It goes to number three of dream matches in WWE that never happened, and now never will.
2. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs Hulk Hogan
The two biggest stars in pro-wrestling history did face off once. However, it was in a handicap match on Monday Night Raw. Steve Austin and the Rock took on the New World Order (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash), setting up that years Wrestlemania matches.
Sadly, The Rock faced off with Hogan whilst Austin faced Hall. I say sadly, as if Rock vs Hogan wasn’t one of the greatest spectacles in Wrestlemania history. It will rightly go down as one of the best matches in WWE history, while Hall vs Austin in largely forgotten.
Why we never got a match between Austin and Hogan is very simply. Neither men wanted to lose to the other. Austin never forgot the politicking and backstage antics of Hogan, and knew that if he let Hogan beat him, he’d never get the win back. Hogan, meanwhile, thought he should beat Austin because going over doesn’t work for him, brother.
1. Sting vs The Undertaker
The one match that makes everybody’s list of WWE dream matches that should have happened. The Icon Sting and the Phenom The Undertaker. Mr WCW vs Mr WWE. Both men are two of the greatest wrestlers in WWE and WCW respectively, and the showdown between the pair seemed the most obvious match in history.
The story writes itself, yet Sting vs the Undertaker never happened. Sting refused to sign with WWE after the Invasion. He cited the poor booking of the likes of Diamond Dallas Page and Booker T as a reason to stay away.
Sting did eventually join the Deadman in WWE. At the age of 55, he made his WWE debut at Survivor Series 2014. He helped Dolph Ziggler beat the Authority and oust Triple H from his position in charge. Whilst his match versus Triple H at that years Wrestlemania was a marquee match, it was not the one the fans wanted.
A match between “Crow” Sting and “Deadman” Undertaker would have been one of the biggest spectacles in the history of wrestling. Even a simple stare down between the pair would have had the fans in a frenzy.
Sadly, despite Sting wanting the match, Undertaker never saw any value in a match with Sting, and the match never took place. With immeasurable disappointment, it goes to number one on the list of WWE dream matches that never happened.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.