WrestleMania Dream Matches That Never Happened
WrestleMania dream matches that fans never got to witness!
WrestleMania highlights the biggest matches of the year, but sometimes the WWE has missed out on putting on potentially classic bouts for a variety of reasons. Some of the dream matches that WWE missed were at their fingertips, and some would never happen. Let’s look at some dream matches that remained a dream for the biggest stage in professional wrestling.
HULK HOGAN VS. BRET HART
In October 1992, Bret Hart won the WWE World Championship from Ric Flair and marked the beginning of a new generation of pro wrestling. Hogan wasn’t actively wrestling for the company, but in early 1993 Hogan returned to team up with his friend Brutus Beefcake. After Bret lost the WWE World Championship to Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX, Hogan defeated Yokozuna for the title in an impromptu contest. There was speculation that Hogan and Bret were supposed to wrestle at SummerSlam 1993, but Hogan decided against it and soon left the company. A Hogan vs. Bret match would have been a perfect passing-the-torch moment that WWE fans never saw at WrestleMania between two legends.
HULK HOGAN VS. RIC FLAIR
In 1991, Ric Flair arrived at the WWE and proclaimed himself the real World Champion. The end game appeared to be a match with then-champion Hulk Hogan. They would have several house show matches, but attendance would decrease each time, causing the company to pivot. Thus, the dream match scheduled for WrestleMania VIII doesn’t take place. While WWE didn’t capitalize on the dream match, WCW held their first PPV encounter at WCW Bash At The Beach 1994. The contest became a major success, and Hogan and Flair’s rivalry was a significant fixture for WCW for several years.
HULK HOGAN VS. STEVE AUSTIN
Two of the biggest stars to ever compete and the driving forces of the Monday Night Wars never squared off against each other at WrestleMania. After WCW went out of business, Hogan and Austin were both on the WWE roster in 2002, but WWE instead went with Hogan vs. Rock at WrestleMania X8 due to Austin not believing that Hogan could keep up with him in the ring. Two of the all-time biggest box office attractions would have drawn historic numbers.
GOLDBERG VS. STEVE AUSTIN
Like Hogan vs. Austin, a match between Goldberg and Steve Austin had long been a dream match for wrestling fans. Wrestling magazines often include a Goldberg vs. Austin match on their cross-promotional dream match lists. Goldberg was the top draw for WCW, while Austin was the top draw for WWE during the peak years of the Monday Night Wars in 1998 and 1999. Goldberg arrived at WWE the night after WrestleMania 19, the final night Austin competed as a regular in-ring competitor. It’s a dream match that wrestling fans barely missed out on witnessing.
BROCK LESNAR VS. STEVE AUSTIN
A showdown between Lesnar and Austin had been scheduled to take place on a RAW episode in May 2002, but Austin didn’t want to lose on a random episode of RAW. This decision led to Austin leaving the company and appearing on television in February 2003. Austin was the top name for the Attitude Era, and Lesnar was the top attraction for the Ruthless Aggression era before departing the company in 2004. Unfortunately, aside from the 2002 TV match, their timeline needed to align for a big WrestleMania moment.
TRIPLE H VS. STEVE AUSTIN
At Survivor Series 1999, Steve Austin infamously got run down in the parking lot by a mystery man behind the wheel of a car. Eventually, Rikishi was revealed as driving, but HHH was the mastermind behind the idea. Austin returned to action in October 2000 and had an incredible Three Stages Of Hell match against Triple H at No Way Out 2001, but they never squared off at WrestleMania. The hit-and-run angle was a significant storyline that dominated WWE television for over a year. A match at WrestleMania would have added to the importance of the story.
TRIPLE H VS. SHAWN MICHAELS
These two have wrestled several times and had matches at Royal Rumble and SummerSlam, but never at WrestleMania. They were scheduled to have a match at WrestleMania 17 for Michaels’ triumph return from back surgery, but Michaels didn’t get medically cleared to compete. Luckily, they’d have their historic moment competing against each other at SummerSlam 2002 in a great street fight. While not a singles match, they also shared a ring in a triple threat match at WrestleMania XX in a match featuring Chris Benoit. It’s one of the best WrestleMania main events ever.
EDDIE GUERRERO VS. SHAWN MICHAELS
Two of the best to ever compete in the ring were supposed to compete in a singles match at WrestleMania 22. However, Guerrero tragically passed away in November 2005. Undoubtedly, Guerrero and Michaels would have had a memorable bout. Unfortunately, it’s one of the bigger ‘what if’ matches to never happen in WWE.
THE ROCK VS. SHAWN MICHAELS
While never confirmed, a match between Rock and Michaels never occurred on WrestleMania or any other major event for one reason. Michaels allegedly led the charge in treating Rock poorly early in Rock’s career. As a result, Rock held poor feelings toward Michaels and actively avoided a match with Michaels. Following Michaels’ back injury in 1998, their timeline needed to align to allow a showdown between them to take place. Michaels return at the 2002 SummerSlam event was the same show that marked Rock’s final full-time appearance for WWE.
KURT ANGLE VS. BRET HART
Their careers never crossed paths due to the Montreal Screw-job in 1997 and Hart’s career-ending injury at Starrcade 1999. However, it’s a match that Bret himself has said he wished he could have had if Hart had never left WWE. Their styles would have meshed well together and likely would have been a mat classic both have had throughout their careers. Wrestling fans would have also had the answer to which submission hold was the best, either the sharpshooter or ankle lock.
STING VS. THE UNDERTAKER
A rare instance where both men were on the WWE roster, and fans were clamoring for a showdown between the two. Despite the fan’s interest in 2014 when Sting made his shocking WWE debut, WWE didn’t go with the dream match and instead had Sting work with Triple H. It’s a surprising decision considering their popularity during the Monday Night Wars. The match is often listed in wrestling magazines as a dream match, similar to Austin vs. Goldberg. It’s frustrating knowing they were both there for the match, which never happened. Sting has repeatedly said that he wanted the match, but WWE didn’t. Wrestling fans wanted it, too.
WrestleMania 39 takes place on April 1st and 2nd, starting at 8 PM ET live on Peacock.