We’ve all thought about the biggest “dream” matches—Hulk Hogan vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock vs. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart vs. Kurt Angle—among others.
But what about the “dream” matches we’ve already seen, but have never seen again?
I’m talking about the biggest one-on-one matches that have happened only once or twice.
Presented in chronological order of when the first match took place, these are my top 10 biggest “dream” RE-matches.
Forget about their match at Halloween Havoc in 1998, a match engineered solely for the purpose of Hogan avenging his loss at WrestleMania VI.
Everyone agrees that the big reason Warrior’s first and only title run was a failure was because WWE failed to give him notable opponents.
His only successful pay-per-view title defense was at SummerSlam in 1990 against Rick Rude, who nobody considered a real threat.
Even though Rude was the first man to ever pin Warrior, Warrior had since defeated Rude at SummerSlam ‘89, just one year earlier!
Imagine if after Hogan made his comeback against Earthquake, he challenged Warrior to regain his title in what, at the time, would have been the biggest rematch ever.
The Place: Survivor Series 1990
The Winner: The Ultimate Warrior
In a rematch from their 20-second impromptu title bout at WrestleMania IX, Yokozuna defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship at King of the Ring in 1993.
It would be Hogan’s last match in the WWF for nine years.
Let’s say Yokozuna had lost the title to either Lex Luger or Bret Hart at Royal Rumble in 1994, leading to a match between those two (with either as champion) at WrestleMania X.
That would have left Yokozuna open to face a returning Hogan.
The nine-month wait for Hogan after injury would have been huge, and as a grudge match right before the main event, it wouldn’t have taken the focus away from “The New Generation.”
The Place: WrestleMania X
The Winner: Hulk Hogan
It was the biggest “dream” match of all time.
Rather than hotshot a rematch, WWE didn’t book it for another 10 months.
Rock won both matches, the first cleanly, the second with the assistance of Mr. McMahon. Hogan would get his revenge on McMahon at WrestleMania XIX, but never on The Rock.
A third match wouldn’t have been a tie-breaker, but it would have settled their feud once and for all.
The Place: Judgment Day 2003
The Winner: Hulk Hogan
For the second time in 2002, The Rock walked into a match as a fan favorite, and got the hell booed out of him.
The first time was at WrestleMania X8, when he faced “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, who, despite being a heel, fans were ecstatic to see return to the WWF.
The second time was against Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar, a heel, had been gaining momentum as “The Next Big Thing,” but more importantly, it was widely known that Rock was leaving again (after being back only two months) to film another movie.
The match had an electric buildup and culminated in a fast-paced, hard-hitting 15-minute main event.
By the end of the match, the Long Island fans were booing Rock and cheering Lesnar.
When Rock returned five months later, he was a full-blown heel, playing off the perception that he had seemingly ditched WWE for Hollywood.
And he had great heat, defeating “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan at No Way Out in 2003, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania a month later.
Lesnar was now a full-blown face, having recaptured the WWE Championship from Kurt Angle in the main event of WrestleMania XIX.
With their roles switched, it would have been great to see how these two would have done in a rematch.
The Place: Backlash 2003
The Winner: Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero had one of the best matches of 2004, a classic underdog story that ended with Guerrero winning the WWE Championship.
Over the next few months, Lesnar would leave WWE to pursue a career in the NFL, and Guerrero would lose the title to J.B.L..
The original plan at WrestleMania XX was for Lesnar to defeat Goldberg (but Goldberg convinced WWE that he might make a few appearances later on, so he was given the win).
Had Lesnar won the match, he would have had amazing momentum going into a rematch with Guerrero, who would have retained the title against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX.
The roles would have been the same, but these two could have put on another epic wrestling clinic.
The Place: Judgment Day 2004
The Winner: Eddie Guerrero
This is probably the only instance where I want to see a rematch not because the original was a classic, but because it was a disaster.
Lesnar and Goldberg were perfectly matched: powerful, innovative, fast, and unstoppable. They were even in height, weight, and physique.
A rematch could have featured everything the original didn’t: Lesnar finally hitting the shooting star press, stealing each other’s finishers, more involvement from the special guest referee, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and everything else that their first match didn’t.
The Place: WrestleMania 21
The Winner: Brock Lesnar
Just about every wrestling fan knows the story: Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels were scheduled to meet in a two-match series.
The first match would be won by Hogan; the rematch would be won by Michaels.
But right before SummmerSlam in 2005, Hogan backed out of the rematch, making him the victor of their one and only encounter.
The story was still red-hot, Michaels could have carried Hogan to another classic, and at least this time he would have been appropriately rewarded.
The Place: Unforgiven 2005
The Winner: Shawn Michaels
Mick Foley once referred to his hardcore match with Edge at WrestleMania 22 as “the greatest hardcore match of all time,” and it was hard to disagree.
These two pulled off the impossible: going on fourth (on a card with eleven matches) and somehow stealing the show.
There’s no telling what kind of destruction they could have unleashed on each other in another hardcore match, or possibly a similar match type.
A rematch was teased on RAW in May of 2006, but Foley came out with Tommy Dreamer, turned on Dreamer, and that lead to the tag team match between Foley and Edge against Dreamer and Terry Funk at ECW One Night Stand in 2006.
The Place: One Night Stand 2006
The Winner: Edge
Speaking of One Night Stand 2006, here was another “dream” match that only happened once.
Mysterio was known as an innovator of high-flying, lucha-libre wrestling. Sabu was known as an innovator of high-flying, hardcore wrestling.
Somehow, in ECW and WCW, these two had never competed against each other.
They finally met in a one-on-one match for the World Heavyweight Championship at One Night Stand in 2006.
It was just the insanity everyone hoped it would be, but then they both fell through a table, and the match was ruled a no-contest.
They needed a rematch to at least declare a winner. They never did.
The Place: SmackDown!, June 16th, 2006 (the show after One Night Stand)
The Winner: Rey Mysterio
John Cena and Bobby Lashley were perfectly matched in terms of power and speed, and Lashley was the first real threat to Cena’s 13-month reign as WWE Champion.
Cena defeated Lashley in a thrilling one-on-one matchup at The Great American Bash in 2007, but before they could have a rematch, Lashley took time off for surgery and Cena suffered a major injury.
Ironically, just days after Cena made a surprise return at the 2008 Royal Rumble, Lashley was released from the company, for reasons never made clear.
The Place: SummerSlam 2008
The Winner: Bobby Lashley