Well, here we are at the third and final edition of WrestleMania Matches That Should Have Happened.
If you missed the previous two entries, simply click on my name and check out the articles on my page (as well as my other articles).
Again, this is not a list of dream matches but rather matches that had a realistic chance of happening and for whatever reason, creative went in another direction.
Leading up to the "25th Anniversary" of WrestleMania, Chris Jericho began to run down several legends of the industry.
Jericho compared Flair, Piper, Steamboat and Snuka (among others) to Mickey Rourke’s Randy the Ram Robinson from The Wrestler.
It seemed as if someone would step up and defend the legends. Speculation was that Jericho might face Flair (coming out of retirement), Hulk Hogan or the person most people wanted: Stone Cold. Stone Cold was inducted into the Hall of Fame that year so many thought he would be the one.
Jericho instead faced Snuka, Steamboat and Piper in a handicap match and the man to ‘defend’ the legends was…Mickey Rourke.
Austin made an appearance at the event during the Hall of Fame segment.
People will naturally disagree with this one and argue that the two men have faced each other way too many times.
Well, since when has multiple matches between two men been a bad thing? Think Austin-Rock or Triple H-Rock (and several others).
These two men have not had a one-on-one match at the show of shows since the King of Kings threw himself into the Triple Threat match at WrestleMania 24.
Around the time of this year’s Royal Rumble, it seemed that WWE would pit their two most popular performers against each other at the big show.
It seemed Orton would take the title off The Miz and Cena would win either the Rumble or the Elimination Chamber.
Cena did win the chamber, but by then Miz had guaranteed himself the main event of WrestleMania.
This will be a controversial one simply because how iconic and loved the Rock-Austin match is.
When you think of the conclusion of the match though, it was absolutely the wrong decision turning Austin heel. I feel if this match would have happened, Austin would have remained on top for several more years; taking a back seat to no one.
This match was all but set to happen as Angle had won the title from The Rock back at October’s No Mercy PPV. Come February, Angle was still champion having successfully defended against the Undertaker, four top names (and Rikishi) in a Hell in a Cell match and Triple H at the Royal Rumble. Angle’s last hurdle was the man he took the title from.
The match was set for the 2001 No Way Out, but instead of going with the fresh matchup, WWE instead had Rock take the title, thus setting up the Austin-Rock match and eventual Austin heel turn.
Ironically, months later Angle as a face would be the one to end Austin’s title reign.
Another one from this year. Rey Mysterio was the first man that Del Rio feuded with upon debuting with the company.
The feud came to a conclusion on an episode of Smackdown with Del Rio winning the 2-out-of-3 falls match as well as the feud.
Del Rio went on to win the Royal Rumble and at the Elimination Chamber and there was a possibility that Mysterio would win the World Title and restart the feud.
The last two men in Smackdown’s chamber were Mysterio and World Champ Edge. The two men went back and forth for a while but in the end, the Rated R Superstar put an end to any thoughts of a Del Rio-Mysterio World Title Match at Mania.
I never got behind the idea of an Undertaker-HBK rematch at WrestleMania 26, and up until it was officially announced, I didn’t think it would happen.
It was also clear that Triple H would not be involved in a title match at the 26th WrestleMania, so to me it seemed quite logical.
Many times, I expected something to cause a rift between the DX buddies leading up to the event. I thought the setting was perfect and that HBK would finally reverse the roles and turn heel on Triple H.
Of course, the HBK-Taker match did become official and Triple H went on to face a then-scorching Sheamus.
If HBK-Triple H did happen, Undertaker would still be covered as he would have faced…
The feud that many wanted and never got. The two men faced for the first time a few months before on Smackdown, but what many really wanted was a showdown at WrestleMania.
Jericho did take the World Title from the Deadman at February’s Elimination Chamber but that came with help from Shawn Michaels, which set up the Taker-HBK match and put an end to any thoughts of a Taker-Jericho match.
Things worked out pretty well for Jericho, though, as he successfully defended his World Title at WrestleMania against fellow Canadian Edge.
The two men had feuded the previous summer/fall as Christian’s jealousy began to grow for partner (brother?) Edge.
The former Team Awesome faced off at the 2001 Unforgiven and No Mercy with Edge walking away from the feud with the Intercontinental Championship.
Surely creative could have just booked the former partners against each other in a big blow off in Toronto.
Well that didn't happen, as both Edge and Christian were involved in underwhelming feuds from No Mercy through WrestleMania.
Christian faced Diamond Dallas Page in a forgotten/underrated match at the 18th WrestleMania while Edge faced Booker T in an underwhelming match.
Jeff Hardy was on fire leading up to the 24th WrestleMania.
WWE strapped a rocket to his back as he defeated Triple H in a No. 1 contender’s match at the 2007 Armageddon. He had a short feud with then-champion Randy Orton over the WWE Championship which culminated in a match that Hardy lost at the Royal Rumble.
Prior to the 2008 Elimination Chamber Jeff Hardy cleanly defeated Shawn Michaels in a forgotten match on Raw. It seemed as if Jeff was the favorite to win the Chamber and head to the WrestleMania Title Match. Only Triple H stood in the younger Hardy’s way.
Jeff and Triple H were the last two men in the chamber and after two pedigrees, Jeff’s dreams were dashed and his title match was off.
Hardy was relegated to the Money in the Bank match (which we would have surely won) but then was dropped from the card altogether when he was suspended for drug issues.
WWE (rightfully so) didn’t fully trust Jeff Hardy and so the groundbreaking match never got a chance to happen.
That concludes my 'Wrestlemania Matches That Should Have Happened' series.
Agree? Disagree? What matches did you feel were left off?