WWE: Recreating WrestleMania 14 with Current Roster
In the past few weeks, I have tried to compare the WWE talent of today with the legendary rosters of yesteryear.
This yielded some interesting results, as the best the PG era has to offer compared unfavorably to the talent of the Attitude Era and the "Rock 'N Wrestling" era.
By popular demand, I have decided to continue this experiment with another WrestleMania that will be remembered as one of the classic pay-per-views: WrestleMania 14.
This has often been cited as the beginning of the "Attitude Era," with Mike Tyson acting as a special enforcer at the main event, and the passing of the torch from Shawn Michaels to Stone Cold Steve Austin.
This pay-per-view also featured the first WrestleMania match between Kane and the Undertaker, as well as victories for Triple H and The Rock.
WrestleMania 14 took place just as wrestling was about to hit its biggest boom period since the height of "Hulk-a-mania".
However, in the following slideshow, I will try and recreate the magic of WrestleMania 14 with the current WWE roster.
Tag Team Battle Royal Won by the Legion of Doom
This match is difficult to recreate due to the lack of current teams in the WWE, but there have been some recent signs that the tag team division is on the rise.
The Usos, the Nexus, the Corre and the Big Show and Kane could all compete and would produce a decent match.
The match was won by the Legion of Doom, who were making a shock return to WWF competition, and therefore the equivalent would have to be a successful team that has not been seen together for some time.
Recently the WWE has been teasing a reunion between Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase and a newly-reformed Legacy would be the modern-day equivalent of the L.O.D.'s return to action 13 years ago.
2011 Equivalent: Tag team Turmoil match won by Legacy
Light Heavyweight Championship Match: Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila
Taka Michinoku was arguably the original WWF cruiserweight ,and he was hugely popular with the crowd that had not been exposed to his high-flying style.
Rey Mysterio has also had a huge part to play in the revolution of the WWE cruiserweight division and is still a huge draw with the young fans.
Aguila was another light heavyweight who came in as the challenger to Michinoku's position in the company, and their similar styles produced a fantastic wrestling match.
Sin Cara has been brought in as the "new Rey Mysterio," and there have already been rumors of a match between the two at WrestleMania 28.
A clash between these two masked high-fliers would be a definite point of interest and has the potential to be a classic.
2011 Equivalent: Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara
European Championship Match: Triple H vs. Owen Hart
At this point in his career, Triple H was a brash and cocky heel that had not yet fully backed up his trash talk.
He was playing second fiddle to Shawn Michaels in the original DX, but it was clear that the company had big plans for him at the main event position.
Although he had not won the "Big One" at this point, his character was at a similar to the Miz. Like Triple H, Miz excels on the mic but his in-ring work still needs some development.
But just as Hunter Hearst Helmsley was to go on to be a part of some of the greatest matches in WWE history, the Miz has worked extremely hard to improve his wrestling, and his Falls Count Anywhere match with John Morrison was a "Match of the Year" contender.
Owen Hart's modern day equivalent is Daniel Bryan in that they both got over with the crowd based on wrestling talent and limited mic skills.
As much as we hate Michael Cole, Daniel Bryan is not the most exciting wrestler to listen to on the microphone but the fans love him because of his ability to put on a show.
The same was true of Owen Hart who, while not horrible on the mic, was loved by the fans mainly because of his ability to put on five star matches week in week out.
There is also the fact that they both had purist wrestling styles that combine incredible high spots with technical submission wrestling.
Miz and Daniel Bryan did have a very entertaining feud in late 2010 and the history between the two could easily be translated into a WrestleMania-worthy rivalry and match.
2011 Equivalent: The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Marc Mero and Sable vs. Goldust and Luna Vachon
Marc Mero's WWF persona was very close to the arrogant heel incarnation of Chris Masters, and the two both had similar looks and move sets.
Masters as a heel could have a main event place in the WWE, and a relationship with a heel valet like Maryse could help to advance his narcissistic personality.
The duo of Santino and Tamina seems to have been dropped by WWE creative team, but the pairing is the closest 2011 equivalent to Goldust and Luna Vachon.
Santino is the modern-day Goldust in that he is a comedy character that can wrestle and is extremely over with the crowd.
This match would be a filler that could provide some light comedy in the same way that Santino Marella matches always do.
2011 Equivalent: Chris Masters and Maryse vs. Santino Marella and Tamina Snuka
IC Title Match: The Rock W/ the Nation of Domination vs. Ken Shamrock
Jinder Mahal has been brought onto the main roster from FCW, and the WWE clearly have big plans for him as evidenced by his dominance on Smackdown and the seemingly hypnotic control he has over the Great Khali.
Mahal and Khali have clearly been paired together for racial reasons in the same way that the Nation of Domination was based on stereotypes and black superiority.
Jinder Mahal definitely has the look of a star, and while he has not been given a chance to impress on the mic, there is no doubt that he has charisma.
The Rock was just starting to get over as a heel at this stage in his career and was given a similar role to play as the former FCW talent in his first important run with the company.
A face turn for Jack Swagger could produce interesting results and his amateur background and monster push make for parallels between the "All American American" and Ken Shamrock.
2011 Equivalent: Jinder Mahal vs. Jack Swagger
Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie vs. the New Age Outlaws
There are no specialist hardcore wrestlers in the WWE today after the demise of ECW and the departures of men like Tommy Dreamer and the Sandman.
But the partnership between Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie was borne out of the fact that Terry Funk was a mentor to Mick Foley, and the two had a series of brutal death matches in Japan that still resonate to this day.
This was a tag team made up of the master and the apprentice, the mentor and the hero, the protegé and the role model.
We have seen this in the past with Edge and Hogan or Triple H and Ric Flair.
One of the combinations that I could see working today would be an alliance between William Regal and Wade Barrett.
Barrett and Regal have similar brawling styles and there is the obvious British connection between the two.
Barrett could claim that Regal inspired him to become a WWE superstar and the angle could progress from there.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder definitely have the potential to become the next "New Age Outlaws".
They both play anti-establishment rebels that are full of themselves, and they have the obvious chemistry as a tag team.
2011 Equivalent: Wade Barrett and William Regal vs. The Major Broskis
Undertaker vs. Kane
Kane versus the Undertaker was highly anticipated due to the carefully laid-out storyline with the vignettes that dated back months and the "Big Red Machine's" shock debut.
The only Undertaker match today that would have this level of build-up and anticipation would be a dream match between the "Phenom" and John Cena.
With the proper planning and right execution, this could be a feud that will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time, in the same way that the rivalry between the "Brothers of Destruction" is still considered legendary.
John Cena is one of the few potential opponents for the Undertaker and his Streak, and there is a chance that this could be the main event of WrestleMania 29.
2011 Equivalent: Undertaker vs. John Cena
WWF Title Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels was the star of the past who had been a multiple-time WWF Champion, but his career was winding down at this point due to his well documented back injury.
This was his opportunity to pass the torch to Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was about to take HBK's concept of the anti-hero and transform it into the most successful character in wrestling history.
It has been clear for some time now that the WWE have been attempting to build Randy Orton as the new Stone Cold: the new anti-hero.
They both have finishing moves that can materialise from nowhere and that the crowd pop wildly for.
Austin's trademark was showing heel characteristics in his role as a face which was typical of the Attitude-Era.
Ever since Orton's face turn, he has continued to show a sadistic side and mean streak that has included punting Nexus members in the head.
However this character does not work as well in the tamer, more family-friendly PG-era.
Who better to pass the torch to Orton and really put him over as the new antihero than the man whose gimmick he is trying to recreate?
This could be Austin's big return and his last opportunity to give back to the business that made him into a megastar.
Mike Tyson and boxing was at the height of pop culture in 1998, and the interaction between Tyson and Austin rocketed the WWF into mainstream popularity once again.
Nowadays UFC has become the new boxing, and while we have yet to see any crossovers between the two sports, a big return for Brock Lesnar could add an awesome dynamic to this feud.
2011 Equivalent: Randy Orton vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin with Brock Lesnar as the Special Enforcer