We have all sat at home wondering what would happen if we could create our own fantasy matchups between wrestlers. Heck, some people are so dead set on seeing two WWE superstars face each other, that they create the wrestlers on WWE 2k16 and upload it to YouTube for millions of views. Fantasy booking is something that we all have done, especially with the realization that some of our favorite stars of the past, will never get to work with some of our favorite stars of the future.
Today we will throw caution to the wind and work without the confines of father time, in an attempt to build a fantasy WrestleMania card featuring the current WWE roster having matches with the Attitude Era roster. As a ground rule, anyone who currently has a contract with WWE counts as a “current wrestler”, and anyone who was signed by WWE between November of 1997 – May of 2002 is eligible for the Attitude Era.
This article will feature matchups that you may not have considered, between Superstars who compliment each other in different ways. Each entry will have an explanation as to why these wrestlers were selected to fight, as well how the match would go down. At the end of each entry, a winner will be named, and we would love to know what your thoughts and opinions are in the comments below.
15. Goldberg vs. Ryback
Come on, we had to do this one right? From the day he stepped into the WWE, Ryback was compared heavily to Bill Goldberg. Things didn’t improve for Ryback, as he ditched his airbrushed singlet, in favor of plain black trunks… just like Goldberg. Ever since fans began making comparisons between the two in 2013, Ryback has been dead set on forging his own path, without acknowledging the criticisms. Sadly for The Big Guy, this list will not ignore the glaring similarities between the two bald headed, black trunks wearing, jobber squashing, extremely jacked men.
So the question becomes, which one of these squashers would get squashed? Well it’s hard to say. Goldberg contributed more to the business of professional wrestling, but Ryback is an actual life long fan of the sport. But if we are being truly honest with ourselves here, as soon as Ryback steps towards Goldberg, he is getting hit with a Spear. The Spear would of course then be followed up with a Jackhammer, along with Goldberg looking at the camera saying “Who’s Next?”
14. APA vs. Gallows And Anderson
Name a tag team in the WWE who could actually match the physicality of the APA in the late 90s… The Vaudevillains? No. Breezango? No. The Wyatt Family? Maybe, but there are too many of them. The only team that comes close to providing decent competition for Faarooq and Bradshaw would be Gallows and Anderson. G&A have worked in Japan for years, and are very familiar and comfortable working in a “strong style” of wrestling; the APA only know how to work strong.
While the APA would have the advantage in the size and strength department, Gallows and Anderson have them beat on in-ring ability and athleticism, creating an interesting dynamic. To spice things up, let’s make this a Tornado Tag Match, featuring all of the men in the ring at the same time. As this brawl starts, it would be pretty evident that there won’t be much technical wrestling involved; this match comes down to which team can get a two-on-one advantage first. In this situation we are going to assume that Faarooq catches a big boot from Gallows, leaving him out of commission. From that point Bradshaw is dominated by the two former Bullet Club members, until he eventually receives the Boot of Doom… twice.
Winners: Gallows and Anderson
13. Big Show (AE) vs. Cesaro
While his current state wouldn’t lead you to believe he was once a freak of nature, The Big Show used to be able to do moonsaults from the top rope. Take a second to process a seven foot, 400 lb. monster doing back flips onto people; yeah now come back to the present. With that in mind, think about the crazy feats of strength/athleticism that could occur in a match between The Big Show in his prime, and Cesaro right now. Aside from the fact that Cesaro can legitimately lift Show today, he would go down as the smallest person to ever hoist Big Show on his shoulders by the end of this bout.
Needless to say that this match would not be an Iron Man match, and most likely wouldn’t last more than four minutes. The bout would start with a lockup between the men, with Show prevailing as the stronger of the two. Pushing Cesar into the corner, Show would lay several chops into the former Intercontinental Champion, incapacitating him for the moment. As Show is attempting a running clothesline into the corner, Cesaro would attack with several uppercuts, knocking the giant off balance. Capitalizing on this moment, Cesaro would body slam Show on the mat, and grab his feet for the Cesaro Swing.
After 20 Rotations Cesaro would try to drag Big Show into the middle of the ring for a pin, but the seven footer would grab the throat of his opponent for a Chokeslam. As he is being lifted off the ground, Cesaro would slip out of the choke, connecting with a huge uppercut in the process; this would leave Show open for a huge move. Instead of using the normal Neutralizer, Cesaro would break out a move we have yet to see in the WWE; The UFO. The UFO is a no handed spinning backbreaker rack, a move that his never been done to Show, and perhaps never will be. Cesaro pins Show after landing the move.
12. Ivory vs. Charlotte (with Ric Flair)
You may be asking yourself why are we having this match up, instead of having Charlotte face someone like Lita or Trish Stratus. Well the short answer is because Ivory was a beast. Truthfully Ivory was an unsung hero during the Attitude Era, and although she embraced her sexuality, at her core she was a wrestler. Both of these ladies are athletes first, and “Divas” second, which is why we are fantasy booking them together.
This would be wrestling match that would be on display, not a girly slap fest. It would start out with a generic build up, with the ladies locking up in a traditional chain wrestling manner. Coming out of those holds, Charlotte would gain the upper hand and begin to taunt Ivory. While doing a Flair strut towards her dad, Ivory would gain the upper hand by slamming Charlotte into the mat by her hair. As she turns around into the ropes, Ric Flair grabs Ivory’s feet to drop her to the mat, and Charlotte grabs the former Women’s Champion’s, choking her out.
Just as Ivory is firing back up, Charlotte would give her a forearm to the back of the head which would knock her back to the mat. The second generation star would finish Ivory off by putting her in a Figure Eight, forcing the Attitude Era legend to tap out.
11. Kurt Angle vs. Dean Ambrose
Any wrestler who steps in the ring with Kurt Angle finishes the match as a better wrestler than what they started. Though Dean Ambrose may be a 12 year veteran in the business, there is no denying that working a match with an absolute legend like Kurt Angle would boost his status in the industry. Before any hate comes in the comments, think about Kurt Angle’s track record. Angle, while technical in nature, can work with any type of wrestler, including a brawler like Dean Ambrose. If nothing else, what these two lack in chemistry, they both will make up in intensity.
Angle, being the superior ground wrestler, would force Ambrose to the mat during the early stages of this match. In truth, a good portion of this contest would involve chain wrestling, with Ambrose attempting to escape various headlocks and arm bars. Eventually, Ambrose would actually get the upper hand on Angle, surprising the Olympic gold medal winner by locking him in the Regal Stretch (his FCW submission hold).
Angle would power out of the hold, rolling Ambrose on his shoulders to force a release. Attempting to take advantage of his weakened state, the former Shield Member would pick up Angle and attempt a Dirty Deeds. Unfortunately for Ambrose, Angle’s head is in perfect position for an Angle Slam, which is delivered with ferocity. Angle drops his singlet straps and locks Ambrose into an Ankle Lock, which he sinks into the ground to hold. Ambrose can’t escape, but holds on for a nearly a minute before passing out from the pain.
Winner: Kurt Angle (referee stoppage)
10. Mankind vs. Bray Wyatt – Steel Cage Match
Throughout this entire list, there haven’t been too many matchups that featured two wrestlers whose characters have been as similar as these two men. Both have a similar body type, know how to work the mic, and have been punching bags for the elite guys on the roster. This would have to be a brawl more than a match, as Foley during the Attitude Era was still in the final stages of his career.
Bray would be the aggressor, gaining the upperhand after an exchange of furious fists; eventually ramming Mankind’s face into the steel cage, forcing him to bleed. However, the sight of his own blood gets Mankind fired up, and he proceeds to lay out Wyatt with multiple right hands. Mankind would then rip off one of the turnbuckles to reveal a bag of thumbtacks. Foley lays out the tacks, and picks up bray for a double arm DDT on them, effectively laying out Wyatt.
As Mankind begins to mount the cage, the Wyatt Family approaches the ring on every side that he attempts to climb out of. Eventually Mankind decides to try to descend, but is caught by the Wyatts before actually touching the ground. While two are holding him up, the third Wyatt (let’s say Strowman) pummels the former World Champion, until Bray calls for him back in the ring. The group break open the door to the cage and roll in a nearly unconscious Foley, where he is picked up and finished off with a Sister Abigail on the thumb tacks.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
9. The Right to Censor vs. The New Day
It’s pretty easy to see how these two groups could easily bounce off of each other for months worth of storylines. Given the fact that The New Day is sometimes the edgiest part of WWE’s new era of wrestling, the Right to Censor would make the perfect foil to the colorful group. Though there were four male members of RTC, in this scenario we are going to use the three who are the best match for The New Day. In terms of strength we slide The Goodfather in as a counter to Big E, Val Venis is pretty close in size to Kofi Kingston, and of course the loudmouth leader Steven Richards would be the counter to Xavier Woods.
This is instance in which the storyline would be way more entertaining than the match itself, as the week-to-week antics of the two groups trying to top each other would be great television. Now to the actual match itself, which would of course be a six-man tag team match. The contest would be a pretty standard tag match, although The New Day would continue to taunt RTC by gyrating their hips throughout. While on the apron, Steven Richards would seek out Francesca the trombone, citing that playing the instrument requires an obscene jester. At that moment, the three members of New Day would take advantage of Val Venis, giving him the Unicorn Parade, and taking out Goodfather on the apron.
Winners: The New Day
8. The Rock vs. Seth Rollins
Have you ever felt like Seth Rollins was missing his edge? Almost like he is missing The Rock to his Stone Cold? Well here is the solution, we give him The Rock. Honestly this is another match, where the build up would probably be greater than the actual match itself. The Rock is the perfect seasoning to add to the Rollins equation, and would hopefully help to build up the mic skills of the former Shield member.
This builds up similar to most Rock angles, which means it would involve a lot of trash talk. When the actual match would start, there would be an interesting blend of styles, as Rocky has never really faced anyone with the exact skill set as Rollins. The closest comparison you could make for Rollins in Rock’s era is Shawn Michaels, and those two never even had a match!
Anyway back to the match, where we would see Rollins pushing Rock to his limit with actual wrestling moves. Eventually Rock would fire up and get the upper hand, leading to a vicious Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow. Amazingly, Rollins would kick out and immediately roll out of the ring to regain his composure. The Rock would follow him, only to be blindsided into the ring post, followed by Rollins jumping off the apron onto a downed Rock.
Rollins rolls the former WWE Champion into the ring, until The Rock is starting to stir on his hands and knees. Realizing what he must do, Rollins forgoes the Pedigree, and goes to the top rope for a turnbuckle Curb Stomp; he connects and pins The Rock.
Winner: Seth Rollins
7. Trish Stratus vs. Sasha Banks
Given the whole Women’s revolution thing, it wouldn’t be right if there was only one match featuring the ladies on this card. Trish Stratus has gone on record as stating that she would come out of retirement to face Sasha Banks, which is why their match up on this list seems fitting. The two women both illicit huge responses during matches, and can win over the audience without being overly sexual in the ring. It could be argued that Banks has an edge in actual in-ring ability over Stratus, as her match at WrestleMania 32 easily stole the entire show.
This match would be booked in such a way that Stratus was serving as a mentor to Banks, teaching her all the things a rookie should know. After a short time The Boss gimmick would start to rear its ugly head, and Stratus would disassociate herself with Banks’ behavior, leading to a match. The bout would feature a bit of chain wrestling, with a hint of Sasha’s high flying ability, sprinkled with some grittiness that would come from personal animosity.
The culmination of this match would have to consist of Trish going for her bulldog, with Banks slipping out of her grip, and getting behind her. The current Women’s Champion would then grab Stratus’ shoulders, and deliver a Bankrupt to the former Women’s Champion for the victory.
Winner: Sasha Banks
6. Kane & X-Pac vs. Enzo and Big Cass
This is a pretty good one right? This is pretty much a mirror match, because when you think about it, isn’t Enzo just X-Pac turned up to 11? Anyway this match doesn’t need as much build up as some of the others on the card, as this would just be youngsters who want to make a name for themselves against some old timers (relatively speaking).
This match would be start out with both giants facing each other, and the two going nose to nose (nose to mask?) for a few seconds. The only thing that breaks up Kane and Cass, is that X-Pac and Enzo both want a piece of the opposing giant, and inadvertently wind up starting the match against each other.
This match is pretty much by the numbers until the very end, when Kane catches a hot tag from X-Pac and lights up the match with uppercuts and flying lariats. Right when Kane is lining up Enzo for a Chokeslam, he is caught by Cass with a East River Crossing, who pins him for the win. Just for kicks, Enzo and Big Cass get on the mic and talk a little trash after the match, calling their opponents S-A-W-F-T.
Winners: Enzo and Big Cass
5. Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar (Now)
Why would anyone want to watch a Steve Austin versus Dean Ambrose match? Sure it could be entertaining, but we all know who would go over. Wouldn’t it be better to watch Steve Austin take on the current unstoppable force in the WWE? The two men, while having very different styles, are very similar in the way that they were/are booked. They very rarely lose, and when they do, you can bet that there are some shenanigans behind it.
The match wouldn’t be technical, as Brock Lesnar would cut off the Texas Rattlesnake during his signature four corner taunts; of course he would catch Austin with a suplex while his back was turned. From that point forward Stone Cold would be fighting from under Brock, who would obviously be pleased with his actions. This match would get bloody, with Austin utilizing every “legal” illegal move in the book; this includes but isn’t limited to crashing Lesnar’s head into poles, using exposed turnbuckles, and maybe a backdrop through a table. Ideally Austin would be shut off from every Stunner attempt, with Lesnar grabbing his leg and shooting into a belly to belly suplex as a result. That is until the last minute of the match, where Austin catches Brock with the Stunner to end all Stunners for the victory.
Winner: Stone Cold Steve Austin (Come on what did you expect)
4. The Undertaker vs. Kevin Owens
It’s hard to decide which would be a more entertaining fight, KO versus The Lord of Darkness, or the American Bad A**. Both versions of Taker were active during the Attitude Era, but for the sake of this argument let’s use the American Bad A** character. The reason for this choice is to highlight the reality of Kevin Owens’ character, even though he could probably roll with any storyline.
Maybe it’s personal bias, but this match would probably be the highlight of the night. Both of these men have motors, and can wrestle long periods at full speed, despite being larger guys. If nothing else, Owens would be able to take it to Taker as a credible opponent, laying in big shots over and over again. Adversely, the Deadman wouldn’t be able to just toss around Owens, and would have to fight a more defensive style than he would for someone like Stone Cold.
The match would go back and forth between the two men with repeated powerbombs, suplexes, and other throws until eventually Owens is standing over top of Undertaker. Being the natural heel that he is, Owens signals the crowd with a throat slash, and then waves them off, as if to say he’s not going to give Undertaker a Tombstone. Instead he rolls over Taker into the Hell’s Gate submission, giving Taker every reason to tap out. In a last ditch feat of strength, The Deadman dead lifts Owens off the ground and hoists him up for The Last Ride for the victory.
Winner: The Undertaker
3. Triple H (AE) vs. AJ Styles
It’s safe to say that Triple H will go down in history as the greatest heel of the Attitude Era, having been in iconic rivalries with every single major player during the time. In fact, he may the only person on this list to have significant interaction with every other wrestler on this list. With that being said, it would be great to watch a build up between an ultra heel Triple H, and an ultra babyface AJ Styles. Styles can go with the best of them, and has faced bigger guys his entire career, so adapting his style to Triple H’s would be no problem. Adversely The Game had a career battling bigger guys, so watching him change his style would be interesting.
The match would most likely start slow, with Triple H dictating the pace as the larger competitor. Styles would get the upper hand at some point in the early going, as Triple H would often get frustrated by someone who wouldn’t stay down. In his frustration the former World Heavyweight Champion would walk right into a Styles Clash, only to kick out at the last minute. Pulling himself up, Triple H would grab the referee and “accidentally” toss him to the ground in hopes of a disqualification. At this point Styles would lock The Game into a Calf Crusher, only for the game to tap out without a referee present. As Styles would go to wake up the ref, Triple H would get off a Pedigree for the win.
Winner: Triple H
2. Shawn Michaels vs. Roman Reigns
This may sound like a dumb match on paper, but think about how many guys Shawn Michaels has made look like stars. He has absolutely carried certain big guys who couldn’t actually work, and has had really good matches with them. Truth be told, HBK doesn’t have bad matches, especially not when he has a chip on his shoulder; and you better believe that if Michaels ever heard a reaction like Reigns gets while he is in the ring, it would put a chip on his shoulder.
The match kicks off literally, as Michaels smacks Reigns with Sweet Chin Music right off the bat and goes for the quick cover. Shaken but not finished, Reigns would kick out only to be forced to the ground by HBK in an attempt to neutralize his bigger opponent. Every time Reigns would be grounded, he would power out using his strength alone, until eventually he got the upperhand on The Showstopper. Reigns would then stalk Michaels, and eventually physically dominate the former WWE Champion, until he was finally ready to seal the deal with a Superman Punch. Of course HBK would counter this with another Sweet Chin Music out of nowhere. The two would lay there until eventually, they both get back up clawing at separate corners. The two would be unaware of the other until Reigns turned around and gave a brutal spear to Michaels for the win.
Winner: Roman Reigns
1. Hollywood Hogan vs. John Cena
Didn’t we know that it would come down to this match? Face it, these two guys are titans of their respective eras, and arguably two of the most iconic wrestling personalities of all time. This obviously wouldn’t be the most technical of matches, as neither men are exactly known for their mat skills. And in case anyone was wondering (or throwing hate this way), Hogan came back to WWE in February of 2002, which means he is fully eligible for the Attitude Era.
In this one, expect a similar match to the one that happened when The Rock took on Hogan at WrestleMania X8. The ground swell for this match would be better than the actual match, as both men would elicit the biggest reaction of the night. With that being said, Cena would drop two AAs on Hogan, before Hogan would start to “Hulk Up” and give the crowd his signature finger wag. What would ensue is a kick out from Cena after receiving a leg drop, followed by another AA by Cena to secure the victory. The two men would then hug after the match. What… were you expecting something different?
Winner: John Cena