Recently, Sami Zayn took on the debuting Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takeover: Dallas, and it has widely been regarded as the Match of the Year so far, and will be very hard to top, with the match featuring several memorable spots such as the forearm exchange which lasted a few minutes and the back and forth drama to end the match. One spot in particular as I watch it back (which has been over 10 times since it happened) which stood out to me was the chant of “fight forever” from the Dallas crowd, the ultimate sign of respect for both performers, as no one in that audience, and I am assuming everyone watching around the world like myself wanted it to end, despite the fact it was featured on a card with American Alpha vs. The Revival, Bayley vs. Asuka and Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe. While it was the first ever meeting (WWE or otherwise) between the two men, the chemistry, near falls, anticipation and electric atmosphere made it one of the greatest spectacles the WWE has shown in some time, and leaves many fans wanting more, with hopefully a marquee WrestleMania match between the two occurring sometime in the near future.
While this is early in hopefully a long, classic rivalry, there have been many wrestlers in the past who match up so well against an opponent that it becomes a dream of fans to see the two compete over and over (over a long period of time to avoid becoming stale), and often, these rivalries have featured 2 or 3 outstanding main events, which have improved each time, leaving the fans still wanting more. With that in mind, here are the 13 WWE superstar rivalries with which the fans would no doubt like to see or would have liked to see ‘Fight Forever.’
13 Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Another rivalry that will feature another epic chapter at the next Takeover event is Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe, who will compete in NXT’s first ever steel cage match. So far in the two main events the two have featured in, they have consistently stolen the show with not only the story telling and in ring action, but the build to both matches have been tremendous, giving the big fight feel on the night, which WWE have often lacked in recent times. With both men no doubt on Vince McMahon’s radar for a main roster call up, we can expect to see this rivalry continue into the future, which will be a pleasant sight for fans if it’s not rushed just because of the NXT success.
12 Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
Ever since their time in FCW, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have been putting on show stealing matches both against each other, and together as a tag team, most prominently in their time together in the Shield. In 2014, the two featured in the WWE feud of the year, after Seth won the Money in the Bank briefcase following the betrayal of the Shield, as the two fought with ladders and inside the Hell in a Cell structure, and will no doubt continue into the future as WWE planned by making the Shield three of the most prominent and important superstars to the future of the WWE.
11 Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
Although there was nuclear real life heat between these two men back stage, due to Shawn backing out of a job to Hart at ‘Mania 13, the Montreal Screwjob and many other occurrences, the two knew how to put on a show stealing match like no other duo in their time. The two have one of the most storied rivalries of all time, and no doubt would have added many classic bouts to it, if not for Hart’s departure to WCW, as the two can be considered two of the best technical wrestlers of all time, battles between these two forever would continue to be entertaining, innovative and improved upon each time.
10 American Alpha vs. The Revival
Similar to Zayn vs. Nakamura, these two teams faced off for the first time at NXT Takeover: Dallas, and put on an amazing match, showing what tag team wrestling can be when treated right, as the match featured great chemistry, double team moves and perfect ring psychology from the heel tandem. With the new focus in WWE on in ring ability, and a tag team revolution brewing, it would be good for the fans and WWE business wise to see these teams have a long running rivalry, despite the bland personality of the Revival, as in ring these two teams are absolute gold. As it stands, it seems the two teams are headed for a showdown at the next NXT: Takeover special.
9 John Cena vs. Seth Rollins
First of all, I am not asking WWE to have these two battle it out immediately upon their returns, as we saw this match plenty in 2015, including a fantastic cage match, but gradually over time it would be good to see the two continue to come back and build on this rivalry, as Rollins is one of the only superstars in recent memory to benefit from a rivalry with Cena, as the chemistry the two shared was amazing. The two contested classics over the U.S title and non-title matches on RAW that are some of the best in recent memory, due to the in ring ability of both, and the two should hopefully continue to battle it out for the remainder of their dual existence in the company.
8 Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
The Beast infamously broke the Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania XXX (although I think CM Punk should have broken it the year before), and since then have gone on to have a trilogy of up and down matches, with the latter 2 taking place late in 2015, with Lesnar coming out on top 2-1. Although the matches were never in ring classics, they told a fantastic story and got better as time went on, and were no doubt always entertaining for the fans, and for this reason, it would be good to see Taker and Lesnar go at it again, if their advanced body ages would still let them compete at the high level of the latter 2 matches especially.
7 CM Punk vs. John Cena
Beginning after the infamous pipe bomb promo of 2011, these two had what can be considered one of the best feuds of the PG era, with the lines between kayfabe and reality often being blurred, and the influence of CM Punks home town following and newly acquired mainstream media coverage. The two had a 5 star match (one of only 5 in WWE history) at Money in the Bank 2011, and followed it up with the best RAW match since Cena’s hour long classic with HBK in London, and the real life story telling and on screen animosity would make this a fantastic feud to watch no matter how long it stretched out.
6 Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Life long rivals Sami Zayn (formerly El Generico) and Kevin Owens (formerly Kevin Steen) have been going at it since their Ring of Honor days when they broke into the business together, and have no doubt contested over 10 classic matches in their time, spanning 3 major promotions (ROH, NXT & WWE), and are definitely destined to do this as long as they remain in WWE together. The former best friends always bring a big fight atmosphere to any arena they compete in, and the only thing in their matches better than the in ring action is the story telling aspect of their performance, and will no doubt go down as one of the greatest wrestling rivalries of the 21st century.
5 Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
If the validity of the Diva’s Revolution was ever in question, those questions were no doubt silenced by the performances in back-to-back Takeover classics between these women, including the first ever female main event of a special WWE event (PPV or live special) in a 30-minute iron woman match. Though Bayley came out victorious in the pair of matches, we will be seeing them once again battle when the Huggable One comes to the main roster, with Sasha looking for her revenge, and with this new era and appreciation for women’s wrestling, these two may go down as the greatest female rivals in the history of wrestling itself when their respective careers conclude.
4 Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudleyz
No tag teams in the history of the WWE innovated the tag team style more than these 3, who contested WWE’s first 3 TLC matches during the attitude era, showing that high flying, extreme risk taking can be just as good for ratings and business than the over the top, in your face characters like the Rock and Stone Cold. Each time they contested one of these 3 way TLC matches, they continued to raise the bar for what punishment the body can take and dish out in order to win championship gold, and all these years later, it is still hard to find any TLC or ladder match that tops the first installments. This will go down as the greatest tag team rivalry in modern WWE, and for good reason, as the fans and industry experts alike could not get enough of these 3 teams fighting it out for tag team glory.
3 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker
These two men contested undoubtedly the greatest WrestleMania match of all time at 25, and attempted to top it the following year, resulting in one of the greatest WrestleMania rivalries of all time, despite lasting only 2 events, and avoiding any significant follow up matches in the mean time. The matches were everything a wrestling fan could want in a match, with story telling, in ring excitement, and near fall drama whenever you watched, the two had the crowd hooked on every movement, and watching the match back (also over 10 times), the excitement and edge of your seat drama still does not fade, as seeing these two contest another classic would be welcomed by anyone who has ever considered themselves a wrestling fan.
2 Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle
One of the more over looked rivalries of the past 15 years, real life best friends Angle and Lesnar competed in some of the most hard hitting, shoot style battles in recent memory, helping to make Smackdown stand out as the superior brand in ring quality wise at the beginning of the brand split. Their best match is widely regarded as the best in Smackdown history, in a grueling 60 minute iron man match, where Lesnar was victorious 5-4, the two would contest many more classics on their own and involving the Big Show, and no doubt would have been considered one of the best rivalries of all time if not for Lesnar leaving to pursue other ventures. Hopefully Angle comes back soon so we can see one more match between the pair, which would no doubt do great business for WWE.
1 The Rock vs. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
Of course it is the two biggest stars of WWE’s most prosperous era, the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Not only did these two contest a trilogy of WrestleMania matches (with Stone Cold winning 2-1) but their rivalry truly changed the business in the early 2000’s, with the two often credited for being the reason Vince McMahon was able to win the Monday Night War, as they were stars unlike any the wrestling business had ever seen. Despite the endless battles both on the microphone and in the ring, fans came unglued at the chance to see the two men get in the ring together whenever it occurred, and no doubt would relish the opportunity to see one more match between the pair.
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