Today's WWE is filled with a ton of great talent. Current and former champions like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns are all headliners and are must-see acts in today's WWE. Other talents include AJ Styles, Finn Balor, Dolph Ziggler, The New Day, Enzo and Big Cass, Kevin Owens, as well as John Cena, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and of course Brock Lesnar who are now merging the end of WWE’s Ruthless Aggression Era with the New Era of today.
While the WWE is trying to push their New Era theme, with a roster now filled with endless talent which seems to be better than ever, there still is the big question of who would win between the stars of today and the stars of WWE’s past. What better way to shake up the show and excite the fans of old then by bringing back some favorites of the Attitude Era or some of wrestling's brightest stars who never got a fair shake in the WWE.
This list shines a light on 15 faces of the past who should return to the squared circle and battle the stars of today’s WWE.
14 Ethan Carter III
The man that is known as EC3 is a bit of a forgotten name when it comes to the WWE. In 2006, the superstar currently know as Ethan Carter III started out in the WWE under the name of Derrick Bateman. Bateman was a force to be reckoned with in WWE’s developmental league and television show NXT where he even went toe to toe with Alberto Del Rio. Although Bateman was a very versatile and well rounded wrestler on NXT, he wasn't able to capture any momentum to become a consistent presence for the company.
Currently Ethan Carter III is wrestling for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling where he has blossomed into a phenomenal superstar. EC3 has become a household name in the wrestling world. Carter has held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship twice and has faced wrestling legends such as Sting, Kurt Angle, and both of The Hardy Boyz. His size, speed, strength, looks, and now experience have got to have the WWE licking their chops in anticipation for the chance to bring this mega talent back home.
13 Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy is one of those wrestlers who surprises you every time he enters the ring. Like his brother Jeff, Matt has his own unique set of aerial attacks that set him apart from the rest of the locker room. Matt has participated in some of the most memorable tag team matches of all time with his brother Jeff, where he faced the likes of Edge and Christian, and The Dudley Boyz, among other great tag teams.
Matt has captured seven Tag Team Championships with his brother Jeff and while The Hardy Boyz could possibly be the greatest tag team in the history of the WWE, Matt has also succeeded in his solo career as well.
Matt has held numerous titles in the WWE, including the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. At one point, The Hardy Boyszboth held world championships simultaneously which is nothing to dismiss. Among his other championships, he has held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
With Matt’s increase in popularity over the last year as "Broken" Matt and his championship experience, he would make a real splash in the ranks of the WWE if he ever decided to return; furthermore, with the tag team ranks growing in popularity within the WWE, the addition of The Hardy Boyz might create an interesting dynamic, as well as draw more fans in from older generations.
12 Sycho Sid
WWE is the land of the giants and who better to come back and compete with the big dogs than Sycho Sid. One of the all time greats in WWE and WCW, Sid has held both the WWE and WCW Heavyweight Championships and has headlined numerous events and captivated audiences around the world.
Sid has been in the ring with the likes of The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Vader, Kevin Nash, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Shawn Michaels and Macho Man Randy Savage which gives him the allure and mystique that could carry a great story in today's WWE. We're not saying we'd like to see Sycho Sid return for a long program, but a appearance at a major event would likely generate a solid pop, similar to his return in 2012. Plus, have you seen him lately? Dude's still in great shape.
11 Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy is by far one of the best superstars to watch in the ring. His fearless attitude allowed him to not only be a legendary tag team with his brother Matt Hardy, but create his own path as a singles competitor and capture the most prestigious championships in the WWE.
Jeff was one of the best fast paced guys in the business. Not knowing what insane moves he was going to pull off in his next match made him a huge asset, as fans all over the world were drawn to him and couldn't wait to see what he was going to do next.
Along with his brother Matt, The Hardy Boyz captured seven WWE Tag Team Championships to accompany their individual successes. Jeff’s biggest match was at Armageddon where he faced Edge and Triple H in a triple threat match where Jeff held nothing back and defeated both megastars to capture his first WWE Championship.
Hardy is a six-time world champion. He has captured the WWE Championship once, WWE World Heavyweight Championship twice, and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship three times.
Hardy is still performing at an extremely high level for TNA and, given the chance, the WWE would have to want him to come back and compete against today's stars.
Tazz destroyed every ECW division and claimed every major title in the company. Tazz may not have been the biggest guy in the ring, but he wasn't afraid of anyone. His famous Tazmission-plex could flatten any opponent and his no nonsense attitude made him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the business.
Remember, Tazz gave Kurt Angle his very first loss in the WWE when Kurt was on a massive winning streak. This win boosted Tazz in the face of the fans, but he never won a title in the WWE.
Tazz left wrestling full time due to injury and began commentating for the WWE until his contract was up in 2009 where he decided to leave and move on to TNA as a commentator. Tazz is now a free agent and, although he has been out of the WWE for a while, the WWE could use a commentator of his caliber. With David Otunga ruining SmackDown on a weekly basis, Tazz returning would be a big help.
9 Rob Van Dam
Yet another ECW star who climbed the ranks to become a fan favorite. Rob Van Dam was one of the most versatile performers to ever step foot in a ring. RVD, yet another Paul Heyman guy, came into the WWE and excited fans all over the world. His high flying frog splash and rolling thunder splash, combined with his fancy footwork, made for an exciting match no matter who his opponent was.
“Mr. Monday Night,” Rob Van Dam captured multiple titles in the WWE including the Intercontinental Championship, the European Championship, the Hardcore Championship, the Tag Team Championship, and the WWE Championship, when he defeated John Cena.
Van Dam left the WWE in 2007 due to feeling exhausted. RVD has wrestled in TNA and also made a return to the WWE a few years ago, where he won a few matches but didn't seem to create much noise. With all his experience and fans, he would make an interesting addition to the WWE roster if used in the correct manner, especially with the brand split creating a need for more depth.
8 Diamond Dallas Page
“BANG!” The Diamond Cutter is one of the most iconic finishing moves in wrestling history. Diamond Dallas Page had amazing matches against Macho Man Randy Savage and who could forget the entertaining tag team battles he had with NBA superstar Karl Malone.
Page held the Tag Team Championship, as well as the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, in WCW, along with some short title reigns in the WWE, where he won the Tag Team Championship and the European Championship.
DDP was an all around superstar who should have had a shot at competing longer in the WWE. When his contract was up in 2002, the WWE let it expire which consequently left Page without a job and the fans losing an iconic character that was still in his prime. He's still in phenomenal shape and returns for appearances every so often, so we're hoping for another one!
7 Mickie James
The WWE is full of a ton of talent and names that are recognized all over the world with the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena, The Undertaker, Andre The Giant, Hulk Hogan, and a plethora of other huge superstars making their name in the promotion.
From a distance, wrestling appears to be a brutal and very physical sport, which it is, thus filled with tons of male athletes who seemingly headline the WWE, but any true WWE fan knows that the women's division is just as impressive. With past superstars like Ivory, Victoria, Molly Holly, Lita, Chyna, Trish Stratus, the women have proved they can put on a show.
Today, with the women's division growing in popularity and talent, with the likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch, we're wondering how some of the old "Divas' would do in the division.
Mickie James is an awesome candidate who could merge today's WWE with a bit of The Ruthless Agression Era. James was an awesome talent in the ring and on the mic, who has won the Women’s Championship multiple times. Her rivalry with Trish Stratus was one for the ages and she still looks like she could handle her own in today's WWE. With her talent and experience, she would definitely make an interesting addition to the women's division in the WWE.
6 Kevin Nash
Big Daddy Cool is possibly regarded as one of the greatest big men to ever do it. Nash has meshed with some of the all time greats such as Hulk Hogan, Sting, Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart. He has held multiple championships in both WCW and WWE, including the World Heavyweight Championship of each company.
Kevin Nash is one of the founders of one of the biggest factions in all wrestling history when he helped create the New World Order, which dominated the ranks of WCW for years. When issues arose with the nWo, Nash branched off to create the nWo Wolfpack which was a smaller faction but had serious feuds with the original nWo.
Recently, Nash made an appearance at WWE’s Royal Rumble pay per view in 2011, but he was eliminated by Roman Reigns Nash has made multiple cameo appearances for WWE and we'd love him to make a few more!
5 Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner doesn't get enough credit for his work in the tag team division. With his brother Rick Steiner as his tag partner, The Steiner Brothers destroyed the ranks in WCW, capturing the Tag Team Titles seven times.
Although he was a great tag team talent, The Big Bad Booty Daddy had his sights on singles competition. He quickly rose in the ranks in WCW, capturing the United States Championship, Television Championship and The World Heavyweight Championship before WCW closed its doors. After a few years, he decided to head to the WWE.
His run was lackluster in the WWE, but there's no denying that Steiner is one of the most unpredictable and entertaining characters in the wrestling world. Even though it's likely impossible and will likely never happen, we'd love to see Steiner make an appearance in WWE.
4 Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle is one of the most decorated athletes the WWE has ever had. Angle has won Olympic gold medals and multiple championships in the WWE. His in ring skills and abilities made him a must see attraction. Angle is undoubtedly one of the best technical wrestlers of all time and his mic skills, with his trash talking accompanied by his corny persona, gave us some amazing material.
Angle has battled some of the greats, including Brock Lesnar, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and even John Cena. Angle had multiple neck injuries and surgeries and left the WWE in 2006. Angle turned to TNA wrestling where he had been up until 2015 and is now currently on the independent circuit. He's wanted to come back to WWE, but it still hasn't happened. With the brand split, we'd love to see it happen!
Possibly one of the biggest superstars in the history of wrestling. Bill Goldberg was a huge draw and rightfully so, due to his huge winning streak of 173-0, which launched his career in WCW.
Goldberg has faced many legendary superstars throughout his career, including Bret Hart, Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and “The Beast,” Brock Lesnar. Gaining momentum in WCW, Goldberg captured the World Heavyweight Championship in WCW and also in WWE, where he went a few years after WCW was bought.
One of Goldberg's most anticipated matches was against none other than Brock Lesnar. The two giants collided on multiple occasions, but none bigger than their match at WrestleMania XX where Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special guest referee. The result was Goldberg winning, with both Lesnar and Goldberg receiving a Stone Cold Stunner after the match ended. Unfortunately, the match was a huge flop that most fans despised.
Although the Lesnar vs Goldberg match wasn't all that memorable, a new battle between the two beasts sure would draw the fans into the seats, especially with all the ads for WWE 2k17 that are running at the moment.
2 The Rock
Possibly the best trash talker of all time, The Rock was a mastermind at running his mouth and getting the best of his opponents. He was not only quick witted, but a phenomenal athlete as well. The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment sure knew how to put on a show. The Rock had an array of moves that captivated audiences around the world. No matter the size of his opponents, The Rock always seemed to flow in the ring with ease.
"The People's Champ” has makes plenty of cameo appearances on RAW, as well as appearing at WrestleMania most years, but we'd like a little more. Although The Rock is considered a part-time wrestler, it would be great to see him come back full time and have an extended program with some of today's top stars. We don't think it'll happen, but we can dream, can't we?
1 CM Punk
CM Punk is one of the most controversial superstars of the modern era, as well as one of the most underrated and underappreciated talents that the WWE has ever had.
Despite being a fan favorite for years and one of the biggest superstars in the WWE, Punk retired from pro wrestling and left the WWE with a bad taste in his mouth. Currently CM Punk is training for MMA and is scheduled to fight this month in the UFC. Punk isn't too far removed from his wrestling days in the WWE and with all of his training to become an MMA fighter, he is possibly in the best shape of his career.
Despite his choppy relationship with the WWE, CM Punk would definitely create some excitement and tons of amazing matches if he ever stepped back into a WWE ring. He would have to be an automatic contender for the WWE Championship on any brand in order for him to consider returning, as fans would expect nothing less. While we really don't see this happening, CM Punk vs. Finn Balor sounds too good for us not to think about.
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