Whether it's a long-awaited, or a spur of the moment, first time ever match between two current WWE stars, there isn't anything quite as exciting as seeing two Superstars lock horns for the very first time like we will see with Rollins and Balor. Of course, sometimes the match doesn't exactly live up to the hype, but, more often than not, it does.
WWE is hoping that everyone has forgotten about the Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton match that took place in 2002, as they're trying to bill "The Viper" vs. "The Beast" at this Sunday's SummerSlam match as a first time match. But, most fans know that isn't the case.
This list is going to feature matches that were truly first-ever encounters between two WWE stars and some of them matches never ended up happening again. So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the biggest first time ever matches in WWE history!
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15 Kevin Owens vs. John Cena (Elimination Chamber 2015)
Kevin Owens had one of the most impactful debuts in WWE history when he made his main roster debut in the middle of last year, as he started at the top of the roster by taking out John Cena, which led to a match between the two men at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
At the time, Owens was the NXT Champion, so no one really knew if this meant that KO would now be a full timer on the main roster. Furthermore, most predicted that he would end up getting beaten by Cena and everyone was shocked when that, in fact, didn't happen.
Of course, Owens' win at Elimination Chamber setup a series of rematches between the two men, and Owens never won another match against Cena. Since then, Owens hasn't been quite as hot, although he does have the potential to be the top heel in the WWE.
14 Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins (Battleground 2016)
The fact that this long awaited triple threat match took place at Battleground instead of SummerSlam is still a bit shocking. The likely reason for that is the WWE brand split, as WWE probably didn't want more than one brand vs. brand match at this year's big event in Brooklyn.
Some felt that the triple threat match between all three members of The Shield didn't quite live up to the hype. Of course, most were happy that Dean Ambrose actually ended up winning the match and, while the match itself was pretty good, it wasn't the all-time classic that we were expecting.
Given the fact that all three men still have long careers ahead of them, we'll probably see another triple threat match involving them. In fact, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of seeing it at a future WrestleMania. But, it probably won't happen again for a very long time.
13 Kane vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania XIV)
The very first meeting between Kane and The Undertaker in the spring of 1998 was a huge deal. All of their subsequent meetings weren't nearly as big as their first, as Kane's character wasn't quite as strong coming out of WrestleMania XIV.
The match was built up over the course of a year, with Kane's debut famously taking place during the first ever Hell in a Cell match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. It was one of the most awesome debuts in WWE history.
Even though both Undertaker and Kane were full timers following "The Big Red Machine's" debut, WWE held off on having the two men face off at house shows, so their meeting at WrestleMania XIV was truly their first and it took three Tombstones to keep Kane down for the 1, 2, 3.
12 Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker (In Your House 1997)
It's crazy to think that The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels only had five singles matches against each other during their illustrious WWE careers and the very first took place at the Ground Zero In Your House event.
Their first match wasn't nearly as big of a deal as their second match, which ended up being the aforementioned first ever Hell in a Cell match, which featured the debut of Kane. But their first match against one another was still a huge deal.
Of course, Michaels and Undertaker ended up facing each other three times in just a couple of months in 1997-1998, and they wouldn't face each other again for well over a decade, when they clashed at back to back WrestleManias. It's extremely likely that, had Michaels not been severely injured in early 1998, he and Undertaker probably would have faced each other well over ten times, as opposed to just five.
11 Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)
If you had to pick the best match of WWE's "Ruthless Aggression" era, Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 21 has to be in the conversation. At the time, Angle was just entering his prime, where Michaels was at the tail end of his, so the timing of their first ever encounter was pretty perfect.
Shawn Michaels had just retired for the first time as Angle was entering professional wrestling, and when HBK finally did return to the ring in 2002, the two men were on separate brands, so it looked like we were never going to get the Angle vs. Michaels dream match. But, not only did we get it, it turned out to be one of the greatest matches in WWE history.
Also, another positive of the Angle vs. Michaels feud was that we got to see Kurt Angle perform his version of Michaels' theme song: "Sexy Kurt," which may have been better than the match itself!
10 Goldberg vs. The Rock (Backlash 2003)
When Goldberg made his highly anticipated WWE debut in the spring of 2003, he targeted The Rock, who, at the time, was making the transition into Hollywood, as his plan was to become a full time actor. Rock had just beaten Stone Cold Steve Austin the previous night and it looked like he was going to take another break from the ring, when Goldberg's music hit.
The Goldberg vs. Rock match at Backlash in 2003 was supposed to be the first of many matches between the two men. But, plans changed, as Goldberg became disgruntled with WWE and ended up leaving the company just one year after his debut.
The battle between the two men at Backlash wasn't the best match I've ever seen, but WWE accomplished what they needed to, as Goldberg defeated The Rock clean in the middle of the ring with his finish. However, they really dropped the ball with Goldberg shortly thereafter.
9 Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VI)
This was one of the biggest matches in WWE history and, at the time, it actually looked like The Ultimate Warrior was well on his way to taking Hulk Hogan's spot as the company's top babyface.
The match between Hogan and Warrior at WrestleMania VI is remembered as an all time classic, but in my opinion, the match doesn't hold up at all. It's full of rest holds and weird spots, such as both men hitting the ropes and running past each other several times, which led to nothing.
But, most times match quality doesn't have anything to do with how something is remembered. The fact is that, at the time, Hogan vs. Warrior was a massive deal, which fans were willing to pay top dollar to see. Unfortunately though, Warrior didn't end up living up to the hype, as he wasn't that great of a draw as WWE Champion, and WWE was forced to put Hogan back in the main event spot just a year later.
8 Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania XX)
When Brock Lesnar debuted in WWE in 2002, the one thing I said to myself was, "it would be so cool to see him wrestle Goldberg," and when WWE set up the match in early 2004, I was pumped to see it. But, like most people who were excited for the match, I was massively let down by the performance of both men.
Goldberg vs. Lesnar may be the most disappointing match in WWE history, but despite that, we actually still want to see the rumored rematch between the two take place at WrestleMania 33 next year, because some believe that it'll be significantly better than the first, mostly because the two men won't be in the same position that they were in back in '04.
It's not like Goldberg vs. Lesnar two would be a 30-minute, all time classic. But it would be a 10 to 15-minute, intense, hard-hitting match, that would be remembered as one of the best matches on the show if it ever happens, and I can't say the same for their first encounter.
7 Triple H vs. CM Punk (Night of Champions 2011)
There was no one hotter in professional wrestling in 2011 than CM Punk was. It looked like Punk was on the verge of becoming his generation's Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that was sadly squashed by Triple H.
The two men were in the main event of the Night of Champions pay-per-view, as Triple H came out of retirement to take on CM Punk. The match only had one logical finish: CM Punk winning. But, strangely enough, that didn't happen and Punk was never quite as hot again.
The finish of this match was even more baffling when you consider the fact that Triple H went right back into retirement. But, I guess the lesson here is that, if you make fun of Triple H's wife and family leading up to a match, he'll have to get his revenge, even if that means that he'll have to bury the next potential megastar in the process.
6 John Cena vs. AJ Styles (Money in the Bank 2016)
John Cena vs. AJ Styles was a match that many thought they'd never see.
For the majority of his professional wrestling career, AJ Styles was the face of TNA Wrestling, while John Cena was the face of the WWE. Many believed that both men would stay put for the entirety of their respective careers, but then TNA started going down the tubes, which prompted Styles to leave for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
After a year in New Japan, Styles made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble, and he received a massive ovation. The ovation even surprised Styles, who was unsure if the WWE fans would even know who he was.
After several battles with Chris Jericho, there was only one match that WWE fans wanted to see, and that was Cena vs. Styles. WWE wasted no time going to that match, as they had Styles confront Cena upon his return from injury.
The match itself was fantastic and we're expecting that their rematch at SummerSlam will be even better. Hopefully AJ picks up the win, signed most fans.
5 Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (WrestleMania XXX)
Unlike with CM Punk, Triple H actually did the right thing in his match with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXX, because if he didn't, the fans in attendance probably would have ended up leaving the building.
The match was pretty good, as most expected it to be. Of course, apart from Lesnar/Taker, WrestleMania XXX is best remembered for Daniel Bryan's WWE World Heavyweight Championship win which closed out the show. It was one of the best moments in WrestleMania history and it should've made Bryan's the company's next megastar. Sadly though, he was injured and was forced to give up his Title, and after a brief comeback a year later, he was forced to retire due to concussion issues.
WrestleMania XXX was a fantastic event, but it wouldn't have been remembered as fondly if Triple H would've beaten Daniel Bryan to kick off the show.
4 CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (SummerSlam 2013)
This was probably the match that everyone wanted to see the most after Brock Lesnar returned to WWE in the spring of 2012, and the match certainly lived up to the hype, as it was by far the best match on the 2013 SummerSlam card.
It's well-known now that CM Punk wasn't happy about having to lose to a part timer in Lesnar, but it was absolutely the right call, especially because Lesnar was going to break The Undertaker's streak a little less than a year later.
This ended up being Punk's final high profile match before he decided to leave WWE in January of 2014 and even though history says that Punk will return to WWE, it's extremely likely that we'll never see Punk vs. Lesnar take place in a WWE ring ever again.
3 Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan (SummerSlam 2005)
The Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels match probably would have been a lot better than it actually was if it would've taken place ten years earlier, as Hogan was barely mobile at this point. But, despite that, it was still a huge deal when it happened, as the two men were the biggest names of their respective generations.
Of course, everybody remembers the match for Shawn Michaels' ridiculous, over the top bumps, which was his way of sticking it to Hogan for not wanting to put him over. The two men were supposed to have three matches together, with the rubber match taking place at a WrestleMania, but Hogan changed the deal at the last second, so Michaels' decided to make a mockery of the match.
While the match was far from the greatest match of Michaels' career, it is definitely one of the most entertaining matches that he's ever had because of his over the top performance.
2 The Rock vs. John Cena (WrestleMania XXVIII)
This match was nearly a decade in the making and, at one point, it looked like it was never going to happen, as The Rock had become the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood, which led many to believe that, if he were to return to WWE, he wouldn't wrestle.
Rock and Cena agreed to their first match the night after WrestleMania XXVII, which was met with a lukewarm response. Basically, they told the fans in Atlanta that they could've given them the long awaited dream match at that year's WrestleMania, but, instead, they were going to make them wait a full year to see it.
The match wasn't all that great, as Rock got tired pretty quickly. But, he still turned in an acceptable performance and, shockingly enough, he ended up defeating John Cena, which we would later learn was to setup the rematch between the two at WrestleMania 29.
1 Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock (WrestleMania X8)
This is another match that many believed that we'd never see, but in the spring of 2002, in one of the best moments in Raw history, Hulk Hogan and The Rock agreed to a match at WrestleMania X8.
If you mute your television while you watch Hogan vs. Rock, you'll probably think that the match stunk. But, when you turn the volume up, it'll come off as one of the greatest matches in WWE history. Of course, it wasn't the most technically sound match of all time, but, much like with Hogan vs. Warrior, it was a match between two of the biggest names in the industry.
The crowd ended up completely booing The Rock, which no one expected, including WWE, as they thought it would be more of a 50-50 crowd. But they were completely for Hogan, although they didn't completely trash the finish, which saw The Rock winning with The People's Elbow.
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