Whether it be scripted or unscripted, the human race seems to be drawn to fighting. The idea of the primal struggle to physically dominate your opponent is something that we are drawn to regardless of race, creed, color or gender. People do have preferences for their fighting though.
Some people are drawn to the glitz and glamour of fighting, the show business side of it if you will. Those who are more attracted to this kind of fighting love to see expansive storylines, compelling characters and trash talking. In addition to that, they prefer flashy, impractical offense rather than the grounded, practical offense of martial arts. These are pro wrestling fans.
The hardcore MMA fans seem to detest the theatrics of pro wrestling but the fact is prizefighting relies on the same tactics that pro wrestling does to attract the masses. The most financially successful fighters historically are the ones who manage to market themselves as not just fighters but entertainers as well. When those fighters begin to become more than trained killers, it's then where my mind wanders... What fighters could face off against pro wrestlers and have a great story to tell?
On most of my lists I try to have established rules for my entries but due to the complete fantasy-based nature of this list, I'm going to throw the rule book out the window. Weight classes will be not be taken into account because if they were, only heavyweights and maybe light-heavyweights could compete against 99% of wrestlers. Also the wrestlers and fighters do not have to be actively competing to be considered for this list. Now everybody, pack your bags and let's go to fantasy land!
11 Honorable Mention: Vince McMahon vs. Dana White
10 Sheamus vs. Conor McGregor
Aside from the idea of having two representatives of Ireland scrapping it out being a fun idea, there are other layers to this match up. Sheamus is a mammoth among men, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 267 pounds and the Celtic Warrior's current shtick where's he beating on the "midgets" of the WWE would translate very well in this matchup.
9 Roy Nelson vs. Rick Rude
No matter what sport (except maybe baseball) you can think of, Roy Nelson doesn't fit the bill of an athlete.With a long mane of unkempt hair and a beer belly you see in the STANDS at a sports event, "Big Country" should not be as successful as he is. But somewhere in that portly frame lies huge power as Nelson is one of the UFC's premier knockout artists.
8 Daniel Bryan vs. Diego Sanchez
GIMMICK INFRINGEMENT!!! By far one of the grievous offenses that can be committed in the world of pro wrestling is the robbery of a finishing move, entrance or catchphrase. As it turns out, the beloved hero of the WWE Universe and leader of the Yes Movement Daniel Bryan became a worldwide sensation because he stole a catchphrase.
In 2005, The Ultimate Fighter reality show premiered on Spike TV and with that the world was exposed to Diego Sanchez. Sanchez was certainly an odd fellow as he was convinced that meditating in lightning would grant him the chi of the universe but later on his career he would become internet famous for his love of the word "yes". Daniel Bryan would later be inspired by Sanchez and use the shouting of "YES!" to rocket his WWE career.
7 Fedor Emelianenko vs. Kurt Angle
If there was a pro wrestler who could have held both the WWE and UFC Heavyweight title belts at the same time, Kurt Angle would have been the man to do it. An Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, Angle is the finest technical wrestler the WWE has ever seen and a fine patriot to his country.
6 Michael Bisping vs. Davey Boy Smith
While the U.K now has several representatives in the WWE, Davey Boy Smith is still considered the most iconic British wrestler to compete in the WWE. His legacy as the biggest British WWE star of all time was cemented when he and Bret Hart headlined the SummerSlam 1992 show in front of a crowd of over 80,000 people, one of the highest attended wrestling shows ever.
5 Rory MacDonald vs. Randy Orton
We might be better off putting these two in an asylum rather than in a cage. I'm only half serious of course but there's something to be said about reputations of MacDonald's and Orton's personas.
4 Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. The Rock
While this list is technically MMA fighters vs pro wrestlers, the fact is Rampage Jackson is pretty much a professional wrestler. Not only did he compete in TNA for a little bit, but his entrance to the cage is something you'd catch on Raw and he fights a very crowd pleasing style involving a whole lot of throwing bungalows. Jackson has even been in a few movies and could be considered one of the few MMA fighters to truly cross into the mainstream. Nowhere near the level of his opponent here though.
3 Georges St-Pierre vs. John Cena
If you were to build a man who could single handedly make your company, chances are they would look a lot like these two guys. Both GSP and John Cena were/are the faces of the UFC and WWE respectively and it's easy to understand why. They're perfect role models for people to follow, genuine white-meat babyfaces if there ever was one, in this case. GSP's cries for a PED cleanup in MMA and his overall upstanding attitude has won him the masses' love and John Cena's 10+ year career in the WWE has won him the respect of everybody.
2 Ronda Rousey vs. AJ Lee
Unfortunately Ronda Rousey's time in WWE began right as AJ Lee's ended but that doesn't mean I don't want to see this match any less. Prior to Rousey and Lee's success in their companies the females were treated as afterthoughts in the people's and management's minds. However, their popularity would not be denied as Rousey is now the biggest star in the UFC and Lee's legacy in the Divas division stacks up there with the best in history.
1 'The Iceman' Chuck Liddell vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The similarities between these two men are almost too numerous to name. Both these ass-kickers came at a time when their companies needed them most as Liddell became the star the UFC needed to break into the mainstream and Stone Cold Steve Austin essentially saved the WWE from bankruptcy in the late 90s.
These two weren't nuanced characters in the least bit. Liddell and Austin were quite simply blue collar ass-kickers who didn't take s*** from anyone and that's why we love them. After this fight decides who's the world's toughest SOB, these two will probably engage in a post-match beer drinking contest.
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