Throughout the history of discussing professional wrestling, there have been dream scenarios of different wrestlers to have just one more match to send said wrestler off on a high note.
While many of the wrestlers that fans clamor for one last match do so with companies like Impact Wrestling or on the independent circuit, there is no send off like a send off from the WWE.
Some are more elaborate (re: Ric Flair), while others are subtler, like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Either way, being able to walk off on your own terms for the biggest wrestling company of all time is a feat not many can say they have accomplished.
However, just because the WWE Universe would love to see a moment where their favorite wrestler of all time rides off into the sunset, that doesn’t mean Vince McMahon and company would allow such a moment to occur. Because the WWE is so image conscience do to a majority of their audience being 14 and younger, wrestlers with dark and troubling pasts – whether it be drug addictions, jail time or questionable decisions in regular walks of life – would be most likely omitted from wrestling in another match, or even appearing on WWE programming.
While there are many wrestlers who would qualify in one of those three categories, there are plenty of others who not only deserve to have their last match inside of a WWE ring, but would also make a lot of money for the company, as fans would love to see it as well.
With that being said, here are fifteen wrestler fans would love to see have one more match in the WWE.
When it comes to someone like Christian, it feels that he never got his fair share of the spotlight during his duration of his WWE career. Constantly being outshone by Edge during their tag team run, uninspired runs in the Alliance and with the UnAmericans, among others, caused him to set his sights on TNA Wrestling. After having a successful singles run in Florida, he returned to the company with much fanfare.
Although he had moderate success on both the reincarnation of ECW and Smackdown – including a World Heavyweight Championship victory – Christian just faded into obscurity, and, what appears as retirement. For someone as great as he was in the ring, he deserves one more match as a sendoff for his career.
14 John Morrison
For John Morrison, he has one thing over everyone else in WWE history: he is, by far, the most successful Tough Enough contestant throughout every incarnation of the show. Whether it was Johnny Nitro succeeding in both MNM and with The Miz, his ECW Championship reign or his switch to John Morrison while winning both the Intercontinental and United States Championships, Morrison always came off as a future star of the company. Although his high-flying and acrobatic skill set wowed the audience each week, Morrison faded off WWE television without much explanation. However, after succeeding in Lucha Underground as Johnny Mundo, one more match in the WWE could be in the cards.
13 Shelton Benjamin
Built from the same mold as Morrison, Shelton Benjamin excelled in every position he was put in while on the WWE roster. After standing out as one half of the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Benjamin grew when he was shipped to Raw, as he took on the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H, all the while becoming a fan favorite. Whether he was dominating the mid card scene or standing out in multiple Money in the Bank matches, Benjamin appeared primed for a main event position. However, after floundering on ECW, Benjamin was released in 2010. Since then, he has become a mainstay on both the independent circuit and Japan; because of that, Benjamin could be in position to have one more match.
Although it appears to be light years since that time, Lita was a part of the Divas Revolution before there ever was one. After a stint in the original ECW, Lita joined the WWE ranks and immediately impressed inside of the squared circle. Steering away from the typical women’s wrestling style, Lita incorporated moonsaults and hurricanranas throughout her matches, while also becoming a fan favorite as a part of Team X-Treme with the Hardy Boyz. After appearing on different segments since retirement coupled with the job as a trainer on this past season’s Tough Enough, Lita looks to be in good graces with the company – which means one more match is still a possibility.
11 Matt Hardy
He may have not been as popular as his brother (don’t worry, you’ll see him later on this list), but Matt Hardy was a staple in not only the Attitude Era, but a time when tag team wrestling was arguably at its peak. Always raising the standards in the most devastating matches, Matt, along with Jeff Hardy, the Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian, put their bodies on the line in unforgettable matches like the original Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches, Triangle Ladder Matches and Table Matches as well.
Although he was relatively popular with the WWE Universe, he never made it to the top, as he hovered around the middle of the pack as both United States and ECW Champion. With that being said, fans would welcome Hardy with open arms if he were to appear on WWE television for one more match.
10 Bobby Lashley
Sure, Bobby Lashley wasn’t in the WWE for long – from 2005-2008, to be exact – but when he was on the roster, he impressed everyone who watched. Even though he started out as many viewed as all physique and no in-ring talent, Lashley never gave up, as he grew into a respectable competitor. After winning the United States title, Lashley became the face of the new ECW, and even represented Donald Trump in the Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 23.
After being sent to Raw in the 2007 draft, Lashley flirted with the WWE Championship, even taking John Cena to wits end in what ended up being his last pay-per-view appearance, the 2007 Great American Bash. Due to injury, however, Lashley was released. After spending time in AAA, TNA and partaking a career in MMA, Lashley has done everything else he could – except have one more match with the WWE.
9 AJ Lee
In the WWE news as of late because Nikki Bella just surpassed her as the longest reigning Divas Champion in WWE history, AJ Lee – like Lita – was also before her time as a women’s wrestler. Although it was more recent, Lee was always seen as the odd ball of the Divas division – and for good reason. During a time when the WWE was hiring women based on looks and looks alone, Lee stood out for her ability to have a great match inside of the ring, en route to being the then longest reigning Divas champion. However, after wrestling in a match at WrestleMania 31 with Paige against the Bella Twins, she retired just one week later. While he did narrowly miss this new Divas movement, some could say her tweets directed at Stephanie McMahon were the precursor to today’s advancement of women’s wrestling. Because of this, she deserves one more match with the new Divas.
8 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio, somewhat like Morrison, has a distinct difference than many others who came before him: he was arguably the most successful and popular wrestler who came to the company from WCW after the WWE bought out their competition. Instantly becoming a fan favorite because of his Lucha Libre style, Mysterio’s emotion and connection with the WWE Universe is well-documented. On top of that, winning the Royal Rumble, the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22 and more accomplishments, Mysterio is a sure-fire future WWE Hall of Famer. However, the independent circuit may not be brining him much – although he left the WWE in late February, he as already taken to Twitter and said “never say never.” By saying that, it seems to be only a matter of time before he has one more match with the WWE.
Batista wouldn’t have been on this list if his latest WWE run went the way it was planned; unfortunately, it didn’t. Batista, who is right up there with John Cena and Randy Orton as the faces of the Ruthless Aggression Era, was great as both a face and a heel when he was winning WWE and World Heavyweight Championships throughout the mid-2000s. However, when he returned to the WWE in the beginning of 2014, a poor storyline made the fans turn on the one-time crowd favorite. Although, because of this, WWE fans got Daniel Bryan’s WrestleMania XXX victory and a reincarnation of Evolution, Batista deserves better than what he was given the last time. Because of this, combined with his friendship with Triple H, and I fully expect Batista to have one more match in the not-so-distant future.
6 Trish Stratus
As the final Diva on this list, many may not think that Trish Stratus deserves to be so high on the countdown. However, the fact that Trish Stratus went from bikini model to possibly the greatest women’s wrestler in WWE history says something about both her passion to be great and her commitment to professional wrestling. After managing for about two years, the WWE Hall of Famer positioned herself as the top female athlete in the company in matches with the aforementioned Lita and Mickie James, among others. Even the company regards Stratus in a high manner, as he won the WWE Women’s Championship in the last match of her career. With the Divas Revolution in full swing and many capable opponents, don’t be shocked if Stratus makes an in-ring appearance for one more match.
5 Kurt Angle
There may not be another professional wrestler who shot to stardom as fast as Kurt Angle did. Starting as a cocky heel in 1999, Angle won the European, Intercontinental and WWE Championships all by the end of 2000. Whether it was as the WWE’s mole in the Invasion angle, feuding with the likes of Eddie Guerrero and Brock Lesnar in the early 2000s or as the Wrestling Machine at the end of his WWE run in 2006, Angle was arguably the best wrestler on the entire roster while he was with the WWE.
However, after refusing to enter rehab due to personal vices, the company released Angle. His success didn’t stop, as he went to TNA and continued to be one of the best inside of the squared circle. There have been rumors of a return to the WWE (that have been shot down) multiple times over the last couple of years; however, if you were to ask any fan, they would want to see Angle in a WWE ring for one more match.
4 Jeff Hardy
Following his brother’s footsteps as a member of the list early on, Jeff Hardy is one of the few superstars the fans would love to see be in a WWE ring again. Although Hardy was always mixed with his brother, the Dudley Boyz and Edge and Christian, he was always the one who stood out the most. Whether it was his dyed hair or insane jumps from tremendous heights, Hardy captured the adoration of the fans over time.
Finally, the WWE creative team listened to the fans, as feuds with Triple H, Randy Orton and CM Punk catapulted Hardy to singles stardom, en route to two World Heavyweight Championship run and WWE Championship victory as well. Like Angle, Hardy joined TNA, albeit being released from the WWE due to injuries. With the Dudley Boyz returning to WWE television recently, rumors have been swirling about Hardy making his return as well. I can speak for everyone by saying, yes please.
3 CM Punk
Yes, they may have had the ugliest breakup since Bret Hart bolted for WCW; however, by the sounds of the crowd still chanting his name, CM Punk still has a spot in fans’ hearts. Starting off as a cult-like independent hero to becoming the biggest name of the modern era next to John Cena, Punk will forever be a part of WWE folklore. His 434 day reign as WWE Champion still stands as the longest reign of the modern era, and it will be a while before that record is shattered by another competitor.
Currently cutting his teeth inside of UFC’s octagon, it doesn’t appear likely that Punk will make a return to the WWE soon, if ever. However, if the day ever comes where “Cult of Personality” blares over the speakers of a WWE arena one more time, it will be a historic moment that fans will cherish.
2 Shawn Michaels
Over the history of professional wrestling, there is a legitimate case that could be made that Shawn Michaels is the greatest of all time. Starting out as a young upstart to WWE champion throughout the 1990s, Michaels had everything you want in a talent: charisma, ability, passion and athleticism. However, while Michaels was a Hall of Famer when he retired in 1998, the catalyst of the Attitude Era became an all-time great when he made his return to the WWE in 2002.
With a refreshed mindset due to kicking his substance addiction and adding God to his life, Michaels put on great matches at an old age over eight years. He has stated on many times that he is retired for good, but one more match for Michaels would be an amazing moment for fans.
1 Stone Cold Steve Austin
If there is any wrestler that the WWE Universe would love to see wrestle just one more match inside of the ring, it is none other than Stone Cold Steve Austin. There’s no need to run his accomplishment list, as Austin is known to not only the WWE audience but to the mainstream media as well. His ability to display himself as an everyday man was vital in his connection to the crowd, and his in-ring ability was just icing on the cake. Austin has claimed on many occasions that his WrestleMania 19 match against The Rock was his last match, end of story. However, the back and forth with Paul Heyman on his podcast got the fans riled up, and although he shot it down, there seems to be just a glimmer of hope that he could one day enter a ring again. If that glass shatters one more time, it may be the best moment in WWE history.
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