In case you missed it, I had quite the long week writing about WrestleMania. It started with a WrestleMania predictions column, which then turned into four straight Running Diaries. I covered both nights of NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver, and then both nights of WrestleMania 37.
Needless to say, I’m a bit Mania’d out.
I’ve had this column idea in my back pocket for a while now, but with Chris Jericho’s recent appearance on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions show on Peacock, it just made sense to roll it out now. When Jericho’s first appearance was first announced, the internet went banana pudding. A wrestler who is currently under AEW contract doing a WWE-ran talk show… that’s something nobody saw coming. All kinds of talk started bubbling up. Was this a sign of a working relationship between the two companies, even if it was just for something temporary?
Obviously, the odds of any real working relationship between AEW and WWE are slim to none. That shouldn’t stop us from having fun talking about it, though?
What would an AEW vs WWE/NXT “supercard” look like? What should an AEW vs WWE/NXT “supercard” look like?
A lot of these matches you’re going to see have pretty obvious reasons behind being listed. I tried to think about different “rules” I should abide by in putting matches together, but in the end, I went with a couple simple rules. Everyone and their mother would do a column like this and include Champion vs Champion matches galore. I didn’t want to do that. No “AEW Champion vs Universal Champion vs WWE Champion vs NXT Champion in a Fatal Four Way” here. Also, with WWE and NXT under the same Vince McMahon umbrella, I’m not having them battle each other directly here, but there will be matches that feature an AEW act, an NXT act, and a WWE act facing off against each other. It’s just the way the cookie crumbled. Another thing is that all injuries are nonexistent here. Everybody is healthy, so you might see someone listed in a match here that is currently on the shelf in real life. This is fantasy booking, after all.
Finally, I had no choice but to turn this into a WrestleMania (there’s that damn word again) show with two nights. In one of my initial drafts for putting the card together, I ended up with 33 matches. That’s juuuuust a bit much for one show. Hell, that’s too many matches for two shows. That led to some very tough decisions.
As I said, a lot of these are going to be “obvious” choices to a lot of people. That’s fine. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel here.
These matches won’t be listed in any real type of order, except for the main event at the end, in case you were wondering, but I’ll at least try to lay it out like a normal card would look. Finally, don’t take it as any sort of knock on a particular wrestler if they aren’t included here. At some point, people are going to be left off the card, unless you’re having multiple Battle Royal-type matches for no real reason. You’re going to see some big names left out, especially when it comes to the women of WWE and NXT.
No, I do not care that each of these shows would be a million hours long if they were to actually take place.
Let’s go ahead and get things started.
Jeff Hardy vs Darby Allin: I’d say this is a pretty easy one to figure out. Pretty much since AEW started and a much broader audience were able to watch him, Darby Allin has gotten the “next Jeff Hardy” label. Well, who better than Jeff Hardy for Darby to face and see if he really is the next Jeff Hardy?
Kyle O’Reilly vs Riddle vs Jake Hager: Another easy story to tell. Riddle is a former mixed martial artist, competing in UFC, Bellator, and Titan FC, among other places. Hager is undefeated in his MMA career since joining Bellator. O’Reilly is pretty known for his MMA training and using a hybrid wrestling/MMA style in his matches. This would be a fun, hard-hitting match that would allow all three men to showcase their strengths.
Io Shirai vs Toni Storm vs Hikaru Shida: Three of the brightest stars that joshi puroresu has sent to North America in the last few years. Shirai and Storm have battled a handful of times in NXT (as well as being on the same team at Survivor Series 2019), while Shida and Shirai faced each other in a tag match for the Japanese promotion, SMASH, a decade ago. There’s a ton of potential here for this match to be one of the hardest-hitting on the entire card, featuring some of the smallest competitors in action.
Orange Cassidy vs Pete Dunne: Hear me out. In the first drafts of this column, I had Orange Cassidy placed in different matches here and there. When it was time to finalize things, though, I kept thinking about some of the better comedy that you’ll see in the world of pro wrestling. You’ll see a comedy act of some kind playing off of a “straight man” character, and it delivers gold. There aren’t many in the business right now that are more no-nonsense than Pete Dunne. Can you imagine how he would react to Cassidy and what he brings to the table? I want to see this.
The Usos vs The Young Bucks: This is another pretty easy choice. Two teams of brothers, combining to have a total of 38 (major and minor) Tag Team Title reigns across the globe. They’re two of the best high-flying teams we’ve ever seen, and this is one of those matches where the art of this great sport will be on full display. I’m going to be very disappointed if we don’t get the opportunity to see this one in happen for real one day.
Big E vs Powerhouse Hobbs: You already know what this one is about. Two big men, with big… chests… and big muscles… bumpin’ meat. Big meaty men slappin’ meat. If that’s not for you, then we simply cannot be friends and I will gladly remove you from my Christmas card list, you bitch you.
Eddie Kingston vs Karrion Kross: It might seem like an odd pairing, at first, but it shouldn’t. Karrion Kross is a man that loves to instill fear in the hearts of his opponents, looking to “win” a match before it even begins. Eddie Kingston is someone who seemingly has no fear, except the demons in his own head. If you’re going to have promos and things of that nature leading up this show, this match might deliver some of the most entertaining ones. Them stepping into the ring and beating the hell out of each other is only the icing on the cake.
Penta El Zero Miedo vs Santos Escobar: These two have crossed paths a bunch of times in their career, from their days in Mexico’s AAA promotion to Lucha Underground to Impact Wrestling. They’ve been opponents, and they’ve been tag partners, but this would be an opportunity for them to show their in-ring chemistry to a much larger audience.
Chris Jericho vs Adam Cole: Chris Jericho was a really tough placement on this show. It wasn’t a rule that he couldn’t face any of his old WWE opponents, but I just didn’t want to go that route if I could help it at all. He’s someone else that has had different opponents in other drafts, but I had him here on a couple occasions. For years, Adam Cole was viewed as the “next Shawn Michaels” as he rose through the independent ranks. It was destined that he’d end up working for WWE at some point. Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels have done some amazing work together, both in the ring and through telling stories. Jericho would go from feuding with his idol, Michaels, to a match with the “new Michaels” here. Cole is exactly the type of opponent that Jericho ups his game for.
Bianca Belair vs Britt Baker: The hottest young female talent in WWE taking on who SHOULD be the hottest young female talent in AEW. Before anyone says anything, I mean “hottest” as in “on fire” and not “sexiest” in this instance. They’re both very attractive women, but I have to clarify that, as it has confused people in the past for some reason. As I said, though, this is a match that, ideally, wouldn’t be on my card, as it would break my “champion vs champion” rule. Alas, AEW hasn’t figured out what they have with Britt Baker yet, so here you go.
The Undertaker vs Sting: You gotta admit… it would be pretty funny if THIS is how we finally end up seeing this match, after people have been demanding it for for over 25 years now. Regular match, cinematic match, whatever… it’s too much to ignore.
Bobby Lashley vs Brian Cage: Bobby Lashley is one of the most dominant performers in wrestling right now, on the biggest roll of his career. In Brian Cage, AEW has someone who looks like they could go toe-to-toe with The Almighty and not back down. Cage is an absolute freak of nature that can dish out as much of a combination of speed and power as Lashley, if not more. You might need to reinforce the ring for this one.
Seth Rollins vs Kenny Omega: For the last few years, one of the most heated debates on wrestling social media is whether Omega or Rollins is the best in-ring performer alive today. Let’s find out. It’s as simple as that. Just let them step in the ring with each other and give us an all-time classic. You know both men would have a chip on their shoulder here. Heaven help the people who would have to cover the match, either on commentary or on internet recaps.
With night one out of the way, let’s move on to…
Daniel Bryan vs Pac: Bryan has been on a mission over the last year or so to wrestle his favorite opponents or his favorite type of opponents and tear the house down with them. These two have faced each other before… on a Ring Of Honor show in 2007. The match was decent, but nothing special. Pac was only three years into his wrestling career at the time, and was nowhere near the complete performer that he has grown to become. If they could put on a three-star match back then, imagine what they could do now.
Cesaro vs MJF: Another one of those “just hear me out” pairings. Their strengths will help to carry each other’s weaker spots. MJF shines in his promos, but isn’t necessarily viewed as a top-tier in-ring performer yet. Cesaro, on the other hand, is all-world as a wrestler, but hasn’t been known for his promo skills. Again, if there are going to be promos and things of that nature for this show, MJF can put in his work to help sell the match in that aspect. Then, for the match itself, Cesaro can help raise the level of the work done there. Everybody wins.
Raquel Gonzalez vs Jade Cargill: Wrestling has been all about the “spectacle” of it all since the very beginning. Here’s a match that probably wouldn’t end up being a five-star classic, but it meets the criteria for the “spectacle” tag. Cargill is 5’10” with more abs than should be allowed by law. Gonzalez is 6’0″ and looks like she could pick a car up and throw it at you if she wanted to. The initial staredown for this match would be worth it all by itself. You don’t often get a “Battle Of The Titans” in women’s wrestling, but this would fit the bill.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs MSK vs Santana & Ortiz: Any of these fantasy booking cards are going to have a wild tag team spotfest, and this is no different. These are three of the best teams in the world right now, with chemistry oozing out of their ears. You’re going to get approximately one “wow” moment every 5.7 seconds with this match.
30-Man Battle Royal: Christopher Daniels, Chuck Taylor, Colt Cabana, Dustin Rhodes, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Matt Hardy, Ricky Starks, Sammy Guevara, Scorpio Sky, Trent, Wardlow, Braun Strowman, Damian Priest, Keith Lee, The Miz, Mustafa Ali, Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Sheamus, Apollo Crews, Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Robert Roode, Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura, Finn Balor, Johnny Gargano, KUSHIDA, and Tommaso Ciampa all get their chance to be on the card. I have one problem with the names listed here, and that’s the fact that WWE and NXT have some MAJOR star power involved, while AEW has some randoms. Talented randoms, but randoms nonetheless. Unless you’re a hardcore AEW mark, are you really expecting to see someone like Chuck Taylor or Jungle Boy win this match over the likes of Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, or Randy Orton? Probably not. It’s just the way things happened to fall, though. WWE has a bigger and deeper roster than AEW right now, so you’re going to run into these types of issues when you line them up.
Drew McIntyre vs Miro: At first thought, I assumed these two had been in the ring with each other a bunch. Then, I thought about it more and more, and I realized that wouldn’t be the case for a couple different reasons. They’ve only been in the ring with each other three times. One was a handicap tag match on Raw in 2014 where they teamed up with nine other men to face The Shield. Then, at Crown Jewel 2019, they were on opposing teams in the Team Hogan vs Team Flair ten-man tag. The following week, they had a singles match against each other on Raw, and that ended in disqualification. McIntyre loves those physical slugfests. Miro is more than happy to throw hands. This could be an underrated gem on this weekend-long card.
Christian Cage vs Edge: Easy choice? Yes. I like the added layer of the story that could be brought up in promos, though, with Edge angry at Christian for “running away” and leaving him alone in WWE. Edge has had a bunch of issues leading up to WrestleMania with not having anybody watching his back as he deals with sneak attacks or two-on-one fights. You know the match would be a lot of fun, but that extra intrigue to the story would be great to watch unfold.
Rey Mysterio vs Rey Fenix: Another “era vs era” match here. With his look, in-ring style, and name, Fenix has been compared to Mysterio for a while now. Mysterio is largely viewed as the greatest high-flying talent that wrestling has ever seen. Fenix is largely viewed as one of the greatest high-flying talents that wrestling has seen since Mysterio. Not quite a true “passing the torch” type of match, as I would assume Mysterio wants something like that with his son, but this would be damn close.
“Hangman” Adam Page vs AJ Styles: Page is really on the verge of becoming a huge star for AEW right now, with many feeling that he’s going to be the one to dethrone Kenny Omega as the AEW World Champion at some point down the road. With that said, he could really use some more great matches to pad his stats a bit. That isn’t a shot at him at all. He just hasn’t been in the ring with an elite (no pun intended) level of talent for a while. Enter… AJ Styles, one of the best wrestlers alive. In the build for the match, you could bring up that both men are former Bullet Club members if you want some added fuel. Their paths never crossed in New Japan, but the BC connection is always good for some added drama to matches and feuds, as we’ve seen through the years.
Sasha Banks vs Anna Jay: Yes, another “just hear me out” pairing. Some will see this and say Sasha deserves “better” than Anna Jay, but this makes a lot of sense. Even at the age of 29, Sasha Banks is a true blue veteran in the business. She has done just about everything there is to do. As we just witnessed, Sasha has no problem at all with facing a rising star and helping to elevate her, if not put her over outright. Anna Jay is a huge star in the making for AEW. She was just short of seven months off of her debut match when she signed with the company. She’s not even 23 years old yet, and she has already made incredible strides in her work over her time with the company. If she can avoid the injury bug (she’s already had two major shoulder injuries in her career), the future is insanely bright for her. Putting her in the ring with Sasha will allow her to be showcased like no other match would allow. On the other side, Sasha would be able to use more of an aggressive side that she uses when she’s either a heel or working against a “lesser” opponent. That’s when she’s at her best. This could be something special.
Cody Rhodes vs Triple H: I mean… come on… it’s right there. The “face” of AEW management and the “face” of NXT management, these two were always looked at and judged during the “Wednesday Night War” and putting them in a marquee match against each other just seems right. Cody has come a long way since being a part of The Legacy and helping Randy Orton feud with Triple H and the McMahon family in 2009. It would be difficult to have an actual show like this and not include these two fighting.
WALTER vs Lance Archer: The man who uses “Everybody Dies” as a catchphrase taking on the man who tries to make that true for every opponent he faces? Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. I’m all for a war like this. Let’s make it happen.
Jon Moxley vs Roman Reigns: Sometimes, the easiest options are also the best options. The days of The Shield feel like decades ago, as both men are wildly different than they were when they were members of the group. Can you just imagine the promos these two would cut on each other right now? Two of the biggest acts in wrestling right now, and arguably the two biggest MVP acts of 2020, going to war? Man, sign me the fuck up right now.
Well, that was fun. What did you think of my card? As always, hit me up in the comments section below, or on Twitter (@HustleTheSavage), and let me know what’s on your mind. Tell me what you think about my matches. Give me some matches that you would have on a card like this, either using my “rules” or not.
Weekly Power Rankings
- Bianca Belair: It was never going to be anybody else. You win a title in the main event of WrestleMania, and you’re getting top billing here. Belair vs Banks is going to go down as one of the most important matches of this era, and for good reason.
- Roman Reigns: Another great performance in a long string for them for The Tribal Chief. Conventional wisdom said that he would lose the Universal Title, and not only did he retain, but he did so by pinning both Edge and Daniel Bryan to put an exclamation on the entire thing. The match itself deserves a spot in the rankings, but I’m having to condense things a bit, or else this ends up being a top 40 list.
- Bobby Lashley: He looks unstoppable. His Mania match with Drew McIntyre is also deserving of having its own ranking, but that darn condensing strikes again. Throw in a very dominant win over Riddle on Raw and you have another very good week for the man.
- Raquel Gonzalez: The NXT women’s division has been so strong for so long that any title change is automatically viewed as a really big deal. Gonzalez defeating Io Shirai is no different. This is an entirely different type of champion, so it will be interesting to see how her reign is booked.
- Karrion Kross: Some people love him, from his entrance to his look to his matches. Some people hate him for those same reasons. He continues to get mixed reviews from the internet, but he is now the fourth man to be a two-time NXT Champion. I have to give him his props for that, no matter what anybody thinks of him.
- Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole: It was every bit of the wild battle everyone expected it to be, and they’re not done yet. It’s only going to get better. It’s only going to get more violent.
- Bad Bunny: With everything that happened at WrestleMania, he was one of the most talked-about things. That was one of the better celebrity performances you’ll ever see in a wrestling match. He has clearly been taking his training seriously. He had just the right mix of trained wrestler and wide-eyed fan, and it all worked.
- WALTER vs Tommaso Ciampa: Like KOR vs Cole, this was everything we thought it would be. WALTER has now been the NXT United Kingdom Champion for over two calendar years straight, with no sign of that coming to an end anytime soon.
- Smackdown Promos From Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, and Edge: Three magnificent pieces of promo work. Seriously, those were some of the best promos we’ve seen in WWE in a long time, and they happened on the same show to hype up the same match.
- Rhea Ripley: Honestly, the only reason she isn’t ranked higher is that it doesn’t appear she and Asuka really “click” in the ring. She’s still the new Raw Women’s Champion, though. Let’s see if WWE can avoid ruining her momentum again like they did last year.
- AJ Styles & Omos: I could’ve just listed Omos here, and it would still work. That was a dominating performance by the big man. He becomes another unstoppable-looking act on the WWE roster after basically squashing one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling history by himself in a couple minutes.
- MSK: I figured they’d get a push when they arrived in NXT, but I didn’t think it would be like this. Less than three months after their NXT debut, they won the NXT Tag Team Titles, and are undefeated since signing. What needs to be watched, moving forward, is the fact that they received a little bit of heel heat from those in attendance at this week’s NXT episode. Time will tell if that continues, or if they just weren’t popular with people there this one time.
- Cesaro: You could say that this was the biggest singles victory of his WWE career, even though there wasn’t a title on the line. It was still a win over a former World Champion in his WrestleMania singles debut, so he gets his props. Now, will he actually get a real singles push out of this, or will it fizzle out like his pushes in the past inevitably did?
- Santos Escobar vs Jordan Devlin: A really fun Ladder Match. With Devlin living and working in the United Kingdom, the outcome of this match was never really in question, but they both put on a very good performance. It seemed like Escobar was going to be receiving a renewed push after winning, but then…
- KUSHIDA: …we got ourselves a new Cruiserweight Champion days later. A weird bit of booking, but I can’t really complain too much. I’ve been calling for KUSHIDA to get pushed for a while now, and here it is.
- Sheamus: It wasn’t on the same level as a singles match against Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title at WrestleMania would’ve been, but this was still a nice reward for Sheamus’ hard work in recent months. He’s been on a roll, and as the new United States Champion, he looks very tough to beat.
- Darby Allin vs JD Drake: Sorry, AEW fans. I’m not dumping on the company by only having them make one appearance in these rankings. It just happened to be WWE’s biggest week of the year, so they had a lot of their best matches and biggest stories taking place at the same time. This match was really good. Even in a loss, JD Drake looked like a future player in AEW. I love matches where both people get elevated like this.
- Apollo Crews: Sure, he’s the new Intercontinental Champion, but come on, not even seven minutes at WrestleMania? One of the better builds for any of this year’s Mania matches, but Crews and Big E couldn’t even get seven minutes to work with? On top of that, nobody will remember the match, anyway, because of the “debut” of Commander Azeez to help Crews pick up the victory. Crews and E deserved better.
- The Viking Raiders: It was good to see Ivar back after being on the shelf for several months after neck surgery. I’m hoping they get booked more as the badasses they are than the comedy act they were before Ivar’s injury. We’ll see.
- Jey Uso: The winner of this year’s Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That used to mean a lot more, but it’s still something. Will it lead anywhere? Will Jey get another push off of this, or will he just remain Roman Reigns’ “lackey” for a while? Again… we’ll see.
This Week’s Playlist: Multiple episodes of ARN, the podcast with Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson.