3 Cross-promotion dream matches that never happened in WWE
As evidenced by the Monday Night Wars between WWE and WCW, competition brings out the best in professional wrestling companies.
The 1990s professional wrestling boom — arguably the peak of the genre in the United States — resulted in the rise of popular characters such as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, and Goldberg.
The biggest winners in the 90s pro wrestling war were inevitably the fans, who witnessed iconic moments that they could cherish for years. Having two competing products also allows fans to fantasize about dream matches between their favorite wrestlers.
Fulfilling a dream match between two megastars such as The Rock and Hollywood Hogan can be lucrative for a company. However, putting on one of these bouts is often challenging because of the logistical hurdles involved.
Here are five cross-promotional dream matches that we never got to see in WWE.
#3 WWE fans missed out on a DX vs. nWo program
Two influential groups dominated by members of the notorious “Kliq,” DX and nWo, have been some of the most lucrative factions in professional wrestling history. While DX pushed the envelope on Monday Night RAW and laid the foundations for the shift in tone that characterized the Attitude Era, the nWo angle ushered in a period of prosperity for WCW.
After the Monday Night Wars, DX was reformed by Shawn Michaels and Triple H on numerous occasions to varying degrees of success. The nWo, on the other hand, had a brief WWE run in 2002 but quickly lost momentum after Hulk Hogan defected and turned babyface.
A dream match between the two legendary factions was just never on the cards. The closest we ever got was a confrontation between the nWo and DX when both groups interfered in Sting’s match against Triple H at WrestleMania 31.
#2 WWE fans still clamor for Sting vs. The Undertaker
Even though he found success as “The Surfer,” it wasn’t until he drastically changed his look during the Monday Night Wars that Sting reached the peak of his popularity. Playing a character inspired by The Crow (1994 film), Sting emerged as the perfect adversary for the nWo.
WCW opted for a slow build to Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997, resulting in the highest-grossing pay-per-view event in the company’s history. While WCW failed to deliver the finish that fans expected, an excellent build ensured that Sting was one of the most compelling wrestlers in the world.
His dark, brooding character drew parallels to The Undertaker and many fans started yearning for a match between the two legends. Although Sting and “Mean” Mark Callous (The Undertaker’s pre-WWE persona) wrestled at a house show in 1990, both performers never locked horns as their most iconic characters.
This dream match finally appeared to be within reach when Sting joined WWE in 2014. However, the former WCW World Heavyweight Champion suffered a debilitating neck injury, putting an end to any possibility of facing The Undertaker during his run with the company.
While Sting later returned to the ring in AEW, The Deadman retired following his Boneyard Match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36.
#1 Goldberg vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would’ve been one of WWE’s biggest matches
1998 was arguably the peak of professional wrestling in North America. While “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Vince McMahon were creating magic in WWE, Goldberg was taking WCW by storm.
The University of Georgia product went on an undefeated streak, with an official count of 173-0, where he would squash his foes in a matter of minutes. Goldberg’s undefeated streak was highlighted by his WCW World Heavyweight Championship win against Hollywood Hogan in front of 40,000 people at the Georgia Dome.
At the height of Goldberg’s popularity during the Monday Night Wars, every professional wrestling fan was salivating at the prospect of a dream match against Steve Austin. There was even a passing physical resemblance between the two stars.
However, WWE missed out on the opportunity to book this match after acquiring WCW, as they were reluctant to buy out Goldberg’s contract with Turner. Ironically, he made his WWE debut the night after Austin’s last match.