Adam wilkinson

Matches That Never Happened: Match #3

Continuing with my blog series of matches that never happened, we have reached match #3. The first two matches saw HBK vs. The Rock and Sting vs. The Undertaker. How do I top those two matches you ask? It's certainly not an easy task, but I have a match that I think could trump both of the previous matches so let's get right to it.

Match #3

If this match had taken place with both of these superstars in their prime, we could very well be talking about this match for many years down the line almost like we talk about Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3. The match I'm talking about is "The Excellence of Execution" Bret Hart vs. "The Olympic Gold Medalist" Kurt Angle in an Iron Man, Submission Match where they wrestle for 60 minutes and the only way to gain a victory is by submission. This match is different than the first two I came up with but I felt like these two great competitors deserved an ample amount of time to showcase their technical skills, skills that are without a doubt superior to everyone elses. I'll start first by breaking down Bret Hart.

Hart also known as "The Excellence of Execution" and "The Best There Is, The Best There Was, and The Best There Ever Will Be" earned and deserved both of those nicknames. Training in his dad's dungeon, Hart started out as a tag team competitor in The Hart Foundation with his brother-in-law Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. He would later split from his brother-in-law and become a singles competitor and that is when his popularity took off. He would come out in his mirrored sunglasses and give them to a lucky fan before the match. I always wanted to be the lucky fan to receive those sunglasses. Back to the point, Hart really shined as a singles competitor putting on great match after great match. If I had the unlucky task of ranking his top 3 matches, I would probably say his best was the Iron Man Match against Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 12. The next would be the best match in Summerslam history in my eyes, his 1992 Summerslam match with his brother-in-law The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. The third match would be his Wrestlemania 13 submission match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. I'm pretty sure there were other matches I could have chose including the first ever ladder match against Shawn Michaels or the steel cage match against his brother Owen Hart at Summerslam 1994. However the 3 matches I chose shows off how technically gifted and physically fit Hart really was.

When it comes to Kurt Angle, he came to WWE with a great amateur wrestling background as he won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. By the way, did I mention he did that with a broken neck? That's right a broken neck. When you mix that kind of toughness and his technical ability, you get what I consider to be the best active wrestler today. Ranking Angle's top 3 matches would not be an easy task either, but for the sake of the blog I did it anyway. 1) His 2003 Iron Man Match with Brock Lesnar on Smackdown, 2) His 2001 Backlash Ultimate Submission Match against Chris Benoit, 3) his Bound For Glory match in 2007 against Sting. Another match I could have included is his Wrestlemania 21 match with Shawn Michaels. Angle's toughness and in-ring ability is why many fans may not like him, but damn near all fans respect him.

This match never took place because Hart left WWE for WCW in 1997 and Angle didn't arrive in WWE until almost exactly 2 years later (2 years and 5 days). Hart would continue wrestling until 2000 when he was forced to retire due to post-concussion syndrome. Hart would later suffer a stroke in 2002 which would require him to be in a wheelchair and thus assuring us that we had seen the last of Bret Hart in a squared circle. Angle would climb to the top of the WWE ladder in the mid-2000s before leaving for TNA in 2006. If it had not been for Hart's stroke in 2002, there could have been a slight chance we could have seen this match happen. Since Hart was released from his WCW contract in 2000, I would have liked to see this match take place at Wrestlemania 18 which was a pretty lackluster Wrestlemania by my standards.

I chose these two in the respective match type because of their history of competing in Iron Man Matches, their technical skills, and most importantly what they did for the company. Hart's rise to stardom opened doors for other Canadien wrestlers such as Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Bobby Roode, and Petey Williams to make it to big time wrestling promotions. When it comes to Angle, I don't know if he was the first wrestler with an amateur wrestling background to make it to WWE, but he certainly had an impact on how WWE looked at people with amateur wrestling backgrounds. Guys like Brock Lesnar, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, and Charlie Haas can thank Kurt Angle for having the opportunity to showcase their amateur wrestling skills in professional wrestling. As I stated earlier, had Hart and Angle competed in an Iron Man, Submission Match at Wrestlemania 18 in 2002, I seriously think 10 years and possibly 30 years later people will mention this match when they think of the best matches ever. As always feel free to let me know what you all think and tune in Friday as I look at the fourth match in the "Matches That Never Happened" installment.

Stay blessed everybody,
Dee Thomas

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