There will always be matches that the WWE Universe consider to be on the level of fantasy, where the matches and their build-up are the things that dreams are made of. The sad part is that in WWE, these matches rarely live up to the hype. WWE has a consistent problem where they either pull the trigger on a feud too soon and the WWE Universe is not prepared, or they delay the feud for so long that the WWE Universe can no longer fully invest themselves in the match.
This means that over the past few years, the WWE Universe has been able to witness some of their fantasy matches, but they have failed to live up to the hype. Sometimes matches are hyped up for so long, that it is physically impossible for the match to ever deliver.
The WWE Universe has wanted to see The Undertaker face off against Sting for so long now that even if WWE allowed the two stars to face each other at their next event, the two 50 plus-year-old veterans would never be able to put on the show at the level that the WWE Universe expect. This is one of the biggest problems between WWE and their fans. There are a number of occasions where the hype of a fantasy match has managed to overshadow the match itself, and here are just eight examples, and seven matches that the WWE Universe still wants to see in the not too distant future.
Here are eight occasions when the hype of a fantasy match has managed to overshadow the match itself, and seven matches that the WWE Universe still wants to see in the not-too-distant future.
15. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Seth Rollins Vs. Dean Ambrose Vs. Roman Reigns – Battleground 2016
When The Shield split back in June 2014 because Seth Rollins decided to turn on his brothers and join The Authority, it was almost inevitable that the trio would one day clash in a triple threat match.
It took almost two years for Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to be put in that long-awaited triple threat match at Battleground in 2016. The buildup of the match saw Rollins pin Reigns to become WWE Champion, before Ambrose cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Rollins to lift the title for the first time. Ambrose was then drafted over to SmackDown whilst his former brothers were drafted to Raw and the match would decide where the Championship would be going. The match had been built up for two years in the minds of the WWE Universe, and in all honesty, there was no way it would ever be able to live up to the hype, which is sad, since this was a fantasy match for many of the WWE Universe.
14. Needs To Happen: Bray Wyatt Vs. Broken Matt Hardy
Bray Wyatt hasn’t been given the push in WWE as a singles star that many of the WWE Universe had hoped for. Wyatt was a star when he was in The Wyatt Family, but it seems that Braun Strowman has been the breakout star of the group in recent months.
After back-to-back losses to Finn Balor in recent months, Bray needs something huge to sort his career out at this point, and the perfect person to go up against Bray would be Matt Hardy under his “Broken” gimmick. Given Jeff Hardy‘s recent injury and the fact that he could be out on the sidelines for a number of months, this would be the perfect time for Matt to be pushed into a singles feud whilst his brother is unable to compete. Hardy and Bray could have some interesting promos if they were put into a feud, and the WWE Universe deserves the excitement that this kind of rivalry would ignite.
13. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Finn Balor Vs. Seth Rollins – SummerSlam 2016
Finn Balor and Seth Rollins have been two stars that the WWE Universe have wanted to collide in a one-on-one match ever since the duo were both seen as the future of the WWE as former NXT Champions.
Finn was brought up to the main roster as part of the WWE Draft back in 2016. He then went on to win the opportunity to fight to be the very first ever Universal Champion. Rollins was also put into the match, since he was at the top of his game on Raw at the time. The build-up to the match saw Balor and Rollins go head-to-head a number of times in promos as the idea of The Demon vs The Man was pushed as far as it would go. Their match at SummerSlam was a standout affair, but Balor’s injury just five minutes into the match could have been the reason why this match just didn’t live up to the hype in the minds of the WWE Universe.
12. Needs To Happen: The Shield Vs. The Bullet Club
The Shield was considered to be one of the most dominant stables in the history of WWE whilst the members were still together. The fact that The Shield was forced to split up because they no longer had any competition led to many fans believing that there was still a team out there that could force the trio to come back together for a one-off match.
The Bullet Club has made their way to WWE in recent years and WWE could decide to have two different formations of the team go up against The Shield if the occasion arises. AJ Styles could have led the club at one point, but now since Finn Balor is over on Raw with Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, he seems like the most likely candidate to be called upon. This could be a match that the WWE Universe has been looking forward to for a number years so the company would have to plan the build-up to this quite creatively.
11. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: The Rock Vs. John Cena – WrestleMania 28
It was one of the biggest matches in WWE history, as The Rock looked set to pass the torch over to John Cena back at WrestleMania 28 in 2012. The build-up to the match began the night after WrestleMania 27 and lasted the entire year before the match that was billed as “once in a lifetime” finally took place.
The Rock was missing for much of the buildup to the match as Cena was left to cut promos and carry the entire feud ahead of the match on his own on both WWE TV and on social media, up until two months before WrestleMania when The Rock finally appeared. After having a match like CM Punk and Chris Jericho happen earlier in the night, this match just wasn’t able to follow it. WWE then decided to plan the match again for the following year’s WrestleMania, which was just considered overkill.
10. Needs To Happen: Johnny Gargano Vs. Tomasso Ciampa
Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa were both able to make names for themselves on the Independent Circuit before they were signed to WWE on their NXT brand a few years ago. The duo has been used as a tag team and are former NXT Tag Team Champions, but as part of the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016, they were finally able to show the world what they could do against each other.
Since then, their Tag Team formation has crumbled and Ciampa attacked his partner at NXT Takeover: Chicago earlier this year before he was put out of action with a knee injury. The WWE Universe now anticipates what could be one of the biggest matches of the year next year, when Ciampa finally returns from injury. Gargano has been gaining momentum on his own in NXT over the past few months and will be fully prepared for revenge when the time comes.
9. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Randy Orton Vs. Brock Lesnar – SummerSlam 2016
SummerSlam 2016 was a disaster of a show; it was the first dual-brand pay-per-view since the Brand Split and saw SmackDown’s Randy Orton face off against Raw’s Brock Lesnar in the main event.
Orton had broken Lesnar’s record as the youngest ever WWE Champion at SummerSlam back in 2004, and despite both being around the wrestling business for more than a decade, they had never faced each other on pay-per-view. Brock was hot off his UFC 200 victory and Orton looked as though he could be a real threat to The Beast, but the match just didn’t deliver. Orton got in two RKO’s before he was outmatched and was completely dominated by Lesnar in a match that then ended by Technical Knockout. Shane McMahon was forced to come down to the ring to stop the attack, receive and F5, and set up a future match with Brock that never actually happened, just to add more confusion to a less than memorable SummerSlam event.
8. Needs To Happen: AJ Styles Vs. Seth Rollins
AJ Styles has been the cream that has risen to the top of WWE ever since he made his debut for the company at the 2016 Royal Rumble. Somehow, the company managed to keep the duo apart for the months where they were on the same roster together and they have since been split on opposite brands, so the WWE Universe has been denied their fantasy match between the two former Independent stars.
Rollins and Styles have faced off before, but it was a number of years before they made it to WWE, and it is thought that if these two were allowed to embark on a feud in WWE, it would be a show-stealing affair. Styles and Rollins are very similar and are equally talented, but at some point, WWE needs to step back and allow this match to happen because it would definitely make the last few years of waiting worth it.
7. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Triple H Vs. Roman Reigns – WrestleMania 32
The main event of WrestleMania 32 has found its way onto the list after it seems that WWE continued to push Roman Reigns as the next top guy in the company, even though the fans refused to accept him. Seth Rollins was forced to miss WrestleMania 32 through injury, so his planned match with Triple H was then replaced by a match against Roman Reigns instead.
The match was advertised as a No-Disqualification match, but it actually wasn’t; the fans booed Roman out of the arena as he made his entrance and then when Roman hit the spear on Triple H for the victory, the entire WWE Universe was waiting for someone (anyone) to come out and interfere. There was no one, and that was the end that the WWE Universe was given for WrestleMania 32. It was shocking, and something that WWE fans have still yet to forgive the company for.
6. Needs To Happen: Brock Lesnar v Roman Reigns II
WrestleMania 31 stood out for many reasons; it was the first WrestleMania that saw a Money in the Bank cash in, it was performed at an outdoor arena for the first time in a number of years, and it boasted the beginning of the feud between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
The WWE Universe was sceptical about the matchup from the start, but this match truly delivered before it was rudely interrupted by Seth Rollins, who decided to cash in his contract and leave with the World Championship. The fact that their first match didn’t see a clear winner means that there will definitely be a rematch at some point. Despite how much negative press Reigns receives from the WWE Universe, he really pulled it out of the bag against Lesnar two years ago, so there’s no reason why the duo can’t have another show-stealing match in the future.
5. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Brock Lesnar Vs. Goldberg – Survivor Series 2016
Brock Lesnar and Goldberg were always destined to meet again in a WWE ring, especially after Goldberg was added to WWE2K17. It was inevitable that he would be making his return to the company more than 12 years after he left.
Brock has been on a mission of complete domination since he returned to WWE in 2012 and went on to end The Streak in 2014. He had brutalized John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and even The Undertaker a number of other times on the way to Survivor Series, and someone who hadn’t wrestled in more than a decade wasn’t given much of a chance against Brock. Shockingly, Goldberg managed to defeat Lesnar in less than two minutes to hype up the release of the new WWE video game, after it was revealed that Goldberg was injured, so the company didn’t want to risk him being part of a full match.
4. Needs To Happen: AJ Styles Vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The good news here is that hints are already being dropped regarding these two former NJPW stars finally getting to face-off in a WWE ring. Nakamura and Styles are longtime friends, but that doesn’t mean that WWE won’t capitalize on their current popularity and decide to put them in a match against each other at next year’s WrestleMania.
Fans would be happy with this. Nakamura and Styles have been wrestling for a long time and have mastered their trade all over the world. No one is more equipped for a show-stealing WrestleMania match than these two. Hopefully, WWE don’t tease this match for so long that the WWE Universe will get tired of it like with The Shield triple threat match that’s listed above. Styles and Nakamura deserve this opportunity, and WWE owes it to the WWE Universe after forcing us to watch AJ Styles versus Shane McMahon a few months ago.
3. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: Matt Hardy Vs. Jeff Hardy – WrestleMania 25
Matt and Jeff Hardy were once one of the most exciting Tag Teams in WWE history and they have somewhat recently been able to recreate that spark since their return to WWE at WrestleMania 33.
Even though the two brothers were once seen to be quite close, after Matt turned on his brother at the Royal Rumble in 2009 and cost him the WWE Championship against Edge, it seems that a personal and deep-rooted feud was about to take place. An Extreme Rules match was announced for WrestleMania, and whilst both stars are able to pull off that kind of match easily, it felt like it was just one move after another. The match didn’t have time to settle so that the audience could actually feel the tension. This was a deeply personal rivalry that just didn’t hit the spot, which left the WWE Universe feeling shortchanged.
2. Needs To Happen: The Undertaker Vs. John Cena
The Undertaker walked away from WWE following his WrestleMania 33 loss to Roman Reigns, and hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since. Despite this, the WWE Universe is still pressing for WWE to finally allow The Deadman to go one-on-one with Cena in the near future, since this is the match that was originally speculated to have been taking place at WrestleMania 32, but Cena wasn’t cleared to compete.
Undertaker has just undergone hip surgery and his current medical condition is unknown, but original rumours stated that The Deadman wanted to return at Survivor Series and finally bow out on the show he debuted at 27 years ago against one of WWE’s biggest stars. It was Undertaker who went up to Cena on his first day and told him that he could make it when everyone else doubted him. It seems that this really would be a fairytale ending for both men.
1. Didn’t Live Up To The Hype: The Undertaker Vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania 30
Perhaps the most memorable match in WWE history, but the match is only memorable because of the result. Once again, the buildup to the match was outstanding as Paul Heyman delivered some of his best work whilst backing his client to do the unthinkable and end Undertaker‘s undefeated streak.
The match itself wasn’t exactly great; it seemed at times as though Undertaker was being thrown around by Lesnar, and finally after three F5’s, The Deadman stayed down for the three count and the entire arena was in despair. WWE wanted something huge to happen at WrestleMania 30, but the end of the streak was the wrong choice, and it led to a lot of backlash from fans about the way they handled one of the most iconic things in their history. Undertaker has since returned to WWE following this match and has continued to compete at WrestleMania, which begs the question as to why The Streak had to end in the first place.
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