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  1. #1
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    30 great WrestleMania matches (that never happened)

    Found this on another forum - thought it was interesting!

    (Originally from liveaudiowrestling.com)

    Honorable Mentions: CARD SHARKED
    Razor Ramon vs. Goldust, Wrestlemania 12
    Mankind vs. Vader, Wrestlemania 13
    Kane vs. X-Pac, Wrestlemania 16
    Edge vs. William Regal, Wrestlemania 18
    John Cena vs. Fabolous and Jay-Z, Wrestlemania 19
    Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry, Wrestlemania 20


    - Scott Hall and Goldust were feuding over the Intercontinental Title, but Hall gave notice to jump to WCW and was coincidentally suspended for failing a drug test, so they put Roddy Piper in his spot.
    - Mick Foley wrote in Have A Nice Day about his idea to reprise his WCW feud with Vader, but it was decided to make them a team first so they could break up and then feud. Except they never got around to the breakup or the feud. Too bad, 'cause that show could've used another good match.
    - Kane and X-Pac were programmed for like six months from the end of 1999 to the beginning of 2000 and were building to some kind of ultimate blowoff for Mania involving explosions or something. But that got nixed and they did a not-so-ultimate tag match instead.
    - Edge and Regal were programmed for like four months from the end of 2001 to the beginning of 2002 and were building to Edge regaining the IC title at Mania. But the matches were boring and the feud wasn't over, so they aborted it with one month left and put Rob Van Dam over the belt instead.
    - John Cena was supposed to "battle rap" against some stiff MCs, but it fell through. What'd do you want him to do, man, call out your fiance? He'd have a better competition battle rapping with Beyonce.
    - Matt Hardy as a heel was on a losing streak gimmick after jumping to Raw, and apparently the plan was that he'd finally pick up a big win and turn face by beating the Very Strong Man, Mark Henry. Except Henry got hurt just before Mania, Hardy didn't get on the show, and things would get increasingly worse for him from there.

    30-29. DREAM DEFERRED
    Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, Wrestlemania 7
    Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair, Wrestlemania 8


    These are ranked so low because I'm almost positive they're not really real. Hogan vs. Warrior might've been a long term idea, but when the time came, with Warrior not drawing like Hogan did, I assume they thought there was more money in Hogan chasing the title against a heel, especially draped in the flag against a Per$ian Gulf War-based heel. Hogan vs. Flair was announced on TV, but just as storyline, as the main event with Hogan had been promised to Sid Justice all along, Hogan/Flair had already done a house show run, and, as funny as it sounds, Vince probably thought a monster like Sid would be the bigger draw. Would both suggested matches have been cooler and more historic? Yeah. Were they ever concretely planned to happen? I don't believe so. An interesting sidenote is that if you read Observers from late '90-91, there's actually some speculation that if the WWF really thinks they're going to sell out the L.A. Colosseum, then their best bet would be if the unhappy Ric Flair left WCW for the WWF and wrestled Hogan. A little under a year later and he does, but they never headline a Wrestlemania. They do headline a Bash at the Beach, but it's not quite the same thing.

    28-27. ALL SIZZLE, NO STREAK
    The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania 21
    The Undertaker and Kane vs. Gene Snitsky and John Heidenreich, Wrestlemania 21


    After Kurt Angle's return from a neck injury in summer 2004, he and Undertaker came up with the idea of headlining Wrestlemania 21 on the Smackdown side as the two top stars who would be kept apart building to the big match, where Taker would finally be able to have a classic match at Mania. Well, Bradshaw's title reign inexplicably kept going and Angle's neck explicably started hurting again, and plans changed. Inspired by the success of their amazing vignettes together, there arose the idea of teaming Snitsky and Heidenreich against a reunited Taker and Kane in an interpromotional tag match conflating each brands' respective awful feud. However, over the past five years, the Undertaker has shown a remarkable knack for getting out of bad Wrestlemania matches and getting into good ones. Instead of a probable tag match against Rikishi and Haku at 17, he ended up with a strong match with Triple H. Instead of a suggested match with Kevin Nash at 18, he ended up with a good match with Ric Flair. And here, instead of a nightmare of a match against Snitsky and Heidenreich, he ended up having a very good match with Randy Orton. By also opening the door for the Angle vs. Shawn Michaels match, there's probably been no decision in the history of wrestling to cause a greater swing in match quality.

    26-24. YOU GO, BOSS
    Vince McMahon vs. Mick Foley, Wrestlemania 17
    Vince McMahon vs. Eric Bischoff, Wrestlemania 19
    Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin, Wrestlemania 20


    I think it's safe to assume that we're never going to see Vince wrestle a match again, although after seeing his Lazarus-like appearance on Monday, maybe I should think twice. Still, McMahon turned down doing a match with Foley for this year's show even before he obliterated his legs at the Royal Rumble. Foley regrets not doing the match when it was first offered to him in 2001, opting instead to referee Vince vs. Shane. In 2003, the allure and drawing power of a McMahon/Bischoff match had already been nullified by the nature of Eric's introduction and role on TV, but it was going to happen anyway, until Hulk Hogan showed up again and took the match and the Mania payday from his dear friend. They ran it a year later on TV with Austin officiating as an afterthought in the build to Wrestlemania 20 -- the idea had actually been to have an Austin vs. McMahon shortcut brawl-type match after Vince had spent the entire year getting heat on himself going over Hogan, Zach Gowen, Stephanie, and Undertaker. The only problem was nobody bothered to tell Austin and he declined doing the match. Vince vs. Bret Hart is only going to happen when cloning is invented.

    23-22. QUAD QUITTY DJs
    Steve Austin vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 18
    Steve Austin vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 19


    The best laid plans of vice and men. When Triple H tore his quad in May 2001, he was in a tag team with a heel Steve Austin, the point of which was to lead to a breakup that would turn Hunter face and let him challenge Austin for the world title. The injury put him on the shelf for some seven months and gave him a natural sympathetic return angle to come back and headline Mania 18 with -- a face Triple H winning the WWF Title from heel Steve Austin. Weird to think about, huh? Everything fell into place for Hunter, but nothing fell into place for anybody else. With WWF booking and any semblance of longterm direction disintegrating in HHH's absence, Austin was turned back babyface before Hunter returned for their match. They kept the idea of HHH returning from injury to win the world title, but used Chris Jericho as the heel champion instead, and it did not work out very well for him. Or for Hunter, for that matter, since his Mania main event and big title win didn't get over and played to mostly silence.

    Upset with, among other things, that disintegrating WWF booking, Steve Austin left the WWF a couple months after Mania 18. By Mania 19, he was back in the fold, and his natural opponents to return against were the Rock and Triple H. With Rock's sights set on doing a match with Goldberg, that paired up Austin and HHH. Hunter laid the groundwork for Austin's return by alluding to "pulling an Austin" and walking out on Raw, and by objecting to Austin's winning Raw Superstar of the Decade in January. But once again, the Austin Wrestlemania match got away from him when a deal couldn't be reached with Goldberg and the decision was made to reprise the Austin/Rock rivalry. Since Kevin Nash would not be recovered from his own torn quad in time to work with him at Mania, Hunter had to settle for and bury Booker T.

    21-20. HARD ROCK CACHET
    The Rock vs. Goldberg, Wrestlemania 19
    The Rock vs. John Bradshaw Layfield, Wrestlemania 21


    After the end of his career as a full-time on the road performer in 2001, it seems like the Rock has made it his goal to come up with original, special matches as a good reason to come back for Wrestlemania each year. In 2002, he wrestled Hulk Hogan in a dream match, and in 2004, he reunited the Rock & Sock Connection and wrestled Ric Flair. I would think Rock would probably consider both matches artistic successes in terms of doing something original and special, performing with legends and drawing record-setting buyrates. But he's had other ideas that didn't quite come to fruition. In 2003, Rock essentially personally brokered a deal between Goldberg and WWE so that he could have another never-before-seen Wrestlemania dream match. However, that deal wasn't finalized in time to set up a match for Mania, so it was held off for the next month. Alas, the buildup was a disaster, the match wasn't much better, and the buyrate was far from record-setting. Rock put over Goldberg with the idea of winning a rematch at Wrestlemania 20, but they didn't bother.

    For Mania 21, Rock was purportedly very excited to once again come back and do something special for Wrestlemania, and had come up with a handful of ideas that he suggested to Vince. One of these was to wrestle Sting, whose name has been semi-seriously mentioned for every Mania since 17. According to Dave, the Sting match was only his second-best idea, and if I was to speculate, I might guess at his wanting to do a singles match with Flair stemming from the year before (already done once but few remember it), or a Rock and Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair dream tag match that Dave and Mike Tenay thought about on one Observer Live. Whatever it was, WWE had different ideas and wanted him to wrestle JBL, back when the plan was to keep the belt on him indefinitely through the spring. At some point there was even talk of Rock winning the title and dropping it back two days later to swerve everyone who would assume he couldn't win. Anyway, it all became moot when the company let his contract expire in an "oversight" and he ended up not working the show in any capacity. Our loss. Things would certainly be a lot different right now if Rock/Layfield had happened; for one, John Cena's coronation would've been held off. Instead, WM21 ended the show with their two young hopes for the future as the new world champions: John Cena and Randy Orton. Or ... wait.

    (continued)
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  2. #2
    I just blue myself. DrMarc's Avatar
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    19-18. DESTINY'S CHILD ABUSE
    Randy Orton vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 20
    Randy Orton vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 21


    Poor Randy, taken out of the main event two years in a row. The far-reaching purpose behind Evolution was to do a big breakup angle between Triple H and Randy Orton, making Orton a top star and lead to their first ever match at Wrestlemania. In the fall of 2003, the idea was that Orton and Batista would punk HHH out of Evolution and he would go for revenge as a face. However, Hunter rightfully realized that it was way too soon to do the breakup for WM 20 and that the match would be held off until WM 21. They continued to do everything right in building up Orton for next year and put the world title on him to set the stage for the big breakup -- whereupon they decided to skip the entire angle and just do it the very next day. And because Orton was getting cheered, he was now going to be the face as the rising star chasing the established name. Strike one, because there was no actual storytelling to get Orton over as a face before the split, nobody took to him as a face after the split. Strike two, because they shot the angle months earlier than they were supposed to, they ran the first ever HHH/Orton match immediately rather than holding off until Mania. Strike three, because Orton as a face had to chase the title, he dropped the belt to Hunter in his very first title defense. Strike four, because Batista was getting significantly over doing the exact Evolution dissention angle that Orton should have been doing, and because Orton lost all the time and never caught on as a face, by the end of the year they'd made the decision to scrap the four months of his chasing HHH and go with Batista/Hunter instead. Strike four, you're out of action for five months instead of headlining Wrestlemania and winning the world title.

    17-15. WHERE NONE OF IT BEGAN ... NEVER
    Mick Foley vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 20
    Chris Benoit vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 20
    Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels ladder match, Wrestlemania 20


    So when they postponed the planned Orton/Hunter breakup past Mania 20, Triple H needed a new opponent, and he'd already killed off all of his potential rivals on Raw. I can recall early suggestions, I don't know how serious, that Triple H might wrestle Mick Foley in a rematch of their famous MSG street fight, but obviously he ended up doing the major Orton program to elevate a new star. Instead, Smackdown's Chris Benoit got the call and was put over in the Royal Rumble in the strongest way imaginable. At some point, either out of trepidation that Benoit wasn't getting immediately over the way they'd hoped or out of desire to get Shawn Michaels a main event spot, the Triple H/Michaels feud was extended and the match was made a triple threat. There were rumors that this would end up being a ladder match, playing off the ten year anniversary of Shawn's first Madison Square Garden ladder match, but that was scrapped because a finish of grabbing the belt would be less dramatic as the Wrestlemania climax than a pin or submission. All in all, no singles match, no ladder match, you'd have to say that things ended up working out pretty darn great the way they did.

    14-13. TRIFORCE OF WISDOM
    Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Mankind, Wrestlemania 15
    Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 17


    In 1999, Mick Foley had gotten so over as a babyface that there was some talk of adding him to the main event with Rock and Austin, but it was decided -- in part by Shawn Michaels' suggestion, according to Have A Nice Day -- that the main event of Wrestlemania ought to be a big one-on-one match. In 2001, Triple H had gotten so over as a heel that there was some talk of adding him to the main event with Rock and Austin, but it was decided -- in part by Triple H's suggestion, according to Triple H -- that the main event of Wrestlemania ought to be a big one-on-one match. And I'm very glad it was, because while I'm sure X-7 still would've been a huge show with the three top stars wrestling, I don't think it would've been as successful as the Rock vs. Steve Austin singles match. Anyways, if there's one thing that should and would never happen, it's a threeway match in the main event of Wrestlemania. At least that's what Triple H and Shawn Michaels told me.

    12-10. GAME'S SET MATCH
    Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, WM 17
    Triple H vs. Ray Lewis, WM 17
    Triple H vs. Hulk Hogan, WM 17


    Being, then, odd man out at Wrestlemania 17, Hunter needed a match. Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle didn't have programs, but he'd already feuded with them and never really put them over, so ... err, nevermind. There were waves made that Shawn Michaels would make his long-awaited comeback match here, but it was decided to save it by using him in a non-wrestling role at Mania to set up an angle for his in-ring return. Instead, Michaels was kept off the show altogether after he was sent home for showing up to TV in no condition to not be Shawn Michaels, and his comeback didn't happen for another year and a half. Another idea was shades of Wrestlemania 11 with Triple H wrestling Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, who would be able to rehab his killer image by playing face against the top heel. It didn't materialize, and they already had one Raven on the show anyway. The third idea was bringing in Hulk Hogan, who was a free agent with no contractual ties to WCW. They couldn't come to an agreement with him either, and it's a good thing they didn't, or else they would've never been able to do another 950,000 buys the next year by offering Hogan's return against the Rock because they would've already used it up here. Hunter and Hogan did have their match a year later, but it drew a disappointing buyrate.

    9-8. NECKS TO NOTHING
    Steve Austin vs. Big Show, Wrestlemania 16
    The Rock vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 16


    When the WWF signed Paul Wight in 1999, he was going to headline Wrestlemania 16 with Steve Austin. Giving the match away for free before Wrestlemania 15 and putting Austin over clean probably should have indicated that this wasn't actually going to happen. Over the course of the year, Big Show didn't get over at anything approaching a Mania main event level, while it quickly became clear that the Rock was catching on as a superstar in a way that few have. So Show was out, but then so was Austin -- his damaged neck finally giving out in November and requiring career-threatening spinal fusion surgery that took him out of the Mania picture. Instead, the Rock would take over as A#1 babyface and now wrestle Triple H, who went from transitional champion to Mania headliner thanks to the absence of Austin and the generosity of Mick Foley putting him over clean in superstar-making matches. Except ... Foley's retirement angle had actually made him a bigger star than ever before, so he was added to the main event to make it a multi-man match a year later than he'd have preferred. Thusly, to make it an even four (and involve all of the McMahons in the process), the Big Show ended up getting into the Wrestlemania 16 main event after all.

    7-5. BROTHER LOVE
    Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania 18
    Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania 18
    Steve Austin vs. Chris Benoit, Wrestlemania 18


    When the New World Order or should I say New World Odor was signed in January 2002, the Mania dream match with Hulk Hogan was offered to Steve Austin before it was offered to the Rock, and he turned it down flat. Austin apparently neither likes nor trusts Hogan, and the events of the last month shouldn't really give him any reason to change his mind. Austin passed on headlining a record-setting pay-per-view for the second year in a row, but he did, and has continued to, avoid being shown up on a grand scale by the master manipulator. In the sense that the match was never on the books, perhaps Austin vs. Hogan shouldn't technically be on this list. The other two matches, however, were apparently both plenty appealing to Austin and plenty close to happening. Austin's preference was to wrestle a returning Chris Benoit at Mania, as he's one of his favorite opponents. But Benoit wasn't ready to return in time for the show. Kurt Angle makes for one fine second option, but he was only earmarked as the contingency plan in case Austin's scheduled opponent, Scott Hall, were to make such a disgrace of himself that he was fired before they even got to Wrestlemania. Unfortunately, he lasted another month or so and we had to suffer their match at Mania when we could have seen Austin vs. Angle or Benoit.

    (continued)
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  3. #3
    I just blue myself. DrMarc's Avatar
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    4-3. HOUSTON, WE HAVE OTHER PROBLEMS ELSEWHERE
    Steve Austin vs. The Rock, Wrestlemania 16
    Steve Austin vs. The Rock, Wrestlemania 18


    Who can get enough Austin vs. Rock at Wrestlemania? In these instances, however, each match essentially got pushed back twelve months. For Wrestlemania 16, the supposed plans prior to Austin's injury were for an Austin/Rock rematch possibly involving Austin turning heel. Instead, that happened at Wrestlemania 17 after Austin's comeback. For Wrestlemania 18, Rock and Austin's rematch from 17 had been held off past Rock's return at SummerSlam. The two were kept apart and teased an eventual match before the unification tournament at Vengeance in December and before the Royal Rumble in January, theoretically leading to their meeting at Wrestlemania 18 with Rock looking to prove that he could beat Austin. Instead, Hogan was brought in to wrestle one or the other, and their match and Rock's win didn't take place until Wrestlemania 19. The timing worked out well for the company, because delaying the match in 2000 let them do a big Mania buyrate anyway, then with anticipation for the match even stronger, a record-setting one the next year. In 2002, then, it's unlikely that Rock vs. Austin would have drawn as well as Rock vs. Hogan in Hogan's return match. Finally, in 2003, neither Austin vs. Rock nor a Hogan return match proved to be as successful a draw as they'd hoped.

    2-1. MONTREAL DO JOBS
    Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania 13
    Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, Wrestlemania 14


    Yeah, these two are rather interrelated. In February 1997, Shawn Michaels took himself out of the planned Mania match with Bret Hart, a rematch from the year before in which he'd return the job to Bret Hart. Astoundingly, at the time his smile was lost, the decision had already been made to make Undertaker vs. Sid the world title match and Hart vs. Michaels as second from the top. Nevertheless, Hart/Michaels was still the most marketable match that the company had at the time, and it would take another seven months to make it happen. Instead of wrestling Shawn, Bret continued his feud with Steve Austin and, as it turned out, the two had arguably the greatest match in Wrestlemania history as well as one of the most important matches in WWF history turning Austin babyface -- and none of it would've happened the way it did if Michaels hadn't pulled out. With the nuclear-hot Austin feuding with Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation in summer '97, one would figure that the longterm idea was for Austin to win the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 14 in a rematch from the year before in which Hart would return the job to Austin. Things changed drastically, however, in between the summer of '97 and the end of the year, with Austin not only breaking his neck, but Bret would end up on his way out of the WWF. After intentionally breaching his contract, McMahon outlined a scenario for Bret in which, should he stay with the WWF, he would in fact wrestle Austin at Mania and put him over for the title. This scenario also involved putting over Michaels repeatedly before Mania, and Hart signed with WCW. So after Montreal, it was Michaels who ended up putting over Austin in his coronation at Wrestlemania, doing the Wrestlemania job that Hart missed doing for Austin in place of the Wrestlemania job that he avoided doing for Hart.

    Both matches, Hart/Michaels in '97 and Hart/Austin in '98, are pretty cool to think about in isolation, because they each pay off a famous rivalry and a year's worth of unresolved storylines. But imagine a world in which Hart didn't wrestle Austin at WM13, or in which Hart was around for WM14, and you can't even fathom how drastically different everything else would have been. As is the case with many of these matches, but none were as pivotal as these two.
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    Interesting, thanks
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    Originally Posted by DrMarc View Post
    Vince vs. Bret Hart is only going to happen when cloning is invented.
    This is a great read so far man haha but I couldn't resist reading past this line without posting it! Have some reps and I'll get back to reading!
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    First batch I know and good read so far. I did think the details behind Razor/Goldy not happening at WM12 were different though. I thought Hall just refused to wrestle him anymore. Dustin said in that interview with JR that Hall refused to work with him at one point and that hit him below the belt. Apparently Hall also harassed him a bit and made fun of him when he first got to WWF as Goldust.

    Also Owen and Jarrett defending the belts against D-Lo & Mark Henry WM15 and Kurt Angle vs. Bret for WM18 a deal couldn't be reached.
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    I'd be very interested to see similar stories of more modern matches... the HBK/Hogan feud alone provides lots of interesting backstage info.
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    Not Johnny Sins wake_me's Avatar
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    How about the proposed Terry Funk/Foley Death Match
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  9. #9
    Res-Erection TheDivil's Avatar
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    The Barbershop Window angle with The Rockers was supposed to lead to a Jannetty vs Michaels match at Wrestlemania VIII, but Jannetty wound up getting fired. Michaels opened the card with Santana instead.

    If both guys were on their game and Jannetty was clean, that match would've stolen the show.
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    Registered User Deathstroke's Avatar
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    The Undertaker vs. Jeff Jarrett, Wrestlemania 10. Was being booked, but Taker needed some time off.
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    Eat.Sleep.5 Star.Repeat TimDF's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TheDivil View Post
    The Barbershop Window angle with The Rockers was supposed to lead to a Jannetty vs Michaels match at Wrestlemania VIII, but Jannetty wound up getting fired. Michaels opened the card with Santana instead.

    If both guys were on their game and Jannetty was clean, that match would've stolen the show.
    Agreed.

    Two years later their match on Raw won match of the year in pwi. Great chemistry.
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    Now Porn Free jimbob007's Avatar
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    Razor vs Goldust happened at the 1996 Rumble & was pretty average. Razor balked at having to work with him-due to being a homophobic macho idiot. The Piper match stole the show at WM 13, something Razor/Goldust never could have done.
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    Now Porn Free jimbob007's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Deathstroke View Post
    The Undertaker vs. Jeff Jarrett, Wrestlemania 10. Was being booked, but Taker needed some time off.
    Not as I remember it-Jeff was part of a 10 man match that got bumped from the show due to time constraints & was later done on Raw.
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    Not Johnny Sins wake_me's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TimDF View Post
    Agreed.

    Two years later their match on Raw won match of the year in pwi. Great chemistry.
    Oh man I forgot about that one, where Marty was in the crowd disguised with a hoody and shades I believe.
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