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The All-Time WrestleMania Dream Card 

March 8, 2002

by Denny Burkholder  
Exclusive to OnlineOnslaught.com


Here it is, folks: my own personal All-Time WrestleMania card. First I will lay down some basic ground rules. Then I'll present the entire card for your consideration, and finally, I'll put forth a formal challenge to YOU - the readers - to participate.

- The All-Time WrestleMania card is not one show, but three shows over the course of one weekend. This is so I could fit as many worthy wrestlers on the show as possible, while keeping each show to a respectable 12 or 13-match lineup.

- Each of the three shows will be in a different WrestleMania city, with its own announce team.

- The participants must have wrestled in at least one WrestleMania to be considered. If a wrestler passed through the WWF without working "The Big One," or appeared in some other capacity (managing, announcing, or interfering in a match, for example), they do NOT count.

- The wrestlers will be considered for the WrestleMania year in which they were at their best. Examples: I am using the 1996 Shawn Michaels, 1986 Jake Roberts, 2001 Rock, and so on. Time stands still for this feature, but only so far as WrestleMania history takes us. I can't return Harley Race to his 1975 form. it's 1987 or bust for Harley. Likewise, Dusty Rhodes has to settle for 1990 or nothing at all.

- No wrestler may compete more than once on the All-Time WrestleMania Dream Card, even with a different gimmick.

- I have used gimmick matches sparingly, but since they are a viable part of WrestleMania history, I have included a few specialty bouts, where I deemed them most fitting.

- I am NOT attempting to squeeze each of these cards into a 3-hour format. I've put these matches together on the assumption that each bout would get the time it deserves. That's one of the advantages to making "dream cards": you don't have to cater to the pay-per-view provider. In my little world, the pay-per-view carriers all understand the dire importance of this mega-event, and they are huge pro wrestling fans that wouldn't DARE give this spectacular show a time limit!

Friday - Day 1: Old School Kickoff
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

1.) "The American Dream" DUSTY RHODES (1990) vs. GEORGE "The Animal" STEELE (1986)

It's belly splotch vs. back hair as The Dream tries to nail The Animal with the bionic elbow before eating a face full of turnbuckle stuffing! Will George's infatuation with Sapphire be a factor?

2.) SGT. SLAUGHTER (1991) vs. THE IRON SHEIK (1985)

A classic WWF feud revived: Slaughter is in Iraqi sympathizer garb and WWF Champion, and Sheik is one year removed from his WWF Title reign.


It won't be pretty, but it's necessary: this match will decide who is the undisputed queen of the lady heels.

4.) ROCK 'N' ROLL EXPRESS (1998) vs. NEW AGE OUTLAWS (1998)

Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson were about 10 years past their prime when they made their only WrestleMania appearance in 1998. But their legendary status begs a spot on the All-Time WresleMania card. Here, they face Road Dogg and Bad Ass, the WWF's flagship duo of the "Attitude" era.

5.) "The Living Legend" BRUNO SAMMARTINO (1986) vs. PEDRO MORALES (1986)

Neither of these 1970s-era WWF Champions is a stranger to wrestling before a sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd. Like Morton and Gibson, Sammartino and Morales were both past their primes, but deserve a spot on the show because they are bona fide wrestling legends.

6.) BAD NEWS BROWN (1989) vs. TAZZ (2000)

It's Harlem vs. Brooklyn in the heart of New York City. It's the ghetto blaster vs. the Tazz-mission. Which thug will prevail?

7.) HARLEY RACE (1987) vs. BOB BACKLUND (1993)

Two all-time greats that could still wrestle a solid match despite their advanced ages. This match could be the sleeper hit for old school aficionados.


There'll be no talk of "Brain Busters" or "Hoss" in this column. I bet someone blades.

9.) GREG "The Hammer" VALENTINE (1985) vs. DEAN MALENKO (2000)

This is The Hammer in his IC Title days, when he was still used to wrestling 20-30 minutes a night with Tito Santana. He faces a very capable "Man of 1,000 Holds."

10.) UNDERTAKER (1998) vs. BIG JOHN STUDD (1985)

Undertaker had just finished his career- best series of matches with Shawn Michaels and was a few months away from brutalizing Mankind in Hell in the Cell. Big John Studd was a main-event mauler terrorizing Hogan and Andre in his quest to be recognized as the WWF's true "giant."

11.) "Superfly" JIMMY SNUKA (1990) vs. CACTUS JACK (1998) (Steel Cage Match)

Mick Foley faces his idol in the very same building where "Superfly" inspired Foley to become a pro wrestler. This match is also in a cage. A "holy shit" dive is almost a given. but who will be the victim?

12.) JUNK YARD DOG (1985) vs. VADER (1996)

Will The Mastadon "bite the dust?" Or will the beloved JYD feel the "THUMP" of the Vader Bomb?

13.) "Stone Cold" STEVE AUSTIN (1997) vs. "Rowdy" RODDY PIPER (1986)

The main event of Day 1 could very well sprawl out all over the building. This was The Rattlesnake that had yet to seriously injure his neck, and was feuding viciously with Bret Hart. This is Rowdy Roddy in arguably the best condition of his career, a constant thorn in Hogan's side, and one of the most entertaining interviews in the business. Both men were heels, but were so popular they often got louder cheers than their opponents.

Saturday - Day 2: Return to the Silverdome
Venue: Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura

1.) WENDI RICHTER (1985) & ALUNDRA BLAYZE (1994) vs. IVORY (2001) & VELVET McINTYRE (1986)

No Sable? No Chyna? No problem! Let's see if Velvet McIntyre can last a few minutes in this one.

2.) EDDIE GUERRERO (2000) vs. TITO SANTANA (1985)

Latino Heat vs. Tito Santana at his best.

3.) HARDY BOYZ (2001) vs. ISLANDERS (1988) (Ladder Match)

Haku and Tama were a vastly underrated tag team, mostly due to the wealth of talented teams they called peers in the late 1980s. Here, they try their luck against Matt and Jeff Hardy in the brothers' trademark gimmick match.

4.) Mr. T (1985) vs. LAWRENCE TAYLOR (1995) vs. (No DQ)

It wouldn't be WrestleMania without CELEBRITIES, would it? Here, the only two celebs to ever main event WrestleMania as official competitors square off for bragging rights in a no-DQ slugfest. (It'll be a short one, I promise.)

5.) KERRY VON ERICH (1991) vs. "Mr. Wonderful" PAUL ORNDORFF (1986)

I was compelled to find each man a spot on this show. I think they would do fine as opponents.

6.) ANDRE THE GIANT (1985) vs. THE BIG SHOW (1999)

This match is a given. Andre was declining physically, but still a massive star. The Big Show had just quit smoking during matches, and joined the WWF.

7.) DEMOLITION (1989) vs. THE DUDLEY BOYZ (2000)

Demolition Decapitation vs. Dudley Death Drop. Leather vs. camouflage. A true battle for the ages.

8.) "Ravishing" RICK RUDE (1989) vs. RAZOR RAMON (1994)

Rude's star was rising as he feuded with The Ultimate Warrior over the IC Title. Scott Hall was feuding with Shawn Michaels over the IC Title. Rude still had long hair. Hall still had a fake Cuban accent.

9.) SHAWN MICHAELS (1996) vs. ROB VAN DAM (2002)

The Showstopper vs. TheWhole Dam Show. The Heartbreak Kid vs. Everybody's Favorite Wrestler. You'd think a guy with RVD's arsenal of kicks would be able to avoid the Sweet Chin Music, but then again, Michaels wasn't particularly prone to moves like the Five Star Frog Splash either. Could be a classic.

10.) RIC FLAIR (1992) vs. "The Million Dollar Man" TED DiBIASE (1988)

You get the Million Dollar Man when he was feuding with Randy Savage over the WWF Title, and you get the Nature Boy. when he was feuding with Randy Savage over the WWF Title. Two excellent heels collide.

11.) RICKY "The Dragon" STEAMBOAT (1987) vs. "The Crippler" CHRIS BENOIT (2001) (45-minute Iron Man Match)

Steamboat tries to steal the show out from under Hulk Hogan for the second time at the Silverdome against Benoit in an Iron Man Match. There ought to be lots of chopping in this contest. My favorite match of the 3-day series.

12.) HULK HOGAN (1987) vs. TRIPLE H (2001)

It's The Hulkster in the best shape of his first WWF run squaring off against The Game in his pre-quad injury form. A ruthless heel versus a beloved crowd favorite in a battle for the ages.

Sunday - Day 3: The Grand Finale
Venue: Sky Dome, Toronto, Ontario
Announcers: Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler

1.) THE MOUNTIE (1991) vs. GOLDUST (1996)

This match has "spots entertainment" written all over it, but actually could be decent. Besides, All-Time WrestleMania's grand finale is in Canada. you HAVE to put The Mountie on the show!

2.) EDGE & CHRISTIAN (2001) vs. THE KILLER BEES (1987)

I envision Edge & Christian cutting a smartass promo before the match mocking the Bee's yellow and black striped tights. I could also see Brunzell and Blair attempting to use the bee masks to switch places during the match, and E&C countering by putting on Conquistadors masks and fighting fire with fire. A fun little match.

3.) JAKE "The Snake" ROBERTS (1986) vs. RAVEN (2001)

Jake was young and healthy (relatively speaking, of course). He was also a great heel. Raven would have his hands full trying to play mind games with Roberts.

4.) Mr. PERFECT (1990) vs. JEFF JARRETT (1999)

A solid contest between a couple of great IC champions.


The Warrior returns to the scene of his biggest victory ever to fight The World's Most Dangerous Man. Let's see who the biggest spaz in WWF history is. Winner gets a case of Prozac and some muscle relaxants.


Two of the greatest tag teams of all time lock horns. This was when Dynamite Kid could still move with the best of them, and Scott Steiner could still pull off a frightening Frankenstiener.

7.) DIESEL (1995) vs. KANE (1998)

Some might prefer to call this "Diesel vs. Fake Diesel." Either way, it's Kevin Nash in his prime vs. The Big Red Machine in one of the tallest matches on the All-Time WrestleMania card.

8.) LEGION OF DOOM (1991) vs. THE APA (2001)

Hawk and Animal snack on danger and dine on death. Faarooq an Bradshaw snack on beer and dine on. beer. Something's got to give.

9.) BRET "Hit Man" HART (1994) vs. "Living Legend" CHRIS JERICHO (2002)

On the Canadian leg of the All-Time WrestleMania spectacular, this could be the main event. In fact, it almost was, until a better idea occurred to me. Instead, they'll settle for mid-upper card. I give you Undisputed Champion Chris Jericho, the cocky, arrogant heel that always manages to hang onto the gold, versus the 1994 Bret Hart - an outstanding technical wrestler chasing the WWF title and soaking in the cheers of fans.

10.) THE HONKY TONK MAN (1988) vs. YOKOZUNA (1993)

This match serves a dual purpose: for starters, it's two of the WWF's most successful heel champions of the WestleMania years fighting for bragging rights. Second, since both men were heels, it'll give the audience a chance to cool off and catch their breath before the final two matches. They won't be cheering much during this one.

11.) THE ROCK (2001) vs. RANDY "Macho Man" SAVAGE (1989)

The Rock calls himself The Great One, The People's Champ, and the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. And we all know how Randy Savage feels about musclebound primadonnas. When Savage looks at The Rock, he'll see Hogan staring back at him. Savage is a capable wrestler and a tremendous athlete, but when he's angry, he's dangerous. The Rock's cheers will drive Savage over the edge. An interesting match, definitely worthy of main event status. But it's not the main event. That honor goes to.

12.) OWEN HART (1994) vs. KURT ANGLE (2001)

I decided to use my power over space and time to give Owen Hart a main event match on the greatest WrestleMania card of all- time, in his home country. and yes, even with Bret on the same card. I chose the 1994 Owen, who broke out as his own man in a feud against his brother and established himself as a truly special member of the WWF roster. Kurt Angle makes a great opponent for Owen on many levels. Obviously, Angle has the technical tools to give Owen a great match. Otherwise, his intensely American persona would make him a de facto heel against Owen Hart in Canada. Angle also has that "dangerous, but dorky" personality that would play well opposite Owen Hart's demeanor. Give-and-take between the two would be great both in the ring and on the microphone. It's a shame we'll never see this match.

Well, that's Circa's All-Time WrestleMania card, spanning three cities in three days, in two countries. I think it looks pretty solid.

But here's where YOU come in: who wins?

I'd like to take an informal poll of OnlineOnslaught.com readers, and have you send me your winners for each match. If I get enough responses, I'll use next week's Circa to post the reader-booked results of this All-Time WrestleMania event. No need to spend tons of time explaining each outcome - a simple list of the winners will do just fine. Of course, if you feel the need to explain your decisions, I'm all ears. I may print some of the more creative or thoughtful comments in next week's Circa.

The challenge is on the table, and the matches are made. You've got the book for the biggest show EVER. Let me know who should occupy the winner's circle, and I'll post your picks.



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