Bob Backlund VS "Cowboy" Bill Watts
Bob Backlund was "the guy" after Bruno Sammartino was "the guy". Hulk Hogan was the next "guy" after that. A "guy" like that can't lose in the first round, even if Bill Watts ain't no pushover. Hope the Cowboy likes chicken, cuz Mr. Backlund has been known to hook a mean wing.
The Sheik (Ed Farhat) VS Matt Striker
Not to be confused with The Iron Shiek (who came about 20 years later,) The Sheik practically invented hardcore wrestling. At the age of 68, he wrestled a match in Japan with his nephew SABU against two other guys where THE ROPES WERE ON FIRE. He wound up in a coma with 3rd degree burns. This was in 1992. He didn't retire for another SIX YEARS. Matt Striker better say his prayers and they better all be that the Camel Clutch is the worst The Shiek does to him.
Ultimo Dragon VS The French Angel
This is a surprisingly tough match. The French Angel was a sufferer of the disease acromegaly, the same disease that Andre The Giant had. The difference is, Maurice Tillet was only 5'7", 270lbs. This allowed him to be immensely dense, and strong. He was booked as this unstoppable monster, and won a version of the World Heavyweight Championship twice. Ultimo Dragon, on the other hand, is actually an inch taller, but weighs almost 100lbs. less. However, this man once held ten juniorweight, middleweight and cruiserweight titles simultaneously, including the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (which was then regionally Japanese), and the WCW Cruiserweight title. This feat has never been replicated. Dude had ten belts at once. The French Angel had brute strength that was hard to top. Ultimo has been known as an innovator of offense for his whole 25 year career (the Asai Moonsault was named after him for inventing it). What gives, the Irresistable Force, or the Immovable Object? In this case, I have to vote for the Irresistable Force. Ultimo Dragon advances after one interesting confrontation.
Lord Alfred Hayes VS Tyson Kidd
Yes, Lord Alfred Hayes was once a wrestler. From the 1950's to the late 70's, he was one of Britain's most beloved babyfaces, but turned heel after a tour of America. When he joined the WWF in 1982, he was mostly a commentator and occasional manager. Tyson Kidd has hecka potential, if he could get any air time on anything except Total Divas. He's the last guy to graduate from Stu Hart's Dungeon for fuck sake; that should count for something. I give the bout to Kidd.
Shark Boy VS Corporal Kirchner
I wanted Shark Boy to win this, because the gimmick is fun to begin with, but since he's added the layer of making the character into a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin parody, he's given it such life. But you gotta face facts. Corporal Kirchner has a victory at a Wrestlemania, over Nikolai Volkoff no less. (Yeah, it was a terrible match, but it's still the most impressive career accolade between the two.) (And a hearty salute to the Corporal for still being alive. I thought he was dead since 2006 because I read an erroneous report from WWE.com, and never saw the retraction.) Kirchner advances.
Brian Adams (aka Crush) VS Violent J
Both have worn face paint for a living, and both have wrestled, but Crush could actually live up to his name. The Big Hawaiian in a squash (or dare I say...a CRUSH!!!).
Chief Jay Strongbow VS Hurricane Helms
I was actually split on this one, given I've never seen Strongbow wrestle and I've always thought Hurricane was underrated. But then I read Strongbow had a feud with "Superstar" Billy Graham when Graham was champion, and that's the tie-breaker. Strongbow in 8:50.
Bronko Nagurski VS Rip Rogers
Bronko Nagurski: Former Chicago Bear (Boo!) with the largest recorded championship ring size in NFL history (19 1/2), as well as World Heavyweight Champion (he beat Lou Thez and Ray Steele for it; no other man can claim that). Rip Rogers: Biggest career victory was during the 1993 Lethal Lottery portion of WCW's BattleBowl, teaming with Hawk to beat Davey Boy Smith and Booker T (no word as to whether he got the pinfall). I think we know what happens here.
Bob Backlund defeats Bill Watts
The Shiek defeats Matt Striker
Ultimo Dragon defeats The French Angel
Tyson Kidd defeats Lord Alfred Hayes
Corporal Kirchner defeats Shark Boy
Crush defeats Violent J
Chief Jay Strongbow defeats The Hurricane
Bronko Nagurski defeats Rip Rogers
Come on back for Bracket XLI!