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THE TOURNAMENT TO END ALL TOURNAMENTS: The Fifth Round

Because I'm hardcore and so is wrestling sometimes, we're doing Round Five IN ITS ENTIRETY TODAY.  Rounds Six and Seven will be the same, and Eight and Nine will be on the same day Thursday.  LET'S DO THIS SHIT!



Jim Londos VS The Iron Sheik

Gotta go with the Grapplin' Greek here.  Dude was the second longest reigning champion of all time behind Bruno Sammartino.  (A fact that I found out at the cost of spoiling the main event of Wrestlemania 31 for myself.  My friend and I couldn't get together to watch it until the next day, so I figured I was safe on Wikipedia looking up wrestlers from the 30's & 40's, but not 15 minutes after Seth Rollins did his thing, his picture was already on the list of WWWF/WWF/WWE Champions page.  I was so pissed I didn't unclench my entire body until I woke up the next morning.)  (For the record, it goes Bruno: 2,803 days, Londos: 2,628 days, Verne Gagne: 2,625 days.)



"The Nature Boy" Ric Flair VS Rusev

If Flair could beat Vader in his prime at Starrcade '93, he can beat Rusev in his prime now.



Chris Benoit VS "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

Going with Austin, because yeah, Benoit is the better wrestler, but Steve Austin was the man.  (Also, not comfortable with letting Benoit go much farther in light of what happened.)



Booker T VS Kane

Mr. "5-Time, 5-Time, 5-Time, 5-Time, 5-Time WCW Champion!!!" was a lot more versatile than the erstwhile Isaac Yankem/Fake Diesel/Unabomb/Big Red Machine/Devil's Favorite Demon/Jacob Goodnight ever was, and don't get me started on Corporate Kane.  Kane was good, but Booker deserves his Hall Of Fame status.  Dude was extraordinary.



Harley Race VS "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes

This match happened multiple times in the 70's, I'm sure.  I'm giving it to Harley Race, though.  More world titles, a reputation as one of the most legitimately tough men in the business, and just seems pimpin'. (And how can he not looking like a hard boiled Bob Ross painting tough into the world instead of trees?)



"The Phenomenal" AJ Styles VS "Macho Man" Randy Savage

Dream Match Alert!!!  Could you imagine what would've happened if The Phenomenal One and The Macho Man had ever collided?  This match would've been siiiick.  Savage would still go over, though.  Not necessarily because of size or strength; AJ has beaten Sting, Matt Morgan, Bully Ray, Samoa Joe and plenty of larger, stonger opponents.  With technical skills I might actually give the edge to AJ.  Experience goes to Savage, but even that would not be enough against a veteran like Styles.  To beat The Phenomenal One, you have to have an intangible.  You have to have an extra well of insurmountability deep down inside.  In short, you have to have:


A RAP ALBUM, MOTHERFUCKER!!!


No, no, just kidding.  The thing that will get Savage over here is his fucking intensity.  This man was wound tighter than a shithouse watch.  When he said "Snap into a Slim Jim!"  He meant psychotic EPISODE into that motherfucker!  DO IT!  NOW!!  THE MADNESS COMMANDS IT!!!  How could even a foe as worthy as an AJ Styles stand in the way of that?  Macho advances due to the Macho Madness!!!



"Superstar" Billy Graham VS Nigel McGuiness

I'm gonna strike a blow for the new guys, and put McGuiness over Graham.  ("Holy shit, WHAT!?!?!?" a wrestling nerd might say while spitting soda all over their device.)  My reasoning is two-fold.  First, let me tell you about Edgar Manske.  He comes from a small town in North Central Wisconsin called Nekoosa (which I discovered because it is the birth place of Ed "The Strangler" Lewis, and because I'm from Wisconsin, so I clicked on the link).  He was a Chicago Bear (BOO) for four seasons, the first of which had him as a teammate with Bronko Nagurski, and the last of which got him an NFL Championship in the most lopsided game in history, with a score of 73-0.  He played two seasons for the Eagles before that and one for the Steelers after.  He is also the last NFL player to play without a helmet.

What does any of this have to do with "Superstar" Billy Graham or Nigel McGuiness?  Nothing directly.  But Edgar Manske, who played seven seasons in the NFL without a helmet, all a year before Pearl Harbor was attacked, DIED IN 2002.  If you played without a helmet today, you could die on the field.  During the game.  This got me thinking about eras perhaps not being equal after all.  And think about this: "Superstar" Billy Graham lost the WWWF Championship to Bob Backlund after an ATOMIC.  DROP.  Nigel McGuiness has so many more devastating holds in his arsenal that aren't even finisher that I shan't bother to list them all.

And then there's my other point.  I wouldn't dare call Graham a slouch; he did beat Bruno and basically lay the blueprint for Hulk Hogan's character a decade later, but watching Superstar's matches is a chore.  You could chalk that up to me not getting into wrestling until 1991 and having lived through the Attitude Era, but I could sit through Buddy Rogers VS Pat O'Connor from 1961.  I watched all there is to watch of Bronko Nagurski and Jim Londos from 1938.  I've seen five Antonio Inoki matches that have gone an hour and have little to no action for the first forty five minutes.  AND I ENJOYED THEM.  Nigel McGuiness, in my opinion is a better wrestler.  He's just...better.  I rest my case.



Brock Lesnar VS Rey Mysterio

SQUISH!



Batista VS The Undertaker

This would play out like Wrestlemania 23: The Young Lion tries and fails to slay the Wizened Dragon.  Taker advances.



Randy Orton VS Andre The Giant

Andre wouldn't even be able to take an RKO, would he?  Gotta go with the Giant.



Pat O'Connor VS Verne Gagne

Pat O'Connor impresses me more than Verne.  Sacrilege, yes I know, but hey, at least it's two mat legends of the same era.  O'Connor and Gagne have fought before (there's a newspaper clipping from 1953 to prove it, though you'd be forgiven for not believing it since it was so long ago Verne Gagne still had hair), and from what I gather Gagne went over him as AWA Champion once or twice, but O'Connor just seemed more...kick ass, y'know?.  As lame as that sounds, there's no shame to lose to Pat O'Connor, even if you're the great Verne Gagne.



Meng/Haku VS George Hackenschmidt

As bad as I want to put Meng over, given that Hackenschmidt was injury prone and kind of a whiner at times, there's no fucking way I can let the first ever World Champion go down like that.  Hackenschmidt survives.  Barely.



Sting VS Kurt Angle

This match has happened in TNA, but they're dead to me, so forget that.  I'm talking about Kurt Angle from 2002 against blond, spiky-haired Sting from 1992.  The Sting everybody keeps clamoring for, in spite of the bald spot Steve Borden has now at 56 that would make blond, spiky haired Sting look real sad.  Point is, Sting was great but even at his best, Kurt Angle could beat him.



Goldberg VS Bret "The Hitman" Hart

The beginning of the end of Bret Hart's career came at the foot of Bill Goldberg.  At Starcade '99, a botched superkick gave Bret Hart such a bad concussion, he more or less had it for two years.  Then when he felt like his life was finally coming back to some kind of order, he had a stroke.  Bill Goldberg has apologized personally to the Hitman many times and still feels bad to this day about the incident.  But that doesn't mean Bret Hart would pass up a chance to exact some revenge on the man who put him on the shelf.  And Bret Hart has beaten Goldberg.  Twice(-ish).  Bret Hart stretches the irresistible force for all he's worth, and that's that.  Wins off a school boy after Goldberg posts himself on a missed spear.



Lou Thesz VS Samoa Joe

As much as I love Joe, many professionals consider Lou Thesz one of the greatest to ever leave.  I have to put him over on pedigree alone here.



The Rock VS Roman Reigns

Hmm, isn't this ironic?  The People suffer no succotache, Rock.  Give 'em the elbow & let's get the fuck outta here.



"The Scissor King" Joe Stecher VS Stanislaus Zbyszko

Stanislaus Zbyszko had over 900 wins (allegedly) until he met Joe Stecher.  The Scissor King became the 1 in 900-1.  The same happens here.



The Crusher VS Ed "The Strangler" Lewis

Sorry, but nepotism only goes so far.  The friend of my family loses to the muscle behind the Gold Dust Trio.



"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner VS Stu Hart

Speaking of muscle, I have to go with Scott Steiner.  In a worked match, Stu wouldn't go over a former World Champion who could mat wrestle quite well in his own right.  (Not that he could hold a candle to Stu; just saying that in a work, it could be made to look like he could.)  Steiner advances.



Bronko Nagurski VS Frank Gotch

Gotch takes it.  The man retired as champion after the fifth longest run on top in history.  Bronko was a two-time champion himself, but Gotch was the man and nobody ever proved different.



Hulk Hogan VS Michael Elgin

Speaking of "The Man", if it isn't Hulk Fucking Hogan.  'Sup, Brother?  Michael Elgin would give him a run for his money, but this is 80's Hogan, remember?  Dude really was immortal.



Shawn Michaels VS "Ravishing" Rick Rude

This match would be better than most people would suspect.  If these two had ever had the chance to meet in singles competition, it may have been a great little gem.  Michaels goes over in a surprise classic.


Jim Londos defeats The Iron Shiek
Ric Flair defeats Rusev
Steve Austin defeats Chris Benoit
Booker T defeats Kane
Harley Race defeats Dusty Rhodes
Randy Savage defeats AJ Styles
Nigel McGuiness defeats Billy Graham
Brock Lesnar defeats Rey Mysterio
The Undertaker defeats Batista
Andre The Giant defeats Randy Orton
Pat O'Connor defeats Verne Gagne
George Hackenschmidt defeats Meng/Haku
Kurt Angle defeats Sting
Bret Hart defeats Goldberg
Lou Thesz defeats Samoa Joe
The Rock defeats Roman Reigns
Joe Stecher defeats Stanislaus Zbyszko
Ed Lewis defeats The Crusher
Scott Steiner defeats Stu Hart
Frank Gotch defeats Bronko Nagurski
Hulk Hogan defeats Michael Elgin
Shawn Michaels defeats "Ravishing" Rick Rude

Come on back for Round Six!

Comments

  1. I wanna see Hulk vs. Undertaker in his PRIME!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Close enough?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYQ4bzY8msg

      Delete
    2. Or this?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWqeRnYiN2k

      Delete

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