In 1994 the WWE had no national competition until Bash at the Beach, when Hulk Hogan dropped a leg on Ric Flair and became the WCW Champion, launching the Monday Night Wars. The reason this match was so important in wrestling history is because just two years before that, at Wrestlemania 8, fans all over the world were robbed of the match that should have happened between the two icons. So when WCW needed to boost its profile the Nature Boy would suggest that greatest match of all time.
History is due to repeat itself and it feels like the perfect storm is about to happen for the next version of Flair vs Hogan. Jericho is about to have the match of his career with Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes is redefining what it means to be an independent wrestler, and with the Young Bucks taunting the WWE at every turn, now is the time for a major match to happen in the ROH/New Japan partnership that would change history for the good.
Now who? Who? Who? Who could possibly fill the colossal boots of the Hulkster and The Nature Boy? Well first lets think of a few block buster matches that never happened centering around, you guessed it, the leader of the YES Movement Daniel Bryan!
First stop has to be Brock Lesnar the ultimate David vs Goliath story, with the road to WrestleMania 29 would have been the perfect time for this. The Beast faced off against The Undertaker and broke the streak. Bryan, as we all know, was inserted into the main event defeating Randy Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavy Weight Championship. But what if Brock Lesnar would have retained those titles and Daniel Bryan and the Yes Movement earned the right to face the Conqueror at the grandest of them all. It for sure would have been a match for the ages. With both wrestlers contracts coming to and end soon, and both wrestlers having histories in Japan this could be a dream match that would be a huge draw.
The second spot is a twofer; AJ Styles/Shinsuke Nakamura. If Bryan returns to a WWE Ring these two matches are no brainers, but just imagine a packed Tokyo Dome where a returning AJ takes on The American Dragon….. Chills. Nakamura seems to be more of a possibility despite his time on the main roster not being great. Pair that with a chance to return to the land of the rising, which sets up a dream match against one of his idols that may be too tempting to pass up.
Although all other possibilities would be epic, the one match that we deserved but were denied to propel a modern day ratings war is CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan.
Have these two fought before? YES! Have they fought for a title? YES! Can make a very compelling argument their story line was not given its proper due…YES! These two were not yet at the peak of their powers the last time they faced. However today if two of ROH’s founding members returned home to compete to a title match, that would feel as big as Flair vs Hogan. The feud would be incredible. Bryan returns to New Japan/ROH after Mania first defeating Cody for the ROH Championship, then taking on Kenny Omega and capturing the New Japan Heavy Weight Title. Bryan, holding two titles and the admiration of the crowd, would compete for love with the return of the most sought after pro wrestler of the modern area. A returning CM Punk is big business no matter where it is, and add to that the dream match of Punk vs Bryan happening in a non PG atmosphere? Now that has the potential to be a Rock vs Austin type feud that will live in wrestling lore forever.