The encounter didn’t last long. The two combatants locked horns in a test of strength, with Mr. McMahon going pound for pound with Cena, forcing The Champ to struggle. The Chairman even managed to capture Cena in a prolonged headlock. But after Cena gained the upper hand, his enormous boss had enough and nailed Cena with a blatant low blow for the disqualification. HBK and Cena’s WrestleMania foe, Triple H, had been watching the match while handcuffed to the ropes at ringside, but Mr. McMahon unlocked The Game and the two proceeded to assault their upcoming Show of Shows opponents.
Fours year later, The Chairman once again battled Cena. But this time he had the help of Vladimir Kozlov, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger and Mark Henry in a 5-on-1 Handicap Gauntlet Match. But judging from his recent match against Punk, Mr. McMahon clearly doesn’t need the help if he were to ever battle Cena one-on-one again.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Mr. Perfect: Raw, Feb. 25, 2002
By the time “Stone Cold” Steve Austin arrived in WWE in 1995, Mr. Perfect was no longer an active in-ring competitor and soon departed the organization to try his hand in WCW. Choosing to compete as Curt Hennig, he was a member of the legendary Four Horsemen and influential nWo groups while “Stone Cold” rose to superstardom on Raw.
Following WWE’s acquisition of WCW, Mr. Perfect returned to WWE as a surprise entrant in the 2002 Royal Rumble Match. His homecoming was spoiled by The Texas Rattlesnake, who nailed the former Intercontinental Champion with a steel chair. The following night on Raw, Austin did the same thing during Mr. Perfect’s match against Val Venis. One month later, Mr. Perfect had an opportunity to achieve retribution. These two WWE Hall of Famers had never before met in a match, and while Austin was mostly known for his brawling style, he could go toe-to-toe with the technical fundamentals of Mr. Perfect.
The multi-time WrestleMania main eventer defeated Hennig after a “Stone Cold” Stunner, but we only wish they could clash again — and to make it a bit more special, perhaps for the Intercontinental Title. Oh, hell yeah!
Bret & Owen Hart vs. The Steiner Brothers: Wrestlefest ’94
In a different kind of sibling rivalry, two sets of brothers (and four great wrestlers) battled each other in a match never shown on television in America during a WWE event in January 1994. Bret and Owen Hart, only months before their classic clash at WrestleMania X, joined forces to face off with The Steiner Brothers.
The match was a clinic in tag team wrestling and ended without a conclusive victor. After nearly a half hour of action, the referee called for the bell when Owen and Scott Steiner leaped onto their opponents who were battling on the floor. The double count-out officially ended the contest, but the four technicians brawled at ringside until being separated by WWE personnel. Scott demanded the match continue, but he and Rick Steiner changed their minds much to Bret’s dismay. The brothers all began to fight once again, and were again separated by officials and locker room producers. After the competitors cooled down, the Superstars hugged and shook hands in the ultimate display of respect.
The match was never broadcast on television, and was only available on the Coliseum Video release Wrestlefest ’94. More than 15 years later, the classic once again became available on the “Hart & Soul” DVD chronicling the greatest Hart family matchups. We’d watch a whole collection of Harts vs. Steiners matches, though.
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar: WrestleMania XX
It is one of the most controversial matches in WWE history. Two titans of the ring known for their long undefeated streaks finally met in a highly anticipated clash at WrestleMania XX in Madison Square Garden. And to make sure these two warriors didn’t take out the front row, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was assigned to be the special referee. But on this night, perhaps the renowned building should have been referred to as The World’s Most Infamous Arena.
It had been known for quite some time that this would likely be Goldberg’s final match in WWE. But one week before The Show of Shows, rumors began to surface that Lesnar, too, would be departing WWE. When the two finally met face to face in the ring, the knowledgeable New York City fans weren’t interested in seeing these two dominant competitors and jeered the Superstars they perceived as quitters. After both Lesnar and Goldberg traded their signature maneuvers, it was Goldberg who picked up the victory. But the only cheering inside MSG was for The Texas Rattlesnake, who dropped each powerhouse with a “Stone Cold” Stunner.
Goldberg never returned to WWE, and Lesnar once again quit the organization after defeating Triple H in 2012, leaving the WWE Universe with so many “woulda, coulda, shouldas.”