Hey Scott, I was wondering if any of the following matches had happened, if you knew where to find them, and if they were good enough to warrant hunting down:
1) Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart, ideally somewhere in the mid 90s while they were both reasonably close to the top of their game (i.e., pre WCW)?
They had a pretty famous match on Saturday Night’s Main Event in the fall of 1987 where Savage was at the very tippy top of his game, and it’s considered one of Savage’s greatest matches and the match that directly led to Bret getting a singles push. So yes, definitely worth checking it out. Pretty sure it’s on the Best of SNME DVD set.
2) Roddy Piper vs. Jake Roberts, before Jake completely lost his shit?
Dude, that would have been such a car wreck in WWF. Wouldn’t have worked at all. However, they met a bunch of times in Georgia, although I don’t recall any standouts.
3) Rick Rude vs. Curt Hennig (before Hennig’s injuries started piling up)?
Rude was long gone from the WWF by the time Hennig turned babyface, and he never passed through the AWA that I know of, so they’ve never met.
4) Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin, pre-KOTR 97 (I feel like they fought a bit during Michaels’ first reign, maybe)?
I think they had one match on RAW in late 96 that was the bee’s knees as the kids say, but I don’t recall specifically.
5) Shawn Michaels vs. CM Punk (maybe at a house show? Seems like it would have happened, but I can’t seem to find it…)
We’ve seen HHH v. Punk and HHH/Shawn v. Punk/Gallows, but not a Shawn/Punk singles match.
6) Chris Jericho vs. Bret Hart
The only possibility would be WCW in 1998, and I can’t think of any matches between them.
Bonus Round: What is it with guys who never job clean? How many clean (defined here as: no extenuating circumstances, outside interference, or cheating; the better man won) jobs can you tell us about for:
Yes! I rule at Bonus Rounds!
1) Bret Hart, post 1st title win (I can only think of 2; vs. Owen at WMX, and Michaels at WMXII)?
Bret Hart was kind of a big star, so jobbing a lot would be counterproductive. Also considering that Bret Hart lost to EVERYONE up and down the card for most of the 80s, calling him out for not doing jobs is kind of hilarious. The fact that only a few people got the big, clean wins over him and we still REMEMBER those wins shows how important that made them.
2) Roddy Piper (I can only think of 1, vs. Hart at WMVIII)
Well again, Piper was the second biggest star in the world at one point, so he shouldn’t have been doing jobs and was smart enough to know that. However, again, pre-WWF he was more of a cowardly manager and yes, he did tons of clean jobs to lots of people. If you mean during his heyday in the 80s and 90s, the only people to pin him clean were indeed Bret Hart and Jimmy Snuka. Otherwise you are correct, Piper did not do jobs. The Snuka one is on a Best of the WWF Coliseum video tape if you’re curious.
3) Goldberg (I don’t know any)
Hector Guerrero! Just kidding. I don’t know of anyone who Goldberg laid down for without a caddle prod involved.
4) Lesnar (Goldberg is the only one I know)
Well Cain Velasquez beat him pretty clean. As for the WWE run, he was only around for two years and was World champion for most of it, so that didn’t leave a lot of time to be returning the favor to people.
5) Austin, post 1st title win (WMXIX is the only one I could think of, but I feel like Angle or Michaels probably got him at least once, right?)
HHH, No Way Out 2001. You could kinda sorta count Kane at KOTR 98 as well. Austin really lost quite frequently for the biggest star in history, actually, even though a lot of times interference was involved.
6) Hogan (Rock, Warrior, sorta Goldberg, sorta Lesnar… not a lot for a 30+ year career… did I miss anyone?)
Not sure how Lesnar is “sorta”. He made Hogan submit to a bearhug, that’s pretty substantial. Kurt Angle made him tap to the anklelock as well, although I forget if interference was involved. I think the Luger win in 97 was pretty clean. I’d like to think that Rocky Balboa got his win back between Rocky III and Rocky IV.
7) Cena (despite his rep, he lost clean to Batista, Michaels, Angle, almost Punk, and probably some others… but I wasn’t watching for most of his run)
Jericho, Lesnar, Carlito, too many to name here really. He paid his dues on the way up.
8) Orton (I know he’s lost to Cena clean, but that’s the only one I can think of)
No way man, plucky babyface Randy Orton was not protected very much until joining Evolution. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I remember him staring at the lights a lot between his debut and the Legend Killer era.
9) Trips, post WM2000 or so (I vaguely remember him losing clean to Rock or Austin occasionally, but beyond that…Michaels at the Street Fight, ??? at WMXX, and…?)
Didn’t Goldberg win the title from him clean as a sheet? HHH is a smart guy and he also realizes that spacing out the clean jobs makes them more important. Plus he laid down Jericho’s Lionsault in that tag match, unless you’re only counting singles.
10) Warrior (did he ever job clean? Like, even once?)
I wanna say Undertaker in 1991 on a bunch of house show matches, but otherwise, no, Warrior did not take well to being on the losing end of fake wrestling matches. I’m sure the comments section will be entertaining for this one.