Wrestling One on One
Smackdown Live versus The WWF
2017 versus 1985
August 13, 2017
Something that every wrestling fan has wondered from time to time is how Wrestler X from the past would do in a match against Wrestler Z from today’s era. We all have our favorites from when we were younger, just beginning to love the world’s greatest sport and we have our favorites now, in the current WWE dominated world of sports-entertainment and just what if the two could meet? Well, I wonder that sometimes myself and I’m going to sit down and try to figure out those questions. What I’m doing is called “One On One” and it’s a leftover from the days I wrote professional wrestling’s most eclectic column since 2002, “Tossing Salt – Worldwide News!”. I would take a wrestler from my youth, like the Anderson Brothers or Ernie Ladd and match them up against wrestlers from today, such as John Cena or AJ Styles, and try to imagine, with both in their primes, who would win in a one-on-one match-up. It was a popular piece of the column and fun to do. And now, I’m just bringing it to the next level. Let’s use the “official ratings” of two wrestling magazines to determine the competitors. There will be twenty-two matches in total. I did half of them in my previous post, with the stars of RAW versus the stars of the NWA, circa 1985. And now for this post, it’ll be the stars of the WWF, also as determined by Wrestling Superstars, the Spring 1985 edition, versus the stars of Smackdown Live, per the Pro Wrestling Illustrated October, 2017 edition. Are you ready? Let’s do this.
Wrestling One On One – Part II
Smackdown Live versus The WWF
Jinder Mahal (WWE Champion) versus Hulk Hogan (WWF Champion)
Jinder has really gotten better as time has gone on as the WWE Champion. He gets better each and every week and is growing into the title. I really do hope that he makes it past SummerSlam next week and keeps the title. But in this match, let’s get real. He’s facing Hulk Hogan and in 1985, Hogan did not lose… period. He would take a beating, sell like crazy for a while and then, it’s time to shake, Hulk up, point the finger, a punch or two and then boot and leg drop. I don’t think a match with Jinder would change that. Hogan with the win.
Winner: Hulk Hogan
Kevin Owens versus Greg Valentine
This would be one of those matches that no one would expect to do much, but would end up stealing the show. Greg is slow and methodical in every single move and action and Kevin is the same way in many ways. It would be a clinic of heel wrestling 101 and half of the fans, with the limited attention spans would shout “boring”, while the rest would be in awe of the story-telling and magic taking place. And at the end of the night, both men would get a standing ovation… or booed out of the arena. It could truly go either way, but since I can’t see Valentine taking a pop-up power bomb for anyone, I think the end results would be Kevin being forced to tap to the figure-four instead.
Winner: Greg Valentine
Shinsuke Nakamura versus Big John Studd
Shinsuke is so skilled and quick in that ring with his hit and run style. Studd was just big and the immovable object that would have to be chopped down bit by bit and that would be only if he let it happen. Much respect for Shinsuke becasue he is so damn good, but the size and power and just the mean streak of Studd would, I think, be too much in the end.
Winner: John Studd
Randy Orton versus Roddy Piper
With both men in their primes, this would have been a match to see. Randy is definitely the superior physical athlete, but Piper was as much mental as physical and all of the muscles in the world don’t matter when you get poked in the eyes, hit with a chair or nut-shotted. Randy is far more methodical and would physically dominate the match from a wrestling stand-point. Roddy could wrestle pretty well too, but he was more of a brawler and play it by ear type of guy. At this point in his career, the 2017 Randy has seen it all and done it all and I think he would pretty much be able to look past any of Piper’s mind games and keep control most of the match. Orton would also end up with the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
AJ Styles versus Tito Santana
Tito is a good wrestler, but let’s be honest here. Tito was mid-card at best and AJ is arguably the best wrestler in the world today. AJ wins easily.
Winner: AJ Styles
Dolph Ziggler versus Sgt. Slaughter
I’ve never been a big fan of Sgt. Slaughter after his days in the Mid-Atlantic region. For his WWF run in the mid-80’s and his AWA time as well, it seemed as if he was just phoning it in and going through the motions. Still an okay performer, but compared to the years with Crockett, something was missing. Dolph is doing that now, it seems. He has great matches, but no one cares and that seems to include Dolph. He’s just going through the motions waiting for his contract to expire. So this match-up, even though it would probably be an okay match, just doesn’t interest me at all. Dolph flies and wrestles with a mixture of everything. Sarge brawls and punches, trying to get that Cobra Clutch locked in. Tough call, but I think Dolph would end up with the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Sami Zayn versus Junkyard Dog
Sami versus JYD? Wow! This match would suck eggs. Nothing against Sami, who is really good in that ring and is a top notch performer, JYD was terrible in that ring, He had charisma out the ass and could talk and draw fans. I’m not disputing that, but once he stepped into that ring, unless he had someone who could carry him, JYD’s matches were awful. Zayn, at least in his current character, works best as the baby-face in peril. And Dog working as the heel just wouldn’t work either because without the baby-face charisma thing, he has nothing going for him. Even Harley Race couldn’t get a good match out of the Dog and Sami Zayn is not Harley Race by any means. Zayn would win and the match would suck. Let’s don’t talk about it again.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Tye Dillinger versus Kamala
What has happened to Tye since coming up to the main roster? This would be another big contrast in styles, but Kamala knows how to actually work and make the differences work. It would be fun to see the smaller Tye, trying to wrestle, up against the giant savage monster. Tye would take his shots and give it his best, but in the end, I think it would be the Ugandan Savage going over and getting the win.
Baron Corbin versus Ken Patera
Two pure athletes in competition against each other. This could be an interesting match to see as their styles really aren’t too different. I think Patera, at this point, was just recently out of prison and trying to make a comeback, so he wasn’t quite the Patera I remember from Crockett and had started to slow down a bit. It was all just power moves and strength for Ken by then. Corbin is getting better and better each week and while his character and charisma level need to be tweaked and worked on a bit, in the ring, he’s as tough as they come and getting better. I think Corbin would take this and take it pretty easily actually.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Luke Harper versus Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura was a great announcer. But as a wrestler, he was pretty much one dimensional, sticking with the power moves and little else. Luke Harper is power, speed, the occasional flying move and even some great wrestling every now and then. He’s the complete package. Jesse was all about overpowering his opponent and using the strength advantage. With Harper, he wouldn’t have that. Harper wins.
Winner: Luke Harper
Mojo Rawley versus Paul Orndorff
Mojo is big and strong and hyper and full of energy. Orndorff is a wrestling machine who can wrestle, brawl or out-think almost anyone in that ring. Plus Orndorff had the extra bonus of Bobby Heenan at ringside during this time. Mojo would look great for a while and Paul would make him look like a million bucks, but Mojo would end up blowing himself up and running out of gas and Paul would methodically take over, dominate and take home the victory, showing everyone how he earned the name Mr. Wonderful.
Winner: Paul Orndorff
And there you have it with the WWE Smackdown Live Class of 2017 defeating the WWF Class of 1985 six matches to five. So what do you think? Was I correct in how the matches would probably play out or am I just as wrong as the day is long? Thoughts, comments and feedback is welcome and appreciated. Let me know something. And with that, I’m out of here. Thanks for reading. Any fantasy matches you’d like to see? Let me know that too and we’ll give it a shot. Until the next time, take it easy.