One On One: WWE Smackdown versus Most Popular Of 1982 (Part 3 of 5)

Tossing Salt Presents:
One on One (Part 3 of 5)
WWE Smackdown versus Most Popular of 1982
July 27, 2022

Recently, while looking through a box of old magazines, I came across an old edition of Sports Review Wrestling, covered dated Summer 1982. A very cool magazine with stories such as “Austin Idol Begs The Fans: ‘Force Ray Stevens To Retire’.”, Exclusive. Rocky III Preview: Hulk Hogan Tackles Hollywood!”, and the classic, “Is Apartment Wrestling Becoming Too Brutal?”. Yeah, lots of cool stuff.

Of course, I took a look at the Official Wrestling Ratings. And that got me to thinking, what if these legends and stars, the men who dominated the business forty years ago, were to be matched up against the stars of today. Who would win? What would the matches be like? And then I decided, let’s try to find out. Let’s do some fantasy booking and see what happens when the star of yesteryear takes on the stars of today and go, wait for it, one on one.

There will be five columns with five fantasy shows. I took the official ratings from the 1982 magazine for the NWA, AWA, WWF, Most Popular, and Most Hated, and then went to the Pro Wrestling Illustrated website and got the official ratings for the week ending July 22, 2022, for AEW, WWE RAW, WWE Smackdown, Impact Wrestling, and the NWA. Over the next five days, I’ll have five battles where the past fights the present, using these ratings, and will give my thoughts and predictions as to who would win. So stick around and let’s see where it goes. 

And here we go with the third of five, it’s WWE Smackdown of 2022 versus The Most Popular Wrestlers of Summer 1982. Let’s do this.

Roman Reigns versus Andre the Giant

This one is tough because back in 1982, Andre was a monster who could go, even throw a dropkick every so often, and was truly the 8th Wonder of the World. But he’s fighting Roman here and the Roman Reigns of today is truly an amazing talent who can match up against anyone and in my mind, that includes Andre the Giant. Time for the old crutch as I flip a coin to call a winner. Heads for Andre and tails for Roman. It’s heads!

Winner: Andre the Giant.

Gunther versus Tommy Rich

I’ve met Tommy a couple of times and he’s a cool dude, but Gunther is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He is that damn good. Tommy would give a good fight, but the winner is in little doubt.

Winner: Gunther

Drew McIntyre versus Dusty Rhodes

Drew is awesome and he may be the Chosen One, but Dusty is Dusty and he’s the American Dream baby. Dusty with the clubbering and the win.

Winner: Dusty Rhodes

Madcap Moss versus Bob Backund

Moss is damn good and getting better every day. That’s a fact. Bob Backlund is a wrestling machine. That’s also a fact. And in this match, Backlund would win and win in a convincing and dominant manner.

Winner: Bob Backlund

Shinsuke Nakamura versus Rick Steamboat

This one could and would be a wrestling clinic in every sense of the word. Two of the best in-ring performers trading moves like there’s no tomorrow. This is a dream match to be sure. As for the winner, a very tough call, but I’d give a very slight edge to Steamboat.

Winner: Rick Steamboat

Ricochet versus Hulk Hogan

Really? My apologies to Ricochet, but boot and leg drop and Hogan gets the win.

Winner: Hulk Hogan

Sheamus versus Mil Mascaras

It’s time for some personal bias as I know that Mil Mascaras is a legend in Mexico. I get that. But I also know what Foley said about him being such a Primadonna, a claim that has been supported by many other wrestlers as well. I can’t see Sheamus pulling back to console a fragile ego. I think Sheamus would stiff the hell out of him and it would be well deserved.

Winner: Sheamus

Drew Gulak versus Mr. Wrestling II

Gulak is a very talented guy and one hell of a wrestler. Mr. Wrestling II is literally named wrestling. II takes the win here.

Winner: Mr. Wrestling II

Ridge Holland versus Junkyard Dog

Holland is good and getting better all the time. JYD was in his prime here and kicking ass all over the Mid-South region. Holland will have his day someday, but this isn’t it.

Winner: Junkyard Dog

Happy Corbin versus Pedro Morales

Morales is a legend in every sense of the word, but by 1982, he had slowed down a bit. Corbin is severely underrated and can not be underestimated. This would be an interesting match, but I think the final result would be an End Of Days for Morales.

Winner: Happy Corbin

And there you go with the third series of match-ups, Part 3 of 5, with the Most Popular Wrestlers of 1982 defeating the WWF Smackdown Superstars of 2022, seven matches to three. Can we call it a comeback for the old-school talent? They’re still behind in the series, 1-2. We’ll find out in Part 4, coming up tomorrow, which will be the NWA of 1982 versus The NWA of today. Be sure to look for it.

And with that, I’m out of here. Thank you for reading. Comments, thoughts, or any questions are welcome and appreciated. Use the comment box, my e-mail of, or find me on Twitter at @Doug28352. Take care and stay safe. Watch out for foreign objects. I’ll see you at the matches.


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