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10 Wrestling Matches You Won't Believe Actually Happened

These are all real. Honest.

One neat thing about DVD sets like WWE and Randy Savage Unreleased is that you're given a look at some rather oddball match-ups, pairings that you've likely never seen before. Whether it's Papa Shango teaming up with Kamala, or the Macho Man duking it out with a barely-drinking age Shane Douglas, it beats the rapid rematch tendencies of the modern WWE that has hours of TV to fill each week.

Spotlighting such rarities will catch the eye of a hardcore wrestling fan, because they take an interest in content that they've never seen before or, perhaps, did not know even existed. That's the biggest reason that the Unreleased DVD did as well as it did on the sales charts - we all wanted to see two grown men in turtle costumes taking bumps while an annoyed crowd booed them.

But joking aside, this list will honour that continuous thirst for knowledge, that willingness to go deep into the wrestling mines in search of matches that even devoted connoisseurs of the sport may not have been aware of. While footage of each of the following entries might not exist, rest assured that they did, in fact, take place.

10. Owen Hart Vs. Sabu


WWE


By 1993, Sabu was rising to fame as an uncontrollable madman, one whose infliction of pain (both on his opponents *and* himself) was hard for even the squeamish to turn away from. He'd caught the eye of ECW in the late summer months, but somebody in WWE was keeping tabs on him as well.

In October 1993, Sabu was brought in for three sets of TV tapings in New York and Vermont, one of which he would work with a still-babyface "Rocket" Owen Hart. That sounds like quite the dream match, although in recent times, Jim Cornette would note that Sabu didn't exactly impress WWE officials with his three performances. Still, Sabu vs. Owen Hart sounds like something that would make the cut of an Unreleased sequel, assuming the footage exists.

9. Scott Hall Vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi


New Japan Pro Wrestling


Less than two years into his career, and just 24 years of age, the future "Mr. Tokyo Dome" was earmarked for success down the line. It was during the 2001 G1 World that he would cross paths with the original nWo invader, several months before Hall would be brought into WWE in the second mark of the New World Order.

The match is nothing special, just four-and-a-half minutes of action, and far from Hall's best work. Nonetheless, it's a rather unique look at both an oddball pairing, and an early prestige win for Tanahashi. As for Hall, his presence at the 2001 G1 saw some other intriguing matchups, including matches with former nWo mates Scott Norton and Great Muta, as well as MMA legend Don Frye and former Human Oddity Giant Silva.

8. Hulk Hogan Vs. Gorilla Monsoon


WWE


By 1980, Monsoon was finishing up his career as a wrestler, competing sporadically until IC Champion Ken Patera drove him out in a title vs. career match that summer in Philadelphia. Gorilla would go on to become one of the most recognizable announcers in WWE history, as his gentle demeanor and articulate voice were heard by fans throughout the eighties and nineties.

Oftentimes, Monsoon would shower praise upon WWE kingpin Hulk Hogan, which is why it was weird to see the two square off in 1980, with Hogan as the villain and Monsoon the hero. The two faced off a number of times that year, with one notable instance in Landover, MD's Capital Centre that January. It was there that Hogan and Monsoon were both interviewed for a local news segment on the legitimacy of pro wrestling, with Hogan looking like your typical acid rocker of the time, and Monsoon looking odd in a plaid shirt.

7. Kenny Omega Vs. Heath Slater


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Omega doesn't have much good to say about his time in former WWE developmental territory Deep South Wrestling, aside from cultivating his fundamentals under the watchful eye of Dave Taylor. In his sub-one year stretch with the group, Omega crossed paths with the likes of Vladimir Kozlov, Matt Striker, and everyone's favourite One Man Band.

Slater (then performing under real name Heath Miller) lost to Omega in a match taped in April 2006, just four scant months before Omega asked for his release. The two had a sportsmanlike seven-minute face-vs-face bout, concluding with Omega scoring the pin off of the move that would eventually become the Aoi Shoudou. The post-match show of respect disgusted the presiding colour commentator, eventual WWE-callup MVP.

6. The Undertaker Vs. New Jack


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It's pretty hard to imagine "The Lord of Darkness" staggering around an ECW ring while "Natural Born Killaz" blares, and New Jack bashes him with trash cans and cookware. The two maulers of different styles did cross paths on two straight nights, however. It wasn't for WWE or ECW, but rather Smoky Mountain Wrestling.

Jim Cornette managed to secure Undertaker for a pair of shows the weekend after WrestleMania XI - Bluegrass Brawl III in Pikeville, KY, and Fright Night in Johnson City, TN. At the first event, Undertaker teamed with Tracy Smothers to defeat The Gangstas and D-Lo Brown in a handicap match when Undertaker pinned young D-Lo. The next night, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong (the legendary father of Road Dogg) joined Undertaker and Smothers in a six-man I Quit match against the same trio, with Armstrong making Brown submit. So yes, Undertaker and New Jack shared the ring together on two occasions.

5. Jeff Hardy Vs. Tetsuya Naito


New Japan Pro Wrestling


Imagine a Wrestle Kingdom in which Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii worked in dark matches, Andrade "Cien" Almas and Gran Metalik were a tag team, and Rob Van Dam worked a hardcore match. That was all the case at Wrestle Kingdom 5 in January 2011, an event in which Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Satoshi "Bread" Kojima to win his fifth IWGP Heavyweight title.

Oh, and Jeff Hardy defended the TNA World Heavyweight title against future IWGP champ Naito. The match took place when Naito was still a part of No Limit with partner Yujiro Takahashi, almost five years before the formation of Los Ingobernables de Japon. The match wasn't particularly special, but it was still a unique sight to see Jeff Hardy working in the Tokyo Dome.

4. Sting Vs. Kane


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Fans of the two men would've preferred to see Crow Sting vs. Demon Kane, and this was certainly far from that. In this instance, The Big Red Libertarian was far from WWE's radar, and was instead gaining experience as a rookie grappler. For the only time that these two mysterious performers went head to head, you'd have to go back to March 1993.

It was at a taping of WCW Saturday Night that Kane, then known as Bruiser Mastino, lost a three-minute squash match to blonde-surfer Sting via the Scorpion Deathlock. Due to Sting's loyalty to WCW, and Kane's eventually long-standing loyalty to WWE, the chances of a rematch were obviously remote. Who do you suppose has been in more "turn" angles: Sting with people he mistakenly trusts, or Kane for the number of times he's chosen to embrace the hate?

3. Bret Hart Vs. Hulk Hogan


WWE


While the two would have a few ultimately-irrelevant matches against each other deep into WCW's swift descent, the two icons had actually met in the ring 20 years earlier. You have to go back to the Georgia Championship Wrestling that was owned in part by the Brisco Brothers and Jim Barnett, where Hogan and Hart would first cross paths in the late 1970s.

To be more specific, it was November 1979 when 22-year-old Bret Hart was building his reputation, while Hogan, 26, was working as Sterling Golden. Hart recalls being astonished by Golden's brawny physique, and was told to make the match quick, as booker Ole Anderson didn't want Hogan's greenness to be exposed. Hart succumbed to a Golden bear hug, the first of two times that month that the future World Champions would square off.

2. Andre The Giant Vs. Cactus Jack


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If you were to match early-eighties Andre against mid-nineties Foley, you may have had something truly special, as bump-ready Mick would have pinballed off of every strike that a more able-bodied Giant could throw his way. Instead, the two were on opposite sides of a tag team bout that took place in the spring of 1991. Foley was on his way to becoming a cult figure, while Andre was deep into his deterioration.

The match took place in Japan, pitting Andre and Mighty Inoue against Cactus and Terminator Hoss. Andre only pops in for a few brief moments, which includes scoring the pin on Cactus following an awkward-looking Giant Elbow. Again, with ideal alignments of each man's peak, who knows what sort of magic these two would've produced.

1. CM Punk Vs. Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio


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Punk and Mysterio had their big WWE rivalry in 2010, and Guerrero and Mysterio were certainly no stranger to one another. The three once met in a Triple Threat match in Ian Rotten's IWA Mid South promotion in the spring of 2002, competing over Punk's IWAMS Championship.

The match took place during Guerrero's period of unemployment between WWE runs, and a few months before Mysterio was also signed by the company. Seeing Punk with lemon-blonde hair, Mysterio with no mask, and the three exchanging elaborate reversals and double-teams inside a Knights of Columbus meeting hall is surreal for a litany of reasons. Guerrero prevails in the end via a frog splash on Punk, with few guessing that all three would hold the WWE Championship within the next 10 years.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.