Wrestling always follows cultural trends. WWE is in a constant race to keep up with pop culture. Thankfully, we are weaning ourselves off of the teenybopper PG Era of the late 2000s, and what’s popular right now is the dream fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. While this fight may seem lopsided, so are most dream matchups. And not unlike the dream fight between Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar from Great Balls of Fire, this fight is also heel vs. heel. Even though this defies all traditional pro wrestling logic, expect to see more and more dream matches in coming months.
Joe’s match against Lesnar catapulted him into main event status, and now he’ll be taking part in a fatal 4-way match for the Universal Championship at Summerslam, alongside Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. It’s no exaggeration to say that Samoa Joe has been upstaging Roman on the mic, seemingly replacing him as a top Samoan badass tweener. Years ago, I didn’t think Joe had the chops to crush a promo. He had always been decent on the mic, but he’s recently turned that necessary corner to be a top guy. And that’s really what WWE is all about. As good as Samoa Joe and guys like AJ Styles are in every other aspect of pro wrestling, they were always missing a little something in their promos. But upon entering WWE, almost immediately, their promos improved dramatically. You learn strong style in Japan, chain wrestling in Europe, Lucha style in Mexico, and showmanship in the US. And with all of their experience, it certainly helped them improve much quicker.
But speaking of AJ, many were hoping to see a U.S. Championship match at Summerslam between the Phenomenal One and Shinsuke Nakamura. Not exactly a dream match, but more of a rehashing of a classic feud in New Japan. Regardless, it’s a match everyone wants to see in WWE. While it could still happen, it depends on the results of Tuesday’s Smackdown, where we are treated to yet another dream match. Shinsuke Nakamura will battle John Cena. Two of the biggest stars of their respective countries. Once again, this is a face vs. face battle, something usually avoided in WWE. In a bout for the number one contendership for Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship, we kind of expect Cena to take this one to further capitalize off of patriotism and xenophobia. Hopefully Tuesday’s match won’t be a total disappointment, but the fact that it’s not on pay-per-view is an indication that it might be.
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While Cena is likely to win this matchup and go on to cut promos on Jinder about how he’s not American and bring up Normandy for some reason, Shinsuke will be free to face Styles if he’s not busy challenging Kevin Owens once again. But since we are talking dream matches, there is another possible dream reunion on RAW. Every member of the former Shield in currently on RAW: Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. And while Rollins and Ambrose have been toying with the idea of a Shield reunion over the past couple of weeks and even teaming up last Monday, a FULL reunion probably won’t happen until after Summerslam. However, since the next big pay-per-view after Summerslam is Survivor Series, the stage is pretty much set for a revival of this classic faction. And considering it’s a cross-brand event, the most logical opponent for one of the greatest 3-man teams of the 21st century would be the other greatest 3-man faction of the 21st century: The New Day. The Shield is no stranger to dream matches. Having faced the likes of the early Wyatt family and the reunited Evolution, the logical next step is The New Day. In a ring full of so much skill, this match would be hard to pass up.
With so many missed opportunities in WWE’s past for dream matches, they shouldn’t take any more risks. You never know who will still be available and on the roster from year to year. Ever since WWE flinched on Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair, there should be some sense of urgency when they have two big names under one roof. And just for kicks, we can speculate that if Shawn Michaels was ever to have one more match, it would be against AJ Styles. Just tossing that out there.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke