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After turning up the heat in the aftermath of WrestleMania 36, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville eventually had a match in late April on Smackdown and it was a promising showcase for both women, since then though, this fiery breakdown of Fire & Desire got doused out. That is, until a few weeks ago, when thankfully WWE picked back up where they left off with these two, as Deville violently attacked her former friend Rose and now, on August 23rd at Summerslam, we are set for a Hair vs. Hair match between these two best friends turned bitter enemies. However, it got us thinking, what WWE feuds have taken place in the past which sadly never received the opportunity to shine on a PPV? And trust us, there are some crackers here! As we take a look at 20 Great WWE Feuds, which never resulted in a Pay-Per-View match…
Elias vs. Jeff Jarrett (2019)
When Jeff Jarrett returned to WWE after years away (and some less than warm thoughts) you’d be forgiven for thinking hell had frozen over on news of him being inducted into The Hall of Fame last year. But, at the Royal Rumble, Jarrett made things even more shocking with an in-ring comeback (in his Double J get up) and began a brief but enjoyable feud with the equally musically inclined Elias. As the two traded guitar shots, even Road Dogg (who began his WWE career alongside Jarrett as ‘The Roadie’ back in the mid ‘90s) returned to aide Jarrett in this fight. What seemed like an enjoyable card space filler on the upcoming Elimination Chamber event, was in fact ended on WWE Monday Night Raw, when Elias got the win over Jarrett (in Jeff’s first Raw match in nearly 20 years), though Jarrett got a degree of revenge in the process. This brief feud of the music gimmicks was a curiously forgotten but rather enjoyable few weeks of television.
Al Snow vs. Mankind (1999)
Al Snow and Mick Foley’s friendship is one of the most lasting in wrestling and also one of the most comedic, with Foley always relishing making a joke or two (hundred) at his pal Al’s expense! However, at the back end of 1999, when Mick Foley (as Mankind) and The Rock were booming with their iconic The Rock n’ Sock Connection team, friction developed when The Rock apparently threw his signed copy (a gift from Mick) of Foley’s bestselling autobiography Have a Nice Day in the garbage. Al was there to comfort and team with Mankind, they even got a brief tag title win, until a jealous and vengeful Al revealed to a heartbroken Foley that it was he who threw The Rock’s copy of the book out. Now yes, you got me, Al Snow and Foley did face once on PPV, in a round of the WWE Championship tournament at Survivor Series 1998 but that was pretty much a random encounter entirely unrelated and irrelevant to this brief feud confined to TV, so forgive me this one. This fun best pals turned foes storyline found itself on the sidelines of a Rock n’ Sock return and thus ended up concluding on the 14th December in a Falls Count Anywhere match on WWE Smackdown, where The Rock aided Mankind to a victory over Snow.
Cesaro vs. Ricochet (2019)
Sometimes you just don’t need blood boiling hate to make great TV, sometimes it’s more than enough having wrestling (shock horror)! And with this one, how could you go wrong? Back when he was still red hot before being extinguished in that pathetic Brock Lesnar Super Showdown 2020 match, Ricochet was having some great matches in 2019 and - before turning it up further with Samoa Joe and AJ Styles - he faced the perennially underrated Cesaro (who could get a good match out of a Henry Hoover). The combination made for a great succession of fantastic Raw matches in May-June 2019, that saw the two immensely talented wrestlers deliver back and forth matches and trade wins. I was hoping we may get a Best 2 Out Of 3 Falls match at SuperShowdown 2019 but this series never really went anywhere and both found themselves in the 50-man battle royal on the show instead. Maybe one day we’ll get a full programme between the two.
Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre (2018)
It will never not sting that Kurt Angle’s last match was a forgettable, obvious, barely over 6-minute match with Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35, which (worse still) came at a point in the card when an exhausted crowd barely gave a damn. They could have had a legend like The Undertaker, an up and comer like Chad Gable (who was one of Angle’s chosen choices for his last run of bouts and they had a fun little match together) or - as Angle was most vocal about - John Cena! Cena was literally the perfect choice in a story sense and yet WWE (or rather Vince McMahon) was adamant on Corbin. However, what about another choice? say Drew McIntyre? Someone who would actually have benefitted from this match. McIntyre and Angle months prior in November of 2018 on Raw had an excellent bout in the UK, where Drew beat down the old veteran in a match that told a fantastic and heartbreaking story and seemed to be building to more after previous tensions. Yet WWE never revisited this feud and it will forever be a what if? McIntyre/Angle could have had a superb PPV match not just at WM35 (where McIntyre ended up losing to a returning Roman Reigns) but at any event, and after this intense and physical old school first meeting, it’s a darn shame they never followed it up.
Jerry Lawler vs. King Booker (2007)
As Booker T’s ‘King Booker’ persona flourished in 2006, come 2007 Booker found himself in a variety of short lived feuds, as he headed to face a returning “King of Kings” Triple H at that year’s Summerslam, after which Booker would come to leave WWE until 2011. One of said feuds was this unexpected battle for the crown with Raw commentator and wrestling legend Jerry “The King” Lawler, which kicked off with a promo at The Great American Bash 2007 and continued to spiral on the weekly Raw shows. The results were a fun little series of matches, with Lawler and Booker really selling this thing. Sadly, due to the looming shadow of Triple H’s triumphant return at Summerslam (an event, ironically enough, Lawler is undefeated at), this match was only intended as build but it proved more interesting and intense an angle than the actual Triple H match.
Brothers of Destruction vs. Rikishi and Haku (2001)
In 2001 the Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker) were one of the hottest teams in WWE and for that matter wrestling as a whole. Clashing with the likes of Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz, The Two-Man Power Trip (Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H) and winning both the WWE and WCW Tag Team Championships, they were rather badass. So, when, at the 2001 Royal Rumble match, the two showed they were on the same page, they soon entered a brief but bitter feud with Rikishi and a returning Haku. Such a clash of teams yielded some brutal confrontations and the two sides waged war on one another across some of the weekly shows. Yet, at No Way Out 2001, Taker and Kane were instead placed in a triple threat tag title table match, odder still, Rikishi and Haku cost the brothers their win in that match! Strange this never was given that spot instead, as it was a really cool battle of the badasses. The teams did eventually settle their score in a tag team First Blood match on Smackdown, where Taker and Kane got the hard fought victory in a real war.
Daniel Bryan vs. Shawn Michaels (2013)
While technically not a feud from an in-ring perspective, this one was a dream that flew by and - as time would show - didn’t need to have done so. When The Undertaker retired Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 26, it was a remarkable end to an unmatched legacy. And, despite the idea of the wrestling retirement being one that has often been very very loose over the years, Michaels was good to his word and “stayed” retired. But…if ever there was a time to chant “one more match”, it was here. In the Autumn of 2013, as The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) continued to push aside fan favourite Daniel Bryan (a man Michaels helped train) and screw him out of the title picture in favour of Randy Orton, Michaels got involved and spoke up for Bryan, while trying to remain loyal to his bestie HHH. This conflict led to Michaels battling his conscience but ultimately costing Bryan a win against Orton, when serving as special referee in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell PPV. What followed was increasing hostilities between teacher and student but never an actual match, let alone one on a big stage. Yet, while we all wanted it, it was fair enough, Shawn was retired. That is until he wasn’t! And would eventually return to action 5 years later for the notorious D-Generation X vs. Brothers of Destruction tag match at Crown Jewel 2018. This unfortunate comeback only made such a missed opportunity to capitalise on a building rivalry/juicy groundwork all the more inexcusable and tragic. What could have been.
William Regal vs. Paul Burchill (2006)
Back in January of 2006 former tag partners William Regal and Paul Burchill split, with Burchill wanting to explore his “buccaneer roots”, what transpired was the pirate Paul Burchill character (clearly Jack Sparrow inspired), now what could have been utter tripe was elevated by the gifted and charismatic Burchill, and his culture clash with the prim and proper Regal made for some fabulously fun segments on Smackdown in the lead up to Wrestlemania 22. The match seemed obvious, and yet this teacher vs. swashbuckling student never happened at the show, instead Pirate Burchill debuted his new rope swinging entrance in an enjoyable match with and win over Regal on the 7th March episode of Smackdown. While Burchill only appeared at WrestleMania 22 in a “freaks of WWE segment” ahead of the Booker T & Sharmell vs. Boogeyman match (clearly that handicap match and a lingerie pillow fight were more important contributions to the night, sigh.). Regal and Pirate Paul would continue to cross swords a couple of weeks after and it was really consistently enjoyable stuff, ending with in a Loser Wears Winner’s Choice Clothing match on Smackdown (which Regal lost and ended up having to dress in subsequent weeks as a buxom wench and a pirate). They also seriously dropped the ball with Burchill’s pirate gimmick, which was axed not long after this feud, despite being over as hell with the crowd.
The Undertaker vs. The Ultimate Warrior (1991)
The Undertaker and The Ultimate Warrior’s feud was an interesting charge of the unstoppable and the immovable and it even won best feud in the Pro-Wrestling Illustrated Awards, yet, it never occurred on a Pay-Per-View event. Across casket matches, wild fights, incredibly effective segments and even a body bag match, these two waged war (in one of The Warrior’s best rivalries) and this was definitely a match that could sell on PPV and which WWE put a lot of effort into. Sadly Pay-Per-View events were not as plentiful through the year as they are now, and things also never quite materialised, what with tensions between WWE and The Warrior in real life rearing their head.
William Regal and Dave Taylor vs. Kane (2007)
After a loss to The Great Khali at WrestleMania 23, Kane was on a war path the Smackdown after and took it out on english wrestling legends Dave Taylor and William Regal. What seemed like a filler, next week escalated as the embittered Regal and Taylor attacked the big red monster. From here on it became a battle of the British brawlers and the big red machine week-on-week but the match never ended up happening at the next PPV Backlash instead happening on the 400th episode of Smackdown, which emanated live from Italy (and it was great little handicap match encounter too), even when The Boogeyman was added as an ally for Kane, this tag battle never happened on a major event either (despite Kane being on a very cool poster for Judgment Day), as the feud ran for months on weekly TV, missing every PPV chance, until Regal was traded to Raw in the summer. Another cool Regal rivalry not allowed on a PPV card, in fact legit friends Regal and Taylor have to be one of the most underrated wrestling tag teams ever (both in WCW and WWE).
Damien Sandow vs. The Miz (2015)
WWE really buggered up with Damien Sandow, and not just once, but many times. Sandow was a gifted wrestler, who got over all by himself no matter how ridiculous his gimmick or the material he was handed. Even when he excitedly won the Money in the Bank briefcase, disappointment followed as he later failed the cash in on John Cena. It was sad to see the star not get his due. So when he aligned with The Miz in 2014, it was no surprise that, as the A-Lister’s “stunt double”, he took his role and absolutely stole the show with it. His mimicking of Miz as part of the gimmick yielded some genuinely side-splitting moments and got Sandow (now named Miz-dow) crazily over with the audience, so much so tensions started developing with Miz as he was overshadowing his “mentor”. And, in early 2015, we expected they’d boil over and they did, starting at the Royal Rumble and then on the kick-off of WrestleMania 31, Miz-dow eliminated The Miz from the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (only to be disappointingly be eliminated by eventual winner The Big Show) to a roaring ovation, which suggested we were in for a star-making feud to hit fever pitch but it never happened...at all. What could have been a hot and emotionally-invested feud, dispiritingly fizzled out completely when WWE just blew it off inexplicably randomly on Raw. The Miz won, moved on, and Sandow was left to undeservedly languish. Their singles match did not even catch a whiff of PPV time but worse than that, after making these month’s of exciting developments, it all end with a wet fart. Baffling.
The Hurricane vs. Paul Burchill (2009)
WWE’s revamped ECW brand (which ended in 2010) may have been a sore point for some but if you look back, there were some strong rivalries, casting a spotlight on certain - largely unappreciated - stars (Christian, William Regal, Tommy Dreamer) but one I remember quite fondly as being back and forth, exciting and admirably character-driven conflict was The Hurricane and Paul Burchill. After his pirate gimmick was dropped, Burchill’s return to Raw in 2008 (alongside his “sister” Katie Lea) was primed for an incest angle (yes, really) but once they thought better of it in the onset of the PG era, both Katie and Paul bobbed around in random peaks and troughs on the show. Until the move to ECW got them more regular air time and when Burchill entered a struggle with The Hurricane, the two engaged in numerous competitive battles over the coming weeks, going tit-for-tat in victories across Superstars and ECW. As superhero faced supervillain, we got consistently great matches. But in November it got even better with a mask vs. career match, which The Hurricane won, and sent Burchill packing. Until Burchill revamped himself as masked villain “The Ripper” (his old developmental name), what seemed like it was building to the next level, sadly though it was short lived as “The Ripper” (accompanied by Katie Lea’s “The Beautiful Nightmare”) was vanquished on the 12th December edition of ECW and Burchill left WWE not long after. This was a rivalry that deserved a far greater showcase and despite how fun it was, it did end up going to show just how talented Burchill was, and how much WWE failed him over his time in the company. As The Pirate or The Ripper, he could have been great and it’s barmy that he only ever had one PPV match in his 4 years in WWE (at Armageddon 2005 as he and William Regal faced Lashley in a squash) - Michael Cole had more in 2011 alone, let that sink in.
The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy (2002-2008)
The Undertaker and Jeff Hardy have a storied history together, built on the utmost of respect. A history which really started in 2002, with a series of vicious clashes with the Hardys earlier in the year, which eventually helped lead to the now classic Undisputed Championship ladder match later in the year on the 1st July on Raw. Taker was taken to the limit but retained his belt against the fearless youngster Hardy. The aftermath of a - then heel - American Badass, raising Jeff’s hand in a show of respect, has gone down in history and never been forgotten. It was 6 years until the charismatic enigma and The Deadman would tangle again, only this time it was on a UK edition of Smackdown in an Extreme Rules match and Hardy scored the huge victory! On the strength of these two TV matches alone, these guys created a buzz together and it would have been amazing to see it translate to a Hell in a Cell match on PPV (or some other stipulation) but unfortunately Hardy was either pre-occupied chasing his golden dreams or taking leave from the company due to his personal struggles, while Taker was always involved with another feud.
Braun Strowman vs. Big Show (2017)
There are few things more satisfying than when a match nobody was expecting to work out, comes together beautifully, and in Braun Strowman’s TV feud with The Big Show this happened practically every time they stepped in a ring together. No strangers to each other in the past, this was really their first major one-on-one angle together, and it came as Braun’s appeal was hitting an absolute apex in 2017. From their fist colossal clash on Raw (complete with a ‘Tale of the Tape’ graphic to add to the prize Fight feel), it was clear these two had chemistry together and across the weeks they had some great wars. Be it collapsing the ring or Braun throwing Show through the walls of a steel cage to end their clash, it was a behemoth battle (with some surprising flashes of great wrestling thrown in) every time and the fans loved it! Sadly Braun always seemed to have his eyes on other monsters (Kane, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns) on PPV, so this rivalry never got the main stage platform it earned but still, it remains a memorable battle of the beasts and one of the most pleasant surprises in WWE for that year.
Booker T vs Stone Cold Steve Austin (2001-02)
Back when Vince McMahon bought out WCW in early 2001, fans would witness the invasion they had always dreamed of, as The Alliance (a union of WCW and ECW stars) faced the WWE for the majority of that year, for dominance. Sadly, the long-lasting angle did not necessarily go down as hoped for, with some mighty WCW and ECW big hitters being absent, and some questionable decision making that irked fans. Nonetheless, from it there were some diamonds formed like Chris Jericho’s ascension to the top of WWE, Rob Van Dam’s immense success and Booker T’s arrival right at the top of the title picture. Of all the WCW stars who made the jump, Booker T has arguably made the biggest splash in WWE and he did so straight off the bat by attacking WWE champion Stone Cold Steve Austin during his main event at King of the Ring 2001. After that, the invasion was off and away with Austin even betraying the WWE and siding with the heel-heavy Alliance team. However when the winner takes all match at Survivor Series 2001, saw all this brand warfare end, Austin and Booker T renewed some of their early hostilities for a string of TV matches and segments. The most known of which is Austin and Booker’s brawl in the aisles of a supermarket on Smackdown and their First Blood match on 20th December 2001 on Raw. Sadly, despite some real fire here across their many weeks working together, they never had the chance for a PPV one-on-one, save for a brief altercation in the 2002 Royal Rumble match, as Booker would fast become a huge fan favourite and later team with Goldust in the tag title picture, while Austin - after a few small feuds with Scott Hall, Ric Flair and Big Show - would leave the WWE in the infamous “took his ball and went home” event in summer of 2002.
Legion of Doom vs. Demolition (1990)
Fans salivated at the prospect of seeing powerhouse ‘80s tag team legends the Legion of Doom (aka The Road Warriors Hawk and Animal) wage war with Demolition, when L.O.D finally arrived at WWE in 1990. The cross-promotional legends against the longest reigning WWE World Tag Team Champions in history (an accolade Demolition held from 1989 until The New Day beat the impressive 478-day record in 2016!!) was a match made in heaven, or rather hell! And yet, this feud never really got the push it richly warranted. As six-man bouts instead were the route, with original Demolition members Ax and Smash expanding their stable by adding Crush (who would ultimately replace Ax when he left the WWE), and The Ultimate Warrior would side with L.O.D. Admittedly, at the 1990 Survivor Series, we saw the feud in a sense make it to PPV, as The Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect and Demolition) lost to The Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, L.O.D and “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich) but Ax and Smash of Demolition never had the chance to clash two-on-two with Hawk and Animal on PPV and that was really what we all wanted.
William Regal vs. CM Punk (2008-09)
William Regal and CM Punk have a deep rooted respect for one another (Regal even had a hand in training the straight edge superstar) and together had a good number of absolutely fantastic matches, with traded victories over one another, including Regal defeating Punk in the 2008 King of the Ring finals on Raw and in 2009 losing his Intercontinental championship to Punk in a No DQ match on Raw. After which, a few run-ins occurred but it all finished, as Punk rose like a phoenix and the veteran had done his part in putting over the future superstar. These two were so well matched in the ring and even once paired up in a tag match on ECW in the fall of 2009. Yet their history was never given any PPV time (save for brief scuffles in multi-man environments at Survivor Series 2008 and Royal Rumble 2009). Regal vs. Punk was a match that could’ve been a pay-per-view show stealer any day and even a main title rivalry, yet was relegated to weekly TV instead. Much more could have been made of this!
Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker (2009-18)
It is still quite hard to believe that The Undertaker and Chris Jericho have never had a singles match on Pay-Per-View. Despite the length of their respective careers and the opportunities, it has never ended up happening. But in 2009, in the run-up to Survivor Series, it looked like we might finally get to see it as Jericho (one half of the Unified Tag Team Champs with Big Show) came to blows with World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker on Smackdown and had a match in the UK...Finally. Now, this entry is a cheeky one, as technically these two have shared PPV space, with the Triple threat World Title match between Undertaker, Jericho and Big Show at Survivor Series 2009 and being the last two in the World Title Elimination Chamber match in February 2010 at Elimination Chamber, where Shawn Michaels cost Taker the title against the devious Y2J. However, despite fighting, they have never done so in a singles PPV environment, which is one of those WWE facts so unlikely you can’t believe it’s actually true. Worse still, it almost happened in 2018! When Jericho was momentarily announced to replace Rusev in a casket match with Undertaker at The Greatest Royal Rumble but plans soon reverted back to Rusev (who lost on the night against the Deadman), while Jericho made the long journey to Saudi Arabia only to be wasted entirely in the 50-man Rumble match, where he lasted barely over 3 minutes after entering last. Jericho has since been pretty vocal that he wished he’d faced Taker instead and that their match on the night could have been great.
Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio (2018-now)
When oh when will the day come that Andrade and Rey Mysterio finally get given Pay-Per-View air time together! This is a long standing feud that has flared up now and again but each time it does, these two lightening fast rivals knock it out of the park (some weeks more than others). Starting with a Survivor Series Qualifying match back in 2018, before delivering their best match together (maybe ever) on the 15th January 2019 Smackdown, where they perfectly hit a variety of jaw-dropping offense. These two have excellent chemistry and this is a natural feud. Since then, they settled their initial series with a Best 2 Out Of 3 Falls rubber match (which Rey won), before the rivalry re-ignited August of last year and hit its stride at the onset of 2020, as Andrade won the United States Championship from Mysterio at a live event and they battled through January, which culminated in an exciting ladder match on Raw (won by Andrade). It is frankly insane that they have not taken this rivalry to Pay-Per-View after competing in some of the best free TV matches in recent memory. Surely the day will come!
Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (1991-2019)
The world still wonders what possible reason WWE higher ups had for replacing a titanic Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan WrestleMania VIII main event with Hogan vs. Sid Justice…in a match that ended by DQ nonetheless. One of the biggest ‘Mania head scratchers ever, and up there with not making Taker/Sting for WrestleMania 31, Booker T losing to Triple H at WrestleMania XIX and the booking of Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania XXVII. Two of wrestling’s biggest stars would have, even at worst, left an iconic face-off still discussed today, instead the show’s main event was dull and ended with a botch, while Flair was thankfully more well blessed facing Randy Savage in a heated classic (at least we got that but why it didn’t headline is anyone’s guess). There was even groundwork for this to take place, with Flair costing Hogan the title months prior against The Undertaker at Survivor Series 1991 and tensions flared (so to speak) as Flair proclaimed himself “real world champion”. The story apparently is that Flair/Hogan was the plan but house show matches between the two went down badly, hmmm, all seems very unbelievable to us. Nonetheless the two did face on the grand stages over at WCW consistently but it never happened in WWE, though they eventually wrestled on Raw in 2002. And, a whopping 28 years later from initial rumblings, the fire still burned, as the two did sort of make PPV in WWE, when they each had a team of selected stars face off in their name at Crown Jewel last year for bragging rights, which Team Hogan won. Still, this is one huge match that you cannot believe WWE never had contested on one of their paid event stages. It’s bonkers really.
So that’s our list, is there any awesome feuds that never got the Pay-Per-View limelight in WWE that you can think of? Any we missed? Let us know in the comments below...
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