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Career-Defining Opponents


Onyx2
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Top tier wrestlers often have an opponent that defines their run on top. Without them they just might not have the same legacy.

 

In a throwaway comment in another thread I mentioned that AJ could be John Cena's.

 

AJ hasn't defined Cena. He's just the latest one to do the Cena vs Indie Wrestler storyline. They work brilliantly together, but it's still basically just another retread of Cena's rivalries with Punk, Bryan, Owens etc. I'd put the Punk feud and the Edge feud above it in terms of JC's most important battles.

What about back-to-back Manias with The Rock? What about mandated company propaganda choice Randy Orton?

 

Who's your choice? Who else are the pinnacle pairings?

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Definitely Punk for Cena

I believe he was the first to cut one of those realistic sounding worked shoot promos, everybody lost their fucking shit

I wasn't even watching wrestling at the time, I was blissfully ignorant of what was going on in the WWE since about 2007, in my time as a lapsed fan only this and Taker v HBK hit my radar

I was like well I've grown out of this stuff but that Punk is good eh?

The Owens and AJ stuff has been superb, and in the case of the AJ feud proper well booked too but Punk is the one who set the standard

 

 

ALTHOUGH, I think they missed a big trick in 2005 by not properly pushing Captain Charisma as the anti-Cena which was really heavily brewing at the time. For me, that would have surpassed the Edge stuff. Guess Vince thinks Christian is a rat boi who needs a blue dot though so it never happened

Edited by sj5522
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Mick Foley made Triple H without question. He really helped turn him into a genuine main eventer that could feasibly headline against the likes of Rock and Austin and hold his own. Great work by Mick. To a lesser extent, he did the same for Orton.

 

Bret Hart and Steve Austin were fabulous too and set WWE on the road to company recovery. Austin/McMahon too. Oh, and Triple H, in perhaps the only example of him doing so in his entire career, really made Big Dave a superstar headliner.

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Cena's had such a long run I think you'd be fair in giving him multiple career opponents. In his early main event run, it's Edge. A few years in, CM Punk. And in recent years, Brock Lesnar.

 

Triple H is definitely the one for Batista, and I'd say he's The Rock's as well.

 

I'd always associate Bret with Shawn even if none of their matches were up to much. Shawn would be Razor's as well, and Bret would be Bulldog's.

 

I love these sorts of threads, so many options to choose from for so many guys!

 

EDIT: Zayn and Owens is a good one.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator
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Interesting thread. These are the ones that seem the most obvious to me...

 

Cena-Edge

HBK-Bret Hart

Rock-Austin

Triple H-Foley

Hogan-Andre

Flair-Sting

Jericho-Benoit

Angle-Samoa Joe

Batista-Orton

Undertaker-Kane

Owens-Zayn (counting Steen/Generico)

AJ Styles-Christopher Daniels

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Batista-Orton

Did they ever have a singles match?
Raw after Mania 21

Armageddon 2008

Extreme Rules 09 short and very sweet cage match.

 

Batista win them all?

 

 

I'd say after his long fued with Orton, Christian looked like a solid WWE main eventer in 2011. Loved their matches

Edited by Fanny Pack
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Batista-Orton

Did they ever have a singles match?

 

I had to look it up because I couldn't remember them having one on PPV but felt they must have. Turns out they had a few in late 2008/early 2009. I definitely wouldn't consider that enough to make them career-defining opponents, they just have the link because of Evolution.

 

I'd go with...

 

The Rock and Stone Cold: each other. The two biggest stars of the biggest era, and they brought out the best in each other.

 

Undertaker and Kane: each other. The brothers of destruction storyline made Kane, and though Taker was already a made man, Uncle Glenn coming in really expanded his character and extended the lifespan of it enormously.

 

Triple H: The Rock. It was definitely Mick Foley who made Hunter a main eventer and he's almost as good a shout in my opinion, but it was The Rock that Hunter was battling near enough every week in 98-2000. And it never got old. The two of them kept the ship running whenever Austin was out of action for some reason or another, and because they were such a good match, it never felt like the WWF was weakened.

 

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels: each other. The Montreal Screwjob is a defining moment for all involved, and it's linked them forever. They had the parallel rise from tag team guys to "fuck you, steroid trial, look who my champion is" main eventers. From Survivor Series 1992 to Survivor Series 1997, they were the boys. 

 

CM Punk: John Cena. Punk's big run was all about not being the company man, man. And for that to work, he needed John Cena. Cracking matches and absolutely character-establishing.

 

Edge: John Cena. He elevated Edge and played off him so well. Like the Punk thing, Cena was the squeaky-clean hero that was needed to make the Rated R Superstar a big deal. Such fantastic chemistry.

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While Edge is one of Cena's greatest opponents, Punk is the defining opponent. Edge was one of the few blokes who managed to get boos against Cena which doesn't reflect his career. Punk and Cena was just perfect for identifying both men and the matches were top notch.

 

AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels have been defining opponents and it's a shame they'll probably never have a match in WWE where Styles has done his best work

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Batista-Orton

Did they ever have a singles match?
Raw after Mania 21
Armageddon 2008
Extreme Rules 09 short and very sweet cage match.

Batista win them all?


I'd say after his long fued with Orton, Christian looked like a solid WWE main eventer in 2011. Loved their matches

 

Interesting, I always associate the two of them. Maybe it is just because of Evolution? 

 

A few more and some less WWE centric ones:

 

Tommy Dreamer/Raven

Taz/Sabu

RVD/Jerry Lynn

Tanahashi/Okada

Guerrero/Malenko (you could argue Rey Mysterio too)

Jeff and Matt Hardy/Edge and Christian

Edited by boytoy
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