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An Opening Match Card


tiger_rick
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Here's a little challenge due to my great love for opening matches. Put together an entire card made up of only opening matches. Up to you on the format but with the usual caveats of only using a wrestler and a title once.

My golf-themed show is just called "The Open". It's an outdoor setup on the 18th Green with a nice nice water hazard so we can recreate spots from WCW Spring Break Nitros. Schiavone and Ventura are on commentary and introduce the show wearing phenomonal golf gear. Barry Darsow is in the dark match against Johnny Polo who is obviously the heel. Fucker doesn't even have the right shaped club.

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Haku & Barbarian vs. The Rockers (WM 7) - One of the most under-rated matches I can think of. I love this so much. It's just a beautiful style clash that works so well.

Rey Misterio vs. Psichosis (BATB 96) - There are a bundle of WCW cruiserweight matches worthy of including but I'm going for this one. A mind blower. I was so tempted to go with Rey vs. Kurt from SummerSlam 2002 but I've decided to split them. May be a mistake.

Goldberg vs. Perry Saturn (Spring Stampede 98) - Goldberg running through the flock is as fun as wrestling gets. I loved this the first time i saw it and it's still great. Goldberg is incredible for the first half of 98.

Tazz vs. Kurt Angle (Rumble 2000) - A fun squash with an incredible crowd reaction. I couldn't not include this.

D-Bry vs. Triple H (WM 30) - As good as almost anything there's ever been at Mania. It's right up there in the best matches and I often forget about it because my memory for anything after 2000 is shocking.

Main Event: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WM 10) - Picking a main event from opening matches isn't impossible given WWE's 2 world title phase and the odd TV show with a red hot start but its challenging. I decided not to go with a title match and to go with what i still consider the best opening match ever. This is incredible.

Six matches. Two very long. Hundreds to choose from. Look forward to seeing the cards!

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Awesome idea...right on this one.

*Hikari Fukuoka & Plum Mariko defeat Kaoru Ito & Sakie Hasegawa (Dream Slam I) - Something different out the gate, but this is a lot of fun with some great action

*Juventud Guerrera Vs. Blitzkreig (Spring Stampede 99) - Show picks up a notch with an awesome aerial display...

*Hart Foundation Vs. Brain Busters (Summerslam 1989) - Got to get some Foundation, Arn and Tully in here.

*Jannetty/Hakushi/Horowitz/Holly Vs. Skip/1-2-3 Kid/Rad Radford/Tom Pritchard (Survivor Series 1995) - An underrated blast of a match. 

*The Rockers Vs. The Orient Express (Royal Rumble 91) - A better tag than the Foundation one, with the faces going over this time.

*Rey Mysterio Vs. Kurt Angle (Summerslam 2002) - Picks up some star power, lovely quick blast of a match to keep the show moving.

*NXT Ladder Match NA Title - EC3 Vs. Velveteen Dream Vs. Adam Cole Vs. Ricochet Vs. Killian Dain Vs. Lars Sullivan (Takeover New Orleans) - Blow them away with the crazy ladder stuff.

*Eddie Guerrero Vs. Chris Benoit (Vengeance 2003) - A forgotten little gem this. Goes a while so time to slow the pace before it picks back up with some lovely near falls at the end.

*Daniel Bryan Vs. Triple H (Mania 30) - Bret Vs. Owen is a better match, but this has the happy ending that befits a main event closer, plus I'd used Bret for my Arn/Tully fix.

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10 minutes ago, Liam O'Rourke said:

*Juventud Guerrera Vs. Blitzkreig (Spring Stampede 99) - Show picks up a notch with an awesome aerial display...

If I'd gone with Rey & Kurt, I'd have used this. It's a great spotfest. Shame nothing came of Blitzkreig.

10 minutes ago, Liam O'Rourke said:

*Jannetty/Hakushi/Horowitz/Holly Vs. Skip/1-2-3 Kid/Rad Radford/Tom Pritchard (Survivor Series 1995) - An underrated blast of a match. 

*The Rockers Vs. The Orient Express (Royal Rumble 91) - A better tag than the Foundation one, with the faces going over this time.

I'll let you spot who you've used twice. I love the Rockers/Orients match. But the more I see the WM7 opener, the more I prefer it. I think it's the dynamic of the big bully heels. Both superb though.

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Fantastic idea, here we go:

Alex Wright Vs Brian Pillman - (GAB 95) - Really solid back and forth opener that damn near goes 20 mins. Really good showcase of both guys.

The Rockers Vs Haku/Barbarian - (Mania 7) - Often referred to as the best Mania opener, that top rope clothesline from Barb is gorgeous!

Tazz Vs Kurt Angle - (Rumble 2000) - The debut of Tazz in MSG, he never looked this good again. Cool as fuck, banging entrance, red hot crowd, fantastic.

Bubba/Spike/Jeff Hardy Vs 3MW/ Rico- (SS 2002) - Good tables match off one of, if not my favourite card from top to bottom with a fairly emotional reuniting of Bubba and D-Von.

Lance Storm Vs Jerry Lynn - (Anarchy Rulz 99) - My first proper introduction to ECW and what a match, plus Dawn Marie!

Bret Vs Owen - (Mania 10) - What can really be said about this that hasnt already been said? 

Daniel Bryan Vs HHH - (Mania 30) - Really well worked match from two guys who I think, had never wrestled one on one before, what a fantastic story it tells for the rest of that show, although i suppose would be out of context on this fictional card.

 

*Considered swapping out the Mania 7 match for The Rockers Vs Power & Glory at SS 90, the first WWF show i saw not in retrospect. Shawns selling of the knee is fantastic, Jannettys valiant come back is brilliant but the superplex/ splash combo (powerplex?) is just beautiful. How no tag team to this day has copied it baffles me.

Apologies Rick, didnt mean to take 2/3rds of your card but they really are my favourites.

Edited by rollthedice
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1 hour ago, Liam O'Rourke said:

Awesome idea...right on this one.

*Juventud Guerrera Vs. Blitzkreig (Spring Stampede 99) - Show picks up a notch with an awesome aerial display...

*Rey Mysterio Vs. Kurt Angle (Summerslam 2002) - Picks up some star power, lovely quick blast of a match to keep the show moving.

*NXT Ladder Match NA Title - EC3 Vs. Velveteen Dream Vs. Adam Cole Vs. Ricochet Vs. Killian Dain Vs. Lars Sullivan (Takeover New Orleans) - Blow them away with the crazy ladder stuff.

*Eddie Guerrero Vs. Chris Benoit (Vengeance 2003) - A forgotten little gem this. Goes a while so time to slow the pace before it picks back up with some lovely near falls at the end.

*Daniel Bryan Vs. Triple H (Mania 30) - Bret Vs. Owen is a better match, but this has the happy ending that befits a main event closer, plus I'd used Bret for my Arn/Tully fix.

I tried drafting my own card but it's hard without using these five matches as they're all personal favourites of mine. In fact, if I had to create a top 50 shows list, all those shows would be in there. Great stuff, Liam.

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Bushwackers and Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs The Nasty Boyz and The Mountie (Summerslam 1992). This seems to be missing on the network and Tagged Classic version but it's the opener on my VHS copy so I'm counting it. I bloody love this match. Hot crowd, everybody is over, classic heel work from Mountie, Nastys and Jimmy Hart. Great fun.

Taz vs Kurt Angle (Royal Rumble 2000). Everyone is going to use this one aren't they? What a brilliant way to debut somebody and to have your douchebag heel keep his heat whining about the illegal choke at the end.

Val Venis vs D-Lo Brown (Summerslam 1998). Not watched this one in years but it always stuck in my memory as a great, fast paced match. Two guys trying their hardest to get over and make it difficult for those following.

Bret vs Owen (Wrestlemania 10). Absolute perfection.

Lesnar vs Rollins (Wrestlemania 35). The only opportunity to get Lesnar on the card. It's a fairly formulaic match but it's got a nice ending to send the fans home happy on. If it went on last. Which it didn't.

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2 hours ago, tiger_rick said:

If I'd gone with Rey & Kurt, I'd have used this. It's a great spotfest. Shame nothing came of Blitzkreig.

I'll let you spot who you've used twice. I love the Rockers/Orients match. But the more I see the WM7 opener, the more I prefer it. I think it's the dynamic of the big bully heels. Both superb though.

Dammit Marty!

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Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio (Summerslam 2002)- It messes with so many other great openers I could throw both Kurt and Rey into, but I love this so much, it might be my favourite opening match of all time. Rey pops the crowd with his (highly unique to WWE at the time) offense, Kurt sells like a trooper, and then gets intense to get the clean and credible victory, while Rey still looks really strong in defeat. Also want to work our way up to the big gimmick matches, so I'm restraining myself by not putting a ladder spotfest in this place on the card.

Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm (ECW One Night Stand 2005) - A really crisp, well wrestled technical match, which has history, significance and some good old fashioned heel shenanigans to cap things off. Making the crowd wait a little for those big babyface victories, and you'll see why with my final choices.

Hardyz & Lita vs. T&A and Trish Stratus (Fully Loaded 2000)- Wanted to include Trish and Lita, and didn't love their opening tag match at Evolution, so here's some good old fashioned Attitude Era intergender fun. Complete with Trish at her peak hotness IMO. And a win for the good guys here.

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WWE Tag Team Championship- The Usos vs. New Day- Hell In A Cell (Hell In A Cell 2017)- The stakes get raised with the big time Cell match, and modern tag wrestling is represented well in this war. One of the better Cell matches of the last decade or so, honestly.

The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show (Wrestlemania 29)- Instead of taking a breather, we use The Shield to keep the crowd invested. Plus Randy spamming his RKOs Outta Nowhere. It's a good time.

NXT North American Championship Ladder Match- Adam Cole vs. EC3 vs. Ricochet vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan (NXT Takeover NOLA)- Ladder craziness. Every big card needs it.

WWE Women's Championship- Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (Royal Rumble 2019)- About as well as women have ever been represented in the opening match of a PPV. They opened a lot in the Trish days, but never to this level. And whenever matches are of this level, they're usually main event or at least higher on the card than the opener.

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H (Wrestlemania 30)- An opening match that could have main evented Mania. I prefer it a lot to the triple threat where Bryan actually got the belts.

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I'll preface this with:

1) I don't have the Network

2) My memory is weak

3) I scanned Wikipedia for PPV cards and picked matches based on nothing at all

4) Bring a cushion/pillow, this is gonna be a long one

Opener for the Opener...something flashy, to grab attention. Let's go with Pillman vs Liger from Superbrawl 2

For no reason at all, in ring promo from Lawler leading to Tazz vs Lawler from ONS 2006.

Because I would feel unpatriotic without adding it - Legion of Doom with Paul vs Money Inc. (IRS and DiBiase with Jimmy) from Summerslam '92

Since we've flown to Wembley, let's have the greatest WCW TV Champ ever, Lord Steven Regal defending vs Johnny B Badd from Fall Brawl '94

Following that, back Stateside for The Brain Busters (Arn and Tully) vs The British Bulldogs from Summerslam '89

We need a break, so let's have Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat (with Miss Elizabeth) vs Dangerous Danny Davis, Harley Race, Hercules, The Honky Tonk Man and Ron Bass (with Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart) from Survivor Series '87

Right, got your raffle tickets sorted, drained the lizard and mortgaged yourself for 8 x 10"s? Good.

Straight in with Super Crazy vs Tajiri from Living Dangerously '99

Continuing the theme, a visit to Collision in [North] Korea with Wild Pegasus (*ahem*) vs 2 Cold Scorpio

Jeff Hardy vs Umaga Falls Count Anywhere from ONS '08

The Rockers vs The Orient Express  from Rumble '91 starts the ramp to the big ones.

First of the TRIPLE Main Events...

Eddie Guerrero vs Dean Malenko from Starrcade '97

Kevin Steen vs El Generico from ROH Death Before Dishonor VIII

 

AND YOUR MAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING

HART VS HART

BROTHER VS BROTHER

OWEN VS BRET from Mania 10.

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1) Bret Hart vs Owen Hart - Wrestlemania 10

2) Asuka vs Becky Lynch - Royal Rumble 2019 - Women's Championship  

3) Ultimate Warrior, Animal, Hawk and Texas Tornado vs Ax, Crush, Smash and Mr Perfect - Survivor Series 1990 

4) Will Ospreay vs Kota Ibushi - Wrestle Kingdom 13 - NEVER Openweight Championship 

INTERVAL TIME!

5) War Raiders vs Ricochet and Aleister Black - NXT Takeover: New York - NXT Tag Team Championships

6) Kurt Angle vs Rey Mysterio - Summerslam 2002

7) Hardcore Battle Royal - Wrestlemania 2000

8) John Cena vs AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose - No Mercy 2016 - WWE Championship

9) Daniel Bryan vs Triple H - Wrestlemania 30

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