So many fights, so many hall of fame matches, have led us to this: The FINAL FOUR to determine who is the greatest WWE World Champion of All Time!!!
There was such an even balance going into the elite 8 of eras and seeds, but things narrowed considerably going to the final 4.
We’re left with the two luminaries of the Attitude Era (The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin), plus the man who’s departure from WWE is the beginning of the Attitude Era to some (Bret Hart), and finally the man who’s Attitude-era type persona helped WWE transition from the PG Era to the Reality Era (CM Punk).
The potential for some big WrestleMania Main Event rematches (and one that never happened but maybe should have) is enough to get me excited for the finals! Speaking of which…
Scroll below to see the results of the Elite 8, and to vote on the Final Four
(Voting is from April 14th – April 18th)
VOTE AND GET A CHANCE TO WIN A $50 PRO WRESTLING TEES GIFT CARD
That’s right! Vote along, and sign up at the bottom of the page to be eligible to win the gift card. We will announce the winner on the podcast !
ELITE 8 RESULTS
What happened to all the #1 seeds!? They were all accounted for going into the Sweet 16, but in two short rounds they’ve made way for the rest of the field.
To finish off the Big Gold Belt Region, Bret Hart got vengeance for the Montreal Screwjob by defeating Shawn Michaels by a 10% margin. In the Winged Eagle Region, Hulk Hogan’s nostalgia act finally ran out, as he was walloped by The Rock, who posted a staggering 77% of the votes. Not to be outdone was Stone Cold Steve Austin, who shockingly turned his hotly anticipated match against John Cena for the Spinner Belt Region title into a squash match reminiscent of Cena’s loss to Lesnar at SummerSlam 2014. Speaking of Lesnar, in what I’m sure will be a shocking development to our most Kayfabe-abiding voters, he took the L against C.M. Punk. I personally thought Punk would have a hard time in an internet vote about WWE-Specific titles due to his acrimonious exit and place in AEW, but I was wrong. Punk is looking to again win the title and blow a kiss to Vince as he leaves.
FINAL FOUR MATCHES
#3 BRET HART vs. #2 THE ROCK
These are two guys who love each other in real life. Bret Hart was on his way out of the business as The Rock was coming in, and while it might be hard to think of The Rock as taking the baton from Bret due to their different strengths and levels of natural charisma, I’ll argue they have much more in common than people might realize. They are the two people who most up until that time in pro wrestling understood the pressure of continuing the legacy of a historic pro wrestling family as TV became a more regular and important factor. There was less room for error for these two, who are known for their perfection and ability to connect with a crowd.
Bret could cut a good promo when pushed, and The Rock is no slouch in the ring, but I think it’s safe to say that how you vote comes down to the what you find the single most important aspect of a World Champion; Are they the best wrestler in the ring or the most undeniable charismatic force on the roster?
#4 C.M. PUNK vs. #2 STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
The dream match that never was. During his peak in WWE, C.M. Punk got a lot of comparisons in the media to Stone Cold Steve Austin. That might get a confused face reaction when you first think of it, considering one of these guys doesn’t drink any alcohol and the other basically drank a case of beer by himself a few weeks ago at WrestleMania. But both were long-time respected hands who let their real frustrations burst out into their characters, launching red hot careers in the main event scene as the result of the two most quoted promos of all time. Austin had his 3:16 at King of The Ring, and Punk had his Pipebomb that led to his 5 Star match with Cena at Money in the Bank.
Even though he was long retired at the time, it felt like a missed opportunity to never have a program between the two during Punk’s 434 day title reign. The closest we got was this tense backstage promo, where it seems that the performers buckled under the weight of the moment, with a few stutters here, and interrupted lines there. Stone Cold seems like he doesn’t know what to do with that Keystone Light in his hands. But right now, we’re going to get to the bottom of this. There can only be one Anti-Hero Babyface to go up against a squeaky clean posterboy in the finals. Who’s it gonna be? Austin or Punk?
Now that you’ve voted, make sure to fill out the box below and click the button to gain entry into the $50 Pro Wrestling Tees Gift Card giveaway!
Only one entry per voter, per round of voting!