List This! Greatest Match-ups That Haven’t Happened

The eras of their ways

Hulk Hogan vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. John Cena in a Triple Threat bout? This isn’t just a dream match — it’s the dream match and the No. 1 entry on "List This!: Greatest Match-ups That Haven’t Happened."

More so than any other Superstars, these three competitors defined their distinct eras in WWE history. For Hogan, it was the company’s first boom period in the early ’80s. An icon from the start, The Hulkster had the charisma of Gorgeous George, the same out-of-this-world physique that made Jim Londos a star, the unflinching honor of Jack Brisco and the carnival strength of Bruno Sammartino. But Hogan also fit perfectly into the wild excesses of 1980’s America — he was a rock star with his own Saturday morning cartoon, greedy at a time when greed was good, patriotic to the point of parody. He stopped terrorists with a leg drop and slammed giants. The man was a myth. It’s no wonder he was still selling out arenas two decades after he won his first WWE Championship.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin became the biggest attraction in WWE history by being the exact opposite of The Hulkster in almost every way. For each chewable vitamin Hogan munched on, Austin chugged a beer. For every thumbs up Hogan flashed, Stone Cold flipped a middle finger. The red and yellow? Forget it. There was no color scheme with The Rattlesnake — it was all black everything. This no-nonsense approach was the result of an arduous journey from the depths of WCW to the top of WWE — a bitter struggle that he carried with him wherever he went. The Texan fought for his spot and he was prepared to whip any man who tried to take it from him. Hulkamania may have been larger than life, but Austin was as real as it gets. He drank hard, he talked hard and he hit hard. And he didn’t apologize for any of it.

John Cena embodies the best of both men. Every bit as superhuman as Hogan, Cena also has the same blue-collar appeal as Austin — it’s no coincidence that both are most comfortable in t-shirts and jean shorts. But where Austin was crass, Cena is sarcastic. And the “Legendary” star is far more self-deprecating than Hulk’s ego would ever allow him to be. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s a pushover. Hogan may have dropped Andre, but Cena conquered Batista, Orton, Triple H and HBK — just to name a few. He’s also quicker and more agile than his opponents ever were.

As for the match? It’s an obvious main event, but that won’t intimidate any of these guys. Hogan headlined seven WrestleManias, Austin three and Cena’s at two and counting. They’ve held 19 WWE Championships between them, been both booed and cheered and returned from injuries they should have never come back from. Simply put, there is no mental game here — these three have all been through too much to fall for that. And don’t look for wristlocks. Hogan, Austin and Cena all like to brawl and they do it well. This is strictly a battle of attrition.

So what wins out? The Stunner? The Leg Drop? The Attitude Adjustment? Click here to find out.