The LOP Wrestlemania Era Fantasy Draft (Rounds 1-10)

Can you imagine an intense and volatile Randy Savage around Wrestlemania V being added to Chris Jericho’s list of stupid idiots? How about Ric Flair slapping the figure 4 on Andre the Giant? How intense would a prime Dean Ambrose/Mic Foley feud be? What about Roman Reigns “selling out” to the Million Dollar Man?

Imagine no more.

For the last three weeks, myself and 12 other competitors have been making dream rosters in a Wrestlemania era fantasy draft that is starting a lot of conversations and debate.

Here are the rules of said draft…

  • 20 rounds (a total of 260 picks) and 13 competitors
  • This draft is for male wrestlers only who competed in at least one Wrestlemania (1985-present)
  • Those that competed in at least 1 Wrestlemania can be judged on the merits of their entire career, not just their WWE run.  This obviously helps some of the NWA/WCW drafts like Sting, Luger, DDP, Flair, and others who had success outside the confines of the WWE
  • You may draft tag teams or managers (as long as they competed at Wrestlemania) but understand you’re doing so under the impression they can only be used as a singles wrestler and not in another capacity.

The idea of having managers was brought up, but I felt the gap between talent might give those picking at the top of the draft an unfair advantage, so we kept it to wrestlers only.  So far we have completed 10 rounds of the draft and wanted to present to YOU the reader our teams and the overall banter that comes with blending eras.

MEET THE COMPETITORS

Rich Latta:  Host of the One Nation Radio podcast, main page writer for lordsofpain, rapper and producer. Latta is known for his short but always on point columns that are always culturally relevant and always ignite a good conversation. Latta is highly talented cat and LOP is very lucky to have him.

Chad “The Doc” Matthews:  The Doc is a physician, main page writer for lordsofpain, host of The Doc Says podcast, and author of the recently released book, The greatest matches and rivalries of the Wrestlemania era. In my opinion, Doc is the best pure writer on lordsofpain by a comfortable mile and his knack for contextualizing wrestling is second to none.

SirSam: Sam is a main page writer for lordsofpain who spent a small portion of 2017 writing in the column forums before his very quick promotion. Sam is a 2-time columnist of the month there and damn near would’ve won three in a row if I hadn’t stopped him.  Aside from his knack for finding the stories within the story, he’s currently reliving the Yes Movement in his column series, Yes re-lived

Samuel Plan: ‘Plan is a main page writer for lordsofpain, co-host of The Right Side of the Pond, and the author of the book 101 matches to see before you die.  There’s almost nobody better at breaking down matches than the “Sam with the plan” and his passion for wrestling is nearly unmatched!

Matt M.: Matt has delved into a few column writing ventures in the column forums section, but can mostly be found in friendly twitter banter with other wrestling fans.  Matt claims to be the biggest Shawn Michaels fan, even bigger than yours truly.

Marc Asnes: Marc is a member of the comments section on lordsofpain who emailed me to partake in this in hopes of out shining everyone. Little is known about Marc at this point other than his blatant hatred for all things Roman Reigns.  Rumor has it he even hit the angry button on Facebook at an adorable picture of Roman with his daughter.

Josh Harvoth:  Josh is a friend of my sisters who is now a friend of mine because he likes wrestling and so do I.  The Indiana native has never missed a pay-per-view in his life and is a bigger Ric Flair fan than anyone, despite the fact he didn’t pick him in the draft.  Josh has met every WWE superstar imaginable and has the pictures to prove it.

Type: I am a native Michigander, husband, sports nut, father of 4, and one time state runner up in a really important high school spelling bee. I began writing in the column forums in 2017 before a 2018 promotion to write for the lordsofpain main page.. I am a one time columnist of the month. You’ll often find many pop culture references in my columns because I am a one trick pony.

MizFan: Mizfan is a fellow Michigander like myself, an 11-time columnist of the month in the column forums, and currently writing on the life and times of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in the column forums. If you haven’t checked out his work, you are missing out. MizFan is not only is talented himself, but is a huge reason many of the writers you see posting columns are there in the first place. He is a key component in moving the LOP machine forward.

Deathxstroke: Darion Williams is a main page poster in the comments section who is trying his hand at this draft thing after inquiring before it started.

Dynamite Billington:  Recently dubbed the “Xavier Woods of the column forums,” Dyno is known for his few columns but, even more importantly, his ability to spark a debate or keep one going.  You will find him on any venue LOP has to offer always giving sound advice and putting in his 2 cents.  He truly is the heart and soul of the CF with a passion for wrestling.

LWO4Life: LWO can be seen all over the lordsofpain column forums in just about every thread spreading his vast knowledge of wrestling. Throughout the draft, he’s been able to give a lot of good insight to the competitors and has a lot of knowledge of old school wrestlers- knowledge that could help him gain a competitive advantage in this draft!

AquaRoman: Aqua is an avid wrestling fan and web host of justbringtheraw.com. He’s a great follow on twitter @libsuperstar. 

 

COMMENTS SECTION.. ROAST US OR PRAISE US

The comments section of Lords of Pain will play a pivotal role in declaring the winner.  After round 20, we will let YOU vote on who you think had the best draft.  I wanted to give you the first half of our drafts so you can tell us where we stand, who needs to improve, and who’s doing awesome.  Don’t hesitate to give us your opinions on why we’re wrong and why you’re right.

2018 LORDS OF PAIN FANTASY DRAFT RESULTS (ROUNDS 1-10)

ROUND 1

1. Mark Asnes selects STONE COLD
2. Dynamite Billington selects THE UNDERTAKER
3. LWO4LIFE selects RANDY SAVAGE
4. Josh Harvoth selects JOHN CENA
5. The Doc selects HHH
6. MizFan selects RIC FLAIR
7. Matt M. selects SHAWN MICHAELS
8. Aqua Roman selects THE ROCK
9. TypeItInMaan selects BRET HART
10. DeathXStroke selects BROCK LESNAR
11. SirSam selects SETH ROLLINS (Traded to PLAN)
12. Rich Latta selects DANIEL BRYAN
13. Samuel Plan- DEAN AMBROSE (Traded To Sam)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doc:  Ambrose was questionable depending on how we’re supposed to be thinking of putting together these rosters. If it is based on accomplishments primarily, Ambrose was drafted well ahead of his actual resume.

Josh Harvoth: Way high! I don’t get this at all. Sure, you can say he’s a former champion but he hasn’t accomplished all that much, is a career mid carder, and hasn’t really been over with the fans long term.

Latta: WWE has turned Ambrose into a guy that can work the main event rather than he IS the main event.  How much of that is on him, I’m not sure. He was probably better served in round 2.  They damaged him forever by not going with him faster. He was ready a year before they gave him a shot, but Wrestlemania 32 was on reserve for Roman.

Type: Ambrose is not a round 1 player. Round 1 essentially should have been guys with a track record of carrying a company on their back. Round 2 is essentially the little brothers to the elite, guys who had the ability to carry the company if need be but weren’t quite on the Mt. Rushmore level. Maybe it’s just the eye test, but I can’t justify Ambrose as a 1st OR 2nd rounder in this draft.  Kurt Angle, CM Punk, Sting, Ultimate Warrior, Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan, and Foley all went in ROUND TWO and I don’t think Ambrose touches them from a drawing standpoint.

Plan: I call foul on this talk of his resume not being up to scratch. On paper, it’s among the best of his generation- WWE champion, Mr. Money In the Bank, 2016 Royal Rumble runner up, multiple time Intercontinental champion and a driving force behind its resurgence. He’s also a former tag team champion, one of the longest reigning US champs of all time, one third of a group that has changed the course of history, and major matches to his name against guys like HHH, Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar.  Not to mention he’s been involved in a handful of all-time great matches against the likes of the Game and AJ Styles.

Sam: I will obviously join Plan in the defense of Dean Ambrose as well. He is one of the most complete and well defined characters in the company’s history and is as versatile as they come in the ring. I would point to his creative output as his true strength.  Alongside Seth, he has been one side of the greatest (or at least the most creative) stories in the company’s history. Their characters have grown and developed over four years, only halted by injuries.  His rivalries with Miz and KO have been two of the biggest ongoing rivalries to contribute to the restoration of the IC title.

MizFan: Ambrose also has the advantage of potential. We can’t judge everything he could do, so his ceiling could be even higher than we see it is now. As far as looking good on paper, that could be a factor to some.  Undoubtedly, Ambrose would have drawn more in the late 90’s.  I assuming we’re hiring these people on peak potential, so you could get Ambrose when he was white hot in WWE, or when he was turning out Foley level promos at the start of the decade. He wouldn’t be in my first round, but I don’t think it’s that wild.

LWO4Life:  Ambrose is the biggest surprise of the 1st round. Yes, he’s a complete player but his reign wasn’t memorable and he just didn’t seem like the larger-than-life wrestler you want leading your roster. It’s not that much of a surprise, however. The people voting for this don’t care about Bruno Sammartino and his 4,000 days as champion, or Hulk Hogan.  They care about about their “dream” matches with workers they like- it’s why I went with Savage as my first pick.  I wasn’t going to touch someone like the Rock because most people associate him as a Hollywood actor who cuts good promos. Back to Ambrose, I think he’s a top 20 player still.

Mark Asnes: Ambrose bores me in the ring. He sells well, but his offense isn’t close to someone like Rollins.  Bryan and Styles are both on a level Ambrose can only dream of.  Dean is very very good, he’s just not exciting.  He needs to be with someone who will make his matches watchable like a Shawn Michaels or a Bret Hart.

ROUND 2

14. Samuel Plan – CM PUNK
15. Rich Latta- ROMAN REIGNS
16. Sir Sam- MIC FOLEY
17. DeathXStroke-AJ STYLES
18. TypeItInMaan- STING
19. AquaRoman- ULTIMATE WARRIOR
20. MattM- KURT ANGLE
21. MizFan- ANDRE THE GIANT
22. Doc.-HULK HOGAN
23. Josh-BRUNO SAMMARTINO 
24. LWO-CHRIS JERICHO
25. Dynamite Billington-EDGE
26. Mark Asnes- ROWDY RODDY PIPER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latta: Nothing excites me about Hulk Hogan when putting together a roster in this format. Coupled with his levels of deep racism that is super fresh, I figured voters would see the name and say “hell no.” I didn’t want him and I figured there was enough talent to give me what he did: mania main events and babyface charisma. Check the roster!!

Samuel Plan: There’s no denying Hogan is a huge addition to any roster. He’s also a source of disaster. The racism is one thing- and which, it must be remembered, is as much an issue of personality and locker room culture as it is PR, and cannot be tolerated.  There’s also the close relation his name has with politics, toxic self-aggrandizing behavior and sometimes disastrous influence. He is such a source of negativity on multiple levels that he isn’t worth the spot, and his talent doesn’t even outweigh his downside. Plus, frankly, he couldn’t keep up with my guys!

SirSam: When you make your first pick, you set the tone for your roster. The first guy you pick is your in-ring leader and captain, the guy that shows what it means to wrestle in your promotion. Hulk Hogan is such a dominant figure and such a strong personality that when you choose him, you are creating a Hulk Hogan promotion. I don’t think any of us dream of creating a Hulk Hogan roster, despite what he’s done for wrestling. He certainly would not have fit in my world.

Doc: Bluntly, he slipped out of the first round because of things that have nothing to do with his accomplishments.

AquaRoman: He probably would have been a first round pick save for those issues.

Josh Harvoth: The variety of options in the seedy didn’t make him as coveted as say, if this draft took place in 1997.

LWO4Life:  He was my first round pick last time I did a draft like this pre-incident and I didn’t receive any votes. No one seemed interested in a Bruno/Hogan match.  Now you add in his racial comments that I personally found inexcusable and the fact he’s really not that popular, and I figured I’d avoid him. I’m focused on wrestlers who can play multiple roles and create matches that the “IWC” fans want to see. Big names can have the opposite effect on voters.  Hogan was my hero growing up but now looking at him and his true self, he can kick rocks.

MizFan: If the criteria was most charismatic, most recognizable, best draw, then Hogan would be an obvious pick. The racist comments might have impacted him anyway, but in this case the criteria is who looks good on paper. The fact is most “IWC” fans (a term I dislike but use to be understood) dislike Hogan even apart from his personal character. They dislike his matches, his cheesiness, and his formula. So, if I were running my roster like a business he might be an obvious pick, depending on the time and the place.  To impress people on the internet? Hogan isn’t going to be top tier.

Type: This might not be a sexy answer, but only Hulk Hogan knows if he’s truly sorry about the racist comments. We can speculate or we can take him at face value, and we still don’t know.  I personally think he’s not sorry and taking emotion completely out of it and viewing him exclusively in a wrestling prism, I think we’ve overrated him to a point of now being underrated.  I think you look at what Doc was able to do with his first 2 picks, getting both HHH and Hogan, and that looks like an intriguing match up with both in their prime. Imagining the ruthlessness of HHH going against babyface Hulkamania is an interesting prospect, one I think could win Doc this draft to be honest.  Taking Hulk is “best for business” but maybe it’s not best for setting up a dream roster.

Dynamite Billington: For the most part, I don’t believe this has anything to do with the various controversies surrounding him (although certain individuals may have considered it). The thing is, despite Hogan being undeniably the biggest star of his era, when looking at the overall strength of a roster his presence potentially weakens the rest of the roster. We talk about today’s glass ceiling a lot – Hogan presented an even bigger more impenetrable ceiling. When creating the perfect roster, the presence of any kind of glass ceiling needs to be avoided.

ROUND 3

27. Mark Asnes- BATISTA
28. Dynamite Billington- VADER
29. LWO4Life- EDDIE GUERRERO
30. Josh Horvath- KANE
31. Doc-RAZOR RAMON
32. MizFan- GOLDBERG
33. Matt M-REY MYSTERIO
34. AquaRoman – TED DIBIASE
35. Type-OWEN HART 
36. DeathXStroke-RANDY ORTON
37. SirSam- TERRY FUNK
38. Rich Latta- DUSTY RHODES
39.Samuel Plan- DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE

ROUND 4

40. SamuelPlan-UMAGA
41. Rich Latta-CHRIS BENOIT
42. SirSam-BRAUN STROWMAN
43. DeathXStroke-SCOTT STEINER
44. Type-RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT
45. Aquaroman-BOB BACKLUND
46. Matt M.-ARN ANDERSON
47. MizFan- MR. PERFECT
48. Doc-LEX LUGER
49. Josh Harvoth-JEFF HARDY
50. LWO4Life- JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS
51. Dynamite Billington-HARLEY RACE
52. Mark Asnes- KEVIN NASH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Not beloved at all for how he ended he and his families lives. There’s a larger discussion to be had about CTE if people can dig an inch deeper than the surface. A true enigma, and taboo selection since I’ve made my disdain for some other wrestlers known. Had this draft been held in 2008 I wouldn’t have touched him with a 10 foot pole. However, when looking at the talent available at the round he was there, combined with the role CTE played and everything I know about it, I was fine taking Benoit.”– Rich Latta on his selection

ROUND 5

53. Mark Asnes- DEAN MALENKO
54- Dynamite Billington- FINN BALOR
55. LWO4Life- IRON SHIEK
56. Josh Harvoth- YOKOZUNA
57. Doc- THE BIG SHOW
58. MizFan- THE MIZ
59. Matt M- BRITISH BULLDOG
60. Aqua Roman-SGT SLAUGHTER 
61. Type-SHINSUKE NAKAMURA 
62. Deathxstroke-GOLDUST
63. SirSam- KEN SHAMROCK
64. Rich Latta- RICK RUDE
65. Samuel Plan- DON MURACO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type: Rick Rude almost going in round 6? I had him as a projected 2nd rounder and was confused why he continued to slip. He’s a fantastic worker, his had excellent programs with the Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts, and others in the WWE and he was a former WCW world champion to boot.  I think he fits into just about every era. I think my fear personally was that the run on active roster members would run dry so I went for guys like Nak and Ziggler. I was shocked that Andre, Warrior, AND Hogan all didn’t get drafted in round 1.  I also thought someone would bite on Mr. Perfect earlier than pick #47 overall.

Josh Harvoth: If you look at it in retrospect, the Hulkamania era didn’t last as long as you thought. They may have been bigger names in public lore but not to hardcore wrestling fans like us.

LWO4Life: Fans have a recent bias. Sadly, Rude isn’t remembered for his WCW world title run, or people would have thought, “he must have been good to be a world champ.”  He wasn’t a top priority for me. Trust me, I grew up in the Hulkamania era, my favorite era, but all anyone unfortunately remembers is Hulk.  Young fans sadly just remember Rude as the guy who appeared on Nitro and RAW the same night.  His best work was pre-nWo WCW where he showed off his in-ring skills.

Samuel Plan: I’ve been chasing a specific method with my roster, building it with a purpose I’m not yet prepared to reveal- that factored majorly in my decision to not draft The Rock and Wrestling chaps. There’s also been an element of the ones I did want disappearing before I drafted them of course.

Doc: We have become a wrestling society that demands critically acclaimed in-ring action and, like it or not, the Hulkamania era did not feature the quality that we have come to expect in more modern times. The original wrestling boom in the WWF was about the characters, and those characters were regularly deployed in what- even by the era’s standards- were “good” but not “great” matches. The booking of those matches lowered the ceiling on what could be achieved bell to bell. The stories told were very simple- effective for what they intended to be as they may have been.

 

ROUND 6

66. Samuel Plan- WILLIAM REGAL
67. Rich Latta- BOOKER T
68. Sir Sam- GREG “THE HAMMER” VALENTINE
69. DeathXStroke- ROB VAN DAM
70. Type- DOLPH ZIGGLER
71. Aqua Roman-BAM BAM BIGELOW
72. Matt M- DYNAMITE KID 
73. MizFan-JBL
74. Doc-CHRISTIAN
75. Josh Harvoth-RON SIMMONS 
76. LWO4LIFE-MARK HENRY
77. Dynamite Billington-BRAY WYATT
78. Mark Asnes- JERRY LAWLER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LWO4Life: Surprised he went this early, but that ECW run was one of the best of the 2000’s. I still remember him beating Jericho for 1 Canadian dollar.

The Doc: Really? Christian has one of the best resumes top to bottom of anyone that ever competed at Wrestlemania. Championships galore, a peak of World title fame, nearly 15 year in WWE relevancy. Thought he was a steal.

ROUND 7

79. Mark Asnes- BUBBA RAY DUDLEY
80. Dynamite Billington- HONKY TONK MAN
81. LWO4LIFE- CODY RHODES
82. Josh Harvoth- BIG BOSSMAN
83. The Doc- TULLY BLANCHARD
84. MizFan- CESARO
85. Matt M.- JEFF JARRETT
86. Aqua Roman- PSYCHO SID
87. Type- KING KONG BUNDY
88. DeathXStroke- X-PAC
89- SirSam- NEVILLE
90. Rich Latta- VINCE MCMAHON
91. Samuel Plan- SAVIO VEGA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SirSam: Because my strategy after missing out on the Shield was a little left of center, I wouldn’t say any of my picks were ‘steals’ in the truest sense. However, I do think I was lucky to get Terry Funk in round 3. There are some above me who could’ve well added him to their roster if they wanted a veteran with a big legacy. I also think Mic Foley is a bit of a sleeper. I picked him up pretty early but his versatility, creativity, and role in redefining the Undertaker are massively underrated. He also helped make stars of the Rock and HHH in the attitude era.

Josh Harvoth: Honestly, Jeff Hardy. If you look at all that he has accomplished and how much he’s been over, the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

LWO4Life: Pedro Morales. I got a long time world champion in the 10th round. There are other hidden gems all of this draft if you look outside the WWE bubble.  Even Ultimo Dragon was a steal. I waited on him because I knew I could. Most people only think of the slip at Wrestlemania, but he was the most decorated Crusierweight of all time.  Overall though, getting Pedro Morales in the 10th is what floored me.

The Doc: I was really hoping to get a modern babyface worker in round three or four, but a lot of them went higher than I expected. Christian is definitely my sleeper. I could hypothetically slot him anywhere on my roster against any other star and mold that into something memorable.

Plan: Don Muraco. I was eager to grab the magnificent one because, like LWO mentioned with Morales, Muraco might not be a vote winner but he was an outstanding talent. He had great matches with Morales alone, an iconic feud with Snuka, and cut some inspired promos that wouldn’t be out of place today. The matches Don could have with Rollins, DDP, and Regal would be transcendent I think.

Type: I think there’s 2 steals I had. I thought Matt Hardy was a real find in round 7 for me. The work he did with the ‘broken’ character to make himself an attractive entity to WWE cannot go unnoticed even if said character is not translating quite the same to the ‘E.  Aside from the obvious tag team gold with his brother, his late 2000’s stuff with MVP was excellent as was Matt Hardy V 1.0.  The other big steal was Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff in the 9th. We talk so much about what Hogan did for wrestling, but it was heat magnets like Mr. Wonderful who could rile up sell out crowds that made this wheel churn.  Like the other guys mentioned with their old schoolers, this is another guy who could transcend eras I think.

92. Samuel Plan- CHAD GABLE
93. Rich Latta- SHEAMUS
94. SirSam- SABU
95. DeathXStroke- AUSTIN ARIES
96. Type- MATT HARDY
97. AquaRoman- TITO SANTANA
98. The Doc (pick traded from Matt M)-BARRY WINDHAM
99. MizFan- BOBBY “THE BRAIN” HEENAN
100. Matt M. (pick traded from Doc)- KEVIN OWENS
101. Josh Harvoth- RICK” THE MODEL” MARTEL
102. LWO4Life- TEXAS TORNADO
103. Dynamite Billington- ALBERTO DEL RIO
104. Mark Asnes- BOBBY LASHLEY

ROUND 9

105 Mark Asnes- RUSEV
106. Dynamite Billington- RIKISHI
107. LWO4Life- ULTIMO DRAGON
108. Josh Horvath- MIKE ROTUNDA (IRS)
109. The Doc- RAVEN
110. MizFan- TAJIRI
111. Matt M.- SHELTON BENJAMIN
112. AquaRoman- “BAD NEWS” BROWN
113. Type-“MR WONDERFUL” PAUL ORNDORFF
114. DeathXStroke- DREW MCYNTIRE
115. Sir Sam- MUSTAFA ALI
116. Rich Latta- KOFI KINGSTON
117. Samuel Plan- BOBBY ROODE

ROUND 10

118. Samuel Plan- HIDEO ITAMI
119. Rich Latta- SAMI ZAYN
120. SirSam- WADE BARRETT
121. DeathXStroke- RYBACK
122. Type- EARTHQUAKE
123. AquaRoman- ADRIAN ADONIS
124. Doc (Traded from Matt M.)- JOHN MORRISON
125. MizFan- FINLAY
126. Matt M (Traded from Doc)- CHARLIE HAAS
127. Josh Harvoth- “BAD ASS” BILLY GUNN
128. LWO4Life- PEDRO MORALES
129- Dynamite Billington- “HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN
130.- Mark Asnes- GEORGE “THE ANIMAL” STEELE

WHO’S TEAM IS THE BEST? ALL 13 STATE THEIR CASE 

 

MARK ASNES

  1. Stone Cold
  2. Roddy Piper
  3. Batista
  4. Kevin Nash
  5. Dean Malenko
  6. Jerry Lawler
  7. Bubba Ray Dudley
  8. Bobby Lashley
  9. Rusev
  10. George “The Animal Steel
” I started with Stone Cold Steve Austin, the biggest money maker and ratings machine. I think from top to bottom. My team has consistency, personality, and star power.  My biggest wild card is Bubba Ray. I actually picked him going from his singles TNA run when he was champ”– Mark Asnes

DYNAMITE BILLINGTON

  1.  The Undertaker
  2.  Edge
  3.  Vader
  4.  Harley Race
  5.  Finn Balor
  6.  Bray Wyatt
  7.  Honky Tonk Man
  8.  Alberto Del Rio
  9.  Rikshi
  10.  “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

“To create the greatest possible roster, you have to have the greatest possible superstar. Only one man has won titles in the territories, been a top guy during Hulkamania, a top guy in the new generation era, a top guy in the attitude era, a top guy in the ruthless aggression era, a top guy in the PG era, and a top guy in the reality era. He is recognized as the greatest gimmick of all time. The best roster was always going to be the one that got the Undertaker. Backing him up I’ve got a great range of big guys, small guys, solid workers, and entertaining characters from all eras- all of whom are capable of performing to a high level on the card. Whatever you’re looking for in a roster, I have it all”– Dynamite Billington

LWO4LIFE

  1. Randy Savage
  2.  Chris Jericho
  3.  Eddie Guerrero
  4.  Jake “The Snake” Roberts
  5.  Iron Shiek
  6.  Mark Henry
  7.  Cody Rhodes
  8.  Texas Tornado
  9.  Ultimo Dragon
  10.  Pedro Morales

“Easy, I can honestly say I’m one of only two rosters of just main event players, and my roster has the better workers. I drafted performers who are generally not tied down by labels like heel or face, or high flyer or mat wrestler. Though there are some like Pedro or Sheik, they are there to provide a base to focus feuds rather than be the main event. And both Sheik and Pedro were main event wrestlers themselves, in this roster they are supporting players. Everyone has high wrestling IQ’s and feuds and matches can always work out a number of different ways.”– LWO4Life

JOSH HARVOTH

  1.  John Cena
  2.  Bruno Sammartino
  3.  Kane
  4.  Jeff Hardy
  5.  Yokozuna
  6.  Faarooq
  7.  Big Boss Man
  8.  Rick “The Model” Martel
  9.  Irwin R. Schyster
  10.  “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn

“My goal with this team was star power and longevity.  No Bruno, no WWE. My top two stars transcended their eras and not many (if anyone) in this draft can say that. My third rounder, Kane, is a guy who has had a 2 decade long career himself.  Add guys like Jeff Hardy, who’s positives far outweigh his negatives, and Yokozuna who headlined two Wrestlemania’s, and there aren’t a lot of holes on this team. You could make a strong case that my first 10 rounders are all Hall of Famers even if the WWE hall of fame had a stricter criteria. This team has everything from star power to good workers to nostalgic characters like boss Man and Martel.”

MIZFAN

  1.  Ric Flair
  2.  Andre The Giant
  3.  Goldberg
  4.  Mr. Perfect
  5.  The Miz
  6.  JBL
  7.  Cesaro
  8.  Bobby Heenan
  9.  Tajiri
  10.  Finlay
“Alright, basically you center things around Goldberg chasing Flair as the main attraction, and along the way you have him go through some of the biggest bumping big mouth heat magnets in wrestling history in JBL, Miz, Perfect, and of course Heenan himself, who even without being a manager would be able to cut promos on Goldberg that you wouldn’t be able to believe. Andre can be the special attraction babyface who eventually turns to battle Goldberg, either before or after he finally beats Flair for the top title after a lengthy chase. Then you’ve got some guys who aren’t great on the mic but are awesome in the ring serving as your top midcard babyfaces, like Cesaro, Finlay, and Tajiri, who can capitalize on the heat that the heels will draw and produce A+ stuff in the ring consistently, plus as a side bonus eventually Cesaro can do some unbelievable power stuff on Andre down the line. That’s basically the idea and to me it sounds amazing, so hopefully others dig it!”- MizFan

CHAD “DOC” MATTHEWS

  1.  HHH
  2.  Hulk Hogan
  3.  Scott Hall
  4.  Lex Luger
  5.  The Big Show
  6.  Christian
  7.  Jeff Jarrett
  8.  Barry Windham
  9.  Raven
  10.  John Morrison
In the Bill Simmons epic, The book of basketball, there is a section called “The Wine Cellar,” which picks a team to play a winner-take-all game against alien ballers, with planet earth at stake.  Using a time machine, he picked the best versions of the greatest NBA players of all-time for this hypothetical hardwood war of the worlds and it is to that very concept that I suggest you evaluate our respective rosters here.  If the fate of our planet hinged on our ability to put together an incredible professional wrestling show, whose roster would provide us the best chance at survival?

My first five picks were designed to establish a “wow” factor that no potential audience could deny. Triple H, at his apex, put together the greatest one year heel run of any modern antagonist back in 2000. Peak King of Kings against Hulk Hogan at his apex (think ’87 to ’90) and I have one heck of a main-event, particularly from a character-acting standpoint. Arguably the greatest modern heel against arguably the greatest archetypal babyface. Also on the table for me would be peak Hogan against peak Big Show (’08) or Lex Luger (’88 – ’90) against Triple H. Adding tons of flexibility to my potential line-ups would be Razor Ramon (who was the master utility guy in the New Generation), Christian (who could confidently be moved up and down my roster’s hierarchy), Jeff Jarrett (who, love him or hate him, always succeeded in whatever role he was asked to play), and Barry Windham (perhaps the biggest steal of the draft considering his ’87 to ’93 apex was Top 50 of the ‘Mania Era worthy). Rounding out my roster to date are Raven (a wrestling-creative savant) and John Morrison (who whether you want the JoMo version of 2009-11 or the Mundo version from Lucha Underground would dazzle against a variety of opponents previously mentioned).

I have tons of flexibility with this roster. I could hypothetically take this group on tour and mix and match them like crazy – 1994 Ramon vs. 2011 Christian or 1988 Windham; 2000 HHH vs. 1986 Windham; 2014/15 Mundo vs. any version of Double J or Raven. If forced to take these guys and put on a show for the aliens, hovering above the planet with a giant, Independence Day-like cannon, I’d probably go with Mundo and ’95 Jarrett as my hot opener, ECW Raven vs. NWA impressionable babyface Windham, followed by ’08 Show vs. ’88 Luger, ’94 Razor vs. ’11 heel Christian in my workrate classic for the IC Title, and the aforementioned HHH vs. Hogan as my main-event (see Hogan-Flair Bash at the Beach ’94 just with athletic primes). My guys would those aliens a hell of a show and save the world in the process!

MATT M

  1.  Shawn Michaels
  2.  Kurt Angle
  3.  Rey Mysterio
  4.  Arn Anderson
  5.  British Bulldog
  6.  Dynamite Kidd
  7.  Tully Blanchard
  8.  Kevin Owens
  9.  Shelton Benjamin
  10.  Charlie Haas

“I’m not going to sit here and try to pander to the voters. I left my bias at the door and drafted people and a roster I thought wrestling fans would want to sit down and watch. Be it in ring technicians that can carry a company and be a face or a heel, to drafting influential tag teams that can face off or they can reform a faction or you can have a heel HBK or Angle in the Flair role while you form a mini Horsemen stable with the two people who personify what the Horsemen were truly about in Arn and Tully. You have the person who is by far and away the biggest influence as to the wrestling we have today, be it in WWE, NJPW, wherever, in Dynamite Kid. My roster has something for everyone and that’s the reason I’ve drafted who I have.”-Matt

AQUAROMAN

  1. The Rock
  2. Ultimate Warrior
  3. Ted DiBiase
  4. Bob Backlund
  5. Sgt Slaughter
  6. Bam Bam Bigelow
  7. Psycho Sid
  8. Tito Santana
  9. Bad News Brown
  10. Adrian Adonis

“My team was a good mix of headliners, memorable characters and good hands. The Rock, of course, one of the biggest draws in WWE history and most entertaining. Warrior was another good draw though his peak was short. His character was one of the best ever. Same with DiBiase. Also one of the best heels ever. Could get it done in the ring too.”–Aquaroman.

TYPE

  1. Bret Hart
  2. Sting
  3. Owen Hart
  4. Ricky Steamboat
  5. Shinsuke Nakamura
  6. Dolph Ziggler
  7. King Kong Bundy
  8. Matt Hardy
  9. Paul Orndorff
  10. Earthquake

This roster is centered around one of the most intriguing “what if’s” you’ll find anywhere in this fantasy realm we’re living in:  what if Owen Hart never died? Owen’s chase of a world championship would be similar to that of the “Yes movement” and a re-match with his brother, Bret, would be the apex of what I’d be trying to accomplish. Whether Owen would be face or heel in that feud is contingent upon a few “niche” guys I’d be looking to get in rounds 11-20. I would also re-visit a Sting/Bret Hart match up that would come off a lot smoother with both men in their prime under these circumstances putting on their comparable finishers at the pinnacle of their careers.  While my main event would center around those 3,  I would have a mid card showcased by a Steamboat/Ziggler feud that would feature a series of matches for the Intercontinental championship, and throw Nakamura into that mid card mix as well. The goal is to lead to a 2 out of 3 falls or iron man match with two of my favorite workers of all time.  I also have big guy attractions like Earthquake and King Kong Bundy who can be circled in and out of the main event or used to propel a worker to the top.  I also have colorful guys like Matt Hardy and “Mr wonderful” Paul Orndorff who can form “Delightfully wonderful,” which would blow the deleter of worlds stuff out of the water.  Character, size, good workers, and intriguing stories- this roster will entertain you.  — Type

DEATHXSTROKE

  1. Brock Lesnar
  2. AJ Styles
  3. Randy Orton
  4. Scott Steiner
  5. Goldust
  6. Rob Van Dam
  7. X-Pac
  8. Austin Aries
  9. Drew Mcyntire
  10. Ryback

“Brock Lesnar is the spoiled and sometimes complacent champion and his top chaser, AJ Styles, is the workhorse who can snatch the title away from him. Not many people can say they have a 13-time world champion as their #3 man but I can.  I have additional muscle in Scott Steiner and Ryback, who are my pure strength guys. I also have high flyers like X-Pac an Austin Aries. Goldust might be the wildcard who brings one of the most celebrated gimmicks in wrestling history to the fray.”– Deathxstroke

SIR SAM

  1. Dean Ambrose
  2. Mic Foley
  3. Terry Funk
  4. Braun Strowman
  5. Ken Shamrock
  6. Greg Valentine
  7. Neville
  8. Sabu
  9. Mustafa Ali
  10. Wade Barrett

What do you want from your wrestling promotion? Do you want a bunch of famous names thrown together with little rhyme or reason will be most exciting? Do you just want a bunch of guys who will work their but off in the ring but not really connect with any story or character out of it? Or do you want something different? Remember the first time you watched Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, the first time you saw a dark TV show with strong characters and creative stories that all fit a defined tone? Well when assembling my roster, every choice I have made has been to create a promotion that is will create that sense of unified, provocative storytelling in and out of the ring.

My chosen wrestlers all have strong, defined characters, high levels of creativity and versatility in the ring to create this dark chaotic world where righteous men like the company leader and champion of the people Dean Ambrose, veteran hand of Terry Funk and the heart of the midcard Mustafa Ali fight against the chaos and vengeful violence of Mick Foley, the unpredictable monster among men Braun Strowman, the baddest man on the planet Ken Shamrock or the egotistical Neville.

When you choose who to vote for, what I ask is that you don’t look at the individual wrestlers chosen but instead look at the promotions as a whole because we know from wrestling history that is what matters most. No one has a more defined character for their roster or a more exciting overall tone of chaotic unpredictability and no one has created a roster that would have more exciting can’t miss TV than mine.– Sir Sam

RICH LATTA

  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. Roman Reigns
  3. Dusty Rhodes
  4. Chris Benoit
  5. Rick Rude
  6. Booker T
  7. Vince McMahon
  8. Sheamus
  9. Kofi Kingston
  10. Sami Zayn
“Having the 12th pick, I had to put a premium on value, and if I had to reach for someone I was fine because I couldn’t build my roster by having the choice of everyone. That being said, I’ve got 8 world champions (7 without Vince), two of the 3 best technical wrestlers ever (Bryan, Benoit), 2 of the greatest top babyfaces ever (Bryan, Rhodes) flanked by two of the most incredible midcard faces one of them being the most decorated midcarder of his era (Kofi) and heels that people hated including the biggest and best of them all in Vince McMahon (Reigns a face who people hate can fight any of my faces, Rude, Sheamus can all wrestle and have resumes). Did I mention Booker T won more titles than anyone in WCW? When I talk about what I want from professional wrestling, (great babyfaces, awesome wrestling heels with ability, people we flat out hate, and athletes of all shapes and sizes that are never going to have a bad match) with the exception of Vince, who will have an incredible brawl still, the entire roster can be crossed up and deliver big matches that aren’t gonna suck. Is there a better single match up than Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns in this entire draft? Could you imagine Mr. McMahon exchanging fire with The American Dream Dusty Rhodes?? 1998 versions of Chris Benoit and Booker T? Ravishing Rick Rude swindling his waist at Brie Bella trying to infuriate Daniel Bryan? Benoit vs Zayn for the rights to Canada? Sheamus challenging any of the top stars on here? Kofi Kingston fighting his way through the ranks? This roster can’t be stopped from putting asses in seats, and great matches on in the process. AND THIS ALL HAPPENED WITH THE 12TH PICK.”-Latta

‘PLAN

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. CM Punk
  3. DDP
  4. Umaga
  5. Don Muraco
  6. William Regal
  7. Savio Vega
  8. Chad Gable
  9. Bobby Roode
  10. Hideo Itami

“My roster remains a work in progress. My plan won’t have been fully executed until the draft is over, and I don’t intend to reveal my plan here. What I will say, though, at least for now, is that my roster may not strike you immediately as box office gold but every individual has proven their worth as a star, only to come unstuck largely by WWE’s poor production. A mix of pushes earned never coming to fruition, pushes being unfairly undercut or pushes just being poorly handled, my collection of undervalued gems is a vein of potential that, together, would achieve truly great things. A heady mix of styles combines with the unrivaled versatility of my roster to perform equally as effectively as hero or villain, I think, positions my roster as the one with greatest synergy and room to overachieve. But this is only half the story. Stay tuned if you want me to REALLY convince you.”- plan

  • TYPE IT BACK FAAAAAAAAAANS: Who has the best roster so far? Who has the worst? What were your favorite and least favorite draft picks? 

Keep in mind, we have 10 rounds to change your opinion and this will go to an OFFICIAL vote as soon as the final column is posted after round 20! Our competitors will be bringing you their Wrestlemania card with their final rosters to try and sell you! We’ve had a lot of fun doing this but have only had our own opinions to bounce off of so far, so please don’t hesitate to let us know where we stand! If you wanna follow every pick of the draft as it happens, follow me on twitter @BadNewsBeauLOP or visit the columns section at lordsofpain.tv under the WWE thread as every pick is posted LIVE as it happens! Thanks for reading!

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