Starting up a wrestling company seems like a fun idea until you realise just how much content you need to produce.
From the smallest indies to the intercontinental behemoths, wrestling never stops, and you need to put on a lot of matches to keep eyes on your product.
This means that pretty much every wrestler you can imagine has locked horns with every other wrestler you can imagine, usually more than once. When a dream match comes along, it stands to reason the company booking the talent milks it for all it’s worth until we’re watching Reigns/Lesnar round 45.
Sometimes, though, promotions manage (or are forced) to hold out, to deliver a “once in a lifetime” match and actually stick to it. Whether this is a creative decision or the realities of personnel changes kiboshing a potential rematch, there remain a scant few legendary wrestlers who’ve locked horns just once, and never again.
Some of these matches remain totally legendary for their one-off status; others could maybe have done with a replay to see if they couldn’t iron out a few creases. In any case, at the time of writing, these 10 bouts retain their unique status, something truly remarkable in the world of pro wrestling...
10. Kenny Omega vs Penta El Zero
The high point of 2018’s All In show is a perfectly pitched pro wrestling match, featuring non-stop high octane excitement which is no less psychologically sound for its frantic pace. In Penta and Omega, we had two guys at the top of their game who’d plied their trade half a world apart, finally meeting for a showdown.
It feels epic from the off, and within minutes we’ve seen a wild suicide dive from Penta, Omega’s mixture of strikes and high flying ability, and a fully believable sense of competition. The luchador leans on his weight advantage and Omega’s banged up shoulder, but The Cleaner constantly fires back with V triggers.
The pace and intensity only ramp up, with each hitting pretty frightening package piledrivers on the other. Penta’s overly casual pins ultimately cost him, though, and when Kenny finally hits the One Winged Angel, it’s all over.
The two have been AEW stalwarts for years, but their paths haven’t crossed again since. When Omega makes his way back from injury, it’d certainly be one to consider.