Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles was supposed to be it: the WWE dream match to end all WWE dream matches.
The duo's incendiary Wrestle Kingdom 10 instant classic had fans dreaming of a repeat from the moment both signed with the market leaders in the weeks following 4 January 2016, but they were made to wait. Styles skipped developmental, hopping straight to the main roster via his Royal Rumble appearance, while Nakamura was sent to NXT months later. Though neither of these were bad decisions in themselves, they demanded patience from an audience not known for such traits.
It took WWE close to two years to pull the trigger. 'The King Of Strong Style' dumped company golden boy Roman Reigns to win the 2018 Rumble. A massive pop ensued, and the writers wasted no time in signposting the road to WrestleMania 34.
"You've now won the right to face the champion of your choosing, so have you made a decision?" Renee Young asked the victorious Nakamura.
"A. J. Styles!" was the answer. Dream match: confirmed.
Or so it seemed. 'Mania 34 came around, and the colossal hype levels yielded a match that even the most devout Styles or Nakamura supporters would struggle to argue lived up to the billing. A good bout? Certainly. Very good? Perhaps, but heightened expectations, Shinsuke's diminished workrate, and WWE's in-ring restrictions meant 'Mania and the bevy of rematches couldn't touch Wrestle Kingdom.
It wasn't the first (and definitely won't be the last) time WWE's passionate fanbase worked themselves into a shoot for something the company couldn't realistically deliver.
A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.