Must-see footballer vs professional wrestler feuds

Mitchell Wilks
Goalkeeper Tim Wiese opened the forbidden door in the 2010s
Goalkeeper Tim Wiese opened the forbidden door in the 2010s / Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

There are a few of us at 90min who have, truthfully, never properly grown up and still insist that professional wrestling is brilliant as a result. Because it is.

We've picked footballer tag teams, selected finishers for players and even paired up clubs with some entrance music, but it's time to put it all to the test. What's a gimmick without putting your brand on the line for the world to see? It's time for some ruthless aggression.

Combining the world of professional wrestling with football once again, here are 25 crossover feuds that would be enough to start a promotion that trumps both WWE and AEW. We're that confident. You want some? Come get some.

25. Kurt Angle vs Tim Wiese

Tim Wiese
Wiese is now built like a machine / TF-Images/Getty Images

The battle of two jacked men who were tempted by a secondary sport. The feud you never knew you needed.

Imagine the scenes when Angle - straps down - flattens Wiese with a textbook German suplex, but the goalkeeper no sells and locks in a claw grip to tap out the Olympic wrestler.

24. Luis Suarez vs Tajiri

Suarez has met his match, here / Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Mist is an underused trope in western wrestling. We're bringing it and Tajiri back into the limelight.

This match ends when either Suarez or Tajiri blinds the opponent with the perfect gust of green mist. No holds barred.

23. Paul Pogba vs Scotty 2 Hotty

Paul Pogba
Pogba is made for wrestling / Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Pogba would make the ideal professional wrestler in WWE. Incredibly charismatic, a physical beast and insanely talented.

Top of the card or bottom, he'd make things entertaining and must see. A ten-minute classic with Scotty 2 Hotty involving flips, trips and each man doing the worm or some other dance to pop the crowd. Perfect appetiser.

22. Grant Holt Battle Royale

Grant Holt
Holt briefly entered the wrestling business after retirement / Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

We mentioned the Grant Holt Memorial Battle Royale when fantasy booking Summerslam into a football card, but it's time to take it up a notch.

Ten footballers, ten wrestlers. Fringe and youth players, lower mid-carders from any and all promotions. The winner lifts a massive trophy of Grant Holt and gets a title opportunity/cup final start guarantee, any time, any club, any place.

21. Roy Keane vs Sabu - Hardcore match

Roy Keane
You might need that, Roy... / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

No nonsense, just how Keane likes it. No rubbish promos, no unnecessary storytelling. Just two industry psychos going at each other no holds barred.

Watching Keane work his way around a wrestling ring with more weapons than imaginable at his disposal would be interesting. Just a shame he'd be against one of wrestling's greatest ECW alumni.

20. Billy Sharp vs Mick Foley - battle of the best friends

Billy Sharp
Sharp is a big Foley fan / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Having shared breakfast together following Foley catching wind of Sharp's 'Mr Socko' celebration in 2019, some friendly competition wouldn't go amiss.

Pinfall, submission or by way of the shared finisher, only one person can rightfully own Mr Socko following the result.

19. Britt Baker & Becky Lynch vs Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe
Rapinoe would make a great wrestler / Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

For as good as Rapinoe is at football, her character away from the pitch has been rather polarising. That's exactly why she'd be box office in the squared circle.

Put her in a handicap match against two of the women's divisions greatest talkers and athletes and watch the magic happen. Rapinoe would turn up the drama and benefit regardless of the result, heel or babyface.

18. Chris Jericho vs Joshua Kimmich

Chris Jericho
Jericho would humble Kimmich / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

From Lionheart to Le Champion, the man of a thousand gimmicks would meet his footballing match; the man of a thousand positions.

What Kimmich might lack in charisma compared to Jericho he makes up for with technical excellence and serious versatility, giving us a match for the real technical grappling enthusiasts. Give Jericho a list or a plant to spice things up, if needed.

17. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang & Alexandre Lacazette vs The Young Bucks

Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The pair should try something new / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Mikel Arteta seems pretty frustrated with his pair of strikers in the footballing world, so why not ship them off to be useful elsewhere?

Aubameyang and Lacazette have fine chemistry together and would provide great babyface competition for AEW's Young Bucks, who are despicable in every sense of the word. Hell, a valiant display might get Arsenal fans back onside.

16. Sheikh Mansour vs Tony Khan - Battle of the billionaires 2

Sergio Aguero
Aguero would fly the flag for City once again / Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Mr McMahon vs Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23 was nothing short of iconic, with Umaga and Bobby Lashley brawling as Stone Cold Steve Austin refereed.

It's time for a stipulation revisit, but refreshed. With Sergio Aguero representing Mansour and Cody Rhodes representing Khan. And for good measure, Mike Dean can referee. Losing billionaire goes bald, of course.

15. Team Premier League vs Team Bundesliga vs Team WWE vs Team AEW

Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Mueller
Bundesliga have talent at their disposal / Visionhaus/Getty Images

What's a wrestling extravaganza without a big, messy bragging rights battle?

Football fans argue which league is best just like wrestling fans argue with which promotion is best. Three MVPs from each division show up and - no disqualifications - fight it out to see which of these elite groups is truly the top trump. Send Shane Duffy over for the Premier League, purely for the slide tackles.

14. Raul Jimenez vs Rey Mysterio

Raul Jimenez, Heurelho Gomes, Romain Saiss, Conor Coady, Willy Boly
Jimenez has whipped out a lucha mask in the past / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

It's simple. Mask versus mask.

Jimenez has celebrated in the past by donning the iconic luchador luck and Mysterio is wrestling's most famous ever at this point. Big versus small, this one has all the hallmarks of a classic. If Jimenez wins, he gets to wear a luchador mask in every football game he plays going forward. And he gets pyro.

13. Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo vs Daniel Bryan & Will Ospreay

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
When worlds collide / Nicolò Campo/Getty Images

The best versus the best. The very pinnacle of excellence in each industries coming together for the bigger picture and fighting the cause.

For the only time ever (unless PSG have something to say about it) Messi and Ronaldo join forces, while two of wrestling's very best technical workers team up also. One for the enthusiasts, this. Sod it, have plenty of flashy golden belts up for grabs here, too.

12. AJ Styles vs Nani

Nani, Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick wouldn't be in Nani's corner / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Stories are fun, and big blokes from different sports lamping one another is great. But deep down, we all love the daft, flippy matches.

AJ Styles can do just about everything and is entertaining in every sense of the word, while Nani lit up the Barclays and gave Sir Alex Ferguson heart palpitations every weekend with his flips. Put them in a ring and let the magic happen.

11. Romelu Lukaku vs CM Punk

Rom's return was overshadowed / JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty Images

Nothing pops a crowd like a hearty return story. And while CM Punk shocked the world by showing up at AEW, Lukaku was doing the same at Chelsea.

Have the two fight it out to see who has truly proven to be the smartest bit of business. Lukaku would come out on top, though, with interference with fellow Chelsea returnee Lauren James, before standing tall with some CM Punk ice cream bars to rub salt in the wounds.

10. CM Punk vs Jamie Vardy

CM Punk
Vardy would send Punk back to UFC / Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

After losing to Lukaku, Punk turns heel and pulls double duty on the show to make the most of that return.

Reverting back to his straight-edge society gimmick, he's humbled by Leicester's erratic striker. Vardy - swigging vodka Red Bulls like a prime Stone Cold - comes out and hands Punk some more humble pie.

9. Ramos, Rojo & De Rossi vs Bullet Club

Sergio Ramos
Ramos is made for professional wrestling / Angel Martinez/Getty Images

If there's any stable of footballers that could band together and stop one of modern wrestling's biggest factions, it's this trio of nutters.

Winning pedigree with Ramos, and all out aggression with Rojo and De Rossi. No holds barred. Weapons and the lot. We've seen what Rojo is capable of since signing for Boca Juniors. This one would go down in history.

8. Jose Mourinho vs Mr McMahon

Jose Mourinho
Mourinho could give McMahon a run for his money / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

It's not box office level football without Mourinho involved. Likewise, it's not box office wrestling if Mr McMahon isn't out heeling it up.

Football and wrestling's strongest and most entertaining characters. Ego vs ego. Heritage vs heritage. Imagine the promos and storylines in the build-up to this. We'd never see entertainment like it ever again. Loser goes bald stipulation too, just for a laugh.

7. Declan Rice & Mason Mount vs The Hardy Boyz

Mason Mount, Declan Rice
Eyeing up wrestling gold / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

A battle of brothers. Rice and Mount finally get the chance to play on the same side, and can draw on history and England chemistry in a tough contest.

Tables, ladders and chairs. Experts in football vs experts in tag wrestling, and fan favourites all round. Expect for it all to be left in the ring with this one, but also a potential villainous turn from one of Rice or Mount should they lose.

6. Adebayo Akinfenwa vs Braun Strowman vs Adama Traore vs Brock Lesnar

Adama Traore
Built like a world champion / Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Two of football's biggest units. Akinfenwa and Traore would no doubt be a champion within weeks if they ever headed to WWE.

Put them inside the ring with two of wrestling's biggest lads and that's a fatal four-way that can only end with the ring literally exploding. Box office.

5. Rojo and Ramos vs the Dudley Boyz

Marcos Rojo
'Sergio, get the fire extinguisher' / Pool/Getty Images

Having lost De Rossi to the Bullet Club, Rojo and Ramos have gone as a duo in pursuit of the top of the tag team mountain.

Where is that mountain? Dudleyville, of course. Let two of football's biggest psychos loose against two ECW originals. Rojo will not sell that 3-D through the table and have the crowd roaring as Ramos comes in off the top rope.

4. Lionel Messi vs Daniel Bryan

Lionel Messi
Bryan would have plenty to say about the economics of Messi's transfer / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

We've had a tag team showdown of the best versus the best, but this is where the money is.

When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. The trailblazer of each industry going at it, no time limit, full capacity. The story writes itself; bonus points if Bryan reverts back to his eco-warrior character and lectures Messi on the environmental impact of his PSG transfer.

3. Francesco Totti vs Undertaker

Francesco Totti
Totti's career resembles the Undertaker's in length and history / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Let's pretend for a minute that the Undertaker losing his streak at WrestleMania 30 didn't happen, for the greater good of this match - and mankind.

Totti is the Undertaker's football equivalent - minus the trench coats, deathly tones and Harley Davidsons - so to have two legends pitted against each other in a streak versus streak match is vital. Gives the card the edge of tradition and heritage it needs.

2. Ballon d'Or in the Bank

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2014
It's gonna take some doing suspending that above a ring / Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Who doesn't love money in the bank? Add a bunch of footballers into the mix and watch the carnage multiply by ten.

A mix of high-flying superstars and risk-taking, ambitious footballers desperate for a shot with the elite. First to climb the ladder and retrieve the Ballon d'Or trophy gets one added to their CV; wrestlers get their usual title shot. But let's hope a footballer wins.

1. John Cena vs David Beckham

David Beckham
Becks has already got his style sorted / Mark Brown/Getty Images

This is it. This is what Vince McMahon's dreams are made of. The ultimate franchise face off.

Cena once teased David Beckham about a wrestling match at WrestleMania 30 way back in 2007, but don't think we forgot about the offer, John. The time is now, and in the hybrid of the two sports, there can only be one franchise player. Mr football versus Mr wrestling. A 40 minute clinic for the ages. Merchandise sales through the roof.