When I was a kid, one of the things I would always argue about with my friends is whether wrestlers from one federation were better than wrestlers from another one. Could Hulk Hogan beat Ric Flair? Could Roddy Piper beat Jerry "The King" Lawler? Could Andre the Giant beat both Road Warriors? (No, maybe, and no, for the record.) The arguments got really interesting when the borders separating pro wrestling from the rest of the world started leaking. Could Hogan take Rambo? Chuck Norris? Chewbacca???
(When the arguments got too complicated — or heated — we had to go to the only kind of metrics we knew back then: role-playing game attributes. Hogan had a 17 strength [he slammed Andre!] and a 14 constitution [short matches, but all those comebacks!] but only a nine agility, and a relatively weak 13 hit power. Flair was 14–20–15–15. Chewie was 20–11–9–15. And so on.)
In the end, though, I don’t know the answers. I don’t think the answers even matter. Tracy Smothers once wrestled a bear, and all that matters is that HE WRESTLED A BEAR. If there was a Dusty Finish and the bear was named the winner, it wouldn’t change the fact that the fight happened. Now, if you asked a bunch of wrestlers what would happen if they fought a bear, some of them would be honest enough to say they wouldn’t win.
We recently sat down with five of WWE’s toughest competitors — Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, AJ Styles, and Shinsuke Nakamura — and asked them how they’d fare against some of the toughest theoretical competition we could dream up. Could Braun beat a wolf? Could KO take down the starting lineup of the Golden State Warriors? Young me could debate these things all day. But what do the wrestlers themselves think?
Welcome to Can You Take ’Em?: WWE Edition.