15 Wrestlemania matches ever
spectators pack University of Phoenix Stadium for
WrestleMania XXVI on March 28, 2010, in Glendale,
Arizona. WrestleMania XXVI surpassed Super Bowl XLII's
71,101 attendance at the stadium. (Rick Scuteri/AP
XXIX is five days away and when the biggest wrestling
show of the year nears, its almost an annual
ritual to rank the best matches to ever take place
at the mega-event.
is where great matches happen. You can have a great
match anywhere else and it only lasts a certain amount
of time. Have a great match at Wrestlemania and it
are 15 matches that have taken place at the Showcase
of the Immortals and have stood the test of time.
Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Ladder Match
kick off the list with Mr. Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels.
He began to earn that moniker when he and Razor Ramon
stole the show in Madison Square Garden back in 1994.
The ladder match was still in its infancy stages as
far as the mainstream viewing audience was concerned,
but Michaels and Ramon did unimaginable things to
each other that people couldnt even comprehend
at the time. Ramon won the match to become the undisputed
Intercontinental Champion, but it was Michaels who
benefited the most from this match as it catapulted
him to a main-event level in WWE.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs II Wrestlemania
Michaels and Ramon revolutionized the ladder match,
Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz
evolved the match during 2000 and 2001. TLC II was
the pinnacle of the feud between the three teams and
they took it further than anyone could have imagined
at the time. The ladder match was more commonplace
by this time, but these three teams raised the bar
with this match and raised it to heights that wrestlers
probably dont want to come close to again.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair,
WWE Championship Wrestlemania VIII
Wrestlemania will be more remembered for the opportunity
that was missed by WWE by not having Hulk Hogan and
Flair, the two biggest stars of the 1980s, go at it
in the main event. But what the fans did get was a
very entertaining feud between Savage and Flair. When
you have Savage and Flair, already two of the most
charismatic wrestlers ever, in a feud that involves
Mr. Perfect and the greatest manager in wrestling
history Bobby The Brain Heenan, youre
guaranteed some great entertainment. Not to mention,
a great match from two of the best performers of all
time. Everything that led to the match was great,
the match itself was great and even the post-match
was great with a legendary promo from a defeated Flair.
Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle Wrestlemania
was nearly impossible for this match to fail. You
had the greatest in-ring performer ever in Michaels
locking horns with a legitimate Olympic gold medalist
in Angle. There was a great build up to this match,
which included Angle doing a fantastic rendition of
Michaels theme song Sexy Boy, and
the match itself was everything youd expect
from two legendary performers such as these two. It
was hard-hitting and had some great counters and reversals
that kept the crowd guessing until the very end.
The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Hell in a Cell
match was dubbed The End of an Era.
so much for that. Despite the false advertising this
match was an instant classic at last years Wrestlemania.
Was it a technical masterpiece? Heavens no. But it
had one major component that a lot of matches of today
lack: emotion. This match gained the emotional investment
of those in attendance and it turned an average match
from a technical standpoint into an all-time great.
Not to mention it was brutal at certain points with
the shots were dishing out to each other. Shawn Michaels
as the special guest referee only added to a match
that was going to be great to begin with.
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho Wrestlemania
match had it all. It had a great story heading in
with Jericho facing his childhood idol in Michaels,
it was fantastic from technical and storytelling standpoint
and it had a great ending where both competitors came
away looking better than they did going in. This undoubtedly
stole the show at that years Wrestlemania, which
is saying something considering The Rock and Stone
Cold Steve Austin faced off for the third time
and Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle closed the show.
Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair, Retirement Match
another match with Michaels. This is the seventh match
on the countdown so far and he had been in or involved
in all but one so far. Just a testament to how great
he really was. This was, at the time, the retirement
match for Flair. Anybody that knows wrestling that
didnt last long, but boy what a final match
this could have been for him. Once again, this match
was not a technical masterpiece. It didnt have
to be. But what it did was invoke emotion from the
crowd, including the iconic final moment of the match
where a beaten and battered Flair tells Michaels to
finish him off with the Sweet Chin Music to which
Michaels says, Im sorry. I love you.
before indeed finishing him off and ending his career.
It was almost as if he was taking Old Yeller out to
pasture. Whatever you wish to relate the finish to,
it was the best match on the show and was a perfect
way to end Flairs tremendous career
the time at least.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, The Ultimate Challenge
its time, this was one of the most unique matches
ever. It was the first time two top babyfaces (good
guys) faced each other in the main event of a major
show such as Wrestlemania. Hogan was the top guy for
the WWE at the time, but Warrior was just as big at
this point among wrestling fans, which created such
a split atmosphere leading into the show and during
the match. This match didnt have a whole bunch
of great moments, but for its significance at the
time, it belongs on this list.
Bret Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin,
Submission Match, Wrestlemania XIII
about a unique match. Hart and Austin pulled off something
that is seldom seen nor attempted: the double switch.
It is common for one person in a match to go from
face to heel (bad guy) or vice versa in a match in
an effort to surprise the audience. You rarely see
both members of the match do so and thats what
happened here. Hart went into this match as the beloved
good guy, but Austin, being as much of a bad guy he
possibly could at the time, began picking up steam
and cheers from the fans, essentially turning him
into a good guy. The iconic visual of Austin writhing
in pain from Harts patented Sharpshooter with
blood running down his face only to not tap out, but
pass out was the icing on the cake in making Austin
one of the biggest fan favorites in wrestling history.
Hart attacking Austin after the match further cemented
him as a heel in the United States. This match was
hard-hitting and with great storytelling and emotion,
put it very high among the greatest matches in Wrestlemania
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, WWE Championship
this match may not be the pinnacle of this list, it
is still seen as the pinnacle of professional wrestling
history as the biggest main event ever. All of the
ingredients were there: the biggest Wrestlemania in
history past or present with breaking the world indoor
attendance record, the biggest star in the company
at the time Hulk Hogan on rocket ship ride straight
to the top of the business, the biggest wrestler in
literal terms Andre the Giant in the biggest match
of his life. As Gorilla Monsoon said it was the
unstoppable force against the immovable object.
This match was all storytelling with Andre never been
beaten and Hogan not being able to slam him
or so we thought. Hogan eventually mustered up strength
from his Hulkamaniacs to pick up Andre the Giant,
slam him and pin him in the middle of the ring, capturing
the imaginations of every wrestling fan in the process.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. "Macho
Man" Randy Savage, Intercontinental Championship
Hogan and Andre brought people to the building and
in front of their television sets, Savage and Steamboat
captivated the audience who tuned and proved that
Wrestlemania was more than just a big main event.
These two were in the prime of their respective careers
and went back and forth and back again on their way
to having not only one of the greatest Wrestlemania
matches ever, but one of the greatest matches period.
This match was on the top of numerous Wrestlemania
lists for years and is still at the top of some until
this day. It was such a change in pace from the normal
wrestling matches that were slow and plodding. The
pace was fast and furious from the outset and didnt
let up until Steamboat finally triumphed over Savage.
Its a shame that only one man could win this
Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart, 60-minute Iron Man Match
match had never been before to this point, but Michaels
and Hart pulled it off without losing the audience
for a second. Its not easy to have a match for
60 minutes and keep the audience interested for all
60 of them, but these two did just that. The personal
issues between these two had already reached a high
level, but it didnt prevent from taking care
of business on the biggest stage when they needed
to the most. The beat each other up, told a story,
showed great technique and left people wanting more
at the end. All of that adds up to the fourth-best
match in Wrestlemania history.
The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin,
WWE Championship Wrestlemania XVII
match was the height of the famed Attitude Era and
boy did it deliver. Some people may think the ending
of the match ruined the entire match, but that is
nowhere near the truth. The ending (Steve Austin aligning
himself with Vince McMahon) was bad and shouldnt
have happened, but it didnt take away from everything
else that happened up until that point. It got started
hot and heavy from the word go and continued on that
hard-hitting pace throughout. This match was a war
plain and simple. Austin and Rock beat the crap out
of each other, giving the fans all of their monies
worth in the end. Bell to bell, this is one of the
greatest main events in wrestling history.
Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock, Icon vs. Icon Wrestlemania
there was ever a time where the audience and story
being told mattered way more than any technical aspect
of the match, this was it. Heading in, Hogan did everything
he could to be the biggest bad guy in wrestling while
The Rock was riding high as the Peoples Champion.
But something happened in Toronto that night. It was
if everyone all of a sudden remembered how much fun
they had being a Hulkamaniac during the 1980s and
wanted to relive those memories one more time. The
result: one of the best atmospheres in wrestling history.
The crowd made this match and it forced The Rock and
Hogan to switch roles a bit. The Rock began to work
more like a heel whereas Hogan reverted back to the
days saying prayers and eating vitamins. When Hogan
began hulk up on The Rock, it felt like 1985 all over
again. This match wasnt hard-hitting or brutal.
There werent too many crazy spots. It didnt
need any. It was simply fun to watch.
The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels Wrestlemania
That is the best way I could describe this match.
Everyone knew that these two would deliver, but no
one knew it was going to be this extent. No one knew
that both of these guys had another match like this
one in them, but Michaels and Undertaker went out
and had the best match in Wrestlemania history. This
match went back-and-forth like no match I had ever
seen. I dont know if anyone picked Michaels
to end Undertakers streak, but midway through
the match it looked as if he had a legitimate chance.
Even to the point that Michaels did something I had
never seen before: kick out of The Undertakers patented
Tombstone Piledriver. I can tell you personally, my
jaw went through the floor when I saw that the first
time. And the look Undertaker had on his face afterwards
was priceless. Theres nothing more about this
match that can be said that already has been said.
It was purely a masterpiece.