Why is the 1980s still one of the most beloved decades in the 20th century? Anyone can point out any of the nostalgia and appeal that it hold, but in this list, I am instead looking at the historical significance of of this decade. This was the tail-end of the Cold War and this was the moment in time where a long conflict had to come to its end. And towards to the geopolitical conflict’s end, we had a rise of capitalism, new business rises, and even trends that celebrated a time of being part of culture. Here are the ten of the most greatest things from 1980 – ’89, when we take off our nostalgia glasses.
If you can go out on the street and tell anyone about any wrestler that’s currently in any wrestling organization, chances are they won’t even know who you’re talking about. However, if you instead talk about wrestlers that came from the 1980s to the early-1990s, chances are, people would recognize who you’re talking about. Just what is it that makes these wrestlers more iconic and recognizable than the wrestlers of today? How about the fact that each of them had a diversity of characters that felt bigger than life itself. Many of these wrestlers are the image and embodiment of professional wrestling and still to this very day we talk about each of their legacy. Even the WWE knows the impact that these wrestlers given us for making wrestling as big as it is today. We call this the Golden Age of Wrestling because WCW and WWF were in big rivalry with each other and they did almost everything to beat the competition. Dusty Rhodes created the Super Bowl of Pro Wrestling called StarCade in 1983 and Vince McMahon wanted to make a bigger event calling it Wrestlemania. Since then, wrestling started to deliver bigger events like The Big Four PPV’s and many more. This was the first time professional wrestling went on mainstream by getting celebrity involvement (Cindi Loper, Muhammad Ali, Mr. T, etc.) and also putting wrestlers in public appearances outside of the ring and backstage area. Each of these wrestlers really felt like real-life superheroes and it drew huge attendance records and television ratings. It’s all thanks to these wrestlers that made wrestling huge as it once was and it’s time for me to pay respects to ten of my favorite wrestlers of the Golden Age of Wrestling (from 1983 – 1991).
Number 10. – Bam Bam Bigelow
Bam Bam Bigelow was one of professional wrestling’s most unique individuals. With his tattooed head and large frame, Bigelow was unlike anyone or anything else in the world of professional wrestling. His uniqueness went beyond his looks, however. In an era of lumbering big men, Bigelow broke the mold, demonstrating a work rate and level of agility never before seen, by a man of his size. During the late eighties and early nineties, it was rare to see wrestlers in the United States pulling off moonsaults, much less 350+ pound monsters doing so. Bigelow’s matches never cease to amaze me with the things he was able to do in the ring, and the matches he put on. He’s the only wrestler from the Golden Age that managed to keep himself relevant in the later years of wrestling such as The New Generation Era, Attitude, WCW’s Bishoff-era, and even ECW’s top star. He was everything you wanted in a monster heel and a great babyface. He was the stuff that your mother’s nightmares are made of. Every movement he made and syllable he uttered just gave off the impression of a bad ass mofo who was there to absolutely raise hell. There was no wrestler whose character fit his look better than Bam Bam Bigelow.
Number 9. – Jake “The Snake” Roberts
So what makes Jake the Snake Roberts such an iconic name in the wrestling world? He didn’t have a good wrestling ability, didn’t have the look, he lost a lot more matches than winning them, and he didn’t have the “it” factor which is why he never won a WWF Championship. What Jake Roberts offered as a truly dark character in wrestling. His dark persona inspired many future stars like The Undertaker & Stone Cold Steve Austin that being the happy, smiling wrestler can’t be the only wrestler to love. Jake’s interviews simply give us chills down our spines and he was intimidating none the less. If his interviews didn’t get you at ease, then his python, Damien will. Damien and Roberts were a huge attraction when tuning into the WWF product because it was terrifying to see it but we want to know who’s Damien was going to get. Better yet, Jake Roberts introduced in-ring psychology where what’s happening in the ring was just as well telling a story as much as an interview. Jake Roberts was a true innovator of the wrestling world and he became famous for it. Even despite the fact that he never won a WWF Championship, it’ was his character that made him such a big name today. At the end of the day, it isn’t about the wrestling’s appearance or skills, it’s his character and how he slivers to our hearts.
Number 8. – The Ultimate Warrior
Most people would like to look at the Ultimate Warrior like a 1990’s comic book character or He-Man come to life, but Ultimate Warrior was simply the most intense wrestler of all time! No one had as much energy and intensity as Warrior did and we all believed that he was that powerful. It’s always so damn exciting to see Warrior do what he does best because as soon as you hear his entrance music, you know he’s rushing in the ring and shaking the ropes like no tomorrow! Every young WWF fan loved the Warrior’s character, even though he doesn’t make any sense most of the time, he captured our attention because of his undying passion to wrestle. His powerhouse style was completely freakish. He was the second best baby face the company had, right behind Hogan. I’ll never forget Ultimate Warrior finally defeated Honky Tonk Man’s Intercontinental Championship streak and went on to face Hulk Hogan. For the first time ever, babyface vs. babyface in Wrestlemania 6 and it was a defining moment for the wrestling world. A year later, Warrior took on Macho Man in Wrestlemania 7 in the best match of his career. He sure had a lot of backstage problems with Vince McMahon, but that didn’t’ stop him from being as awesome as he was. There was so many great moments of the Warrior that made him one of the biggest names ever! His character was so unearthly and his style was so fiery, it made you believe the power of the Warrior.
Number 7. – Sting
I really want to put Sting higher on the list, but he had a much better time after this era has ended. But if there was a star that WCW built up extremely well, it had to be Sting. Sting, in his early year, was a unique mixture of flying, technical, and powerhouse style of wrestling. It was like he was WCW’s version of the Ultimate Warrior, but much more understandable and relatable. I know a lot of wrestling fans prefer Sting in black and white instead of blonde and colorful, but I really enjoy Sting’s presence before the Bishoff-era. He really was a star that really gets us engaged. He wrestling like no other individual as he flew and slammed his opponents with so much energy. Sting just simply had the it factor for WCW and there were a lot of people that tuned into the product just to see Sting do what he does best. He’s also the innovator of the Scorpion Death Drop (reverse DDT) and the Scorpion Death Lock before it was even called the Sharpshooter. No other young wrestler grew as much popularity fast as Sting did. He faced legends like Ric Flair, The Great Muta, and many more WCW wrestlers and pushed each of his opponents to the limits. I really think blonde Sting is unappreciated because he’s one of the few WCW stars that made World Championship Wrestling so big.
Number 6. – Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
Steamboat may be the least iconic or memorable wrestler in the list, however he delivered technical martial arts in the ring making him look like the Bruce Lee of wrestling. Ricky brought nothing less than intensity in each and every one of his matches that makes the all worth coming back and watching them. No one shall ever forget that he stole the Wrestlemania III show with his match against Randy Savage winning the Intercontinental Champion. It’s remembered as one of the best greatest matches of the 1980s. Despite his Wrestlemania 4’s poor tournament structure, he didn’t make it pass Round 1 and all of the sudden started to loose fame in the WWF. However, he did kept the momentum going when he joined WCW and delivered matches that were so much better than his time in the WWF! Ricky made tremendous legacy in wrestling in WCW with rivals with Ric Flair. Steamboat and Flair never had a bad match with each other, rather they were all a series of 5-star matches that all rivalries wishes they have. I argue that his time in WCW is so much better than his time in WWF, even despite the fact that WWE wants everyone to forget about it. Anyone can watch any of his matches and want to be a professional wrestler. The is one of the most recognizable Intercontinental Champions and NWA World Champion of all time.
Number 5. – Andre The Giant
Before Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in professional wrestling, Andre the Giant was the most popular and iconic wrestler in the world. Without him, wrestling and Wrestlemania wouldn’t be as big as it is today! Even people who doesn’t watch wrestling know who this guy is! Before Wrestlemania III, Andre The Giant was undefeated for 15 years. Sure his style is slow, but there was so athlete that was as big or as strong as Andre was. He was a huge attraction to the masses because he was unlike any human being ever seen and even his opponents were scared of what he was capable of. It was certainly a wise move to turn Andre heel by betraying Hulk Hogan to side with Bobby “The Brain” Henan, it made him the most despised man in the whole wrestling industry. He made Wrestlemania III to have the attendance record of 93,173. Sporting events ever had an attendance record that big until the 2010 NBA All-Star series. The show also delivered by having him get body slammed by Hulk Hogan and for the first time became defeated. His feud with Hulk Hogan continued by creating the big four PPV’s in main eventing the first ever Summerslam, Royal Rumble, and Survivor Series. He really made the big four PPV’s happen, but unfortunately, after his rivalry with Hulk Hogan was over with, Andre’s popularity faded because Hulk Hogan began to have bigger rivalries with heels like Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior, and many more. Andre also showed that his back is hurting and it affected his wrestling ability. He deserved a retirement in the early 1990s. To even show how much of a legend Andre is, when he passed away in 1993, he was the first ever inductee in to the WWE Hall of Fame. We did have 7′ footer wrestlers, like Big Show, Great Kahli, Giant Gonzalez, etc., that reminded us of Andre, but nobody can match up to the Eight Wonder of the World. Nobody has done more for the wrestling business than Andre the Giant and it’s all thanks to him that me made wrestling all possible!
Number 4. – Rowdy Roddy Piper
I simply love Rowdy Roddy Piper. He’s a wrestler of many sides, many wrestling abilities, and dared to be the most hated wrestlers above all else. I admire Roddy for being such a wild character that is willing to be all over the place. From main event heel, become a lovable face, to Piper’s pit, to even helping the mid-cards like Bret Hart to become a big name. He was such a rebellious individual and this was around the time where the public won’t stand for it. He went wild with this direction and became the most hated guy. It’s highly entertaining to see Roddy Piper do what he does best because nobody else was doing it. Piper’s Pit is always one of the best wrestling interview segments ever as it continues to surprise fans who gets interviewed with Piper that continues to created history. Piper’s responsible for making the Rock and Wrestling Connection work and make Wrestling big as it is today because who else would take the job as being so hated the people would want to pay money to see him get beat? He knows very well that controversy creates cash and because he became such a different character, it certainly made him stand up against all else. And as for his wrestling skills, it also lives up to the name as he introduced technical brawling style before Stone Cold Steve Austin flipped the bird on camera. Today, Piper still is part of the wrestling world and does all he can to keep the business going. Hell, even when the Golden Age era was over, Piper did not slow down as he continued to be part of both WCW and WWF and make Wrestlemania moments like in Wrestlemania 12 against Goldust. I always have a lot of fun watching Piper and never was I ever bored watching what he does.
Number 3. – Hulk Hogan
Surprised to see Hogan not number 1? I really have nothing against Hulk Hogan, I just like a few other wrestlers more than Hogan from this era. When Hogan became the top star in the WWF, he was a big fish in a huge pond. To make him the top star, he had to be main event, give promos unlike any other, win his matches, and had to become a fan favorite no matter what the cost. That’s what Hogan did. Andre The Giant used to be the biggest name in the wrestling world, but after he allowed Hogan to put him over in Wrestlemania III, he passed the torch to Hogan and became a bigger star than Andre was. People who never watch wrestling knows very well who this guy is. Hogan really is the face of professional wrestling and he’s the measuring stick of what other wrestlers strived for. Everyone remembers him ripping off his shirt, putting his ear to the crowd, his poses, and his interviews about “Eating your vitamins, saying your prayers” & “Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania comes after you!” Everyone loves to impersonate the Hulkster like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Beatles, and more. He is what everyone wishes to be and to be with. He was such a babyface that definitely is a positive influence to the masses around the world. He really made routing for the good guy cool and to see him fight for what’s right was so damn engrossing. Hogan is such an amazing storyteller as he dealt with betrayals that is after his popularity and faced the most hated heels that deserved the Hogan treatment. No one has ever accomplished as much as Hogan did. He had the most WWF title reigns of the era, held it the longest, and main evented in almost every Wrestling event that he’s been in. You might think Hogan was too invincible, but you have to remember that in the Golden Era of Wrestling, fan everywhere took their babyfaces extremely seriously. If there was anyone that was to save the day, it had to be dear old Hulkster. We always relied on Hogan to do the job and he always effortlessly deliver the goods. Hulk Hogan is responsible for all the success that the wrestling world has succeeded and still to this day people tune into a wrestling show if Hulk Hogan is in it. Even though all of his matches isn’t exactly the best that we seen in wrestling, what mattered was to see Hogan defeat the odds and show that fighting for what’s right is meaningful to all the Hulkamaniacs. What Hulk Hogan does, that not many wrestler can do, is really connect with the crowd and because he was so good in presenting himself to be very likable, he earned that reputation as being the greatest and most successful wrestler in the industry. Only little number wrestlers can live up to Hulk Hogan’s stature and we all strive to be as big as him.
Number 2. – Ric Flair
I’m one of those wrestling fans that argues that Ric Flair is a better wrestler than Hulk Hogan. While WWF’s biggest star was Hulk Hogan, WCW’s star was Ric Flair. Flair, is just like Rowdy Roddy Piper, in which he’s all all the map in his wrestling career. He’s very good in being the main event, help the mid-cards to become a bigger star, he was a really good heel, a very good babyface, his interviews were incredibly intense, and his wrestling stills were gold. Flair just did a lot better things than Hogan did. He was a pioneer of main eventing StarCade before Hogan even started a Wrestlemania, he created and lead the Four Horsemen, and he never stopped fighting his spot in the World Heavyweight Championship. Flair also is iconic for his wrestling abilities for the Figure Four Leg Lock, turning upside down when running into a turn buckle, and slapping his opponents in the chest to shout “Woo!” This is a man with class and style and throughout his career, people want to see it again and again. He continue this trend for over 2 decades and he became successful for it. Even more important, Ric Flair just had very good rivalries with many of the best talents in the WCW like Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, and so many more. There’s no doubt in my mind that because Ric Flair has accomplished so much in the wrestling world, he has to be the second greatest wrestler of the 1980s.
Number 1. – Macho Man Randy Savage
There’s simply no other wrestler that is at all similar to the Macho Man. Macho Man is such an amazing storyteller where he knew how to cut promos and had the charisma to engage us in it. Macho Man just has everything that I want to see from a wrestler; charisma, storytelling, in-ring ability, emotion, and the ability to connect with the audience. Savage is such a unique character that he can really endure the toughest challenge, but at the same time grab sympathy to the audience because he tries harder than anyone in the business. I always loved seeing his partnership with Miss Elizabeth because they were the best romantic couple of the wrestling world. Still to this day they both capture all our hearts by showing how much they love each other on screen. More importantly, Randy Savage has been involved in some of the best matches of the ’80s/early ’90’s like Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Jake Roberts, Ric Flair, Honkey Tonk Man, Hart Foundation, Tito Santana, and so many more that each of them had a relatable story into them. Even though Savage had a match against Steamboat that stole the Wrestlemania III show, he had his big break by winning the Wrestlemania IV tournament and holding the WWF Championship for an entire a year. I’m also a big fan of his Macho King persona when he betrays Hulk Hogan and Miss Elizabeth. He was such a ferocious heel and his King gimmick was so lovable. I still will never forget his match against Ultimate Warrior in Wrestlemania VII where he lost but we route for him when he reunited with Miss Elizabeth that always gets me that emotional feeling. Not to mention that in Summerslam in that year, both of them had the best on-screen marriage in Wrestling period! If people didn’t know who Hulk Hogan is, they surely would know who Macho Man Randy Savage is because of his entertaining slimjim commercials, many movie/television appearances, and his merchandises that sold millions. Savage such a tremendous storytelling and a very entertaining wrestler that inspired every single man in professional wrestling today. His spirit will live on in the squared circle forever as the best professional wrestler of all time!
Everyone wants to main event in Wrestlemania, but that doesn’t mean that everyone deserves it. The most important aspect of Wrestlemania is to have a great finish to add closure and create or elevate its stars. Though I’ve already mention Top 10 Wrestlemania Main Events that did it’s jobs well, there are a bunch that leaves a horrible taste in your mouth. Wrestlemania is no stranger for bad main events. We had bad ones that didn’t tell a good story, had talents that didn’t deserve that push, and even had wrestlers that actually did have better matches in their careers. What’s worse is that many of the worst Wrestlemania main events has been hogged up by The Breakfast Club (Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton) and Hulk Hogan. It’s understandable that you need top stars to bring recognition to the finish, but after so many consecutive Wrestlemania main events, they’ve kept the spotlight to themselves and they’re the reason why wrestling politics is as horrible as the stories foretold. Luckily I’ve managed find two main events that didn’t feature Breakfast Club and Hogan. There’s nothing worse than having a show to end in a horrible finish and yes, a show leave a bad taste in our mouths if the main event is horrible. The Wrestlemania main event, is not only the most important match, but it is the one match that represents the whole show and these are the ‘Mania Events that failed to deliver.
Number 10. – Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (with Stephanie McMahon) – Wrestlemania 18
This is where I argue with the WWF’s booking decision where they seriously fucked up the main even. I don’t care if this match is for both the WCW and WWF Championship (which is why it’s called the Undisputed WWF Championship) but with those Championships on the line, it’s not as important to me as Hogan vs. The Rock. Sure Jericho has beaten both the Rock and Austin for the both of those Championships and Triple H won the Royal Rumble 2002, but both of those men had nothing that Rock and Hogan had. You can see how mundane this match really was because the story was poorly told (who cares about Hunter and Steph’s divorce angle), there have already been 3 Canadian wrestlers that didn’t have the Canadian care for them as much (Christian, Edge, & Trish) and there were now surprises throughout the match that made it a REALLY forgettable main event. Never have I seen a main event as insignificant as the first four matches and nobody really cared about what was going on compared to the crowd’s reaction to Hogan & the Rock. I did like Triple H in the past, but this was the time where the WWF really wanted to hammer him down to our throats and begin this propaganda that he’s at all “the best” which he clearly isn’t. I can go up to anybody and ask what is the one thing that they remember from Wrestlemania 18 and they’ll all say Hogan and Rock and not even remember this match. Throughout the match we just kept seeing Jericho work on Hunter’s leg and it was tedious to see him to keep doing that tactic/strategy. The finish had Triple H to fight back by to Pedigree Stephanie and Chris Jericho. Afterwords, he won the match and who gave a shit? This match went way too long and nothing memorable or significant has happened. This really isn’t the worst main event (believe me there are way worse) but at least those bad main events were more memorable than this match, and that’s really sad. WWF tried to hammer us Triple H down our throats, but because Hogan was so much of a star, it’s no wonder why he beat Hunter for the Championship later that year.
Number 9. – The Rock vs. John Cena – Wrestlemania 29
If there’s ever a match that should never had a rematch, it would have to be Rock-Cena all over again. The reason that is is because we already established that the Rock is a better wrestler and you can’t strike lighting twice. If Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in Wrestlemania 26 couldn’t be better than their first match in Wrestlemania 25, how was this match ever going to be a better rematch? The whole crowd knows that Cena was going to win because the WWE went back to shoving Cena even more down our throats and give an official good by to the Rock by taking the WWE Championship off his waist. If anything, it should have been CM Punk vs. The Rock III in Wrestlemania 29 and beat the rock and have John Cena vs. Undertaker with Cena defeated. I honestly think it was just to have John Cena to get his come-upings after a clean defeat from Rock in Wrestlemania 28. Everyone in the stadium wasn’t as intensified as last Wrestlemania 28 event that was a once in a life time deal. It was almost identical from their first match together, only with a less enthusiastic reaction towards what’s going on in this match. Ultimately, it was underwhelming to see this rematch to happen because it was there were less surprises happening and it was predictable that Cena was going to win. Even despite the fact that Cena won the match, he’s still not better than the Rock. It’s similar to how the Rock beat Hogan in Wrestlemania 18, but Hogan beat Rock in No Way Out 2003; the first time is what everyone remembers, the rematch is forgettable. And so was this main event. It was a weak finish to have the Rock and Cena shake hands at the end that had a couple of boos coming out from the audience, and that’s not good.
Number 8. – Triple H vs. The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show – Wrestlemania 2000
No, I’m not mad that this is the first main event finish where the heel won the match. I like the idea where each McMahon family member has their pick of a wrestler to determine who’s the best, but it’s not about the McMahons, it’s about all four of these wrestlers who have a serious grudge against each other and a very long history till this match. Because this is perhaps the most cluttered match of this card, this was not a very good main event. Each McMahon acts like a Pokemon trainer and each of the wrestlers are like Pokemon to them. This match should have been just one-on-one between The Rock and Triple H just like the following Pay-per-view after it at Backlash 2000. I know Mick Foley just needed one more Wrestlemania match before he officially retired, but he’s so hurt and out of shape that all of the moves applied by him was the least effective. And for Big Show… did he really need to be matched up in another Wrestlemania with Mick Foley like he did in last year’s Wrestlemania? This whole match was dumb and it lasted over 40 minutes when it didn’t need to be. Big Show was the first to be eliminated (and deservedly so), and Mick Foley afterwards, but it should have been first of all Triple H vs. The Rock. However, the last part of the match between Triple H and The Rock was beautiful; this is what the main event should have been all along. That is until Vince McMahon betrayed the Rock by hitting him with the chair which shows how retarded this whole event was. The storytelling of this match was incredibly terrible; one minute Rock and Sock connection are working together, then Mick Foley teams up with Triple H to beat down The Rock (why did he do that?), and Vince McMahon betrays his own Wrestler… What the fuck?! I still despise the fact that Triple H was the first heel that won a Wrestlemania main event and as a result it made Wrestlemania 2000 crumble in shams. As a result of this horrible ending, this match was just all about the McMahons and nothing else. What a complete disaster of a main event and it hasn’t been since Wrestlemania 9 that left a distasteful finish of a show.
Number 7. – The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid – Wrestlemania 13
This was Undertaker’s very first Wrestlemania main event in the streak and he proved that he can take on guys just as big as him as he defeated Diesel in last year’s Wrestlemania, but unlike his match with Kevin Nash, Sid just wasn’t a good dance partner for ‘Taker. The problem about his match was that the story wasn’t anywhere as big and Bret Hart tries so hard to get so much heel heat by interrupting the main event. This part of the show was too much where he comes in trying to bring heat on Shawn Michaels (at commentator because of his injury), Undertaker, and Sid. All of the sudden Sid used the Powerbomb on Bret to get him out of the ring, but ‘Taker didn’t want to waist any time to get in the match (thank God!). As for the match, it wasn’t that physical, it wasn’t that memorable, and it was just soulless. Again, this is another main event that Sid ruins like Wrestlemania VIII because of his lack of wrestling skills. This still is a much better match than Wrestlemania 8′s main event, but it’s so boring to see Sid’s wrestling. But this match isn’t entirely Sid’s caught because Undertaker chooses to make the match longer by giving him the equal amount of match-dragging submissions that should be the heel’s job. The only thing remotely exciting about this match was that Sid used the Tombstone on Undertaker, but he kicked out. And to make matters worse, Bret Hart had to come back to the ring by attacking Sid for revenge which let Taker to use the Tomb Stone for the victory. I have no idea why Bret has to continue to get involved with this match and just be done with his match after the “I Quit” match, but no we had to make this weird, clustered finish. Sure The Undertaker deserved to win the main event but This match was just so slow and it wasn’t near as good as last year’s Taker match. I really did not like this match. A really dried up way to end Wrestlemania 13 for sure.
Number 6. – Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena – Wrestlemania 23
Though I certainly think that this match is better than the Donald Trump-Vince McMahon match, I still did not like this match. I can easily say that this is the most overrated main event that a Wrestlemania has had. I can’t even believe that wrestling fans today are considering this as a classic when it was after all just as basic as you can get! John Cena was already hogging up the spotlight and puts no effort in making any of his matches different. And as for Shawn Michaels, this was least favorite time of being a HBK fan because of the stupid resurrection of D-Generation-X with just him and HHH. I hated DX 2006 and wanted it to end as soon as possible. This match didn’t deserve the main event spot because the story between the two wasn’t that well told and the in-ring action was seen better in Undertaker-Batista match. I mean, Shawn did give out his best efforts to a dance partner who has very limited move sets, but because HBK’s opponent couldn’t give much of anything special. Maybe this is just my Cena “Hatred” coming out, but he didn’t add a damn thing to the match. What’s more disappointing is that the WWE had a great Wrestlemania moment ready, but they opted not to go for it. The fans wanted Michaels to win. They were clamoring for it. I can just imagine Michaels celebrating with the title to a packed Ford Field going crazy while fireworks are going off. That would have been an awesome moment. Instead, Cena forces Michaels to tap out while the crowd remain quiet. This is part of the reason why many hates Cena so strongly. You rob the fans of those special moments they’re dying for. Michaels should have won. Great performance by Michaels, but Taker/Batista should have been in the main event.
Number 5. – Triple H vs. Randy Orton – Wrestlemania 25
We’ve had REALLY forgettable Wrestlemania main events with Triple H like Cena-HHH, HHH-Rock-Foley-Big Show, HHH-Booker T, and even HHH-Jericho matches. Certainly Triple H vs Randy Orton is no exception. It’s already a crime to see that this match is ahead of the Undertaker-Michaels match, but to even think that placing two of the three wrestlers from last year’s Wrestlemania WWE Championship match to main event is the stupidest booking decision that I’ve ever seen. Triple H is full of himself thinking that he is main event material when he belongs in backstage politics as a booker. I stated that Triple H has the same basic tactic as he always does and so does Randy Orton. But this match wasn’t even wrestling! It was just a slugfest, throwing in too many finishers, and less wrestling moves than any match that I’ve ever seen that was so dull that it’s PAINFUL to watch. Even despite the fact that the build-up for they used was great to have Randy kiss HHH’s wife Stephanie when she’s knocked out, but this match was so full of itself! I was sick of them just striking each other with fists and using too many finishers from even the beginning of the match that was pure garbage! I came here to see “wrestling” not some dirty brawl that has no good storytelling whatsoever. The whole audience was fed up with this poor main event and nobody even cares for the many time they’ve bashed each other heads. This is Triple H’s ego at it’s worst and it had to be main event to show all of it. Nobody cared if he retained the championship, nobody cared who got hurt, and nobody really cared for this match. I never seen a Wrestlemania main event so poorly work that it ultimately destroy this show.
Number 4. – Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow – Wrestlemania 11
You know what’s funny? This is the second match in the list that didn’t feature Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Triple H, or Randy Orton. This match is infamous for being one of the worst Wrestlemania main events of all time, but I give credit for not being the really worst Wrestlemania main event. Lawrence Taylor actually knew how to make Bigelow, as big as the guy really is, to fly around like a punching bag. Bam Bam sold the whole match like crazy and the audience loved it. Other than that, this match really had no business of being the main event other than having more mainstream press and publicity from the sports crowd to watch this Wrestlemania. Lawrence Taylor does have the credibility to be a big star because he was one of the best defensive players in the National Football League, which they needed it. Another credit I give is that this was a signature achievement for Bam Bam Bigelow considering how much credit that he doesn’t get in the wrestling world. The match sure was fast paced and exciting, but the problem however is almost the same as the last match where there are too many people at ringside taking too much space for these two wrestlers to breathe, not to mention a lumberjack style wrestling match where WWF Stars and NFL stars are at ringside cheering for their guy to win. Another problem is that Bam Bam oversold this match too much that he doesn’t sell it to anyone like this except for Taylor. It’s really sad to see that an NFL guy is actually burying a WWF guy when he had no business of begin there and was then later used as a joke, except when he wanted to apply that moonsault that he didn’t do very well. Sure the finish was a big lackluster where Taylor used a flying shoulder block to pin Bam Bam for the victory, but it was a meaningless victory that made one talented star loose credibility to a professional football player… how sad really. I do agree that this match had no business of being the main event, but I sure did enjoy this match slightly better than the HBK vs Diesel match. For those who complain that this is the worst match in Wrestlemania history, you haven’t seen anything as bad in other Wrestlemanias that featured better performers and better build, that was far worse than what was seen in this match. Trust me, this match wasn’t that bad, it just ruined Bam Bam’s credibility.
Number 3. – Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice – Wrestlemania 8
This should never have been main event! Instead, Savage-Flair match deserved this spotlight! Sgt. Slaughter and Hogan’s last year’s Wrestlemania had more stipulation and drama compared to the whiny baby fight that just started because Hogan couldn’t accept being eliminated in the Royal Rumble 1992 Match. The match between Hulk and Sid was not a wrestling match, it just as slob fight that only used strikes and too many submission that has been carried throughout the match and had VERY little wrestling involved. What’s worse is that they’ve tried to make this a replication of the Warrior and Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 with using a test of strength and tried to make it intense but it wasn’t at all. Nothing in this match was at all convincing, nothing in this match was at all exciting, and it was a soulless main event that was so boring. Sure, Hogan’s other opponents in his other Wrestlemanias didn’t give him a good in-ring work but at least they had a story in them – Sid and Hogan was just two guys who still can’t get over their defeat in Royal Rumble like everybody else’s. The worst part of all is the damn finish. What made this match so horrible was because Harvey Wippleman just entering the wrestling ring as soon as Sid kicked out of Hogan’s Atomic Leg Drop. I’m going to say it flat out that Harvey Wippleman is the worst manager ever. He has no charisma, nothing memorable, and there’s nothing appealing towards this weasel like Heenan, Mr. Fuji, and Jimmy Hart so why did he cause a disqualification in this match? Hell if I know. Then Papa Shango came in to help… and since when did Shango ever teamed up with Sid? Oh just because he wasn’t booked in this card, he had to get involved. Then stupidly enough, they had to get the Ultimate Warrior (from a long absence) to return to save Hulk Hogan. At this point, it doesn’t matter because it the match was already ruined, Warrior lost a lot of muscle that he doesn’t look the same, and all he got was a chairshot at the back only having Sid to flee. I couldn’t believe the audience being so amused with Warrior’s return that it made it look like they’re accepting mediocrity… I mean poor results than what could have been. This was a completely meaningless victory only to have Warrior just have a comeback. Easily one of the worst Wrestlemania Main Events ever!
Number 2. – The Miz (with Alex Riley) vs. John Cena – Wrestlemania 27
I’ve reviewed really bad Wrestlemania main events, but this is so bad that it’s clearly advertisement for the next Wrestlemania because the Rock and John Cena kept focusing on each other so many times that The Miz is not even recognized in this match. That is not good when the company is supposed to create new stars just to have someone like the Miz as a second thought as the tension between Rock and Cena became the main focus of the match. Because of this stupid focus of Cena and Rock instead of Cena and Miz is why Miz is pushed so backwards to below mid-card. Fuck, Miz didn’t even headlight in another Wrestlemania since this horrid main event. Miz went from anti-establishment with a natural edge to his character (yes, The Miz) to a cookie-cutter, WWE-formula, weak heel. As soon as creative started paying attention to him, he lost a lot of his luster. At first it was okay: He used to call out John Cena and when the (injured) superstar no-showed, Miz would claim the win by forfeit. This lasted all the way up until the 2009 Great American Bash pay-per-view (PPV) when he lost to Cena in five minutes. He lost again in a squash on Raw and shuffled down to mid-card obscurity. He never recovered his fan support. Then, after they had killed him, the creative powers at WWE naturally decided to do something with him. They made him the mentor of NXT’er Daniel Bryan. This only pissed us off more because by now The Miz had become one-dimensional and stale, his in-ring skills had never improved and he was “mentoring” an indie superstar. With fans sufficiently sick of him, the WWE decided the time was ripe to put the title on him. Even despite the fact that he beat Cena in this match with the help from the Rock, The Rock’s involvement in this match and aftermath couldn’t save it, instead it worsen it. Having Rock attack both Cena and Miz because there was nothing more to add to this show, really shows why this whole card was horrible! If you actually made me want to watch Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Laylor in Wrestlemania 11 instead of this match, that should tell you how bad this main event is in comparison to that main event. This match was just garbage and the worst possible way you can finish a show, period!
Number 1. – Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna & Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – Wrestlemania 9
There really is no worse main event than this very claustrophobic garbage. Here we are having Bret coming in as the champion facing the Royal Rumble winner, but non of these men were prepared for each other and that’s a bad thing. I love Bret Hart and Yokozuna but this is actually horrible. Bret, many times, outsmarted Yokozuna using his tactics against his size and power, but Yoko managed to use his size to squash Hart. I didn’t like the fact that this match didn’t feel at all like a Wrestlemania main event. It was more like an episode of Monday Night Raw where there are no surprises, nothing was memorable, and it felt soulless throughout. I hated the finish of the match where Bret Hart got Yokozuna in the sharpshooter and then had sand tossed in his eyes by Mr. Fuji which got Yokozuna the pin. So a sand in the eye causes a knockout pin? That’s stupid!!! Honestly the worst main event in the entirety of Wrestlemania! Oh but it didn’t even end there. If you want a match finish that actually as bad, if not worse than ‘Taker vs. Gonzalez, along came egomaniac, Hulk Hogan, coming in the ring that all of the sudden was offered a match with Yokozuna by Mr. Fuji, as soon as Hart got defeated. He checks on Hart and Hart hides his eyes pointing for Hogan to get Yoko (while it looked like he was actually face palming this booking decision). All of the sudden, Hogan was being held by Yokozuna as Mr. Fuji was about to throw “sand” of all things, only to hit Yoko in the eyes, having Hogan give Yoko a closeline and leg drop. He pinned in for the WWF Championship making this 22 seconds of “awful” experience. And then here we are left with Hogan posing with the damn belt with a fucking black eye. That, ladies and gentlemen is the main event ending of Wrestlemania 9. To have Hulk Hogan come out after Bret Hart had a full on match against Yokozuna, just to have Hogan to win the belt over Hart and overshadow is rise to fame is completely unforgivable! No one alive can ever say that Wrestlemania 9 was at all good because it is easily the worst of all time and every wrestling fan is unanimous with such statement! And to even sum up how bad this Wrestlemania was, here’s a picture of Hulk Hogan with a back eye in Wrestlemania 9!
Here he is, folks! Your champion at Wrestlemania 9…
So what makes a Wrestlemania match to have different approach than any other wrestling match? How about being that it’s on the grandest stage of all of Wrestling and the whole world is actually watching this very wrestling show? That means that the storytelling, in-ring action, crowd reaction, and the quality is very much higher than any standard wrestling match. It’s the whole reason why they need to make the name “Wrestlemania” a special event! Though I’ve seen plenty of so-so to bad matches in the 30 Wrestlemanias, there has been a handful of matches that changed many lives. Trying to pick the best matches in Wrestlemania is like trying to pick your favorite track from your favorite band/artist. You have to experience all of their albums to discover/revisit what you love. Even though Wrestlemania has been both infamous for bad card structures and also famous for plenty of pleasant streamline matches, you can probably find a a worthwhile match the card. It is actually possible to have a bad Wrestlemania to be saved by one match and if a match has the power to do that, then that should tell you about the magic of wrestling, which often happens at Wrestlemania. These matches that I’ve picked here left me in complete amazement and (especially in the Top 5) has changed my life. These are the best matches in the grandest stage of them all and some of the most impressive matches in professional wrestling in general!
Number 10. – Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit – Wrestlemania XX
Chris Benoit had to face the best of the best throughout 2003 and had to win the Royal Rumble 2004 Match to have this shot. He had to get involved in the rivalry between Triple H and Shawn Michaels feud (that started back in Summer 2002) because all three men wanted the World Heavyweight Championship. And they showed. It was the first triple threat main event in a Wrestlemania and it’s remains the best triple threat match that I’ve ever seen in my life, let alone the best Wrestlemania main event. It was in-ring work that was passionate and eruptive where all three men were so desperate to win this very match. Each of them gave all they got by delivering so many grappling technical moves and less brawls than we normally expected when it comes to anything with Triple H involved. Chris Benoit fought so hard against the two best Raw stars that both of them ended up bleeding like a stuffed pig. One of the most memorable moments of the match was when HHH and Michaels’ suplex Benoit from one announce table through another. It really looked like it was going to put Benoit for good, but the finish had him recovered to take HBK out of the ring and put HHH in the cross face. This was the perfect finish to one of the best Wrestlemania main events of all time and I didn’t not want it any other way than to have Benoit to make “The Game” tap out. Nothing to me felt so relieving than to finally see HHH (with all the burying he did to his opponents and shoving himself down on our throats from 2002-2003) tapped out and put Benoit over to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. If you’re a wrestling fan, seeing Benoit win the championship after a lifetime in the business, after the critics called him too small, too one dimensional, this is a moment that still brings chills. And to put icing on the cake, Eddie came back to the ring just to have these two celebrate their victories together. It that very moment that I’ve cried because of the triumph that they both accomplished together from ECW, WCW, and now the WWE.
Number 9. – Edge and Christian vs. Dudley Boyz (c) vs. Hardy Boyz – Triangle Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 2000
For a debut match for all three of these tag teams, and see them gave us their all shows how awesome this match was. At first we were looking into this match like a ladder match with a lot of wrestlers involved, but suddenly because of the Dudley Boyz (may favorite tag team) being so obsessed with tables and hardcore wrestling, this all of the sudden turned out to be a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. I kid you not that way they used the ladders and then suddenly turned out to be more hardcore when the tables and chairs got involved. It was a brilliant change of tone for this match and each of wrestlers flew, fell, and bumped each other in the most dangerous way fashioned. For a bunch of young guys giving it their all, they were able to show epic storytelling in a wrestling match. I remember Edge took a diving spear on Jeff Hardy from the ladder, Buh-buh Ray gave Christian a cutter from the ladder, Matt Hardy power bombed to the table and the Swanton Bomb from that Jeff Hard did just to take the Buh-Buh Ray away. The finish of this match was some of the most epic moments ever as Jeff sacrificed his body to land on Buh-Buh out of the ring through the table. Edge & Christian were the last ones left facing D-Von and Matt Hardy as they raced to grab the tag team championships. The survivors were emotional just to win this carnage. As Matt and Christian were fighting each other on top of the table held by two ladders, Edge came to the rescue and pushed Matt off to the table below and won the tag team championships. What a beautiful finish to a match to a bunch of small stars that all became big names after the match. All three of these tag teams has gone through a lot just to have a Wrestlemania match like this one and because of their fantastic display of wrestling, this has made the tag team division so important!
Number 8. – Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Wrestlemania 14
This was the match that set the standard of what the Attitude was all about. Shawn Michaels was infamous for being responsible for the Montreal Screwjob and he had no sympathy for what he has done to Bret Hart. The only man left that was worthy of facing The Heartbreak Kid at a Wrestlemania main event was the man who did not tap out when he face Bret Hart in last year’s wrestlemania; Stone Cold Steve Austin. Because Austin showed how much of a badass he was when he passed in the sharpshooter and started to piss Vince McMahon since, got his popularity rising up and this was the match that he needed to forever establish himself as the all time great! Austin set himself for trouble when he got the whole D-Generation-X, Vince McMahon, and even Mike Tyson to go against him, how’s able to win this match? The answer, do what Stone Cold does best. Shawn Michaels was also in some serious shit when he injured himself in that Casket Match against the Undertaker at Royal Rumble 1998 and it didn’t look like he was going to last very long in this match. Surprisingly enough, he managed to keep up with the match and did his best to keep Austin down. For a man with an injured back, Shawn was able to move just like he normally did. Still, Austin gave Michaels a beating of a life time and the crowd was cheering with all their might for Austin to win. It was insane that Triple H and Chyna interfered in the match to save Shawn but was sent out of the ringside area to continue their one on one fight. The moment Stone Cold hit the stunner on Michaels, Mike Tyson came in the ring and fast counted for Austin’s victory having Jim Ross shouted “Austin! Austin! Austin! The Austin Era has begun!” and right he was. Shawn represent the New Generation Era and the times had to continue with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the face of the company. 1998 was the year of Austin and McMahon as their rivalry really brought back the audience to tune back into the WWF’s product. The best part of the whole match was the aftermath when Shawn got back to call betrayal to Mike Tyson only to get punched square in the face and lie flat on the floor. This was the right booking for the right winner and it was certainly one hell of a memorable Wrestlemania moment!
Number 7. – Dudley Boyz vs. Edge/Christian vs. Hardy Boyz – TLC2 – Wrestlemania X7
This match between Edge and Christian, Dudleys, and Hardies is not only better than their previous Wrestlemania match, but perhaps one of the best ladder matches that the WWE has ever delivered. It’s crazy to see all six men risking everything [again] in the same style of match-up, but do it much more radically! Everything seen from last year’s Wrestlemania triangle ladder match is doubled here in this match. You want to see Jeff Hardy take a top ladder leap, you have twice of those! You want Buh-buh Ray power bomb through tables, you got twice of the amount! You even want a better spear by Edge done in this match, you certainly got yourself the best spear in wrestling. You get the picture. This match saw many different risks that were taken and when Edge hit Jeff Hardy, who was hanging mid-air from the belts, with a spear, it became one of the most jaw-dropping moments ever in the history of Wrestlemania. Just when you thought it wasn’t enough Spike, Rhyno, and Lita came done for interference to save the team they’re routing for, only to as well get involved with the collision everyone’s taking in this match. Because this match was filled with so many risk-taking things, it is obviously seen as one of the most hardcore/extreme matches the WWE has ever put on. If Wrestlemania 17 really was the end of the Attitude Era (which certainly isn’t) they certainly left us one hell of an impression of everything appealing and exciting about this era of wrestling into one singular wrestling match. Now there are people who argues that this match wasn’t as good as the Triangle Ladder match in Wrestlemania 2000, and it’s really hard to argue with that because I don’t believe Edge and Christian had to win this match again and the finish felt a bit soulless and emotionless compared to the finish in the last year’s Triangle Ladder match. This match embodies why it takes everything you got to win a singular ladder match and it’s still worth watching time and time again!
Number 6. – Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle – Wrestlemania 21
This match’s story was really well-told and the build up was insane! Angle is facing his least favorite wrestler. He was angered at the fact that Shawn eliminated him at the Royal Rumble 2005 match and made it personal by revealing his secret hatred. The build up got really personal when he claims that on the day that Kurt Angle won his Olympic Gold Metal in 1996, everybody was talking about Shawn beating Bret in Wrestlemania 12 instead of his victory. Shawn Michaels versus Kurt Angle was nothing more than a fantasy match-up for a number of years. It started out with a pure mat-wrestling, which was a surprise because HBK never done this before, but he kept up Angle’s pace perfectly! Then the two start to show their grudges against each other by making this match more physical and violent. A slow build to fiery end as the two technicians give fans everything, and that’s what storytelling really means in the wrestling world. I still remember Kurt tried so desperately to German Suplex Shawn to the announcer’s table, but after HBK knock back Kurt to lie on the table, Shawn applied a moonsault from the apron to the table. That was one of the most insane moments of the entire match. From submission holds to high-flying action to an breathtaking ending that saw both men receive standing ovations. Angle hits the Angle Slam off the top rope, HBK hits Sweet Chin Music, then after kicking out at two, nothing could put either man down. That is until, Angle applied his final the ankle lock, that really damaged HBK’s leg. After a fierce fight, Michaels taps. This is Shawn Michael’s fourth best Wrestlemania match and it is hands down Kurt Angle’s best Wrestelmania match ever! This was a Dream Match that had been discussed for years amongst hardcore wrestling fans. Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels were at their best and the fans began demanding to see this great match. The build, the anticipation, and the payoff couldn’t have been better.
Number 5. – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Ladder Match – WrestleMania X
Bing that this was the first ladder match ever on WWE PPV, is probably one of the best one ever as well. Shawn Michaels had been the Intercontinental Champion until he got suspended and had to forfeit the belt. Razor Ramon was the new Intercontinental Champion with Michaels out and when the Heartbreak Kid returned, their was dispute over who was the real champion. There was so many creative ways that they used the ladder against each other that left an imprint on both of their careers. HBK went out there and had a match with the ladder. For that time in wrestling, it was one of a kind and nothing we have ever seen before! The bumps these two were taking were amazing and had our eyes glued to the TV. No wrestling fan will ever forget the splash HBK took from off the ladder to Razor. That image will remain as one of the most important images in WWE history. No matter how many times they used the ladder against each other, each of them kept coming back after each other and punish each other some more. I’ll never forget that ingenious finish at the end where Shawn Michaels got caught up on the ropes as he struggles to free himself as Razor climbed on the ladder to reach the Intercontinental Championships. Although Shawn Michaels put on one of his best performances ever, Razor Ramon won the match and became the undisputed Intercontinental Champion, a fine finish to some of the most talented and appealing wrestlers in the WWF. This was the very match that embodies the New Generation Era. Razor and Michaels had a second Ladder Match again in SummerSlam ’95 but it wasn’t as beautifully worked as their match at WrestleMania X.
Number 4. – Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart – Wrestlemania X
It has been debated which match was the best part of Wrestlemania X? Well since I’ve already mentioned the ladder match in the Number 5 pick, obviously I had have to go with Bret vs. Own as the best match of WMX. This is without a doubt the best opening match that I’ve ever seen! We’re talking about two brothers going at it one-on-one by delivering the best technical match you can possibly ask for! On any other night, the classic between Bret “Hit Man” Hart and his brother Owen Hart would have been considered the match of the night. The Hart brothers put on a memorable clinic in their opening match of WrestleMania X. Owen had an early advantage and worked on Bret’s injured leg for much of the match, but Bret looked to have things going his way as the match progressed. Both brothers connected with a bulldog, piledriver, superplex, sharpshooters, and almost every wrestling move that I can imagine all put in here but nothing could keep each other down. You have to see this match to believe how much of a masterpiece of a match that they’ve created. Bret tried to send Owen into the corner with an Irish whip, but Owen countered and followed him in. Bret went for a victory roll, but Owen reversed into his own pinning combination and scored the major upset, but it still is today the best opening match in any PPV. We’ll never see Owen be a main eventer, but Bret unselfishly gave his brother a moment to remember, even despite the fact that he had a main event match on the same night. I mean it when this match is very good and it deserved to last as long as it needed to be because it was a fantastic feud between the two. It was all athleticism in wrestling at it’s purest and it should be watched if you want to get into the wrestling business. love this match and this holds up as the best match of Wrestlemania X! For the fact that we have Wrestlemania X matches in this Top 10 should show you why Wrestlemania X is one of the best wrestling shows of all time!
Number 3. – Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
-Submission Match – Wrestlemania 13
Since the age of anti-heroes are celebrated, the only wrestler that couldn’t stand many of the changes happening to the WWF was Bret Hart. It is crazy to see Stone Cold playing as a heel somehow catching everyone’s attention and cheer for him, while the traditional babyface like Bret Hart are getting despised for not being as awesome. Though Bret was sorrow for losing to Shawn Michaels in the Iron Man match at Wrestlemania 12, he has redeemed himself by putting on a much better Wrestlemania match with his best rival Stone Cold Steve Austin. It would be on this night that Austin would truly become “Stone Cold” and begin his march to the top of the WWF. This match would be one much different than their Survivor Series battle. In the fact this was less of a wrestling match and more of a street fight. Bret Hart came in as the face and Stone Cold was the heel, but after this match, which Bret Hart was declared the winner, their roles switched and made Stone Cold Steve Austin the star that he is today. This match was filled with the use of outside objects used to ram each other and Austin was cut open and bleeding from his head like a stuffed pig. This match was certainly not Hart’s specialty, but you wouldn’t know it by watching the match. “The Hitman” was just as ruthless and cold as Austin on this night, eventually leading to the unforgettable Shapshooter that would leave “Stone Cold” unconscious and bloody in the middle of the ring. Although Austin never said the words “I quit,” he passed out from the pain and loss of blood, so referee Ken Shamrock declared Hart the winner. Austin may not have won the match, but his performance made him the new top guy in the company. Everyone respected Austin passing out in the puddle of his own blood rather than giving up. This match sparked the ‘Attitude Era’ and was the birth of Stone Cold Steve Austin as the face of the company. I still regard this as one of the best wrestling matches I’ve ever seen. If there’s one wish that I would love to see come true is if Bret Hart stayed with the company longer to make many more memorably moments in the Attitude Era. But whatever the case, this is the one match that certainly opened door to this beloved era of wrestling and since then we honor this match for allowing the WWF giving its fans many more like this one many years to come!
Number 2. – The Ultimate Warrior vs. Macho King Randy Savage
– Retirement Match – Wrestlemania VII
The rivalry between these two wasn’t as big as Hogan vs. Warrior in Wrestlemania 6 or Hogan vs. Savage or Wrestlemania 5, but I can easily say that this was no doubt the best Wrestlemania match of both of their careers. Yes, I said it! This match was better than Ricky “The Dragon Steamboat vs. Savage at Wrestlemania 3 and Warrior vs. Hogan at ‘Mania 6! The stipulation was the loser of the match has to retire and the stakes were so much higher than anyone’s booking in a Wrestlemania. Warrior came in walking (not running) in the ring trying to save his energy because never was a wild man like him ever so serious about one match. The match started with each man posing for the crowd as Macho King gets booed and Warrior gets cheered. From then on, the match kept pacing itself effortlessly with great athleticism and amazing backfire of the ruse of Savage and Queen Sherri. Sherri’s involvement in the match was pure genius as it continues to bring heat on the king and queen. It was babyface vs heel at it’s finest as Macho did everything imaginable to take down the power of the Warrior. I never seen a match between two wrestlers to be so intense that it continues to bring chills down my spine because it combines physicality, athleticism, showmanship, and technicality all into one and it went non-stop. Sherri was definitely the most hated in the match because of interfering way too much in this match that made Warrior so desperate to knock her out.
Just a perfectly booked match with so many memorable moments throughout! I still can’t believe that Warrior kicked out of five top-rope elbow drops by Macho King and Macho kicking out of Warrior’s press slam-splash combo. I still couldn’t believe how unpredictable this match really was and it kept me wondering who was going to win this match. Nobody wants to retire when they’re still at their prime and both of these wrestlers showed their passion of this sport because of everything they’ve done in this match. Warrior was about to leave the match because neither one of these men could give up this match but the excitement kept going non-stop. And then finally this match finally ends when Warrior applied three running shoulder blocks on Savage that took the wind out of him that left him out of victory.
But the story of this match doesn’t end there. The real drama, however, occurred after the match when Macho was attacked by his manager Sensational Sherri and then saved by his former manager and ex-girlfriend Miss Elizabeth. As the real life couple reconciled, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. This was some of the best babyface turn I’ve ever seen where even though the heel lost the match and his manager, he won everyone’s hearts by returning to his lover Miss Elizabeth. There is a clear reason why these two deserve my ranking of as the number 1 couple of professional wrestling! We’ve waited forever for these two to come back together and there was no perfect time to put these two back together than in Wrestlemania 7 that lead to the best on-screen wedding in Wrestling at Summerslam 1991. This is a match that goes down as one of, if not, the best Wrestlemania match of all time because it went beyond anyone’s expectations and towards the end of the match, the loser is celebrated like the Rocky movie! It’s a moment that can never be replicated and it holds a special place in many of our hearts!
Number 1. – Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 25
This is without question, the best Wrestlemania match ever! We’re talking about Undertaker who started to get really good when he started taking on Championship matches with Edge and Batista and trying to beat the streak became more important than any wrestling championship. And we’re also talking about Shawn Michaels who had a fantastic comeback making some of the most memorable Wrestlemania moments and matches since his return like facing guys like Jericho, HHH & Benoit, Kurt Angle, Vince McMahon, and retiring Ric Flair. These two couldn’t face off at a better time. These two came from the Hogan-era, the new generation, attitude era, the brand extension, and the PG-era and were still standing strong to show why these legends are as good as it is told. And what we got here is of the greatest and most magical experiences a wrestling fan ever had in their lives. And from their contrasting Heaven and Hell entrances to the climactic ending, everything about HBK/Taker was just magic. As I watched the match progress, my excitement, suspense and disbelief grew as I witnessed two legends wage war in that very ring. It was wonderful to see both of them do their signature moves that was never done better. There were aspects of the match that almost look like a botch but moved incredibly fast to the next move before it becomes a mistake, like Taker dodging down from a Sweat Chin Music and Shawn make it a figure four.
Then the Undertaker took his signature WrestleMania dive at Michaels, only to have one of the nastiest crash-and-burns I had ever seen landing on the cameraman. I was in disbelief at what just happened. And soon Michaels and the referee were back in the ring, and the referee began to count. I could not believe what I was seeing, and neither could everyone else. I urged Taker to get up, not wanting this great match to end a count-out, and as the count neared 10, it seemed more and more likely. And just before the 10 count, he slid back in! I roared with a great cheer, overjoyed that it did not end that way. With one simple count, these two managed to evoke an emotion that we rarely feel. These two men made you believe that this match was really going to end the way it nearly did, and told a phenomenal story through it. The match continued, and I watched as these two men delivered their signature moves to one another, every single one failing to get a three. Every time a two count was made, I felt more and more suspense fill my being. I was literally holding my breath, goosebumps were all over my arms, and shivers were coming down my spine.
Then Shawn Michaels tries to skin the cat, but Taker catches him and hits him with the Tombstone! At that moment, I thought the match was over, but as soon as Shawn Michaels kicked out before the three-count, I had that feeling like I never felt before. As Jim Ross puts it “I just had an out of body experience” and immediately I had the exact same feeling and Jim Ross delivered his best commentating in his entire career! That’s the power of storytelling in professional wrestling; this match captures that every essence. The Reliant Astrodome blew the roof off as surprise, shock and disbelief overcame me. I could not believe what I just saw. Michaels kicked out of the Tombstone Piledriver! Undertaker’s face was on of disbelief, and I couldn’t blame him. That was impossible. It was at that time that I began to wonder if Michaels could really do it. Could he really do what 17 others before could not? Could he defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania? Is he going to really break the streak?
Moments later, Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music! I can’t believe it! HBK did it! He actually did it! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!!! I could not believe what I just saw! Taker kicked out of Shawn Michaels best Sweet Chin Music! This is unreal! What the hell was it going to take for either of these men to win? I knew at that moment I was witnessing history. I was witnessing a classic that people would talk about for years to come! Not too long after, Taker beautifully caught Michaels as he went for a moonsault and delivered a second Tombstone Piledriver. One! Two! Three! And with that, the greatest match of all time finally came to a close, and Undertaker went 17-0. On one spring night on April 5th, 2009 in the Reliant Astrodome, Michaels and Undertaker created something special: a match that perhaps no one could ever come close to. It was a match that truly defined what modern wrestlers should strive for and it’s a real privilege to see the best that professional wrestling had to offer! These are the two that were the masters of in-ring storytelling, in-ring work, and controlling the audience and because of this match delivered on a very special wrestling match. The feud continued in 3 more Wrestlemanias with the rematch of having Shawn Michaels retired after his second defeat in Wrestlemania 26, Triple H brawling Undertaker in a street fight in Wrestlemania 27, to “An End of An Era” facing off in Hell in a Cell at Wrestlemania 28 against Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee. Each of those matches were the best match of those shows, but where it all started remains the best! The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match at Wrestlemania 25 still remains the not only the best wrestling match of all time, but it’s one of life’s true delights!
The Top Listed Greatest Wrestlemania Matches
10. 9. 8.
7. 6. 5.
4. 3. 2.
When you watched every single Wrestlemania like I have, you should already know that Wrestlemania had many of the worst matches in its history. Whenever there’s a top there has to be a bottom and these here not only are the bottom, but detest the Wrestlemania name from being an all time great Wrestling show. We paid so much money to have a wrestling show to change our lives and WWE is no stranger to having horrible booking decisions, bad finishes, horrible storytelling, and featuring horrible wrestlers that either couldn’t make a chemistry together or just didn’t give that much effort as we hope for. And if you want to know my opinion on all the Wrestlemania match, just look at the link below to see every one of my Wrestlemania reviews. Sometimes they can even become twice as awful than I’ve mentioned that makes it into the all time worst. As a huge professional wrestling fan, I can never learn my lesson to not be so anticipated for each Wrestlemania each year and should remember the scars that the WWE has given me. After 30 years of experiencing this once-in-a-year show, it’s time to count down the worst matches of Wrestlemania history!
Number 10. – Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon
I really don’t want to remember this match because this match should never have happened. Bret Hart should have had more integrity than this when he made peace with Shawn Michaels in an episode of RAW that became the best moment of WWE where forgiveness triumphs. But because Vince McMahon didn’t want to make Bret Hart just a host of Wrestlemania and let whatever happened in the Montreal Screwjob to just be bye-gones, they had to make it into a match. Bret Hart suffered a great stroke when he officially retired in 2000, seeing him come into the ring show that he’s not in shape to perform. But I’ll give Vince credit, he did try to make Bret powerful, but for the fact that the whole Hart family had to come into the ring and continually beat up Vince was just too much. I was getting fed up with Bret Hart about to give Vince McMahon a sharpshooter and then decide not to. Everybody just wanted to have that Sharpshooter applied and finish the match, but no. Revenge just had to wait a little longer… Did I say little, I mean A LOT longer. This match went on forever and it’s only a certain point in time where Vince had to stop acting like a vulnerable shit but seriously, everyone was getting really bored in this match. Hell, even Bret had to sit in a chair in the middle of the ring just catch his breath and the commentators was running out of things to say. Enough with the teasing with Sharpshooter, enough with the chairshots, and enough with the pandering. Please just finish this match. After the 11 minute mark, Bret finally apple the sharpshooter and you already know Vince was going to tap. I mean it was great to have revenge after Montreal Screwjob that tortured Bret throughout all of these years, but that doesn’t mean if Bret’s enjoying it, the audience was. I can’t say it’s anywhere as the worst Wrestlemania match, but it should never had happened. I have too much respect for Bret to even acknowledge this match ever existed. But it could have been worse if Vince won and that’s the only positive I can say about this match. I’m being too generous because Bret Hart is my hero and the idea of Vince vs. Bret sounds like years of build up, but at the end it just left a bad taste in our mouths that’s almost just as bad as the Montreal Screwjob that started this whole fiasco.
Number 9. – Akebono vs. Big Show – Sumo Match
After the awesome Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels match, we had to start catching our breaths from a wonderful match with a dull mid-card match… but we didn’t ask for anything this ridiculous!! This match isn’t just bad (not as bad as the Lesnar-Goldberg match) but it was offensive. It offends me that anyone think that a Sumo match is a joke, it isn’t! It’s Japan’s most traditional, physical, and most important sport that lasted for over a century. Americans doesn’t even know the importance of Sumo but I’ll give WWE credit, they’ve tried to introduce the North American audience what Sumo wrestling is by featuring the greatest Yokozuna (Sumo Champion) Akebono. It’s too bad that no American knows who Akebono is because he was the best at his time and the first American that won the Yokozuna title. But what Sumo is, it’s a real physical sport and this match was phony baloney! If this was actually real, then we would have had these men toss out within seconds. It was too slow and all it did was test my patience to just have Big Show to be toss off of the ring for Akebono to win. What a disgrace to the Sumo sport!
Number 8. – Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice
No doubt this has got to be one of the worst Wrestlemania Main Events of all time! Sgt. Slaughter and Hogan’s last year’s Wrestlemania had more stipulation and drama compared to the whiny baby fight that just started because Hogan couldn’t accept being eliminated in the Royal Rumble 1992 Match. The match between Hulk and Sid was not a wrestling match, it just as slob fight that only used punching and strikes that has been carried throughout the match and had VERY little wrestling involved. What’s worse is that they’ve tried to make this a replication of the Warrior and Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 with using a test of strength and tried to make it intense but it wasn’t at all. Nothing in this match was at all convincing, nothing in this match was at all exciting, and it was a soulless main event that was so boring. Sure, Hogan’s other opponents in his other Wrestlemanias didn’t give him a good in-ring work but at least they had a story in them – Sid and Hogan was just two guys who still can’t get over their defeat in Royal Rumble like everybody else’s. The worst part of all is the damn finish. What made this match so horrible was because Harvey Wippleman just entering the wrestling ring as soon as Sid kicked out of Hogan’s Atomic Leg Drop. I’m going to say it flat out that Harvey Wippleman is the worst manager ever. He has no charisma, nothing memorable, and there’s nothing appealing towards this weasel like Heenan, Mr. Fuji, and Jimmy Hart so why did he cause a disqualification in this match? Hell if I know. Then Papa Shango came in to help… and since when did Shango ever teamed up with Sid? Oh just because he wasn’t booked in this card, he had to get involved. Then stupidly enough, they had to get the Ultimate Warrior (from a long absence) to return to save Hulk Hogan. At this point, it doesn’t matter because it the match was already ruined, Warrior lost a lot of muscle that he doesn’t look the same, and all he got was a chairshot at the back only having Sid to flee. I couldn’t believe the audience being so amused with Warrior’s return that it made it look like they’re accepting mediocrity… I mean poor results than what could have been. This was a completely meaningless victory only to have Warrior just have a comeback. Easily one of the worst Wrestlemania Main Events ever!
Number 7. – The Miz (c) (with Alex Riley) vs. John Cena – WWE Championship –
I’ve reviewed really bad Wrestlemania main events, but this is so bad that it’s clearly advertisement for the next Wrestlemania because the Rock and John Cena kept focusing on each other so many times that The Miz is not even recognized in this match. That is not good when the company is supposed to create new stars just to have someone like the Miz as a second thought as the tension between Rock and Cena became the main focus of the match. Because of this stupid focus of Cena and Rock instead of Cena and Miz is why Miz is pushed so backwards to below mid-card. Fuck, Miz didn’t even headlight in another Wrestlemania since this horrid main event. Miz went from anti-establishment with a natural edge to his character (yes, The Miz) to a cookie-cutter, WWE-formula, weak heel. As soon as creative started paying attention to him, he lost a lot of his luster. At first it was okay: He used to call out John Cena and when the (injured) superstar no-showed, Miz would claim the win by forfeit. This lasted all the way up until the 2009 Great American Bash pay-per-view (PPV) when he lost to Cena in five minutes. He lost again in a squash on Raw and shuffled down to mid-card obscurity. He never recovered his fan support. Then, after they had killed him, the creative powers at WWE naturally decided to do something with him. They made him the mentor of NXT’er Daniel Bryan. This only pissed us off more because by now The Miz had become one-dimensional and stale, his in-ring skills had never improved and he was “mentoring” an indie superstar. With fans sufficiently sick of him, the WWE decided the time was ripe to put the title on him. Even despite the fact that he beat Cena in this match with the help from the Rock, The Rock’s involvement in this match and aftermath couldn’t save it, instead it worsen it. Having Rock attack both Cena and Miz because there was nothing more to add to this show, really shows why this whole card was horrible! If you actually made me want to watch Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Laylor in Wrestlemania 11 instead of this match, that should tell you how bad this main event is in comparison to that main event. This match was just garbage and the worst possible way you can finish a show, an abortion!
Number 6. – Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
And speaking of abortions… This is without a doubt the worst match in Undertaker’s career and the role Wrestlemania show! None of it was Undertaker’s fault, rather it was the booker’s decision to have him to become dance parters with Gonzalez. This is the reason why I’m not a fan of giant wrestlers because Gonzales (along with Great Kahli) are incredibly slow. I never bought in the stupid Gonzalez’s gimmick where they had to take a 7 foot’6 that’s built-in as 8 feet tall and had to make him wear that ridiculous body suit that had muscles on it, that made the how viewing experience terrible to watch. To make things even more awkward was Taker came in with a freaking crow for some apparent reason, but the bird would had died from how terrible this match as. Poor, Taker. The whole match was atrocious. Non of the moves Taker used on Gonzalez looked at all affected but was oversold like shit. There were just too many punching, choking, and no wrestling involved. The worst part of it all was Gonzalez used a towel of chloroform, which Gonzalez used to knock The Undertaker unconscious. This match ended in a disqualification and it was already bad enough, but the drama continues with Taker coming back to the ring after he was dragged out with the medical team just to give Gonzalez a flying close line because Gonzalez was too big for a chokeslam or Tombstone. What a stupid way to continue to drag this match and each minute goes by gets worse and worse. Just to take Gonzalez down is the most pointless thing in wrestling it left a serious awful taste in our mouths. The Undertaker’s streak would have been a perfect streak if it wasn’t for this match
Number 5. – 20-Diva’s Battle Royal – Wrestlemania 25
Wrestlemania and bad women’s wrestling are no stranger to each other, but this one deeply offended me. This match is INCREDIBLY sexist and you can tell that the WWE did not give a fuck about the women’s… I mean Divas division (Santino’s in here). You did not give a proper introduction to any of these women wrestlers who were both current in the roster at the time and also returning to the WWE for this Wrestlemania show. I was pissed that they had to get Kid Rock to lead them the way while he was performing one of the worst musical performances in Wrestlemania history! Yes! I really mean it when Kid Rock overshadowed the women wrestlers because apparently he’s so much of a sex symbol that their women coming in this match had to be push aside! Hell, even the commentators couldn’t even fucking tell who where in this battle royal. And what offends me more is that Molly Holly had to swallow her pride to get back in to that classic Molly Holly blonde-gimmick and give her best efforts. She, along with all the women participating in this battle royal, were not even mentioned or noticed until they got eliminated. If it wasn’t for the commentators who were noticing the ones eliminated we would never know who the fuck was in the match. Even Torrie Wilson had to express her frustrations with this match for the lack of support for their women in this match. All of these women were unappreciative and it’s even a bigger crime that some of the legends who build the Divas division where shoved out of the side. Since the WWE, Wikipedia, and other internet sources doesn’t even know who’s in this battle royal allow me to tell you who made it after a much of replay of this awful match. Kelly Kelly, Layla, Jillian Hall, Nikki & Brie Bella, Michelle McCool, Rosa Mendez, Maria, Eve, Katie Lea, Gail Kim, Alicia Fox, WWE Divas Champion Maryse, Mickie James, Natalya Neidhart, Tiffany, Victoria, Sunny, Joy Giovanni, Jackie Gayda, Torrie Wilson, and Molly Holly. And worst of all, the finish of this match. If there’s a good reason why I despise Santino Marella it has to be his participation in this match. He had to cross dress his way to participate and win by last eliminating the last woman just to crown herself… I mean himself as Miss Wrestlemania. This match was poorly structured, nobody knew who was in this match, and the finish of having a male win over the females was offensive. This was supposed to represent women’s wrestling and they made it into a fucking joke. Fuck Santino! Fuck the booking decision made for this match! And Fuck the WWE for allowing this to happen!!! If you ever wonder why the women’s wrestling is at the state that it is, this match has to be one of the big reasons!
Number 4. – Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna & Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – Wrestlemania 9
Here we are having Bret coming in as the champion facing the Royal Rumble winner, but non of these men were prepared for each other and that’s a bad thing. I love Bret Hart and Yokozuna but this is actually horrible. Bret, many times, outsmarted Yokozuna using his tactics against his size and power, but Yoko managed to use his size to squash Hart. I didn’t like the fact that this match didn’t feel at all like a Wrestlemania main event. It was more like an episode of Monday Night Raw where there are no surprises, nothing was memorable, and it felt soulless throughout. I hated the finish of the match where Bret Hart got Yokozuna in the sharpshooter and then had sand tossed in his eyes by Mr. Fuji which got Yokozuna the pin. So a sand in the eye causes a knockout pin? That’s stupid!!! Honestly the worst main event in the entirety of Wrestlemania! Oh but it didn’t even end there. If you want a match finish that actually as bad, if not worse than ‘Taker vs. Gonzalez, along came egomaniac, Hulk Hogan, coming in the ring that all of the sudden was offered a match with Yokozuna by Mr. Fuji, as soon as Hart got defeated. He checks on Hart and Hart hides his eyes pointing for Hogan to get Yoko (while it looked like he was actually face palming this booking decision). All of the sudden, Hogan was being held by Yokozuna as Mr. Fuji was about to throw “sand” of all things, only to hit Yoko in the eyes, having Hogan give Yoko a closeline and leg drop. He pinned in for the WWF Championship making this 22 seconds of “awful” experience. And then here we are left with Hogan posing with the damn belt with a fucking black eye. That, ladies and gentlemen is the main event ending of Wrestlemania 9. To have Hulk Hogan come out after Bret Hart had a full on match against Yokozuna, just to have Hogan to win the belt over Hart and overshadow is rise to fame is completely unforgivable!
Number 3. – Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
You might think that I’m putting this match in the worst category too soon but this is really one of Undertaker’s worst match in his entire career. It’s wondrous to see that Brock Lesnar has given us one of the worst Wrestlemania match ten years ago in Wrestlemania 20 and he did the same thing again. I’ll give him credit, at least he wasn’t standing awkwardly in this match. There were no surprises, no story involved, and even no suspense going on in this match. The whole stadium and even the commentators were all dead silent in this match because it was so damn boring and so predictable at the point where we weren’t even paying attention. Part of it is because there was barely any build-up, except for chokeslamming Brock through the table in an episode of Raw, but that’s really it. You can really see that Undertaker didn’t’ give a shit in this match because he wasn’t intense, he didn’t make any fast pace movements, and he was just too submissive to Brock that we didn’t care. I mean how was a chokeslam and a Tombstone Piledriver not get a reaction is beyond me. And then the finish happened when Brock gave Taker the third F-5 and after the three count, everyone in the stadium and even everyone at home are stunned that such a stupid booking decision has been made! I can’t believe Brock was chosen to end the streak! You’re telling me that a part timer like Brock that couldn’t care less for the business and have the privilege to actually end the streak?! Don’t even put Undertaker as a part-timer, at least ‘Taker never left the company! Every single person in that stadium had their mind’s blown at what they’ve just seen. I can go far as to say that John Cena is more worthy to end the streak than Brock who loves his UFC career more than his time in the WWE.I know the that streak would end eventually, but if it really was going to end, it would have to have a great story involved, believability that Undertaker was going to loose to this guy as the build up, and most of all, put some effort in the match from breaking the streak. What is an insult to me is the fact that all those men that tried to end the streak was all worth for nothing. It was the fact that Undertaker carried something incredibly special in the wrestling world that no other fucking sport, entertainment, or media ever has and it just ended without any awareness. We all know that Undertaker wanted to end the streak but why he chose Brock Lesnar is beyond whatever the fuck reason that cannot compute! ’m not saying the steak should never end, it was bound to happen, all I’m saying it pass down a torch to someone who will carry on the company as much as Undertaker has. Apparently, there are so many who are worthy to end the streak like John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, and especially Sting. If there was ever going to be anything like the streak, it would have to take another 2 decades to build up a star that can be equivalent to Undertaker’s legacy. For the fact that this was a bad storyline, a bad opponent, and even a bad match, the streak deserved a better ending than this one. For what it was, it was a compete tragedy and there’s no turning back to make it better.
Number 2. – Jerry The King Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you the worst match of the whole show and it’s an incredibly painful one to sit through. Dealing with Michael Cole’s heel commentaries was some of the most painful and agonizing commentaries I’ve ever seen. I mean, sure I was once a fan of his commentary when he was teamed up with Tazz in Smackdown back in the brand extension, but seeing him bash every wrestler on NXT, had to protect himself with bullet proof class in his own commentary table, and even constantly argue with his commentary colleagues was the time where I had to put the mute button more times than not. I still get that feeling each time I hear Michael Cole commentating nowadays, but this is the WORST booking of a match that I’ve ever seen. Nobody wants to see washed up has-beens to duke it out in the ring. We’ve seen Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon that proved that, but the WWE just didn’t get it through their heads and had Lawler and Cole to wrestle in a Fucking Wrestlemania match. How on blue blazes of fucks did this headline in this card but the Sheamus-Daniel Bryan match was a dark match? It was bad enough to see Vince McMahon to oversell Bret Hart’s moves in Wrestlemania 26, but Cole just over did it at the point where it embarrassed not only the company, but the whole Wrestling industry! Nothing in this match felt at all impacting and everything done in this match was poorly executed. The whole crowd in the stadium shouted out boring as the match continues and not even Jim Ross and Booker T could even save the commentary. Lawler applied his own version of the ankle lock. Cole tapped immediately. Austin hilariously asked, “Do…you…give…up.” Cole screamed that he did. Austin eventually called for the bell to give the win to Lawler via submission. Cole and Swagger split. Austin’s music played and he handed a couple of beers to Lawler for a celebration. Booker T entered the ring and wanted to party with them. Booker performed the Spinaroonie. Austin laughed and gave him a beer. Booker took a swig, and Austin gave him the Stunner… why?! Who cares. With Austin and Lawler in the ring together, the anonymous general manager email chime sounded… yeah forgot about that stupid gimmick of a computer storyline? Well, that was one stupid storytelling device that I DON’T want to remember. Mathews stood up and read a message for the GM, who ruled that Austin overstepped his boundaries as the referee, and Lawler lost the match by disqualification. Cole, who had some blood in his mouth, was lying on the ramp with a big smile on his face. Lawler went to ringside and protested to Mathews. He eventually threw Josh inside the ring, where Austin hit Mathews with a Stunner for a big pop. Austin hopped on his four wheeler and headed backstage, leaving Lawler to join his longtime partner Ross on commentary… And to think that the WWE think we actually cared. FUCK YOU, WWE! And FUCK THIS MATCH UP THE ASS!!!
Number 1. – Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Now I’ve been reviewing a lot of Wrestlemanias up to this point and I’ve seen a lot of horrible matches. This one here, is perhaps THE most disappointing Wrestlemania match I’ve ever seen in my life. Here we are having two of the biggest and strongest wrestlers in the WWE that they need to have Stone Cold Steve Austin to be special guest referee to control this match. We’ve expected a monstrous match between two physique wrestlers. But we never got that. We were betrayed because Brock Lesnar was leaving after this Wrestlemania where he wants to join the NFL Vikings and Goldberg despised what WWE booking did to his credentials. It’s no wonder why Sting never came to WWE because what they’ve done to WCW’s top stars like Goldberg having Triple H burying him for no apparent reason than to make himself look better than anyone else. Goldberg vs. Lesnar is sickens me each time I go back to this match. This was some of the most unprofessional matches I’ve ever seen where the majority of the match, these two idiots just stood there, grappled each other then stood there some more. The whole crowd hijacked the match chanting “Goldberg sucks!” “Lesnar Sucks!” “You Sold Out!” and “Boring!!” throughout this match. Here we are having Stone Cold Steve Austin standing there just waiting for them to finally go at it. Then grapple some more, then the brawl was taken out at ringside, slowly. Then they comeback in the ring to finally do their finishers. At this point I really want this to be over. Lesnar gives Goldberg an F-5, but (fuck!) he kicked out. Then Goldberg gave Lesnar a Spear and Jackhammer for the win. But that didn’t end there, Lesnar had to get back up on his feet and flip off at the fans then at Stone Cold. Then later Stone Cold gave him a stunner and it’s a miracle that Brock sold it otherwise he would of made this match much worse than it already is. Then Goldberg celebrated with Austin with a beer. It was cool to see what was WCW’s top star drinking with Stone Cold who both look similar and were the toughest players of their sport even though we’ll never see them wrestle each other. The crowd booed at Goldberg’s victory, so Austin had to stunner Bill and take the spotlight away from both of them… man this was a disastrous match! It went beyond disappointment but turned out to be a soulless, passionless, and most dried out match that I’ve ever seen. The match as a whole just could not be saved due to the intense hate the crowd was spewing all throughout it. The slow start was embarrassing and they didn’t seem to have chemistry in the ring. But what’s worse is the attitude between both men that made this one of the worst matches that I’ve ever seen in my life. Sure Brock Lesnar became a bigger name in the MMA world years later, but it’s because of this very match is why I’m not much of a fan of Brock and Goldberg as I used to be. I really looked forward to this match back in 2004 and this match becomes more shitty as the years go by. It ultimately became an embarrassment for all three of those men, the whole company, and even the wrestling fans who supported WWE throughout all of these years! It was supposed to be the best physique match since Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan, but it was just to have Bill Goldberg winning the match, let Lesnar go, just to have Stone Cold give the stunner on the both of them. This is the biggest abortion that has ever happened to wrestling. At least all the bad wrestlemania matches, you can see some patin for the wrestlers to give a good show, but these two did not even gave a shit! Brock Lesnar has recently pissed me off that he broke Undertaker streak, but this match right here is honestly the worst thing that Brock Lesnar as ever done and it’s all WWE’s fault for pushing a rookies too damn fast to make him to create such a disastrous moment in wrestling!
This is actually the first Wrestlemania in the Brand Extension Era and also the first Wrestlemania where the whole company changed their name from WWF to WWE because of the lawsuit dispute from the World Wild Federation. What’s done is done, and now this is the World Wrestling Entertainment that’s headed to a whole new direction of dividing the product into Smackdown and Monday Night Raw. This is great because there’s enough room for a bigger roster on two separate organizations, more opportunities for rising stars, and more screen time for a bigger roster instead of cramming everything in. Since the era has begun, each of the Brands had their own Pay-per-view every two months and when it comes to the big four (Summerslam, Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, and Wrestlemania) both brands collide. Personally, Smackdown was the best show in 2002-2003 because it was a new direction of pure wrestling and story lines were more well written than anything Raw was offering. Despite my feelings towards Smackdown and Raw, I can easily say that both brands put in one hell of a show called Wrestlemania 19. This was one of the most ambitious Wrestlemanias since Wrestlemania 14 because of the hype surrounding it and the success that WWE was getting. At the same time, there was a lot of problems happening in many of the wrestler’s personal lives. Kurt Angle is having serious neck problems that has been there since his Olympic Gold Medal victory, Brock Lesnar, a rookie, is coming in as a main event, Hulk Hogan is having serous back problems, and Stone Cold Steve Austin had faced a divorce, had a dangerous amount of caffeine & stress, and he was in the hospital the night before the show begun. This show could have been disastrous, but somehow, the magic within the audience, the wrestlers, and everyone watching remained strong and they pulled it together to make a hell of a Wrestlemania. This is a Wrestlemania where new stars rises and old ones comes to an end. Dare to dream?
Matt Hardy (c) (with Shannon Moore) vs. Rey Mysterio – Cruiserweight Championship – One reason why Smackdown was so much better is the fact that they had a great focus on wrestling weight divisions like the Cruiserweights. Suddenly all of those high fliers and smaller wrestlers seen in WCW are very often see in Smackdown. To be honest, we haven’t had a match like this in a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 14 with Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila. Now I have to admit that Matt Hardy’s new gimmick with “Matt Hardy Version 2.0/Mattitude” was incredibly weak where he’s teamed up with Shannon Moore as a small faction. The gimmick for Matt Hardy’s solo career was not a very good one and it’s a downgrade from what he’s known for before he broke up with Lita and Jeff with Team Xtreame. However, his greatest opponent at this point of his career was Rey Mysterio and we’ve got a chance to see it all in this opening match for the show. This opening show was fast paced and explosive where we were seeing Mysterio doing his flying moves that we all love. I really miss old-school Rey where he was incredibly fast and had the stamina like no other wrestler in the WWF at the time. I really don’t think we had much of lucha libre in Wrestlemania and thanks to Mysterio for really made some of the sickest moves in this whole show. He was able to do those amazing reversals and tricks that really amazed the whole audience. I remember he reversed that top rope Razor’s Edge to a hurricanrana. He would have won with a 619, but Matt reversed it with a cheap roll up to retain his Cruiserweight Championship. It was in deed a fun match, but still Bret vs. Owen still holds the rank for the best opening match ever in a Wrestlemania.
Match Score: 4/5
The Undertaker vs. The Big Show and A-Train – Before anyone calls this pointless, just remember that this match could have been much much worse if it were a tag team with Nathan Jones as ‘Taker’s partner. Thank goodness that Nathan Jones fool got cut out of this match before this would have been hailed as Undertaker’s most miss-booked match, if not his worse. At this point in time, everyone was not into the biker-American-badass Undertaker because there was no personality or charm. The opening band Limp Biscuit really threw in the cheese all over Taker’s credibility coming in this wrestlemania. As for the match… it was bad. Big Show and A-Train were too big of slobs to make this match anywhere exciting. Instead, we just see Taker getting ganged up by the two and we just had to see him strike out his opponents in slow fashion. The match was getting more and more dull into bullshit where Nathan Jones came into the Undertaker’s rescue. Jones had no business being in anywhere in Taker’s spotlight and still to this day the WWE tries their best to make us forget about that ex-prisoner. Sure, Undertaker won this match (deservedly) but having the inclusion of Nathan Jones in this match and have little to no story for this match, this is without a doubt the worst match on the card.
Match Score: 1/5
Trish Stratus vs. Victoria (c) (with Steven Richards) vs. Jazz – Women’s Championship – It has been a year too late fore Trish to win in Wrestlemania (especially in her home country), but after that awful women’s match last year, all three of these women justified it all in this match. Wrestlemania has had a bad history with women’s matches and after 19 years, they finally delivered a really great woman’s match! This actually the first time that I wasn’t in the need for a bathroom break, but instead was engaged with all the action going on. Trish had to prove herself as not just a pretty face by trying to go toe-to-toe with some of the strongest women in the WWE at the time. Sure, this is some of the material that we can see in a normal Divas match in Raw/Smackdown but all three of these women display great athleticism, even despite the fact that the match was all Trish. By making it fair and square, Trish gave Victoria a chick kick for the victory and declared herself the new Women’s Champion. This is the time where WWE fans recognize Trish more of a competitor and years after this Wrestlemania she delivered great matches onward. For once we had a great women’s match in a Wrestlemania event and it was a step for the female wrestlers in the WWE.
Match Score: 4/5
Team Angle (c) vs. Los Guerreros vs. Chris Benoit and Rhyno – WWE Tag Team Championships – The problem with many of the Tag Team Wrestlemania matches is that they all feel the middle of the road and it’s incredibly slow-paced. THis one however is not at all boring, instead it was pure technical wrestling from all three of these teams. I really don’t think that there were any heels in this match, if there was then it’s a miracle that not one team have to keep other from tagging. This was a non-stop tag team match where each wrestler in the match displayed a great performance. It was so much better than the dark match tag team match before Wrestlemania 19. I think the best part of this match was when Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero was wrestling together because they knew each other very well; performing much better than all the other guys in this match. In a matter of fact, they probably had more screen time together in this match than all the rest. Of course, like other Tag matches, there has to be a point where there’s no point of focusing on the legal man and just let all the teams go on out. Rhyno gave the Gore to Charlie Hass and Chavo, but Eddie had to pull Rhyno out, but Chano who was still down got pinned by Shelton Benjamin to retain the Tag Team championships. I’m still a little bitter about the results of the match, but this mid-card suited very well to this Wrestlemania and it even riches the quality of this show
Match Score: 4/5
Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho – Wow! HBK finally made a Wrestlemania appliance since Wrestlemania 14. I may have been harsh on Shawn’s involvement on the Montreal Screwjob, but after his five year retirement, Shawn got his life straight and became a born-again Chirstian. Since Michaels returned, he actually wrestled better than he did in the 90’s when he was the WWF’s top star! This mach really showed here where Shawn has an opponent who’s his equal. This is a match that feels like a two guys in a similar size and skills, but at the same time it felt like a fight between teacher and student. This is the type of match that every great Wrestlemania show needs to have where it’s not about anything but to sow who’s really the better man in the mid-card. Though the build-up for this match was a little over dramatic, however the storytelling in this match was very well executed. These two patterns each other in a lot of ways where Shawn does what he does best and Chris Jericho tries to out perform Shawn using his tactics and style. This match is technical showmanship at its finest. I was impressed to see how well done the grappling holds, flying moves, and using various signature moves were used throughout the match and you can see the frustration Jericho was having as the matchup continued. I this in-ring psychology of a jealous opponent against a egotistical showman. It was such an electrifying match and it ended perfectly with a roll up for the victory. Towards the aftermath, both of these men hugged each other then Jericho gave HBK a low blow, marking his “Wrestlemania moment.” Though it told a great story and had all of us hate Jericho even more, it was fantastic from beginning to end and arguably the best match of the night.
Match Score: 5/5
Triple H (c) (with Ric Flair) vs. Booker T – World Heavyweight Championship – dNow this is the reason why I wasn’t a fan of Raw at the time. Basically, on Raw, Triple H has been burying all of his opponents making it look like he’s God of the wrestling world. The WWE tried to pound Triple H down our throats and I just didn’t like the choice of having Booker T being the number 1 contender because he won a battle royal on Raw instead of winning it in an actual match. This match is a missed opportunity were they should have had the first black wrestler (a 5 time WCW champion) that deserved this victory for the World Heavyweight Championship. The two had really great chemistry were Booker took Triple H to the limit by striking back at his ruse and tactics in the beginning of the match, but when Hunter takes control of the match it’s all burying from here on out. Most of Triple H’s matches were a bit slow, but with Booker as his dance partner, he was able to deliver a more fast-paced match up. I’ll give Triple H credit, he made Booker T look very good in this match… till Triple H worked on Booker’s legs that started to drag. This was some of the best matches I’ve seen from Booker and I wished that he would kept on with this pace throughout his career after this match, but unfortunately, Triple H just had to beat Brooker with a Pedigree and nothing significant has happened in this match. This is Triple H’s burying at its finest and it’s no wonder why people forgot that this match was even in the card. The one thing I can say is that thank God that this is not another Triple H main event or this would have been a disastrous Wrestlemania finish like last year.
Match Score: 3/5
Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon – Street Fight – You know, Stone Cold ruined his chances to recover his career if only he didn’t leave the WWE in short notice. Because he left the company for that long period in time, it’s his own fault that we’re never going to have a Hogan vs. Austin match. I still say that Hogan vs. McMahon should have been set in Wrestlemania 20 but this was a decade in the making. The story here was personal where McMahon is pissed off that Hogan testified him on court when the company was in serious shit with usage of steroids. Since then, Hogan and McMahon never see eye to eye. Now here we are many years later to settle the score. McMahon argues that he created Hulkamania and wanted to destroy it, but Hogan denied it all and said that he made it possible so because of the heat with each other, they wanted to make a hell of a fight. And what a hell of a fight it was. Sure it was just two old men duking it all out because they despised each other, but it had phenomenal storytelling in it. Pretty much, this match told the best story in the whole card. It was a battle of egos where they just used any weapon they can find and beat each other to a bloody pulp. I’m just relieved that nobody got seriously hurt in this match where even Vince jumped off the ladder and leg dropped Hogan through the announcer’s table. I couldn’t imagine this match being at all good without the Street Fight stipulation otherwise it would have been far less dramatic that what we got in this very match. This was a very believable fight all thanks to Vince’s evil facial expressions that told all of it. You can just feel the animosity by the way he looks at the cameras and at Hogan. This match felt very real, until you threw in Rowdy Roddy Piper interfering this match to attack Hogan. That was a big time surprise that wet all of our nostalgic beaks in a swoop! Shocking that this match ended up being so awesome, and credit belongs to McMahon just as much as Hogan, but I really enjoyed this. It told a great story, and both men really gave it all they had, and Hogan went outside of his normal routine to show that this match “meant something more.” This is a match that almost stole the show and because of it’s nostalgia power and amazing story going on it made it a really wonderful match to watch. After Hogan gave Vince multiple Leg Drops and won the match, it’s easy to say that it’s one of the biggest surprises of the whole show.
Match Score: 5/5
The Rock vs. Steve Austin – Thank goodness Stone Cold Steve Austin fully recovered from what had happened to him on the night before. Rumors had it that they pushed this show before the main event because they weren’t too sure if Austin was able to wrestle, but load and behold, here he is coming down to the ring wrestling like no one’s business. The rivalry between Rock and Stone Cold have always been some of the most iconic and legendary that it had three rematches at Wrestlemania. Though I still say that their first match at Wrestlemania 15 was their best, this one here was so much better than their last encounter at Wrestlemania 17. There were no interferences, no weapons involved, and no ridiculous stipulation; it was all fair game to see who really is the best wrestler because Rock never heated Austin at ‘Mania and it has been his goal to accomplish that victory before he officially leaves to Hollywood. It is so sad to see that this is Austin’s last wrestling match (the one against Eric Bishof doesn’t count) because he has had serious health problems, gone through a divorce, and the stress he’s been getting was hurting him personally. I can’t blame him for making this match his last, but there’s so much more he could have done to improve his career like have Austin vs. Hogan that we all still craved for. With that being said, how was the match? Well, it had pure nostalgia power where they were able to use all of their iconic moves and delivered their finishing maneuvers back and forth on each other and stole their opponents moves as well. I’m not too fond for matches like this where it’s all finishers and kicking out of the pitfalls, but I can make this one an accept ion because it really is part of their character and they are almost invincible when they brawl each other. But as you heard about the story of Austin’s trip to the hospital before this show, you just can’t help but to see The Texas Rattlesnake suffering in this match leaving only the Rock to carry this match and sometimes over sold the moves. His taunts, gestures, and cockiness kept all of us from noticing and thankfully he kept all of us from feeling too sorry for Austin. At the same time, Austin tried his damnedest to deliver the goods and give The Rock one hell of a fight. It was purely magical to see the third chapter of these two in Wrestlemania because they deserved those three rematches unlike any other feud in wrestling. But the one thing that I will always remember about this match was when Rock gave those final three Rock Bottoms. Each one he made brought in so much emotion out of the whole audience and when Rock made that third Rock Bottom for the win, just took our breath away. Finally, the Rock beaten Stone Cold at Wrestlemania at the last time they ever faced each other, but it was really an end of an era. All those moments that felt like Attitude Era within the WWE is forever gone because it ended in this match. It hit us with that feeling that we’re never going to have that feeling anymore because the times has changed. Because there was so much heart and passion going throughout this match, it left me in full appreciation for what they both had done for us wrestling fans. I have to face the fact the the times has moved on but we’re never ever again going to have moments like this one.
Match Score: 5/5
Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (c) – WWE Championship – And here we come to our most unique Wrestlemania main events of all time. We have the every so credible Olympic Gold Medalist going toe-to-toe with a rookie with the highest potential. It’s not Brock’s first WWE Championship match, but it’s sure one hell of a Wrestlemania debut to start at the main event that no one has ever had. Sure they were shoving Brock Lesnar down our throats, but be honest here, he had the “it” factor. The physique, the move set, the talent; he had everything to be main event material. Angle risked a lot in this match, competing despite the fact he was in need of neck surgery. He was facing a rookie who didn’t know his own strength. However, he couldn’t pass up getting his chance to star in the main event at WrestleMania. Unlike any ‘Mania main event, this very match was all about the purity of Wrestling. If you thought that his match with Chris Benoit was art in terms of athleticism, this one here is gold. It was pure wrestling; there’s no heel or babyface, no dirty wrestling involved, and no “formulaic” iconic moves that are taken place to entertain the fans. As I was watching this match, I just can’t help but get that special feeling of what Smackdown used to be; the magic of technical wrestling. The crowd got hotter and hotter as the match went on. Lesnar displayed tremendous athleticism to go with his brute strength and Angle showed how much he had truly mastered professional wrestling. It was a very competitive match that worked tremendously well! I was about to consider this the best match of the night until the botched finish that could have ended either one of their careers. After a couple of F-5 that Angle kicked out, Lesnar decided to go up top and apply the shooting star press. It was a nasty fall as he landed on his neck and bumped on Kurt Angle. Immediately, this match needed to end after that because both men were really hurt after that stunt, so after a final F-5, you can see Brock was out of his senses and didn’t know where he was at. Despite that botch, Brock deserved to become the new WWE Champion because he was the key to a new era for the Brand Extension. I remember how it just ended perfectly when Kurt and Brock shook hands and raise hands for ending a really fantastic show. Both men made full recoveries in what proved to be a physically grueling match. Later in 2003, their rivalry continued; providing better matches than this one. Despite all the risk involved, they both made it out alive from a career ending situation. I really don’t think we’re ever going to have a main event to be similar to this one when it comes to stipulation and in-ring ability. Honestly, this match is the most unique main event above all!
Match Score: 5/5
With all the things that was about to make this show a disaster (Stone Cold’s hospital situation, Angle’s neck problems, Hogan’s back problems, the botch that Lesnar made) but with the heart and passion put into this very show, it pulled off into making a wonderful show. It’s no wonder why so many people considers this the best Wrestlemania of all time. This was where dreams began and ended here in this show. As for me, there are a couple of negatives that puts from calling it the “best Wrestlemania of all time” and that’s because it had one of Undertaker’s worst matches, John Cena’s technical microphone difficulties during his segment, and Limp Biscuit’s obnoxious performance. Limp Biscuit’s involvement in the show was really the worst Wrestlemania band performances of all time (worse than Chris Warren and Saliva) and the whole crowd booed the band off of stage. Other than that, this show was incredible. I really don’t think that there was ever a Wrestlemania where it really felt so much bigger than life itself. This card had some of the most qualitative wrestling that anyone could ever asked for. This new focus on Technical and showmanship within these matches and less “hardcore” appeal represents what the Brand Extension once was. There was nothing wrong with the hardcore wrestling appeal that has gone throughout the Attitude Era (I miss it as much as the next guy), but it’s time to learn that wrestling had to mature once again because it was really loosing its appeal. This is were in-ring work started to matter once again and this show represents the essence of that style of wrestling. The main reason it was I because a lot of the matches had that big, special WrestleMania feel to them. And that’s what really matters. The roster delivered one of the best in-ring WrestleManias ever. Angle-Lesnar, Jericho-Michaels, and Austin-Rock (in Austin’s curtain call) put up match-of-the-year level performances. Vince-Hogan, HHH-Booker (outside of the booking), Hardy-Rey, and the Tag 3 Way were all just as magical. I’m just as happy to see that this show was so damn epic that I can’t think of a Wrestlemania that was bigger than life itself than this one! It’s interesting that Wrestlemania 9 is still considered the worst Wrestlemania of all time, then ten years later Wrestlemania 19 turned out to be one of the best.
The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 19:
I still believe that following the WWF’s chronology from Wrestlemania 17 all the way to Wrestlemania 18 was a very disappointing time for wrestling. The WWF bought WCW & ECW and started an invasion angle, but they screwed the whole long awaited angle up by making the Alliance (WCW & ECW) faction to be a bunch of pushovers, WWF superstars started joining sides with the Alliance, many of the top WCW stars like Ric Flair, nWo, Sting, and the rest was not in the roster till the Invasion angle was over at Survivor Series, and the whole storyline was nothing more than another McMahon-family feud, like we haven’t had enough of those already! Wrestlemania 18 is like Wrestlemania 8, it’s a big show that had a big missed opportunity. You should have made the Invasion angle last till this Wrestlemania so we could have had nWo, Ric Flair, and all the other WCW included in this finale. Instead we just had nWo come in as another Invaders now challenging the WWF’s two top stars. The highlight for this show is having some of WCW’s top stars vs WWF’s top stars; Undertaker vs. Ric Flair, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. nWo member Razor Ramon (I’ll never call him Scott Hall) and The Rock is challenging nWo leader Hollywood Hogan. But just like the Wrestlemania ten years ago, this show REALLY is poorly booked. Without the invasion angle or the Alliance faction still going on, many of the mid-card matches in this show was meaningless. I thought that the WWF learned their lesson from the consequences of making only a one-match-show. Instead, this whole show was really built up for Hollywood Hogan’s return to challenge The Rock. Never had there been Hulk Hogan match been as epic as Hogan and Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6. Speaking of which, this is the second Wrestlemania where they’re taken place outside of the United States of America; they’re back in the Toranto’s Skydome just like Wrestlemania 6. So let’s take a look at what this card is in stored for us.
Rob Van Dam vs. William Regal (c) – Intercontinental Championship – dHere’s what I mean when the Invasion angle supported the mid-cards here. We could of had an Alliance babyface vs. WWF heel trying to hold the title from being on the hands of an Alliance member. Just like last year’s Wrestlemania, William Regal is part of the opening match and if he couldn’t defeat Chris Jericho last year, how in the blue blazes was he going to defeat Rob Van Dam? For a debut for RVD, it was a smooth ride for him. Because this match was so predictable and it had little to no storytelling involved in this match, all we’re getting the same RVD moves (rolling thunder, martial arts kicks, diving cross bodies, suplexes, etc.), have Regal take control by holding him down, then RVD ends the match with a Five-Star Frog Splash to become the new Intercontinental Champion. Deservedly so, but should have delivered it more
Match Score: 2/5
Diamond Dallas Page (c) vs. Christian – European Championship – dYou know why I despise what the Invasion angle did? They’ve made many of the Alliance members look like fools and it’s a sin to me to have DDP, one of WCW’s most important wrestlers mind you, into a chicken-shit baffoon who stalks the Undertaker and made himself look like an idiot whenever he does promos. WWF’s version on Diamond Dallas Page was meaningless to me. Even though Christian tried to get some heat from his home country, Canada by saying that he’s now from Florida, this still was a very meaningless card. I still think that separating Edge & Christian into solo wrestlers could have done way better because they both struggled trying to get anywhere higher in this point in time. And this match shows the lack of credibility Christian has as a star going into this direction as a heel. All we just wanted was a Diamond Cutter and get this match over with. Sorry to sound rash because I am a fan of both of these wrestlers, but if WWF is not going to give a shit about this booking decision, why should I?
Match Score: 1/5
Maven (c) vs Goldust – Hardcore Championship – Now this is something unique. Maven is some of the most forgotten mid-carders since Virgil and I’m certainly surprised to see that this match went on throughout the entire night. The match opened with Maven and Goldust whacking each other with so many weapons and objects that they could find, only to have Spike Dudley come in and pin Maven to take his Championship away. This was around the time when the Hardcore Championship had a 24/7 rules where as long as there’s a camera and a referee to count the pin, there’s a opportunity for a title to change hands. With that set in mind, this went throughout the night between segments after this match backstage. So whenever there’s a match over in this card, we’re sent backstage to see a sudden title change. Since I’m reviewing this show match-by-match, I’m just going to tell you what went down with the Hardcore Championship till it’s finally over. Spike Dudley tries to find his way out but got jumped by Hurricane Helms to make him next Hardcore Champion. I would have said that this is pointless, but the best thing ever was when Mighty Molly (Molly Holly, the most underrated female wrestler) betrayed Hurricane and this was the time she finally went solo in her career, which is something that she needed. Suddenly Molly Holly tries to find her way out, but then had a doorslammed into her face, knocking her out cold. Guess who! It’s Christian! He pins her and became the new Hardcore Champion. Before Christian escaped the Skydome, Maven catches up with Christian and pinned him and drove away out of the stadium. I have to say that this was the most interesting and unique change for this Wrestlemania but ultimately this is pointless. The only thing I can say that made any significance was that it made Mighty Molly into Molly Holly again, because after this show she went in her solo career and deservedly so!
Match Score: 2/5
Kurt Angle vs. Kane – This is where the WWF just doesn’t care anymore about their talent at the time. Because you have two of the biggest and most important wrestlers in the WWF and what you did with both of them is not to have a story and not to deliver anything memorable. Sure it was entertaining to see Kurt Angle getting his ass handed to the Big Red Machine, but this is seriously the middle of the road for both of these men’s careers. We’re talking about Kane, the man who won the best Hardcore Championship match in last year’s Wrestlemania and had the most elimination in Royal Rumble 2001, and Kurt Angle who won the WWF Championship many times and is an Olympic Gold Medalist, and this is what you give us? We’ve seen these two face off many times before on Raw and Smackdown, and this match is just felt like nothing. All Kurt did was call for a challenge and Kane pops in and started this match. Kane tried to go for a Chokeslam but Angle reversed it into a roll-up and with the ropes as leverage, Angle won the match. For two Wrestlemanias in a row, Kurt Angle won by a cheap victory. This match is not that much different from their previous encounters, but it’s biggest crime is that it’s in Wrestlemania we’re talking about!
Match Score: 2/5
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – No Holds Bared Match – After having to deal with four bad matches, we finally got ourselves a Wrestlemania quality match in this card. Taker wants revenge on Ric Flair for loosing from his WWF Title shot, and Taker made it personal by beating up Flair’s son and a member of the four horsemen Arn Anderson. This was a very personal match between the two wanted a brutal fight and that’s what we got here! Ric Flair didn’t have a Wrestlemania appearance since Wrestlemania 8 with Randy Savage, this match with Undertaker was just a good (still can’t decide which is better). Flair and Undertaker captivated throughout their hard-hitting battle. Both performers seemed to give everything of themselves. They tapped into their barbaric sides, tearing at each other’s faces, cutting each other open. A supremely aggressive Flair bashed Undertaker with a steel pipe from The Deadman’s motorcycle. His head bloodied, Flair remained defiant and fearless. At certain moments, it seemed like the veteran would use his wile and cheap tactics to get the upset victory. Even with the help of an Arn Anderson spinebuster, though, Flair couldn’t finish the job. This match almost ended in a disastrous finish when Flair refused to position himself for the Powerbomb (I’m still not calling it the Last Ride) then Undertaker decides to use his old Tombstone Piledriver for the win (much better finish). This was a fantastic comeback for Flair and Undertaker brought him to his limits only to show that he’s so much superior. It sure shows that age doesn’t matter doing a very well hardcore-style match.
Match Score: 5/5
Edge vs. Booker T – It must have been a long life dream for Edge, who came to see Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior in Wrestlemania 6 as a kid, to finally be in the same Wrestlemania show in the same arena. I appreciate how inspiring it is, however I just can’t help but to see this match to be a insignificant as the first four matches on this card. So why is Edge and Booker T feuding? Well, “Because.” If Edge was really going to be a big name star which he did later on in his career, he needed to fight for a title shot to establish himself just like when he won the Tag Team Championships with Christian in Wrestlemania 2000. I found this match more like a gimmick than anything else because not only Booker T was doing the Spinner-Roonie, but so did Edge. I always felt that without a well-written story or a title match, win or loose, neither one of these competitors was going to amount to anything till later on in their WWF career.
Match Score: 2/5
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall (with Kevin Nash) – Now this is a tough decision to make because everyone knows that Stone Cold and the Rock are two the biggest stars in the WWF, and let’s be honest here. Either one of those men could either challenge Hulk Hogan, but the other had to face Razor Ramon and Diesel (I’m a New Generation fan so I’m calling them that). I know every Stone Cold fan always wished for Hogan vs. Austin at a Wrestlemania event and I do agree that it’s something to be desired. But for all of you marks that think that this match was unnecessary, you guys have to get your heads out of your asses and remember Razor Ramon! He’s was the biggest star of the WWF in one point in time and before he move to WCW, he could have been WWF Champion. Ramon, Hogan, and Nash were hot shit in WCW forming the fucking nWo; a faction that kicked the WWF’s ratings for over 2 years! How is Razor Ramon not credible to take on Stone Cold? He beat Shawn Michaels in the Ladder match in Wrestlemania X and he was more than able to take on anyone at that age. I always wanted to see what it was like to have Stone Cold brawl with nWo and we had that many times on Raw (before and after this show) and here in Wrestlemania, it was actually fucking epic! This is something that Stone Cold needed in his Wrestlemania moment where he brawl Razor and Diesel for a match that was supposed to be one-on-one, it was a hell of a brawl! You know what? I can argue that this is some of the best brawls that I’ve ever seen in a Wrestlemania that didn’t involve blood, weapons, or ultra violence to show how serious this match is. Kevin Nash was so into this fight that he not only interfered multiple times in this match, but he also took out many referees and beat down Austin like a dog, while Austin fights back the both of them. Did all of you guys forgot how huge all three of these men in this match were before and during this Wrestlemania? In case if you forgot, this is the match where Stone Cold Steve Austin has given the best Stunner of all time!!
If you weren’t impress with that, then you’re actually difficult to impress anyway. Look, I’m like the next guy who hungers for Hogan vs. Austin, but you have to remember that Stone Cold lost A LOT of popularity from turning heel at the end of Wrestlemania 17 and joining forces with the Alliance faction in the Invasion angle. It doesn’t even help that Austin had ditched the company when he was fighting with backstage politics and creative control later in 2002, so he shot his career in the foot. You have to know why Austin is not as big as he was back in 1998 when he used to be a top star, but since he couldn’t keep up with the guys who where in the same league as he was, it was him that ruined the opportunity for a Wrestlmeania event with him vs. Hogan! You need to accept the fact that Austin put himself from the inevitable and kept all of us wishing for more. Yes, I still would say that Hogan vs. Austin at Wrestlemania 19 should had happened, but face it, this is what it is. And you have to look at this brawl for what it was, I still think that it fits Austin’s résumé and this is the closest that we’re going to have for a real WCW vs. WWF stipulation!
Match Score: 5/5
Billy and Chuck (c) vs. The APA vs. The Dudley Boyz (with Stacy Keibler) vs. The Hardy Boyz – Four Corners Elimination Match for Tag Team Championship- Now here’s something that is actually disappointing! Two Wrestlemanias in a row, we had a Triangle Ladder Match and a TLC 2, and then coming to see what the tag team division had to deliver in the third Wrestlemania, it’s a four corners elimination match? You know, this is another one of these matches where it’s just as insignificant as the first four matches of the show and there was no build up or anticipation for this match. I was really, really bored in this match except the fact that Stacy Keibler showed her ass to Jeff Hardy and slapped those cheeks. That was hot. However this should have been a great opportunity to have either Dudley Boyz or Hardy Boyz to be tag team champions for all the sacrifices they’ve made in the previous Wrestlemania matches (since Edge and Christian are no longer a tag team) but no instead they got eliminated and have Billy & Chuck to win this match. They seriously do not deserve to retain those Championships. They were a really pointless tag team and it’s no wonder why nobody remembers this homophobic team up at all!
Match Score: 1/5
The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan – Let’s be honest here, it was either Austin or Rock that was actually going to face Hogan at Wrestlemania, but because of the infamous heel turn at the end of Wrestlemania 17 and joining the Alliance during the Invasion angle, it cost Austin a whole lot of popularity. The Rock somehow took Austin’s place as the biggest star of the company and it’s a good reason why he’s facing Hulk Hogan in this Wrestlemania. Face it, Hogan and the Rock were really made for each other, and this is some of the best showmanship wrestling that I’ve ever seen. We all know both of these guy’s moves and all we ever want is to see them finally put in the grandest stage of them all. And that’s exactly what we got! As much as I like to bash Hogan for all the mistakes that he has made, there is no arguing the star power that he has that all the other wrestlers wishes. We never imagined that Hulk Hogan would ever make another Wrestlemania headline but after bringing in the nWo and have him and The Rock in an epic confrontation, it was just the best build up ever for a Wrestlemania! Hogan came in this ring as the biggest heel while The Rock came in as a babyface, but because this video package was by every definition very true and dramatically epic, it made all of us to have a mixed reaction. Hogan knew how to control the audience and because throughout the match, when he does what he does best, the people suddenly started to chant for Hogan and boo The Rock. And you know what? I started to chant for Hulk Hogan! That’s something that no other wrestler could possibly do! This match is almost everything that you expect, both of these men use the same iconic moves to get the fans cheering, but you can’t have it any other way! How long has it been since we seen Hogan actually do those Fury punches, big boot, and leg drops in a Wrestlemania? This was as basic as ever, but because the whole entire audience was SERIOUSLY into this match, it was the star power and the crowd that made this match as huge as it is to day! It’s a clash between 80’s Wrestling and Attitude and ultimately, nostalgia conquered all. Even though the Rock won with the People’s Elbow, the people still cheered for Hogan and before Rock got booed off of stage, he had to shake Hogan’s hand (deservedly so). And to even make even more significance, nWo came down to try to betray Hogan but Rock save him. This was actually the last big moment for nWo before the whole faction went downhill after this show. If nWo interfered in this match, it would have lost credibility, it needed to be purely one-on-one like any Wrestlemania classic. Afterwords, we were all rewarded with those Hogan poses that we all missed so much all here in the Skydome. Speaking of which, This match is every bit familiar to the Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior match in Wrestlemania 6 where they had a mixed crowd, they were in the exact same arena (Skydome) the match up was epic throughout, and even though Hogan lost, he shook the winner’s hand like a real sport. Even though I still say Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior is a better match than tis one, this is The Rock’s best Wrestlemania match and he needed a great victory after three consecutive loses at a Wrestlemania. I still say Austin vs. Hogan should have happened in Wrestlemania 19, but for what we got in Wrestlemania 18, I doubt anything could gotten bigger than this classic and throughout 2002, wrestling got better (can’t you believe it?)! For every ounce of enjoyment that this match has given us, it was a defining moment of what a “Wrestlemania moment” should be. But there’s only one problem… why the hell was this match not the main event? Seriously what other matches deserved to be in the higher spot than this match?
Match Score: 5/5
Jazz (c) vs. Trish Stratus vs. Lita – Women’s Championship – Okay, I’m not being sexist here because I really do care about women’s wrestling, but this match does not deserve to go right after Hogan vs. The Rock! There’s no star power, no storytelling, and not stipulation than just having three of these women fight for the Women’s title. You could have though Trish Stratus would have won the Women’s Championship because she came back to her home country and wore an outfit that had canadian flag design, but booking once again seriously screwed up this show and had Jazz (forgettably) retained her championship. If only Trish won the championship, this match would have meant something.
Match Score: 2/5
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (c) (with Stephanie McMahon) – Undisputed WWF Chamionship – This is where I argue with the WWF’s booking decision where they seriously fucked up the main even. I don’t care if this match is for both the WCW and WWF Championship (which is why it’s called the Undisputed WWF Championship) but with those Championships on the line, it’s not as important to me as Hogan vs. The Rock. Sure Jericho has beaten both the Rock and Austin for the both of those Championships and Triple H won the Royal Rumble 2002, but both of those men had nothing that Rock and Hogan had. You can see how mundane this match really was because the story was poorly told (who cares about Hunter and Steph’s divorce angle), there have already been 3 Canadian wrestlers that didn’t have the Canadian care for them as much (Christian, Edge, & Trish) and there were now surprises throughout the match that made it a REALLY forgettable main event. Never have I seen a main event as insignificant as the first four matches and nobody really cared about what was going on compared to the crowd’s reaction to Hogan & the Rock. I did like Triple H in the past, but this was the time where the WWF really wanted to hammer him down to our throats and begin this propaganda that he’s at all “the best” which he clearly isn’t. I can go up to anybody and ask what is the one thing that they remember from Wrestlemania 18 and they’ll all say Hogan and Rock and not even remember this match. Throughout the match we just kept seeing Jericho work on Hunter’s leg and it was tedious to see him to keep doing that tactic/strategy. The finish had Triple H to fight back by to Pedigree Stephanie and Chris Jericho. Afterwords, he won the match and who gave a shit? This match went way too long and nothing memorable or significant has happened. This really isn’t the worst main event (believe me there are way worse) but at least those bad main events were more memorable than this match, and that’s really sad. WWF tried to hammer us Triple H down our throats, but because Hogan was so much of a star, it’s no wonder why he beat Hunter for the Championship later that year. What else do you expect from a Wrestlemania that only focused on telling a good story and delivering great performance from the WCW wrestlers booked in this Wrestlemania?
Match Score: 2/5
Let’s face it, if a match in this card didn’t involve a star that came from WCW, it’s not worth mentioning. It’s only the nWo and Ric Flair matches that actually did tell us a great story and delivered great performances while the writers and bookers forgot to give a shit about the rest of the mid-card. And speaking of which, how the fuck was Hogan vs. The Rock not the main event? The Triple H vs. Jericho main event was one of, if not, the most forgettable Wrestlemania main event of all time! They’ve tried to hammer down Triple H down our throats in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the same mistake since Wrestlemania 8’s poor booking decision and because of it, it wasn’t the best WWF show of 2002, in my humble opinion. We haven’t seen a Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 6 where it was clearly built up for just one match and because they didn’t give a shit about anything that didn’t involve Ric Flair, Razor Ramon, or Hogan. Without them, this entire card was a mess. Honestly, the Invasion angle should have ended here in Wrestlemania 18 instead of Survivor Series so that most of (if not all) the mid-card’s stipulation would had more meaning coming into this match than the shit that we got here. We’ve waited so long for a good match and once that’s over with, why did it need to hammer us down with more tediousness? Speaking of which, I did not like the theme for this show where their lead band Saliva had to be the lead singer of the show. Not since Wrestlemania 14’s Chris Warren was there a horrible band singing for a Wrestlemania. I despited the nu metal/emo rock music going on in this show and because it was so generic, it made this wrestlemania unappealing. The only matches worth mentioning is Hogan vs. Rock, Undertaker vs. Ric Flair, and Austin vs. Razor Ramon (I’m still not calling him by his real name) that deserved a 5 out of 5 match score while the rest suffered from a 1 or 2 score. That’s not good for “the grandest stage of them all.” Before of those three matches that save the show, this could have been in the worst Wrestlemania category, but instead it’s just a mixed bag.