WrestleMania 33 is upon us! Yes, the most unanticipated WrestleMania since…last year will be held tonight. I’m finding it hard to care about it, but I’ll watch it anyway! However, I’ve been thinking about doing a regular “Top 10 Things List.” And what better time than now to count down my Top 10 WrestleMania matches? Here they are:
10. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian (WWE Tag Team Titles, TLC Match) – WWE Wrestlemania X-7
Ladder carnage is now expected at Mania, thanks to the Money in the Bank matches and the 7-man ladder matches for the Intercontinental title. None of them can live up to the mayhem and chaos of this bout, though. The Dudleys, the Hardyz and Edge and Christian managed to top their previous stunt bouts with greater displays of insanity. Edge spearing Jeff Hardy (who was hanging onto the belts) off a ladder is one of many mind-blowing high spots. A visual treat, even if it did set the standard dangerously high for ladder matches.
9. Randy Savage vs Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (Intercontinental Match, WrestleMania III)
This is a stone cold classic. But it’s a classic I feel has aged a little. However, it’s still something extremely special. Whether or not Savage planned every match out to the last detail doesn’t matter. They take the time to tell a story in the ring. These two pushed each other to the limits of their limitless talent.
8. HHH vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit (WWE Championship, WrestleMania XX)
He who shall not be named by the WWE was one third of one of the all time great Mania main events. HHH had entered a dull period, with most of his matches at the time torture to watch. There was no doubting the ability of Benoit and HBK, but would HHH drag them down? No, no he didn’t. His white attire must have brought back the HHH of 2000, as he wrestled just as well as Michaels and Benoit.
7. Ric Flair vs Randy Savage (WWF Championship, WrestleMania VIII)
Yes, we could have had the dream match between Flair and Hulk Hogan at this show, but what we did receive was a clash of the two best wrestlers of that era. Both Savage and Steamboat elevated anyone they fought. You can imagine what that meant when they fought each other. It was a feud fuelled by Flair’s attempted conquest of Elizabeth. A masterwork of story and psychology.
(Click here for my review of this match!)
6. HHH vs Daniel Bryan (WrestleMania XXX)
This is the second greateat opening bout in Mania history. It’s something of a forgotten gem, as the triple threat main event of Mania XXX overshadows it. But “The Game” and the “Yes Man” put on a technical show to rival Hart v Hart. Easily HHH’s best match since his rivalry with The Undertaker.
5. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart (WrestleMania X)
Owen Hart may have been taken from us too soon, but one of the many memorable moments he left behind was being one half of the greatest opening bout in ‘Mania history. There’s nothing to fault in this match. Two brothers locked in a game of oneupmanship. Pure brilliance.
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock (WWF Championship, WrestleMania X-7)
The best ‘Mania main event of all time? Most possibly. This match was many things. A gripping contest, a clash of babyfaces where one was booed (The Rock!), the end of the Attitude Era and the most popular era of wrestling…The last ten minutes or so in particular are nail-bitingly intense. And the pre-match video package had the best use of Limp Bizkit’s ‘My Way’ in history.
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart (Submission Match, WrestleMania XIII)
A bloody brawl, a controversial finish and a double turn at the end. This match made Steve Austin a star, a wrestling force to be reckoned with. It’s an image etched into WrestleMania history, Austin trapped in the Sharpshooter with blood pouring down his face. But the match is so much more than that one moment. It’s a match full of hatred and ferocity. It’s the best brawl to ever occur at WrestleMania.
2. Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)
This list could be stuffed with HBK’s matches, but this match is a true wrestling classic. Two of the best wrestlers in the game going one on one for the first time. It was a dream match and lived up to the hype. For twenty plus minutes, these two greats put on a wrestling clinic. If the chant existed by then, the crowd would have been shouting “This is awesome” ten minutes into it. Sheer class from Mr. WrestleMania and the Olympic Champion. Also search Youtube for Kurt Angle’s twist on HBK’s entrance music, which he performed in the build up to their match.
Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker (WrestleMania 25)
I have rewatched this match time and time again, much like any other match on this list. But one time, I was rewatching it and a friend of my brother came in to the room. He laughed and said “I remember these two wrestling when I was a kid! You still watch this rubbish?” He stood by the door. Five minutes later, he was sat down and engrossed by the action unfolding before his eyes. That, by itself, says a lot about the match. It’s the greatestWWE match I’ve ever seen. HBK and The Deadman put on a match for the ages.
Honourable Mentions: The Inaugural Money In The Bank Ladder Match, WrestleMania 21
Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels (Ladder Match, WrestleMania X)
Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, WrestleMania XIX)
Randy Orton vs The Undertaker (WrestleMania 21)
Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior (Retirement Match, WrestleMania VII)
Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?