WWE: The Top 10 Greatest WrestleMania Matches in History
WrestleMania is without a doubt the biggest yearly event in pro wrestling. Legends have been created, careers have ended, and legacies have been cemented in the WWE's marquee show. Some of the greatest matches in pro wrestling history have come from WrestleMania, and they will always be etched in the minds of wrestling fans. Here are the top 10 greatest WrestleMania Matches in history, from No. 10 to No. 1.
No. 10: Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin (WWE Championship – WrestleMania XIV)
During the heyday of the Attitude Era, this match kicked off a new chapter for the "Texas Rattlesnake," Steve Austin. The odds were stacked against Austin when Degeneration "X" and "The baddest man on the planet," Mike Tyson, as the special enforcer, were in the corner of WWE Champion Shawn Michaels. But Austin overcame the odds to defeat Michaels and win his first WWE Championship, and "Austin 3:16" was here to stay.
No. 9: Hulk Hogan vs. the Ultimate Warrior (Title vs. Title: WrestleMania VI)
This WrestleMania Match pitted the WWE's most popular superstars against each other under the roof of the Toronto Skydome. Hulk Hogan had been the fan favourite in the WWE for years when a new challenger emerged to take Hogan's place: The Ultimate Warrior. They battled in a classic match with many near falls by both Hogan and Warrior. Fans had thought that Hogan would once again overcome his foe, but in the end The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hogan to capture his first WWE Championship. The torch was passed from Hogan to Warrior.
No. 8: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (No DQ Submission Match: WrestleMania XIII)
Bret Hart and Steve Austin were bitter rivals who despised each other heading into this match at WrestleMania. Hart was the fan favourite in the WWE, and among the fans, Austin was the most hated man in the company. To quote Jim Ross, Austin and Hart battled in a real “slobber-knocker” from bell to bell. Hart had Austin in his patented Sharpshooter, but an extremely bloodied Austin would not submit. Austin eventually passed out and special guest referee Ken Shamrock awarded the match to Hart. Austin cemented his position as the “Toughest SOB in the WWE” from that day on, however, and became one of the most popular WWE Superstars of all time by not letting Hart get the best of him.
No. 7: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (IC Title Ladder Match: WrestleMania X)
The long feud between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels finally came to a head at WrestleMania X in the greatest Ladder Match in WWE History. The prize was not one, but two WWE Intercontinental Championships. Then-champion Razor Ramon battled the self-proclaimed Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels in this historic match. The two combatants beat each other to the brink of submission, but in the end, Ramon climbed the ladder and claimed both WWE Intercontinental Championship Belts to win the match. Razor Ramon had indeed won one for “The Bad Guys.”
No. 6: Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase (WWE Championship: WrestleMania IV)
This match pitted two of the greatest WWE Superstars of all time, Randy Savage and Ted DiBiase, against each other in the fourth WrestleMania. This was the final match of a 14-man championship tournament, which had taken place because the WWE Championship had been declared vacant by then-WWE President Jack Tunney in February 1988. The match itself was a nail-biter, to say the least. Savage was exhausted due to competing in three previous matches in the tournament, and it seemed that DiBiase had Savage on the ropes. With a little help from his best friend Hulk Hogan, Savage overcame the odds to defeat DiBiase and win his first WWE Championship.
No. 5: Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker (WrestleMania XXVI)
Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker have one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history, and they have competed in some historic matches. After Michaels failed to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXV, he was determined to end Taker's streak once and for all. Because Michaels had cost The Undertaker his World Heavyweight Title one month earlier, Taker agreed to a match with Michaels on one condition: If Michaels lost, he had to retire. Michaels agreed, and the match was on. This match was a show-stopper, as Taker and Michaels each had several near falls, but in the end The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels. The Undertaker used his patented Tombstone Piledriver to extend his streak to 18-0, and ended the career of the greatest WWE Superstar of all time.
No. 4: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE Championship: WrestleMania XII)
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were no strangers to each other leading up to this match. They had a heated rivalry that began years before when they were part of the Tag Team Division. Hart was the seasoned veteran and Michaels was the talented up-and-comer when they met on the grandest stage of them all: WrestleMania. They battled in the first ever 60 Minute Ironman match, and from bell to bell the action was intense. They battled for the full 60 minutes, but neither wrestler was able to obtain a pinfall on the other. Hart left the ring with the WWE Title, but then-WWE President Gorilla Monsoon ordered the match to continue, adding a “Sudden Death” stipulation: whichever superstar gained the pinfall would win the match and walk away with the WWE Title. At the 61:56 mark, Michaels defeated Hart with his patented Sweet Chin Music Superkick to win his first World Championship, thus ringing in a new era for Michaels and the WWE.
No. 3: Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (WWE Championship – WrestleMania V)
Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were the best of friends, and one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history, The Megapowers. As time went on, Savage became extremely paranoid over Hogan's involvement with Miss Elizabeth, who was Savage's wife and manager. Thinking that Hogan and Miss Elizabeth were involved in more than just business, Savage turned on his best friend and ended up destroying a friendship that seemed to be etched in stone. The buildup for this match was one of the best in WWE history, and when the two finally met at WrestleMania, fans were on the edge of their seats. Savage, who was the WWE Champion at the time, had taken it to Hogan throughout the match and was on the verge of defeating his one-time friend. It wasn't enough, however, as Hogan defeated Savage to gain his second WWE Championship.
No. 2: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WWE IC Title: WrestleMania III)
This classic rivalry had been building for six months leading up to this match. Savage had severely injured Steamboat's larynx in a confrontation that sent Steamboat to the hospital and sparked the iconic match. Many in the wrestling world rank this match as the greatest WWE Intercontinental Match of all time, and with good reason. For 15 solid minutes, these two battled it out for the coveted title. Savage attempted to attack Steamboat with the ring bell, but was stopped by George “The Animal” Steel, who was in Steamboat's corner. Steamboat defeated Savage using a Small Package to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship. This match was also a milestone, as it was the first time the WWE Intercontinental Title changed hands at a WrestleMania. This match will always be remembered as one of the greatest in history.
And now, the No. 1 Greatest WrestleMania Match in history...
No. 1: Hulk Hogan vs. André the Giant (WWE Championship – WrestleMania III)
Hulk Hogan and André the Giant were known throughout the WWE as an unstoppable combination that very few WWE Superstars could topple. They were also inseparable, and their friendship seemed to be unbreakable. As time passed, André became jealous of Hogan's success. Because André had never received a title shot, he felt that he was always in Hogan's shadow. With new manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, André challenged Hogan for the WWE Championship, thus completing his heel turn. It was the “Irresistible Force” meeting the “Immovable Object,” Hulk Hogan vs. André the Giant at WrestleMania III. This match was billed as being the most anticipated match of all time, with these two giants of pro wrestling vying for the WWE Championship. Over 93,000 wrestling fans packed the Pontiac Silverdome to see the mammoth meeting of André and Hogan. André dominated most of the match with his size and strength, but Hogan defeated André using a body slam so powerful that it was heard around the wrestling world, and followed with the Big Leg Drop to regain the WWE Championship. Even though this match was not a five-star event, the hype and buildup was massive. This match put the WWE on the map, and made Hulk Hogan the legend that he is today.
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