Pro Wrestling Countdown: The 10 Greatest Matches in Wrestlemania History
25 years ago, Vince McMahon created Wrestlemania with no idea that one day it would become the single most important event in wrestling history.
Some of the greatest matches of all time have taken place at this event and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania, I will be counting down Wrestlemania's 10 greatest matches.
10. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
This match is in my opinion one of the greatest triple threat matches every contested, except for maybe the match between Terry Funk, Stevie Richards, and Sandman match held in ECW.
HBK and Triple H had unfinished business and Chris Benoit was looking to make an everlasting impact on pro wrestling and he did, but unfortunately this achievement will forever be covered with a black cloud.
However, this match is still one of Wrestlemania’s greatest technical matches and every time I go back and watch it I cringe when Benoit locks in the Crippler Crossface. Good stuff.
9. Tables, Ladders, and Chairs II
What do you get when you mix together three of the WWE’s greatest tag teams ever and tables, ladders, and chairs? You get one of the best ladder matches ever.
This match took hardcore to a whole new level that no one even knew about. These six men revolutionized tag team wrestling and they did such a good job that tag team wrestling today just can’t compete with these matches.
8. Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock
This will be the only time you see Hulk Hogan on my list. I fought between this match and Hogan’s match with Andre and this one was so much better from a wrestling stand point.
The Rock and Hogan took each other to the limit at Wrestlemania 18 and beat everyone’s expectations with this match.
It is the greatest example of a “passing of the torch” and a true homecoming to the legend that is Hulkamania.
7. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
One of Wrestlemania’s most underrated and forgotten matches and it happens to be one of my own personal favorites.
Owen started to become jealous of his brother, and then at Wrestlemania 10 we end up with brother vs. brother.
This match lived up to the expectations of the fans and even had a surprising result. Owen beat his big brother at Wrestlemania just hours before Bret won the WWE Championship. Now that’s good writing.
6. The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
I’m sure you might be wondering which Austin/Rock match I’m alluding to. The best one by far was the encounter at Wrestlemania 17 in Houston.
Both were at the peak of the popularity and the match was for the WWE Championship and it was truly for “all the marbles”.
I have never heard a crowd more into a match than this one and when McMahon came out and handed Austin the chair, everyone in the Astrodome's jaws dropped.
Still, no one bought Austin as a heel. It made for a great shocking moment, though.
5. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
Very rarely are wrestling fans treated to a true dream match when the participants involved are at their best, and at Wrestlemania 21 we got just that.
Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels stole the show that night and set the bar high for the following main events.
Kurt Angle walked out that night with the win, but both men deserve the credit for making this truly amazing match possible.
4. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
HBK has proved that he could deliver in a big match situation when he went toe to toe with Bret Hart for over 60 minutes and came out with a victory and as the WWE Champion.
Bret put on a truly amazing performance as always showcasing true mat wrestling on a grand stage.
There will never be another Bret Hart, or Shawn Michaels for that matter, and that in itself is what makes this match so special.
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon
Michaels makes his fourth appearance on this list and this being his greatest Wrestlemania outing to date with a man that had all the potential that Shawn had back in those day. Unfortunately, Razor never really lived up to all that potential after this.
The match itself was revolutionary. They used the ladder in ways that no one at that time had seen before, and it was kind of a foreshadowing of the years to come with the more hardcore style that blew over the WWE.
It was Razor and HBK long before DX or the NWO, and the two gave us a great match to look back on.
2. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Randy Savage
My personal favorite of all time, but it is not No. 1 for a reason I will allude to later. Steamboat and Savage did a lot for the business back in 70s and 80s and seeing the two face off at Wrestlemania 3 in front of 93,173 fans in theprime of their career tops Hogan/Andre any day, in my opinion.
The match itself was so brutal and suspenseful. Steamboat walked away with one of the greatest victories of his career and Savage walked away having one of the greatest match of his, even if he did come out with a loss.
1. Bret Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
You might have predicted this match as my No. 1 after I said Hogan/Andre would not be on this list, because well...it was not a good match in my opinion.
It was a great moment in wrestling history, but not a great match from a wrestling standpoint.
Now moving on to the Greatest Match in Wrestlemania history, Bret Hart and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a submission match and not only that, but it was a no holds bared subbmission match.
I think it’s the only submission match in Wrestlemania history and I can see why because no other could live up to this piece of art. That is what the match was. A piece of Art. It mad Steve Austin what he is today and for Bret it was sort of a passing of the torch.
Bret seemed to stick out and seemed out of place in the “Attitude Era” Bret was old school all the way and it was only a matter of time before he was pushed aside. It is a shame really.