Wrestlemania's 25 Greatest Matches: The Introduction

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Wrestlemania's 25 Greatest Matches: The Introduction
(Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

My FightGameBlog brothers and I have put together a list of what we believe to be the greatest 25 matches in Wrestlemania history. We started by selecting all of the matches that we remembered to be in the neighborhood of three stars (0-5 scale) or higher, and then took a close look at those matches and rated them fully.

The four of us are distinctive in our tastes for what makes a good pro wrestling match. I wanted to give you an idea of who we are and what we like so you know where we are coming from.

One thing that I want to note is that we’re not giving any special treatment to matches that drew incredible business or are historic because of what they meant to business. Thus, you won’t see Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant on our list.

It was a terrible match, and even though it was historic, it wasn’t any good and won’t be on our list.

Big D

Danny says that he likes anything that’s good. He doesn’t like pointless brawling with punches and kicks ending in double countouts. He can go for good high flying matches or good scientific matches as long as they tell stories and have a beginning, middle, and end and contain something that’ll excite him.

Some of his favorite eras in wrestling include WWE from 1997-2001, ROH from 2004-2006, and ECW 1995-1999. He also includes Bret Hart, Bryan Danielson, and Ric Flair as three of his favorite wrestlers.

Alan

Alan calls himself the hybrid wrestling fan. He likes everything. It can be Jim Duggan and Buzz Sawyer brawling and cursing like sailors, or 12 Toryumon guys going 100 miles per hour. If it’s good wrestling, he enjoys it.

Some of his favorite eras include current Dragon Gate, early-mid 90s All Japan, and early '90s WWF. Three of his favorite wrestlers are Bret Hart, KENTA, and Kenta Kobashi.

Duan

Duan’s favorite style is what you’d call British style wrestling, which is legitimate looking, and a has deliberate/technical style.

His favorite eras include old WWF/WWE and when WCW was at its peak. Some of his favorites of all time include Bret Hart, Eddie Guerrero, Curt Hennig, and the Dynamite Kid.

GG

GG is more of a fan of stars than of the actual wrestling itself. He doesn’t enjoy what most would deem a good match if he wasn’t interested in who was wrestling. If there’s a story that gauges his interest though, he can watch anything.

His favorite wrestling includes mid to late '80s WWF/WWE, late '80s NWA, and late '90s WWE. His favorite wrestlers include Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and Eddie Guerrero.

Now that you know what kind of fans we are, I want to let you know which matches were left off our list. One thing you’ll notice about our list is that it’s heavy with matches from the last several years of Wrestlemania.

WWE has definitely gone the extra mile to give viewers great matches over the last several years. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are more matches on our list from say the last five years than the first ten.

Here are some of the more eye opening matches that were left off the list and why:

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan from Wrestlemania VI - This fell outside the top 40 in our rankings. We like the match for what it was and Big D even gave it four stars, but the rest of us didn’t have it any higher than 3.25 stars.

Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage from Wrestlemania V - This was right above the more well known Warrior/Hogan match and that probably has to do with the fact that Savage was a pretty damn good worker and for some reason, Hogan sold just as much for him as he sold for the monsters he was wrestling at the time.

Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania XIV - This match was ranked 37th by us and I think that’s about right. It was historic in that it helped kick off the most recently great era for WWE. Duan and Alan liked the match slightly more than Big D and me, but we all graded it similarly.

Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels from Wrestlemania XII - People will think that this is our most glaring omission. Duan and Alan really liked the match to where they would’ve had it right around the top 10.

I give it credit for trying to do something special, but I don’t think they really held the fans’ attention for the entire hour. I would've had it right around the top 25. But Big D simply hated it. That drove the ranking down.

Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero from Wrestlemania XX - I think our rating shows that even though we all liked the match, it should’ve been even better than it was. Wrestlemania XX should’ve been remembered for this match along with the more famous triple threat, but this one was a bit of a let down.

Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair from Wrestlemania 24 - Even though Shawn Michaels was sorry and loving, it still wasn’t enough. Danny and Duan really liked the match, both giving it 4.25 stars, but Alan and I were more lukewarm on it. I was a bit disappointed with it myself. It was good, but not great.

Triple H vs. John Cena from Wrestlemania 22 - The main event from Wrestlemania 22 had big match atmosphere, but it fell just short of our top 25. It also scored the exactly same rating as the match above.

Other matches that were considered but left off the list include:

The British Bulldogs vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Brutus Beefcake from Wrestlemania 2
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. The Big Show from Wrestlemania 24
Booker T vs. Triple H from Wrestlemania XIX
The Headshrinkers vs. The Steiner Brothers from Wrestlemania IX
Christian vs. Chris Jericho from Wrestlemania XX
The Rock N Sock Connection vs. Evolution from Wrestlemania XX
Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker from Wrestlemania 21
Money in the Bank II from Wrestlemania 22
Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon from Wrestlemania 22
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair from Wrestlemania X8
Money in the Bank III from Wrestlemania 23

We will start with matches we ranked from 25 through 21 and get that post ready in the next couple of days.

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