WrestleMania 30: Worst Matches in the History of the PPV
While it has churned out some of the greatest bouts in wrestling history, WWE’s WrestleMania pay-per-view has also been sullied by some truly dreadful matches over the years.
Botch-filled, boring and bizarrely booked, you have to wonder just what Vince McMahon was thinking when he scripted these disasters.
In order of just how awful and unforgettable they were, let’s look at the seven worst matches in WrestleMania history. One thing is for sure: these bouts will never make any highlight reels.
7. Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 26
Heading into WrestleMania 26, no one could have reasonably expected Vince McMahon vs. Bret Hart to be a Match of the Year candidate. McMahon was an aging non-wrestler, who had churned out patchy performances on the rare occasions he did get in the ring. Meanwhile, Hart’s concussion issues had left him extremely limited in the ring—the legend was unable to take even simple bumps.
However, even given low expectations, this match was still an absolute mess. Instead of smartly keeping the bout short—a quick brawl following by Hart applying a satisfying sharpshooter to his old boss would have been ideal—WWE chose to drag out the whole thing for way too long.
The psychology of the match was also deeply perplexing: supposed heel Vince was frequently beaten up and bullied by various members of the Hart family at ringside to the point that he looked like a vulnerable old man rather than an evil bad guy. Baffling.
6. Big Show vs. Akebono at WrestleMania 21
At WrestleMania 21 in 2005, Big Show took on sumo champion Akebono Taro in one of the most random and awful matches in WWE history. Seriously, what was the point of this program anyway? It was barely even given a build-up. Why was Big Show fighting this guy?
Is it possible the bookers just wanted a laugh when they unleashed the bewildering sight of Big Show in a thong?
Honestly, the fact that WWE kept it (mercifully) short is the only thing thing that stops this ranking too highly here.
5. Roddy Piper vs. Mr T at WrestleMania 2
WrestleMania II in 1986 was blighted by the truly hideous and way-too-long “boxing match” between Mr T and Roddy Piper. Both men, particularly Piper, looked like they would rather be elsewhere as they exchanged sluggish and sloppy punches in front of a largely indifferent crowd.
Unsurprisingly, in the years following, Piper has freely admitted in interviews (via InsidePulse) that he considers it to be one of the worst matches he ever took part in. Well, it's difficult to argue.
4. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus at WrestleMania 28
The downright embarrassing 18-second match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus at WrestleMania 28 felt like a slap in the face to both guys.
They had worked incredibly hard for the company all year long, and the bookers couldn't even be bothered to give them a decent amount of time on the biggest show of them all?
It also seemed unfair to many of the fans. They were expecting a thrilling contest for the title, not some quick comedy bout. It also damaged the credibility of the World Heavyweight Championship—how could the belt be taken seriously after this?
3. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
One thing is for sure: When talking about The Undertaker’s best WrestleMania bouts, this is absolutely at the bottom of the list. No doubt Undertaker wishes he could erase this mess from his resume altogether.
Credit Undertaker—he tried—but the un-coordinated Great Gonzalez was just an entirely hopeless wrestler. Truthfully, he made The Great Khali look like Shawn Michaels. No one, not even Undertaker, could have saved this match from disaster.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg
OK, Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania 20 wasn't too bad from a technical standpoint, so it can't top this list.
But really, thanks to the vicious reaction from the scathing Madison Square Garden crowd, this was a disaster.
The fans in the arena vociferously booed and jeered the two wrestlers—word got around prior to the show that both were soon leaving the company. Only special guest referee 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin managed to garner cheers, especially when he delivered the Stunner to both men after the match was over.
Lesnar vs. Goldberg ended up as one of the most memorable bouts in WWE history—for all the wrong reasons.
1. Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania 9
Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna at WrestleMania 9 for the WWE Championship lasted just 22 seconds—and it still felt too long.
Following Yokozuna's destruction of Bret Hart in the advertised main event, the champion and his manager Mr Fuji elected to take on Hogan in an impromptu title match. Hogan proceeded to win the belt extremely quickly with the leg drop.
Not only was this a bizarre and unexpected note to end the pay-per-view, it also made rising star Hart look completely and utterly inept. Top heel Yokozuna looked like a fool, too.
Personally, I consider this the moment Hogan’s ego really started to get out of control.