WrestleMania XXX: WWE Reveals Top 30 Matches in PPV History

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Hulk Hogan poses for a portrait Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 in New York.  (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Jeff Christensen

WrestleMania XXX is being billed as the biggest celebration in the history of the WWE, and the company is looking back through the annals of the annual event by naming the 30 greatest matches in history.

The unenviable task of ranking the matches fell on the shoulders of WWE.com staff.

After 30 editions of the WWE’s biggest show, there is a long list of great matches featuring legends and Hall of Famers. While WWE.com put together a great list, the content of the list is extremely subjective.

While many fans may love John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIII, there is a large contingent of fans that wouldn’t have put that match on this list at all.

Here are WWE.com’s top 30 matches in WrestleMania history and the most overrated and underrated bouts on the list.

WWE's Top 30 Matches in WrestleMania History
RankWrestleMania Match
30Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper—WrestleMania VIII
29Money in the Bank Ladder Match—WrestleMania XXIII
28“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock—WrestleMania XV
27The Undertaker vs. Edge—WrestleMania XXIV
26Money in the Bank Ladder Match—WrestleMania XXI
25Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle—WrestleMania XX
24Mick Foley vs. Edge—WrestleMania XXII
23The Undertaker vs. Triple H—WrestleMania XXVIII
22Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar—WrestleMania XIX
21The Undertaker vs. CM Punk—WrestleMania XXIX
20John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXIII
19Undertaker vs. Triple H—WrestleMania XXVII
18Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho—WrestleMania XIX
17Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair—WrestleMania XXIV
16Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania VII
15Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania V
14Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair—WrestleMania VIII
13The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan—WrestleMania XVIII
12Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan—WrestleMania VI
11The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian—WrestleMania XVII
10Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle—WrestleMania XXI
9Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon—WrestleMania X
8Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart—WrestleMania X
7Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XII
6Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant—WrestleMania III
5The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXVI
4Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin—WrestleMania XIII
3“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock—WrestleMania XVII
2Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage—WrestleMania III
1The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels—WrestleMania XXV
Source: WWE.com

Most Overrated Match: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XXIII)

While there are many fans who firmly believe the WWE Championship match between John Cena and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIII deserves to be ranked 20th or better, this is one of the most overrated matches in the pay-per-view’s history.

As fondly as many look back on this feud, the build was lackluster. Cena was pushed into the storyline after an injury to Triple H, and Michaels and Cena went on to win the tag team titles.

Independent wrestler Ryan Micallef was one of the fans who hated the match:

The angle was rushed to get it all in before WrestleMania, and it was clear from day one that HBK was going to turn on Cena in order to set the stage for a match. There was no suspense or shock when Michaels won the No. 1 Contendership.

There is no discounting that the match was entertaining, but the two men had a rematch on Raw later that month and tore the house down. Their match at WrestleMania XXIII was not as good as the bout on Raw, which discounts its credibility.

Cena and Michaels put on a great show at WrestleMania XXIII, but Cena beating a legend like HBK doesn’t deserve to be on the list of the 30 greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.

 

Most Underrated Match: Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (WrestleMania III)

The greatest WrestleMania match of all time was the Intercontinental Championship bout between defending champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat in 1987.

The main event of the show was the battle between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, but wrestling fans knew that the heated battle between Savage and Steamboat was the real match to watch on the card.

Superstar David Otunga told Zach Linder of WWE.com, “The headliner of that show was Hulk Hogan against Andre the Giant, but I have to be honest, the most entertaining match, the one I came away thinking about was ‘Macho Man’ and ‘The Dragon.’ It really stole the show.”

The build to a great WrestleMania match is almost as important as the bout itself, and there have been few storylines that polarized wrestling fans as much as the angle between Savage and Steamboat leading up to their match.

After injuring Steamboat’s larynx and attacking him several times, the two men took part in an extended program that featured several exciting matches. The feud culminated with their matchup at WrestleMania III and was the perfect end to the story.

Add in the fact that Savage helped put Steamboat on the map by dropping the title, and this is the benchmark that all other matches since have tried to meet. Nothing beats the original, though.

 

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