Wrestlemania always produces the best matches. Wrestlers seem to perform at a higher level, and do the unthinkable at the grandest stage of them all.
If you look at the lists of Wrestling enthusiasts favorite matches, you would see that it's heavily dominated by matches having took place at a Wrestlemania.
Most of the matches that end up winning a Match of the year award, took place at a Wrestlemania.
With Wrestlemania XXVI just around the corner, i countdown my Top 25 matches of Wrestlemania.
With so many classic matches to choose from, some that may have made your list, failed to make mine. I think that it is only fair that I give the matches I felt just missed out, an Honorable mention.
- Hulk Hogan Vs Randy Savage (V)
- Steve Austin Vs Shawn Michaels (XIV)
- Vince McMahon Vs Hulk Hogan (XIX)
- Kane Vs Undertaker (XIV)
- Edge Vs Undertaker (XXIV)
- Steve Austin Vs The Rock (XV)
- Shawn Michaels Vs Vince McMahon (XXII)
- Mick Foley Vs Edge (XXII)
- Chris Jericho Vs Chris Benoit Vs Kurt Angle (XVI)
- Diesel Vs Shawn Michaels (XI)
- Triple H Vs Undertaker (XVII)
WWE Championship Match.
Love him or hate him, John Cena can "go" in the ring when he is in there with the right opponent. For Wrestlemania 23, he got the perfect opponent in Shawn Michaels.
Both started off slow, but from midway onwards, they never let up. Some great selling on behalf of Cena. Shawn focusing on Cena's knees so that he wouldn't have the power to execute the F-U ooops. the attitude adjustment.
Cena however had other plans. It seemed Shawn forgot Cena had the STFU up his sleeve. Some good storytelling overall. One of Cena's better matches.
Highlight: The Piledriver:
Shawn delivered a brain splattering piledriver on John Cena on the bottom level of the steel steps. As soon as I saw this, i thought about that Hell in the Cell with Taker.
WWF Championship Match
"The Irresistible force, Vs The Irremovable object".... as Gorilla says these words, both men approach each other slowly and face off in the middle of the ring, in front of 93,000 fans.
Perhaps the biggest main event in wrestling history of that time. Not your typical technical submission fiesta match. Just an all out fisticuff affair.
However, both men worked the crowd to perfection. Both told a good story where if Hogan is to win, he has to figure out a way to topple the giant.
Highlight: The Scoop Slam
Hogan picking up Andre for a slam sent the crowd into a frenzy. Andre was 520 pounds at the time. Incredible!!!
World Heavyweight Championship Match.
Batista has had his share of terrible matches. He has been criticized by fans as a lazy worker and that he can't go in the ring. Batista went one on one with the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 23.
Few expected a decent match from the two. I know I wasn't. I was wrong.
Batista proved in this match that he is more than a big buff guy with a flashy spine buster. These two put on one of the best big man matches in history.
You would think this match would be slow paced due to their immense size. Again, wrong. Both went 100 mph. Crowd was hot during this match.
This match in my opinion stole the show at Wrestlemania 23. Also look out for Taker's entrance. Very chilling.
Highlight: Running Powerslam
Batista pulled out all the stops in this match. He executed a picture perfect running powerslam...... wait for it ....... on the announcer's table. From one to another.
It was Icon Vs Icon at Wrestlemania 18. J.R said it was "like Barry Bonds Vs Babe Ruth". A match for the ages if you will. Going into this match, few knew what to expect.
The Rock was the babyface, Hogan the heel. As the two made their entrances, both received loud ovations. However, it was Hogan that received the cheers. Weird!!!! Weird because a few weeks prior to Mania, Hogan and the Outsiders rammed an ambulance with The Rock inside with a Semi Truck.
He was out for 2 weeks (kayfabe). Like his match with Andre at Wrestlemania III, the crowd helped make this match memorable. Every little move Rock would pull off, whether it be a stomp or an eye rake, the crowd would boo loud as if he was hitting a rock bottom.
With Hogan it was the same. A little pose and the crowd would go wild. Hogan during this match, was surprisingly good, especially for his age.
A little rusty in some areas, but he sold well and executed his moves perfectly. I'll let you be the judge. However, for me, this match had too much going for me to ignore.
Highlight: Hogan's Rock Bottom
Who would've thought Hogan could pull this off. It looked good. Dare I say, almost as good as The Rock's.
"This is as exciting as a man can get, with his clothes off " Right you are, Paul. Hidden in the mayhem that was Wrestlemania 17, was this classic. Both men were known for their technical mat wrestling abilities heading into this match.
Both had a point to prove where neither wanted to tap to other's submission hold. Some great Chain wrestling and takedowns during this match.
Both worked each other real stiff, evidence on Kurt Angle's face. Great Storytelling during this match. Both coming up with some good counter's for eachother's submission holds.
Highlight: The Moonsault Bump
Kurt executed a perfect moonsault. However he took a sick bump when Benoit put his knees up to counter. Benoit's knees ended up in Angle's neck.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match
Bret was the former intercontinental champion heading into this match after he lost the title to the Mountie due to an illness.
Piper managed to win the Intercontinental title at the Royal Rumble prior to Mania, making it his first ever WWF title belt. Bret Hart, now returning from that illness was looking to get his title back.
Piper was the champ. Before the match, both Piper and Bret cut good promo's face to face. This would set up an awesome match. This is perhaps my favorite Roddy Piper match. A very stiff encounter.
Piper was in great shape trading blow for blow with the Hitman. Turning point during this match would be Piper's refusal to use the ring bell. This added to the story during the match where Piper wanted to prove, he was better than Bret, and he didn't need to cheat to beat him.
Plenty of counters, with one fatal one during the conclusion that made this match that much more memorable.
Highlight: Bret's Cross Body Block
Bret launched himself at Piper with a cross body block. His momentum would drive the both of them over the top rope, down to the floor.
WWF Championship Match
Ric Flair was making his Wrestlemania debut when he defended his WWF title against Randy Savage. This feud started when Ric Flair claimed he had an affair with Savage's woman Elizabeth, and had the pictures to prove it.
This would of cause infuriate Savage setting up this match at Wrestlemania. Back and Fourth these two would go. The story these two told in the ring was that Savage had to maintain his composure and wrestle, not fight, because Flair would use it to his advantage.
Before the match, Flair and Mr Perfect threatened to unveil a centerfold of Elizabeth for the world to see. Great Strategy from the dirtiest player in the game. Great match from both icons. A shame it was not the main event. Keep an eye out for Flair's blade job...... Ouch.
Highlight: Post Match Drama.
After their phenomenal match, Flair would lay a kiss on Elizabeth. This made Liz slap Flair sending him to the canvas. This would drive Savage nuts and go after Flair.
After all of this and a classic match, both Men cut awesome promos. Flair cutting his promo busted open, with Perfect and Heenan chipping in. "We Dont Cry Over Spilled Milk!!!"... Flair going on about Savage using his tights in a pinfall.
Savage cutting his promo right after "This is what makes you tick!!!!!" All in all awesome stuff. Great booking. Also keep an eye out for Mr Perfect slapping Hebner's head. Hilarious.
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
Wrestlemania 21 would see the birth of what has now become a staple of the WWE, the Money in the Bank ladder match.
It's simple, you throw in 6 Guys, a couple ladders and who ever is able to grab the briefcase that contains a guaranteed title shot, win's the match. The first Money in the bank would feature, Christian, Chris Jericho, Edge, Kane, Benoit and Shelton Benjamin.
Absolute chaos during this match. Still my favorite Money in the Bank match. This match helped Shelton Benjamin shine.
Highlight: Shelton Clothesline
During the match, Jericho is attempting to grab the briefcase. Shelton sees this quickly weighs up his options, and runs up a ladder connected to another, and delivers a clothesline to Jericho, sending Y2J down 15 feet from the top.
After his long absence from the WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin would make his return at No Way Out 2003, a month before Wrestlemania XIX. Another superstar making his return at No Way Out of that year would be The Rock.
It was inevitable that these two would clash at Wrestlemania, marking the third time they would meet at Mania. These two would not disappoint. Rock was the heel, Austin the face. Both men well familiar with each others habits, which resulted in plenty counters.
Rock working on Austin's knee's was a smart strategy, siting Austin's knee problem's over the years. This would be Austin's final match of his illustrious career.
You knew something was up when Rock broke kayfabe after the match, sharing a moment with Austin in the ring. Very underrated match between the two.
Highlight: The Rock In Austin's Vest.
The Rock was the heel in this match. He played it to perfection. During the match, The Rock slipped on the rattlesnakes vest, and proceeded to lay the smackdown.
This was a bad move on behalf of The Rock, as all the momentum he had gained was gone and Austin capitalized. King, who was calling the match, said the vest was cursed. Great Entertainment.
WWE Championship match
It had been a long painful road to Wrestlemania 20 for both these men. Kurt had to defeat two other men in a triple threat to make it to Wrestlemania. Eddie had to win a 15 Man Battle Royal just to earn a title shot.
Then he had to defeat one of the most dominant champions on Smackdown in Brock Lesnar. Both these men would overcome all obstacles and achieve their ultimate goals.
For Eddie, it was the culmination of a 17 year career, to finally capture the top prize and defend it at the Grandest Stage of them all, was life long dream coming to life.
Only thing standing in his way, was a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist obsessed with regaining the crown he had lost the previous year. This would set up this classic with Eddie trying everything and anything, to keep his title. Even if it meant doing it with one shoe.
Highlight: Eddie Counter's The Ankle Lock
He Lies, He Cheats and He Steals. Eddie always figured out a way to win matches, and in this particular match, he was at his Lyin, Cheatin, Stealin best.
Kurt Angle managed to get Eddie into the Ankle Lock but Eddie somehow managed to wiggle his way out by loosening the laces on his wrestling boots. This turned out to be the critical move of the match.
Probably the most intriguing match of 1991. Intriguing in the sense that two of the top superstars in the WWF at the time, would go head to head where the loser would have to retire.
Wrestlemania 7 would see Ultimate Warrior face the Macho Man in a retirement match. This feud began when the Warrior refused to grant Savage a shot at his title.
This would lead to Savage interfering in Warrior's title match with Sgt. Slaughter at the Royal Rumble, which caused the Warrior to lose his title. So the match was set.
The two felt there hatred for each other was too much, and that the WWF was not big enough to hold the both of them, thus having this retirement match.
No one knew what was going to happen because the thought of either of them retiring was mind boggling.
This is easily one of Warrior's best matches. He doesnt have many, but this was awesome. Savage was at his usual best. Both men put on a classic. Very physical and draining. The stipulation made this match memorable.
Every near pinfall had the crowd on the edge's of their seat. Like most of Savage's matches, very well choreographed and thought out. Those 5 elbow drops he laid on Warrior looked excruciating. This would lead to an unforgettable ending.
Highlight: Miss Liz reuniting with Savage.
After the classic match, Sherri who was managing Macho Man at the time was infuriated with Savage for losing the match therefore attacking Savage in frustration. Liz who was attending the event saw what was happening and would react by fighting off Sherri, and helping Savage.
The two finally reunited and embraced each other receiving a huge ovation from the crowd. 30 minutes prior to this, Savage was the most hated wrestler on the roster and was a big time heel. He would leave the ring getting cheered. Great drama.
WWE Championship Match
Arguably two of the best mat wrestlers in pro wrestling at the time, Brock Lesnar would face Kurt Angle for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 19. Brock earned his shot at the WWE title by winning the 2003 Royal Rumble.
Both men had similar wrestling styles with Brock having more emphasis on his power moves and Angle on his submission holds.
At the time it seemed these two were the future of the WWE, which is amazing considering what has happened over the past couple of years. Both men put on a wrestling clinic.
Lesnar and Angle especially would take considerable time off due to the physicality of this match. Both men showcased their amateur backgrounds and mat wrestling techniques.
Highlight: Lesnar's Shooting Star Press
Brock Lesnar is around 275 pounds, a fairly big guy. So to see him attempt a shooting star press was freakish. Lesnar went for it and came crashing down on his neck.
Perhaps if Kurt was a little further in, he may have been able to pull it off. Still, to see a 270+ pound guy do this was amazing.
WWF Championship Vs WWF Intercontinental Championship Match
Billed as the "Ultimate Challenge", Wrestlemania 6 is forever remembered for the CLASSIC these two put on. Hulk Hogan Vs Ultimate Warrior. Yes no error there. Allow me to put it in caps. HULK HOGAN VS ULTIMATE WARRIOR.
Hogan was the WWF Champ, Warrior the Intercontinental champ. Both were the top babyfaces of the company at the time. This was a main event of Epic proportions.
The 70,000 that jammed the skydome was torn on this one. Both would receive mixed reactions which created a unique atmosphere.
Hogan and Warrior both exceeded expectations from critics at the time. Without a doubt in my mind, this was Warrior's best match.
Highlight: Hogan Kicks Out!!!
Warrior's finisher consisted of a Gorilla Press Slam followed by a splash. If i can remember correctly, nobody had kicked out of Warrior's finisher.
So when Warrior hit the Gorilla Press Slam and splash on Hogan, Everyone thought it was over. Nope. Hogan kicks out and hulks up. This just one of many crazy near pinfalls during the match.
Chris Jericho idolized Shawn Michaels and claimed Shawn was the reason he became a pro wrestler. He would mimic all of HBK's signature moves and mannerisms.
However since becoming the first EEEEVVVEEERRRR, undisputed world heavyweight champion, Jericho felt he was better than Shawn Michaels, and instead of becoming the next HBK, he wanted to be the first Y2J.
This feud began when Y2J eliminated HBK in the 2003 Royal Rumble. These two would go back and forth on Jericho's Highlight Reel segments and then set up this match.
This match would steal the show. Some great athleticism from both men. There was some high flying moves, submission moves and some great mat wrestling. Can't say much about this match.
All I can say is, it's Shawn Michaels Vs Chris Jericho at a Wrestlemania. What more can I say? This was my favorite match from 2003.
Highlight: Jericho mimicking Shawn
These two told a fantastic story in the ring. Their feud was mirrored in the ring with Jericho mimicking his idol's signature moves and mannerisms.
At one point in the match, Jericho would do the "Kip Up" which is one of HBK's signature's. Jericho even tuned up his own band and executed a perfect Sweet Chin Music.
WWF Championship, No Disqualification Match
The two biggest stars of the Attitude Era, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock. These two would draw 67000 fans to the Astrodome for Wrestlemania 17.
When Austin was out in late 1999 for neck surgery, The Rock became the face of the WWF and was the top of the food chain, dominating the competition, leading the WWF into the millennium.
Austin would return in late 2000, and would go on to win the 2001 Royal Rumble to earn a shot at the WWF title at Wrestlemania. The Rock would win the WWF title at No Way Out, a month prior to Wrestlemania. This would set up their epic encounter.
Many intriguing storylines between these two heading into the match. Yes the WWF title was on the line, but one underlying story would be, "Who is the MAN".
Was Austin going to claim back his spot as the face of the company. Or was The Rock the one to lead the WWF into 2001. Very intriguing indeed. The result is one of the best Main Event matches in Mania History.
No DQ, both men busted open, and both trading finishers and signature moves back and forth, which would lead into a shocking heel turn. This match helped make Wrestlemania 17 the greatest one of them all.
Highlight: The Promo
Yes the match was awesome, but before the match was a SICK promo set to Limp Bizkit's My Way. The synchronization of the lyrics and the feud between these two was perfect. "You think your special, you do, i can see it in your eyes....".
This is my favorite match promo/buildup. Remember that underlying storyline i was talking about, think about those lyrics now. "Im'a do things my way, its my way, my way or the highway". Who's way was is it going to be.
Only recently has a match promo come close, HBK and Taker set to Placebo's "Running Up That Hill."
Wrestlemania XXIV is often remembered for Ric Flair's final WWE match where he wrestled Shawn Michaels. It had been a while since i had seen a great Ric Flair match.
Going into this match, I feared it would be a dud. Yeah he was wrestling Mr Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels, but Ric Flair was pushing 60 and he could barely take a scoop slam. I guess not.
This match was made the match of the year (2008), and Match of the decade by PWI. Yes it was that good. I wouldn't say its match of the decade, but it's right up there. I'll say this though, it was BETTER THAN WHAT ANYONE EXPECTED!
Very emotional match. One of the highlights for me during this match was when Flair finally pulled of a "Cross Body Block" from the top rope. Shawn took some sick bumps.
You can't help but cringe at the asai moonsault onto the announcer's table. How about that moonsault in the picture. Guess what happens next???
Highlight: "I'm Sorry, I Love You"
What made this match was the storytelling in the ring. This was storytelling at it's best. Perhaps the most memorable moment in this match, would have to be Shawn's "I Love You" superkick.
Before he went for his finisher, Shawn knew what was about to happen, which was the end for his idol, Ric Flair. Ric managed to regain his stability and saw what was coming, motioning shawn to do it.
Before he delivered his sourest sweet chin music, Shawn says "I'm Sorry, I Love You." The best storytelling in a match in my opinion. I would have ranked this match higher, had Flair stayed retired.
WWF Intercontinental Championship, Ladder Match
"For the following contest, there are NO RULES." Wrestlemania X would feature the first ever ladder match on WWE Television.
The Intercontinental title was on the line. It was Razor Ramon, a.k.a Scott Hall, going up against HBK, Shawn Michaels, who was just starting to carve his name into Wrestlemania history.
This match, made me an instant fan of both, especially Shawn Michaels. Ladder matches prior to this classic, would only have the ladder present so that the competitors could grab the titles.
These two went a step further, they actually used the ladder to gain an advantage over the other.
The MSG crowd had no idea what to expect. As soon as Shawn delivered that baseball slide hitting the ladder into the mid-section of Razor, they knew they were going to see something incredible.
Remember now, it's WWF in 1994, a ring bell spot was holy s**t material then". Still though, some crazy spots involving the ladder. It still amazes me how this match went without a hitch.
Both men took their fair share of bumps. Credit to Razor for taking those nasty Ladder Shots to the back. An incredible match from both men. This match was voted 5 stars from Dave Meltzer. So it should be.
Highlight: Ladder Ride
Like i said, some crazy spots involved with the ladder. One of them was the Ladder Ride from Shawn Michaels. Razor Ramon laid prone on the mat as Shawn leaned the ladder against the turnbuckle.
He climbs to the top rope, and with all his weight and force, he rides the ladder down to the chest of Razor Ramon. Luckily for Razor, Shawn just missed his throat. "That was the greatest"..... Jerry Lawler.
WWF Tag Team Championship, Tables Ladders & Chairs Match
TLC with Edge & Christian Vs The Hardy Boyz Vs The Dudley Boyz. Do i really need to say anything else...... Absolute Carnage!!!
If you love "high flying dangerous holy crap did i just see that" stuff, this match is for you. One of the reason's why Wrestlemania XVII is the greatest ever, is this match.
These three teams competed in a TLC match in Summerslam the previous year, which was a pretty good match. They all felt they could surpass that TLC with a second at Wrestlemania. Boy did they.
It was fast and furious, non stop action. Spots kept getting bigger and bigger, and were coming thick and fast, one after another. My favorite Tag Team match ever, and my favorite TLC match of cause.
These six men, or should i say eight men + one woman (Rhyno, Spike Dudley, Lita), had me worried because as I was watching this Live, I seriously thought someone was going to die.
Highlight: Edge Spears Jeff 15 feet above the ring!!!
I think that speaks for itself. For those of you a** clowns who have not seen this match, you're probably thinking, How did this happen??? Well, Jeff Climbs the ladder to retrieve the tag belts.
Bubba Ray decides to take the ladder out from underneath him, leaving Jeff hanging on for life, some 15 feet up high.
Meanwhile, Edge climbs another Ladder from the adjacent corner, lines up Jeff who is still hanging there, and delivers a sickening spear.
The greatest opening match of Wrestlemania history, or perhaps wrestling history. It was Owen Hart Vs Bret Hart at Wrestlemania X. Did not expect much from this match when i first saw it Live.
It was the opening contest, no titles on the line, just a sibling rivalry. Their feud started at the Survivor Series the previous year where Owen was the only Hart eliminated from their Survivor Series team.
Owen blamed Bret for all his failures and not being able to accomplish much, claiming Bret was holding him back. This would lead to their classic encounter at Wrestlemania X.
The match started with a simple collar and elbow tie up. Both men relinquished the tie up after neither one could gain an advantage. Owen's reaction following the tie up, set the tone as he faced the crowd and screamed with his hands raised, claiming he got the better of Bret in a simple tie up.
This match featured some of the best chain wrestling i had ever seen. Both would string together hold after hold with counter after counter effortlessly. The pace of the match itself was incredible. The ring chemistry between these two was evident through the match, It just flowed effortlessly.
By the time the match ended, you had know idea these two just wrestled for 20 minutes. Owen's victory over Bret overshadowed Bret's WWF title win over Yokozuna that night. That's how awesome this match was. It was the opening contest, with no titles on the line. Are you kidding me?!?!
Highlight: Owen shocks the world.
When Bret Hart managed to break out and reverse the Sharpshooter applied from Owen, I thought right away, yeah Bret will win. Bret has to win this match, he won the Rumble (well sort of) and has a title shot. I mean you can't possibly have one of your No. 1 contenders lose to his younger brother in the opening contest.
Right?!?!?! Wrong! Not a minute later, Bret tried to roll through Owen and get him in a pinning position but Owen being his brother, knowing him well, he counters Bret and pins him fair and square.
The MSG crowd were stunned as they stood in dead silence. Probably the biggest upset in wrestling history.
WWF Championship, 60 Minute Iron Man Match
"The marathon, hour long match I had with Bret Hart was a benchmark for me because breaking into this business and then growing up in it, going an hour was always a sign of real maturity and a real sign of accomplished skill. Not many guys would do the hour matches, and especially in the late 90's, nobody was doing them. So to go out there and do that with Bret Hart was a benchmark for me, and then winning the championship was a benchmark for me." Shawn Michaels.
60 Minutes is a long time, especially for a wrestling match. To see two guys wrestle for that long is incredible. It was 1996, The average wrestling fan was more in to the chair shots and cages than an actual straight up wrestling match.
These two made it work, and turned this into a classic. This is a must-watch for any wrestling fan. It's a shame though that this match is overshadowed by the Montreal Incident.
Highlight: Sudden Death!!!
Bret Hart reversed Shawn Michaels attempted Dropkick from the top rope into a Sharpshooter with 32 seconds left on the clock. Neither man could pin or submit the other in 59 Minutes and It seemed with Shawn locked in the Sharpshooter with that much time left, Bret had retained his title.
But, somehow, Shawn Michaels withstood the Sharpshooter for over half a minute and forced the match into sudden death. After 60 minutes of intense wrestling, the classic continued.
Bret irate over the circumstances, mounted some heavy offense on the Shawn's lower back and looked to be in complete control. However, Shawn managed to superkick Bret after avoiding the turnbuckle and catching Bret off guard. Shawn would then set up another sweet chin music.
"He got all of it, Michaels got all of it, Michaels for the cover, 1, 2, YES!!!!! ...... Vince McMahon on commentary.
World Heavyweight Championship, Triple Threat, No Disqualification Match.
At first, I was not a big fan of having this match turn into a Triple Threat. I was happy with it being Triple H Vs Chris Benoit. But then anytime you add the Heartbreak Kid into any match, its always going to be good.
This match would not disappoint. The world heavyweight title was on the line as Triple H would defend it in a triple threat match with Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit.
All three men shared great chemistry. You had Triple H with the power attacks, Shawn Michaels with the high flying, and Chris Benoit with the Submission moves along with his crazy suplexes.
With all this in the mix, it turned out to be the greatest triple threat match in history (followed close by Samoa Joe's, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels match).
At one point during the match, Shawn Michaels and Triple H, despite their hatred for each other, teamed up to eliminate Chris Benoit from the match by suplexing him through the announcer's table.
A painful bump as both men drove Benoit into the table with authority. Another highlight during the match was when Chris Benoit had Triple H in the crossface.
Just when it seemed like Triple H was about to tap, Shawn Michaels comes flying in with some sweet chin music for Benoit, almost kicking his head off in the process.
This would all lead to an emotional conclusion and probably the most memorable ending to any Wrestlemania.
Highlight: Chris Benoit Finally at the top.
Without a doubt, Chris Benoit was the fan favorite. At the time, he was perhaps the greatest wrestler never to be champion. I think we can all agree that his one-night reign as WCW champion was Bulls**t.
This was his first true title reign and a much deserved one after a long 18 year career. After winning his match, Eddie Guerrero joined Chris in the ring and embraced him, celebrating his victory.
Both men were in tears of joy, after years of traveling on the road together, wrestling all over the world, they were both at the top of the mountain.
"Sometimes it's hell, trying to get to heaven". In at number 4 comes this Epic encounter from two of the best on the Grandest stage. The Undertaker, the man with an astounding 16-0 Wrestlemania record going up against Mr Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels.
These two had an epic trilogy in 1997-98 where Shawn Michaels won all 3 encounters. including the famous, Hell in a Cell match at Bad Blood 1997.
To my knowledge, these two had not met in an official match since their trilogy in the late 90s until 2009, Wrestlemania 25. Shawn went into this match with huge confidence in ending the streak because the Undertaker had not defeated Shawn in his career.
However beating the Undertaker at Ground Zero, Bad Blood and the Royal Rumble pales in comparison to defeating him on Wrestlemania.
For 30 minutes, these two would thrill the 70,000+ at the Reliant Stadium. From the entrances to the finish, it was simply breathtaking. The match that went on to become Match of the Year for 2009 drove the crowd into a frenzy.
At one point during the match, hbk went for a moonsault from the top rope on to the floor only to have Undertaker swat him away like a fly. Shawn landed his moonsault on the concrete floor.
With Shawn out, The Undertaker delivered his famous Over the top rope Plancha to the floor only to have Shawn recover and pull the cameraman into harm's way.
Undertaker landed head first onto the floor and some how, SOME HOW, went on to wrestle for another 20 minutes.
Highlight: Shawn kicks out of the Tombstone.
The final 20 minutes of this match was amazing. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania always seemed a lock to win. However in this match, HBK made us think the unthinkable. Is this is it for the Undertaker? Is it going to be 16-1???
At one point, HBK skinned the cat and Taker caught him, and delivered a Tombstone, driving Shawn's head into the mat. The referee slid in for the count, and it looked like it was 17-0 for the Undertaker. You could hear the crowd getting ready to celebrate, "One, Two, Thr.... AWWWW!!!!".
Somehow, Shawn miraculously kicks out of the tombstone piledriver. Jim Ross who was calling the match was in disbelief, "I Just had an outer body experience!!!"
Incredible indeed, but no one was more shocked than the Undertaker. The look on his face after Shawn kicked out was golden.
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match.
"This is the greatest match I've ever seen", Jesse Ventura.
Wrestlemania 3 was jammed with 93,000 fans in attendance. Most if not all of them went to see Andre Vs Hogan.
Steamboat and Savage would steal the show. This match came about when Savage almost ended the career of The Dragon when he dropped him throat first across the steel railing and then dropping the ring bell on his throat Steamboat returned from his injury, and challenged Savage setting up this match.
Heading into this classic, Savage was the favorite as he was the Intercontinental Champion for over 16 Months.
"That established me as the way I can work in the ring. We got so much PR and press for that match after it happened, it was in all of the magazines, guys I hadn't heard from in a while were calling and telling me how great of a match we had. Andre and Hogan sold the show, but Steamboat and Savage stole it, that's what everybody was saying. That's what they were saying in the magazines. If there was one time that really put my name on the map in the business, it was that night, that match. If you look at the event, though, it was the amount of pay-per-views sold, it was 93,000 fans in attendance, it was such a big buildup, so taking all that into consideration, that was the moment in time that defined me as a wrestler.". Ricky Steamboat on his match with Savage at Wrestlemania III.
This match today is considered by many as the greatest in history. It was nothing the WWF had seen before at the time. The pace of the match was just relentless with both men trading near falls and counters. It was a wrestling clinic.
Dragon's arm drags were perfect. Savage's Double axe handle's and "clotheslines" were on point. The reversals, close pinfalls, and incredible storytelling was what made this match memorable.
Savage vs Steamboat is widely considered to be one of the greatest matches in North American wrestling history. Its a wrestling match every fan must see. In my opinion this was the greatest match of the 1980s.
Highlight: Steamboat lifts Savage by the throat
I believe the picture says it all. The reason this is a highlight is because at the time, I don't think Steamboat ever picked anybody up by the throat like how he did with Savage.
For any wrestling fan, this was a dream match. You had arguably the greatest in ring performer in Shawn Michaels Vs arguably the greatest mat wrestling technician, Kurt Angle.
The buildup to this match was pretty good. But the match was amazing. Heading into Wrestlemania 21, a lot of hype surrounded this match because of its competitors.
Both Shawn and Kurt had held every title in the WWE and both were sure Hall of Famers. Still no one knew what to expect as this would be their first ever encounter with Shawn representing the Raw brand, and Kurt representing the Smackdown brand.
I can't say much about this match. All I can say is, Its number 2 for a reason. Its Kurt Angle Vs Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania, what more can I say. Perhaps Kurt can explain it better.
"I'd have to say the Shawn Michaels match was the best, though, because I've had a lot of wrestlers come up to me, legends, former wrestlers like Bobby Heenan, Paul Orndorff, Jesse Ventura call me personally and tell me that it was the best match they've ever seen in their life.
"There were also current wrestlers like Chris Benoit and JBL who came up to me and said 'Kurt, I've never seen a match like that. That's the greatest match I've ever seen. That's what wrestling is all about.' It surprised me, because when I was out there, I was feeling it, but I just did what I did then walked to the back like any other match.
"Before I knew it, everyone was on their feet clapping and I was like, 'Wow, I didn't know it was that good'............. Need i say more. When someone like Bobby Heenan says it was the best match they had ever seen, you know for damn sure this match was awesome."
Both started of slow with Shawn surprising Kurt with some submission holds of his own. As soon as Kurt figured out a way to counter Shawn's Short arm scissors hold, It became a battle of wits as both men had counter's for every signature move from the other.
Both went back and forth for some 30 minutes. At one point during the match, Kurt tried to German suplex Shawn of the ring apron on to the floor, only to have Shawn low blow him, then springboards off the ropes, crashing into Kurt who was laying prone on the announcer's table.
Painful bump for both as the the table stood firm as their momentum was unable to bust it. This would all lead into one of the more memorable finishes, in Wrestlemania history.
Highlight: Shawn fights the Ankle Lock for 2 MINUTES!!!
Shawn Michaels much like his efforts in the iron man match with Bret, tried to fight through the pain of his Opponents finishing submission hold. Kurt managed to grab Shawn's ankle and put him in the ankle lock.
After trying repeatedly to breakout of the ankle lock, Kurt would lock up Shawn's Ankle into a grapevine. For 2 minutes, Shawn refused to tap leaving the fans on the edge of their seats.
Instead of tapping, Shawn would pull on his hair trying his best to numb the pain. However the pain of the ankle lock was too much, which lead to Shawn finally tapping.
Both men were exhausted after an intense encounter. The fans in the Staples Center applauded both men, giving them a standing ovation.
Number 1 on my top 25 is the submission match with Bret the hitman Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin.
This feud began in the previous year at the Survivor Series, where Bret returned from a sabbatical after losing his WWF title to Shawn Michaels, went up against the foul mouthed, bird flipping Austin.
Both men wrestled a great technical wrestling match. Bret Hart would eventually win the match but was pushed to the limit by Austin.
The feud would continue on into the Royal Rumble where Bret Hart and Austin were the last remaining superstars. Bret eliminated Austin to win the rumble but the referees did not see it as they were distracted.
Austin snuck back in and eliminates Bret hart, winning the Royal Rumble. Bret eager to get revenge went after Austin for the following weeks.
Both men would exchange promos before setting up this Submission Match where you can only win by making your opponent submit.
Sure Bret had the advantage because he had the superior submission background. But to make Austin submit or say i quit is dare i say "impossible".
Going into this match, Austin was the heel and Bret was the face. Austin's cussing in his promo's started to gain popularity amongst the fans.
His "Don't give a rat's a** "approach to the ring, made him controversial. Bret Hart meanwhile, stuck to his heroic type, role model (think John Cena) type figure.
But as the clocks turned for 1997, he slowly turned into a complainer and the fans were starting to grow out of it. However, the majority of the fans still cheered him.
Both men opened up the match by brawling into the crowd, which was unheard of at the time in th WWF. Both brawled all the way up to the stands where Bret gave Austin a back body drop.
When both men finally made it back to the ring, the match would get even more physical. At one point, Bret worked on Austin's knees, wrapping them around the steel ring posts and putting on a figure four.
Austin also showed he had some submission moves of his own, after executing a perfect russian leg sweep, he chain's it to some sort of modified cradle, working on the neck of Bret.
Steve even put Bret in a Boston Crab. Both men would go back and forth in a brutal contest. Because this is my favorite match, i wont want to spoil it for anyone who has not seen it.
All I can say is, by the time the match ended, The crowd's reaction would turn. Bret was booed, and Austin was cheered. This match would catapult Austin's career to the next level.
The submission match between these two, is regarded by many as the greatest match of professional wrestling history.
Highlight: Austin fights the Sharpshooter
Bret Hart locked Austin in the Sharpshooter. Austin who was busted open by then, was in immense pain and withstood the Sharpshooter for what seemed like an eternity.
As Bret Hart continued to apply pressure to Austin's Back and legs in the Sharpshooter, blood poured from Austin’s face.
The image of Austin screaming in pain as blood rained down his forehead has become one of the company’s most iconic images.
Perhaps the most memorable image in Austin's illustrious career. If you have yet to see this match, please do so now!!!