Ranking the Best Match at Each Wrestlemania Event
There is one day of the year that every wrestling fan lives for. One night that lets us forgive all the stupid Hornswoggle and Santino commentary and reminds us why we love this sport so much.
That one night is Wrestlemania.
There have been a total of 26 Wrestlemania events so far, and although some have been outstanding and some have sucked, there is one constant that stays true between all Wrestlemanias. One match always stands out.
After the event is over, there is always that one match that we all talk about years later (Wrestlemania 17 being the only exception, seeing as it has at least three of those).
In this slideshow I will chronicle through the best match at each Wrestlemania. So without further ado, let's get started!
Wrestlemania 1: Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs Roddy Piper and Paul Orndroff
To be honest, when I first saw this match, I didn't expect much. But it turned out a lot better than I anticipated it.
Mr. T definitely held his own; I thought he would be awful because he was nothing but a celebrity, but he proved me wrong.
Not a bad match with an awesome ending, when Cowboy Bob Orton accidentally hit Paul Orndroff with the cast, resulting in the Hulkster scoring the pin.
Wrestlemania 2: The Dream Team vs. The British Bulldogs
One hell of a tag team match, this one showed why the British Bulldogs will always be one of the greatest tag teams of all-time.
The majority of the match was wrestled between The Dynamite Kid and Greg Valentine, and some great back and forth action went down.
This is one of my favorite tag team matches and the only good match on the Wrestlemania 2 card, which I still believe was the worst Wrestlemania ever.
Wrestlemania 3: Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat
Some fans would consider this the greatest match in Wrestlemania history. While I do find it a tad bit overrated, it was still one hell of a match.
With constant back and forth action between Savage and Steamboat, it seemed like either man could win any time.
The roll-up pin came out of nowhere and was an awesome ending to an awesome match.
Wrestlemania 4: Randy Savage vs Ted DiBiase
This may have not been the greatest match in the world, but it was all right for what it's worth.
It was really awesome to know that one of these guys was going to get his first World Title Reign, especially with how prestigious the WWE Championship was back then.
Even though I wanted Ted DiBiase to win, I was fine with Randy Savage winning after he put on an all right match for an all right Wrestlemania.
Wrestlemania 5: Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage
Now first off, this match is the exact example of a typical Hulk Hogan match.
Hogan gets destroyed and then makes a comeback at the end. For some reason though, I really enjoyed this match.
Maybe it's that nostalgic feel because it's one of the first matches I ever saw in WWE history, but either way it was pretty good.
I think it was definitely main event worthy, and at the end Hulk Hogan obviously began to "Hulk Up" and was able to get the pin, much to the fans' delight.
Wrestlemania 6: Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior
This match obviously had a lot to go on here, just the raw emotion in the crowd alone elevates this match to that legendary status.
The SkyDome didn't know who they wanted to win, but personally I was glad that the Ultimate Warrior pulled out the victory.
This was a great back and forth contest with a great ending—Hogan missing the leg drop and then Warrior capitalizing with his patented splash to seal the deal.
Wrestlemania 7: Sgt. Slaughter vs Hulk Hogan
This match was just ruthless. We'd all seen Hogan beaten badly, but never like this.
The Hulkster was bleeding, but Sgt. Slaughter just would not stop.
Somehow, someway, Hogan was able to get back in the game and defeat Slaughter for the title in one of Hogan's most brutal matches.
Not match-of-the-year quality, but a good one nonethless.
Wrestlemania 8: Randy Savage vs Ric Flair
This match was just awesome and I believe that it should have been the main event of Wrestlemania 8.
Savage had the crowd in the palm of his hands, and so did Flair. Mr. Perfect even got evolved in the action and attacked Savage with the refs back turned.
In the end Savage got the pin, but he had a handful of tights, setting up another amazing match between the two down the line.
Wrestlemania 9: Shawn Michaels vs Tatanka
This wasn't the greatest match of all-time, but honestly, none of the matches at Wrestlemania 9 we're very good.
Even though the match had an AWFUL finish—the ref ended the match due to count-out almost a minute after the count-out occurred—the actual action between the men was executed well, and the two put on a good performance.
Wrestlemania 10: Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon
Wrestlemania 10 had two amazing matches; both Owen Hart vs Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon were show-stealers.
But I had to give it to Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon because of the awesome innovation. This was the first ladder match in Wrestlemania history, and it didn't disappoint.
There we're some really great spots preformed with the ladder, with my favorite being the splash HBK did off the top.
Just an awesome match, and one of the greatest ladder matches in WWE history.
Wrestlemania 11: Shawn Michaels vs Diesel
Good friends. Better enemies.
Shawn Michaels and Diesel had an awesome feud during 1995, and this match proves it.
While this match may not be a five-star match by any means, it was definitely the best match on the Wrestlemania 11 card.
I previously said that I believed Wrestlemania 2 was the wost Wrestlemania ever.
Well, Wrestlemania 11 definitely takes second place. Other than this mediocre match, the card didn't have any substance at all.
Anyway, back to the match. I think this match would have been a lot better if HBK had finally won the title, but that brings me to our next slide.............
Wrestlemania 12: Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart
This match doesn't even need any explanation.
For one hour, two of the greatest in-ring competitors of our time went head-to-head. We saw elbow drops, piledrivers, superkicks, sharpshooters, Sweet Chin Music, and a kick-out after kick-out.
Even after beating the hell out of each other for one hour, the two couldn't get a pin, which forced the match to go into sudden death rules.
The two fought it out a little bit more until Michaels was able to hit dual Sweet Chin Musics and finally become the champion.
One of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history, and one of the few Wrestlemania main events that lives up to the hype.
Wrestlemania 13: Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
This match is great because it began Stone Cold Steve Austin's ascension to immortality.
The match began with Austin as a top heel and Bret as a top face and ended with Austin as a top face and Bret as a top heel.
It was a submission match, which obviously gave Bret a huge advantage. But Austin vowed that he would not tap, and he didn't.
Instead, he passed out from the pain of the sharpshooter, rendering Bret Hart the winner but giving the fans even more respect for Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Wrestlemania 14: Shawn Michaels vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Now, I previously stated that the last match (Bret Hart vs Stone Cold) began Austin's ascension to immortality. Well, this match cemented it.
Even though Shawn Michaels wrestled the match with a broken back, the two still put on a great show. The crowd went wild when Austin FINALLY won the WWE Championship.
Great farewell match for HBK...well, at least we thought it was farewell.
Wrestlemania 15: The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
This match wasn't the best match that The Rock and Austin had against each other, but it was still a great one.
Austin had to go through both The Rock and the Corporation to win the WWE Championship.
The two put on a good match, and who could forget the Rock's awesome overselling of the Stone Cold Stunner?
Wrestlemania 2000: Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudleyz
This match was as hardcore as it gets.
We had seen ladder matches between the three teams, but a ladder match including all three teams at one time just reeked awesomeness. And this match sure as hell delivered.
Jeff Hardy had to be the MVP of this match because he really put his body on the line in this one. Thank god he was rewarded a decade later with the World Championship.
After seeing this, nobody thought these three could top this match, but they did.....................
Wrestlemania X7: Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz
I liked this match even more than their match at Wrestlemania 2000 and Summerslam.
TLC 2 was my favorite match on the Wrestlemania 17 card, which means a lot because it was one hell of a card.
The stunts in this match we're just breathtaking, and the interferences by Rhyno, Spike Dudley, and Lita just added more to the match.
Both Jeff Hardy and Edge really stole the show in this match, and the spear off the ladder was the highlight of a match filled with highlights.
This has got to be one of the greatest tag team matches ever.
Wrestlemania X8: The Rock vs Hulk Hogan
How could this match not be fantastic? It was Icon vs Icon. A match that everyone had been waiting for, The Rock vs Hulk Hogan was finally happening.
Even though I personally wanted the Rock to win, I found it out that the crowd was 100% on Hogan's side.
Either way, this match was great and two Rock Bottom's and a Peoples Elbow to finally get the pin on the immortal one.
One of the greatest dream matches in WWE history, now if only we could get The Rock vs Shawn Michaels, but that's a different story for a different day.
Wrestlemania 19: Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho
Awesome match between to of the greatest in-ring performers of this generation. This is one of the few matches that I actually did not mind ending in a roll-up.
Not only did we see Jericho perform Shawn's patented flying forearm, but he even hit HBK with the Sweet Chin Music, the ultimate form of disrespect.
After the match, ended the two engaged in a hug only for Jericho to kick Michaels in the nads. Awesome match from what I believe was the greatest Wrestlemania of all time.
Wrestlemania 20: Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit vs Triple H
This match is personally my favorite Wrestlemania main event of all time, it just had everything, awesome hype, awesome crowd reaction and three of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
At so many points in this match it just seemed like either one of these guys was going to win.
The end saw Chris Benoit surprising make Triple H tap out to the Crippler Crossface, thus finally making Chris Benoit the World Heavyweight Champion.
Wrestlemania 21: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
This right here is my favorite match of all time. I mean, what would you expect from Angle and HBK? Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle just put on one hell of a match.
There we're so many points when it seemed like any man could win. On top of that, when Shawn Michaels put Angle on the announce table and then gave him a Moonsault from the apron; well that was just beautiful.
This match has got to go down as one of the greatest in WWE history, I'm surprised that it isn't talked about too much because it was a damn good match.
Wrestlemania 22: Shawn Michaels vs Vince McMahon
Wrestlemania 22 was one of the most disappointing Wrestlemania's of all time.
Rey Mysterio became World Heavyweight champion, the World Heavyweight Championship match was 10 minutes long, and John Cena retained his title by making Triple H tap (which I was actually happy about, but the crowd booed it heavily).
But this match partly made up for all of it. Was it a 5 star classic? Far from it. But it was simply entertaining and that's what wrestling is all about right?
Shawn Michaels basically kicked Vince McMahon a** for 20 minutes and Vince needed interference by both Shane McMahon and the Spirit Squad to sustain a bit of offense.
The ending was also great with Shawn hitting the diving elbow drop on Vince McMahon off of a ladder, with Vince laying on a table with a trash can over his head.
Who says Vince McMahon can't have good matches?
Wrestlemania 23: Shawn Michaels vs John Cena
Personally, I think this match was better than their classic one in England.
Shawn Michaels countered multiple FU's, tried to hit Cena with multiple Sweet Chin musics, and even piledrove Cena onto the steel steps, just great stuff.
The ending saw Shawn Michaels tap to the STFU, which I wasn't too happy about, but then again the FU is not the best finisher to end a Wrestlemania main event match with; it just doesn't look too painful.
Wrestlemania 24: Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair
Great match even though we all knew the outcome. Ric Flair put on a hell of a "last match" even at the age of 60.
The highlight of the match has got to be when Shawn missed his moonsault and crash-landed right through the announce table. Even though the wrestling was great, the emotion was even better.
No one will ever forget Shawn Michaels uttering the words "I'm sorry, I love you," before hitting the Sweet Chin Music and "ending" the career of the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair!
Wrestlemania 25: Shawn Michaels vs the Undertaker
On a Wrestlemania that flat-out sucked, this match was one of Wrestlemania 25's saving graces. Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker just went toe-to-toe for 30 minutes.
At some points in the match, I actually thought that Michaels was going to end the streak. Finisher after finisher, the two just kept going at each other, the ending saw Shawn go for a moonsault and Undertaker catch him and hit the tombstone piledriver.
Awesome match, and thank god we got a re-match.
Wrestlemania 26: Shawn Michaels vs the Undertaker
I think that this match was even better than their awesome match at Wrestlemania 25.
It was just non-stop action from beginning to end. This was the first time that I ever went into a match believing that the Undertaker's streak may finally end.
The moonsault through the announce table was great and the jumping tombstone that the Undertaker used to win the match was fantastic.
Great ending to the career of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Shawn Michaels.
Top 3 Superstars with the most matches:
1. Shawn Michaels 13/26
2. Hulk Hogan 5/26
3. Randy Savage 4/26
Number of matches that PWI ranked match of the year: 15/26
Number of matches that we're the main event of the Wrestlemania: 11/26
Thanks For Reading
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to leave a comment if you'd like.