Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament: Round 1 (Michaels Bracket)

Eric Kanes@EricKanesContributor IIIMarch 13, 2011

Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament: Round 1 (Michaels Bracket)

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    What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes, and March Madness continues as I welcome you to Round 1 of the "Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time" tournament that I am hosting this year.

    We’ve got four head-to-head matchups. Vote how you want by picking the match that you feel is better. It’s your choice. Vote in the comment section and feel free to justify each pick. Voting will be open for 72 hours.

    Note: These are not the only eight matches involved in the tournament. There is a total of 32 matches involved and this is the second of four first round brackets. You can view the complete list of matches involved and the complete list of rules right here:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/633333-the-greatest-wrestlemania-match-of-all-time-tournament-rules-and-final-brackets

    As of right now, 3/13/11, there are about 48 hours left to vote on the Austin Bracket. You can vote on the first 8 out of 32 matches right here:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/633794-greatest-wrestlemania-match-of-all-time-tournament-round-1-austin-bracket

    And without any further ado, here are the eight matches involved in the first round of the Michaels Bracket.

1. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WM 19)

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    After a four-year absence from WWE, Shawn Michaels came back to answer the challenge of the younger Jericho, who grew up idolizing Michaels.

    It was a great example of a pure wrestling match that ended on a counter hold rather than the finisher we all thought was coming.

    Unlike most of the other WrestleMania matches, this match did not have a complicated story behind it, yet it turned out to be one of the best wrestling matches of all time.

vs. 8. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WM 17)

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    This was the third match in the series so there was nothing they could do that was unseen before, but they found ways to make it different.

    The addition of Rhyno, Spike and Lita added something good to the match that wasn’t there before. The spots in this match were once again awesome as all six guys, plus their three friends, busted their asses to put on a great show.

    As usual, Jeff Hardy took the most insane bumps with the Swanton onto two people as well as the spear that he took from Edge while hanging onto the belts, which is one of the sickest bumps I've ever seen in any match. It's amazing that he could even walk afterwards.

    One other thing that stood out was the chemistry that these guys already had by the time of this match. They had everything planned out perfectly and it worked in every way possible. Due to that fact, this is personally my favorite match of the three original TLCs.

2. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 19)

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    This was the third match that these two had at WrestleMania with Austin winning the first two. What really stands out to me in retrospect is that these two were able to keep this match fresh, relevant, and exciting.

    Even though this match has never happened at WrestleMania, can you imagine the outrage there would be if John Cena & Randy Orton, the two current top stars, had a match? This is one of the reasons that this match is so special.

    Anyway, we knew at the time that The Rock would stick around for a bit longer while Steve Austin's career was coming to an end. What we didn't know, however, is that this would turn out to be the last match of his career. And he certainly went out with a bang.

vs. 7. The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan (WM 18)

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    This was a dream match-up going in. Two icons, one from the past in Hogan and one from the present in Rock, went face-to-face in Toronto on the grandest stage of them all. Was this a technical classic? Absolutely not.

    However, these men did a fantastic job of playing off of the crowd and it was one of the most electric atmospheres for any match in WrestleMania history.

    The end saw The Rock toppling Hollywood Hogan only to have Hogan shake his hand in what was considered the "passing of the torch."

3. Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 11)

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    The exciting thing about this match was that this was the first time Shawn Michaels headlined a pay-per-view.

    Although it wasn't the last match on the card, it was for the world title which would've made it the main event by normal standards.

    Shawn's performance here was fantastic and this was the start of his first run as a babyface singles wrestler.

vs. 6. Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (WM 8)

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    This was a straight up match featuring two of the best performers ever.

    Piper rarely lost matches clean, yet he lost here in one of the better matches of his career.

    It was a straight up babyface match and one of the more underrated matches in WrestleMania history.

4. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (WM 13)

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    This match had everything that is good about the wrestling business: two great competitors, a tremendous storyline, an extremely high workrate, plenty of crowd heat, one of the greatest blade jobs ever, and the greatest double turn in the history of the business.

    This is one of the greatest matches in wrestling history, if not the greatest match.

vs. 5. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WM 3)

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    These two legends told an outstanding story in this match with Hogan trying to lift Andre throughout the match and then finally being able to do it and topple the giant.

    Although the actual wrestling in this match wasn't great, and this isn't one of my favorite pure wrestling matches, this is considered to be a revolutionizing match and the crowd was also terrific.

    It is rare to see 93,000 people almost unanimously get behind one person like they did for Hogan here.

Final Bracket

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    In conclusion, in case you didn't catch it, here is the final Michaels bracket:

     

    1. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WM 19)

    vs.

    8. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WM 17)

     

    2. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 19)

    vs.

    7. The Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan (WM 18)

     

    3. Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 11)

    vs.

    6. Bret Hart vs. Roddy Piper (WM 8)

     

    4. Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (WM 13)

    vs.

    5. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (WM 3)

     

    And that shall conclude the first round of the Michaels Bracket.

    Make sure to vote on the Austin Bracket if you have not already (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/633794-greatest-wrestlemania-match-of-all-time-tournament-round-1-austin-bracket#page/1).

    The Rock Bracket will be posted tomorrow afternoon but until then, I'm out.