Ranking Every Main Event in WrestleMania History
With The Miz and John Cena all but set to go on last at WrestleMania 27, I thought I would rank the other 26 main events. Naturally some will disagree, but of course that's always welcome.
I'm going to focus more on the actual in-ring match instead of the spectacle and/or long-term implications.
Of course, WWE could always choose to end this year's WrestleMania with The Undertaker and Triple H, so if they do just ignore the picture above.
26. Bam Bam Bigelow Vs. Lawrence Taylor-WrestleMania 11
What was the WWF/E thinking when they decided to let these two go on last? I have nothing against the match in general, but I do have a problem that it went on last.
Lawrence Taylor is obviously one of the greatest football players of all-time but he did not deserve this spot.
By all intents and purposes, Diesel and Shawn Michaels should have closed the show; instead we got this. Imagine if Mayweather and the Big Show would have closed WrestleMania 24; this is kind of like that.
25. Hulk Hogan Vs. King Kong Bundy-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 2
This was your typical Hogan vs. big man match. The entire reason Bundy was in the main event was because of his size.
At least the big blue cage added something, but not much, to the match.
24. Hulk Hogan Vs. Sid-WrestleMania 8
I mentioned in a previous article that Savage and Flair should have closed this show. Instead, we got this match which was being booked as possibly being Hogan's final match.
It was slow as you would expect from these two men, and even more points are taken away for having a non-finish.
Bonus points, however, for Sid kicking out of the leg drop of doom and for the Warrior's return to save Hogan.
23. Bret Hart Vs. Yokozuna-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 9
I'm aware that the actual final match was an impromptu match between Hogan and Yoko, but I'm not counting that one. The actual advertised main event was Yoko vs. Bret.
Yokozuna was the newly-introduced monster who ran through (or sat on) the company, while Bret was the fighting champion who wanted to prove himself.
Bret's dream came to an end on this night as Mr. Fuji threw salt in his face and Yoko dropped a humongous leg on him.
Not only that, but he was forced to falsely endorse Hogan and watch him take the spotlight once more.
22. The Undertaker Vs. Sid-WWF Championship-Wrestlemania 13
Last-minute changes (and injuries) forced this to be the main event instead of Bret-Shawn II.
Bret and Shawn added some drama to it as both were ring-side during certain parts of the match, however, they could not save another slow Sid main event.
This one could not be over soon enough and in the end, Taker won his second WWF Championship and first at the big event.
21. Yokozuna Vs. Bret Hart-WWF Championship Match-Wrestlemania 10
This was Bret's second match of the night, as he also took part in the opening match. Yokozuna had also competed earlier as he defeated Lex Luger with help from Mr. Perfect.
This main event was also the main event the previous year. The special referee was Roddy Piper and while it was just as slow as the previous year, at least having Piper as the ref added something.
Also, this time, the right man won as Bret's win was a year in the making and he finally proved that his first reign was no fluke.
This one also had a great post-match celebration as several of the wrestlers came down, congratulated Bret as well as placed him on their shoulders, all while little brother Owen stared at him from the entrance ramp.
20. Hulk Hogan and Mr. T Vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff-WrestleMania I
The one that started it all was actually not too great of a match.
It was a great spectacle that also included run-ins from Jimmy Snuka and Randy Orton's daddy.
Without it, there would be no WrestleMania today, so at least let's be grateful for that.
19. Hulk Hogan Vs. Sgt. Slaughter-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 7
The WWF had a chance to go with a re-match from the previous year with Hogan-Warrior II. That was not to be as the WWF decided to take the title off the Warrior at the Royal Rumble instead.
The recipient: Sgt. Slaughter.
Questionable call as Vince decided to capitalize on the Gulf War and decided to turn Slaughter heel.
All it did was transition the title from Warrior to Hogan through Slaughter, as Hogan captured his third WWF Title.
18. Triple H Vs. Randy Orton-WWE Championship Match-WrestleMania 25
This was a match and a feud that had so much potential, but sadly did not meet expectations in any way.
Orton was on fire at the time, having previously won the Royal Rumble and kicked Triple H's step-dad in the skull.
The match was dull, while it screamed of needing run-ins and Randy Orton going over.
Instead, that match had an abrupt ending and Triple H was left standing, nearly killing all of Orton's momentum.
17. Randy Savage Vs. Ted DiBiase-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 4
The Championship was vacant and the tournament took place all in one night. This was Savage's fourth match of the night and along with Elizabeth an impressive fourth wardrobe change.
The Million Dollar Man had received a bye, so this was his third match.
While the match itself was nothing special, it did give us the Macho Man's first WWF Title reign, a fitting celebration and a lasting image as Savage carried Liz on his shoulder along with the gold.
16. Triple H Vs. Batista-World Heavyweight Title Match-WrestleMania 21
Batista, the winner of the Royal Rumble, had the option of going after either Triple H or JBL.
He chose his mentor and stable-mate as he confirmed the decision by power-bombing Triple H through a table.
Evolution imploded, and Triple H was destroyed as a new champion emerged.
15. Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre the Giant-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 3
I know, the match is way too low. No other match in company history had a greater influence and there would be no WWE today without it.
I've heard it all before and while I agree with many of the points, I can't place it any higher as far as an actual match.
Let's face it Andre, even in his prime, was always slow, so it was even worse as his career was coming to an end.
We all have to hand it to the big guy, though, for sacrificing his body and making Hulk Hogan immortal.
14. Triple H Vs. Chris Jericho-Undisputed Title Match-WrestleMania 18
The crowd was very much behind Triple H, even though they had exhausted themselves with the previous Hogan-Rock match. For some reason though, these two did not click on this night.
It's a shame since these two usually had great chemistry (see Fully Loaded 2000). Triple H had just returned from his first major surgery so was a step slower.
Jericho had Stephanie McMahon in his corner and while it added much-needed drama to the match, it somewhat took away from Jericho himself.
The King of the World was dethroned, and the King of Kings reclaimed his throne.
13. The Rock Vs. Steve Austin I-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 15
This was the first of their three WrestleMania encounters and The Rock's first WrestleMania main-event. They did not keep it in the ring, instead brawling all over the arena.
The Rock was still building his resume, while Austin wanted to reclaim his title. The crowd erupted as Austin hit the final stunner and ended the match.
12. Fatal-Four Way Match-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 2000
I'm a big fan of elimination matches, always have been so this one was right up my alley. This match included the champ Triple H, The Rock, The Big Show and Mick Foley.
It also had a gimmick of each competitor having a different McMahon in each corner. Big Show went first and went early.
Triple H then eliminated Foley in what was believed would be his final match (he got his Mania moment years later).
The last two were Triple H and Rock, and the two went at it for a while.
In the end, Vince turned against the Rock and Triple H became the first heel to win in the main-event of WrestleMania.
11. Triple H Vs. John Cena-WWE Championship Match-WrestleMania 22
This was a match that was raised to another level by the fans. The backlash against Cena had started a few months before and this was the culmination of it.
The split crowd was firmly behind the heel Triple H, however it ended up being a big statement match for Cena as he forced Triple H to tap out to the STFU.
Most fans still hated him, to many others, he proved he was deserving of the spot.
By the way, look out for CM Punk during Cena's entrance.
10. Hulk Hogan Vs. The Ultimate Warrior-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 6
A heavily choreographed match that needed it. As Warrior defeated Hogan, it was the first time Hogan lost cleanly in years.
It was the passing of the torch (reluctantly) by Hogan, too bad Warrior dropped the ball soon after.
The atmosphere in Skydome that night would not be matched for another 12 years until Hogan returned to face the artist formerly known as The Rock.
9. Brock Lesnar Vs. Kurt Angle-WWE Championship Match-WrestleMania 19
A battle of giants and two amazing former amateur wrestlers. Lesnar was making his WrestleMania debut, putting an exclamation point on his rookie year.
Angle was no stranger however, to amazing rookie years. The men were mirror images, not that anyone can mirror Lesnar's physique.
This match remains to be hurt by Brock's shooting star press attempt where he nearly broke his neck.
It was still very impressive and despite the missed move, the match still delivered on all of its promises.
8. John Cena Vs. Shawn Michaels-WWE Championship Match-WrestleMania 23
After having made Triple H tap out at WrestleMania 22, John Cena was still champion as he prepared to defend against Triple H's D-X buddy Shawn Michaels.
As usual, Cena still had a lot to prove, and Shawn still was the go-to-guy to guarantee an amazing match.
While their re-match in London weeks later was many levels above this one, this particular match still delivered plenty of pomp and circumstance.
As HBK tapped out to Cena's STFU, Cena had now made the D-X soul-mates tap out on back-to-back years.
7. Shawn Michaels Vs. Steve Austin-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 14
Shawn Michaels needed surgery and was on his way out of the company. Steve Austin was on the rise and needed only the big win to cement him as the man.
The pain showed on Michaels' face, but he pushed through and passed the torch, took a stunner and even a Mike Tyson punch as Austin walked away with the title.
The rest, as they say, was history.
6. Edge Vs. The Undertaker-World Heavyweight Championship Match-WrestleMania 24
While the match did start off slowly, it was given plenty of time, so it had plenty of time to pick up. Edge made the crowd believe that the streak could end as he had a counter for everyone of Taker's moves.
It also contains a memorable image of Charles Robinson sprinting towards the ring down the long entrance ramp to make the three-count.
As Edge hit the second spear, I thought the streak was done and as Undertaker countered the pin attempt with Hell's Gate, I thought to myself, "What a match!"
5. Bret Hart Vs. Shawn Michaels-WWF Championship Iron Man Match-WrestleMania 12
From HBK's opening drop from the rafters to the final sweet chin music in sudden-death overtime, these two had your attention.
This was also the start of their feud, as HBK so politely told Earl Hebner to relay to Bret to exit the ring so he could start his celebration.
As far as in-ring action, these two men were at their physical peak, and they could do no wrong.
4. Randy Savage Vs. Hulk Hogan-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 5
This was the first great WrestleMania match when it comes to in-ring work. Sure, Hogan was on his back for most of it but despite that it worked.
As Savage walked to the ring with Jesse Ventura building him up, the match had an epic feel to it and the world was ready to see the Mega-Powers implode.
3. Shawn Michaels Vs. The Undertaker-Career Vs. Streak-WrestleMania 26
It's so rare in this day and age that a match that is not a title match closes WrestleMania. Well, it happened last year, and in many ways, much more was at stake than any title.
The streak, 18 years in the making and one of the greatest careers of all time, was at stake.
They did not top themselves from the previous year, but because of the level of the first match, there was certainly no shame in that.
The ending was epic, as Shawn taunted Taker and dared him to end it. Well, the Undertaker did and for the second time (WrestleMania 14), HBK's career was over. Now let's see if it sticks.
2. The Rock Vs. Steve Austin-WWF Championship Match-WrestleMania 17
Austin was coming off the injury and this was his first WrestleMania back. As he stated, "he needed to beat The Rock."
Austin reeked of desperation, and as he formed an alliance with former hated enemy Vince McMahon, we finally realized how desperate he truly was.
This was two of the biggest stars in wrestling history at their peak, that night in Houston, both men made sure everyone else knew it.
1. Triple Threat Match-World Heavyweight Championship-WrestleMania 20
This match involved Triple H, the champion, Chris Benoit, the Royal Rumble winner and Shawn Michaels, who kind of just threw himself in the mix since he was feuding with Triple H.
Again, I state that I do not condone Chris Benoit and this is choice is for strictly Benoit the wrestler we knew for many years.
As far as in-ring action, this match had everything. It had the underdog that everyone was pulling for, the hated villain that everyone wanted to see fall, and there was also Shawn Michaels playing some role.
The match is filled with great moments, with perhaps the best one being Benoit reversing the pedigree into the crossface and Triple H slapping the mat as he tapped out.
The Garden was filled with awe and amazement as the three men left everything they had out in that ring that night.
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