WWE: Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament, Round 1 (Henry Bracket)

Eric Kanes@EricKanesContributor IIIMarch 16, 2011

WWE: Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament, Round 1 (Henry Bracket)

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    What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes, and March Madness continues on Bleacher Report 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 96 hours.

    Now, quite a few people have asked why Mark Henry has his own Bracket named after him in this tournament. To tell you the truth, it's because the man is a complete badass. How many other people are a threat to win the Royal Rumble despite going 13 years without an elimination? How many other people get away with having the word "ass" in their theme song these days? You can't stop Mark Henry! And let's be honest, how many others can rock the Kool-Aid outfit and look even more badass than the real Kool-Aid man?

    Note: These are not the only eight matches involved in the tournament. There is a total of 32 matches involved and this is the fourth and final 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, 3/15/11, there are about 24 hours left to vote on the Austin Bracket. I added an extra 24 hours for all of the brackets for the first round because there are so many matches. 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

    The Michaels Bracket is out as well with 48 hours left. You can vote on the second set of 8 matches right here:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/452586-greatest-wrestlemania-match-of-all-time-tournament-round-1-michaels-bracket

    And of course, here is The Rock Bracket with 72 hours left to vote. This has been a very intense bracket so far as two of the most historic WrestleMania matches (Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker [WM 26] and Steve Austin vs. The Rock [WM 17]) go head to head:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/452585-greatest-wrestlemania-match-of-all-time-tournament-round-1-rock-bracket

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

1. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (WM 3)

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    This is one of the most technically sound matches in the history of WrestleMania and also the oldest match that made this tournament. It's a match that featured counter holds, plenty of drama, and an explosive finish. Taking place on the same night as the highly acclaimed Hogan/Andre match, this is the match that truly stole the show.

vs. 8. Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (WM 20)

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    There weren't many memorable spots in this match but it was a fantastic technically-sound match from two of the best. The finish was also fun and creative. Angle was relentless in going for the Ankle Lock, Guerrero sensed that so he ended up using that to his advantage by outsmarting Angle at the end leading to the boot trick and cradle for the win.

2. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WM 12)

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    This was one of the greatest Ironman matches of all time, without a question. After watching this, I guarantee that you will never refer to the Cena/Orton match at Bragging Rights as a "classic."

    The first 30 minutes may have been a little slow but business really picked up in the second half. The finish was one of the best. Neither man were able to get a point throughout the match so President Gorilla Monsoon restarted it and the match went into overtime. HBK quickly hit Sweet Chin Music but couldn't go for the cover because he was still selling the Sharpshooter. They then both got up and Shawn quickly nailed Bret with sweet chin music out of nowhere to pick up his first world title.

    Shawn went on to have one of the best years of his career while Hart took a 7-month break. I would not say that this is the greatest match ever, but it's up there.

vs. 7. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 21)

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    This featured the two best overall performers in the company at the time wrestling their first singles match and boy, did they deliver! The amount of counter holds, finishers kicked out of, pacing, and length of match time were all just...perfect. I cannot find a single flaw with this match and if you have not already, then I highly recommend watching this match in its entirety.

3. Edge vs. Mick Foley (WM 22)

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    This was a great match with both men taking insane risks and doing unbelievable bumps. Lita did a pretty good job as a manager taking the Mandible Claw and setting up the big finish. It may not sound like much but I can't imagine someone like Maryse pulling it off perfectly. There were so many huge spots that I can't go through them all, other than the memorable spear through the flaming table, of course, which was one of the greatest finishes in WrestleMania match history. Most of the big spots are in the highlights video that is in this slide.

vs. 6. Evolution vs. Rock and Sock (WM 20)

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    This is an underrated 3-on-2 tag team match featuring some of the best performers ever with The Rock & Mick Foley taking on Randy Orton, Ric Flair, & Batista. This was a very high energy tag team match that's very underrated in my opinion. At this time, Randy Orton wasn't as limited in the ring as he is now so we got to see much faster-paced action from him. There was also some nice back-and-forth between The Rock & Ric Flair. This may not be the greatest match ever but it's definitely a fun match that deserves a spot on this list.

4. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho (WM 16)

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    Kurt Angle came into the match with two championships and left with none.  The first fall was for the Intercontinental Championship and Benoit won pinning Jericho while the second fall was for the European Championship and Jericho won pinning Benoit. There was some very good work here by all three guys.

    Also, as far as I'm concerned, there was no complicated story behind this match. Nobody had to get fired or go into a vegetative state to set up a feud. This was simply a straight-up match between three of the best technical wrestlers ever and you know what? That's all it needed to be.

vs. 5. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WM 6)

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    This was the main event of WrestleMania 6 with both the WWF title and the Intercontinental title on the line. This may not have been a technical classic but it was a showdown of two of the most popular wrestlers at the time. This match also had one of the most shocking endings in wrestling history considering that Hogan never lost clean at the time, but he did lose here.

Final Bracket

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    In case you missed it, here is the final Henry Bracket:

     

    1. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage (WM 3)

    vs.

    8. Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (WM 20)

     

    2. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WM 12)

    vs.

    7. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 21)

     

    3. Edge vs. Mick Foley (WM 22)

    vs.

    6. Evolution vs. Rock and Sock (WM 20)

     

    4. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho (WM 16)

    vs.

    5. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WM 6)

     

    And that shall mark the end of the first round! Tomorrow is 3/16 so you know what that means - Round 2 of the Austin Bracket. Until then, make sure to vote on all of the first round brackets including this one and all of the others which are all linked right here:

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

    After flashing a few middle fingers, hitting a few Stunners, and having a few beers, I will be right back here tomorrow with Round 2 of the Austin Bracket but until then, I'm out.