Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament: Round 2 (Rock Bracket)

Eric KanesContributor IIIMarch 19, 2011

Greatest WrestleMania Match of All Time Tournament: Round 2 (Rock Bracket)

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    What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes and I am here to present to you Round 2 of the Rock Bracket.

    Out of all the brackets involved in this tournament, I'd say that this one has the most of my personal favorite matches and we had a couple of fairly close match-ups for a Round 1 bracket as well.

    And without any further ado, which matches from Round 1 made it to Round 2? Let's find out:

    1. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 17) (62.2%)

    vs.

    8. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 26) (37.8%)

    2. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (WM 17) (75.7%)

    vs.

    7. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (WM 23) (24.3%)

    3. John Cena vs. Triple H (WM 22) (13.5%)

    vs.

    6. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (WM 19) (86.5%)

    4. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane (WM 21) (45.9%)

    vs.

    5. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WM 16) (54.1%)

    My thoughts?

    Steve Austin vs. The Rock going up against Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels was definitely the toughest match-up to decide but in the end, I feel that the better match won. Steve Austin vs. The Rock at WM 17 is one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time on one of the greatest wrestling pay-per-views of all time while HBK vs. Taker II was really more of a psychological classic. With all of the high stakes, I get why people would go with HBK/Taker especially since I was there live in the hot crowd but Austin/Rock was definitely slightly better. These two are definitely in my top three favorite WrestleMania matches of all time along with Austin/Hart, though.

    Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena were pretty even as far as pure wrestling goes so it really could've gone either way.

    Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle blowing out John Cena vs. Triple H is not a shocker at all. Angle vs. Lesnar was a lot more anticipated and the better overall match. Cena vs. Triple H would not be nearly as memorable if it wasn't for the hot crowd. Angle/Lesnar had to follow Rock/Austin but they still managed to keep the crowd on their feet.

    Finally, the one outcome that I disagree with is the first TLC match defeating the first Money in the Bank match. While the TLC match was definitely fantastic considering it was the first time we ever saw something like this, if you re-watch both matches there should be no question that Money in the Bank was better. It was a lot faster-paced and had nonstop action while TLC had a lot of setting up spots due to the unreasonable length. The TLC match at WrestleMania 17, which was 8 minutes shorter, is a completely different story.

    Anyway, that's Round 1. Let's move on to Round 2.

1. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 17)

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    This was the main event for the WWF Title on the PPV that many feel is the best PPV in WWF history. The end result saw Austin capture the WWF Title after turning heel in a grueling, fast paced match that was the culmination of the very successful Attitude era.

    Out of all their WrestleMania matches, I'd say that this was the best one due to the perfect time length and the well-played heel turn.

vs. 6. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (WM 19)

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    This was a dream match-up for many people as these two were the most acclaimed wrestlers in the company at the time. They were kept apart during Lesnar's first year in WWE until finally meeting at WrestleMania 19.

    This was a great technical wrestling display although this had to be one of the scariest finishes to a WrestleMania main event. Brock Lesnar nearly broke his neck after a botched shooting star press causing him to be dazed, so Kurt Angle had to improvise the finish. Either way, this was definitely one of the top 10 WrestleMania main events of all time.

2. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (WM 17)

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    Steve Austin vs. The Rock may have been the highlight of the night but this is one of the matches that made WrestleMania 17 one of the greatest PPVs (if not the greatest PPV) of all time) There were holds, counter holds, there was some of the best technical wrestling I've ever seen, and a finish that took a lot of people by surprise.

vs. 5. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WM 16)

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    At the time this match was sick in all the good ways and it still is even now. I don’t care if there’s been better ones (and there has), this one was the first triple threat team ladder match that featured some insane bumping.

    The best thing about this was that there was never a point where one team really had the advantage except for that one time when it was the Dudleys. It came across as an even match with each guy getting their own chance to take control and showcase the athleticism that they had. The most memorable moment in the match was definitely Jeff’s Swanton through Bubba off the big ladder.

    Looking back, the thing that hurt it the most was the fact that it went on for too long at 23 minutes and therefore had a lot of standing around and setting up. You can't expect guys to kill themselves for that long. The match at WrestleMania 17 was shorter at 15 minutes and thus a much faster-paced and overall better match. However, this still remains a classic due to the fact that it was the first TLC match.

Final Bracket

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    In case you missed it, here is the final Round 2 Rock Bracket:

    1. Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WM 17)

    vs.

    6. Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle (WM 19)

    2. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (WM 17)

    vs.

    5. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz (WM 16)

    And that shall conclude the second round Round Bracket.

    The last Round 1 bracket, the Henry Bracket, has 24 hours left for voting. Make sure to cast your votes here.

    The Round 2 Austin Bracket has 48 hours left but the two match-ups are currently shaping up to be blow-outs. Will these matches get the easy victory, or will the "underdog" matches be able to retaliate and pick up a huge upset? You can decide by voting right here.

    Finally, there are 72 hours left to vote for the Round 2 Michaels Bracket which is a lot closer than the Austin Bracket. It is so close to the point where one vote can make a difference. You can be the one to decide the outcomes by voting right here.

    I will be right back here tonight with my review of SmackDown entitled "Smack Talk" and tomorrow with the Round 2 Henry Bracket and more results from Round 1, but until then, I'm out!