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WrestleMania 27: The 20 Greatest Matches of All Time

Duane DooganCorrespondent IApril 2, 2011

WrestleMania 27: The 20 Greatest Matches of All Time

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    NB: Before people bombard me with comments saying that's not true. We got all our writers together to rank the best matches, so its merely the opinion of several people. People who voted on this list even disagree with it, its just the way it turned out. So don't waste time with "No that's wrong" comments. This is opinions.

    The following was written by myself and taken from WrestlingVoice.net's WrestleMania special edition 44-page magazine written by the Wrestling Voice writer's available now for FREE at this link.

    In an argument that will no doubt last until the end of time, the Wrestling Voice writers discuss what is the greatest WrestleMania match of all time. In a list of the top 20 from ‘Mania’s 1-26 I found online, I asked each of the writers to arrange the matches in the order they believe it should be. I’ve taken the results and ended up with matches from 20 to 1 as we ask the question; What is the best ever?

20. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie vs. New Age Outlaws

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    The start of gimmick tag team wrestling • WrestleMania XIV • March 29, 1998 • Boston

    In what many still believe is the greatest ‘Mania of all time, Mick Foley & Terry Funk,
    here as Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie, respectively, delivered a stellar performance
    against the WWF Tag Team Champions Road Dogg and Billy Gunn inside the Fleet
    Center.

    Despite the age difference, the veterans managed to lock the New Age Outlaws
    inside a dumpster and capture the titles making them (combined) the oldest Tag Team
    Champions in the WWF.

    What We Said:
    An intense, enjoyable mid-card match with a unique gimmick (Paul Renwick).

19. The Undertaker vs. Kane

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    The brothers collide for the first time ever • WrestleMania XIV • March 29, 1998 • Boston

    This epic brawl was nearly a year in the making and could only be settled in a spectacle like WrestleMania. For months we heard Paul Bearer tease that the Undertaker’s brother was alive and it wasn’t until October that we saw Kane arrive.

    After months of swearing he would never fight his brother, The Undertaker accepted this match and the build up to the match is arguably the best of its time, the first match in a timeless 12-year feud.

    What We Said:
    The build up to this match was better than the match itself, but still the match was
    pretty epic (Luke Barry).

18. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels

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    The faces of two generations face-to-face • WrestleMania 23 • April 1, 2007 • Detroit

    John Cena always evokes the emotion of the WWE Universe wherever he goes, fans will cheer for Cena, fans will boo Cena, but on this night fans went from booing to cheering Cena.

    Going against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania is always going to be tough, not to mention when the 70,000+ in attendance have your back, but John Cena turned those fans that night and many watching at home.

    He proved he can go with the absolute best in the ring and not look out of place, cementing his place as one of the best this business has ever seen.

    What We Said:
    Silent passing of the torch (Peter Hopey).

17. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

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    In the Garden, where it all began, again • WrestleMania XX • March 14, 2004 • New York City

    One of the most emotional moments in WrestleMania history was the final picture we saw as WrestleMania XX came to a close. Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero side by side as Champions on the grandest stage of them all.

    Following an epic encounter with Triple H and Shawn Michaels, Benoit realised an 18-year dream in becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. This is the Benoit we should remember, and the moments we should cherish.

    What We Said:
    All three men give amazing performances and work together so comfortably (Luke Barry).

16. The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan

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    Toronto torn between immortal and ultimate • WrestleMania VI • April 1, 1990 • Toronto

    Nearly 70,000 people inside the SkyDome in Toronto were torn between Hulk Hogan, the man that they relied on for years to be their hero, and the Ultimate Warrior, the man who was quickly becoming their new hero.

    In a champion vs. champion match for the ages, Hulk Hogan lost the title to the Ultimate Warrior in a result that fans thought they would never see. The torch had been passed, and the Warrior left as the World Wrestling Federation Champion.

    What We Said:
    Hogan became human by losing. Which won him the fans' vote and the match overall (Duane Doogan).

15. Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart

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    Brothers, enemies and legends • WrestleMania X • March 20, 1994 • New York City

    This match may have been first on the bill that night in Madison Square Garden, but it certainly delivered a Main Event quality encounter.

    Brothers Owen and Bret Hart put on wrestling classic that will forever stand the test of time and unfortunately as Owen never won a World Championship in the WWF before his passing, he can look back at this moment and know he stood on the main stage at WrestleMania and will be remembered for the rest of time.

    What We Said:
    Amazing match, completely outshines Bret's main event match on this night (Luke Barry).

14. Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair

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    The perfect send-off to one of the best • WrestleMania XXIV • March 30, 2008 • Orlando, Fla.

    Such an emotional match, two of the greatest of all time on the biggest stage of them all, giving it every last thing they had.

    To go out at a spectacle like WrestleMania and be able to give such an epic performance when standing across the ring from a performer like Shawn Michaels, its the perfect closer to a perfect career.

    Watch this match for what it was at the time, because Flair’s return to the ring has tarnished the memory of this match.

    What We Said:
    The Nature Boy's last epic match (Peter Hopey).

13. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage

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    Setting the standard for in-ring competition • WrestleMania III • March 27, 1987 • Pontiac, Mich.

    The WWF was beginning to endorse wrestling as an art and this allowed talents like Savage & Steamboat to flourish ahead of the over-the-top giant characters that engulfed professional wrestling in the '80s.

    If it wasn't for this match,how long would talents who relied on in-ring talent of lasted?

    In the perfect contrast, the main event of this show was as far as in-ring ability goes neither man has much yet they can in a  different manner also put on a classic, one that was more acceptable in wrestling at the time, the door was opened for others by this match and that's a fantastic honor.

    What We Said:
    Fantastic workrate from greats at their peak (Peter Hopey).

12. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant

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    The irresistible force against the immovable object  • WrestleMania III • March 27, 1987 • Pontiac, Mich.

    Hulk Hogan would forever be regarded as wrestling royalty and a hero following this match. In one of the most iconic moments in the business, Hogan picked up the mammoth Andre and slammed him to the mat.

    If you had to list the greatest moments of all time in wrestling and put them on a "count on one hand" list, it's no doubt that this one would be there every time.

    What We Said:
    The original main event (Peter Hopey).

11. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels

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    Wrestling gets an Attitude adjustment • WrestleMania XIV • March 29, 1998 • Boston

    This match is great for two reasons: the first it was the official beginning of the Attitude Era, the cogs that began turning a few months before at the Survivor Series all began working together as Mike Tyson counted the three, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was announced as the new WWF Champion in an industry-changing moment.

    On the other hand, Shawn Michaels would not wrestle again for nearly five years due to a broken back and yet he put on an epic performance that if anybody doubted how much of an entertainer he is, he literally put his life on the line. That's why he is Mr. WrestleMania.

    What We Said:
    An intense, enjoyable mid card match with a unique gimmick (Paul Renwick).

10. Bret Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

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    Austin’s first big night out • WrestleMania 13 • March 23, 1997 • Rosemont, Ill.

    On a recent Legends of Wrestling on WWE Classics on Demand, Bret Hart credited this match as the one that was responsible for Austin's unrivaled success.

    Stone Cold became so popular, as everybody at home could relate to him, as he was just a normal guy just acting how we all wish we could.

    Bret explained that we first were able to relate to Austin when we saw him scream in pain to the Sharpshooter. It made Austin human and at that moment, we offered sympathy towards the Rattlesnake; we were on board.


    What We Said:
    Quite simply, the match that set Austin up to be the main eventer that he was destined to become (Luke Barry).

9. The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan

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    An audience has never played a bigger role  • WrestleMania X-8 • March 17, 2002 • Toronto

    For the first time in nine years, Hollywood Hulk Hogan was appearing at the event he helped make him famous against a man, who in his nine-year absence, had become one of the greatest Superstars of all-time.

    In an Icon vs. Icon match to determine who will go down in history as the absolute best ever. The Rock came in as the fan favourite but the crowd in Toronto were torn between their new hero and Hogan, just like in the same arena 12 years before at WrestleMania VI.

    The crowd turned Hulk Hogan into a babyface by themselves and although The Rock may have gotten the pinfall, and Hogan may have got the acclaim, but the crowd were the winners.

    What We Said:
    The moment two icons met. An atmosphere that will never be replicated (Paul Renwick).

8. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels

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    Mouth watering on paper, inspiring on show • WrestleMania 21 • April 3, 2005 • Los Angeles

    Shawn Michaels is regarding by many as one of the best in-ring wrestlers of all time. So when you get the chance to watch Shawn go to WrestleMania with an Olympic Gold Medalist in Kurt Angle, you know you’re in for something special.

    This match is underrated by the public and for no fault in the match.

    Their rematch on RAW and Vengeance later that year are both considered better outings, but just this match on this match alone and it’s easily an instant classic.

    The build up to the match was fantastic. Sexy Kurt...‘nuff said.

    What We Said:
    The two greatest wrestlers of their generation serving up a classic (Paul Renwick).

7. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

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    It’s only fault is being a follow-up • WrestleMania XXVI • March 28, 2010 • Glendale, Ariz.

    The worst thing about this match is the fact that it was impossible to go out and put on the best match ever, and the thing is they put on one of the best ever, but nobody could follow their epic at WM25, not even those two men themselves.

    However, when you look at this match on its own, it is an absolute classic, with the extra added spice of Michaels' career on the line made it all that more enjoyable, the build up to the rematch was probably the best ever.

    Michaels was obsessed with not just beating The Undertaker but just getting a match with him at 'Mania. If you haven't seen the "Running Up That Hill" promo video yet, YouTube it now.

    What We Said:
    No better way to end a career (Duane Doogan).

6. Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz

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    Spot-fest sent from heaven • WrestleMania X-Seven • April 1, 2001 • Houston

    A year before at WrestleMania 2000 in Anaheim these six men revolutionized tag team wrestling, a triangle ladder match. It was a masterpiece.

    Then add some tables and chairs and you have TLC at SummerSlam 2000, an even bigger masterpiece. Go out there at WrestleMania X-Seven and successfully out-do yourself and you create a timeless classic.

    Remember Devon's fall from the rung, Jeff's Swanton off the really big ladder, Matt & Bubba's 25-foot drop, Edge's 20-foot high Spear. Every second there was another moment, and as we currently live in a struggling tag team world, we can look back and admire it, in its finest hour.

    What We Said:
    A backyard wrasslin' spotfest at its finest (Peter Hopey).

5. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho

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    The ultimate teacher vs. student match • WrestleMania XIX • March 30, 2003 • Seattle, Wash.

    For the first time in five years, Mr. WrestleMania was back on the card, going up against Chris Jericho, a man who was inspired by Shawn Michaels to become a wrestler, imitated Michaels early in his career.

    The postmatch stills of Jericho in the 90's next to the HBK images from the late 80's were just uncanny. Although their feud in 2008 would far surpass the one they had here, this was their finest actual match.

    Outshining the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle and others on the show in Seattle that night. Mr. WrestleMania was home!

    What We Said:
    A compelling contest that you couldn’t take your eyes off (Paul Renwick).

4. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

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    The original Iron Man never to be outdone • WrestleMania XII • March 31, 1996 • Anaheim, Calif.

    Two men, 60 minutes, one championship.

    Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels took the most difficult task possible when they agreed to have their WrestleMania match in a 60-minute Iron Man match.

    When you think about the amount of pressure involved in headlining WrestleMania alone, never mind having to keep a crowd entertained for an entire hour and also make sure it lives up to the main event standard.

    If anybody had to do it though, these two men could, and in a pure wrestling match, they battled for over 60 minutes, going into sudden death after no pitfalls during the time. Shawn Michaels eventually prevailed and as it's been told, the boyhood dream came true.

    What We Said:
    A genuinely, incredibly entertaining and emotional match (Luke Barry).

3. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels

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    A defining moment in wrestling • WrestleMania X • March 20, 1994 • New York City

    You'd nearly forget that Razor Ramon won this match as its regarded as one of Shawn Michaels greatest moments when he revolutionized the ladder match.

    Two IC Titles high above the ring, 25,000 people in  Madison Square Garden looked on in amazement as they saw something that had never been dreamt of before.

    Sure, by today's standards it was a mediocre Ladder match, but when you think that it had nothing to live off or gain inspiration from that is what is truly remarkable, this match is what made TLC's possible, this match is what made Ladder matches the great spectacle we see today.

    This match revolutionized the ladder match and in turn, revolutionized wrestling itself.

    What We Said:
    The cementing of two fantastic careers (Peter Hopey).

2. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Rock

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    Attitude at its peak • WrestleMania X-Seven • April 1, 2001 • Houston

    These two headlined 'Mania together on three occasions, but it's no surprise what is regarded as the favorite. 17 in Houston, Texas. The Rock coming off of the most successful year of his career to date, Stone Cold finally back after a year off with a broken neck.

    70,000 people on their feet cheering on the two biggest stars of the Attitude Era, then the unthinkable happens. Vince walks to the ring and hands Austin a chair and Stone Cold uses it over and over again eventually pinning Rock, and in one of those moments you never thought you'd see two of the most fierce rivals in history, Steve Austin and Vince McMahon shake hands.

    What We Said:
    A great main event to end the best Mania of all time with a truly shocking twist (Paul Renwick).

1. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

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    The greatest performance of all time • WrestleMania XXV • April 5, 2009 • Houston

    By the time we rolled into Houston for WrestleMania 25, the Undertaker’s streak had gained the attention of several WWE Superstars hoping to make a name for themselves by ending the amazing feat.

    WWE first acknowledged it as a streak to be broken when Randy Orton challenged The Deadman in Los Angeles in 2005.

    Since then, the likes of Mark Henry, Batista and Edge have all unsuccessfully gone up against ‘Taker and fallen victim to the streak that as of this year is now 20 years old. I think anybody who began watching wrestling in the 90's was desperate to see this match one more time.

    We've seen it in different gimmick matches before Shawn's first break and at that time Undertaker was quite limited in the ring, but he has adapted his style and really showed over the last several years that he can go in the ring.

    He left his character do the talking before so now when Shawn came back it was only a matter of time.

    We got a glimpse of it in the final moments of the 2007 Royal Rumble and unlike recent Rumbles the final two were given a few minutes to wrestle, lately we've experienced quick eliminations and I'm not alone in saying that those few minutes left me begging for more, so two years later when Undertaker approached Michaels backstage and claimed; "Sometimes, it's hell trying to get into heaven," I knew we were going to get it.

    Two wrestlers whose careers began in the mid to late 80's, here twenty years later showing everybody how it's done. It's no doubt that Shawn Michaels and Undertaker are two of the best of all time, but when you see that they are both mentally and physically stealing the show at that late stage of their career, and outshining anything the current roster have given us in recent years, just shows shows you that maybe these two are better than the Hulk Hogans, Ric Flairs and Steve Austins.

    As far as in-ring ability, mentality, character, longevity, basically all around, these two in my opinion are the greatest ever.


    What We Said:
    Quite simply, the greatest match of all time (Luke Barry).

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