The Grandest Stage of All: Ranking Every Male Wrestler at WrestleMania, Part 1
For every wrestling fan, WrestleMania is the penultimate show each year. The same could be said about every wrestler to every tie up their boots and squeeze into tights.
Many pro wrestlers never get the chance to experience being part of WrestleMania, while others make their careers there with defining moments generally associated with the event.
So with WrestleMania 28 being held in a little over six months, I decided to rank every male performer that wrestled at least two WrestleManias. I decided that they needed at least two WrestleManias as it's hard enough to appear at one WrestleMania. So I immediately removed all wrestlers who only had one appearance including any guest performers like NFL players, boxers, or sumo wrestlers.
I also did not count any battle royal-type matches as a performance since those were made up of wrestlers who only had one appearance. If a wrestler did perform in a battle royal but still had more than one appearance, the battle royal does not help nor hinder their ranking.
After going through the cards of each WrestleMania I compiled a list consisting of 138 wrestlers that fit into my criteria. From there I established a point system that would allow me to properly rank each wrestler.
I then will give a letter grade as well that is separate from the ranking, as the grade reflects how the wrestler performed, not how many high profile matches that they had.
So please read through the first part of what will be a long series and tell me what you think.
The Point System
In order to get the rankings I created a point system that would give a clear description of why the wrestler is ranked the way that they are. Also note that I considered main event matches and title matches separately, but if a wrestler was in a main event that was also a title match, they got points for both, the only case where a wrestler gets points in two categories at once.
Fight in WM = 2 pts, this is the participation award since it is difficult for a wrestler to make it
Wrestlemania, so by having a regular non title match, but not winning it, they get 2 pts.
Win in WM = 5 pts, this is simple enough, you win your non title match, you get 5 pts.
Fight in MITB = 5 pts, since there could be multiple wrestlers in the MITB match a wrestler gets 5 pts for participation.
Win in MITB = 15 pts, with how difficult it is to win the MITB the wrestler who does win gets a nice bump in points by getting 15.
Fight in european/tag/cruiserweight/hardcore title match = 5 pts (title level 1)
Win in tag/cruiserweight/hardcore title match = 10 pts
Fight in IC/US/ECW title match = 10 pts (title level 2)
Win in IC/US/Diva/Women title match = 15 pts
Fight in world title match =15 pts
Win in world title match = 20 pts
Fight in main event = 20 pts, the biggest honor a wrestler can have bestowed upon them is being able to wrestle in the main event of the biggest show of the year.
Win in main event = 25pts, the biggest accomplishment a wrestler can have at Wrestlemania, only to be topped if it's also a title match, or the wrestler somehow finds a way to break the Undertaker's streak.
Fights ending in a no contest or draw are counted as a win for both competitors.
Fights ending in double DQ or countout count as a loss for both competitors.
If more than one wrestler has the same amount of points, I have ranked them according to the following tie breakers.
1. Win/Loss record
2. If that is the same then the wrestler with more high profile matches (title or main events) gets the bump up in ranking.
3. If the wrestlers are still tied up to this point then they are just going to be ranked alphabetically.
#139 Bad News Brown
Wrestlemanias in: V, VI
Bad News Brown starts the list as his regular matches that he was in ended in double DQ against Hacksaw Jim Duggan and double countout against Roddy Piper.
#138 Bob Backlund
Wrestlemanias in: IX, XI
Backlund is in the next spot as he actually had finishes to his matches. He lost to Razor Ramon at Wrestlemania IX and then two years later lost an "I Quit" match to Brett Hart. So because he faced some high quality opponents in his two appearances, he is getting a C- grade since even though he lost he went the distance with his opponents.
#137 Brooklyn Brawler
Wrestlemanias in: VI, VII
The Brawler lands in the 137 spot as his matches were against lifelong midcarders Koko B. Ware and Paul Roma. What else do you expect of the Brawler?
#136 Raymond Rogeau
Wrestlemanias in: III, V
The second member of the Rogeau brothers enters the list due to being in two tag matches alongside Jacques a.k.a. the Mountie. Unfortunately, the Mountie would go on to have a decent run as a heel while Raymond would fall by the wayside.
#135 Savio Vega
Wrestlemanias in: XII, 13
Savio Vega is up next and falls under the same heading as Bob Backlund. While he has no wins in his two Wrestlemanias, but he was against strong competition, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Legion of Doom.
Wrestlemanias in: 23, XXIV
Umaga is next with a C grade as his matches, while regular non title matches, were more high profile than other matches on the card. His first WM match with Bobby Lashley had the Hair vs. Hair stipulation for Vince McMahon and Donald Trump. His match the following year was the interpromotional match against Batista in what was called the "Battle for Brand Supremacy".
#133 Papa Shango/The Godfather/ the Goodfather
Wrestlemanias in: IX, 2000, X-Seven
It's really something when you're three appearances at Wrestlemanias are under three different gimmicks, yet you still can't win.
#132 Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
Wrestlemanias in: VI, VII, XXV
Snuka finishes off the first part of this series and receives a middle of the road C grade for his performances. His competition was either top level guys like Rick Rude or Chris Jericho or an up and coming rookie who is now a future Hall of Famer in the Undertaker. If fact, Snuka has the distinction of being number one in the famed Streak of the Undertaker.