WRESTLEMANIA is Christmas Day for wrestling fans – a festival of muscle and theatre in which the careers of superstars are built or broken.
Yet for all the memorable WrestleMania moments, the WWE has also produced the occasional dud that left fans cringing.
Here is a list of the five worst and five best WrestleMania events.
Top Five Worst WrestleManias
5) WrestleMania XIV
In 1998 WWE did a good job booking WreslteMania XIV, especially with the inclusion of Mike Tyson into the Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels main event – but an awful undercard resulted in an overall substandard show.
The event wasn’t huge on in-ring quality, but delivered with their Austin and Michaels match and a thrilling Undertaker versus Kane with a good background story.
The main event unleashed the Austin Era, with Michaels seemingly out the door with a serious back injury.
Tyson’s presence in the main event was a publicity win, giving WWE a ton of mainstream attention.
But the undercard of The Rock versus Ken Shamrock for the Intercontinental title, Triple H versus Owen Hart for the European title and Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie versus the New Age Outlaws for the tag titles failed to deliver.
4) WrestleMania 31
“The heist of the century." The words of commentator Michael Cole at the end of WrestleMania 31 in 2015 proved a good description of the show.
Seth Rollins cashing in his Money in the Bank contract mid-match during the Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns main event to capture the world heavyweight championship is arguably one of the most memorable finishes in ‘Mania history.
However, the rest of the fights were lousy.
There was a solid Intercontinental championship ladder match, a subpar John Cena versus Rusev for the United States championship and a very good Randy Orton and Seth Rollins match.
Yet The Undertakers' yearly 'Mania match was tiresome, with Taker looking stiff and rusty against Bray Wyatt.
The Triple H and Sting match was mediocre at best – a contest that felt 10 years too late.
The only other eventful moment was Ronda Rousey's WWE debut, when she backed up The Rock against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
Overall, one to forget.
3) WrestleMania VI
WrestleMania VI in 1990 was carried by the strength of its main event – the showdown between powerhouses Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan.
It was a contest that WWE rarely books, two “face” wrestlers or “good guys” going head-to-head in such a high-profile match.
Both the WWE and Intercontinental titles were on the line – as Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior delivered on the hype.
The spectacular main event almost made up for the other 14 lackluster matches fans had to sit through.
The Hart Foundation versus the Bolsheviks, Dusty Rhodes & Sapphire versus Queen Sherri & Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase versus Jake Roberts and the Orient Express versus The Rockers all fell short.
2) WrestleMania X8
WrestleMania X8 was only the second ‘Mania held outside of the United States, this time in Canada, but the event proved a real let down.
The Rock versus Hollywood Hulk Hogan -and goes down as one of the most memorable matches ever produced by the WWE.
Even with no titles on the line, the clash of icons near to the end was thrilling, but a below average undercard stunk up the event.
Booker T and Edge delivered an awful showing, an aging Scott Hall and Steve Austin match was even lousier and Ric Flair and Undertaker failed to live up to the hype.
Kurt Angle and Kane put on an decent show to almost keep the fans awake.
But the actual main event after Hogan and The Rock was dire, with Triple H taking on Chris Jericho with an outcome that was obvious to every wrestling fan.
1) WrestleMania II
Hands down WWE’s worst ‘Mania and by far their worst venue idea goes to WM II.
In 1986 the WWE booked their second WM in three different venues – split between New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Each venue had their own four fight match card and it was the only WrestleMania to be hosted on Monday – outside of company’s typical Sunday evening timeslot.
The New York site’s match card featured Mr. Fuji versus Paul Orndorff, Randy Savage versus George Steele, Jake Roberts versus George Wells and the boxing main event of Mr T versus Rowdy Piper.
The Chicago venue’s match card featured the Fabulous Moolah against Velvet McIntyre, Corporal Kirchner versus Nikolai Volkoff, a WWE versus NFL player’s battle royal and the tag-team main event of the British Bulldogs versus the Dream Team.
The Los Angles location’s match card featured Ricky Steamboat against Hercules Hernandez, Adrian Adonis versus Uncle Elmer, Hoss Funk & Terry Funk against Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana with a main event of Hulk Hogan versus King Kong Bundy.
The three venue decision gave the show a very disjointed feeling, which was topped off by very bad commentary teams.
Little memorable happened at WM II, and even the main event of Hogan and Bundy was a poor match making this ‘Mania the worst ever.
The Top Five Best WrestleManias
5) WrestleMania XIX
WrestleMania XIX is a tale of four great matches in 2003.
The Rock versus Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar versus Kurt Angles both over achieved their goal.
Rock versus Austin was always going to be compelling, while Lesnar and Angle put on a wrestling clinic, with both NCAA Division I champions showcasing their grappling repertoire.
Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels also had a hell of a match that signaled The Heartbreak Kid's return to WWE.
Surprisingly, even the Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon Street fight was entertaining, especially considering McMahon was 58-years-old at the time and the Hulkster was months away from cracking 50.
Unfortunately, the Triple H and Booker T contest slapped in the middle of the four matches was dreadful and pulled down what was otherwise a very entertaining event – as did the Undertaker’s annual ‘Mania match against Big Show & A-Train.
Still, WM 19 deserves a good spot on our list for a very solid second half.
4) WrestleMania X
WrestleMania X in 1994 had arguably the best opening match in ‘Mania history – a fight between the Hart Brothers, Owen and Bret.
It was the first time ever the brothers had squared off in a ring and they exceeded expectations, with Owen pinning his older brother cleanly.
Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon tore the house down in their ladder match for the Intercontinental championship.
The two greats completely changed the way the WWE approached ladder matches in the future.
In the end, Bret Hart fighting for a second time that night, had his ‘Mania moment, winning back his WWE title from Yokozuna after losing it to the 500 pound monster the year before.
3) WrestleMania XX
Even though WWE has tried to scrub 2004's WM XX from their history due to Chris Benoit’s murder-suicide – by far it is still one of the best of the bunch.
The event featured more than just Benoit defeating Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a flawless main event for the world heavyweight title.
Eddie Guerrero outsmarted the Olympic hero Kurt Angle to retain his WWE championship in a great match with a perfect ending to legitimize Guerrero’s character.
The 3-on-2 handicap match between Evolution and The Rock & Mick Foley had memorable moments, including Rock’s hilarious pre-match interview.
There was also a very solid singles match between Christian and Chris Jericho that saw Trish Stratus turn heel.
Also, who can forget Undertakers return to his famous Deadman gimmick against none other than his brother Kane.
The only bizarre moment was the double departure match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, with fans ripping both superstars from the moment the bell rang.
2) WrestleMania III
WM III catapulted the WWE into the straosphere in 1987 – and is one of the main reasons why WrestleMania is treated like a Super Bowl event.
The event is particularly notable for the attendance record of 93,173, the largest ever recorded for a live indoor sports event in North America.
It also boasted what at the time was the biggest match in the history of professional wrestling: Hulk Hogan versus Andre the Giant.
Nowadays fans are accustomed to seeing wrestlers body slam much larger athletes all the time, but when Hulkster slammed Andre it changed the course of professional wrestling.
The Intercontinental championship match between Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat was flawless with with arm drags and top rope cross body slams – the kind of athletic maneuvers fans weren’t yet familiar with.
Roddy Piper also had his first retirement match against Adrian Adonis, which featured a tremendous build-up.
Several of the undercard matches were also surprisingly good, making this WrestleMania one of the very best.
1) WrestleMania X-Seven
The moment the WrestleMania X-Seven match card was announced and Limp Bizkit's My Way was reported as the official song for the 2001 event there was no looking back.
A perfect show from start to finish with a handful of great matches such as The Rock versus Steve Austin, Undertaker versus Triple H, Chris Benoit versus Kurt Angle and Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2.
You saw a wrestling clinic on display by both Angle and Benoit and the first encounter between Triple H and Undertaker.
An unimaginable TLC match between three young tag-teams – the Dudley Boys, Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian-created a masterpiece full of insane moments.
Edge blew the roof off the Reliant Astrodome when he speared Jeff Hardy as he dangled 15 feet in the air.
The family drama match between Vince and Shane McMahon was as entertaining as it gets.
This was all topped off by the collision between the two biggest stars at the time, Rock and Austin.
A rollercoaster fight played out for more than 30 minutes and ended in with a surprise – Austin siding with his nemesis Vince McMahon to win the WWE title.
This was the pinnacle of all WrestleMania’s and to this day has not been beat.
Source: Read Full Article