Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Wrestle Mania's 60 Greatest Matches By Patrick Creed

Wrestle Mania's 60 Greatest Matches By Patrick Creed - http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-25422-Milwaukee-Pro-Wrestling-Examiner

If any of you have iTunes search for Patrick's shows Rumble Radio.

60. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar - WrestleMania XX - New York, NY

This list is off to an auspicious start eh? In no way shape or form is this match on here because it is a good match. It’s not. In fact, it totally sucks as a wrestling match. However, the Madison Square Garden crowd made this match completely memorable. It’s a total treat to watch this match just to listen to the crowd who hated Goldberg (because they knew he was leaving WWE) and hated Goldberg (because they knew he was leaving WWE for the NFL). The match ended with guest ref “Stone Cold” Steve Austin stunning both men to the delight of everyone in the wrestling world.

59. Big Show vs. Floyd “Money” Mayweather - WrestleMania XXIV - Orlando, FL

Without a doubt, the best celebrity match in WrestleMania history. There were serious questions going into the match about whether or not these two would be able to work together well, and they put those to rest. The build for the match was great from the get go at No Way Out and continued every time Mayweather appeared on TV including his appearance in Milwaukee that was electric. The pay off was better than expected and made for a fun match in Orlando.

58. Intercontinental Championship Match - Ultimate Warrior vs. Ravishing Rick Rude -WrestleMania V - Atlantic City, NJ

This is the first match on the countdown that I had no interest in nominating, but Wes gave it enough points that it made it. Watching it again, it is clear that Rick Rude was one of the best at making other people look great. It’s a shame he was never given the WWF Title because I think he could have ran with it to the moon. The star of the match is Rude without question.

57. Extreme Rules Match - Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy – 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania - Houston, TX

This was a good match that could have been great, but was faulted with one big mistake – the use of the ladders. The fans in Houston had already seen an outstanding Money In The Bank match earlier in the night and the Hardys use of ladders hurt the match. Matt’s finish using the chair with the Twist of Fate was something unique and excellent. This match never seemed to get out of medium gear, which is a shame because it should have been a classic.

56. World Heavyweight Championship Match - Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show – 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania - Houston, TX

This was a very good WrestleMania title match that is overlooked because it immediately followed one of the greatest matches of all time. All three men worked very hard here and Big Show was especially good. Cena’s win was expected but didn’t take anything away from a match that is unfortunately overlooked.

55. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T w/ Jimmy Snuka vs. Paul Orndorff & Rowdy Roddy Piper - WrestleMania - New York, NY

This match is bad. But its historical significance completely outweighs it (there’s another match on this countdown that the same can be said for…one much higher). It’s the first main event of the first WrestleMania and brought professional wrestling in as a household event. The Mr. T/Roddy Piper staredown was an intense moment that had the crowd going nuts.

54. Tag Team Championship Match - The Dream Team vs. The British Bulldogs -WrestleMania 2 - Chicago, IL

The Bulldogs were the hottest team in the WWF and the Dream Team of Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine were the champs. It had been built for months and what better way to end it than at WrestleMania. They by far had the best match on the card, but it doesn’t particularly hold up well today. The finish is very strange and didn’t seem particularly title change worthy in my mind. The Bulldogs proved why they’re one of the best teams of all time.

53. Cruiserweight Championship Match - Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio - WrestleMania XIX - Seattle, WA

Everyone, including myself, went into this one thinking that Mysterio just had to win the belt on the grandest stage of them all. WWE swerved us as Hardy picked up the win thanks to some great interference by Shannon Moore and by holding the ropes. Mysterio gained in defeat and the heel Hardy looked worse – exactly what a match like this should have done. This match kicked off WrestleMania XIX with a bang as Rey Rey showed why he is one of the best high flyers of all time.

52. Christian vs. Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XX - New York, NY

On paper, this match was outstanding. Two of the best wrestlers in the company going one on one. But then the storyline happened and it kind of sucked. They involved Trish Stratus and Lita and a sex bet and it just became too much. The match itself was a good one with a pretty surprising heel turn by Trish Stratus.

51. Tag Team Championship Dumpster Match - New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie - WrestleMania XIV - Boston, MA

This was a first time and last time ever match. It was a solid effort from the four men and gave the New Age Outlaws their breakout performance. The build up was better than the match. This also had a pretty screwy finish with Cactus and Chainsaw winning with an illegal dumpster. A rematch took place the next night in a cage which gave birth to a heel Mick Foley in a memorable feud with Stone Cold.

50. Battle of the Billionaires – Bobby Lashley vs. Umaga – WrestleMania 23 – Detroit, MI

This match should not have been good and I think WWE realized that by booking so much crap around it. Steve Austin was the referee, Vince McMahon accompanied Umaga and the big score – Bobby Lashley was accompanied by Donald Trump. Plus, it was a Hair Match with the billionaires’ rugs on the line. This match shouldn’t have been good…but it was. Lashley and Umaga put on a very good match that was worthy of WrestleMania.

49. Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania 21 - Los Angeles, CA

The streak vs. the Legend Killer. Up until this time, Undertaker’s streak was pretty much in tact and had no other challengers. Then between 2003-2005, Randy Orton came along. Orton was a young gun and really had the chance to beat Taker and the streak. The match was solid, one of the Undertaker’s better WrestleMania matches. There’s one a little ahead of this that is higher on the countdown, but this match is better than it.

48. Intercontinental Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Tatanka – WrestleMania IX – Las Vegas, NV

WrestleMania IX – one of the bastard WrestleManias. Nothing on this show is very good, except this one. This was shockingly a good wrestling match with solid arm work on Michaels. Tatanka’s undefeated streak in WWE was on the line here, and he claim so close to winning the belt, which the crowd would have eaten up. By far the best match of the otherwise awful WrestleMania (unless you are Joey Eastman. Then, you love it).

47. 2 On 3 Handicap Match – Evolution vs. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection – WrestleMania XX – New York, NY

This match did absolutely nothing for me. This is definitely a Wes pick. I actually thought this match was a huge disappointment, but that’s just my opinion. I am really, really glad that Mick Foley and Randy Orton had their brilliant No Holds Barred match at Backlash the next month. That match should have been here. The Rock’s inclusion did nothing for the match and its historical significance – if this is truly The Rock’s last match, no wonder he may want to do one more. I would too.

46. WWE Championship Match – Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XI – Hartford, CT

In my opinion, the best match of the worst WrestleMania. This was a pretty good match and secured Diesel’s top spot in WWE, even though he wasn’t in the main event slot (which is complete B.S. by the way). Diesel walked away from this as the first person other than Hulk Hogan to walk into ‘Mania as champ, and leave the same way. This match was hurt by the fact that WWE seemed to emphasize Pam Anderson instead of this feud – that sucked.

45. WWE Championship Match – The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – WrestleMania XV – Philadelphia, PA

The first match in the epic WrestleMania trilogy between the two biggest names in wrestling history. It is, as you can tell, the “least good” of the three, because by no means does this deserve a word like “worst.” It was really hurt by the clusterf*** booking of the special referee for the match. It detracted to the match that the referee was that important. Austin won and got his second WrestleMania title moment in two years

44. Women’s Title Match – Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James – WrestleMania 22 – Chicago, IL

OK, OK. I know what you’re saying – “Why do you have a women’s match on the countdown? Let alone one with so many botches?” This match is absolutely one of my favorite matches to watch. The build for this is better than any women’s match in WrestleMania history. Mickie was the obsessed fan, even sexually obsessed, of Trish Stratus. Mickie’s R-rated performance was exceptional and Trish did right by going under for the new star. It also helps that I started the chants that turned Mickie James to a babyface in front of that red hot Chicago crowd.

43. WWE Championship Match – “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania V – Atlantic City, NJ

This was another Wes pick and I think it was a childhood thing. I was barely a year old when this one happened so it doesn’t mean much in that regard. Going back to watch it, the build up with Elizabeth was better than the match. It’s one of Hogan’s better matches thanks to the awesome Randy Savage.

42. No Disqualification Match – Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania X-8 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In my opinion, the Randy-Taker match was better than this one, but this was an outstanding classic Ric Flair performance. Ten years after his first and only WrestleMania match, Flair returned to the big stage against the Deadman. The result of this was never in doubt, but it left for some pretty solid moments including Flair bleeding everywhere. The highlight of the match was the totally retired Arn Anderson delivering a wicked spine buster to Taker.

41. WWE Undisputed Title Match – Chris Jericho vs. Triple H – WrestleMania X-8 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Two in a row from X-8, eh? This is a very good WrestleMania main event that was hampered because of two reasons: it had to follow Rock vs. Hogan and the biggest reason was that Stephanie McMahon vs. Triple H was booked as being far more important than Chris Jericho vs. Triple H. Jericho put The Game out of action, and this was apparently not good enough for the WWE writing team. A main part of this feud actually involved a limo driving over HHH’s dog. Ugh. Jericho deserved better…I think he’ll get it this year.

40. World Heavyweight Championship Match – Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania 22 – Chicago, IL

This is a good match, but it should have been a great match. The SmackDown main event of WrestleMania 22 was only given a little under ten minutes to develop which was not enough time for the three men in the match. All three are excellent athletes and could have had a brilliant match, but simply were not allowed to. They did the best with the time they had, but were hurt by their lack of time. I would have loved to have seen this given 15-20 minutes. If it had, I think it would absolutely be in the top ten, maybe even top five.

39. Street Fight – Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon – WrestleMania 22 – Chicago, IL

The storyline leading into this match is one of the most interesting in WWE history. They involved Shawn Michaels’ faith and it seemed that Vince McMahon tried to make himself bigger than God. The match should not have been good, but you know what? It was pretty good. It showed how amazing of an athlete Shawn Michaels is by caring a 60+ year old Vince McMahon to a very good match – a match that (not very deservingly) won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Match of the Year. Plus, the visuals of Michaels flying off the ladder and Vince McMahon flipping him off on the gurney were outstanding.

38. WWE Title Match – John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 23 – Detroit, MI

I enjoyed this match, but had a few problems with it. I put this match pretty high on our countdown, and I regret it. If I could take it back, I absolutely would. My biggest issue with this is that it shouldn’t have been the main event. In 2007, that spot belonged to Batista and the Undertaker…you’ll see that below. My other problem with this was that it was pretty slow the whole time. Not to mention Cena’s leg practically getting broken in the match and then he forgot about it at the end. Their match from England a couple of months later is far, far better and the match WrestleMania deserved.

37. WWE Title Match & Intercontinental Title Match – Champion vs. Champion – Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VI – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This was one of the most important matches in WrestleMania history because of the significance behind it. It was supposed to be the changing of the guard – it was going to be the thing that catapulted the Ultimate Warrior as the new Hulk Hogan. During the match and by the end of the night, it seemed he was just that. The match was a very good one – better than it should have ever been given the two men involved. When the news broke that the match was choreographed to the nth degree kind of takes away from it. However, as a huge Ultimate Warrior fan as a kid, I will always love this match.

36. Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania X-7 – Houston, TX

A match that was great when I first watched it in 2001, and kinda sorta holds up. It’s brawl across the Astrodome was awesome, solely because it was a brawl across the Astrodome. The very cool visual of Triple H being chokeslammed off of the camera tower was very cool, but also pretty lame when they kept showing him landing on the crash pad. The ending with the ref bump and the sledge hammer was very fun stuff and made for some pretty good drama. Bonus points for Motorhead’s performance.

35. World Heavyweight Title Match – Edge vs. Undertaker – WrestleMania XXIV – Orlando, FL

As anyone who has read anything I have ever written knows by now, I love Edge. He is one of my favorites off all time. Leading into this match, Edge’s build up against the Undertaker was outstanding. Their match more than delivered. Edge showed he belonged in the main event spot of the biggest show of the year. Undertaker was great in his role as challenger and won the belt for the second year in a row.

34. Intercontinental & European Title Match – Two Fall Match – Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho – WrestleMania 2000 – Anaheim, CA

Three of the best wrestlers in the world in one match should have been brilliant. It wasn’t quite brilliant, but it was still very good. Watching it again, the match should have been better and for some reason, on this night, these three guys didn’t click as we expected them to. It was a lame situation for Kurt Angle as he lost both of his titles without ever being pinned.

33. World Heavyweight Title Match – Batista vs. Undertaker – WrestleMania 23 – Detroit, MI

As I said, this match should have been the main event of WrestleMania 23. However, Batista’s work prior to this was very sketchy at best. He returned at SummerSlam and sucked all the way up to WrestleMania. The Undertaker caused Batista to work hard and he did, putting on his best match up to then. The match went all over the ringside area and Taker went through a table. Being there live, the crowd so much wanted to see Undertaker on top of the mountain again and they were rewarded. This match had the potential to be bad, but really, really delivered.

32. WWE Title Match – John Cena vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 22 – Chicago, IL

This is one of those matches that is good but was made great by the crowd. The electricity inside the Allstate Arena was something I have never experienced at a wrestling show. Sure, I’d seen better matches and yelled harder, but those matches were not the main event at WrestleMania. Chicago hated John Cena and loved Triple H. Everyone thought Triple H had this one in the bag, but WWE swerved us all not only by having Cena win, but by having Triple H tap out solidifying Cena as the top guy in the company. A slot he’s yet to give up. Bonus points to the Chicago crowd for being the only crowd in WrestleMania history to go out of their way to use the “F” word.

31. Retirement Match – “Macho King” Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VII – Los Angeles, CA

What? Ultimate Warrior seriously has another match on this countdown? When it comes to this one, absolutely. Again, the credit for this match should go to Randy Savage, but by no means did Warrior slouch his way through this one. This had some of the best drama of a WWE match ever: Warrior took six flying elbow drops and still kicked out. Warrior started walking out, but his fans and gods told him to finish it up. And in what is still one of the most emotional moments in professional wrestling history, the long awaited reunion of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. Brilliant, brilliant drama.

30. WWE Title Match – Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle – WrestleMania XX – New York, NY

Two of the best wrestlers in the history of the business squared off in SmackDown’s main event at WrestleMania XX. The two delivered with a great title match. While many felt it could have been better, I thought the match was an entertaining ride that was worthy of WrestleMania. People need to remember that these two were probably held back a little due to the main event of this show needing to look amazing, and they did their job. The finish of Eddie slipping out of his boot is one of my favorites of all time.

29. Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Edge vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finlay vs. King Booker vs. CM Punk – WrestleMania 23 – Detroit, MI

Being live for this one made it a pretty fun match. Also, seeing CM Punk’s official WrestleMania debut was pretty sweet as he’s been a favorite of mine since I saw him in Ring Of Honor in 2004. This match had plenty of high spots including the wicked Jeff Hardy leap onto Edge breaking through a ladder. The dynamic with Edge and Randy and the Hardys was an interesting one. The end sequence with Punk coming so close to winning only to have Mr. Kennedy get the dupe was thrilling.

28. Street Fight – Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon – WrestleMania X-7 – Houston, TX

This should not have been good. In fact, this should have sucked. But it didn’t. Two non-wrestlers were on the biggest stage of them all on the biggest show of them all and delivered a great match. Forget the WCW vs. WWF stuff that seems to be remembered. This one needs to be remembered as a son sticking up for his oppressed mother by his two-timing father. The pop Linda McMahon received when she rises out of her chair to kick Vince in the balls in still one of the loudest ever. And who would have thought Shan McMahon could do the Van Terminator?

27. Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Finlay vs. Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Matt Hardy vs. Shelton Benjamin – WrestleMania 22 – Chicago, IL

From the get-go, the Chicago crowd wanted their favorite Rob Van Dam to win. In a thrilling match including an amazing spill by the 57 year old Ric Flair. Shelton Benjamin easily stole the show in this one like he did in the first year. RVD gets the win and is the only MITB winner to outright tell his opponent when he was going to cash in. Good for him.

26. WWE Title Match – Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant – WrestleMania III – Pontiac, MI

Here it is. One of the biggest matches, if not the biggest, in pro wrestling history is only number 26? What?! That’s because I did not have this ranked on my list at all. I’m sorry folks, this match is terrible. Sure Hogan slammed Andre. Sure there were “93,173” people blowing the roof off the Silverdome. Sure Andre was really hurting at the time. But this is seriously one of the absolute worst main event matches of all time. In the biggest match ever, Hogan has his shoulders pinned to the mat in the first two minutes of the match and it is blatantly ignored by the referee. Everyone involved just looked way too goofy. I don’t like this match at all and I don’t think it deserves to be here.

25. Street Fight – Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon – WrestleMania XIX – Seattle, WA

Again. This match shouldn’t have been gone. The hype was way better than the match could ever be. But the match was actually incredibly entertaining. Vince jumping off a ladder was a site I never thought I would ever see. I will give an amazing bonus point to this match for the camera work of Vince emerging from below the ring line completely bloody with a devilish smirk on his face. One of the best camera shots in wrestling history.

24. WWE Tag Team Title Triangle Ladder Match – Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian – WrestleMania 2000 – Anaheim, CA

The one that started it all. This match revolutionized the ladder match in a way that hadn’t been felt since the Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon classics. For one of the first times ever, multiple ladders were used, chairs were used, and even tables were used as well. The three teams all in their first WrestleMania matches with the spotlight on them and they definitely stole the show.

23. Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Finlay vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. CM Punk vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. MVP vs. Kofi Kingston – 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania

This match was a thrilling one with some of the best spots in MITB history. Kofi Kingston was a rag doll in this match who came up with some amazing stuff. Mark Henry was shockingly appropriate in his role. Shelton’s crazy leap in the aisle will always be remembered, but the entire match was fantastic. CM Punk winning the briefcase for the second year in a row was a complete shock as well.

22. WWE Title Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin – WrestleMania XIV – Boston, MA

This was my Hogan-Andre. If the Attitude Era needed a true jumping point, it was this. This was The Night The Line Ws Crossed for WWE. After giving Austin the title, there was no going back for the company. Shawn Michaels working as hard as he did with a broken back is still a marvel that I can’t believe he did. It also didn’t hurt that the media buzz around this because of Mike Tyson provided some of the best WWE television ever including the classic “Tyson and Austin! Tyson and Austin!” moment on Raw.

21. Money In The Bank Ladder Match – John Morrison vs. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito – WrestleMania XXIV – Orlando, FL

One of the most unpredictable matches in WrestleMania history. It was all worked out for Jeff Hardy to win the match and be the breakout star of 2008. Except Jeff went and got himself suspended for the second time taking him out of this match. After that, people were pretty unsure who would win the match. Chris Jericho was the clear front runner. The match itself went a mile a minute and was an exhilarating match. I loved all of it and thought it was a true great match. I remember sitting watching this match with friends and when CM Punk won, we absolutely erupted. It was great stuff.

20. Money In The Bank Ladder Match – Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Kane vs. Edge vs. Christian – WrestleMania 21 – Los Angeles, CA

Many people always say that the original is always better than the sequels. In terms of the Money In The Bank match at WrestleMania, this rings true. When Chris Jericho gave birth to the idea of ladder match where a guaranteed contract for the World Heavyweight Championship would be up for grabs, it was an intriguing idea. Little did we know that it would become one of the most looked forward to things at WrestleMania. This match has been the best of the series. Shelton Benjamin absolutely stole the show with two amazing acrobatic spots, especially his ladder climb into a clothesline on Chris Jericho. This match also continued the tradition of giving birth to a main event superstar in Edge. It was right around this time that Edge began his breakout into a true main eventer. He hasn’t looked back. A great match for this concept to debut on.

19. WWE Intercontinental Title Match – Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart – WrestleMania VIII – Indianapolis, IN

Bret Hart got a tremendous fever in January 1992 and lost his Intercontinental to The Mountie. In turn, the Mountie was defeated by fan favorite Roddy Piper at the Royal Rumble. The confrontation between the current champion and the former champion was imminent. Wrestling fans received a real treat at WrestleMania VIII when Roddy Piper put on his best match ever. Piper and Hart were both fan favorites, but everyone was rooting for the Hitman in this one. The two played a game of one-ups-man-ship for most of the match until a vicious right hand busted Bret Hart open. With blood pouring down his face, Piper reverted back to a heel and began an all out assault on Bret. When the ref went down, Piper turned to the ring bell to help him retain his belt. The fans pleaded with Roddy not to use it and he listened. The drama in that minute was electric though. This match also features one of my favorite endings in a match ever as Bret climbed the turnbuckles to reverse a sleeper hold into a pin. A great, great match that easily holds up in 2010.

18. The Rock vs. Steve Austin – WrestleMania XIX – Seattle, WA

Round 3. The third and final installment of the greatest rivalry of my generation. And it wasn’t even the main event of the show. Going into it, those involved in the match knew that this would be Steve Austin’s last match. Watching it at home, you got that feeling too. It was just a special match to be apart of and different from their other two encounters. Austin did the right thing here as well as he went out with his shoulders on the mat. Another reason I love this match is because no one advertised it as Austin’s last match, but it was better this way. No one would have been able to go on after Steve Austin’s retirement match. Everything about this match was pure class. To this day, I would still love to know what was said between the Rock and Austin after the match ended. This was a great match for professional wrestling.

17. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit – WrestleMania X-7 – Houston, TX

When WWE announced that the two, arguably, best technical wrestlers of all time would compete at WrestleMania X-7, the already stacked card was made that much better. The match these two had was psychologically one of my favorite matches ever. The story that was told was simply outstanding in its simplicity. Benoit made Angle tap to the Crossface in the weeks before the contest, but because it wasn’t in an official match, Angle refused to accept it. Going into the match it was built as being a technical masterpiece. It started out that way and Benoit continually got the best of Angle. That’s when Angle snapped and sucker punched Benoit turning it into a fight. It was still a great wrestling match but the intensity was turned way up. After a change of submissions at the end of the bout, Angle wins the match by a roll up and hooking the tights. It was an excellent ending to an excellent wrestling contest.

16. WWE Title Match – Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania XIX – Seattle, WA

I cannot remember being more nervous watching a pro wrestling match as much as I was during this match. Everyone knew that Angle was wrestling the match with a broken neck. It was talked about in the weeks leading up to the match and talked about during the match itself. Brock Lesnar was headlining his first WrestleMania experience. Knowing that Angle’s neck was broken, this match is one of the greatest ever. Every time Angle took a bump, the wrestling world waited with baited breath hoping that he would get up. It was especially dangerous to see up on Lesnar’s shoulders for the F-5. No one expected that it would Brock Lesnar who almost killed himself in this one. Brock went up for the finishing move no one knew he could do: the shooting star press. Unfortunately, he under-shot Angle and didn’t quite get the rotation he needed and almost broke his neck. It’s the scariest moment I can remember watching a wrestling match. Great main event to my personal favorite WrestleMania.

15. WWE Title Match - Iron Man Match - Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania XII - Anaheim, CA

For years, this was considered the greatest match in WrestleMania history and in WWE history. Two of the very best wrestlers ever going an hour should have been amazing. When it took place, it did. However, time has not proved the match as good as it was. Unfortunately, this match does not hold up. Don't get me wrong, it's still a very good match, however, it's not as good in 2010 as it was in 1996. Hart and Michaels went in the ring for an hour, and that alone is enough to bring them towards the top of this list. However, 40 of the 60 minutes were rest holds, which was an utter disappointment, especially now. Michaels won the match and began one of the most thrilling rivalries both in and out of the ring in the history of professional wrestling.

14. WWE Title Match - Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage - WrestleMania VIII - Indianapolis, IN

Talk about an emotional build to a match. Ric Flair claimed to have raunchy photos and to have a trist with Randy Savage's wife Miss Elizabeth. This match was outstanding drama throughout. Flair bled buckets and Savage seemingly could not beat him. Once Miss Elizabeth wound up at ringside, Flair got distracted and Savage found a renewed vigor. Savage rolled up Flair and in a brilliant move, hooked his tights to win the WWE Title for a second time. This match was originally scheduled to be Flair vs. Hogan, and thankfully it wasn't. I don't think Flair and Hogan could have had a match as good as Flair and Savage had.

13. Hardcore Match - Edge vs. Mick Foley - WrestleMania 22 - Chicago, IL

Mick Foley was one of the most important wrestlers of the Attitude Era but never had a real WrestleMania moment. In 2006, the Rated R Superstar Edge challenged him to have that moment. This match was an absolutely thrill to see live and was just as good, if not better on tape. Edge delivered in one of his breakout performances as a singles star. Foley was perfect in his role as a man trying to win on the big stage against an opponent younger and better than him. This was the last big hardcore match WrestleMania has scene and it is the very best. The ending of the match with the spear through the flaming table was outstanding. This is one of the most entertaining WrestleMania matches of all time.

12. Career Threatening Match - Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania XXIV - Orlando, FL

This match was one of the most emotional, if not the most emotional in WrestleMania history. It didn't hurt that it was Ric Flair's best match in years. This match has absolutely 100% been tainted because of Ric Flair coming out of retirement. It doesn't mean much to me any more while watching it. What a disappointment because this was one of the best matches based on emotion. Flair coming out of retirement ruined it. It's a damn shame.

11. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - WrestleMania X - New York, NY

I'm about to make a lot of enemies with this claim here, but for me, this is the best match at WrestleMania X. Even considering the Ladder Match, I still feel this is the strongest match on the card and is absolutely one of Bret Hart's best matches. Owen Hart was fantastic in his role here. The best part of this match was by far the fact that Owen actually won this match. No one expected him to win here, but he did. WWE tried four years later to recreate the brother vs. brother magic with Undertaker vs. Kane at WrestleMania XIV, but it failed miserably. This is one of my very favorite wrestling matches of all time. Truly deserving of this spot on the countdown.

10. Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match - Tag Team Title Match - Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian - WrestleMania X-Seven - Houston, TX

Many people consider this to be the greatest Ladder Match of all time, and they have quite the argument. At SummerSlam in 2000, these three teams revolutionized the industry with the first ever TLC Match. When it was announced that they were going to do it again, a lot of people wondered if they would be able to not only top the TLC Match, but also the Triangle Ladder Match from the year before. Believe me when I say that they did. The highspots in this match are way too many to list except for the absolutely breath-taking Spear from the ladder Edge hit on Jeff Hardy. Absolutely amazing. The additions of Spike Dudley, Lita, and Rhyno added an extra spice to the match that only made it better. Fantastic, fantastic pro wrestling match.

9. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XIX - Seattle, WA

Disclaimer: When asked about my WrestleMania dream match by a friend in the early 2000s, my answer was Michaels vs. Jericho. You can imagine how absolutely stoked I was when these two men fought in 2003. I love, love, love, love, love this match. The story it tells is one of absolute brilliance as only these two amazing wrestlers can tell. The drama leading up to it, the match itself where they hit each other with everything only to kick out, and the dramatic post match actions were simply phenomenal. Jericho's anguished cries at the end of the match only added to its importance. Michaels winning with a roll-up showed that on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he was just that much better than Jericho. The post match hug followed by a low blow was an outstanding way to further the feud. Both men came out of this match looking like a million bucks. A spectacular return for Shawn Michaels after missing four straight WrestleManias. The very fun book-end to this match is that I was able to ask Chris Jericho about it when I interviewed him in 2007 for Rumble Radio. His response his still a classic.

8. The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan - WrestleMania X-8 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Icon vs. Icon. The build-up for this match was actually pretty under whelming considering how important of a match it was. However, once the two men got in the ring and stood face-to-face the fans in Toronto's Skydome knew how important what they were seeing was. The reaction from the crowd made this match go from a good match (easily the best of Hogan's career in my book) to a match that will be remembered forever. Watching, you could tell that Hogan was just not physically able to keep up, but somehow he managed to power through and give one of the best performances of his life. The torch truly was passed on this night and watching it live, that could not have been more obvious.

7. Intercontinental Title Match - Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat - WrestleMania III - Detroit, MI

Without question, the best match from WWE in the 1980s. This match for many, many years was considered to be the best WrestleMania match and it is hard to argue that. First off, the build to this match was absolutely incredible. Savage crushed Steamboat's throat with the bell. To this day, it's one of my favorite builds to a match ever. Once these two got in the ring, it was pure science. A great match that saw Steamboat get the win after reversing a bodyslam into a roll-up. Awesome stuff. The rumor that this match was rehearsed down to a tee before hand doesn't hurt it at all. This is a match all prospective wrestlers must watch.

6. WWE Title - The Rock vs. Steve Austin - WrestleMania X-Seven - Houston, TX

This is, by far, my favorite match on the countdown for psychology. It's not even close, folks. The story that these two men told up to and including this match is absolutely unbelievable. Austin's complete obsession with being WWE Champion led to him making a deal with the devil...Vince McMahon. In a move that left the entire wrestling world stunned, Steve Austin turned heel and aligned himself with his greatest rival. This angle was executed perfectly. It didn't hurt that the match was totally top notch and very worthy of the main event slot of arguably the greatest North American wrestling show of all time. Both men bled buckets and gave the fans a 30 minute epic. It is by far the best of their series and one of the best matches of both men's careers. If you've never seen this match, shame on you. Every wrestling fan should still get excited and still want to kill Stone Cold for aligning with McMahon at the end of this match.

So that is it so far, 60 down to 6, 5 more remaining – any guesses??

1 comment:

  1. Great work by Patrick. I think we know what the top 5 are but in what order will they be? I am thinking Patrick & I will have a different #1.