WrestleMania has given us some classic bouts. So let’s take a closer look at the 32 greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time.
Its almost time for the greatest show in all of sports entertainment, The Showcase of the Immortals, WrestleMania! In over three decades of WrestleMania we’ve seen some of most legendary matches, moments and superstars that will ever be witnessed. It’s the show where every professional wrestler wants to perform at and dreams of one day headlining. There’s so many of the greatest WrestleMania matches that have happened at the “Granddaddy of them all” that it’s hard to even get a grip of what matches should be a part of any top 10, 20 or 30 list because there’s just so many to choose from!
However we here at TWM News have done just that! Thanks to a fantastically knowledgeable and dedicated group of fans on staff here at TWM, we have amassed a list worthy of the big event itself.
50 qualifying matches were graded by the team from the archive of WrestleMania matches and even though some were controversially left off the list, or even controversially ranked, the top 32 greatest WrestleMania matches that made the grade are that of WrestleMania legend!
Matches were graded out of ten from the following criteria:
The Match Itself
Importance of the Match at the Time
Staff Members’ Personal Rating
The scores were added up and then doubled, giving us a score out of 100 for each match. They were then ranked in order to present the list we’re going to be building in the run up to WrestleMania 32.
Here we will now begin our countdown of the 32 Greatest WrestleMania Matches of All-Time!
Without further a-do let’s start the run-down….
No. 32 – WrestleMania 29: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
Having had the pleasure of being there live in person to witness this match, the delight is obvious that this made the top 30. If this list was being ranked in terms of match quality alone, it would be much higher up the list than 30, however the build-up was extremely lacklustre and a member of the WWE creative team lost their job over the way which this match was put together. Usually The Undertaker hand-picks his opponent, but this year a fatal four way match was made for no reason whatsoever, with the winner getting to take on The Deadman’s legendary streak.
The build-up after that was also not that great. However it was only after the sad passing of Paul Bearer when the build-up for this match really got going. WWE gained the permission from Paul Bearer’s family to use his death as part of their storyline. Some were disgusted, while others, including us here at TWM thought it was genius. With Bearer being extremely old school, we think he would have loved this. CM Punk stole Undertakers urn and paraded around with it, we were led to believe that it contained the ashes of The Undertaker’s former manager. He was throwing it up and down and tossing it about angering The Deadman even more.
The knife was put in even deeper when CM Punk’s manager Paul Heyman began to appear on RAW dressed as Paul Bearer.
The match itself was an absolute classic, and everything you would expect from an Undertaker WrestleMania match. It wasn’t as good in-ring as the recent Shawn Michaels matches, but they’re in a league totally on their own.
No. 31 – WrestleMania 31: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE World Heavyweight Championship) – Seth Rollins cashes in
It’s cool to hate on Roman Reigns, we’re not going to change that. It’s also fair to say that a straight Reigns Vs Brock Lesnar match wouldn’t have made this list. Not to say it was turning out badly (indeed some of the TWM team pointed out the big match feel it had and were drawn in by the old school storytelling at the heart of it) but it perhaps wouldn’t have warranted a place on the best of the best list.
Seth Rollins’ interjection, becoming the first (and so far ONLY) man to cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase as the biggest show of them all meant that this was transposed to a higher level. People had guessed it was coming and perhaps even hoped that it was coming, but few would really have put the house on it happening.
It’s arguably one of the best finishes to a WrestleMania that we’ve ever seen. Some might argue it was THE best.
No. 30 – WrestleMania VIII: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (Intercontinental Championship)
This match is one of my personal favourites of all-time. It had it all from comedy, to drama, to great wrestling. Going into the match the Intercontinental title was the only WWE gold Piper had ever held and he was defending it against his long time friend Bret Hart. The pre-match interview was classic from both Bret and Hot Rod and the match that followed was even better.
The two started the match with a clear idea of telling a story thru the match, as they hadn’t been involved in an extensive program prior to locking-up. They started slow, using arm-drags, collar and elbow ties ups etc, then slowly Piper started using a more brawling style which worked the crowd greatly. The crowd was 50/50, without hyperbole, until Piper started brawling more and using a few cheap tricks like slapping Hart across the face and spitting his chewing gum at him.
The basic story early on was that Piper couldn’t out-wrestle Hart, so he resorted to heel tactics and short cuts, which Monsoon played up to help get Hart over even more. At around the 8:44 mark, the referee pointed to Hart’s boot, as if something was amiss, to which Hart responded by reaching for his boot, only to have Piper nail him with a sucker punch right hand. The deal was, Piper was reaching for the blade for the impending bladejob.
Hart has never been a good blader, and this was no exception, although it worked to a certain extent because WWE didn’t feature many bloody matches around this time period. By this point in the match, Piper officially the heel of the match, with him getting roundly booed by the vast majority of the Dome. It was clear from midway thru the match that Hart was going over in this one, as he was built up great by Piper as the heroic babyface challenger, and add to that the way Piper was wrestling.
It was a little disheartening to see a ref bump as part of the home shot, when Bret had Piper in a headlock, and Piper shot Hart into the ref. With Hart down, Piper to the chance to go to the outside and get the ring bell, with intentions of losing Hart a few brain cells. With the crowd now 90% against him, Piper teased levelling Hart, but eventually tossed the bell ringside, and instead applied his Sleeper finish, only for Hart to kick up against the turnbuckle, and flip backwards with the Sleeper still on, and get the three count from the revived referee.
The pop when he won was big, but that’s understandable when he had Piper doing everything to get him over and wrestling heel for large parts of the match. Post match, Piper snatched the I.C title from the ref, and teased a heel turn, but instead placed the title on the shoulder of the bloodied Hart on the mat, and helped him up. The two walked to the back together. This match was booked to get Hart over, and it did that to it’s fullest extent, and Piper should be credited as being a big help to establishing him a major singles force. Like Undertaker/Roberts, one man’s WWE career was ending, while another was just beginning.
No. 29 – WrestleMania XX: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship)
Some fans will say that the night Eddie Guerrero defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship was the greatest night of Eddie’s career, but we say it’s this match that’s the real highlight! This was the night that Eddie Guerrero defended the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XX against a legendary performer in Kurt Angle, and what a match it was.
True to the character Guerrero played he used all the tricks in the book, and boot so to speak, to get the win over Angle. Later in the night Eddie would come back out to the ring and help close WrestleMania XX in what is now a very emotional scene of remembrance.
No. 28 – WrestleMania V: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan (WWF Championship)
BOOM!! THE MEGA POWERS EXPLODED!!
In terms of actual wrestling this was Hulk Hogan’s best match ever in our honest opinion, even though Randy Savage carried him to it. In a build-up that started from the Royal Rumble after Hogan helped Savage on his way over the top rope to elimination, causing Randy to totally lose the plot, it took the wrestling world by storm. The other part of the feud was the involvement of Miss Elizabeth, which only added to the tension.
The match itself had a great atmosphere about it and Savage in particular put up a fantastic match. The only downside to the match for us was Hogan kicking out of the Savage Elbow so easily on his way to victory, but it was a great match nonetheless and one that is still fondly remembered by fans today.
No. 27 – WrestleMania X: “The Rocket” Owen Hart vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart
If I was to say “Best opening one on one WrestleMania match ever”, I don’t think many would disagree with me. If you’re a fan of pure wrestling this was the match for you, plus it was between two brothers of course, which only added to the occasion.
The feud had been simmering since the previous Survivor Series when Owen was the only brother eliminated from Team Hart after accidentally running into Bret on the apron causing him to be pinned. The pair would make up for a chance at the tag titles at the Royal Rumble which the Hart brothers would lose, leading to Owen attacking his older brother.
Once we got to WrestleMania X the two were sworn enemies and brought it all to the ring in a first class match. The victor on this occasion was Owen and he not only gained his biggest career win this night but also showed that he belonged among the best!
No. 26 – WrestleMania XIX: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
This was the match where Chris Jericho got to face his childhood hero, the man he idolised, Shawn Michaels. The run-up to this match was all about the young master taking on the reason he was on the wrestling business and it made for great viewing.
On the night both men pulled out all the stops to make the match memorable and they succeeded in doing just that in my opinion. The match itself ended when HBK rolled up Y2J for the win, but I to this day still believe that Jericho should have won the match because it would have been his big WrestleMania moment.
Nonetheless it was a great match and a great show of respect afterwards as well. Until the low blow by Jericho…
No. 25 – WrestleMania XV: The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (WWF Championship)
This was the start of arguably the most famous trilogy of matches in WWE history. It was two of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era locking up for the big prize on the big stage. It was history in the making. The match came about after Vince McMahon won the 1999 Royal Rumble match last eliminating “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
McMahon then put his WrestleMania title opportunity on the line against Stone Cold in a Steel Cage Match at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which Austin won when Paul Wight threw him through the cage and out onto the floor.
Over the coming weeks the match against the then WWF Champion and Corporation member The Rock would take shape, and with the added involvement of Mr McMahon, it made for a great main event. The atmosphere for the match was great and the crowd really got into the match, which after a great battle Austin won with a Stunner. Even though this match was great, better was still to come….
No. 24 – WrestleMania VI: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (WWF Championship)
Sometimes a match happens that holds everyone watching in the palm of its hand and this was one of them. This was the first WrestleMania of the 1990s and this match started a new decade with a bang. The WWF champion Hulk Hogan took on the Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior in front of 60,000 fans and to say the atmosphere was electric is an understatement.
Both men had support from the crowd, maybe a bit more for Warrior, and it just oozed of a mega match feel. The main reason this match isn’t higher obviously the list is probably because the actual wrestling wasn’t very good and in fairness a match between these two was never going to get 5 star rating in terms of in-ring action. In a way though that didn’t take a great deal away from the match itself because the buzz from the whole experience of seeing this match carried it through in my opinion.
The win over Hogan this night was the biggest of Warrior’s career and it was one of the true WrestleMania moments.
No. 23 – WrestleMania XIX: The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Here we are back with Austin and Rocky again for the third and final match in the trilogy of WrestleMania matches the two men had with each other. The run-up to this match was different to the run-up of the previous two matches at the big show between the two because both men had not long returned from a hiatus of WWE.
Nonetheless the fans once again went mad for the two biggest stars of the now long gone Attitude Era. Because Austin had won the previous two ‘Mania matches it was odds on that Rock would win this one, which he did after a series of Rock Bottom finishers. At this present moment in time the main reason this match is remembered so well is because it’s the last time Stone Cold wrestled a match and is now most likely to go down as Austin’s last ever match.
My personal favourite part of the match was the aftermath when Austin said a goodbye to the fans, it was also a classy thing for the Rock to do at the end as well.
That’s two of the three matches in this trilogy down, one more to come….
No. 22 – WrestleMania XXX: Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
We can debate until the end of time whether or not the end of The Streak was something that should ever happen. If we choose to suggest that ending it was the correct thing to do there would then be the debate as to whether or not Brock Lesnar was the right man to do the honours. We can even suggest that there were better matches that this one that are not on this list. What we cannot deny is that the end of The Streak remains one of the most defining WrestleMania moments in the entire canon.
And that is what WrestleMania is all about. Those moments that stick with you forever. Even with the Beast Incarnate opposite the Dead Man, few really thought that the Streak was in true danger. The part-timer, who had previously left the WWE on very bad terms was surely not the man to kill it. But kill it he did.
It was an epic war and one never to be forgotten.
No. 21 – WrestleMania XXIV: Edge vs. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship)
Going into this closing match of WrestleMania XXIV The Undertaker was 15-0 and looking to not only take that record to 16-0 but also to regain the World Heavyweight Championship. To reach WrestleMania and his shot at the title the Undertaker won an Elimination Chamber match at the WWE Pay-Per-View No Way Out by last eliminating Batista.
The two men then embarked in a bitter but entertaining feud leading up to the match. The match was a classic and definitely one of the best both men did on the biggest stage. After many failed attempts at putting the other away it was the Undertaker that won with his Hell Gate submission hold, thus once again becoming champion and also taking his WrestleMania winning Streak to 16-0.
No. 20 – WrestleMania III: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (Intercontinental Championship)
When some people say that a certain match was the best they had ever seen it makes you think that it must of been an unbelievable match, but that is the very thing a lot of old school fans say about this Intercontinental Championship match.
Going into the match Savage had long held the title and made his title reign one of the best ever, including defeating George Steele who was in the corner of Steamboat for this match. Once the action got underway it proved to be an exhibition of pure wrestling that had also delivered over 20 near falls. This match would in my opinion be at home in any WrestleMania because it was years before its time.
Near the end of the match Savage was going to use the ring bell before Steele interfered, and then soon after Steamboat would pick up the win via a small package.
Matches like this one are what WrestleMania is all about and it’s a match that will never be forgotten.
No. 19 – WrestleMania 2000: Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian (Triangle Ladder Match – WWF Tag Team Championship)
Talk about a match that broke down barriers. This match really was one of the best tag team matches in any pro wrestling company, ever in our opinion. The spots in this match were unbelievable and all six men involved made a massive name for themselves because of this match.
They left it all in the ring from, spears off the tops of ladders, smashing through tables, and pushing the word extreme to the limit. It was Edge & Christian that picked up the win and became new Tag champions but all of the men involved were winners on this night.
They couldn’t possibly top this match….could they?
No. 18 – WrestleMania 21: Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Five years after the ground-breaking match that just made #18 on this list, another creation was born from the same mould called Money In The Bank. The name being so because unlike traditional ladder matches where a championship title hung above the ring, this match had a briefcase hanging there and inside was a contract to face either the WWE or World Heavyweight champion at any point of choosing within a year.
The participants in this match were Chris Jericho, Edge, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Chris Benoit, and they all put on a great spectacle of a match worthy of any top list of matches. After many big moments in the match, in and out of the ring, it was Edge that would go on and win the match and contract. It was just another great moment for Edge who was quickly turning into an iconic performer.
No. 17 – WrestleMania XXIV: Shawn Michaels vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (Career Threatening Match)
Some wrestlers get to go out in style and some go out in nothing more than a whimper, the Nature boy however went out in the biggest blaze of glory imaginable. Going into the match it was clear that HBK was going to win and end the legendary career of the multiple time world champion. But in many ways the whole WrestleMania weekend wasn’t about how good the match was or who won, it was about a larger than life send off for Flair.
It all started the night before WrestleMania with Flair being the first active WWE wrestler to go into the WWE Hall of Fame. The night after came this match which Michaels won after hitting Sweet Chin Music and telling Flair the words “I’m sorry. I love you”. The crowd then showed the Nature boy full appreciation and he took his leave.
The next night on Raw Ric Flair got yet another big send off with many old and present WWE superstars coming out to the ring and joining a tearful Flair. It was the magic ending, if only he kept to it!!
No. 16 – WrestleMania X-Seven: Triple H vs. The Undertaker
This was the first in the trilogy of brilliant matches between the two men and was in my opinion the best match they had from the 3 in terms of the actual wrestling quality. It was The Undertaker’s first match in his immortal WrestleMania winning streak in his American Bad Ass gimmick.
The build-up was very good with Taker trying for the match and once we got to the night of WrestleMania X-Seven itself it was just another top draw match, like many others on that iconic night of wrestling. The match was brutal with both men laying it all on the line. The action left the ring and went way up into the crowd at one point with the fans really getting into the match. Once back into the ring not even the trusted sledgehammer of HHH could stop the Undertaker gaining his victory via way of a Last Ride.
It was a great match and one that was right at place on what was arguably the best WrestleMania of all-time.
No. 15 – WrestleMania III: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant (WWF Championship)
This match is the biggest match in WrestleMania history. The importance of it can probably never be understood by today’s generation of younger fans because it was so long ago but it really is no exaggeration to call this match the biggest match of all-time.
It’s hard to imagine it but it was almost like the world stopped to watch this one match between the champion that had held the title for 3 years and the challenger who was undefeated in WWE for 15 years. There were 90,000+ in attendance and had legendary spots during the match including the stare down, the body slam heard around the world, and the now infamous spot when Andre fell on Hogan almost getting the 3 count.
It was Hulk that won but it’s never been forgotten how classy it was from Andre to put Hogan over in the way that he did and nor should it ever be. If ever Fans want to thank someone for Hulkamania then don’t just thank McMahon, Hogan, or Piper. Look up to the stars and thank the big man, the eighth wonder of the world, Andre the Giant. This is the most famous case of historical significance over-ruling match quality.
No. 14 – WrestleMania XIV: The Undertaker vs. Kane
If ever there was a feud to be settled at WrestleMania this was it. It all started with Undertaker’s former manager Paul Bearer claiming that The Undertaker was a murderer who killed both his parents, plus his younger brother Kane by setting the family home on fire. The big shock for Taker was the claim from Bearer that Kane was still alive. Then during the first ever Hell In A Cell match between Shawn Michaels/Undertaker, Kane appeared and delivered a Tombstone to his older brother resulting in Taker losing the match.
In the coming months Kane would try to force his brother into a match but Taker refused to fight his own flesh and blood. Refuse that is until Kane would once again cost the Undertaker a match against HBK this time during a Casket match. After the match Kane would set fire to a locked casket that Taker was believed to be in. This lead to Taker accepting the challenge and the two men would face each other at WrestleMania XIV.
The match was a gritty and hard hitting match that the Undertaker would win with a combination of Tombstone finishers. It was a feud worthy of a mention near the top of any list of feuds in WWE history and is certainly an unforgettable one.
No. 13 – WrestleMania XXX: Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
Ok so we’ll start off with a spoiler. The main event of this show is not on this list. That’s not to say that Daniel Bryan’s ultimate moment of glory was not a great one, just a reflection that after this match the result of that was in little doubt. Indeed the shock of the end of The Streak earlier in the show took a little of the gloss off the main event (and in hindsight guaranteed that the WWE would have to book the ending that the fans wanted to send them home happy).
Earlier on in the evening though the months of “B player” banter from HHH and his wife Stephanie had put seeds of doubt in our minds. It was only a storyline, but it seemed to be somehow verbalising for the audience the true feeling of the power players. Add the fact that Bryan clearly wasn’t the original plan for who was going to walk out of XXX as Champion and you had intrigue.
On the night the atmosphere was electric. Both men played their roles to perfection; Bryan the plucky underdog fighting the system, HHH the boss doing all he could to derail the man he didn’t see fit to represent the company. The sheer delight when Bryan got the win was a fitting end to an excellent match.
No. 12 – WrestleMania XII: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (Iron Man Match – WWF Championship)
For two men that couldn’t stand each other they sure put on some outstanding matches. The two men had previously taken part in feuds over the Intercontinental title and the big one, but this was the true blockbuster. The match came about after HBK won his second successive Royal Rumble match and earned his title shot. Both men were fan favourites going into the match but it was clear the majority of fans wanted to see Michaels get the win.
The match itself was the first of its kind on the grandest stage of all and would proceed to last for an hour before going into overtime to crown a winner. It was HBK with Sweet Chin Music that won the gruelling battle and gave Michaels his first WWE Championship.
I’m sure most fans still remember the words….”The Boyhood Dream…Has Come True….FOR SHAWN MICHAELS
No. 11 – WrestleMania VIII: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (WWF Championship)
The build-up was as good as you will ever see with Flair bringing Randy’s wife Elizabeth into the process by bringing up an old romance the two shared before Savage and Liz had got to together. Throw into the mix the combination of Mr Perfect and Bobby Heenan on Flairs side and you’ve got one hell of a WWE Championship feud.
Once we eventually got to WrestleMania the feud really was at boiling point and it went off with a bang to say the least. The crowd was going bananas (according to the late great Gorilla Monsoon) and the two men put on what I believe was the best match of both men’s long careers. There was blood, cheating, women running down to the ring, Heenan having kittens on commentary, and all during a great match that saw the Macho Man once again become WWE champion.
I still get that big match feel whenever I watch this match even though it was over 20 years ago. There’s WrestleMania moments and there’s magic WrestleMania moments, and this match was MAGIC!!
No. 10 – WrestleMania 21: Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
In terms of pure wrestling this is up there with the very best, from any era. It was a show of how a great match should be with amazing individual skills on show from both men. In fact it was a match that was given to us by possibly the two greatest in-ring wrestlers ever to grace this great event.
You could tell the match meant so much to both men and together they produced a match of the highest calibre in my opinion. The finish came when Angle caught HBK in the ankle lock forcing Shawn into submission.
In all fairness though this match wasn’t about a winner it was about the calibre of match.
No. 9 – WrestleMania X8: The Rock vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
Build-up, first class! Promos, first class! Match, first class! This match was unforgettable in every sense of the word. Never did us mere fans think we would ever witness these two men go at it in the ring. Then when Hogan returned with the nWo it opened up the chance and once Rock issued the challenge to Hulk it was on.
I’ve seen many crowds at a WWE show/ppv that are on top form, none more so than at SummerSlam 92, but the crowd for this match was like nothing I have ever heard before in over 26 years of watching the sport. The place exploded and you could feel the electric coming straight through the TV set if you were watching live from home.
Once the stare down started and the place got going the Rock looked overwhelmed and Hogan was in his element. It was the Rock that got the win and it turned out to be a great passing of the torch moment with the memories living on forever with all those that saw it.
No. 8 – WrestleMania X-Seven: Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian (TLC Match – WWF Tag Team Championship)
There’s more spots in this match than there is on a teenager. All 6 men put on the match of a lifetime in terms of their careers and any fan that witnessed it live in the arena or on TV will agree with that. The high risks that the wrestlers put themselves through was unbelievable but it paid off big time because most fans would probably say that this was the greatest tag team match of all time, and I’m one of them.
From flying off ladders to going through tables it had everything. It was Edge/Christian that got the win in the end but in terms of each man’s legacy they were all winners on this classic night of wrestling at WrestleMania X-Seven.
No. 7 – WrestleMania XXVIII: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match)
There’s moments in wrestling history where you look back and say “That was awesome”, and this match is definitely one of them. The build-up was great, the match was great, and the show of respect after the match was simply wrestling at its very, very best.
In a match billed the end of an era it also included Shawn Michaels as the special referee. Before the match even started we got a first look at Taker without his legendary hair and the crowd showed their appreciation from then on in. The match that followed was awesome especially when you take into account that both men were well into their 40s and that Taker was still recovering from a year off from having surgery.
I think its what happened after the match that stole the entire PPV when all 3 men helped each other to the back and then turned to acknowledge the crowd, just first class in my opinion. Great match and a great memory.
No. 6 – WrestleMania 13: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Bret “Hitman” Hart (Submission Match)
This match is just legendary on so many levels! This was the big match that had been building for months since the men first meet at the Survivor Series, and boy was it worth the wait.
Going into the match Hart was still a big fan favourite even if not in the same way as past glories. His opponent was just the opposite and was this bold, foul mouthed, in your face heel. The match went into overdrive and both men put up an amazing fight to which Austin was beaten a bloody mess.
The end came when Austin, while locked in Harts Sharpshooter, refused to quit and ended up passing out. Once Austin had passed out the referee stopped the match giving Hart the win. The big point of the match for me was the great pop that Austin got from the crowd after the match signalling his face turn. The match also marked the opposite for Hart.
No. 5 – WrestleMania X-Seven: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock (WWF Championship)
This was the middle match of the WrestleMania trilogy between these two men and was in my opinion the best of the three. The build-up to the match was just first class and started with Austin winning the 2001 Royal Rumble match.
The match was two years after the WrestleMania XV match but it still had the involvement of Mr McMahon, a fact that would bring about a legendary heel turn for Stone Cold during the finish of the match. The match itself went through all the gears and had many near falls for both men. The conclusion came when Mr McMahon came to ringside and got involved, which seemed to be aimed at stopping Austin from winning. However Austin and Vince shocked the wrestling world by joining forces to defeat the Rock, and the help of a chair shot or two.
Many fans recognise this event to be the end of the Attitude Era.
No. 4 – WrestleMania X: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Ladder Match – Intercontinental Championship)
All gimmick matches have that special touch that only that certain match can bring, but on this night back in 1994 HBK and the self proclaimed Bad Guy took the meaning of a Ladder match to an whole new level!
Its no fluke that this match is so high on this list and the fact is it was very nearly third on the list. I can sit and talk about all the build-up and all the great promos Shawn did but that’s not why this match is so high. The reason is because the match itself was groundbreaking, creative, daring, and above all very entertaining to watch.
There was many great spots in the match from both men using the ladder on each other to jumping from it on to each other. The biggest and most famous spot in the match is when HBK delivered a big splash from the top of the ladder, which may not seem a big deal now in 2013 but back 1994 it was a very big deal.
In the end Razor Ramon won the biggest match of his career but it was the bright star of the Heartbreak Kid that started to shine after this match was over.
No. 3 – WrestleMania XIV: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship)
Every fan on the planet was on the edge of their seats watching Raw every week to see what was going to happen between HBK/Austin/Mr McMahon and the awesome introduction of former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.
In the weeks leading to WrestleMania it would appear that Austin and Tyson would fight each other at WrestleMania XIV because they were in each other’s face in all the build-up. The odds were firmly stacked against Austin going into the match but it was the Texas Rattlesnake that claimed victory after one of the most memorable matches in WWE history.
The match itself was brilliant and made even more so by the fact Shawn back was in such a bad state and was forcing him to retire after the match. Once the match was over Stone Cold stood in the ring and celebrated with Iron Mike while drinking a customary beer and the iconic line from Jim Ross,”The Austin era has begun”.
A number of years after this match Shawn Michaels returned to the ring and thank God he did because this list isn’t finished yet….
No. 2 – WrestleMania XXVI: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (Streak vs. Career Match)
Some wrestlers retire from injury, some from age, and some because of personal problems. At WrestleMania XXVI however HBK retired in just the way he wanted and against the superstar he wanted. In many fans eyes Ric Flair got the ultimate send off and I agree with that to a point, but if it’s based on the quality of the match in which you retire, this match wins hands down for me.
A year after trying to end the Undertaker legendary WrestleMania winning Streak and failing, Shawn became obsessed with breaking the Streak and set how for his rematch. He tried in vain to win the Royal Rumble so he could face the then World Heavyweight Champion the Undertaker at WrestleMania to claim revenge, and when that didn’t work he cost Taker the championship at the Elimination Chamber PPV.
After losing the championship the Undertaker agreed to face Shawn one last time but only if it was a Streak vs Career match, which HBK accepted. Both men put on a great match at WrestleMania XXVI that more than just stole the show, it beat almost any match you will ever witness. The two men wanted to produce something special to send Michaels career off in style and they more than did that. It was so close at times you could almost feel it coming through the television watching from home, and that’s no exaggeration!
In the end it was the great career of Shawn Michaels that was ended and after an emotional embrace with Taker after the match Shawn said his farewells to not just the fans in attendance that night, but fans the world over!
How could anyone top this match? What other two superstars could go one better and beat this match into first place?
The answer is nobody.
No. 1 – WrestleMania 25: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Only the same two men a year earlier could possibly top the previous match! This match is the one, the Granddaddy of them all, the Greatest, the Best! This is the ultimate wrestling match and after hundreds of grades were taken down and counted, it was this match that came out by far the winner with almost perfect scores.
It’s the match that even non wrestling fans could watch and still massively enjoy. The appreciation from the fans in the arena that night tell you all you need to know and after the match that the two legendary icons put on its no wonder the respect poured from the crowd. All the young pretenders came to still the big 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania but it was the two legends that proved the masters on the night.
The match had so many near falls and close finishes, plus kick outs from both the Tombstone from Michaels and Sweet Chin Music from Taker. The match finished when Taker caught a moonsault from HBK and punished him with yet another Tombstone. I’ve been a wrestling fan since WrestleMania III and I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that this match between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels is the best match I have ever seen, and I’m really pleased to say that after all the grades were taken and counted, this is number 1 in our greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.