With WrestleMania one week away, it’s time to go back and revisit the cream of the crop. Since next week’s show is the 35th annual event, I’ll spend the week listing my favorite 35 matches in the show’s history.
** NOTE – The lists being published this week were compiled from the larger list of WrestleMania match rankings done for Scott’s Blog of Doom and Place To Be Nation. Check out those sites for more great WrestleMania content. All rankings are, of course, just my opinion and are not meant to be a definitive list **
Every day this week will feature another list of 5 standout matches. The complete list of 35 favorite matches draws from 23 different WrestleMania events over the years.
20 – Eddy Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Title Match (WrestleMania XX)
From LAST YEAR‘s WrestleMania World Title Matches List: Guerrero coming in to the 2004 edition of WrestleMania as WWE Champion was surreal, and being placed in a match with a machine like Angle had me thinking his reign would end after only about a month. They had a great match that was enhanced greatly by the finish – Guerrero untying his boot to lessen the pressure from the attack on his ankle, causing Angle to pull it off when Angle used his Ankle Lock submission hold, leading to a roll-up victory to allow Guerrero to retain his title. Guerrero may have been outmatched by his opponent, but he used his brains to out-maneuver the wrestling machine.
19 – Undertaker vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Title Match (WrestleMania XXIV)
From LAST YEAR’S Best of the Undertaker WrestleMania List: For the second year in a row, The Undertaker was challenging for the World Heavyweight Championship, but this time he was back in the main event of WrestleMania. The champion, Edge, did everything he could to not only keep the title around his waste but also be the man to end The Streak. Edge hit The Undertaker with a camera, got help from his cronies Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins and managed to evade most of the Deadman’s biggest moves while hitting him with his own finisher, the spear. It wasn’t enough, though, as The Undertaker fought back against everything and countered a second spear into his Hell’s Gate submission hold to get the win and the title.
18 – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (WrestleMania X)
From LAST YEAR’S Other Title Matches WrestleMania List:The first ladder match on a WWF telecast was a much different animal than the ladder matches we see today. Instead of using the ladders to catapult themselves around the ring in cringe-inducing dangerous spots, Michaels and Ramon had a one-on-one match where ladders were used to enhance the action in the ring. The ladder was used selectively, highlighting the importance of getting hit with a large object. When Ramon finally climbed the ladder to get the win, both men looked like they had been through hell. The WWF made its most important star of the 21st Century that night back in 1994 – though no one expected it to be the ladder.
17 – Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)
Two Shawn Michaels and two Kurt Angle matches in one day! Michaels and Angle are both artists when they get in the ring, and at their primes, they were able to make anyone look good. Put them in the ring against each other, and it’s almost like magic. A great wrestling match that built to a crescendo on more than one occasion, it could have gone either way at various points. Some sweet chin music here, a super Olympic Slam there. The match sucked you in from start to finish.
16 – Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Career Ending Match (WrestleMania VII)
One of the most iconic angles to ever happen at the “Showcase of the Immortals.” And while WrestleMania VII is a sleeper show for some really fun matches from top to bottom, from a memorability standpoint, nothing beats this match. It keeps you engaged all the way through and the post-match drama left a whole lot of people weeping tears of joy. Savage and Warrior crafted a beautiful struggle for their very livelihood. Some may be turned off by Warrior kicking out of FIVE Savage flying elbows, but I think it worked well within the context of this match. Of course, by the time WrestleMania VIII rolls around, Warrior is just returning after being gone since SummerSlam and Savage is in the WWF Title match. Career ending match indeed…
That’s all for today’s list. Come back tomorrow as we look at matches 15-11 of my Favorite WrestleMania matches! And let us know what you think of this edition in the comments!