Real Rasslin's Favourite Wrestlemania Matches
The Real Rasslin Crew give you their picks for their favourite Wrestlemania matches!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Night One is in the bag, and as we look ahead to Night Two, we thought there was no better time to put together a list of our favourite Wrestlemania matches from throughout the years!
Each of the guys on the crew (with one or two absences) have told us their favourite matches and why, and it's fair to say there are some great picks here!
For my Wrestlemania match I'm picking Foley vs Edge, I struggled to single out one moment or match to highlight, there have been so many, but being a massive Foley fan, it was great to see him get this match, this wrestlemania moment, incidentally there is an untold story on the network showing the build to this match so feel free to check that out. It had all the things we love about Foley; barbie, thumbtacks, Mr Socko and even a flaming table! Lita's involvement adds to it too, they definitely went all out.
Hey, I’m James and these are my two personal favourite Wrestlemania matches!
I’d like to start off with my first choice. Edge vs The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXIV. This match for me was amazing, not just for the match itself, but the storytelling too. While many fans will focus solely on the World Heavyweight Championship, it was essentially a Streak vs Streak match too. Both men at this time were both undefeated at Wrestlemania. Another reason why I love this match so much is because of the shenanigans that were involved. Everything the Undertaker threw at Edge, he always had a counter for everything. This to me heightened the drama. Watching the Undertaker become frustrated and turning the gears in his mind on how to put the Champions away! Counter after counter from Edge, I began to wonder if he would be the one to finally end the legendary streak. Unable to use the conventional finisher, the patented Tombstone pile driver, Taker had opted to pull out The Last Ride, but even that was countered.
Eventually Edge would make a mistake allowing The Undertaker to lock in the Hells Gate submission and finally beating Edge. This didn’t just allow him to Win the coveted championship but also end Edge's undefeated streak.
My second favourite Wrestlemania match would be the gimmick battle royal at Wrestlemania x7. Now those who know me, know that I’m a big gimmick fan. It was weird and wacky and we saw some forgotten gimmicks that were really quite awesome. Although, it didn’t have the most memorable or epic moments, it did provide nostalgia to legends of the past! Which for me is always a great feeling to see those I loved to watch while growing up. So that’s why it holds a special place in my wrestling heart!
It’s ‘mania season, the most wonderful time of the year, wrestling Christmas if you will, and that got us thinking about our favourite WrestleMania matches. There is quite a few that stand out to me from TLC two at X7, to Owen vs Bret at X. When Paul had the idea to put this together, he asked for our top two ‘mania matches, so I suppose if I had to narrow it down, I would have to go with these;
The Rock vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania X7
OK, hear me out, I know a lot of people believe that The Dudleyz, Hardyz and Edge and Christian stole the show at X7 and they did, but the main event blew my mind. I would have been 12 at the time, high on the Attitude Era Kool-Aid, massively behind Austin at the Rumble that year as he clawed and scraped his way to the main event of what is widely considered the greatest WrestleMania of all time. I remember sat there watching it as a kid with my mouth wide open as they hit finisher after finisher, false finish after false finish and wanting to look away every time the Rock went for the pin, yet not being able to. Then Vince McMahon came to the ring, the Rock hits the People’s Elbow and Vince breaks up the count. My 12-year-old mind was like “What the F*ck just happened?!” and when Austin made a deal with the devil himself, I was so pissed off I didn’t watch wrestling for two weeks straight! (I did catch up with it though as my mam and dad used to tape RAW and SmackDown for me Haha.) It was my first time seeing such a major heel turn and what was looking like being the biggest heel turn since Hogan with the NWO, and it felt like I was watching history, I really felt the gravity of the heel turn attempt. I know it didn’t go the way they wanted it to but it did give us some awesome Austin comedy. As and older fan it still holds up for me, for a few reasons, one of the biggest is the fact that Vince McMahon has the bollocks to turn Austin heel in Texas, just imagine the heat in that stadium directed at Vince and Austin. The crowd were also another reason, the crowd was so hot that night, that it was impossible to not be invested in the match.
My second pick was a no brainer in all honesty, as I am a bigger Bret Hart mark than Bret himself, I had to go with the absolute technical masterclass that was the Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII. This is the most sentimental match to me ever and I know people moan about it being an hour match to just end in a draw, but it’s the story behind the match and my own personal story that makes this match so great for me. I was 7 when this match happened, at the time I had Jumped on to the Shawn bandwagon, and my dad was Team Bret. We argued through the match over who was going to win, and when Shawn won, I ran around the house screaming “I’m just a sexy boy” at the top of my lungs and doing Shawns signature pose rubbing it in my dad’s face. I got grounded for a week because of that match and how much I gloated at my dad, but the memory that sticks out most for me is me and my dad, sat next to each other on the edge of the couch, shouting and screaming at the telly at every near fall, much like football fans when their team nearly scores. Again, as an older fan I just appreciate the match for what it is, an absolute technical wrestling fans wet dream. Now, as some of you may know, technical wrestling is what I love, and this match has it all for me, from storytelling to suspense, to intricate interactions and to flat out high spots, and the culmination of the “boyhood dream” story was utter perfection. I will always have strong feelings about this match, and I will always love it. Still to this day, I watch this match every ‘Mania season without fail, even without the memories I have attached to this match, it'd still by my favourite match ever, the memories just make it that bit sweeter.
My favourite Wrestlemania match was Bret vs Austin, Wrestlemania 13. It had everything; it went everywhere. It flipped and flopped, it ebbed and flowed and by the end of it the two competitors had completely switched positions within the company.
It was an incredible journey and a fantastic story told by two of the greatest to ever step foot in the squared circle.
When we talk about Wrestlemania matches, there have, over the years, been a phenomenal number of fantastic matches. Whether they have involved the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, John Cena or countless others, everyone has a story about what their favourite match was.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of Eddie Guerrero, and as a result it was never in any doubt that my favourite match would be the one where Guerrero defended the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania for the only time in his career.
A close second is Kofi Kingston winning the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania 35, but for me, my favourite match will always be Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle for the Undisputed WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 20. 2004 was the year that Eddie Guerrero ascended to the top of the mountain in WWE, and indeed Pro Wrestling as a whole.
Going forward on the back of beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, Eddie was riding a wave of momentum, and with Wrestlemania coming quick, Eddie was paired with Kurt Angle for the title on the Grandest Stage of them all.
Eddie came to the ring in a custom pick-up truck, and the pop from the crowd was memorable. The match itself was a mixture of fantastic technical prowess, and Guerrero's usual brand of shenanigans. With both Eddie and Kurt being at the top of their game, the two of them put on a fantastic match full of great action and storytelling.
The look on Kurt Angle's face when Eddie was able to kick off his boot and then use the distraction to roll him up and beat him was priceless, and was classic Eddie Guerrero.
Eddie's untimely death at the age of 39 in 2005 shocked fans all over the world, and robbed us all of countless Eddie Guerrero matches, but his body of work and legacy lives on, and to me he will always be the best wrestler ever. Viva La Raza!
It’s really difficult for me to pinpoint what my favourite wrestlemania match was because there’s so many good ones, but the match that really sticks out in my mind as I sit here and think about it is the match between Shawn Michaels and the undertaker at wrestlemania 25. I fully understand that this was not a mania main event but, in my opinion, it should have been... it was a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. The crowd were heavily involved you couldn’t really tell which way was going to go because there was a lot of great spots quite a few false finishes to boot... whilst watching this match I felt as if I was on the edge of my seat the whole entire time and quite honestly I would’ve been happy with either outcome and with both men being at the pinnacle of professional wrestling it kind of cements what you should strive to have within the industry... all in all it was just an amazing bit of storytelling and it will for ever be one of my favourites and it should’ve been a main event match.
Wrestlemania season is here again, and my esteemed colleagues Paul and Adz have asked me for a contribution highlighting my favourite match.
Has there ever been a harder question?
Trying to chronicle a favourite with over 35 years of material is difficult - but I've whittled it down to a top 3 that is about as stable as a float in a swimming pool. Ask me on a different day, and these may change.
Having always been a bit of an edge-lord, loving it when good guys go bad, #3 is Austin v Rock at Mania XVII. These guys had a string of wonderful encounters, but this was a culmination of years of work and I loved every second. It also gave us Angle, Austin and an acoustic guitar down the line. Job done.
#2, the infamous Wrestlemania XIII 'Double Turn' with Bret and Austin. Bret is my all-time favourite; Austin is just Austin and this marked his rise to superstardom and ushered in a pro wrestling peak we may never see matched again. A lesson in how to tell a story, and how to use props - blood in this case - to draw people in without them even knowing about it. This was a masterclass and is potentially the best worked match in WM history, maybe along with Michaels and Flair.
But for the #1 spot, we're returning to 2001 for Mania XVII. It's got to be the TLC match with Edge, Christian, the Dudleyz and the Hardy's. I was smitten with their table match the previous year at the Rumble, and loved everything following. This was everything I wanted it to be and more, borrowing from their previous matches, throwing in ECW alumni Rhyno, Spike and Lita and raising the bar in every sense, this gave me as much satisfaction as Bubba got dropping Mae Young off the Raw stage.
Ok. Maybe not that much.
But it was close.
Enjoy Mania season folks.
WrestleMania 28 - Undertaker vs Triple H - Hell in a Cell
When I think of WrestleMania, I think of all the dream matches that have ever occurred or could ever occur and at WrestleMania 28 I got to see my dream match take place. Both competitors had previously had legendary Hell in a Cell matches with Mick Foley, which had me wondering for years what would happen if these two stepped inside the devil’s playground as opponents. The addition of Shawn Michaels as the referee only added to the drama that was to unfold.
The match itself was not short of classic moments as Triple H fought valiantly to try end The Undertaker’s streak inside the cell with brutal chair shots onto Undertakers back that caused welts to develop on the back of the dead man. Shawn Michaels very nearly stopping the match on multiple occasions due to the sheer brutality of Triple H’s assault. Triple H tried his best but it was not to be and Undertaker eventually managed to pull off the win and protect his streak. The match was over but another iconic moment was yet to come. Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels, all helped each other to the back, walking up the ramp together to finish a great match that was dubbed “The end of an era”.
If I had to choose my favourite match at any Wrestlemania, it would be the Ladder Match at WM32. The match itself was entertaining to watch (as most WM Ladder Matches tend to be), and it also contained a fair few of my favourite wrestlers. What really impressed me about the match is the way it advanced ongoing story themes at the time with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens whilst also showing off the abilities of some superstars that at the time had been mostly forgotten about. However, the best part of this show was definitely the end where Zack Ryder finally received recognition for his talents and shared an emotional spot in the ring with his father after winning the Intercontinental Championship.