Ranking WrestleMania: The Worst to the Best – Part Five
Apr 6, 2013 - by Michael Riba
Hello again, gerweck.net readers! I’m back today with Part Five of my “Ranking WrestleMania: The Worst to the Best” column. Today, we’ll break into the top five, and we’ll finish strong tomorrow afternoon before WrestleMania 29 begins. If you have missed any of the first four parts, here they are:
Part One: http://www.gerweck.net/2013/04/02/ranking-wrestlemania-the-worst-to-the-best-part-one/
Part Two: http://www.gerweck.net/2013/04/03/ranking-wrestlemania-the-worst-to-the-best-part-two/
Part Three: http://www.gerweck.net/2013/04/04/ranking-wrestlemania-the-worst-to-the-best-part-iii/
Part Four: http://www.gerweck.net/2013/04/05/ranking-wrestlemania-the-worst-to-the-best-part-four/
Let’s begin Part Five, shall we?
8. WrestleMania 21 (April 3, 2005; Los Angeles, California)
Main Event: Singles Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Batista
Notable Undercard Matches: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Edge/Chris Jericho/Shelton Benjamin/Chris Benoit/Christian/Kane (Money in the Bank Ladder Match), The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton, Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, WWE Championship Match: John Bradshaw Layfield (c) vs. John Cena
Match of the Night: Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
Show Notes: First ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match took place. First time two Tag Team Championship (Mysterio/Guerrero) went one-on-one at a WrestleMania. The Undertaker’s streak went to 13-0. First of seven straight WWE/World title matches at WrestleMania for John Cena.
Overview: WrestleMania went Hollywood in this one, and I would rate this show in the B range. This was a good Mania, but it could have been better. The first three matches (Mysterio/Guerrero, Money in the Bank, Undertaker/Orton) were very, very good, and the show looked promising. Stratus vs. Hemme was dull and just kind of there, and nobody took Hemme as a serious threat or contender for Trish’s title. Next came the Match of the Night, Angle vs. Michaels. They put on a clinic in one of the greatest WrestleMania matches ever, and nobody was going to be able to follow it. And nobody did. After that match, the show took a downward spiral and didn’t recover. A joke of a Sumo Match between Akebono and Big Show, and two main events that featured Cena and Batista winning their first WWE and World titles respectively fell well short of expectations. If you haven’t seen this show, watch Mysterio/Guerrero, Money in the Bank, Undertaker/Orton, and Angle/Michaels.
7. WrestleMania XXVIII (April 1, 2012; Miami Gardens, Florida)
Main Event: The Rock vs. John Cena
Notable Undercard Matches: World Heavyweight Championship Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Sheamus, Kane vs. Randy Orton, The Undetaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match), David Otunga/Mark Henry/Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger/The Miz/Drew McIntyre vs. Santino Marella/R-Truth/Kofi Kingston/Zack Ryder/The Great Khali/Booker T (12-Man Tag Team Match), WWE Championship Match: CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho)
Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Show Notes: Second-straight WrestleMania where the World Heavyweight Championship Match opened the show. First WrestleMania for John Cena to not be in a title match. The Undertaker’s streak went to 20-0.
Overview: WrestleMania XXVIII took a long time to get going. The first hour or so was hard to watch, with a hidden gem of a match between Kane and Randy Orton. The 18-second jobbing of Daniel Bryan was atrocious, Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes was just sort of there, and the Divas Match was just okay, if that. The show picked up with Taker/Triple H inside Hell in a Cell, and the momentum of the show kept up from there. The 12-Man tag accomplished the goal it set out to do, Punk/Jericho put on a clinic for the purists, and Rock/Cena was a decent doubt where The Rock showed he could still go in the ring in a 33-minute match. Overall, half of the show was awesome, while the other half was just there it seemed. If you haven’t seen it, watch Kane/Orton, Taker/Triple H, the 12-Man Tag, Punk/Jericho, and Rock/Cena.
6. WrestleMania XII (March 31, 1996; Anaheim, California)
Main Event: 60-Minute Iron Man Match for the WWF Championship: Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
Notable Undercard Matches: Vader, Owen Hart, and The British Bulldog vs. Yokozuna, Jake Roberts, and Ahmed Johnson (Six-Man Tag Team Match), Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Savio Vega, The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, The Undertaker vs. Diesel, Roddy Piper vs. Goldust (Hollywood Backlot Brawl)
Match of the Night: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
Show Notes: WrestleMania debut of Goldust, Triple H, and Steve Austin. Final WrestleMania for Yokozuna and Jake Roberts. The Undertaker’s streak went to 5-0.
Overview: WrestleMania XII was a huge success of a show. It was entertaining from top to bottom, even Warrior/Helmsley which only lasted one minute, forty seconds. The pace of the show was excellent, there wasn’t one bad match, and the crowd in Anaheim was hot all night. These things all rolled into one made WrestleMania XII special, and one of the better WrestleManias ever.
5. WrestleMania 23 (April 1, 2007; Detroit, Michigan)
Main Event: Singles Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
Notable Undercard Matches: Mr. Kennedy/CM Punk/Randy Orton/Finlay/Matt Hardy/King Booker/Jeff Hardy/Edge (Money in the Bank Ladder Match), WWE United States Championship Match: Chris Benoit (c) vs. Montel Vontavious Porter, World Heavyweight Championship Match: Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker, Bobby Lashley (w/Donald Trump) vs. Umaga (w/Vince McMahon) (Battle of the Billionaires Hair vs. Hair Match)
Match of the Night: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
Show Notes: Final WrestleMania appearance for Chris Benoit. The Undertaker’s streak went to 15-0.
Overview: I have seen WrestleMania 23 ranked higher than this on other lists before, but I feel this is an appropriate spot for it. It was a very good show, for the most part. The opening Money in the Bank Ladder Match was arguably the best ever, while the middle of the show and the main event made up for the two lack-luster matches (Khali/Kane and Melina/Ashley). In his last WrestleMania, Chris Benoit had an alright match with MVP (which should have been given more time). Undertaker and Batista had a great match, while an Eight-Man Tag Team featuring RVD/Dreamer/Sabu/Sandman vs. Burke/Cor Von/Striker/Thorn was a fun addition. Lashley/Umaga was good, and Vince had his head shaved and Donald Trump got Stunned. (What’s not to like about Trump getting Stunned?) Cena and Michaels stole the show, and the animosity that Michaels had for Cena after the match was pure gold. If you haven’t seen the show, watch Money in the Bank, Benoit/MVP, Taker/Batista, Lashley/Umaga, and Cena/Michaels.
4. WrestleMania XXIV (March 30, 2008; Orlando, Florida)
Main Event: Singles Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge (c) vs. The Undertaker
Notable Undercard Matches: CM Punk/Shelton Benjamin/Chris Jericho/Carlito/Montel Vontavious Porter/Mr. Kennedy/John Morrison (Money in the Bank Ladder Match), Batista vs. Umaga (Battle for Brand Supremacy), Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (Career Threatening Match), WWE Championship Triple Threat Match: Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena vs. Triple H, Floyd Mayweather vs. The Big Show (No Disqualification Match)
Match of the Night: Edge vs. The Undertaker
Show Notes: Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Championship in just eight seconds, last WrestleMania match for Ric Flair, John Cena’s first loss at WrestleMania, The Undertaker’s streak went to 16-0.
Overview: This show was very entertaining and one of the better ones of recent times. It started off slow with a Belfast Brawl between JBL and Finlay, but picked up with Money in the Bank. Batista and Umaga has a good, seven-minute brawl, which was followed by the shortest Mania match ever between Kane and Chavo. Four of the final five matches on the card made the last couple of hours worth seeing (the Beth Phoenix/Melina vs. Maria/Ashley match was bad, with no fault to Beth or Melina). The emotion in the Michaels/Flair match was incredible, as was the match itself. If you haven’t seen this show before, I suggest you watch Money in the Bank, Michaels/Flair, Orton/Cena/Triple H, Mayweather/Big Show, and Undertaker/Edge.
There you have it folks, the WrestleManias ranked 8-4 in my opinion. Don’t forget that feedback is always welcome, whether you agree or disagree. Get at me on Twitter (@TheMichaelRiba), or leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. If you do the elimination process, you can see which three Manias are ranked in my top three. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the exact order, so come back for the finale if you’ve stuck with me this far. And remember, it’s just my opinion.