Ranking WrestleMania: The Worst to the Best – Part Four

Apr 5, 2013 - by Michael Riba

I have quickly learned over the past three columns that since my order is not going the way some people want them to go (i.e., the way they would line the shows up), it automatically makes my opinion null and void. That’s the beauty of opinions, folks. Everybody has one, and disagreeing with someone doesn’t make either one of you wrong. Anyway, for those of you who missed the first three columns, 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/

For those of you still with me on day four, let’s get started.

13. WrestleMania XXVI (March 28, 2010; Glendale, Arizona)
Main Event: No Disqualification Streak vs. Career Match: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Notable Undercard Matches: Triple H vs. Sheamus, Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk, Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon (No Holds Barred Lumberjack Match), World Heavyweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Edge, WWE Championship Match: Batista (c) vs. John Cena
Match of the Night: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels
Show Notes: Bret Hart’s first match in WWE since 1997. The Undertaker’s streak went to 18-0. CM Punk’s first singles match at WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels’ final match.
Overview: The show got off to a really slow start, but picked up around the start of the second hour with Triple H/Sheamus. A pointless Divas match and a beatdown of Vince McMahon by the entire Hart family that went about five minutes too long took some time away from a quality match between Rey Mysterio and CM Punk. Those two got six and a half minutes and made the most of it, but they deserved more. Jericho and Edge had a pretty good match given Edge’s recent injury, while Cena and Batista had a decent affair. Taker and Michaels stole the show again, for the second consecutive WrestleMania, this time in HBK’s final match. If you’ve never seen the show, watch Triple H/Sheamus, Mysterio/Punk, Jericho/Edge, and Taker/Michaels for sure.

12. WrestleMania 22 (April 2, 2006; Rosemont, Illinois)
Main Event: Singles Match for the WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs. Triple H
Notable Undercard Matches: Edge vs. Mick Foley (Hardcore Match), WWE Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus (c) vs. Mickie James, The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry (Casket Match), Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon (No Holds Barred Match), World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat Match: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio
Match of the Night: Edge vs. Mick Foley
Show Notes: Mick Foley’s last WrestleMania match, Kurt Angle’s last WrestleMania appearance, The Undertaker’s streak went to 14-0.
Overview: WrestleMania 22 was a pretty good show, with only a few matches that downgraded the overall rating of the show. It took the crowd some time to warm up, but they were hot by the time Rob Van Dam captued the Money in the Bank contract. Edge and Foley stole the show in a Hardcore Match, while the best Divas match to ever take place at WrestleMania saw Mickie James end Trish Stratus’ 15-month title reign. Mysterio captured his first World title, but his celebration was cut short (you can clearly see it on the DVD) so the scheduled Playboy Pillow Fight could take place. Seriously. Cena and Triple H put on a solid, old-school feel main event to close the show. I would recommend watching everything on this show that I have mentioned in the notable undercard matches, as well as the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and maybe the U.S. title match between Chris Benoit and JBL.

11. WrestleMania XIV (March 29, 1998; Boston, Massachusetts)
Main Event: Singles Match for the WWF Championship: Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Notable Undercard Matches: WWF European Championship Match: Triple H (c) vs. Owen Hart, WWF Tag Team Championship Dumpster Match: The New Age Outlaws (c) vs. Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie, The Undertaker vs. Kane
Match of the Night: Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Show Notes: The Undertaker’s streak went to 7-0. Shawn Michael’s last match until SummerSlam 2002.
Overview: The first have of this show was relatively dull, with the exception of the Triple H/Owen Hart match. The action picked up with the Dumpster Match and continued on with Taker/Kane and Austin/Michaels. The Austin Era kicked off with Austin’s win and Mike Tyson knocking Michaels out cold, on a night where only half the show was worth watching. If you haven’t seen this show, watch Triple H/Owen, Outlaws vs. Cactus/Chainsaw, Taker/Kane, and Michaels/Austin

10. WrestleMania X8 (March 17, 2002; Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Main Event: Singles Match for the Undisputed WWF Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Triple H
Notable Undercard Matches: Kurt Angle vs. Kane, The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair (No Holds Barred Match), Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall, The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Match of the Night: The Rock vs. Hollywood Hulk Hogan
Show Notes: The Undertaker’s streak went to 10-0. Hardcore Championship changed hands five times; Maven walked into the show with the title, and left with it.
Overview: This was the first WrestleMania in the post-Attitude Era WWF. The crowd was electric all night, and possibly the greatest WrestleMania staredown took place between The Rock and Hollywood Hogan. The matches worth watching are spread throughout the show. One of the most entertaining parts of the show was everything that happened with the Hardcore Championship. A match scheduled between Maven and Goldust ended when Spike Dudley pinned Maven. Choas ensued and by the end of the night and all the title changes, Maven stole Christian’s cab and left as the champion. All in all, WrestleMania X8 was an entertaining show for the most part. If you’ve never seen it, watch Angle/Kane, Taker/Flair, Edge/Booker T, Austin/Hall, Rock/Hogan, and Triple H/Jericho.

9. WrestleMania XX (March 14, 2004; New York, New York)
Main Event: Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (c) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels
Notable Undercard Matches: WWE United States Championship Match: The Big Show (c) vs. John Cena, Christian vs. Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista, and Ric Flair vs. The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection (Handicap Match), Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Kurt Angle, The Undertaker vs. Kane
Match of the Night: Triple H vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels
Show Notes: John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista’s WrestleMania debut. Goldberg’s only WrestleMania appearance. Lesnar’s last WrestleMania appearance until 2013. The Rock’s last WrestleMania appearance until 2011 and last Mania match until 2012. The Undertaker’s streak went to 12-0.
Overview: The show where it all began again had a lot of good and some great, but you had to wade through a lot of bad to find it. A match at any Mania had never been more chastised than Goldberg/Lesnar. Both men were on their way out and were just there for the payday. The fans got their payday when Austin Stunned both men out of the WWE. Cena’s first of eight straight WrestleManias in a title match (broken in 2012) streak began when he beat Big Show for the U.S. title in the opener. Christian and Jericho had a great match, made even better by the shocking Trish Stratus heel turn. Of the matches not listed, a fun Cruiserweight Open, two fatal-four ways for the tag titles, a Playboy Evening Gown match, and a good Divas Match between Victoria and Molly Holly which saw Molly get her head shaved made this WrestleMania memorable in their own right. If you haven’t seen this show, watch Cena/Show, Christian/Jericho, Evolution vs. Rock/Foley, Guerrero/Angle, Taker/Kane, and Triple H/Benoit/Michaels. The show closing with Guerrero and Benoit embracing in the ring is possibly the most emotional ending ever at a Mania event.

There you have it, the WrestleManias ranked 13-9. We’ve broken into the top ten and we’ll break into the top five tomorrow. As always, feedback is welcome, whether you agree or disagree. You can send it to me on Twitter (@TheMichaelRiba) or in the comment section below. Join me tomorrow as we count down from eight to four, and then the finale with the top three is on Sunday. And remember, it’s just my opinion.

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