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The Law
March 22nd, 2013, 11:26 PM
With the biggest show of the year only a few weeks away I thought it would be fun for us to reminisce and debate the best and worst of Wrestlemania. Some possible topics of discussion include the best and worst:

-Overall Shows
-Matches
-Main Events
-Moments
-Celebrity Involvement
-Openers
-Title changes
-Pops
-Crowd Responses
-Performers
-Entrances
-Attire

I'll start it off for my picks of best and worst shows.

Best: Wrestlemania III, Wrestlemania 8, Wrestlemania 10, Wrestlemania 14, Wrestlemania 17, Wrestlemania 19, Wrestlemania 20, Wrestlemania 24
Worst: Wrestlemania 2, Wrestlemania 9, Wrestlemania 11, Wrestlemania 13, Wrestlemania 15, Wrestlemania 27

Best and worst Matches:

Best: Savage vs. Steamboat (Wrestlemania III), Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (Wrestlemania 10), Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (Wrestlemania 13), Austin vs. Rock II (Wrestlemania 17), Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania 25 and 26)

Worst: Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man (Wrestlemania 15), Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon (Wrestlemania 26), Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (Wrestlemania 27)

What are your picks for the best and worst of Wrestlemania?

Peter Griffin
March 22nd, 2013, 11:37 PM
I'm not entirely sure 27 belongs in the list of worst ever tbh, shitty ending not withstanding.

I'll have a think on the thread matter though.

The Law
March 22nd, 2013, 11:50 PM
Maybe I'm being a little hard on 27. But there was a lot to hate about that show. Let's see:

-Rock cutting a long, stupid promo to start the show.
-Lawler and Cole wrestling an abomination of a "match" that went way too long. 14 minute match, probably closer to 40 minutes for the whole segment.
-The Corre jobbing in 90 seconds.
-The mixed tag match was so short I can't really say anything about it.
-Absolutely terrible main event. Cena and Miz worked a TV match in front of a dead crowd. The illogical bullshit finish just made it worse. And then Wrestlemania ends with Rock standing tall, as if he really needed it. Miz beat Cena, which is insane to think about now, but got absolutely no rub from it because of they way they did it. This might be the worst Wrestlemania main event ever.

On the other hand, the Edge/Del Rio match was fine, Rey and Cody had a really fun and memorable match, the Punk/Orton match was quite good, and the Undertaker/Triple H match was a classic. So you have two good matches, one very good match, one classic, two short duds, one long and offensively terrible match, and a really shitty main event. More of a mixed bag than anything else. I guess my frustration is that the wounds of this show were totally self-inflicted: really terrible booking decisions. If you make the Lawler/Cole match a squash, shorten Rock's promo, give the tag matches more time, and get a better match out of Cena and Miz with a better ending you would have a very good show. They really screwed-up what had been a very well built show going in.

eddymac
March 22nd, 2013, 11:57 PM
-Overall Shows

Best- 3, 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24
Worst- 2, 9, 11, 13, 2000, 23, 25, 27

-Matches

Best- Savage/Steamboat, Savage/Hogan, Savage/Warrior, Michaels/Razor, Bret/Michaels, Austin/Bret, Michaels/Jericho, HHH/Michaels/Benoit, Michaels/Angle, Batista/Taker, Michaels/Taker (26)
Worst- Kat/Terri, Vince/Bret, Cole/King


-Main Events

Best- Hogan/Savage, Hogan/Warrior, Bret/Michaels, Rock/Austin (17), Brock/Angle, HHH/Michaels/Benoit, Michaels/Taker
Worst- Hogan/Bundy, Hogan/Sid, Taker/Sid, HHH/Orton, Cena/Miz

-Moments

Best- Savage winning his 1st WWF title, Ms Elizabeth reunites with Savage at WM 7, HBK wins the WWF title

-Celebrity Involvement

Best- Mr T, Mike Tyson, Pete Rose, Pam Anderson
Worst- Snooki, LT

-Openers

Shawn Michaels/Tatanka, Owen/Bret, Mysterio/Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero/Mysterio, MITB (24)

-Title changes

Best- Warrior at WM 6, Razor wins the IC title over Shawn at WM 10, Shawn over Bret at WM 12, Taker over Sid at WM 13, Austin at WM 14, Benoit at WM 20
Worst- Hogan over Yokozuna

-Pops

Warrior returns at WM 8

-Crowd Responses

Cena/HHH match at WM 22

-Performers

Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, Randy Savage

-Entrances

Shawn Michaels entering the ring from the rafters at WM 12, HHH at WM 22, Kane at WM 21, Undertaker at WM 21, JBL at WM 22

-Attire

Atty
March 22nd, 2013, 11:59 PM
I'd very strongly consider saying that WM 26 was their best card. On paper, it was brilliant and better than they ever could achieve. Bret's little 4 out of 10 match hurt that whole show a great deal.

Best match could be a great debate. I'd go with Taker/Shawn from WM 25, but Warrior/Savage, Savage/Flair, Taker/HHH, Bret/Austin, Flair/Shawn and the like would be in the discussion.

I consider WM 24 to be their best show. It wasn't the best card, but everything broke the right way. Lovely show.


[EDIT]Fuck me, Shawn/Razor is the best Mania match and I forgot it.

The Law
March 23rd, 2013, 12:09 AM
I forgot to mention 2000 for worst shows. Lord, Wrestlemania 2000 was awful. Basically, the only thing worthwhile were the tag team Ladder Match and the Angle/Benoit/Jericho Triple Threat. The only singles match was Kat vs. Terri in some kind of T&A match. Bunch of crappy tag matches, the garbage Hardcore Battle Royal with a botched finish, and a main event that should have been Rock vs. Triple H one-on-one. Instead, they added Big Show, who was pretty worthless at this point in his career, and Foley, who pissed on his great retirement the previous month and came back stunningly fat after being retired for three weeks. 2000 was one of WWE's best years ever, but they absolutely blew it with this Wrestlemania.

My card for that show would have been:

Triple H vs. Rock (WWF Championship, Rock wins)
Kane vs. X-Pac (Steel Cage Match)
Rikishi vs. Big Show
Angle vs. Benoit vs. Jericho
Tag Team Ladder Match
Hardcore Holly vs. Tazz (Hardcore Title)
Radicalz vs. II Cool and Chyna
Head Cheese vs. Test and Albert

That's not the greatest card ever, but it definitely would have been better than the mess we got. Rock beats Triple H to win the title for the first time as a face. Kane gets his revenge on X-Pac after months of torment. Holly/Tazz would have been a nice hardcore match and you could have actually pushed Tazz instead of putting him in a match with 15 other guys. Rikishi/Big Show would have been a fun big man match if kept short. And the other matches are the inoffensive stuff we got on the actual show. I'll do a rant later about how much I hate Wrestlemania 15, but 2000 is definitely on my shit list too.

Peter Griffin
March 23rd, 2013, 12:17 AM
What happened in the hardcore match to make it a botched finish?

mth
March 23rd, 2013, 12:20 AM
They messed up the timing so the wrong person won.

The Law
March 23rd, 2013, 12:43 AM
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4ycbc_15-minute-hardcore-title-battle-roy_sport#.UU0txBdJO0s

There's the whole match. Relevant portion is the last minute. Crash pins Tazz (Making me fly into a rage) to become champion with 30 seconds left. Tazz gets him in the Tazzmission. Hardcore Holly smashes a candy jar on both of their heads, knocking them out. He covers Crash with about three seconds left. Tim White counts to almost three, then stops and signals "two." But Crash didn't kick out. White just stopped counting. The buzzer sounds as time expires. JR and King both say that Crash kicked out, even though he did not. They announce the winner to be... Hardcore Holly, after a long pause. Crash was in the process of leaving with the title and didn't sell the announcement of Hardcore as the winner until the camera cut away and someone presumably told him what had happened.

My guess? Crash was either supposed to kick out or time was supposed to expire before the three count. Crash was almost certainly supposed to win, based on the fact that White didn't count the three. They then audibled on the fly to announce Hardcore as the winner. Also, Crash won the title back the next night. That could also just be the schizophrenic booking that characterized the Attitude Era.

Mills
March 23rd, 2013, 12:53 AM
Crash was supposed to catch whites hand i believe

Bluegunn
March 23rd, 2013, 3:21 AM
-Overall Shows
Best - Wrestlemania 8, Loved Heenan commentary the entire night. Every match was good too.
Wrestlemania X, the card was great with a good opener of Bret VS Owen, The Ladder match that set the bar, and Piper as Ref in final match.
Wrestlemania 3. Two memorable matches ever, largest Audience ever, the debut of the Barber gimmick.

Worst -Wrestmania 5, not many good matches outside of main event and Blazer VS Perfect plus I think two matches that ended in a draw.
Wrestlemania 27, not a single title change, felt like any PPV
Wrestlemania 2, never a good idea to have a PPV in three different places

-Matches - I am not big on giving the best to any gimmick match
Best
Hogan VS Savage the entire buildup an entire year in the making,
Blazer VS Perfect by far the most underrated match of all time,
Bret VS Owen great match considering it was non gimmick,
Benoit vs Angle technical masterpiece
Steamboat VS Savage Set the bar for everyone

Worst
Savage vs One man gang One Man Gang was in control for much of the contest, as he used his size advantage to toss Savage around. When the referee's back was turned, Slick handed One Man Gang his cane, which Gang used on Savage. That would have been fine, but OMG continued to take swings at Savage with the cane once the referee turned around, so he was disqualified.
Sheamus VS Bryan no need for explanation, lead to a great feud, but why at Wrestlemania?
Undertaker VS Giant Gonzalez The entire bout essentially featured Gonzalez using rest holds and Taker trying to battle back.
Bart Gunn VS Butterbean Pointless to build this match



-Main Events - Hogan VS Savage see above
Bret VS HBK - Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels wrestled an hour long Iron Man match, and in the end not one man was able to score a pin fall. The match had to continue in sudden death until a pin-fall was scored.
Austin VS HBK - Match that started the Attitude Era
Hogan VS Andre - So much build up and seeing him slam Andre memorable


Worst
LT VS Bam Bam Bigalow, how this ended up as the last match I will never know
HHH VS Orton, overdone and probably not their best
HHH VS Rock VS Big Show VS Foley,

.
-Moments -
Best
Hogan slams Andre first time it has been done since Andre turned heel
Savage and Elizabeth reunite
HBK retires Flair The fight went back and forth, and Michaels had to deliver the Sweet Chin Music twice -- mouthing “I’m sorry, I love you” before the second one -- to seal Flair’s fate. With the three-count
Raticalz win Gold - Benoit and His longtime friend and WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero came to the ring to congratulate him, and both wrestlers shed tears in a particularly sentimental WrestleMania moment.

Worst
Steve Allen sings in the bathroom - This vignette took longer than the Bolshevick's match against The Hart Foundation that particular year.
Booker T and Sharmell/Snitsky segment, Snitsky's foot fetish just took this to a level that is far from anything resembling entertainment, and into a "weird" zone.
WWE announces the wrong winner in Hardcore battle Royal

-Celebrity Involvement -
Best
Regis interviews the Japanese funny stuff,
Pete Rose, his involvement with Kane was a fun gimmick
Mr T, in the Ring the most of any Celeb
Morton Downey JR, could have did without Brother Love, but I did like his part with Piper

Worst
Miller Light Girls. First, no one knew these chicks. They did some stupid commercials, so they were on the same level as Herb from Burger King. No cared about them and they brought zero media interest to the event. Their cat fight match with WWE Divas Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler wasn’t WrestleMania-worthy by any standards, and could have been done on a RAW or Smackdown.
Ozzie, Don't get me wrong, I am a fan. One would think Ozzy being there would be topping a list of goodness, but this was 1986, and Osbourne was so messed up on whatever the hell he was on that he did nothing more than stand there shaking as the British Bulldogs faced the Dream team for the WWF Tag Team Titles.
Kid Rock, Kid Rock’s performance was pretty awful unto itself, but the fact that his medley of craptacularness took up so much time that it bumped the Colons vs. Miz & Morrison match from the Pay-Per-View


-Openers - Bret VS Owen, nothing better
Edge VS Del Rio, It wasn’t Edge’s greatest match but that was probably due to the injury that he knew more about than anyone else.
HBK VS Santana, This singles match from Wrestlemania 8 was the beginning of the evolution to, “Mr Wrestlemania,” that we would eventually see in his later career. Not to mention Heenan on Commentary
Regal VS Jericho, Regal and Jericho filled the time accordingly and put on a good match, and after trading submission holds,

Worst
Sheamus VS Bryan, see above
Mr Wonderful VS Don Muraco, The worst WrestleMania opening match thus far was short, uninspired and a waste of time.
D-Lo and Godfather VS Bossman and Bull, Godfather barely got involved, hanging around on the outside watching D'Lo get beat up by the Boss Man and Buchanan.


-Title changes - going to pick non main event wins
Steamboat Beats Savage: Why not this one?
Bret Beats Piper: Heartwarming win
Cena Beats Bigshow: starts his new era

Worst
Holly wins Hardcore title: So confusing
Wrestlemania 18 Hardcore title: Confusing night and felt it was almost a waste of time

-Pops -
Best
Hogan Saves Eugene - The Hulkster strutted out in the yellow and red and received a gigantic ovation that only got louder when the Hulkster took down the evil foreigners
Hogan slams Andre - Kind of unfair but If you ever want to here 93,000 (allegedly) people go absolutely insane, this is the moment to see.
Hogan kicks out of Rock Bottom. When Hogan kicked out and Hulked up which made the fans become absolutely UNGLUED! The sight of 55,000+ people marking out like 10 year olds when Hogan hulked up is one of those moments that I will never forget.
Warrior Returns. As Sid goes to get a steel chair, the Warrior music hits. Down the aisle comes The Ultimate Warrior running full speed as the Indiana crowd goes nuts!
HBK VS Undertaker. When two guys from the same State wrestle in the home state you know it gets loud

Worst???? Why even mention it here instead of the next one

-Crowd Responses -
The Chicago Fans - Rooted for Heels the entire night
Canadian Fans - Loud in general

-Performers - Wrestlers or singers?


-Entrances -
John Cena, WrestleMania 23
The WWE Universe had no idea what to expect when a black Mustang with white racing stripes tore down the streets of Motor City and came crashing into Ford Field. Shards of glass scattered everywhere and, as the car came to a screeching halt,
Shawn Michaels, The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania
The stage was set in blinding white‚€”a stark contrast to the black of night Undertaker cloaks himself in. With angelic illumination and plenty of smoke,
Triple H, WrestleMania XXVII
Images of a scorched and trodden earth flashed upon the TitanTron, and a regiment of armor-clad warriors with shields assembled in battle formation.
Undertaker Wrestlemania XX
An urn-carrying Paul Bearer stepped out into a purple-lit, foggy ramp with fire-wielding druids trailing slowly behind. It was surreal. It was mesmerizing. It was an epic way to pave the return for The Phenom
Austin WrestleMania 13, it was The Texas Rattlesnake doing the actual shattering. Badass to the bone, Stone Cold smashed through a door-sized window with the words
Everyone Wrestmania 3. The mini Ring carts were fun

Worst
200 John Cena Entrance
John Cena Wrestlemania 22: Mobster gimmick?

-Attire -
Best
HBK Wrestlemania 12
Rick Rude Wrestlemania 5: Loved the belt on the tights
Melina Wrestlemania 23: Have to give it to at least one diva
Rey Mysterio Wrestlemania 22 loved the colors and costume

Worst
Ultimate Warrior Wrestlemania 7
JR Toga Wrestlemania 9: So bad JR got upset and got a Fake Razor and Diesel
Big Show Wrestlemania 21: Don't want to see him in a diaper

Ochoa
March 23rd, 2013, 5:33 AM
I think LT/Bam Bam is underrated.

T.I (uh oh)
March 23rd, 2013, 5:49 AM
One of my favorite matches from the past few manias was HHH v Sheamus. Was a match that really solidified Sheamus as a legit main eventer IMO. Would have loved to have seen Sheamus go over, but I suppose he got his heat back the next night.

chatty
March 23rd, 2013, 6:24 AM
I never really say the Bret/Vince match as a real match to be honest. I knew it would be shit basically due to the fact Bret has had two strokes and wouldn't be able to do anything other than slap on the sharpshooter in the ring. To me it was just a segment that was meant to be a feelgood thing with Bret finally getting one over Vince after all the Montreal shit.

That said it was booked poorly, I felt it would have been better for them to have Vince involved in a match with some active wrestlers (maybes have something on the line in the match), get him involved only for Bret to come out and put him in the sharpshooter as he watched his guy lose. Vince crawls up the ramp crippled and dejected whilst Bret celebrates int he ring with said wrestler (Tyson Kidd would have been perfect for this due to the connection and god knows he could have done with a nice rub).

Atty
March 28th, 2013, 1:23 PM
Bret/Vince should have been very short. All the crowd wanted to see was Bret kick Vince's ass, not to have it drawn out twenty minutes and to the point that the viewer felt sympathy for Vince. Easily could have done the same thing more effectively without the stupid family stuff and a two minute match where Vince is squashed and taps.

Then they could have given the extra time to Rey/Punk.

Peter Griffin
March 28th, 2013, 1:30 PM
I suppose the only issue there is that the 'match' was essentially Bret's shot at revenge for 97 etc, so he would have wanted to kick Vince's ass for as long as possible, I get your point though.

Atty
March 28th, 2013, 1:43 PM
One show that I feel has really become underrated is WM 25. Crowd may have been dead for the main event, but that was much more a product of having one of the best matches ever an hour earlier. It's actually a well rounded show, highlighted by the terrific Shawn/Taker match. Jericho/Legends was fantastic storytelling and Steamboat coming out like he did was what Mania Moments are made of. The MITB match was actually my favorite of those matches, JBL/Rey was fun for what it was as was Cena/Edge/Show.

Really, had Taker won the title in the Elimination Chamber the month prior (he and HHH were the final two), the show could have been remembered much more positively. Taker/Shawn for the best at the top, HHH/Orton over all the shit Randy had done to Hunter's family in a grudge match just below. Orton/HHH would have likely have been fine had it not been forced to follow Taker/Shawn, a position that they didn't seem comfortable with in the ring when the crowd was quiet.

Or, as I've argued many a time in the past, leave Orton/HHH as the main event, have Legacy interfere and then have Big Dave come back that night (not the next night on RAW), clear house, powerbomb Randy, nod over to HHH, pedigree. Then have the two former Evolution mates embrace over their fallen member. Could have been a raucous finish but was instead very paint by numbers.


WM 25 is underrated and just a step from being an all time great, but the show as a whole tends to get overshadowed by one of its matches.

Cewsh
March 28th, 2013, 1:47 PM
Orton/Triple H was an interesting match. You're right that it would have benefitted from not being the main event, because the crowd was worn out by then, and they made the decision to experiment with some things instead of just delivering a straight forward brawl. I really liked the match and appreciated what they were going for, but it left a bad taste in a lot of mouths.

Atty
March 28th, 2013, 2:03 PM
I always got the impression that they were experimenting to try and wake up the crowd. Especially busting out finishers a minute in. Seemed like they weren't sure to do with a dead crowd after such a hot build.

Cewsh
March 28th, 2013, 2:08 PM
Agreed. I honestly felt pretty bad for them, and think they did the best they could under the circumstances. But it's right there with Triple H/Jericho on the list of main events that never stood a fair chance.

Atty
March 28th, 2013, 2:11 PM
Very much agreed.


Dave storming out and powerbombing Jericho would have been balls to the walls excitement. ;)

The Law
March 29th, 2013, 8:46 PM
The Triple H/Orton match was just flawed conceptually. The build-up was super intense. Orton attacked Triple H's father-in-law, brother-in-law, and wife. He should want to kill him. And the McMahons make the rules...so why don't they make it a match where Triple H can kill him? Instead of a No DQ match or even a Hell in a Cell match, they get a normal match. And if they threw in HHH gets stripped if he's DQed. How did that happen? The McMahons run the show. Why is there a stipulation in place that disadvantages Triple H?

I haven't watched the match in awhile, but I remember it just not really having the intensity that it should have given the kind of build-up they had. Triple H should just be ruthlessly beating the piss out of Orton, not wrestling him in a normal match. I'm actually indifferent to the McMahons and Legacy interfering, but this match really should have been a wild brawl with weapon shots and every other shortcut they could think of. Also, it should not have gone on last. Also, Orton should have won. Really, nothing about this match was done right.

Atty
March 29th, 2013, 9:18 PM
No DQ and Big Dave returning would have been tremendous. ;)

The Law
March 29th, 2013, 9:26 PM
Exactly. Wild No DQ brawl ends with Orton going over after the RKO. As he celebrates with Rhodes and DiBiase, he sets up to punt HHH. Then Batista's music hits. Orton is in shocking, and then Batista sprints to the ring, shades of Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VIII. Orton bails as Batista spears, Spinebusters, and Batista Bombs Rhodes and DiBiase. Show ends with Triple H and Batista embracing in the ring as Orton stares them down from the top of the ramp.

lotjx
March 29th, 2013, 10:19 PM
HHH going over Orton for the title when it was fairly obvious should have been in the undercard. Taker/Shawn should have gone on last. Honestly, the best part was seeing Steamboat still had it. The rest of the PPV was utter shit minus those two things.

Atty
March 29th, 2013, 10:21 PM
Yeah, it really wasn't.

kdestiny
March 29th, 2013, 10:24 PM
The MITB wasn't bad and the triple threat title match was decent enough

Atty
March 29th, 2013, 10:25 PM
Matt and Jeff, while not a great match or anything, was a hilarious spotfest, which is all that anyone could/should have hoped for.

The Law
March 29th, 2013, 10:26 PM
The Triple Threat was fine as a match, but I didn't like it as a use of Cena. I would have much preferred Cena vs. Jeff Hardy for the title (Cena as champion, Hardy gunning for his first title). I know Hardy won his first title at Armageddon, but in this universe that would not have happened.