We all know about Bret vs. Austin, we’ve all talked at length about the HBK vs. ‘Taker series and we’ve all read all there is to read about the HBK/Razor Ladder match….
but what about the forgotten gems? The matches that maybe weren’t classics, but were really really enjoyable and have gotten lost in the forest of epic WrestleMania matches and moments. These are some matches that I know I look back at fondly:
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Headshrinkers
Big jacked up All American butting heads with savage Samoans – that’s Pro Wrestling to me. These two teams are right up there with my all time favourites and this was somewhat of a dream match for me, even as an 8 year old. Both teams brought their A games with Rick & Scott throwing the big bumping ‘Shrinkers all over the ring and eating some hefty offense themselves. A picture perfect Frankensteiner finish closed the book on this one.
Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna
When people think of Bret matches at Mania 10, this usually isn’t the one that comes to mind. However that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a hell of a match. Yoko was at his peak as a star here, a mountain of a man that nobody could overcome. He ran through Bret (with some help) in Vegas the year before and they told the story of Bret as the huge underdog well. Incredible psychology, and great work from both men.
Yokozuna & Owen Hart vs. The Smoking Gunns
In case you didn’t guess, I’m a big fan of Yoko. This was his big return after a long absence. I remember freaking out when Owen introduced him as his mystery partner, I thought Billy & Bart would be DONE FOR. But what makes this match so much fun is how much of a fight they put up. Ultimately it wasn’t enough though as the massive Yoko (he was really packing extra weight at this point) was just too much for them. The finish was hilarious as Owen took a limp, squished, dead to the world Billy Gunn and put him in an unnecessary Sharpshooter while posing.
Raven vs. Big Show vs. Kane
If you got a kick out of the WWF’s Hardcore division in 2000/2001, you will have to have loved this match. It was a riot watching Raven scurry around the arena trying to avoid the two monsters trying to take the belt from him. The spot this match will forever be known for involved all three commenadeering buggies and givin’ chase! Good messy fun.
Undertaker vs. Ric Flair
Not only was is match overlooked, but this feud is. Undertaker was at his most MEAN here, beating the crap out of Flair’s son and best friend in the week’s preceding this match. Naitch came to Mania looking for revenge, despite being outmatched. Taker dominated him but couldn’t put him away, and sold his frustration soooo well. One of my favourite Mania moments came when Arn Anderson hit the ring OUT OF NOWHERE and nailed Taker with as sweet a Spinebuster as I’ve ever seen. It got an incredible nearfall. However, it wasn’t enough for Flair as he was eventually Tombstoned and put down for 3. Undertaker gave him a “damn, you’re a son of a bitch, but you put up one heck of a fight!” post match.
Evolution vs. The Rock ‘n Sock Connection
Randy Orton and Batista’s first WrestleMania match, and The Rock’s last (for now). This was just five awesome performers putting on a show. Flair and Rock were having an absolute ball in their with each other and it made the match so much fun. Orton shined and Batista did fine. This was good stuff.
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
Another forgotten match from “The Streak”. This was by far the best match of what wasn’t the most inspiring feud between these two. Orton stepped up huge and hung with Taker all the way. They worked in some great nearfalls towards the finish, and it all came together into a very very good match.