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Ranking WrestleMania – Part 6 (Final Part)

ranking WrestleMania

ranking WrestleMania

Check out the final part of our series of posts ranking WrestleMania.

We are down to the final five. These WrestleMania rankings were done by Alan (@Alan4L), Duan (@DuanDub), Big D (@EmperorBigD), and GG (@roheblius).

You can check out the previous posts below:
Part 1 (31-26)
Part 2 (25-21)
Part 3 (20-16)
Part 4 (15-11)
Part 5 (10-6)

5. WrestleMania XXVI

ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XXVI podcast

WrestleMania XXVI was held on March 28, 2010 at the University Of Phoenix Stadium.

What was good about the show?
Well, only the second greatest match in the history of WrestleMania, according to our rankings.

I had such great expecations for the show as I was there live. I expected it to be one of the greatest WrestleManias of all-time (which it ended up being). But there was a slight feeling throughout that it was underperforming up until the main event. But because the main event was so great, with the Undertaker retiring Shawn Michaels, it reached my expectation.

No other match was close to being as good as the main event, but the rest of the matches built to it nicely. The Money In The Bank really kicked off the show, even if Jack Swagger winning wasn’t quite the payoff that it could’ve been. After Triple H beat Sheamus, Rey Mysterio and CM Punk picked up the pace. The match was short, but it was a good short.

Chris Jericho beat Edge to keep his World title in a near 4-star match that was much better live than it was on the broadcast. John Cena beat Batista by submission to win the WWE championship in a match that was probably also better live than it was on the broadcast.

What was bad about the show?
The announcing was pretty poor on this show. With Jim Ross off the broadcast, it was missing that big show feel (which they are still missing today). But that wasn’t the biggest disappointment.

After nearly 13 years, Bret Hart was back in WWE and they were finally able to cash-in on the real life heat between him and Vince McMahon. Only, they fudged up an easy storyline and had a match that was worse than could ever have been expected. Hart wasn’t going to be able to do much, but it should’ve been easier than they made it and at the end of the day, it was a big disappointment.

The breakup of the Legacy wasn’t all that important since Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes were treated like jabronis, but Randy Orton can still work a match like few others can. The Legacy blow-off should’ve been better than second match on the card fodder.

4. WrestleMania X

WrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast – WrestleMania X

Much like the first WrestleMania and WrestleMania XX, WrestleMania X was held at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 1994.

What was good about the show?
Some may think that Triple H and Daniel Bryan had the greatest opening match in WrestleMania history. But they didn’t. That honor goes to Bret Hart vs Owen Hart which ranked as number 6 on our all-time WrestleMania matches.

The booking was excellent here as Owen beat Bret in a classic that gave Bret an immediate contender to his WWE championship, which he would win to close out the show. For the second year in a row, he would close out WrestleMania against Yokozuna. It was slightly better than the previous year and when Bret won, WrestleMania ended memorably with the babyface locker room coming out to celebrate him.

The second best match on the show was the pioneering ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels. One of the biggest arguments about this show was whether Bret vs Owen or Razor and Shawn was the better match. The writers of this website have Bret and Owen as the better match, but Razor vs Shawn was no slouch, coming in at number 16 all-time on our list. It’s a match that is unlike the spot-fests that would follow it, but the psychology is excellent.

I also thought Macho Man vs Crush was fun, even if it wasn’t a match you’d write home about. I liked the feud and enjoyed the idea of the finish, which was for Macho Man to tie up Crush and leave him hanging, unable to get back into the ring, though he wasn’t quite left hanging and dropped on his head.

What was bad about the show?
While there was some filler on this show, the only real disappointment was in Lex Luger and Yokozuna. Luger wasn’t there to have fantastic wrestling matches, but he never connected with the fans like he needed to. His match with Yokozuna was slow and much longer than necessary. Mr. Perfect was the guest referee and caused Luger to lose the match. As I watched the match, I figured Luger would win to set up Hart vs Luger since they built up the Royal Rumble that way, but it didn’t happen. Luger came off exceptionally lame.

3. WrestleMania 23

ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast – WrestleMania 23

WrestleMania 23 was held on April 1, 2007 at Ford Field.

What was good about the show?
The two title matches delivered.

John Cena and Triple H were more than likely headed for a rematch from their WrestleMania 22 match. But when Triple H was injured, many clamored for Shawn Michaels to take the match. Much like Triple H the year prior, Michaels did whatever he could to make the match with Cena as good as it could be. When you talk about making guys, the two matches in back to back WrestleManias went a long way to make John Cena. We ranked it as the 15th greatest match in WrestleMania history.

The Undertaker and Batista had one of the best “big man” matches at WrestleMania history. Both seemed peeved, or maybe it was just Batista, that they were fourth on the card and were really a third priority behind Cena and Michaels, and the match that really helped sell the show featuring Bobby Lashley and Umaga.

That match on its own wouldn’t be too special, let alone the big draw for what is maybe the most successful WrestleMania of all-time from a PPV buyrate standpoint. However, when you throw Donald Trump in Bobby Lashely’s corner and Vince McMahon in Umaga’s corner and make it a hair stipulation, you now have a ticket seller.

I don’t think anyone really thought Donald Trump’s hair was going to be cut, but it was still a fun process and shows that putting one’s hair on the line can still be a great stipulation if done correctly.

What was bad about the show?
Kane and the Great Khali had a match. Enough said.

Do you remember the ECW Originals feud with the New Breed? I barely do and I write about wrestling.

Lastly, the post-Trish Stratus era for women’s wrestling at WrestleMania didn’t get off to a nice start. For some reason, WWE was pushing Ashley Massaro and she had a match with Melina.

2. WrestleMania XIX

WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XIX podcast Part 1
WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XIX podcast Part 2

WrestleMania XIX was held on March 30, 2003 at Safeco Field in Seattle.

What was good about the show?
I still believe that had Brock Lesnar hit the shooting star press perfectly, his match with Kurt Angle, which closed the show, would’ve been a top 5 all-time match in WrestleMania history. Even with the botched finish, we still ranked it as the 13th greatest match at Mania. Angle wrestled hurt, Brock got hurt, and yet, the two best guys going in the company put on a helluva match.

Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Rock ended their historical WrestleMania feud with their third and last match. Austin won at WrestleMania XV and X-Seven, but it was Rock’s turn. Austin was in the hospital the night before and almost no one knew beforehand that it’d be the final match of his career. He and Rock had a very good main event style match which was probably the second best match on the card, unless you liked the following match better.

Chris Jericho has stated before that Shawn Michaels was his wrestling idol. It was also Michaels’ first WrestleMania match since dropping the strap to Stone Cold Steve Austin. In a bit of irony, Michaels’ first Mania back would be Austin’s last (inside the ring). They had a great match, one in which Alan said was a better “pure wrestling match” than Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat.

Other good things about this show:
– Trish, Jazz, and Victoria had a strong triple threat match which Trish won.
– Matt Hardy and Rey Mysterio opened the show with a good match, albeit maybe not as good as one would hope considering it was Rey Mysterio’s WrestleMania debut.
– Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon had a fun street fight, but in hindsight, it probably shouldn’t have been the match most focused on during the build.

What was bad about the show?
Thankfully, there wasn’t much.

– The Undertaker beat A-Train and the Big Show in what was supposed to be a tag match, but they took Nathan Jones (remember him?) out of it early so he wouldn’t screw up what was already going to be a bad match. That’s how much he sucked.
– Triple H vs Booker T wasn’t a bad match by any means. It was actually above average. But the wrong person won and the entire build was frustrating to watch.

1. WrestleMania X-Seven

ranking wrestlemaniaWrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania X-Seven podcast Part 1
WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania X-Seven podcast Part 2

WrestleMania X-Seven was held on April Fool’s day in 2001 at the Houston Astrodome.

What was good about the show?
There was so much good, we’re just going to use a list.

– Even though some thought the show started slow, this was the best way to build a show.
– Three matches on this show (Angle vs Benoit, TLC, and Austin vs Rock) ranked in the top 11 of the greatest matches in Mania history. No other single Mania has more than one.
– The talent roster up and down could compete with any other year in WWE. They were loaded.
– Angle vs Benoit was an amazing wrestling match, yet, because of the matches in front of it, was only 5th on the card. Think about that.
– Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon rose to the occasion as they could’ve had a complete clunker, but smoke and mirrors (and them both being legit crazy) propelled them to a really good street fight.
– After TLC, the crowd needed to come down a bit and the Gimmick Battle Royal, as terrible as it is, is fondly remembered. That’s how much we needed to be taken down.
– What else can you say about Austin and Rock? Big D says it’s his favorite match of all-time. It was the perfect match on the greatest WrestleMania ever.

What was bad about the show?
Outside of Chyna laying waste to Ivory, it’s really hard to say what was bad about the show. Like I mentioned, it may have started a little slow, but that was fine because it picked up. Matches need to build. The pacing was excellent overall.

Okay fine, I’ll nitpick. Maybe Jericho and William Regal could’ve had a better match with a couple more minutes. Happy?

Enjoy WrestleMania 32 everyone!

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