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.
My FGB brothers and I have put together a list of what we believe to be the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history. We started by selecting all of the matches that we remembered to be in the neighborhood of 3 stars (0-5 scale) or higher, and then took a close look at those matches and rated them fully.
The four of us are distinctive in our tastes for what makes a good pro wrestling match. I wanted to give you an idea of who we are and what we like so you know where we are coming from.
One thing that I want to note is that we’re not giving any special treatment to matches that drew incredible business or are historic because of what they meant to business. Thus, you won’t see Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant. It was a terrible match, and even though it was historic, it wasn’t any good and won’t be on our list.
Danny says that he likes anything that’s good. He doesn’t like pointless brawling with punches and kicks ending in double countouts. He can go for good high flying matches or good scientific matches as long as they tell stories and have a beginning, middle, and end and contain something that’ll excite him. Some of his favorite eras in wrestling include WWE from 1997-2001, ROH from 2004-2006, and ECW 1995-1999. He also includes Bret Hart, Bryan Danielson, and Ric Flair as three of his favorite wrestlers.
Alan and I have differing opinions on this show. He actually liked it while I hated it. I’ll sprinkle in some of his thoughts as we go.
The Hulk Hogan era was supposed to be over. The WWF was slowly changing the guard. They were trying to change what they had ingrained into fans on what wrestling was supposed to be. Bigger than life characters. Huge muscle bound guys are always better than smaller, faster guys. And Hulk Hogan was the best of them all. However, there was going to be a time when Hogan wasn’t going to be around. And during 1993, they were trying to change what they had been teaching fans for 10 years. Bret Hart beat Ric Flair for the championship to get his first WWF World Title reign in late 1992. I remember the day when I heard Hart won the championship. My friend told me to guess who had just beat Flair for the belt, and because I never expected the WWF to get behind Hart, I must’ve went through five guys before I guessed Hart. And I expected him to be nothing more than a transitional champion. However, it showed that the WWF was trying to find someone new to carry the torch so to speak. However, Hogan came back into the picture. It was supposed to be the first Wrestlemania without Hogan. Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Wrestlemania preview didn’t even list Hogan as being on the card. Hogan came back into the picture quickly as Vince probably didn’t see Wrestlemania being big without him. Hogan held all the cards back then, which is a far cry from where he is today. Of course, Hogan reportedly wanted to win the belt immediately, but if Bret Hart was ever going to be anything, losing it to Hogan in a squash would’ve killed any steam he had. Hogan was then put into a quick feud with Money Inc. where he saved his good friend Ed Leslie, better known as Brutus Beefecake, from a beat down and they played up on the true story of Beefcake having to get reconstructive surgery on his face in a para sailing accident. Hogan and Beefcake were now to challenge Ted DiBiase and IRS (Mike Rotunda) for the tag team championship. They were terribly called The Mega-Maniacs.
(I seem to remember them announcing this terrible name on RAW. They were trying to come up with a name and all of a sudden, Hogan said the name The Mega-Maniacs. However, I believe Jimmy Hart’s jacket already had the name on the back before they were trying to come up with the name. Oops.)
It was a very boring match, but the crowd popped like crazy for it. Hogan was up to his usual antics very much so through the entire match playing up to the crowd. With DiBiase and IRS in the ring, it made the match at least watchable, but the fans very much so wanted a title change. The finish was extremely silly with Jimmy Hart counting a double pin fall that was later overturned by the referee. When Hogan and Beefecake didn’t get the belts, that should have told the viewers something, considering Hogan had never been in anything short of the main event in Wrestlemania.