The Top Three Wrestlemania Matches of All-Time
The time has finally come. Wrestlemania XXX takes place on Sunday night and I'm eagerly awaiting jumping on a plane to attend it. As I've taken a look back at some of the greatest matches in the history of the event, I found it difficult to narrow it down to five.
#5 - End of an Era: Triple H vs. Undertaker - Wrestlemania XXVIII
#4 - Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon - Wrestlemania X
Now it's time to announce the top three matches in the history of the event. There is something different about each match in the top three. One was innovative, one was a complete brawl, and one is the best wrestling match of all-time in my opinion.
#3 - Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat - Wrestlemania III
I really do enjoy the matches that spring forward a generation. Like the Ladder Match at Wrestlemania X, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat evolved the wrestling landscape in a mere 15 minutes. This time, they didn't need any gimmick. They just needed a pure wrestling match.
During a time in which the appeal for wrestling was "Larger than Life Characters," the attempt was made by these two men to change the landscape.
What we received was a wrestling performance that featured many twists, turns, counters, ups, downs, and high flying. All of that together was unheard of in 1987. The match has influenced the careers of such future guys like Chris Jericho.
While it might not come off as "the most amazing match ever" based on today's "standards," I still put it up there with one of the best matches of all-time.
Here's a highlight video of the match:
#2 - Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin - Wrestlemania XIII
As a show, Wrestlemania XIII in 1997 was rather weak. Stuck in the middle of the show though was one of the greatest matches in history.
Steve Austin was on the verge of breaking through, while Bret Hart was the established veteran. Austin needed that one last push to break through the "glass ceiling" and Hart was the guy that could help.
The two were tangled in a feud that stretch from around November 1996-Wrestlemania. The match would be contested in a Submission match, where the only way to win was to make your opponent tap out or knock them out.
Nobody believed Hart would ever "Quit" and nobody believed that Austin would either. Something had to give.
The two men battled across the Rosemont Horizon (Now known as the All-State Arena) in Chicago. They went into the crowd, used the outside of the ring, and used whatever they could to their advantage. With a red hot crowd, and with that chemistry clicking for the two, the results we're perfect.
Austin never gave up, instead he passed out in his own blood. The visual/image itself is one of the most popular sights in wrestling history.
Austin lost the match, but instantly became the star. In the process, without actually performing the turn, the two men turned. Austin went into the match as the bad guy, and left as the good guy. Hart went vice versa. The most effective double-turn in wrestling history took place.
Add that all together, it turned out to be one of the best matches in company history.
#1 - Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker - Wrestlemania XXV
My favorite personal match of ALL-TIME. I might be partly biased, being that I was there live, but I still get drawn into it while watching it.
It was as perfect of a match as you could find. It has the emotion, the drama, the wrestling, and it took everyone out of the "wrestling" mindset into just watching something that was awesome.
When a match is able to do that, it's always up there in my books. If you're able to show the match to a non-fan and they fall into it, that's when you know it was great.
This one was beyond that. It was so good that they put them in the main event the following year.
The Undertaker has never lost at Wrestlemania. Going into the show each year, nobody really believes that he will lose. He just can't...
That's where Taker and Michaels got everyone. They made it look inevitable during the match that Michaels was walking out the winner. That alone took everyone out of the "story script" and tied it all together.
If you have the opportunity, I just suggest you take the time to watch it. Even if you're not a fan. It will be worth your time.
The match is the greatest of all-time, and the greatest match in Wrestlemania history...for my money.
Here's to hoping that Wrestlemania XXX gives us even more moments.