Thursday, May 13, 2021

The 5 biggest matches in WrestleMania history

WWE’s WrestleMania has provided countless memories and a number of stunning matches. While WrestleMania always promises to be something exciting, there are certain matches that elevate a show from good to great.

Let’s take a look back at some of the best matches of the biggest wrestling event in the world.

5. The Dudley Boyz vs. the Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian (WrestleMania 17)

At Wrestlemania 17, The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian took their TLC matches and turned the dial to 11. The first official TLC match among these three teams happened at SummerSlam 2000, but the reprise at WrestleMania 17 is the stuff of legends.

This is also arguably the best version of the match, with the addition of Spike Dudley, Rhyno, and Lita into the fray, adding a new wrench into the mix each time it looked like the match would come to an end. The match also gave us one of the most famous spots in WWE history: Jeff Hardy hanging on to the tag-team title belts suspended over the ring, and Edge from a second ladder, delivering a spear that, if just a little off, could have ended careers.

4. “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WrestleMania 3)

Intercontinental Champion Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat put on a 14-minute, 35-second classic, complete with 22 pin attempts.

Savage-Steamboat has become widely considered one of the greatest technical masterpieces in professional wrestling history. The bout transformed what a WrestleMania midcard match could be, bolstered the legacy of the IC title and remains a benchmark for in-ring dramas.

According to Steamboat in later years, Macho Man demanded they rehearse and practice to get everything perfect and what resulted was masterful storytelling. Hulk and Andre filled the stadium but Steamboat beating Savage is the match that fans still talk about to this day.

3. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 10)

The concept of the Ladder Match has its origins in Calgary, Alberta’s Stampede Wrestling where Bret Hart took on Bad News Allen in July 1983. The WWE first introduced the ladder match on pay-per-view at Wrestlemania 10 and it was a huge hit.

It was the perfect opportunity for WWE. Both titles were suspended above the ring at The World’s Most Famous Arena and Shawn and Razor battled in an attempt to grab them and win the match to become the undisputed Intercontinental Champion.

Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship is one of the most influential and beloved ladder match of all time and truly was mind-blowing stuff in 1994.

2. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 25)

The Undertaker has faced many opponents in WWE and has been a part of many incredible matches. However, his iconic WrestleMania 25 match against Shawn Michaels still remains arguably the greatest match of his career.

The two competitors went back-and-forth for the entirety of the thirty-minute match, brilliantly building suspense as they were unable to finish each other off with signature maneuvers that would normally get the job done.

Two of WWE’s biggest wrestlers in the twilight of their Hall-of-Fame careers delivered a knockout performance. The bout garnered numerous accolades as Match of the Year from Pro Wrestling IllustratedWrestling Observer Newsletter, and claimed top honor at the 2009 WWE Slammy Awards.

  1. Bret Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (WrestleMania 13)

On March 23, 1997, WrestleMania 13 took place at the same venue as its second installment — the Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena) in Rosemont, Ill., right outside Chicago.

WrestleMania 13 is one of the most lackluster Manias ever. But its most memorable moment might be one of the most memorable images of a WrestleMania, the image of Stone Cold Steve Austin, wearing the proverbial crimson mask, refusing to give in to the Sharpshooter.

The showdown between Steve Austin and Bret Hart, at WrestleMania 13, took place at an interesting time. It was the spring of 1997 and the World Wrestling Federation was going through a lot of change. World Championship Wrestling was gaining steam and, for a time, was the promotion that was on top. While this match wasn’t wholly responsible for turning the tide in Vince McMahon and the company’s favor, it played a pivotal role.

An interesting thing about this match was that it wasn’t even supposed to happen. Bret Hart was going to face Shawn Michaels for the WWF Title originally. Had it not been for Shawn Michaels “losing his smile” we would’ve never had this match.

The story that these two told throughout this match was filled with drama and hard-hitting action, and by the end of it, it accomplished something that is very hard to do; make the viewer feel sympathy for Stone Cold Steve Austin. He fought as hard and as long as humanly possible, and refused to give up. But in the end, it wasn’t his decision to give up, as he was knocked unconscious by Bret Hart.

After this match, both guys were elevated. Hart had just defeated one of the hottest guys in the company in a grueling match, while Austin came off as a complete badass who refused to lose, and had to be knocked unconscious to be forced to quit.

What followed next for wrestling was the Attitude Era and the hottest period the business of Professional Wrestling has ever seen. The rest is history.

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