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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Greatest Matches in Wrestlemania History
March 12, 2004 by Mark Rose


Well since we are heading into the huge Wrestlemania 20 show and with it being a big Wrestlemania milestone and anniversary show everyone including the WWE themselves have been putting out their lists of what they feel are the best matches in Wrestlemania history. So I figured what the hell i'm gonna put my own list out there. Now with my list it's a little bit different. I'm not going to list a specific number like a Top 10, 20 or anything like that. I'm not even going to list them in order i'm just going to put them out there period. These matches in my opinion have been the greatest in Wrestlemania history for many reasons. It could be because of great workrate, great story, or even just great mark out moment. Well agree or disagree here is my opinions.

Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant- Wrestlemania 3 March 27, 1987 Pontiac Silverdome

The Pontiac Silverdome was the host of the biggest indoor crowd in history of approximately 93,000 fans. Not only that but at that time Hogan vs Andre was the most anticipated match ever and still may be. Sure the workrate wasn't all that good but this match was a moment in itself. Hogan bodyslamming (certainly not over his head as he claimed in his book) and pinning Andre in the ultimate passing of the torch. This is the match that made the WWF a HUGE national company and really cemented Hogan's spot in pro wrestling legend. Although he wrestled somewhat after this I really consider this to be Andre's final shining moment.

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs "Macho Man" Randy Savage- Wrestlemania 3 March 27,1987

This match had a nice buildup with Savage attacking Steamboat and "crushing his larynx" with a ring bell. Steamboat made his "comeback" and was ready for his revenge at the ultimate showcase, Wrestlemania 3. Hogan and Andre had all the attention coming on but going out this match was truly the talk of the PPV. To this day many consider this match to be among the greatest of all time. Although there is a few I would put above it you can't deny it's spot in pro wrestling history. Unfortunately it would Steamboat's last really great moment in the WWF but he would give us much more in Jim Crockett's NWA anyway. This match also really was a great launching pad for Savage to main event status.

Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior- Wrestlemania 6 April 1,1990 Toronto Skydome

The grandest stage ever for a title vs title in Wrestlemania history saw Hulk Hogan passing the torch to the Ultimate Warrior in an extremely rare clean job by Hulk Hogan. This again is one of these matches where the workrate might not have been there but you didn't notice and you didn't care. It was a great story and a true mark out moment. Ultimate Warrior took the torch from Hulk Hogan that night and then shortly thereafter lost his mind and with a period of incredible weirdness, shitty matches and god awful promos he snuffed that torch like someone getting voted off Survivor. It's amazing how someone could get put over so well and then become a complete joke to all wrestling fans. With that aside, this to me was one of the best crowds they ever had for a Wrestlemania. And the moment at the end with Hogan handing the belt to Warrior as a show of respect was just fantastic.

Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - Wrestlemania 8 April 5,1992 Hoosier Dome

To me this was a match where Roddy Piper really proved he was a good in ring worker and not just a great personality. This was match was just a joy to watch from beginning to end. A great finish with Bret Hart reversing a Piper sleeper into a pinfall and to me this was the beginning of Bret Hart coming into his own as a true star in the wrestling business. This was the match that really showed how great Bret Hart was and he was ready to take the ball and roll with it in a big way. In a way Piper really passed the torch to Bret that night.

Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Owen Hart- Wrestlemania 10
March 20, 1994 Madison Square Garden


The original idea for the WWF for a brother vs brother storyline Bret Hart was going to be bringing in Bruce Hart. Boy did they make the right decision switching that Owen. This was to me was the greatest opening in Wrestlemania history. This match solidified Owen's spot as a top heel at that time that had begun with a shocking turn on his brother a few months prior at Survivor Series. Owen pulled off the win and that eventually led to a great feud that whole year.

Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon- Wrestlemania 10 March 20,1994 Madison Square Garden

Although not the first ladder match in the company's history it was definitely the first time they ever put a ladder match in the spotlight. And it still stands to this day as one of the best. A great buildup going in with Shawn Michaels who had departed the WWF still as the Intercontinental champ taking on Razor Ramon who had the won the vacated title in a tournament after Michaels left. Both belts hung above and Razor would be victorious while Michaels was trapped tied up in the ropes. I would say this maybe was the best finish to a match in Wrestlemania history. Although Shawn Michaels lost this match it was really what turned him into a main event star. I don't know anyone who wouldn't list in their personal top 5 Wrestlemania matches.

Shawn Michaels vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart
Wrestlemania 12 March 31,1996 The Pond


The longest match in wrestlemania was originally scheduled to be a 60 minute Iron man match with the winner being the man with the most falls in the time limit. No falls were had in the first 60 minutes. Overtime featured some great action with Shawn Michaels prevailing and winning his first world title after hitting Bret with a superkick. The WWE selected this as the greatest match in Wrestlemania history this week. Although I agree with it being one of the best I did have a few problems with it. Having no falls in the first 60 minutes was a bad idea and times there was a few too many rest spots. But going at that pace for 60 minutes can you blame them? Definitely one of the best pure workrate matches in Wrestlemania history.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Bret "Hitman"Hart- Wrestlemania 13 March 23, 1997 The Rosemont Horizon

An epic battle between two top notch workers. This I Quit match was perhaps the most brutal in recent memory. The finish saw Stone Cold Steve Austin pass out from blood loss while locked in Bret's sharpshooter. This to me is the match that Steve Austin a superstar and his hard work in this match resulted in the heel Austin being cheered. The creation of the anti hero. And the beginning of an era that made more money for Vince than any other. Sure Steve Austin became Stone Cold before this but Austin got over huge with his performance in this match. That's part of the magic of Bret Hart. He had a great ability to win a match but still put a guy over. The image of Steve Austin locked in the sharpshooter with blood just pouring out of his face will live with me forever.

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels- Wrestlemania 14 March 29,1998 The Fleet Center

The Attitude Era at it's finest. Stone Cold Steve Austin the champion of this era finally becomes the champion of the world. A fine performance at another Wrestlemania as always from Shawn Michaels and at the time it was thought it would be his last. How fitting was it that in this era of Attitude Mike Tyson was involved in this match? It was a perfect fit for a great match. Shawn was working with obvious back pain but the really did a good job. Austin was over like crazy.

Edge and Christian vs. Matt and Jeff Hardy vs. The Dudley Boys- Wrestlemania 2000 April 2,2000 The Pond

An absolutely insane match and the greatest spotfest in Wrestlemania history. Tables and Ladders and Chairs...OH MY! Indeed. I don't think any match ever at Wrestlemania could match this one for pure action. I could sit here and type descriptions of all the crazy dives and bumps but I really couldn't do it justice. You have to have seen it to understand what I mean. And i'm always critical of Jeff Hardy who I feel is a poor man's version of Sabu but I even think he delivered in this match in a big way.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit- Wrestlemania X-7 April 1,2001 Astrodome

Technical excellence and fantastic submission wrestling. What else would you expect from two of the best in wrestling history. Chris Benoit is like a cross between Dynamite Kid and Bret Hart. How could anyone NOT want to see this guy wrestle? And as far as Kurt Angle goes he has to be one of the finest pure athletes in the history of the business. Tons of suplexes and submission holds ironically ends with a pinfall with a hand full of tights. And I loved every minute of it. If these guys wrestled each other on every PPV for a year straight I don't think it would get old or boring.

Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock- Wrestlemania 18 Skydome

Although I personally believe that Stone Cold Steve Austin is the most popular wrestler ever WITHIN the wrestling business no two wrestlers popularity have transcended the business like The Rock and Hulk Hogan. Was this match a techical classic? Absolutely not. Was it a spotfest? HAHAHAH god no. Did you really care? I personally can't stand Hulk Hogan and i'm not fond of The Rock but even I enjoyed watching this one. The collision of these two was just cool to see and the match told a great story. Another super hot crowd at the Skydome was totally into it and really set a great atmosphere. Another rare clean job by Hogan and I loved every minute of this one too. Great stuff.



Hulk Hogan passing the torch
to a guy who wrestles 2 months
out of every year. Good choice!

Well there it is folks. Keep in mind that these are strictly my opinions. If you feel I have left a few out feel free to e-mail the site and respond. Wrestlemania even when the card has sucked is always the greatest spectacle and the most anticipated event in the year of wrestling. Wrestlemania 20 will be no different. Will another classic happen this year? Bet on it. The smart money is on Eddie vs Kurt or Jericho vs Christian.

Currently i'm working on a column about the career of Chris Jericho because one of my readers requested it and because he's one of my personal favorites. I'm also working on a HUGE column featuring all of the details of the incidents regarding former Ring of Honor and RF Video owner Rob Feinstein (trust me what i'm working is much different than what's all over the internet right now). If there is anything you would like to see me write about or anything you're curious to know my opinions about let me know. I'll be more than happy to oblige.

Thanks for reading

Mark Rose..


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