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WRESTLING COLUMNS

My Top Ten Best Wrestlemania Matches
March 13, 2004 by David Garnett


That time of year that all wrestling fans crave is right around the corner folks where every wrestling fan puts everything on hold for four hours to watch and enjoy Wrestlemania the 'granddaddy of them all' and as Ric Flair would say it can only happen in 'bright lights and big cities' and yes everyone has their opinion on who is the greatest what the greatest matches are and the great feuds and this is my version of that list. I will post them in reverse order.

10. At ten we have a tie! (yes I know you will probably complain but it is the only tie on the list)

Firstly at number 10 - We have the retirement match from Wrestlemania 7 between Macho Man Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior. This match had almost everything a fairy tale ending which us old school fans will never forget when Elizabeth (R.I.P) and Savage got back together It featured the Savage hallmark of tremendous work rate and it was full of drama and tension and it turned Savage Face and he came out of retirement to feud with Jake Roberts and would go on to main event Wrestlmania 8 with Flair This was sports entertainment at damn near it finest with Warrior picking up the victory.

Secondly at 10 - We have a technical showcase between Benoit and Angle from Wrestlemania 17. They gave us a match that today only these two are capable of providing and it is a must see for the pure work rate and effort alone.

9. At 9 we have what I have been told by friends is an unusual choice because the work rate is not at its highest and that Is Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior in their title for title showdown as the main event of Wrestlemania 6. I don't know why but everytime I watch this as a wrestling fan I can still feel the atmosphere and it's a match that is the personification of a split crowd. A match that pitted the two top faces in the company against each other for the first time in a Wrestlemania main event and It was Hogan's first clean job in the Modern Wrestlemania era of the then called WWF. Granted top work rate this didn't have but drama and unpredictability right up until Warrior got the decisive three count.

8. At 8 we have the only tag match to make my top 10 and the purists may complain but it's the 'T.L.C 2' match from Wrestlemania 17. It is the best example of a spot fest in WWF'S history and provided entertainment from Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boys and The Hardy's as well as the wrestlers who did 'run in's' Rhyno, Lita and Spike Dudley. Tremendous match Great bumps and superb effort all round with Edge and Christian picking up the victory but it is the match that will be remembered not who won.

7. At 7 We have the match that ended the 'Mega Power's' angle when Hogan and Savage locked horns and battled for the WWF title. Savage won the title by winning a tournament at Wrestlemania 4 With the help of Hogan and the two beat everyone in site for an entire year until Savage's Jealousy got the better of him and Elizabeth came between them. I would also say that this is Hogan's best match in the WWF and Savage sold everything like the true professional that he was to make this a great end to Wrestlemania 5.

6.At 6 we have the titanic 'I quit' battle between Bret Hart and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin which as a side note featured Ken Shamrock as the special referee. This was a match that saw the double turn With Austin who refused to quit under the sharpshooter turn face and Bret Hart complete his heel turn in match that topped their b battle at survivor series 96 and on its own carried the entire event of Wrestlemania 13. Bret Hart picked up the victory after the match was stopped as Austin passed out under the pain. This match is how a brawl can be mixed with Wrestling to tremendous effect to produce a classic.

5. My top 5 starts With the WrestleMania main event of Savage vs. Flair for the title and it was also a battle over the honour of Miss Elizabeth and it took place at Wrestlemania 8. Flair wasn't with the company very long but in his short stay he produced arguably the greatest Royal Rumble performance ever in winning the 92 Rumble and with it the wwf title and was involved with one of the best ever main event matches in terms of work rate in the history of Wrestlemania. The two were on the top of their game and it's a joy to watch and I must not go without mentioning the outside interference of the late Mr. Perfect which also went a long way to help the baby face look great by over coming all the odds and giving Savage his true moment of glory in a top match.

4. However as good as Savage Flair was I for me doesn't quite make the greatest title match of all time at a Wrestlemania because at number 4 I have the Iron man match form Wrestlemania 12 between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Granted the two didn't like each other backstage and they had heated disagreements but when they put that aside and wrestled each other it was for me awesome. Some people criticize this match they say the ego's were to big and the pin fall should have happened during the regulation time or some people have gone so far to say that some p[arts are boring! ABSOLOUTE NONSENSE!! The first half hour of mat work is can't miss TV and the ending When HBK finally get's his childhood dream and lifts the wwf title is superb great match great ending and two great workers doing what they do best.

3. The top three some of you (if you have bothered to read this far!!!) was a fairly easy choice but very difficult to put them in order and this will always cause debate so at three we have what I feel is the best opening match EVER!! In Bret vs. Owen at wrestlemania 10. This is a feud between two brothers produced this match and later on would produce a classic cage match at Summerslam 94. This is scientific wrestling at its best and the late great Stu Hart apparently had a hand in putting this match together so he must be credited. This is awesome a match where they gave everything they had and nothing was left in the locker room and it finally put Owen on the main event scene in the WWF and he was finally given the chance to showcase the unbelievable amount of talent he had and it was his first big victory it wouldn't be his last and for me he still is the greatest wrestler never to be WWF champion. R.I.P Owen Hart you are sorely missed.

2. At 2, a match that was innovative set the standard for all the ladder matches in history and possibly made HBK what he is and definitely put him on the map. It is of course the ladder match from mania 10. HBK bumped his arise off and at a time when Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) wasn't wasting his life and talent away on drugs and alcohol this has everything and every use of the ladder you could imagine a match won by Razor Ramon but the true winners hear were the fans who go to see it a true spectacle and a match that will go down in history.

1. At one and for many reasons this has made it to the top but one of the biggest is that this match took place in 1987 and if it were on a pay per view show today it would still be a great match. It is of course the intercontinental title match between Savage and Steamboat at Wrestlemania 3. This match won just about every match of the year honor available and over shadowed the main even of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. If there is one match from Wrestlemania that I would recommend it's this. This had great build up in savage putting Steamboat on the shelf and Steamboats long road to recovery to try and get the title it had the great small package pin for the ending and as the late great Gorilla Monsoon said 'you will never see a better match than this if you live to be 100' and you know he is probably right.

There my list any opinions or debates post them it's all good honorable mentions how ever do go to Austin HBK at Wrestlemania 14. The ladder match at Wrestlemania 16, The battle between Hogan and Andre the Giant, Austin Rock the rematch at Wrestlemania 17 and arguably Piper's best match in the then wwf when he jobbed the intercontinental title to Bret Hart. Those are great matches in themselves however they didn't quite make the top 10 for various reasons!

Take care, be safe, and have a great time!!

David Garnett ..


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