Views From The Turnbuckle: The Top 20 Wrestlemania Matches Of All Time
For clarity, when assembling this list, I based it on a combination of pure technical quality, storytelling and overall importance. I myself am more of a fan of pure wrestling, so I am going to have to estimate that the formula was about 50% wrestling, 25% storytelling and 25% importance. Hopefully that can explain why certain matches are where they are on the list.
Now, let us begin the list with some honorable mentions and remember to come back here tomorrow for part 2 of the top 20 Wrestlemania matches!
Honorable Mention: Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz vs Edge and Christian- Wrestlemania 2000
If it wasn't for all six of these guys going out and topping their performances a year later, this match would have definitely cracked the list, and probably placed pretty high. Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon brought the ladder match to the big stage, but these three tag teams pushed the potential of the ladder match into what we expect it to be today. Traditionalists may scoff at the idea of a match filled almost entirely with high spots and few technical holds, but for what it was, the match delivered on all accounts, especially when it came to entertaining the fans.
Honorable Mention: Shawn Michaels vs Stone Cold Steve Austin- Wrestlemania XIV
From a pure atmospheric standpoint, this is one of the greatest matches to ever take place. The crowd in Boston was 110% behind Austin and was frothing at the mouth to see a new champion. The match, its buildup and subsequent fallout are what really got the WWF back on top in the wrestling wars with WCW and eventually turned Vince Mcmahon into an honest-to-god billionaire.
With all that being said, the match falls short for a few reasons: First, it was extremely obvious that Austin was going to win the match. Michaels was on his way out of the WWF and would not be seen at Wrestlemania for another five years. The WWF would have to show some real lack of intelligence if Austin was not going to pin Michaels in that ring in Boston. Secondly, the match itself was quite bland and short. Michaels' back was in shambles and he was in obvious pain throughout the entire contest. Stone Cold himself was only several months removed from a broken neck as well. Although the match was a key moment in wrestling history, it just didn't have the overall substance to crack the top 20.
Honorable Mention: Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant- Wrestlemania III
Similar to the HBK vs Austin match in that the importance and scope of the match far outweighs the quality of it. Hogan vs Andre solidified Wrestlemania's reputation as being the biggest wrestling event of the year. 75,000 (not 93,000 Vince) packed inside the Pontiac Silverdome to witness the top wrestling draw at the time face off against the man who he usurped. If the match had not been so wildly successful, the rest of the Wrestlemanias after it might not have been as important.
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