Views From The Turnbuckle: The Top 20 Wrestlemania Matches Of All Time Part-Two
Shawn Michaels hadn't wrestled at Wrestlemania in five years, and Mr. Wrestlemania was set to make his return against the might Chris Jericho. Y2J was at his peak during this period and him working with HBK was a no-brainer, setting up a match that was easily expected to be a match of the year candidate.
Interestingly, like the matches that rank above it, nothing was really on the line for this match. No titles or crazy stipulations, just two guys who really didn't like each other. Wrestlemania XIX was a really loaded card, with The Rock vs Austin III, the Hogan vs McMahon street fight, Booker T vs HHH for the WHC and Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship. But it was a standard one-on-one match that stole the show and got everybody talking.
Both competitors put everything into this match, particularly Jericho who delivered a picture perfect superkick to HBK (with a little Y2J flair of course) and almost got the pinfall. HBK won with a great roll up of Jericho in a classic between arguably the two top performers of their generation.
#3 Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker: Wrestlemania XXV
The problem with a lot of the Undertaker's matches at Wrestlemania is that is hard to believe that someone could conceivably win the match. Fortunately, if there is one man who could end the streak, it was Shawn Michaels. This match is really the present day standard for wrestling, all matches to take place in the last five years are measured up to it.
It's also proof that Undertaker works best when matched up with a smaller opponent. His matches with HBK and Bret Hart were classics while his matches with Diesel, Big Show and Kane were all disappointing.
Both Michaels and the Undertaker are infamous for kicking out of finishing moves, so it was really unpredictable as towards when the match was going to end. Michaels showmanship and charisma really sold this match, his ability to appear beaten and broken but then spring back to life is second to none.
The most telling thing about this match is that it was impossible to follow. Both the WWE Championship and the WHC were on the line in the following matches, however the crowd was really not interested in watching them because of what the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels did, and that is what made it special.
#2 Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart: Wrestlemania 13
An iconic match between two men who stood for two completely different things in a submission match during the WWF's darkest era. Stone Cold had yet to suffer his neck injury and Bret Hart was at his peak so it was obvious this was going to be a doozy, but few could predict just how thrilling it was going to be.
Austin came into the match as a heel and a Hart as the face, but by the end of the match, the men switched roles in a classic double turn. The turning of the always straight Hart and the obnoxious and abusive Austin signaled a change in the WWF's philosophy which would launch them into their greatest success period.
Even though Austin lost the match, it was him who became the next big star after the match. Austin withstood the sharpshooter for longer than probably anyone before, and he still refused to tap, losing the match when Ken Shamrock called for the bell when Austin passed out in a pool of his own blood.
At the time, the WWF was getting crushed by WCW, in fact Wrestlemania 13 did the lowest buy rate for any Wrestlemania in the WWF/WWE's history. However, the success of this match and others like it triggered a boom period for the WWF and wrestling in general, making it arguably the most important match to ever take place.
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