This weekend is more than just Fan Expo Dallas, it is WrestleMania weekend. If anything from the world of wrestling has been able to capitalize on being mainstream, it is the biggest show of the year. From the beginnings in Madison Square Garden to filling up AT&T Stadium in Dallas last year, the showcase of the immortals is always something to look forward too. And with WrestleMania 33 looming, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the 7 worst and best WrestleMania’s in the history of WWE. I want you to know these are just based on my opinion, and will differ than some lists that are out there. So, we are going to start off with the 7 Worst WrestleManias of all time. Each WrestleMania has something special with it even when it’s terrible, but sometimes the excitement can just be a letdown. So here are the Top 7 Worst WrestleManias of all time.
#7: WrestleMania 27 aka, the giant cube, AKA The One Where The Miz is Champion, AKA That Michael Cole Match. WrestleMania was making its debut in the home of WCW and how do they capitalize on that untapped market? The make Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole a featured match. The feud that would never end. I am not sure what the idea of having two commentators square off at Mania would give us in the long run, other than the notion that Michael Cole is undefeated on the grandest stage. But the shit storm didn’t end there. The Miz and John Cena main event was overshadowed by the Rock who was named “host” of this Mania. And the match was never about the two guys busting their ass all year, it was more about setting the once in a lifetime match that happened twice. Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio sounds great on paper but underdelivered, as well as Punk and Orton. The only really great match on this show was Undertaker Vs Triple H in the no holds barred match. Wrestlemania 27 is going to be known as a one match show where nothing happened. And it is a shame because they could have knocked it out of the park being in Atlanta. Oh, did I mention Snookie wrestled on this show? No, automatic worst Mania.
#6: WrestleMania 2000 or The One with Only One Singles Match. During the Attitude Era, there was something of a wrestling equivalent of a hard-on for multi-man matches. And this show is the very definition of throwing everyone on the show. The only singles match that happened on the show was between The Kat and Terri Runnels. Does anyone else remember that match? No! Let’s move on. Wrestlemania 2000 also happened to be a show where one match is remembered over anything else. The Hardy’s, The Dudley’s, and Edge and Christian tore down the house in what would be become the first part of a trilogy the three teams would put together on PPV. E&C winning the tag belts was a bit of a shocker but the match is still remembered. The IC/Euro triple threat is not remembered and sadly, I can’t remember anything from the match. And then there was the main event. The Fatal Four Way elimination match that also had a McMahon in every corner. It should have been just The Rock and Triple H, but The Big Show and Mick Foley was added in the weeks before the event. The idea was to get Foley a WrestleMania main event, when in fact Jericho was originally slated for that spot. Foley who just lost a retirement match used his Terry Funk in the Bank clause to wrestle another match. It is also the first WrestleMania that a heel would stand tall at the end of the show. The original idea was to always send the crowd home happy, but obviously not in the year 2000.
#5: WrestleMania 4 or the one with the one night tournament or The One with Many Miss Elizabeth Dresses. The WWF title was vacant heading into the show due to the first moment of twin magic on WWF television with Hebner declaring Andre the Giant the new champion. And then Andre sold the belt to The Million Dollar Man. The belt was vacated and a one night tournament was put in place. And what a craptastic tournament it was. Ricky Steamboat was eliminated in the first round denying a rematch with Savage would have been a classic and Randy would have been able to get his win back from the year before. But after DQs, Byes, and what was the worst Hogan vs Andre match the finals were set. It would be the Million Dollar Man vs Randy Savage. In the best match of the night, which didn’t take much at this show. The second-best match of the night was a battle royal. Let that sink in. So, interesting back story about this show. The WWF wanted to give Savage the Intercontinental Championship and the Million Dollar Man would have won the tournament. Hogan was taking time away to film the cinematic masterpiece that is known as No Holds Barred. However, Honky Tonk Man decided to throw a wrench into this plan, by not wanting to drop the IC Championship to Savage. Savage’s consolation prize? Becoming the WWF Champion at the end of the night. This is one of those shows that is either loved or hated. I have a special place in my heart for it, but even with that, I know this show is a stinker.
#4: WrestleMania 9 or Hulkamania in the Bank. We have talked about matches and moments. At 4 seeing Savage become champion was that moment. The previous Manias had great matches. If 9 had anything going for it, it was the set. Wrestlemania 9 was the best-looking Mania all the way up to 17. The WWF build a Roman Coliseum outside of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Visually one of the best looking WrestleManias. Also, the first Mania not to use the traditional Red, White, And Blue ropes. This Wrestlemania would also be the debut of Jim Ross with the company, who would later become the voice of the Attitude Era. WrestleMania 9 would see two new main eventers in Bret Hart and Yokozuna. Their match was the best on the show, but that is not difficult to do when your opening match ends in DQ, and there are two Doinks. The two main takeaways from this show are not something to brag about. The first being whatever in the hell Giant Gonzalez was wearing. Whoever thought that was a good idea should have been fired on the spot, and made to wear one just like it when they were leaving the building. The second would Hulk Hogan winning the championship from Yokozuna a mere few minutes after winning it. It is the weirdest ending to Mania ever, and may never be duplicated.
#3: WrestleMania 32 or The One Where the Rock Lights his Name on Fire for 20 Minutes. Last year on paper should have been better than what it was. With the exception of Roman Reigns, what is it about crappy WrestleManias and Romans? Back to the point, the show started with a great ladder match that actually had a shocking moment of Zack Ryder winning the IC Title. And with that match, the vehicle was set in motion to have one of the best shows in the history of the company. AJ/Jericho had a good match. But then only in booking decisions that would give Vince Russo a hard on started to happen. The New Day losing, Charlotte winning the Women’s Championship, The Rock Burning his name, For the Love of Mankind, Shane McMahon, and Roman winning the title. The first couple of matches showed us hope, but our Hope was squashed in the same amount of time as Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 28. It was one of the worst Mania’s in recent times and it going to be hard to worse than this.
#2: WrestleMania 2 or The One that had More Locations than TNA. The idea after coming off the first show was to make the second one bigger. And what does Vince want to do? Run the show in three different cities. Yep. Makes no sense to me either. The NY part of the show would see a main event of Mr. T and Roddy Piper in a boxing match. And it sucked. I still feel to this day if Piper would have had his way, he would have hurt Mr. T right then and there. And then in New York screens would come down and the people in the arena would watch the rest of the show on these screens. Move to Chicago where the screens came up. If there was one part of this show that was salvageable, it’s the show from Chicago. The British Bulldogs winning the tag titles and Ozzy Osborne screaming “British Bulldogs Forever!” And the NFL vs WWF battle royal. It was just a fun portion of the show. And if you thought New York was bad, well Los Angeles gave us the worst match in Mania history of Adrian Adonis and Uncle Elmer. The main event featured Hogan vs King Kong Bundy inside the blue bar cage. This show is hard to sit through, but will always be remembered as the three city Mania and the one with William “Refrigerator” Perry.
#1: WrestleMania 11 or The One with That Football Player. Celebrities will always be part of Mania. Hell, Snookie wrestled at 27. In this case, the celebrity match was at least something good. At the Royal Rumble 95, Bam Bam Bigelow pushed down Lawrence Taylor leading to a Mania Main Event for Bam Bam and Taylor. The match was decent which is a surprise, but not the main event to Wrestlemania. If anything, this match would be even higher if it would have been the first main event to the In Your House PPV, and a great selling point besides giving away a damn house. Diesel and Shawn Michaels had the match of the night, and should have closed the show. I am still a firm believer that the title should always close the show. Bret Hart has his worst Mania match against Bob Backlund. Luger and Bulldog was in the opening match against the Blu Brothers who would go on to do nothing in wrestling. Taker would meet King Kong Bundy in a terrible match, and the Smoking Guns would lose the tag titles to Yokozuna and Owen Hart. 95 was the worst year for wrestling, and this show proves it from top to bottom. Relying on celebrity to hopefully get buys. Diesel being the worst champion in the history of the company at that point.
And on Saturday we will count down The Top 7 Best WrestleManias!