This is the top 5 of our 30 greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time.
Top 30 WrestleMania Matches Of All-Time: 30 – 26
Top 30 WrestleMania Matches Of All-Time: 25 – 21
Top 30 WrestleMania Matches Of All-Time: 20 – 16
Top 30 WrestleMania Matches Of All-Time: 15 – 11
Top 30 WrestleMania Matches Of All-Time: 10 – 6
(All links to matches go to the WWE Network.)
5. Kurt Angle Vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 21
Star ratings: Duan ****1/2 | Alan ****3/4 | Big D ****1/2 | GG ****3/4
It was a dream match in every sense of the word. The first meeting of Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle was a bout that could have only taken place on the grandest state of them all. In my opinion, this was the last classic Kurt Angle match. He’s had some good ones since and even a great one (vs Yugi Nagata in 2008) but this match with HBK may have been his swan-song as far as matches of this caliber.
Both wrestlers performed to the peak of their powers, wowing the crowd from bell to bell. The match culminated with some of the most dramatic nearfalls in Mania history and some absorbing submission teases. The spot where Shawn, with his tank past empty, mustered up one last superkick was incredible. It wasn’t enough though, as the ankle lock got synched back in and in a rarity, the babyface Shawn tapped clean.
4. Triple H Vs Shawn Michaels Vs Chris Benoit – WrestleMania XX
Star ratings: Duan ****3/4 | Alan ***** | Big D ****3/4 | GG ****3/4
This match may now be overlooked because of how hard it is to watch a Chris Benoit match these days. At the time, it was the perfect match with the perfect ending.
I remember screaming at Triple H, pleading with him to tap so that Chris Benoit could finally win the strap. And when he did, I think I gained more respect for Triple H than I’d ever had. To me, at that point in wrestling, Benoit was everything that was right, and Triple H wasn’t. I’d be a fool for thinking that afterward, but not at that moment.
And who can forget the final scene in the middle of the ring with Chris Benoit’s family and one of his best friends in Eddie Guerrero standing next to him, congratulating him on winning something he’d earned because of hard work.
3. The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 25
Star ratings: Duan ***** | Alan ****3/4| Big D ****3/4 | GG ****3/4
I feel pretty lucky that I was able to see both Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker WrestleMania matches live.
I’ve written this before and I’ll probably have to write it again. The only difference between this match and the sequel is that for this match, I was so sure that The Undertaker was going to win, it took some of the enjoyment out of it for me. Rather than simply lose my mind, I was predicting the finish and trying to figure out when Taker would win.
But still, in every sense of the word brilliant, this was a brilliant match. Michaels’ bumping was still slightly cartoony, but there were certain times in the match where he played dead and the entire building figured the match was over, and when he kicked out, the building erupted. I’d only been to live events that were that loud a couple of times in my life.
They lost the match a bit when the Undertaker flew over the top rope and nearly knocked himself out, and you could argue that they should’ve ended the match a minute or two early, but then, you’re just nitpicking.
2. The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 26
Star ratings: Duan ***** | Alan ****3/4 | Big D *****| GG *****
This might be the greatest in-ring storytelling I’ve ever seen in my life. It was the streak vs the career. And unless Shawn Michaels decides to un-retire and do a few matches, I saw his last match ever live with over 65,000 people in the building. There was a point in the match that nearly took my breath away and I’m not the type of wrestling fan who usually gets sucked in that badly, but it happened.
Late in the match, when we had all figured that Michaels was going to lose, the Undertaker sort of looked at Michaels in awe at the amount of punishment that he was able to take and for a split second, gave him some sympathy. But Michaels slapped Taker as if to say, don’t you dare feel sorry for me, and Taker ended the match with the jumping version of the tombstone. It was very surreal.
1. Bret Hart Vs Steve Austin – WrestleMania 13
Star ratings: Duan ****3/4 | Alan ***** | Big D ***** | GG *****
I thought that this match had a great chance to be our choice for number one, or tied for number one, but any of the top five matches could’ve won in my book. I think the reason that this match won is because not only did Austin and Hart work so well together, but it also signified one of the greatest double turns in the history of wrestling.
The best part of the match is actually the end. Bret Hart had Austin in the sharpshooter while Austin was bleeding profusely. Austin never tapped, but he passed out, and it kicked off a relationship with the fans that Austin would use to become one of the biggest stars of all-time.