Ranking WrestleMania – Part 2

ranking wrestlemania

Check out part two of our series of posts ranking WrestleMania.

We’re at part two of our WrestleMania rankings, as ranked by Alan (@Alan4L), Duan (@DuanDub), Big D (@EmperorBigD), and GG (@roheblius).

Check out part 1 for what we consider to be the six worst WrestleManias.

25. WrestleMania VI

Ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania VI podcast

WrestleMania VI was at the Skydome in Toronto on April 1, 1990 and dubbed, the Ultimate Challenge.

What was good about the show?
The main event was well remembered and was surprisingly good for the time. Watched with current eyes, it’s not as good, but back then, it was beyond our expectation. As a Hulkamaniac, I was pretty sure he was losing the match and was bummed out when Warrior actually won, but at the same time, it felt fairly historic. Unfortunately for Warrior, the follow-up wasn’t as strong.

But nothing else was really good. It was a one-match show.

What was bad about the show?
There were a whopping fourteen matches on the three-hour show. What does that mean? Well, a lot of matches were short, and that was probably for the best. But WrestleMania is usually about the crescendo of feuds and I’m not sure you can finalize much in less than five minutes.

You also had Roddy Piper in half Black-face doing the Hot Rod and Hot Scot gimmick. It wasn’t cool in 1990 and it’s even less cool now. If not for the main event living up to expectations, this show would’ve rivaled WrestleMania XI as one of the worst of all-time.

24. WrestleMania 29

WrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast – WrestleMania 29

It wasn’t exactly New York, but on April 7, 2013, WrestleMania was back on the East Coast at MetLife Stadium.

What was good about the show?
From a match perspective, CM Punk and the Undertaker was quite good, though not quite as good as the previous Triple H and Shawn Michaels matches that Undertaker had.

After having four terrific WrestleMania matches in a row, the fans didn’t believe CM Punk was going to be the one ending the streak. But Punk tried his hardest to fool the fans into thinking that he could win the match. He was also working with a lesser Undertaker who didn’t have the same oomph as he had in the previous four years.

The Shield, who’d be white hot shortly, also had their first WrestleMania match, facing the professional team of Randy Orton, Sheamus, and the Big Show. It was a strong win for the young team.

What was bad about the show?
Where should I start?

The rematch between John Cena and the Rock wasn’t necessary except that it was what Rock agreed upon when he came back. He got his win at WrestleMania 28 and then would pass the torch at WrestleMania 29. Except, John Cena had been the top guy in the company since 2005 and a large part of the fanbase was tired of him being the top guy. The match was also a disappointment as it was more about kicking out of finishes than it was about telling a story.

Fandango beat Chris Jericho, who was absolutely wasted on a huge show. If Fandango was ever going to be anything, beating Jericho is a strong win. But you know where that went.

When Brock Lesnar came back to WWE at Extreme Rules in 2012, it was a huge shot in the arm for the company. But then he lost the match to Cena. He’d beat Triple H at SummerSlam to set up a big match at WrestleMania 29. And then he faced Triple H again. And then Triple H got his win back. And then Brock was 1-2 in his WWE comeback after taking the UFC by storm the previous five years. Talk about idiotic.

23. WrestleMania V

WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania V podcast

The Mega-Powers officially exploded on April 2, 1989 at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City.

What was good about the show?
The main event angle was one of the single greatest angles WWE ever produced. From the teasing of it immediately the year before, to the subtle glances exchanged, to Randy Savage saying that Hulk Hogan had jealous eyes, it was simply fantastic.

As for the match, I thought this was an underrated Hulk Hogan match. Savage was brilliant as the heel. You believed him. He was angry at Hogan for lusting for the limelight as well as in his mind, for Elizabeth. Hogan won the match of course, but it was a hard fought one, with maybe his best opponent ever.

I also kind of dug the size and style differential in the Twin Towers and Rockers match, which would be Shawn Michaels’ first ever WrestleMania match. Also, the Brain Busters facing Strike Force was solid, but was more so a backdrop for Rick Martel’s heel turn.

What was bad about the show?
Much like WrestleMania VI above, there were fourteen matches which meant that there were a lot of short matches.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts faced a nearly immobile Andre The Giant in a very sad match. An almost as immobile Big John Studd was the referee. It was hard to watch Andre cower during the feud and also be on the losing end of anything related to John Studd.

The Ultimate Warrior would soon be WWE Heavyweight champ, but at this point in his WWE career, he was running through everyone. Rick Rude and Bobby Heenan put a crimp in his plans by beating him in a fairly boring match. The finish was memorable though, with Heenan holding Warrior’s leg down after tripping him on a suplex.

And how about this for the wrestling nerds at the time? We were looking forward to Mr. Perfect against the Blue Blazer. How about shave off five minutes of Andre and Jake and add it to this match?

22. WrestleMania XII

Ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XII podcast

WrestleMania XII was held on March 31, 1996 at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim.

What was good about the show?
This show was the exact opposite of WrestleMania V and VI. While those shows had too many matches bunched together, this show had just six matches since one was going for an entire hour.

When it comes to this show, the only good is really the main event which featured Bret Hart against Shawn Michaels. But that show has been so over-hyped as a great match, it’s actually taken away from how good the match was.

It’s not the best match in WrestleMania history; not by far. But it is a really good 60-minute wrestling match.

The Ultimate Warrior having his first WrestleMania match in four years was actually a bigger draw than the main event, and he destroyed Triple H in a squash match. Seeing how Triple H is often booked, it’s funny and probably the second best thing out of this show.

What was bad about the show?
While they were smart enough to not actually book O.J. Simpson, they still had to reference it with the Goldust and Roddy Piper match, if you can call the entirety a match. Worse, the match was the culmination of a feud in which Piper was trying to turn Goldust into a man’s man.

It was Stone Cold Steve Austin’s WrestleMania debut and he faced one of his good early opponents in Savio Vega. But while Austin was winning his match, they cut away to Piper and Goldust in their backlot brawl.

But I think the main reason that this show is so low on our list is simply because it’s a one-match show and that one match has been so overvalued over the years that it’s now undervalued.

21. WrestleMania 2000

WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania 2000 podcast

Just four years after WrestleMania XII, WrestleMania was back at the Arrowhead Pond on April 2, 2000 for WrestleMania 2000.

What was good about the show?
This wasn’t actually part of the show, but WWE offered WrestleMania All-Day Long which was a history of WrestleMania featuring full matches from the first WrestleMania up to present time. If you had all day, you could reminisce about WrestleMania.

For the actual show, there were two standout matches. Edge and Christian faced the Dudley Boyz and the Hardy Boyz in a Triangle Ladder match, which came in at number 23 on our Top 30 Greatest WrestleMania matches list. It was the precursor to the TLC match that really put the teams on the map.

Also, Chris Benoit faced Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho in a triple threat match which featured two falls since both Angle’s Intercontinental and European titles were on the line. Jericho and Benoit each won a fall and Angle left the show without a belt.

What was bad about the show?
Outside of one match, they were all either tag team matches or multi-man matches. And that one singles match was the worst match on the card featuring Terri Runnels facing The Kat in a Catfight match.

The main event was way too long, convoluted, and had the spotlight on the wrong people; the McMahons who were each in the corner of one of the participants. Two years prior, The Rock and Triple H had a match at SummerSlam showcasing them as two guys who were ready for the next level. Rock got there first, but Triple H wasn’t that far behind.

With Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the show because of injury, it was time for Rock and Triple H to headline. Instead, it became a four-way elimination bout with the Big Show and a recently retired (and terribly fat) Mick Foley being added. Since they were quickly the first two eliminated, it seemed weird after the fact why they were even added.

Worse, the match ended when Vince McMahon turned on the Rock and helped Triple H win. It was very much a letdown.

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