Ranking WrestleMania – Part 5

ranking WrestleMania

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

This is the penultimate list. These are WrestleMania rankings done by Alan (@Alan4L), Duan (@DuanDub), Big D (@EmperorBigD), and GG (@roheblius).

You can check out the previous posts below:
Part 1 (31-26)
Part 2 (25-21)
Part 3 (20-16)
Part 4 (15-11)

10. WrestleMania XXVIII

WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XXVIII podcast

WrestleMania XXVIII was held on April 1, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium.

What was good about the show?
You had a full year of build-up for the Rock’s first WrestleMania in eight years. John Cena and Rock went after each other on the mic. At WrestleMania XXVII, the Rock left Cena laying. He left him laying again at the Survivor Series. And what happened on this show? Well, the Rock won in a match that wasn’t as good as the lead-up, but was still a good way to end the show.

The best match on the show featured Triple H and the Undertaker who were facing each other for the third time at WrestleMania. It’s arguable, but I liked their third match the best. We ranked it at number 9 all-time on top matches in WrestleMania history.

They brought out all of the bells and whistles. It was in the Hell in a Cell and it featured maybe the best performer in the entire match as the third man and referee, Shawn Michaels. After the Undertaker persevered, all three old gunslingers went back down the aisle together like it was an end to an era.

CM Punk and Chris Jericho had a match that many thought would steal the show. But it couldn’t match the emotion of Taker/HHH and there was still anticipation for the main event. The match was good, but they never got going quite to the level that was expected.

What was bad about the show?
The show opened with a moment that was supposed to help Sheamus get over as he quickly beat Daniel Bryan to win the World Heavyweight title. However, WWE misread the situation. When Bryan lost so quickly, the crowd booed loudly and Sheamus hasn’t been forgiven since.

Does everyone remember that Randy Orton and Kane feud? Nope. I forgot they wrestled here. Kane won. Yep. Kane.

What about Team Johnny vs Team Teddy to determine who would get to control both Raw and Smackdown? I nearly forgot about this one too.

So while there were some great moments on this show, it wasn’t devoid of the bad.

9. WrestleMania XXX

WrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast – WrestleMania XXX Part 1
WrestleMania 30 for 30 podcast – WrestleMania XXX Part 2

This show was held at the Silverdome, I mean Superdome on April 6, 2014.

What was good about the show?
In the best opening segment in WrestleMania history, Hulk Hogan, who played host, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the Rock spent 20 minutes chatting it up and reminding you of old times. Rather than describe it, you can watch it below.


Wrestlemania 30 Opening (Hulk Hogan&Stone Cold… by WrestlingEntertainment

The show long storyline of Daniel Bryan having to go through hell to beat the Authority worked out well. Bryan beat Triple in the first and best match on the show, which put him into the three-way at the end against Batista and Randy Orton. And then, in the main event, he made Batista tap out to win the title and then had one of the best celebrations in all of WrestleMania history.

While Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker wasn’t a good match at all, it was an extremely memorable moment, which surprised just about everyone.

Also, Cesaro throwing out the Big Show with a bodyslam in the Andre The Giant Memorial battle royal was a great moment.

What was bad about the show?
I didn’t dislike John Cena’s match against Bray Wyatt. What I disliked about it was the decision to beat Wyatt, who had the potential to be a big name player. And two years later, he’s still searching for the kind of win that he could’ve had at WrestleMania XXX.

Because of time, WWE’s second hottest act, the Shield disposed of Kane and the New Age Outlaws far too quickly. Soon enough, they’d be in the main event picture against Evolution. At less than three minutes long, it was the shortest match on the show.

8. WrestleMania 31

ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 31 review

WrestleMania 31 was held on March 29, 2015 at Levi’s Stadium.

What was good about the show?
Yet again, a talking segment that featured the Rock was one of the main highlights of the show. This time, Rock interrupted Triple H (who had beaten Sting earlier in the show) and Stephanie McMahon. He also tagged in Ronda Rousey who judo tossed Triple H and put Stephanie’s arm in an awkward position.

Daniel Bryan won the Intercontinental championship in a multi-man ladder match that was one of the last matches of his WWE career. It was a fun start to the show though, in hindsight, seems like an unnecessary match considering Bryan’s career ended because of concussion issues.

Randy Orton won a really good match against Seth Rollins, hitting the RKO off Rollins’ Curb Stomp attempt. It was actually some nice foreshadowing to what would happen in the main event.

In that main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, Rollins made it a triple threat by cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase, and the match when he Rollins hit a Curb Stomp on Reigns after a fantastic last few minutes. The element of surprise paired with the tremendous atmosphere as the night fell in the open stadium created a magical moment for those who were there live.

What was bad about the show?
There was nothing truly bad about the show, but there were a couple of disappointments. The Undertaker’s return to WrestleMania was lukewarm at best, beating Bray Wyatt in a flat match.

Also, John Cena beat Rusev in a match that you could argue, he’d have been better off losing. Then again, by winning Rusev’s US championship, it catapulted Cena’s best run of TV matches in quite a while.

7. WrestleMania 21

WrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania 21 podcast

WrestleMania went Hollywood on April 3, 2005 at Staples Center in LA.

What was good about the show?
The show started out hot with Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero having a good match, followed by the first Money In The Bank which pit guys who didn’t have anything going on for Mania (like Chris Jericho, Edge, and Chris Benoit), in a multi-man ladder match. Edge won the match, giving him a free pass into a WWE title match whenever he wanted.

The show stayed hot as the Undertaker beat young Randy Orton, who was previously the youngest champion in WWE history. Even though it was expected that Taker would win, they had a competitive match. Trish Stratus and Christy Hemme was next and while it wasn’t a good match, you got to look at Trish, so that was good enough.

And then, the match of the night happened. Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels was a dream match and it delivered. We ranked it as the 5th greatest match in WrestleMania history.

Here’s what Alan said about the match:

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 near falls 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.

There was also feeling of newness to the main event title picture in 2005. With John Cena and Batista as the two hottest characters in the company, WWE was ready to pull the trigger on both guys which was anticipated.

The actual title matches weren’t anything to write home about, but because Triple H is Triple H, he made sure his match with Batista felt like a main event, whereas Cena’s match with JBL felt like a Smackdown main event. All that being said, both men winning their respective brands’ titles was seen as very positive.

What was bad about the show?
If you love the sight of bare glutes, you may have enjoyed the Big Show vs Akebono match, but it was really the only true eye sore on the show.

6. WrestleMania XX

ranking WrestleManiaWrestleMania 30 for 30 – WrestleMania XX podcast

It all began, again at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2004.

What was good about the show?
There was a lot that was good about this show.

The show picked up during Christian’s match with Chris Jericho. The two guys were put on early in the show, probably to set the tone. The angle was more memorable than the match (which was still good) as Trish Stratus ended up leaving with the winner, Christian.

The Rock came back to help Mick Foley take on Evolution. It was the near culmination of a long storyline (which would culminate at the next show) between Mick Foley and Randy Orton, which saw Orton spit in Foley’s face. It was also the only time (I think) that Rock and Flair ever faced off in the ring together. Orton won the match for Evolution and he and Foley would have a classic the following month.

Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit are forever linked as compadres and because of this show, forever will be. Guerrero beat Brock Lesnar at No Way Out in February to win the WWE title. He faced Kurt Angle on this show and while they didn’t have an out and out classic, it was good enough and saw Eddie loosen the laces on his boots so that when Angle went for the ankle lock, he ended up pulling Guerrero’s boot off instead, allowing Guerrero to roll him up and pin him.

Benoit won the Royal Rumble to secure his shot at the World title in January. His triple threat match with Shawn Michaels and Triple H was in fact a certifiable classic (ranking 4th on our list of top Mania matches ever).

Part of the allure and drama was in wondering if Vince McMahon would pull the trigger on Chris Benoit, not too dissimilar with the drama surrounding Daniel Bryan’s title match at WrestleMania XXX. And when Triple H tapped out to end the match, the crowd went crazy.

But even better was the moment soon thereafter. Eddie Guerrero joined Benoit in the ring and they embraced.

What was bad about the show?
Holy jeez was this show long. It had twelve matches and while most of the bad ones were on the shorter end, Goldberg and Brock Lesnar had the lousiest near 14-minute match you will ever see. The crowd knew that Lesnar was leaving and turned on the match quickly. Neither Brock nor Goldberg looked happy, and special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin had to take over and stunned both men after the match.

Kane and the Undertaker was awful in 1998. And it was worse in 2004. The dead man version of the Undertaker was back and he quickly beat his little brother.

Because it was the 20th show and they wanted everyone to be on it, they had a lot of multiple person matches, including two Fatal-4-Way tag team matches for both the World and WWE tag straps.

The last list is next. We’ll finish it off with the top five WrestleManias of all-time.

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