WrestleMania rundown (cont.)
Posted: Friday March 28, 2008 12:54PM; Updated: Friday March 28, 2008 4:57PM
16. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (WrestleMania XVII): It's difficult to watch any match with Benoit now, but he and Angle were two of the most technically sound wrestlers to ever step into a ring and their back and forth battle in Houston was, in the words of longtime manager and announcer Paul Heyman, "The greatest display of hold and counter-hold I have ever seen."
15. Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (WrestleMania V): You just knew "The Mega Powers" had to explode at WrestleMania and that Hogan would no doubt walk away as the new champion after Savage had held the belt for an entire year. The only question was who Miss Elizabeth would leave with after staying in a neutral corner during the match. In true Jesse "The Body" Ventura fashion he said, "What a gold digger she is, she's going to leave with whoever wins." He was right, she did.
14. Bret Hart vs. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (WrestleMania VIII): The greatest match Piper ever wrestled in will also go down as one of the most underrated in 'Mania history. Oh, how we long for the days when an Intercontinental Championship match actually meant something.
13. The Rock vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania XVII): The two wrestlers that helped the WWE rise to unparalleled popularity during the "attitude" era, offer up one final stellar match before the era officially jumps the shark when Vince McMahon aligns himself with Austin.
12. Randy "Macho King" Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VII): Savage may have lost this "career-ending" match, but he came out the big winner after he re-united with his long lost love, Miss Elizabeth. It was professional-wrestling soap opera at its cheesiest best.
11. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart (WrestleMania XII): Any wrestling match that goes on longer an hour has to either be the most amazing or boring match ever, there is no in between in a marathon like this. Luckily for the crowd in Anaheim, this fell under the former.
10. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (WrestleMania XXI): Pound-for-pound, probably the best pure wrestling match ever at WrestleMania will also go down as one of the most underrated. Nevertheless, a list of the best matches in wrestling history would be incomplete without this classic.
9. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WrestleMania X): Easily the greatest match to ever open up a WrestleMania. While Bret would win the world title later that night, it was Owen that would go home with the bragging rights after winning this classic wrestling clinic.
8. Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock (WrestleMania XVIII): The two biggest icons in wrestling history squared off in an unpredictable match that will be remembered for having the hottest crowd of any match in 'Mania history and catapulting Hogan back to the yellow and red "Real American" that most remember him as.
7. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (WrestleMania XX): The stellar three-way main event will forever be overshadowed by the show's eerie final image of longtime friends Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, embracing each other while holding their respective championship belts.
6. Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz (WrestleMania XVII): The tag-team trio that revolutionized the tables, ladders and chairs (TLC) match nearly ended each others careers in one of the most dangerous 'Mania fights ever.
5. Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VI): Champion vs. champion, title for title, good guy vs. good guy. What was a young wrestling fan to do? It may not go down as the most technically sound match but for a generation of wrestling fans, this will be remembered as the high watermark of a simpler time when wrestling shows lived on Saturday afternoons and Vince McMahon was nothing more than a clichéd announcer.
4. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage (WrestleMania III): Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant may have sold out the Pontiac Silverdome, but Steamboat and Savage stole the show in a match still considered one of the best in wrestling history.
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (WrestleMania X): The first ladder match quite literally set the bar for the future of wrestling and the daredevil stunts that are quite common today. Still, few ladder matches have come close to topping the groundbreaking first one at Madison Square Garden.
2. Bret Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (WrestleMania XIII): One of the most influential matches in wrestling history and one of the few times you'll ever see two wrestlers switch roles (good guy/ bad guy) in mid-action. It was the match and the moment that ushered in the WWE's "attitude" era, which would change the landscape of wrestling forever.
1. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant (WrestleMania III): Another match that will not win any technical awards, but then again it didn't have to. The simple fact that Hogan and Andre sold out a 90,000-seat football stadium in an era when wrestling cards took place in arenas and convention centers, makes this the most important match in wrestling history. Period.
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