Everyday from March 1 until WWE Wrestlemania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WWE Wrestlemania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be taking a look at the Top 10 Main Event Matches In ‘Mania History. Every wrestlers dream is to headline a ‘Mania and today’s list will take a look at the best ‘Mania main events of them all.
#10: Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan - WWE Title Match (‘Mania 5)
Hogan helped Savage win the WWE Title a year earlier a ‘Mania 4 and their one year storyline would culminate at ‘Mania 5. A major story of the match was that Miss Elizabeth, who had managed both Hogan and Savage at times, had to choose whom she would support… a choice she didn’t make, because she was taken backstage just as the match got underway. Hogan would win the match and the title at the second straight ‘Mania to be held in Atlantic City. Hogan would go onto headline three more ‘Mania events, while Savage would never headline one again.
#9: Hulk Hogan (Champion) vs. Andre The Giant - WWE Title Match (‘Mania 3)
This match headlined a ‘Mania that was attended by over an alleged 93,000 people--the attendance record for ‘Mania for years. Hogan would leave fans in attendance and watching at home with the iconic image of him slamming the giant and giving Andre his first loss in years when he nailed him with the leg drop to get the three count. Sadly for Andre, this would be the last main event level feud for him, although he would be a WWE Tag Team Champion heading into ‘Mania 5.
#8: Triple H (Champion) vs. The Rock vs. Big Show vs. Mick Foley - WWE Title Match/Fatal 4 Way Elimination Match (‘Mania 2000)
This match would make history for the WWE in many ways, starting with the fact that it was the first and thus far, only Fatal 4 way Match to headline a ‘Mania. It was also the lone match to feature a member of the McMahon Family in each wrestler's corner and it was the first time a heel left victorious in the ‘Mania main event. The post-match was also memorable as The Rock nailed Stephanie McMahon with a Rock Bottom and a People’s Elbow.
#7: Kurt Angle (Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar - WWE World Title Match (‘Mania 19)
This match may be best remembered for Lesnar nearly killing or severely injuring himself after a failed shooting star press attempt. However, prior to the botched maneuver, this was a technical wrestling masterpiece between two of the best wrestlers in the company at the time. Angle also collapsed backstage and was hospitalized for quite some time after the event, but would eventually return to action. Lesnar won the match and the title with an F-5, and the two would lock up many more times in the WWE and Japan.
#6: Randy Orton (Champion) vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan - WWE World Title Match/Triple Threat Match (‘Mania 30)
The ending of WWE Wrestlemania 30 was just about every hardcore wrestling fans dream come true. Earlier in the evening, Bryan defeated Triple H in a singles matches to get the right to compete in the main event. The match featured Bryan taking a stretcher job and Randy Orton nearly crippling himself by landing back first on a television monitor during an RKO on a table. Bryan would win the match and the title when he submitted Batista with the Yes Lock. Sadly, it was the final great wrestling match of Bryan's career.
#5: Triple H (Champion) vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels - WWE World Title Match/Triple Threat Match (‘Mania 20)
Although the story of Chris Benoit would end in a truly tragic matter, for one night, wrestling fans were treated to a glorious moment. The match between these three was an instant classic and at different points throughout the match, fans believed that any of the three could walk away victorious. Benoit would walk away the winner and champion after forcing Triple H to submit to the Crippler Crossface. And after the match concluded, Benoit and longtime friend Eddie Guerrero would stand in the middle of the ring holding their titles in the air.
#4: The Rock (Champion) vs. Steve Austin - WWE World Title Match/No DQ Match (‘Mania 17)
The Rock and Austin clashed for a total of three times a WrestleMania, but this meeting between the two was the best of them all. This match also took place in Austin’s home state of Texas, which put The Rock in a rare position (at the time) of being the heel in a match. Austin would win the title in his home state, nailing The Rock with a plethora of chair shots to get the job done. ‘Mania 17 would also close with Austin and longtime rival Vince McMahon embracing in the middle of the ring.
#3: Bret Hart (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels - WWE Title Match/60 Minute Ironman Match (‘Mania 12)
‘Mania 12 was a three hour show on pay-per-view, with over an hour of that show dedicated to the Ironman Match between WWE Champion Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. The two battled back and forth for an hour with nobody scoring a single fall, then headed into sudden death overtime.The match was won, Michaels nailed Hart with Sweet Chin Music to score the lone fall in the match and win the title. Say whatever you want about the booking and the lack of falls, but Hart and Michaels went over an hour in a ‘Mania main event that is still remembered over two decades later.
#2: Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion) vs. Ultimate Warrior (WWE Intercontinental Champion) - Title vs. Title Match (‘Mania 6)
This was the first time a champion versus champion match and a match featuring two babyfaces would headline a ‘Mania. The match also headlined the first ‘Mania to be held outside the United States, as it was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Warrior would walk away with the win and the two titles after catching Hogan with a press slam followed by a splash. Jesse Ventura, the heel commentator who always mocked Hogan, would credit longtime foe Hogan a few seconds after the match to say that “Hulkamania Will Live Forever.”
#1: The Undertaker (Streak) vs. Shawn Michaels (Career) - Streak vs. Career Match (‘Mania 26)
The two clashed before at ‘Mania 25, but this would arguably be the greatest match in each wrestlers respective career. While both battled in their home state of Texas the year before, this battle between the two legends took place in Arizona. The match was a true masterpiece of wrestling greatness and for one wrestler, it would be their final match ever. The Undertaker defeated Michaels in the match, ending the career of the one dubbed “Mr. Wrestlemania.”