Every day 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 looking at the Top 10 Hardcore Matches In ‘Mania History. While the early days of ‘Mania didn’t really feature lots of hardcore matches, but in the latter days of the event, hardcore wrestling founds it’s way into the Wrestlemania culture.
(Note: Due to the fact that most people consider hardcore matches as matches with weapons in them, the list will be limited to street fights, no DQ matches and the such. Even though matches like submission matches and ladder matches have used weapons, they will not be included on the list.)
#10: Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy – Extreme Rules Match (‘Mania 25)
Although the duo hasn’t been seen in the WWE for quite some time now, they had a fantastic weapons filled brawl at ‘Mania 25. This match came about after Matt turned on his brother at the WWE Royal Rumble event a few months earlier, costing him the WWE World Title. The match featured ladders, tables, chairs and a bunch of other weapons that the brothers used on each other. The match ended when Matt nailed Jeff with a Twist of Fate while Jeff’s head was stuck in an unfolded chair.
#9: The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair – No DQ Match (‘Mania 18)
The weapons were a little light in this match, but the blood and the brawling made this match a hardcore one to remember. Flair bled buckets in this one, being busted open as The Undertaker beat him around the ringside area. The match also featured a run in from Arn Anderson, who nailed The Undertaker with his patented spine buster. The Undertaker kept his ‘Mania undefeated streak alive in this match after hitting Flair with the Tombstone Piledriver for the three count.
#8: The Rock (Champion) vs. Steve Austin – WWE Title Match – No DQ Match (‘Mania 15)
This was the first of the three matches that The Rock and Steve Austin would have with each other at a Wrestlemania event. This one took place in Philadelphia which is an apt location for a No DQ Match, since hardcore wrestling was practically born in Philly. The match was a classic Attitude Era battle, with wrestlers going through tables and chair shots galore, including a brutal one from Austin to an interfering Vince McMahon. Austin would walk away with the WWE Championship on this night after catching The Rock with a Stone Cold Stunner.
#7: The Undertaker vs. Triple H – No Holds Barred Match (‘Mania 27)
This would be the second of the three meetings between Triple H and The Undertaker at ‘Mania; it is also the second time ‘Taker is on this list. This match didn’t feature as many weapons as most matches like these do, other than a steel chair, a sledgehammer and the ring steps. The match took such a toll on The Undertaker than medical personnel had to help him get backstage after the match concluded. The Undertaker kept his ‘Mania winning streak alive in this one as well, tapping out Triple H with the Hell’s Gate.
#6: The Legion Of Doom & Ahmed Johnson vs. The Nation Of Domination – Chicago Street Fight (‘Mania 13)
If you ever wanted to see how much insanely crazy hardcore spots and weapons can be fit into such a short match, then check this one out on the WWE Network. These six competitors did everything they could to each other, from weapons shots to going through tables to using fire extinguishers to brawling around the crowd as well. Farooq (Ron Simmons) even suffered a separated shoulder after Hawk threw him from the top turnbuckle to the arena floor. The Legion Of Doom and Ahmed Johnson would take the match after nailing one of the members of the Nation Of Domination with a Doomsday Device.
#5: The Rock (Champion) vs. Steve Austin – WWE Title Match – No DQ Match (‘Mania 17)
The Rock and Austin clashed for a total of three times at 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.
#4: Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon – No Holds Barred Match (‘Mania 22)
Much like Vince’s match with Hulk Hogan at ‘Mania 19, the battle with Shawn Michaels was another bout that was a lot better than it should’ve been. The match also featured plenty of interference from The Spirit Squad and from Shane McMahon as well. This was the typical Vince McMahon match, with plenty of blood, violence and weapons from bell to bell. HBK would walk away victorious by nailing Vinnie Mac with some Sweet Chin Music and an elbow drop through a table from the top of a ladder.
#3: Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon – Street Fight (‘Mania 19)
Two of the world's most important wrestling figures would finally clash at ‘Mania 19 in a match that was far better than it had any right to be. The fact that it was a Street Fight and the plunder was aplenty, plus a surprise appearance by Roddy Piper made it all an amazing spectacle. Hogan would eventually defeat McMahon by using his patented leg drop, it would be the final time Hogan competed at ‘Mania. Hogan would return one more time to confront Muhammad Hassan at WWE Wrestlemania 21, but his final match at ‘Mania is one to remember.
#2: Raven (Champion) vs. Kane vs. Big Show – WWE Hardcore Title Match (‘Mania 17)
Talk about a match that came out of nowhere to be a great spectacle. Nobody expected this match to be any good when it was announced. However, you had Show being driven in a golf cart to attack Kane and more weapons shots than the average human can consume. The match started off in the ring, wound up going to the backstage area and then it all ended on the entrance ramp. Kane won the match and the title after nailing Show, who was already put through some staging by the entrance ramp, with a leg drop.
#1: Edge vs. Mick Foley – Hardcore Match (‘Mania 22)
While Edge went down as one of the greatest WWE superstars of the modern error, there was a time when his career was on the down slide after being on the losing end of a feud with John Cena. Mick Foley took it upon himself, if his autobiography is to be believed, to resurrect the career of the Canadian superstar. The two engaged in a classic hardcore brawl that ended when Edge got the win after nailing Foley with a spear through a flaming table. Edge saw his career resurrected that night and that came at the expense of Foley, who accomplished his goal that night.