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 Title Matches In ‘Mania History. Winning championships and defending championships at ‘Mania are some of the biggest accomplishments a wrestler can have in their career and this piece will be celebrating those great title matches.
#10: Charlotte (Champion) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha BanksWWE Women’s Title Match (‘Mania 32)
I wrote in other columns about how the ‘Mania 19 women’s match was the end of one women’s wrestling era. Well, this was the start of the biggest era of women’s wrestling in WWE history. The match was great from bell to bell, with all three women putting everything they had into the match. Charlotte even nailed her two opponents with a moonsault from the top rope to the arena floor, with Sasha doing her patented suicide dive as well. Charlotte kept the title after forcing Becky to tap out to the Figure 8, while her father Ric Flair stopped Sasha from breaking up the submission.
#9: The Dream Team (Champion) vs. The British BulldogsWWE Tag Team Title Match (‘Mania 2)
This match is the epitome of what a tag team match can be at Wrestlemania, if not in the wrestling world as a whole. This match featured who should be four future WWE Hall Of Fame members in The British Bulldog, The Dynamite Kid, Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake. Legendary musician Ozzy Osbourne was in the corner for the Bulldogs, while Johnny Valiant managed The Dream Team. Valentine got pinned by The British Bulldog after he collided with Dynamite Kid, who took an insane fall to the arena floor from the top rope.
#8: Kurt Angle (Champion) vs. Brock LesnarWWE 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.
#7: The Rock (Champion) vs. Steve AustinWWE 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.
#6: Triple H (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris BenoitWWE Title 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.
#5: Bret Hart (Champion) vs. Shawn MichaelsWWE 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.
#4: Randy Orton (Champion) vs. Daniel Bryan vs. BatistaWWE Title 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.
#3: Razor Ramon (Champion) vs. Shawn MichaelsWWE Intercontinental Title Match (Ladder Match) (‘Mania 10)
The first Ladder Match in ‘Mania history took place at ‘Mania 10 as Shawn Michael and Razor Ramon battled to see who would become the undisputed WWE Intercontinental Champion. This match was an instant classic, as both wrestlers took a beating that certainly left them bruised and hurting for weeks afterwards. Razor would become the undisputed champion that night, which was also the ‘Mania debut of Diesel, better known to some wrestling fans as Kevin Nash. Shawn and Razor would duel in a ladder match again a few years later at WWE Summerslam ‘95, but it wouldn’t measure up to the standards the first match set.
#2: Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Ricky SteamboatWWE Intercontinental Title Match (‘Mania 3)
If you talk to most hardcore wrestling fans, Hulk Hogan versus Andre The Giant wasn’t the main event of ‘Mania 3--this match was. Savage vs Steamboat was a technical wrestling masterpiece and unlike anything we had saw in the WWE at the time. The match was built up so well, including the interactions between managers George Steele and Miss Elizabeth. Steamboat won the match and the title after catching Savage with a roll up after a distraction from Steele.
#1: 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, saying that “Hulkamania Will Live Forever.”
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