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 Matches In ‘Mania History. We have looked at just about every kind of match we can in ‘Mania history and now it is time to rank the best of the best.
#10: 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.
#9: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (‘Mania 25)
It should have been criminal that a match that was this good wasn’t the main event of the show--Triple H versus Randy Orton had that honor on this night. While that match was almost universally derided, this match, between these two legends of the business, had everything a wrestling fan could ever hope for. The Undertaker would walk away victorious on this night, which was a prelude to what we would get a year later.
#8: Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage
Retirement Match (‘Mania 7)
While the Ultimate Warrior wasn’t the greatest worker inside the squared circle, on this night, Randy Savage made him look like a wrestling wizard. The match had been built up for months and the payoff was more than us wrestling fans deserved in the end. Although he lost the match, the “Macho Man” wouldn’t stay retired and would return to action just a few months later. The greatest moment of the match happened after it was complete, as the “Macho Man” reunited with Miss Elizabeth.
#7: The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan (‘Mania 18)
This would be the first time Hogan competed at a ‘Mania event since ‘Mania 9. The match was built around the greatest of the generations, with Hogan representing the old generation and The Rock representing the new generation. The Rock would walk away victorious after nailing Hogan with a Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow, but it was what would happen after the match that many would remember. Hogan would help The Rock fend off an attacking New World Order and then world do the old school pose down to give fans the return of the classic Hogan.
#6: Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin
Submission Match (‘Mania 13)
One of the most iconic photos ever taken at ‘Mania is the one where Steve Austin is in the sharpshooter, screaming in agony while blood pours from his head. There is an interesting story behind the blade job and it begins with Austin’s reluctance to get cut by Bret Hart. Even as they were battling in the match itself, Austin was continuously objecting to getting color from Hart. However, Austin eventually relented, Hart cut him open on the arena floor and the rest is WrestleMania history.
#5: Razor Ramon (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels
WWE 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.
#4: Randy Savage (Champion) vs. Ricky Steamboat
WWE 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.
#3: Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (‘Mania 21)
There was a moment in the Royal Rumble Match a few months earlier where Kurt Angle and HBK eliminated each other from the match. The feud began and all the wrestling fans eyes lit up with glee because we knew what was coming for us at Wrestlemania. The match between arguably two of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history may be one of the best matches of all time, not just at a ‘Mania. Angle walked away victorious when it was all said and done, but it was actually the wrestling fans in attendance and who watched the match on pay-per-view who were the real winners that night.
#2: Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion) vs. Ultimate Warrior (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.”
#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 wrestler's 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.”