The greatest achievement one can accomplish in the WWE is being in the main event of a WrestleMania show. There are a handful of World Champions crowned each year with the number growing due to the brand split needing two title holders at the top of the company. World Champions are still important, but the main event of WrestleMania is truly the greatest honor of the year. It shows WWE trusts these performers to be in the spotlight to represent the company. The financial bonus that comes along with it shows just how valued the main eventers of the biggest show of the year are by the WWE.
One of the major reasons CM Punk was frustrated during his time in the WWE before leaving was the fact that he felt he deserved the opportunity to main event WrestleMania. Punk had numerous top level matches on the biggest show of the year, but never closed the show with the biggest match of the night. That sums up how important the accomplishment is. As of this writing, there have been thirty-two WrestleMania events with nineteen men holding victories in the final match of the show. We will rank them each from worst to best, listing every man to ever win a WrestleMania main event match.
19. Lawrence Taylor (WM XI)
The worst wrestler to win a WrestleMania main event is naturally someone that wasn’t even a wrestler. WWE tried to get mainstream coverage for the event by having former NFL Superstar Lawrence Taylor wrestle at the big event. The most unlikely of WrestleMania main events came at WrestleMania XI when Taylor squared off against Bam Bam Bigelow. NFL stars surrounded the ring on Taylor’s behalf and heel wrestlers did the same for Bigelow.
Taylor didn’t do that bad for someone with no wrestling experience, but it was still among the least compelling performances to end a WrestleMania show. WWE has continued to use celebrities on future shows. However, it was the final time a celebrity attraction match main evented the event. Taylor versus Bigelow has looked worse and worse each year when you compare it to every other main event in WrestleMania history from a wrestling perspective.
18. Mr. T (WM I)
The first WrestleMania event featured a lot of celebrity involvement and it led to another example of a celebrity winning a main event. Mr. T developed a good relationship with Hulk Hogan following their time working together on the set of Rocky III. Vince McMahon knew he needed the star power to sell the WrestleMania concept to the public. It led to the team of Hogan and Mr. T facing Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff in the main event of WrestleMania I.
Mr. T and Hogan pulled off the win in a historic moment. You have to respect it for the success it delivered, leading to WrestleMania growing every year. Sadly, it’s a brutal match to watch back. Mr. T tried his best, but he just wasn’t meant to be a professional wrestler. The main event is one of the weaker show closers in WrestleMania history.
17. Roman Reigns (WM 32)
We find the first wrestler on the list for the most recent of WrestleMania events. Roman Reigns has been the centerpiece of the WWE for a few years now. The big, crowning moment for Reigns becoming “The Guy” to lead the WWE into the future was supposed to come at WrestleMania 32 against Triple H. It was technically the biggest wrestling show of all-time based off the crowd size, which stood at a record breaking 100,000+ fans in attendance.
Reigns had the perfect opportunity to establish himself as deserving of the top spot he was being given. Instead, it turned out to be one of the worst main events in WrestleMania history. The crowd reaction went back and forth between booing Reigns out of the building and remaining silent out of boredom from the match. Reigns really gained nothing from the win when it came to his standing as a Superstar.
16. The Miz (WM XXVII)
The greatest accomplishment of The Miz’s career is being able to say he defeated John Cena in the main event of WrestleMania XXVII to retain the WWE Championship. Sadly, many fans forget he was even involved in the match. The main event surrounded the story of The Rock and John Cena. Rock attacked Cena to unintentionally help The Miz win the match. It was all to set up the future WrestleMania main events between The Rock and Cena.
Miz was essentially an afterthought despite being the winner of the main event. The match itself was a huge disappointment. Miz lost the title a month later and fell into obscurity. WWE lost faith in him until his resurgence as an elite heel five years later. The greatest moment of Miz’s career actually caused a huge downfall that hurt his career for a long time.
15. The Rock (WM XXVIII)
The Rock has been in five WrestleMania main events, but only holds one victory in those matches. Rock’s earlier years saw him lose to Steve Austin (twice) and Triple H in the biggest matches of the year. It wasn’t until WrestleMania XXVIII that The Rock would achieve his first and only win in the main event of a WrestleMania show over John Cena.
Rock winning in his home of Miami, Florida executed a highly successful comeback as one of the biggest movie stars coming back to the ring after an extended hiatus. The match wasn’t anything special aside from the theatrics and pageantry of two icons squaring off for the first time. The Rock returned the favor by losing to Cena in a rematch the following year of the back-to-back WrestleMania main events.