WrestleMania is nothing short of a pro wrestling phenomenon. It's the highlight of the WWE calendar that was started by Vince McMahon all the way back in 1985. That first show was a huge gamble for McMahon, and if it hadn't have paid off he could have lost it all. Lucky for him, the Superstars, and for us the fans it all worked out, and now it's hard to grasp how big an event WrestleMania is. Not only does the event need to be held in stadiums that hold up to sometimes over 100,000 people in order to get everyone in, but Mania has an audience of millions watching on television around the world. Performing there is the pinnacle of any Superstar's career, and they likely get a pretty decent chunk of change for the privilege too.
Despite the prestige, honor, and money that comes with being booked on a WrestleMania card, there are countless examples from the 33 instalments of WWE's Super Bowl of wrestlers simply not living up to the hype. Matches that were duds, talents who treated it like just another day at the office. It really is hard to believe but evidently there are some that just don't see it as that big a deal, or as you'll see from some of these entries maybe think they're bigger and better than WrestleMania. We as fans wait for WrestleMania all year, so it's a bit of a slap in the face when a Superstar doesn't give it their all when given the opportunity to perform on The Grandest Stage Of Them All.
15 The Miz (WrestleMania XXVII)
Over the past twelve months or so The Miz has unexpectedly gone from strength to strength. Things like the draft and the return to WWE of his wife Maryse have seemingly given the A Lister a massive confidence boost to the point that he is producing some of the best work of his career. Fair play to Miz, but what he'll likely not want people to point out is that his current work is overshadowing what he did when he headlined Wrestlemania XXVII alongside John Cena. In hindsight, and I'm sure he would never admit this, The Miz was used in that match as a replaceable chess piece to begin the two year long feud between Cena and The Rock. Miz may have been standing tall as WWE Champion once the dust settled, but the match and its ending had almost nothing to do with him.
14 David Sammartino (WrestleMania I)
Bruno Sammartino is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. He held the WWE Championship for almost twelve years straight! His son on the other hand, not so good. Yet young David Sammartino actually had a place on the first ever WrestleMania card. At the time Bruno had retired from in ring competition, and Vince McMahon didn't like it. The boss wanted the legend back under his command so he used his son to try and coax him back in. David's Mania match was against Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake and it was pretty terrible. Much like The Miz, David was simply collateral damage in this situation and was being used as a bargaining chip to try and tempt his father back between the ropes.
13 Butterbean (WrestleMania XV)
WWE have had some pretty terrible ideas over the years. One of the worst was Brawl For All. It was a tournament that combined wrestling and boxing and the matches were a shoot, or real for the layman. The matches took place in the build to WrestleMania XV with the winner getting the opportunity to face off against real life boxer Butterbean at the Show of Shows. Bart Gunn won the whole thing so earned that privilege, although he likely didn't feel very privileged after the bout. Gunn lasted a whole 35 seconds against Butterbean, and no one could have really been that surprised. The boxer likely got paid a pretty penny for just over half a minute's work, and I hope Bart was too as he was fired by WWE shortly after.
12 Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka (WrestleMania XXV)
Many of you reading this may look at the entry and feel it's a little harsh. At WrestleMania XXV Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka were involved in a three on one handicap match against Chris Jericho. At the time Piper would have been 54 and Snuka even older at 65, so not a lot could have been expected of the veterans and naturally we didn't get anything more than an exhibition from them. What lands them on this list is that they were being directly compared to their team's third member, Ricky Steamboat. Ricky was 56 at the time and looked like he could have still given anyone on that roster a decent match. He was always an impressive physical specimen but at his age it was incredible. All three men likely earned about the same for their WrestleMania comebacks, but Steamboat deserved a bonus when comparing all three performances.
11 Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania 32)
Ever since he returned in 2012 Brock Lesnar has been one of the main attractions at WrestleMania. The Beast Incarnate has utilized The Showcase Of The Immortals to break The Undertaker's streak, do battle with Roman Reigns, and tear the house down with Goldberg. His match at the 32nd Show of Shows was a slight blip on Brock's recent Mania record however. WWE seemingly had no one lined up for Lesnar to face, so they threw together a match between him and Dean Ambrose. Brock was clearly less than interested in the bout and may have been there physically but his heart was not in the match. I'm sure the current Universal Champion didn't care too much though as his WrestleMania pay out would likely have been the same as his other big match appearances.
10 Triple H And Randy Orton (WrestleMania XXV)
There have been 33 WrestleManias, every one of which has had a main event, obviously. Naturally some of those main events have not exactly been show stoppers. One show closer that is remembered for all the wrong reasons was the one between Triple H and Randy Orton. In fact it's regarded by many as the worst main event in the show's history. Neither man really showed up to the extent that they needed to considering that it was the slot reserved for what should be the biggest and best match of the year. It was also greatly overshadowed by a bout that took place earlier in the evening, The Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels. While The Game and The Viper's match is considered one of the worst in Mania history, the one they had to follow is undoubtedly one of the best.
9 Yokozuna (WrestleMania IX)
Bret Hart has gotten somewhat of a reputation recently for complaining quite a lot. Well believe it or not it isn't a recent phenomenon. The Hitman has raised issues about others' in-ring ability as far back as WrestleMania IX. At the time Bret was WWE Champion and he was defending his title against Yokozuna. According to Hart the dry desert heat from having to wrestle outdoors meant Yoko got blown up extremely quickly. It meant that the supposed ex sumo wrestler attempted to end the match before it was supposed to reach it's climax as he couldn't keep going. Yoko's rush to bring the match to a close led to his manager, Mr Fuji, not having his trademark salt ready and an all round messy finish.
8 Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania IX)
Yokozuna may have won the WWE Championship main event at WrestleMania IX despite his lackluster efforts, but he did not leave the event with the belt. Hulk Hogan decided that the way in which the match had come to an end was an injustice so came to the ring to challenge the new champion. You would think he would demand a rematch for Bret Hart, but never mind. For some reason The Hulkster got his match there and then and beat Yokozuna in extremely short order. Mr Fuji tried to utilize his salt once again but wound up blinding the man who he was attempting to help win by accident. A big payout for Hogan plus a WWE Championship, all for showing his face in a situation that wasn't really anything to do with him.
7 Scott Hall And Stone Cold (WrestleMania X-8)
Stone Cold has had some pretty incredible WrestleMania matches. From his I quit match with Bret Hart to his crowning moment against Shawn Michales all the way up to his hat trick of matches with The Rock. Austin always earned his WrestleMania pay cheque. Well, almost always. In the build to WrestleMania X-8 the nWo had found their way to WWE. While The Rock and Hulk Hogan were set to square off in a generation defining match, Austin was paired of with Scott Hall. Hall wasn't exactly in the best place at the time and Steve didn't really see him as a worthy opponent. It led to a very forgettable match and a rare blemish on Stone Cold's WrestleMania record.
6 Lawrence Taylor (WrestleMania XI)
I am a firm believer of the WrestleMania main event each year being the WWE Championship match. I'm also an advocate for celebrities not taking WrestleMania slots from hard-working full time Superstars. Therefore this entry truly is the worst of both worlds as WWE brought in NFL star Lawrence Taylor to headline WrestleMania XI against Bam Bam Bigelow. The title match that year was between Diesel and Shawn Michaels, and although it wasn't the greatest match of all time it was certainly better than what closed the show. Taylor and Bigelow put on a dud of an exhibition match and not only did WWE have to fork out for Lawrence's in-ring appearance, but also his football cronies that were acting as lumberjacks at ringside.
5 Mr. T (WrestleMania I)
There was a time long ago that a tag match headlined The Showcase of the Immortals. Hulk Hogan paired up with Mr T (yes THAT Mr. T) to take on Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper. Vince McMahon famously put pretty much every penny he had into that first WrestleMania, and had it not been a success the landscape and trajectory of pro wrestling would have been extremely different. I can only imagine that Mr. T required quite a lot of those pennies to be coaxed into performing in the night's main event. Despite that other wrestlers who were involved in the event have spoken of how much of a problem Mr T was just hours before the match. Apparently the now WWE Hall of Famer looked like he wasn't going to compete at all, putting the whole night in jeopardy. Vince McMahon was probably left thinking whether bringing him in was worth the bother.
4 The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania XII)
The late, great Ultimate Warrior had more than his fair share of problems with Vince McMahon and WWE. The Hall of Famer had been absent from the company for a long while after being one of WWE's major players, so when they convinced him to return in the mid '90s it was seen as a big deal. At his first WrestleMania following his return in 1996 his opponent would be a young Triple H, who was about to compete on his first WrestleMania full stop. It was a forgettable match to say the least, and the worst of the night. For some Warrior versus The Game is a dream match, but not in this instance. The bout lasted a little over 90 seconds and involved Warrior immediately jumping straight back up after taking a pedigree.
3 The Rock (WrestleMania 32)
The Rock is one of my favorite wrestlers of all time. His feud leading into WrestleMania X-Seven with Stone Cold Steve Austin is what made me a pro wrestling fan. That certainly wasn't the only time The Great One left it all in a WrestleMania ring either. At WrestleMania 32 however Rocky's appearance was less than electrifying. The segment made what was already a hard going marathon length show feel even longer with Rock's odd flame thrower entrance all the way up to his short and impromptu match with Erick Rowan. It was a show that really didn't need him, not in that way anyway, and needlessly and inexplicably led to Rock burying The Wyatt Family. The take home moment was The People's Champ standing tall with John Cena following all of the above, and it was a moment that WWE really should have gotten to a lot quicker.
2 Giant Gonzalez (WrestleMania IX)
The Undertaker has a better WrestleMania record than anyone has or anyone ever will have. There are a couple of those streak matches that WWE would rather you didn't remember in too much detail though, and one of those took place at WrestleMania IX. The Deadman went one on one with Giant Gonzalez, a monster of a man who made the almost seven foot Undertaker look small. Like so many big men across wrestling history, while Gonzalez had the size he did not have the in ring ability. The match was a far cry from the later Mania matches Undertaker would have with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. The ending just about summed up the bout. Gonzalez used chloroform to knock out his opponent and Taker won the match by disqualification on the back of that.
1 Brock Lesnar and Goldberg (WrestleMania XX)
One of the worst matches in WrestleMania history was the Madison Square Garden bout between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. The two behemoths clashed at WrestleMania XX and there is no greater example of two Superstars not earning their Mania pay cheques. It was common knowledge that both men were on their way out of WWE, and that this match would be their last. Combine that with the fact that neither man really cared what the fans thought about them anyway and you had a recipe for disaster. Neither man gave anywhere near their all and even the addition of Stone Cold as special guest referee couldn't save the match. Fast forward thirteen years and WWE had the good faith to let Lesnar and Goldberg have a rematch, and this time around both men were clearly older, wiser, and made up for the dud in New York all those years ago.