The unpredictable nature of professional wrestling is what makes the shows special in WWE. Anyone can forecast how things will turn out on paper, but that never reveals what would happen. Many matches expected to disappoint have shocked the world by delivering a great outing. The matches to have resistance from the viewer due to mediocre talents, a bad storyline or just the wrong timing can change the perception if they hit a home run.
We will look at WWE matches that overachieved in many ways throughout the years. These bouts clearly could have gone negatively based on the fan response entering them. However, the magic was there to deliver strong performances from the competitors to give us great matches. Find out just which wrestlers were able to change the narrative. These are ten amazing WWE matches that probably should have sucked.
10 Vince McMahon vs Shane McMahon (WrestleMania 17)
The members of the McMahon family have never been considered great wrestlers, but they tried their best in quite a few noteworthy matches. Shane and Vince McMahon had a showdown at WrestleMania 17 with Shane attempting to get revenge for his mother Linda.
Both men beat the hell out of each other making you forget it was a family affair. Shane pulled off the win in a highly entertaining match guest officiated by Mick Foley. WrestleMania 17 is considered the greatest WWE show of all time by many with this match adding to the appeal of the overall card.
9 The Rock vs Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 18)
The Rock had a tough task attempting to get a great match out of Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18. Hogan was later in his career and didn’t have many memorable performances during his prior seven-year run as the top star in WCW.
WWE’s story of the present top superstar against the past top superstar found magic on this night. Fans cheering for Hogan added to the story with Hogan delivering arguably the best performance of his career. Rock defeated Hogan in the all-time great WrestleMania match.
8 AJ Lee vs Kaitlyn (Payback 2013)
WWE still gave little respect to the women’s division as recently as 2013. The former best friends of AJ Lee and Kaitlyn developed a heated rivalry heading into their big match at Payback 2013. Lee finally received a Divas Championship title shot after weeks of mind games making things personal.
Kaitlyn and AJ received a little over 10 minutes, which was a victory for the women’s division at the time. Both ladies tore it up with outstanding performances. Lee scored the victory to win her first Divas Champion starting her run as the top star in the division.
7 Floyd Mayweather vs Big Show (WrestleMania 24)
The addition of undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather to the WrestleMania 24 card against Big Show was met with polarizing reactions from wrestling fans. Despite WWE receiving strong media attention and coverage entering the show, many feared the non-wrestler would drop the ball in the big match.
Mayweather however understood the wrestling world since he essentially already played a heel in his boxing career with his egotistical approach and arrogant persona. The match with Big Show was quite entertaining as they used all the bells and whistles to deliver a great attraction.
6 Trish Stratus vs Stephanie McMahon (No Way Out 2001)
Trish Stratus and Stephanie McMahon weren’t considered capable wrestlers when entering their No Way Out 2001 match. Fans would see Status improve in later years, but this match showcased the potential of both ladies as characters.
The storyline of Trish’s relationship with Vince McMahon made Stephanie her biggest enemy. Stratus and Stephanie had an entertaining fight all over the ringside area. William Regal’s interference gave Stephanie the victory in this surprisingly fun match.
5 John Cena Vs Umaga (Royal Rumble 2007)
Umaga’s rise to the main event picture was a bit surprising since many fans didn’t view him on that level. However, WWE wanted to run with the story of John Cena having to overcome a credible monster heel character.
Royal Rumble 2007 would see Cena and Umaga have arguably the greatest match in the show’s history. Cena started to earn respect for his in-ring improvement and Umaga became a legitimate upper level heel thanks to this must-see Last Man Standing match that shocked the wrestling community.
4 Hulk Hogan vs Vince McMahon (WrestleMania 19)
WWE utilized the backstage issues between Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon to create an attraction match at WrestleMania 19. The two wrestlers had to keep up with huge matches like Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho, Steve Austin vs The Rock and Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle on the card.
Despite both men being older in age and Vince not being a legitimate professional wrestler, they told a beautiful and violent story. Any match that features McMahon doing a leg drop from a ladder through a commentary table is worth watching. Hogan overcame Vince to win a bloody and entertaining brawl.
3 Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs Stephanie McMahon and Triple H (WrestleMania 34)
WWE showed huge confidence in all four performers when booking a match with two part-time veterans, a non-wrestler and a rookie in an attraction match on the biggest card of the year. This happened when Ronda Rousey teamed with Kurt Angle against Stephanie McMahon and Triple H.
The match was a smash hit and arguably the most entertaining bout of the night. Everyone brought their A-Game with Rousey surprisingly having the best performance. WrestleMania 34 proved that Rousey was going to be a massive star for WWE after such a stellar first match.
2 Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg (WrestleMania 33)
The colossal failure of Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg at WrestleMania 20 made fans assume the two would never match up again since they each quit WWE after that night. However, fate would see them having another WrestleMania match 13 years later.
Lesnar’s desire to work with Goldberg along with his backstage influence would see WWE create a five-month story culminating at WrestleMania 33 for the Universal Championship. The two legends only went about five minutes, but the match was an outstanding sprint. Goldberg and Brock proved that they could have a great match together on the biggest stage to redeem their past disappointment.
1 Hulk Hogan vs Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania 6)
Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior were both massive stars for WWE, but neither man was considered a good in-ring worker. The two superstars often needed a better all-around worker to lead them to great matches if that was the intent.
WWE went with the face vs face showdown of Hogan vs Warrior for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 6. Both men delivered an all-time great performance in their careers. Warrior won the match and the title in front of an audience that felt they witnessed the best match of all time at that point.