The 15 Worst Matches From Great Wrestlers

You have two wrestling legends squaring off for the first time in front of thousands in the audience and millions more watching at home. Naturally, it's bound to be a classic, right?


Sometimes, things come together so wonderfully in wrestling. Feuds can develop as amazing as a Hollywood blockbuster but if the finale can't deliver, fans aren't going to be happy. We all know how critical wrestling fans can be, as do I. Because I'm one of them.

Believe it or not, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker, all individuals who have become legends due to their top-notch performances in and out of the ring, all have succumbed to a terrible match at one point or another throughout their career. And that's fine. Everybody has an off day. Not every wrestler can deliver gold every single time. Just like every actor has a few stinkers under their resumes.

Sometimes, yes, we can blame the performer. A lot of the time however, the performer isn't the one to blame. Someones the people in charge backstage booking the event are the ones making terrible decisions. See for yourself by reading on...

15 Triple H - vs. Scott Steiner, Royal Rumble 2003


Before Brock Lesnar would introduce John Cena to Suplex City in the summer of 2015, Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner would do it first at the 2003 Royal Rumble. Except back then, it wasn't cool. Nor did the suplexes look nearly as devastating as the Beast Incarnate's. It actually kind of came off as if that was the only move Steiner knew how to do.

14 Trish Stratus & Bradshaw - vs. Jackie Gayda & Chris Nowinski, RAW, July 8th, 2002


In a mixed tag team action in 2002, Trish Stratus teamed with Bradshaw in what has to be one of the most embarrassing matches to ever occur on live television. The Canadian beauty isn't to blame completely. Her opponent that night, Tough Enough Season 2 winner Jackie Gayda, later to be known as Miss Jackie, takes the brunt of the blame.

What was worse? Jackie missing her cue to toss Trish up in the ropes (but in all seriousness, why did Trish throw herself into the ropes if Jackie wasn't there to do it?) or when Trish jumped off the top rope to hit Jackie with her signature Bulldog and Jackie decided not to react to the move until two seconds had passed?

13 William Regal - vs. Goldberg, Nitro, Feb 9, 1998

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Although this is the first of two matches featuring Goldberg on this list, we're not talking about Goldberg here. The great wrestler here is William Regal.

You could argue Goldberg was never really a fantastic wrestler. During the height of his popularity in WCW, he'd go out there, hit a few powerful moves and squash his opponent to victory. Simple, yet effective. So when given a match with the technically sound William Regal, it should have been a good combo, right? At least expert Regal could make Goldberg look even better, right? Not really. It seemed as if Regal wanted to make Goldberg work a little harder than usual. And instead of the match going the usual two minutes, it went on a bit longer. The longer it went, the more we could tell how green and inexperienced Goldberg really was. To be fair, Regal should've known better.

12 John Cena - vs. The Miz - Over The Limit 2011


A typical John Cena match circa PG Era at its worst. John Cena put his title on the line in an 'I Quit' Match against The Miz to disastrous results. Because of its no disqualification rules, The Miz turned the bout into a handicap match with both him and protege Alex Riley taking a beating to Cena for over 20 minutes before Cena would cry out "I quit!"

Wait a minute. John Cena said "I quit"? The Miz won?

No. It was just a recording of Cena saying I quit. Of course.

11 Shawn Michaels - vs. Hulk Hogan, SummerSlam 2005


Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan would finally clash in 2005, the first time in their careers in what was sure to be a moneymaker. So why is this match on the list? Because quite simply put, Shawn Michaels chose to be just as egotistical as he was earlier on in his career and it was never more obvious than it was here. The match isn't necessarily terrible, but it's pretty apparent that Shawn Michaels was overselling each and every one of Hulk Hogan's moves to the point that even a child could realize that wrestling is indeed "fake", therefore making it impossible for the anyone to suspend their disbelief.

The reason? As backstage stories go, Shawn Michaels agreed to lose only if he could go on to later defeat Hogan in a rematch. When Michaels would later receive word that Hogan would back out of their rematch before their match at SummerSlam, Michaels would lose but not without making the match a complete joke instead of the classic it could have been.

10 Gail Kim vs. Mickie James - RAW, August 17th, 2009


At this point in 2009, the Divas Division wasn't offering a whole much in terms of quality wrestling. Or at least fans didn't seem to care. So when WWE decided to put two of the best women on the roster in the ring against one another for the first time in a championship match on Raw, surely it should've been the best women's wrestling match to come in a very long time, no? Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

9 Bret Hart - vs. Bob Backlund - WrestleMania XI


Although their feud started off pretty well with a solid outing at the Survivor Series event prior, by the time Bret Hart and Bob Backlund wrestled in an "I Quit" Match at WrestleMania XI, fans had already lost interest. With special guest referee Roddy Piper calling the shots to help garner interest for the match, he took the attention away from competitors and the entire match turned out being more awkward than entertaining. How annoying was it to hear Piper yell into the mic every two seconds with a loud, "Whatt'dya SAY???

8 Daniel Bryan - vs. Sheamus, WrestleMania XXVIII


The previous year, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus were bumped off the card at WrestleMania due to time constraints. A year later at the 28th annual event, it seemed as if these two were finally going to be given an opportunity to show the world what they weren't able to last time. And this time, it would be for the World Heavyweight Championship.

How could they go wrong? The match went 18 seconds...

7 Booker T - vs. Jeff Jarrett, Nitro, December 2nd, 2000


If you're looking for a match so terrible it's funny, this might be it. About six months before WWE would wedge the final nail in WCW's coffin, Vince Russo thought up the first and only San Francisco 49ers Match, a match that went so terribly wrong you cannot help but cringe. Or laugh. Either or.

The stipulation - four boxes would hang from poles on each turnbuckle, three of which were holding weapons and the other one, holding the World Heavyweight Championship. If you opened the box with the Championship belt, you won the vacated title. Yep. Winning the World Championship had never been so easy. The "weapons" in each of the boxes turned out to be a blow-up doll, a picture of Scott Hall, and a glove.

Why is this match so stupid?

1) For some reason or another, the glove is perceived as a serious weapon.

2) The belt falls out of the box before Booker T can actually retrieve it.

6 Alberto Del Rio - vs. Sin Cara, August 19th, 2013


If you're a professional wrestler, the goal is to well, stay professional no matter what the circumstance. If you get injured, you stay in character and do an impromptu finish if you have to.

Sin Cara, who you see on Raw each and every Monday isn't actually the same Sin Cara you saw a few years ago. The original Sin Cara (the one known for botching more times than not), in a match on Raw with the incredible Alberto Del Rio, decided to cut his match short because he injured his finger. He literally called the ref to stop the match just because he hurt his finger. Even the WWE Divas of yesteryear never ever did that.

5 The Undertaker - vs. Hulk Hogan, Judgement Day 2002


At this point in Hulk Hogan's career, it was pretty apparent the former megastar was brought back as more of a novelty act more so for his wrestling. Not to say Hogan couldn't do the job, but his age was definitely starting to show. Sometimes, he'd provide us with some classics like with The Rock at WrestleMania X8. Other times, we got a dud, like in his match with The American Badass, The Undertaker at Judgement Day in 2002.

4 Jerry Lawler - vs. Michael Cole, WrestleMania XXVII


I still haven't forgiven Michael Cole for this.

WWE finally decided to give wrestling legend Jerry Lawler a WrestleMania match. Unfortunately for the King, it would be against the uber annoying Michael Cole. The storyline leading up to it was pretty solid in the way that it pretty much set us up to want nothing more than to see Cole get annihilated at the biggest stage of them all. However, due to poor booking decisions, Michael Cole somehow managed to dominate the entire match and even score the victory over Lawler. Why would we want to see this?

3 Sting - vs. Hulk Hogan, Starrcade 97


Fans were starting to get tired of the NWO shtick, and after a buildup that lasted upwards to a year with Sting set to finally take NWO out for good, Starrcade 97 drew record numbers.

What fans expected and wanted to see was Sting destroy Hogan and take the title. Instead, probably due to Hogan's inflated ego, Hogan dominated the entire match, until suddenly, the referee counted Sting down for the 1, 2, 3 and that was it. Sting lost the match clean to Hogan.

Oh, wait, but actually the referee did a fast count and screwed Sting over, according to Bret Hart. Except everybody in the arena and watching at home witnessed the referee count to three at normal speed. But we were supposed to believe otherwise...

2 Kevin Nash - vs. Hulk Hogan, Nitro, January 4th, 1999


The same night Mankind won the WWE Championship on Monday Night Raw, Monday Nitro gave us the Finger Poke of Doom, a moment so ridiculous and infuriating that many people have labeled it the moment that ultimately killed WCW.

Kevin Nash, who had just recently put an end to Goldberg's streak (something fans were already pretty upset about) had his first title defense against Hulk Hogan. What could have been a fantastic match turned into another instance of bad booking by WCW. Nash, who had spent the last year establishing himself as Hogan's biggest enemy, suddenly let Hogan pin him 1, 2, 3 after being poked in the chest.

1 Brock Lesner - vs. Goldberg, WrestleMania XX


Although this technically may not be the WORST match on this list, it's getting the top spot anyway because it took place at the grandest stage of them all. The 20th anniversary of WrestleMania, no less!

This is a match that sounded amazing on paper. You had two of professional wrestling's biggest beasts battling it out one on one with Stone Cold Steve Austin calling the shots as special guest referee. Fans had already known this was going to be Goldberg's last match, but when fans discovered a few days before the event that it would also be Lesnar's, they were livid.

After the bell rang, the two Superstars literally stood in the ring for upwards to five minutes staring at each other while soaking in the heat of the crowd. It's almost as if they chose not to work a good match because the fans in attendance were so crappy. Eventually, the final few minutes of the match picked up steam, but the damage had already been done and this is regarded as one of the worst matches in the event's history.

Rumour has it that these two may have one final rematch at next year's Mania. Can they redeem themselves?

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The 15 Worst Matches From Great Wrestlers