For WWE fans, WrestleMania is their Super Bowl. Everything that happens all year leads up to the Grandest Stage of Them All. The event has evolved into a week-long celebration of all things professional wrestling.
Even though the weekend now includes the Hall of Fame induction, NXT TakeOver, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, it still all comes down to what happens at Mania. To prepare for WrestleMania 35 on the WWE Network Sunday, April 7, we’ve narrowed down what could be a list of 50 to the 10 best WrestleMania matches of all time.
10 SASHA BANKS VS CHARLOTTE VS BECKY LYNCH - WRESTLEMANIA 32
Women’s matches don’t have the best history at WrestleMania. Sure, they’ve had some great moments, but if the card is running long, they’re the first match to get cut. With the highly publicized women’s evolution leading to more respect for the division, they finally got a chance to shine on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
At WrestleMania 32, the Divas Championship was rechristened as the Women’s Championship, with three of the company’s brightest stars, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch fighting in a triple threat match. After a fantastic 16 minutes, Charlotte retained, signaling a new era of women’s wrestling.
9 THE ROCK VS JOHN CENA - WRESTLEMANIA 28
Billed as a “Once in a Lifetime” match, the two biggest names in wrestling finally met up in the squared circle when John Cena took on The Rock at WrestleMania 28. Even without the spectacular build up these two did for a year, this would have been one of the most anticipated matches of all time.
At this point, The Rock was a movie star, so with the possibility that this would be the last time we saw him in a WWE ring, neither man disappointed, pulling out all the stops. In the end, the Brahma Bull beat Cena, but of course, that just meant there needed to be an even more emotional sequel.
8 ROMAN REIGNS VS BROCK LESNAR - WRESTLEMANIA 31
Any video package about memorable WrestleMania moments includes this match for the WWE Championship. For weeks Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns had been trading physical and verbal attacks.
After beating the life out of each other, and with everyone wondering what it would take for either man to go down, Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. This made the match a triple threat and got Rollins the win, conducting what Michael Cole called “the heist of the century.”
7 THE ROCK VS STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - WRESTLEMANIA 17
The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin had a rivalry so big, it spanned three different WrestleManias. It was tough to narrow it down to one, but we chose to go with their no disqualification match from WrestleMania 17. A bloody affair, where they left everything in the ring.
Austin was more aggressive than we had ever seen him, but The Rock fought back, equaling things up. However, absolutely no one was expecting Stone Cold to get help from Vince McMahon, turn heel and share a beer with the boss.
6 MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH - WRESTLEMANIA 21
This match, where the winner gets a contract that gives them a championship title opportunity whenever they want, made its debut at WrestleMania 21. Over the years, it’s become so highly anticipated and such an instant classic, it eventually spawned a separate pay per view. Of course, the first remains one of the best.
With six of the best athletes and performers in the company, there were bound to be plenty of amazing spots, but the action was literally non stop. Edge won, then cashed in 280 days later at the worst possible moment for John Cena, setting up how future winners would get championships.
5 STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS BRET HART - WRESTLEMANIA 13
A year after losing the WWF Championship to Shawn Michaels, Bret “The Hitman” Hart started a rivalry with another of his longtime foes, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The two had a submission match, where the only way to win was to make the other man quit.
Many fans point to this match as the moment Stone Cold became the defiant hero they grew to love. With Bret locking Austin in the sharpshooter, Stone Cold passed out, forcing guest referee Ken Shamrock to call the match for Hart. However, the fact that he never gave up made Stone Cold a legend.
4 RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT VS “MACHO MAN” RANDY SAVAGE - WRESTLEMANIA 3
The business has progressed so much over the years, sometimes older matches don’t get the respect they deserve. Though, the truly great ones, like Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3, always stand the test of time.
There are moments in this match where you can see the direct influence it had on today’s superstars. Steamboat’s quickness and martial arts skill, combined with Macho Man’s spectacular heel work told an amazing story. Though it takes place in 1987, it still feels like it would fit right in on a current card.
3 SHAWN MICHAELS VS BRET HART (IRON MAN MATCH) - WRESTLEMANIA 12
Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels is one of the greatest rivalries in all of wrestling. The Iron Man match is not their most famous, (that honor belongs to the Montreal Screw Job), but it is their best. Bret was telling everyone that Shawn couldn’t beat him in a technical wrestling match, so a straight up 60-minute mat classic seemingly favored him.
However, from the moment he made his zipline from the rafters entrance, this was the birth of Mr. WrestleMania. This is where HBK showed that he was more than a high flyer, culminating in him defeating the Hitman in overtime.
2 EDGE AND CHRISTIAN VS THE DUDLEY BOYZ VS THE HARDY BOYZ (TLC MATCH) - WRESTLEMANIA 17
Tables, ladders, and chairs matches are somewhat commonplace in WWE now, there’s even a whole pay per view built around the stipulation. However, in 2000 at WrestleMania X-Seven, it was brand new to wrestling fans.
Edge and Christian, The Dudleys and The Hardys had already proven they could do anything in the ring, so while no one quite knew what to expect, anticipation was high. They not only lived up to the hype, but they also surpassed it. WrestleMania 17 is arguably the best of all time, due in no small part to these three teams.
1 SHAWN MICHAELS VS THE UNDERTAKER - WRESTLEMANIA 25
As “Mr. WrestleMania” we could make a whole list of just Shawn Michaels matches, so it comes as no surprise that his greatest match is considered one of the best of all time. In his first of back to back battles with The Undertaker, the Heartbreak Kid came closer than anyone before him to ending the fabled streak.
From their entrances to the three count, these two legends told a story of competitors who know each other so well, neither could figure out how to defeat the other. It was only when Michaels went for a moonsault and got caught in a tombstone that Undertaker was able to get the pin. It was so amazing, they did it all over again the next year and nearly topped it.