I should be feeling excited. This weekend is freaking WrestleMania, normally the greatest extravaganza in sports entertainment. It’s the event in which icons return, new stars are born and memories are created that will live in our hearts (and the WWE Network, I think they mentioned it a couple of times) forever. But this year’s Mania just kind of feels “meh”. Top to bottom, many of the matches on this year’s card lack any sense of intensity or anticipation. There are two matches which feature a hodgepodge of people who have nothing better to do on a Sunday night than bounce around a squared circle and the main event has as much heat as a frozen pizza. On top of that, four wrestlers competing at WrestleMania will most likely not be wrestling the night after on Raw. The whole event feels kind of like a… botch.
So instead of talking about the lackluster build for the biggest show of the year, let’s instead talk about botches at WrestleMania. Any wrestler knows that there is no better time to make an impact than at the show of shows and as a result, every wrestler tries to put their best foot forward. Sometimes though, whether it is nerves or slipping on a mental banana peel, wrestlers screw up. Most botches just end up being embarrassing, show up on Botchamania and are laughed at forever. Other times there are botches that make you wonder why anybody would ever step foot into a wrestling ring. Botches of both varieties will be featured on this countdown and the ultimate factor in determining the ranking is simply how memorable they are. So sit back and enjoy the article that is sure to be more entertaining than Kevin Nash 2.0 vs The Vanilla Gorilla at WrestleMania 31.
Note: for a list of 20 overall botches, check out my other article on the subject. It's botchtastic!
10 Ultimo Dragon Trips Up In MSG
Imagine this: you've competed for over 15 years across the entire world as a professional wrestler. Your name is known around the globe as one of the greatest luchadores of all time and an innovator of several moves that have been copied by others. Your time has finally come to make your debut at WrestleMania XX... and you trip making your entrance.
Honestly, this entry had absolutely no negative effect on the match at all and is a harmless goof up by the Dragon. Still, this isn't the way you make a triumphant entrance at your first WrestleMania.
9 Roddy Piper Drops, and sort of kicks Chris Jericho
For botch, skip to 2 minute mark of the video
Heading into the WrestleMania 25 handicap match featuring the team of Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Ricky Steamboat versus Chris Jericho, people's expectations were understandably low. While Steamboat kept himself in great shape for his age, Piper and Snuka's bodies were too wrecked from their years in the business to do much of anything in this WrestleMania encounter.
That didn't stop Piper from trying though. After successfully executing a Cactus clothesline and a sunset flip, Piper must have been feeling pretty good about himself. So much so that he attempted a standing dropkick but unlike those other two moves, this one didn't quite connect. Rather than a graceful high jump followed by a planting of two feet in the mush of his opponent, Piper instead hopped and flicked one foot at Jericho's face hoping to hit anything. A harsh, "bowling shoe ugly" (thanks J.R) return to reality for the Hot Rod.
8 Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Botchery
Allow me to preface this entry by saying that I love me some Trish Stratus and Mickie James, but this was an ugly mess up. WrestleMania 22 from Chicago,Illinois played host to arguably the best Divas match in WrestleMania history; a Women's Championship match between champion Trish Stratus and challenger Mickie James. The buildup of the feud was great as Mickie James was extremely convincing in her role as an obsessed superfan and Trish looked every bit the superstar she was, is and always will be.
The match was great too. Even though James debuted just a few months earlier, the way Stratus sold for her made James look like a legit threat. Unfortunately for James, her WrestleMania debut was spoiled by an embarrassing spot which saw James try to copy Trish's Stratusfaction bulldog finisher. Instead of bouncing off the ropes, James slipped and failed to copy her idol. This has been edited off of the WWE Network, and now you can see why.
7 Triple H Buries Dry Ice On The Grandest Stage
While it seems that Triple H has now been christened as the WWE's savior since Vince McMahon is officially bats*** crazy, there are still pockets of fans who won't forgive him for seemingly burying loads of young talent over the years. On no occasion was this more evident than his burial of the debuting Dry Ice at WrestleMania 29.
Fact: the temperature of dry ice is minus-79 degrees Celsius, cold enough to give a burning sensation to your body that will kill skin cells. The King of Kings got blasted with this during his WrestleMania 29 entrance, but did that stop him? Hell no and you know why? Because he's the Game, and he's that damn good. Even Brock Lesnar looked impressed/intimidated as he saw The Game no-sell the burning sensation he was feeling.
Poor Dry Ice had so much potential, but yet again, Triple H buried a young budding star into obscurity, as he felt threatened by the newcomer.
Oh yeah, it's a botch because in no way was it planned for The Game to be doused in dry ice and suffer second-degree burns.
6 Hulk Hogan Doesn’t Know Where He Is In The Space-Time Continuum
Despite Hogan’s insistence that he can wrestle another match, it’s almost a guarantee that the in-ring career of the Hulkster is finished. Hogan’s lengthy wrestling career has broken him down to the point where the Hall of Famer seems to have lost control of his mental faculties. Exhibit A to my argument: last year at WrestleMania, Hogan said he was standing in the middle of the Silverdome when actually he was in the Superdome, an arena about a thousand miles away. Being the brilliant promo men they are, Stone Cold and The Rock got a couple of jokes in at Hogan’s expense a few minutes later and ultimately made the segment even more memorable than it already was
5 Randy Orton's Self Destruction RKO
Guys and gals, let's look back to last year's WrestleMania main event. Ah what a beautiful time it was: Daniel Bryan was receiving the WrestleMania main event he so rightly deserved, Batista performed much better than anybody could have hoped for and we were treated to one of the best triple threats of all time. Then it happened.
Normally when a spot is done on the announce table, the television monitors are cleared out of the way so nobody gets hurt. In this case though, one television monitor managed to escape the vision of Batista and Randy Orton. When Orton jumped up to bring Bryan down for an RKO, his back slammed down into a monitor. You may debate whether this one is a botch or not, but it was definitely a screwup and Orton is incredibly lucky he didn't receive an injury.
4 Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole Goes 14 Minutes
Okay, so this isn't REALLY a botch, but this one's on the powers that be.
I'm reaching for this one but come on, who on earth thought this was a good idea? From late 2010 to WrestleMania XXVII Michael Cole became one of the most hated men in the company (intentionally, this time) by running down Jerry "The King" Lawler constantly and interfering in his WWE Championship matches versus The Miz. As a result, Lawler challenged Cole to a match at WrestleMania, which Cole accepted. He really shouldn't have.
Most would have expected this match to be a quick three minute bout consisting of Lawler piledriving Cole until he puked but instead Cole actually took a lot of offense and beat down Lawler most of the match. To cap it all off, Lawler lost the match via disqualification after the Anonymous Raw General Manager (yes this was the time where a computer reigned over Raw) reversed special referee Stone Cold's decision to give the victory to Lawler. To add salt on the wound, Lawler and Cole would have two more matches on PPV afterwards.
A booking botch on every level. Maybe it was a typo in the script and someone meant to write 14 seconds, or 14 steamboats or someone slipped the '1' in front of the '4' for a goof. We'll never know.
3 How The Hell Does Sid Justice Kick Out of Hogan’s Leg Drop?!
How’s that for an attention-grabbing headline? At WrestleMania VIII, Hulk Hogan versus Sid Justice squared off in the main event (seriously) for what was kinda sorta Hogan’s final WrestleMania main event. Near the end of the match, Hogan hit his immortal leg drop only to not get the 1-2-3 as Sid kicked out!
Why was Sid freaking Justice the first man to kick out of Hogan’s leg drop? That's right up there with the shock of the streak ending! That would be because of Papa Shango a.k.a The Godfather a.k.a Charles Wright. The actual planned finish for the match was for Shango to run in and break up the count which would give the disqualification victory to Hogan. The problem was that Shango was late for his run in (most likely due to the LONG entrance aisle in the stadium) and as a result Justice kicked out of Hogan’s leg drop and Justice’s manager Harvey Whippleman ran in to give Hogan the DQ win. Urgh, still hard to believe this went on last instead of Savage/Flair for the World Championship.
2 Undertaker Scares Us More Than Ever
As the biggest Undertaker mark in the world (I will challenge anyone who denies me that title) this was one of the most terrifying things I ever saw in wrestling. At about the halfway mark of the show stealing WrestleMania 25 encounter between Taker and HBK, The Phenom dove out of the ring to execute the same dive he had done countless times before, but this time something went horribly wrong.
Undertaker cleared the ropes like usual but this time he overshot his trajectory and instead landed on his neck and shoulders. The "cameraman" who the Deadman dove on was actually Sim Snuka, son of the "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. While a fair bit of the blame falls on Snuka for not really catching Undertaker, I do think Taker botched quite a bit as well because of how differently Undertaker finished the dive as compared to how he usually lands with his chest and arms. Thankfully Taker was fine and he stole the show with HBK in one of the best matches in Mania history.
1 Brock Lesnar Defies Science
As I've written before, Brock Lesnar is a bamf. There is almost nothing that Lesnar physically can't do and his original finisher is proof of that. When Lesnar first started out his career at Ohio Valley Wrestling, his finisher was a god damn shooting star press, a move which a lot of cruiserweights won't even try yet Lesnar did it brilliantly. For the sake of his longevity, Lesnar stopped using it as his regular finisher. But WrestleMania is anything but regular...
In his WrestleMania XIX main event against WWE Champion Kurt Angle, Lesnar felt that he needed to bust something extra spectacular for the finish and what's more spectacular than a super heavyweight performing a shooting star press?! Well how about a shooting star headbutt! Yes, due to Lesnar under-calculating the distance required to reach Angle, the Beast gave himself a massive concussion and nearly paralyzed himself. Being the freak he is, Lesnar got up, gave Angle an F-5 and won his 2nd WWE Championship. This botch is not only memorable, but also added to the legend of Brock Lesnar.