This march will mark the 31st ever WrestleMania event and in those three decades, there have been a mix of good and bad from everything from guest performers to various matches and main events. Fortunately the good moments outweigh the bad ones, but this list is not about that, it is about the main events that cause fans to groan when they hear them mentioned. This ranking is designed to look at the main events that either had no reason for happening or were a disaster from a wrestling standpoint. These are the matches that make us as wrestling fans question why we continue to watch.
Outside of WrestleMania VIII which had two billed main event matches, each Wrestlemania has had the one final match that was supposed to send the fans home on a high note. These are the matches that were considered for this list outside of two which had special circumstances surrounding them and they were so bad that they had to be included in the ranking.
The matches were ranked according to their overall awfulness which includes the lead up to the match, the match itself, and how it compared to other matches on the card. Matches that had a decent buildup could be on the list if the end result was a match so horrible that fans want it erased from history and vice-versa for matches that were fine technically but the lead up or background could have left a dark mark over it completely. So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other matches that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently?
10. Batista vs. Triple H (WrestleMania 21)
While the feud between former Evolution members Batista and Triple H had a solid buildup between the two, it never seemed to hit the right marks with fans watching. Worse was that this match as well as the John Cena/John Bradshaw Layfield match came after the highly praised Kurt Angle/Shawn Michaels match and the Undertaker/Randy Orton tilt. This match was not able to keep the pace going set by those previous matches and in turn the fans reacted negatively. Many in the media felt the same way, as John Powell of Canadian Online Explorer wrote “Unable to live up to the high standards set by the Undertaker-Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels-Kurt Angle bouts, the ‘main events’ offered the worst kind of anticlimax and would have been right at home buried in the middle of the card.” Ouch.
9. The Miz vs. John Cena (WrestleMania XXVII)
While the match wasn’t a complete disaster between John Cena and WWE Champion the Miz, the match was completely overshadowed by the bubbling rivalry between Cena and the host of WrestleMania , The Rock. Fans should have been able to enjoy a match that at that point had been hinted at coming from the Miz’s constant promos against Cena, but in the end it would be The Rock who would interfere and attack Cena, giving Miz the pin. While it would lead to the fantastic match between Cena and The Rock the following year, the booking of this match was a complete mess.
8. Triple H vs. Randy Orton (WrestleMania XXV)
This match was doomed from the start, no other way to say it. After the fantastic matches like the Money in the Bank ladder match won by CM Punk and the first WrestleMania match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, Triple H defending his WWE Championship against Randy Orton had too much to live up to. The match had a great buildup of Orton attacking the various members of the McMahon family and Triple H attacking Orton at his home in front of his wife, but the match was never able to capitalize on that momentum, which was pointed out by numerous reporters including Kevin Eck of The Baltimore Sun who felt “disappointed that it didn’t feel more special after some great angles on TV.”
Something that definitely could’ve helped would have been a No Holds Barred stipulation after the heated build up, rather than the lame sanction imposed on Triple H that a disqualification would cost him the title.
7. Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice (WrestleMania VIII)
This was another match that was doomed from the start. First you have Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice as the competitors, neither being very good technically so the match was plodded through by both, eventually leading to a lame disqualification ending. What is worse is that this was the main event and followed two fantastic matches in Bret Hart verus Roddy Piper for the Intercontinental Title and Ric Flair versus Randy Savage for the WWE Title, so the match between Hogan and Sid paled in comparison to those two classics. Unfortunately, this was Hogan’s last match before he took a hiatus due to the steroid scandal the WWE was involved in at the time. We should’ve seen a better sendoff for the Hulkster.
6. Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper (WrestleMania II – New York)
This is the first of two special circumstances main events. Since WrestleMania II was broken up and broadcast from three separate locations, there were technically three main events, though the WWE only recognizes the Hulk Hogan/King Kong Bundy match in Los Angeles. The New York “main event” involving Roddy Piper boxing Mr. T was a disaster from the word go. One of the things that wrestling fans love about watching a match is the unpredictability of a match and who would win, but when one of the participants is a celebrity, it’s almost guaranteed that the celebrity will win or at least something will happen in the match to not make the celebrity look bad.
5. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff (WrestleMania I)
Like the previous slide, it was pretty obvious who was going to win the main event of the inaugural WrestleMania as top star Hulk Hogan and Mr. T faced off against Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. The match was average at best, but with all of the pomp and circumstances surrounding the match and the whole event, it needed to be so much more than just a chance to show off a celebrity. Thankfully the event was a hit and fans reacted well to the match, leading to 30 years of huge events, but that does not mean that the match was any good.
4. Triple H vs. The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show (WrestleMania 2000)
While the match was okay from a technical standpoint, this match suffered from a horrible backstory revolving completely around the McMahon family. With one of the selling points of this match being that there was going to be a McMahon in each corner, this match was basically another ego trip for the family. The obvious swerve at the end involving The Rock being betrayed by Vince McMahon only added insult to injury as fans had to watch a match that really should have been Triple H versus The Rock rather than tossing in extra people who had no real reason to be involved.
3. Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid (WrestleMania 13)
I had recently written about this abomination of a match in my ranking of the Undertaker’s WrestleMania matches, where it ranked as the second worst of those matches. While this match did give ‘Taker his second reign as WWE Champion, it also made him look fairly weak against Sid as he would need assistance from Shawn Michaels, twice. Worse, it made Sid look bad as there were times it appeared that Sid would come out on top, only for him to get hit with a chair by Michaels. It was an unnecessary addition to a match that could have been fairly decent between the two participants.
2. * Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna (WrestleMania IX)
This is the second circumstance main event of the list as technically it was the last match of WrestleMania IX, but it was a surprise match literally no one outside of those involved could have seen coming. After Yokozuna retained the WWE Championship against Bret Hart after getting help from Mr. Fuji, Hulk Hogan came out to the ring to defend the honor of Hart. Fuji would then challenge Hogan to a match right there against Yokozuna , with the title on the line. Hogan accepted and Fuji tried to throw salt into his eyes, but inadvertently hit Yokozuna. Hogan would knock down the champion before hitting the Legdrop of Doom and become the new WWE Champion despite never being in the original main event.
This match was horrible for a number of reasons as Hogan had weaseled his way into another title reign before his contract was up and he did it at the expense of both Hart and Yokozuna. Since he beat Yokozuna so quickly and easily he not only made him look weak, but Hart as well since Hart had just lost to Yokozuna. Hogan would drop the title back to Yokozuna a couple months later before heading off to WCW, where he would use similar tactics to be one of their longest reigning World Heavyweight Champions.
1. Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (WrestleMania XI)
Overall Wrestlemania XI was a mess from top to bottom, which was clearly apparent in the main event which featured Bam Bam Bigelow taking on NFL legend Lawrence Taylor. I get why Vince McMahon feels the need to include celebrities of all kinds in WrestleMania as it is supposed to be the premier wrestling event of the year, I just do not get why he feels the need to put them in high profile matches at the expense of wrestlers who work with him year-round. Yes it may get him some mainstream publicity, but it is short lived at best and the result of the match is always completely obvious with the celebrity picking up the win.
It is also odd that out of all of the heels in the WWE at that time to pair off against Taylor, Bam Bam Bigelow is nowhere near the top of the list in marketability for the main event of WrestleMania. I can only assume he was the only one willing to do the job for LT.
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