WrestleMania season is closing in as this Sunday marks the 32nd edition of the event, and the legacy will be continue in Dallas, Texas with the showcase of the immortals. Will The Authority crumble and fall? Will Roman Reigns defeat Triple H? Does The Undertaker still have what it takes? Will Dean Ambrose overcome the odds in his brawl against Brock Lesnar? Will we see a new Divas Champion be crowned for the first time at WrestleMania? There are so many questions! But one question I’m most curious about is, will the match quality be as good as last year’s WrestleMania? And more importantly, will WrestleMania 32 make the wrong kind of history? What’s the wrong kind of history, you ask?
A short match.
When a Superstar or Diva is selected to be on the card of WrestleMania, their dreams have come true and in truth, a WrestleMania moment is still a WrestleMania moment, no matter what hand a performer is dealt. It’s still the biggest event a performer in the wrestling industry can be featured in, and whether someone’s managing, announcing, special guest refereeing, or wrestling for two minutes, it’s still an honor to be part of the event’s rich history.
Fans come to expect that at the biggest stage of them all, match quality should reflect some of the years greatest feuds. Sadly, either due to time constraints or just how they are booked, some wrestlers don’t get to have that amazing 20-minute match everybody talks about the next day. Sometimes, they actually get less than one minute. A short match can be fun, but sometimes it robs us, and the entertainers from doing what they do best, and sometime’s it’s unforgivable.
Unforgivable seems like a silly word, but we wrestling fans are pretty silly, aren’t we? With this list, we will be looking at 20 of the shortest matches to occur at WrestleMania. It is interesting to note that a majority of the people on this list have also wrestled in some of the longer matches to occur in the company’s history. Sometimes, you get the opportunity of a lifetime, and sometimes you just get an opportunity.
20. The Shield vs. Kane and The New Age Outlaws – 2:36
Event: Wrestlemania XXX
Before Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose would deteriorate, these three would show unity by defeating some of the Attitude Era’s biggest stars in just over two and a half minutes. Would we have liked this to go longer? Sure, but I think having these three defeat Kane, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn proved to be the right decision, seeing as how far The Shield has managed to grow since becoming singles competitors.
Also, it is cool to note that Rollins went from wrestling in the shortest match at WrestleMania XXX to winning the WWE Championship the following year in the main event at WrestleMania 31.
19. Terri Runnels (with The Fabulous Moolah) vs. The Kat (with Mae Young) – 2:26
Event: WrestleMania 2000
What can I say about this match? It was the peak of the Attitude Era, so they had to have a couple of hot blondes out there ripping each other’s clothes off. Val Venis refereed the contest, managing to make out with both these lovely ladies during the match. This match gets points for including female legends like Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah, but ultimately didn’t live up to other Diva matches of the past/future.
18. Corporal Kirchner vs. Nikolai Volkoff – 2:05
Event: WrestleMania II
During WrestleMania II, the event took place in three different cities; Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. We have to give it up to the Chicago crowd, as they were given two of the shortest matches of the night (both on this list) and still managed to be an amazing and appreciative crowd.
This was good ol’ USA vs. Russia at its finest. Before the start of the contest, Nikolai Volkoff would generate heat by singing the Soviet National Anthem until Corporal Kirchner would interrupt. Although Volkoff busted Kirchner open early in the match, Kirchner played dirty and knocked Volkoff out with Blassie’s cane while the referee was down. Does this make USA the bad guy in this situation, or just the most opportune?
17. Big Boss Man vs. Akeem – 1:49
Event: WrestleMania VI
Two former Tag Team partners now bitter enemies! This feud started when Akeem and Slick were pretty ticked off that Big Boss Man wouldn’t take any money from the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. I mean how dare he, right? So the two settled their differences at the sixth annual WrestleMania, and even with the odds stacked against him, Big Boss Man found an opening towards the closing seconds of the match and drove Akeem to the mat for the pinfall.
16. The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley – 1:39
Event: WrestleMania XII
Marking Triple H’s Wrestlemania debut, Ultimate Warrior’s last WrestleMania match, and Sable’s debut with the company, this looked like it would be a big deal; looks can be deceiving. Hunter struck Warrior with a Pedigree less than a minute into the match, but Ultimate Warrior jumped right back up (literally), and before you knew it he had the match won with the Ultimate Splash. At the time, this match was short and sweet, but now we’re sort of bummed not knowing what kind of match these two could have had together if given more time.
15. Big Show and Kane, Santino Marella & Kofi Kingston vs. The Corre – 1:35
Event: WrestleMania XXVII
For being only one minute and 35 seconds long, this match is a pretty entertaining 95 seconds. Everyone had no choice but to do as much as they could in the shortest amount of time ever involving eight people. Short, but entertaining, with every star getting in a big move before the bell rang. Did a defeat like this do the Corre any favors? No. That’s why two out of four members of the Corre are no longer in the WWE.
14. The Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre – 1:25
Event: WrestleMania II
Considering how Velvet McIntyre defeated Fabulous Moolah at one point in her career to win the Women’s Championship, it’s sort of baffling that she was defeated so easily at WrestleMania II. Not much to say about this match, other than how impressive of a feat it is, that Fabulous Moolah was 62 when this match occurred and she still moved flawlessly. This also marks the shortest women’s match to occur at WrestleMania.
13. The Mountie vs. Tito Santana – 1:21
Event: WrestleMania VII
Tito Santana has seen much better days in the WWE, compared to this match at WrestleMania VII against his unfriendly foe from up north, The Mountie. Tito seemed to have the upper hand most of the contest (which means at least 42 seconds) until The Mountie snuck in a hit with his signature cattle-prod with the assist of his manager, Jimmy Hart. One point for Canada!
12. Akebono vs. Big Show – 1:21
Event: WrestleMania 21
A match that had no business being at WrestleMania, lets thank the heavens this was kept short. Poor Big Show had to bare his entire backside to the whole world (again) before being tossed out of the ring after just one minute of pretend sumo fighting. Couldn’t they have made this a real sumo contest instead of what it was? We pay to see fake professional wrestling, not fake sumo wrestling! In any event, it was a complete waste of time.
11. Owen Hart vs. Skinner – 1:11
Event: WrestleMania VIII
In what was to many, the bathroom break before the big main event between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice, “the Rocket” Owen Hart wrestled his shortest match at at WrestleMania VIII. After failing to beat Hart a few months prior, Skinner tried to give Owen cheap shot, and cheat his way to a victory this time, but all Owen needed was a beautifully executed roll up to win this match.
10. The Legion Of Doom vs. Power And Glory – 0:59
Event: WrestleMania VII
Glory they may have had, but power they most certainly did not. Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma) got their butts handed to them at WrestleMania VII, in the first match to make the list that is less than one minute long! For being only 59 seconds long, this match somehow manages to be slow and boring up until Hawk and Animal hit the Doomsday Device in the last 15 seconds of the boring bout.
9. Earthquake vs. Adam Bomb – 0:35
Event: WrestleMania X
Alright. If you thought 59 seconds was short, we’re getting even shorter. After Harvey Wippleman decided to bully Howard Finkel before the match because he was an “a******”, Earthquake ran out for the save and attacked Adam Bomb. This prompted for the bell to go off and just 35 seconds later, Bomb picked up the victory with an “Earthquake Splash”! Howard Finkel must have loved announcing the winner of this match.
8. Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn – 0:35
Event: WrestleMania XV
If a Sumo match can make the list, so can a Boxing fight. However, unlike the Sumo match that happened at WrestleMania 21, this Brawl for All finals match was legitimately unscripted, with boxer/mixed martial artist Butterbean winning with a knockout over wrestler Bart Gunn. Unfortunately for Gunn, this would be his only WrestleMania moment. Ouch. It was about the worst idea the WWE ever had, putting one of their talents at risk.
7. The Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan – 0:31
Event: WrestleMania V
The Red Rooster clucked like a rooster and even moved like a rooster. Weird. This was another match to occur right before the main event, and The Red Rooster clucked his way into victory with a roll up on Bobby Heenan. The match was for Rooster to obtain revenge on Heenan, after he belittled him earlier that year for being unable to win a match. This WrestleMania win didn’t do too much for Rooster’s career, but here is a fun fact, he’s currently working as a trainer for NXT!
6. King Kong Bundy vs. S.D. Jones – 0:24
Event: WrestleMania I
Big guy hits a splash for the three count. Seeing a pattern here?
When Special Delivery Jones’s name was called before the match by the ring announcer, the crowd popped… but just seconds after, the crowd sadly had to watch Jones lose. Jones was defeated with a splash from King Kong Bundy in just 24 short seconds. This would be S.D. Jones’ only WrestleMania match, and it would occur at the very first.
5. Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna – 0:22
Event: WrestleMania IX
Although the Las Vegas crowd in attendance had a field day by the time this match was said and done, this is now remembered for being one of the worst endings in WrestleMania history. For anyone who doesn’t know, Hulk Hogan jumped into a match with Yokozuna after the giant defeated Bret Hart by throwing salt into his eyes.
First off, does salt in the eyes really work? And second, Bret Hart deserved the moment; not Hulk Hogan. Oh, and this impromptu title match is the shortest main event in the event’s history. Kudos to you, Hogan.
4. Rey Mysterio vs. John “Bradshaw” Layfield – 0:21
Event: WreslteMania XXV
At the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania, the Intercontinental Championship was on the line between Rey Mysterio and JBL. Before the match would begin, JBL would drive a hard kick into the face of Rey Mysterio and before you knew it, *blink*, the match was over just 21 seconds after the bell rang. Mysterio picked up the win and became the new champion after delivering a 619 and splash. This matched definitely deserved more time, and seeing as this was also JBL’s last match in the event’s history, it’s kind of a bummer.
3. The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks – 0:19
Event: WrestleMania VI
For 18 years this match held the record for being the shortest WrestleMania match until it was later broken at WrestleMania XXIV (continue reading to find out by whom). It only took 19 seconds for Bret Hart and Jim Niedhart to pick up a victory against their Russian counterparts.
It was Canada vs. Russia, and sadly this is what The Bolsheviks are most remembered for as a Tag Team. If anything, this match made the Hart Foundation look like a million bucks… which at the moment of this writing is only $772,492.88 American dollars. Sucks to be Canadian, eh? It doesn’t suck if you’re a Hart though.
2. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan – 0:18
Event: WrestleMania XXVIII
The year prior at WrestleMania XXVII, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan were bumped off of the card at the last minute due to time constraints. So now, finally these two had the opportunity to wrestle each other at the grandaddy of them all – in the opening match to boot! So what happened?
The match lasted a measly 18 seconds. Daniel Bryan would start the match with a good luck kiss with his girlfriend AJ Lee before walking directly into a Brogue Kick from his opponent Sheamus; and yes, the World Heavyweight Championship was won in 18 seconds.
This moment may have actually diminished Sheamus’s career, because I’m not quite sure anyone ever forgave him for being the man selected to do that to our beloved Daniel Bryan. Thank the heavens for WrestleMania XXX, when Daniel Bryan would finally get his true WrestleMania moment.
1. Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero – 0:11
Event: WrestleMania XXIV
If this isn’t proof that the rebirth of ECW was a colossal failure, then I don’t know what is. Chavo Guerrero put his ECW Championship on the line and lost it in a record breaking 11 seconds to Kane at the 24th annual WrestleMania. The ECW Championship was never taken seriously after it was resurrected back in 2006, and it’s a shame these two couldn’t be given at least a few minutes to play with. There you have it, ladies and gentleman; one man’s WrestleMania moment can be another man’s WrestleMania “minute”.
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