There have been 30 WrestleMania’s since 1985, and while they have had moments that no one will ever forget, as well as matches that have gone down as the best ever, there’s been some stinkers as well. The WWE has morphed the mega event from a 2 ½ or 3 hour event into a four-hour spectacular, and you know in that time there’s going to be some moments that fans, and probably the company itself, would rather forget.
From the likes of Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair, Undertaker, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and The Rock, the list of stars for the huge event has gone from Hall of Fame wrestlers to some mat warriors that most novice wrestling fans would not even remember. From wrestlers that most crowds have never heard of (do you remember Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao) to those that had only just a short run with WWE (The Boogeyman, The Sandman).
It’s a great debate as to what the best moment in WrestleMania history is and starting right after the Royal Rumble in January, the company starts to show those moments to get fans amped up for the event. For obvious reasons, the WWE usually doesn’t relive those ‘stinker’ moments or matches, the parts of WrestleMania that we’d like to never have to see again.
With the WWE Network, it’s fun to go back and watch the old Mania’s again, and there have been plenty of matches that have since been long forgotten. Today we look back, at not the best, but the worst – yes that’s right, these are “The Worst 25 Matches All-Time in WrestleMania History.”
25. The Undertaker vs Big Boss Man (Hell in a Cell), WrestleMania XV
Hard to believe that the iconic Undertaker could end up on such a list, but there’s no doubt this match with the late Ray Traylor, aka the Big Boss Man, was not one of his best. Taker was fighting for his ‘Ministry of Darkness’ against Boss Man, who was part of Vince McMahon’s “Corporation.” The ‘Hell in a Cell’ element added a different touch, but it failed to deliver. The match lasted less than 10 minutes with the obvious Undertaker win, and, after the bell, Taker’s Ministry mates ‘The Brood’ came through the cage, hanging Boss Man with a noose. Probably one that The Undertaker would rather forget about.
24. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston vs The Corre, WrestleMania XXVII
The shortest match of the night at the 27th annual event was an eight-man tag disaster that got a whole 1:35 minutes before the quick fall. The Corre was on the verge of a break-up, and the end came when Heath Slater was hit with the ever devastating ‘cobra’ from Santino Marella, before Big Show knocked him out with a punch for the win. To say the match was rushed is an understatement. It never gave some talented guys a chance to work and the introductions were longer than the match itself, which isn’t a good sign.
23. Marc Mero and Sable vs Goldust and Luna, WrestleMania XIV
This mess of a mixed tag was more to get the red-hot Sable over than anything else. Her on-air relationship with her real life hubby Marc Mero was going downhill, while crowds were getting louder and louder for her. Goldust and Luna did their best to try and make it a competitive match, but Mero was never one for his work rate. At the end, Sable was tagged in, hit a powerbomb and then Mero’s finish to get the pin. Mixed tags are tough, and this nine minute match didn’t go a long way to satisfy the fans when it came to them wanting to see more of Sable and less of the other three wrestlers involved.
22. Red Rooster vs Bobby Heenan, WrestleMania V
Call it a ‘warm-up’ for the main event, which was the WWE Title match between Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. This match was brought about when the Red Rooster (Terry Taylor) wanted revenge on his one-time manager (Heenan) for berating him after a loss in January to Tito Santana. The feud went nowhere, and this match wound up being a :31 second squash, with Heenan running shoulder first into a ring pole looking for a spear and being quickly pinned. In the end, a match the show the 14-bout card didn’t need.
21. The Boogeyman vs Booker T and Sharmell, WrestleMania 22
Just about any match that involved The Boogeyman could be described as ‘awful,’ and thankfully this was his only WrestleMania match. Booker T and his wife Sharmell were his opponents at Mania 22 and this match lasted less than four minutes, with Boogeyman doing all his usual stuff, including the gross display of pulling out worms after a chokeslam which led to a pin of Booker. The match was by far the stinker of the Mania 22 card, and it was good the powers that be only let it go a few painful minutes.
20. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs Bad News Brown, WrestleMania VI
To call this match ‘strange’ would be putting it mildly. First there’s the odd appearance of Roddy Piper coming to the ring dressed partly in black paint on half of his body. Then there’s the fact that if you knew these two wrestlers at all, you knew this match would be a brawl, as these two rarely used holds. The bout ended as it should have, with both men being counted out of the ring. Nothing came of this feud, making this match nothing but a filler on the biggest wrestling day of the year.
19. ‘Miss WrestleMania’ 25-Diva Battle Royal, WrestleMania XXV
Thank goodness this disaster only took off 7:25 of the card, as the company didn’t let a real Diva of the present or past win the match, but instead gave Santino Marella, dressed as a woman, the win. The premise is that Santino Marella was actually “Santina,” the twin sister of Santino. Ugh. It would have been nice to see the company give some due to a former Diva or an emerging Diva, but instead they went with the goofy finish that left everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. Of all the diva matches at WrestleMania, this is right up there with the worst of them.
18. Michael Cole vs Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler (Special Guest Referee: Steve Austin), WrestleMania XXVII
This match was during the famed ‘heel turn’ by Michael Cole, and instead of giving Jerry Lawler a real WrestleMania rival, they gave him an awful and forgettable feud with Cole. The match was bad from the word go, with Lawler trying to get Cole out of his booth, known as the ‘Cole Mine.’ After Lawler beat on Cole a bit, the heel got the upper hand for a portion of the match, before the tables turned. Lawler had Cole submitting, but Cole’s corner man, Jack Swagger, threw in the towel. Austin wouldn’t allow it and wound up allowing Lawler to beat on Cole for a few more minutes. In the end, the computerized Raw GM called the match in Cole’s favor via DQ. Everything about this match and feud was forgettable, and it’s a shame Lawler had to be involved with this.
17. Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow, WrestleMania XI
For all the main events of WrestleMania’s over the last 30 years, this one was definitively the worst. The company was in a down trend at the time and decided to go the celebrity route, taking one of the best linebackers in NFL history and placing him in the ring with one of the best big men in wrestling, Bam Bam Bigelow. Give the company credit for a solid build to the match, but overall WrestleMania XI will go down as one of the worst ever and this match did nothing to help. Taylor was blown out 3-4 minutes into the 11:42 second match, and while Bigelow did what he could to make it passable, it was a wreck. Taylor, as expected, won, but needed help from his NFL pals at ringside to even raise his arm in victory after the match.
16. Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan vs The Nasty Boys, The Mountie and Repo Man, WrestleMania VIII
This eight-man tag had a number of mid-card names all squished into one, including Slaughter, who went from the main event against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VII as a heel, to a face and a bland match on the card a year later. This disaster lasted just over six minutes, and for good reason. There wasn’t much good from any of the eight talents of this match, as it was treated as a comedy display, with the late Ray Combs, one-time host of the game show ‘Family Feud’, serving as ring announcer for the match.
15. Chris Jericho vs Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Snuka, WrestleMania XXV
This was a 3-on-1 handicapped match with legends in Piper, Steamboat and Snuka vs Jericho, who was playing the arrogant heel. The rumor was that the match was originally supposed to include actor Mickey Rourke, who was the star of the hit movie “The Wrestler,” but WWE decided instead to bring in the older wrestlers and have Rourke waiting at ringside for some post- bout antics. Snuka was terribly out of shape at age 65, and Piper didn’t look much better, but Steamboat held his own, and gave Jericho at least the looks of a decent match for 3-4 minutes. After Jericho finally won, he enticed Rourke to get in the ring, and the actor laid out Y2J with an awful looking punch after a short argument. None of this was Jericho’s fault and in fairness to him, he did the best he could.
14. Kane vs The Great Khali, WrestleMania 23
The push was on for the large Khali, who basically got fed Kane in this short and rather awful match. Kane should get a large amount of credit for carrying Khali during the match, which lasted just over five and half minutes. The company tried to push Khali as a legit contender for John Cena, and for awhile he did actually hold the World Heavyweight Title, but in the end, he never got over as much as the company hoped, and ended his WWE run as more of a sideshow act than a main event talent.
13. T&A (Test and Albert) vs Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman), WrestleMania 2000
This WrestleMania happened when the WWE was at its hottest, and instead of having traditional matches, they ditched it for a bunch of tag matches, six-person tags, and a four-way for the main event. This was one of those tag matches, and in a word, it was awful. The tag team of Test and Albert was put together basically to showcase new diva Trish Stratus, who served as the manager for the pair. As to why Al Snow and Steve Blackman were together was just about anyone’s guess (and why they had a cheese manager was even more confusing). The match plodded along, finally ending at the seven minute mark with an expected win for the heel team of Albert and Test. Another match that didn’t belong on a Mania card.
12. Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid and Little Beaver vs King Kong Bundy, Lord Littlebrook and Little Toyko – WrestleMania III
King Kong Bundy went from the main event in WrestleMaina 2 to a mixed tag circus match at Mania III, showing again just how quickly a character can fall. It was the third match on the card, and while it wasn’t exactly a Mania worthy match, it did have one entertaining aspect, which of course was the massive 450 plus pound Bundy slamming Little Beaver, and then dropping a big elbow on him. This was maybe the best card in the history of the event and thankfully they gave this match just three and a half minutes to play out before the Hillbilly Jim team took home the win via DQ after Bundy polished off Little Beaver.
11. Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar, WrestleMania XX
Talk about a match the fans quickly turned on, as this was one the Madison Square Garden crowd simply hated. It was well known that Lesnar had given the company his notice, stating he was heading to try out for the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. The crowd catcalled him the entire match, not giving him a warm good-bye. As for Goldberg, he too was on his way out, and the crowd seemed to care less about him being a part of the Mania card. Steve Austin was the special guest official, and in the end, despite Goldberg winning, Austin was the story, as he laid out both men with his stunner, basically leaving him as the last man standing in this match that looked good on paper, but failed horribly once the bell rang.
10. John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Nicole Polizzi vs Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool and Layla, WrestleMania XXVII
Another match with a ‘celebrity’ in it (if you want to call “Snooki” from MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ a celebrity), as the company threw together a weak six-person tag as the warm-up for the main event at WrestleMania XXVII. The disaster lasted 3:27, and as everyone knew, they gave ‘Snooki’ the pinfall win, this after she did a summersault and then a cartwheel splash on McCool to get the win. The bout featured the return of Stratus to the ring, but she didn’t get to do much in the three and a half minute bout. Just another reason ‘D’ list celebs should stay out of the ring.
9. Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon vs Doink the Clown and Dink the Clown, WrestleMania X
This six-minute mixed tag match was the follow up to the sensational start of WrestleMania X, which was Bret Hart vs his brother Owen in a match that could easily be on the list of the best ‘Mania matches of all-time. This comedy affair didn’t go very far to help either character in Bigelow or Doink, but in the end, they gave the win to Bigelow after a diving headbutt on Doink. The unwatchable part of the match was when Vachon spent her time in the ring chasing around Dink, and even at one point kicking and powerslamming him. It was comedy at its worst, and took the crowd totally out after the great opener between the Harts.
8. The ECW Originals vs The New Breed, WrestleMania 23
This eight-man tag was the sixth match on the card, and again suffered due to the fact it came between two huge bouts (Undertaker vs Batista and Umaga vs Bobby Lashely) on the card. It lasted 6:27 and they gave the win to the ECW crew after RVD hit a five-star flog splash on Striker. The bout was a complete mess, with the only wrestler of the bout ever appearing on another Mania card being RVD. All four wrestlers on the team of the “The New Breed” seemed to quickly disappear from the WWE, with Striker getting a run as an announcer but eventually being let go as well.
7. Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao vs Demolition (Crush and Smash) – WrestleMania VII
If you don’t remember this match, don’t fret, not many do, nor should they. It was a head scratcher as to why the WWE would throw two unknown Japanese wrestlers in the ring (specifically in the States) on the biggest night of the year. Tenryu and Kitao got the win, and while they somewhat showed their incredible skill during the match, the crowd was completely dead for the 4:44 it went. It easily could have been a dark match for the 15 bout card, which had its low points and this was one of them.
6. Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan, WrestleMania XXVIII
An 18-second match which kicked off the card, and while the crowd in Miami popped for the Heavyweight Title win for Sheamus, it really failed on all fronts as they could have done so much with this opener. The match was a kiss by Bryan’s girlfriend A.J. Lee to Bryan, followed by a surprise brogue kick, and then a quick pin for the win for Sheamus. Knowing now what we do about the talent Bryan has, the company clearly didn’t do him, or Sheamus, justice by making this a throw away match to kickoff the 28th Mania, which featured the return of The Rock against John Cena.
5. Tazz and the APA vs Right to Censor, WrestleMania X-
The company tried their best to push the ‘Right to Censor’ group, but it failed on all levels. The company gave this bout just about four minutes, and rightfully so, as it didn’t do much for either crew, other than be a filler match on the show which featured an amazing main event between The Rock and Stone Cold. The match ended with Bradshaw giving The Godfather his famous ‘Clothesline from Hell’ to give the fan favorites the win and end the short forgettable bout.
4. Uncle Elmer vs Adrian Adonis, WrestleMania 2
An awful three minute match that saw the cross dressing Adonis take out Elmer, who never belonged in a ring, much less on the biggest show of the year. Adonis spent most of the match taking bumps, only to win the bout with a diving headbutt to take home the win. Elmer was part of the crew of farm boys, led by Hillbilly Jim. He was a wrestler who was known for his gimmick only, as he never delivered any sort of actual offense other than going for splashes in the corner and on the mat. Adonis’ gimmick as another “Gorgeous George” was pitiful, and pairing him with Elmer in this encounter goes down as one of the worst bouts in Mania history.
3. Akebono vs Big Show – WrestleMania 21
For whatever reason, the WWE decided to go with a ‘Sumo Match’ for Big Show, who didn’t have a real wrestling feud in the WWE at the time. Akebono weighed in at 514 pounds and the bout lasted one minute, as the real sumo wrestler threw Big Show out of the ring for the win. Watching this was downright painful, as the two maybe could have made this into something, but the company decided to make it quick. The bout was also placed right before the two main events of the card, putting it in a tough spot that made people want it to end quickly.
2. Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel (Blindfold Match) – WrestleMania VII
In one of the worst matches they ever tried, the company put black sacks over the heads of Jake Roberts and Rick Martel and threw them in a ring together. The sad part is this was a solid feud and instead of having an actual match that could have got over with the fans, they had a disaster. While it was obvious both guys could see, they worked their way through a match which lasted 8:34. The end came when Roberts got a DDT on Martel, getting the pin. It would have been so much better to see a cage match or some sort of gimmick match that made sense, not a match with both men wearing sacks on their heads, pretending not to see.
1. Roddy Piper vs Goldust (Hollywood Backlot Brawl) – WrestleMania XII
Maybe this shouldn’t be considered, since it wasn’t really a ‘match,’ but nevertheless this tops the bill as the ‘worst match in WrestleMania History,’ a bout that saw Roddy Piper and Goldust do battle mostly on the video screen. Goldust showed up for the bout in a gold Cadillac, and try to at first run down Piper. Once Piper got Goldust out of the car, he threw him around the alley, using trash cans and whatever he could find to inflict punishment. The ridiculous match went to new levels when Piper jumped in a white Ford Bronco and drove after Goldust in the Cadillac, with police in pursuit (they used footage from the famous O.J. Simpson chase of 1994). Taking it to new levels of awful, the two came back to the arena after snippets of the ‘chase’ footage was shown to the fans, and eventually got into the ring to finish the match. The merciful end came when Piper, after going back and forth for a bit, got Goldust’s outfit off to revel him wearing a thong and fishnet. It was awful to watch and even more awful to know that the Hall of Famer in Piper would agree to such a dumb idea for a match with an ending that never saw a referee get involved for any reason. How Vince McMahon let this ‘match’ take place is still anyone’s guess.
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