For the past three decades, WrestleMania has given us some of the greatest matches in history. They call it "the showcase of the immortals" for a reason. The biggest names of all time have put on absolute classics. Just go down the list of names. Hulk Hogan. Randy Savage. Ric Flair. Bret Hart. Rowdy Roddy Piper. Shawn Michaels. Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Undertaker. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
In my mind, WrestleMania is supposed to be the biggest names having great matches on the biggest stage of the year. The problem is that in some instances, that just doesn't happen. I realize that not every card is going to be spectacular, but there are times when I just can't help but wonder what the powers that be were thinking. There have been many times at WrestleMania when titles aren't defended...not a fan of that policy.
But even worse than that sometimes is just the waste of talented performers on a WrestleMania card, and you'll see what I mean as you go down the list. There's a lot of times they get things right, but there's a lot of times they get things wrong. Even some of the biggest names of all time, some of those that I mentioned earlier, find themselves in the unfortunate position of being the worst match on the card. If you can believe it, Bret Hart is actually on this list three times. In fact, there's a lot of guys on this list that usually don't end up on any kind of "worst match" list. But the fact remains that not every WrestleMania match is a good one.
Let's take a look at the worst match from every single WrestleMania.
31 WrestleMania - King Kong Bundy vs. Special Delivery Jones
Unfortunately, you're going to see a few squash matches like this on the list. Now, I'm all for a good, quick beatdown to get a point across on one of the TV shows like RAW or Smackdown or Prime Time Wrestling back in the day, but not at WrestleMania. I don't care who is in the match. If you're going to put somebody on the biggest card of the year, at least make it somewhat interesting, even if it's only a couple of minutes. This first debacle, King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones, officially lasted all of nine seconds, although it was closer to 24. Still, there's no place for matches like these at WrestleMania.
30 WrestleMania II - Uncle Elmer vs. Adrian Adonis
After that first rant, I'm now almost wanting to take it back as I wish this match would have only lasted 24 seconds. Okay, that's not true, but on a really bad WrestleMania II card that saw a dreadful "boxing match" and a double countout to open the show, this match between Uncle Elmer and Adorable Adrian Adonis takes the cake for the worst match of the second WrestleMania. For three minutes, the two men put on a horrible display of wrestling in a match that should have never been on the card. Are you telling me that you couldn't have just given Ricky Steamboat and Hercules Hernandez a few more minutes in the previous match? Awful.
29 WrestleMania III - Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook
I'm sure a lot of you are going to fight me on this one due to the comedic nature that came with 450-pound King Kong Bundy slamming Little Beaver and the rest of the little wrestlers ganging up on him after the fact. Yes, I'll admit that it was a little funny, but in front of the biggest crowd in wrestling history, surely this match didn't need to be on the card. It was a ridiculous match that wasted three-and-a-half minutes of the biggest WrestleMania of all time. And to think, only a year earlier, King Kong Bundy was in the main event of WrestleMania II against Hulk Hogan. Wow.
28 WrestleMania IV - Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo
There were a few bad matches in the tournament for the vacant World Wrestling Federation Championship, but I've gotta go with Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo as the worst. It's too bad. Muraco and Bravo were both big, muscular guys that had the capability to put on a very solid, physical match, but this one at WrestleMania IV was just really, really bad. The fact that I picked this one over the three-minute monstrosity that was One Man Gang vs. Bam Bam Bigelow really speaks volumes on how bad it really was.
27 WrestleMania V - Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan
WrestleMania V had 14 matches on the card. They should have went with 13. This match between Red Rooster (poor Terry Taylor) and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was completely unnecessary. It had no place on a pay-per-view, especially when that pay-per-view is WrestleMania. No, this would have been much better suited as the kickoff match for the Saturday morning show back in the '80s. It was a 31-second waste of time that actually went on right before Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. At least they've got that going for them.
26 WrestleMania VI - The Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks
In more proof that Bret Hart gets screwed on the big stage in his home country, he and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart took on the Bolsheviks, Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov, in a ridiculous 19-second squash match. I'm sure all of the fans at the Skydome in Toronto were just thrilled to see one of the best wrestlers in the country's history get in the ring for less than a minute and get out. The poor Bolsheviks didn't even get to take their jackets off.
25 WrestleMania VII - Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel
This was a tough call. This card featured a few awful bouts, including a 1:21 match between The Mountie and Tito Santana and a tag match featuring Demolition and two Japanese wrestlers that NOBODY had ever heard of, but even those two matches were better than the Blindfold Match between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "The Model" Rick Martel. It's unfortunate that two guys with the talent of Roberts and Martel had to be put in such an awful gimmick match that nobody was buying. No good.
24 WrestleMania VIII - Owen Hart vs. Skinner
On a card that saw a match between The British Bulldog and The Berzerker get bumped due to time constraints, I wish this match between Owen Hart and Skinner would have suffered that same fate. It was just another one of those filler matches right before the Hulk Hogan-Sid Justice main event (a mistake in its own right) that really didn't belong on a WrestleMania card. Maybe Papa Shango fell asleep during this match and that's why he missed his cue in the main event. And those tights that Owen had on....my eyes are still burning.
23 WrestleMania IX - Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna
In what I and many others consider to be one of the worst WrestleManias of all time, the final match of the night takes the honor here. And that's really saying something. If you'll recall, this was the WrestleMania that had The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez, which would have gotten the nod had it not been for the horrible finish that saw Hulk Hogan come out to help Bret Hart for absolutely no reason after "The Hitman" had been defeated by Yokozuna. This led to a 22-second main event that saw The Hulkster win the WWF title and win the worst match of WrestleMania IX.
22 WrestleMania X - Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna Vachon
Bret Hart and Owen Hart curtain-jerked WrestleMania X and put on an absolute classic. So how do you follow the best opening match in WrestleMania history? By taking the crowd completely out of it with an atrocious tag match featuring Dink and Doink the Clown versus Bam Bam Bigelow and Luna Vachon. Yes, this was worse than the 35-second Earthquake squash victory over Adam Bomb. This tag match was just awful. In the end, Bam Bam and Luna got the win after an excruciating six minutes.
21 WrestleMania XI - Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund
As much as I wanted to put Bam Bam Bigelow in the spotlight again, his match versus Lawrence Taylor was not the worst on the WrestleMania XI card. I still don't agree with it being the main event, but that's not why we're here today. The Bret Hart-Bob Backlund "I Quit" match was just really sloppy and really awkward. Trust me, I don't like putting Bret Hart on any kind of "Worst" list, but this was just painful to watch.
Hart picked up the win as Backlund shouted a bunch of gibberish into the microphone and the match was thankfully called. Unfortunately, this won't be Bret Hart's final appearance on this list.
20 WrestleMania XII - The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley
You gotta hand it to Triple H. After three years, The Ultimate Warrior was returning after nearly four years and somebody had to be fed to him. It's just one of those things that has to be done at the beginning of a career and Triple H did it. Unfortunately for him, it just happened to be on the biggest stage in the world. Warrior came back and did what he did and it was over in a matter of minutes. It was a big moment for Warrior, but it was still the worst match of WrestleMania XII.
19 WrestleMania 13 - The Undertaker vs. Sycho Sid
Outside of the Bret Hart vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin match, WrestleMania 13 just didn't have a lot of great matches. I could have chosen any number of them, but I'll just go ahead and go with the main event since it took up the most time. The Undertaker and Sycho Sid put on one of the most boring main events in WrestleMania history that night in Chicago for the WWE Championship. For over 20 minutes, the two big men just slumbered around the ring until 'Taker finally got the win.
18 WrestleMania XIV-Marc Mero & Sable vs. Goldust & Luna Vachon
Making her second appearance on the list, Luna Vachon teamed with Goldust to take on real-life (at the time anyway) husband and wife, Sable and Marc Mero. Mixed tag matches are very difficult to make entertaining and if the crowd wasn't so hot for Sable, this actually would have been much worse than it ended up being. WrestleMania XIV was a very good show as pretty much every single match served some sort of purpose. The purpose here was to get Sable over and while the match wasn't spectacular, it still did that.
17 WrestleMania XV - Bart Gunn vs. Butterbean
In one of the worst ideas in the company's history, the match between Bart Gunn and pro boxer Butterbean was the culmination of the ridiculous "Brawl For All" tournament from the previous year. Bart Gunn had actually defeated numerous other wrestlers in a shootfighting experiment that was just awful, which later led to a storyline involving Butterbean leading up to WrestleMania. This match was not scripted and Gunn stood no chance, which became clear for all to see after he was knocked out after 35 seconds.
16 WrestleMania 2000 - Terri Runnels vs. The Kat
The only thing that was unique about this match was that it was actually the only singles match on the entire WrestleMania 2000 card. As far as the match, it was a two-and-a-half minute mess in which Val Venis was the special guest referee and Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young were at ringside. This "Catfight" was a complete waste of time and served no purpose whatsoever. I'm sure all of the talented women that were left off of the card appreciated watching this.
15 WrestleMania X-Seven - Tazz & APA vs. Right To Censor
I honestly feel terrible having to put this match on this list. It's not a great match, but it's certainly not a horrible match either. Yes, I could have gone with that gimmick battle royal, but having Bobby Heenan back on commentary and some of the old school participants just wouldn't allow me to do that. The problem is that outside of the hideous X-Seven name they slapped on this WrestleMania, this event was fantastic. It's arguably the greatest WrestleMania in history and I simply needed a match for the list.
14 WrestleMania X8 - Maven vs. Goldust
There's a lot of people that thought the way the Hardcore Championship was defended was fun, but I was never one of those people. Now, if you got two guys having a real hardcore match, then I'm all for that. Otherwise, no thanks. Thus, the match at WrestleMania X8 (another ridiculous name) between Maven and Goldust was awful to me. They fought for a few minutes before knocking each other out, allowing Spike Dudley to come in and get the pin. By the end of the night, Maven was once again the titleholder. Sure.
13 WrestleMania XIX - Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio
Unfortunately for Hardy and Mysterio, they're in a similar position as the competitors from WrestleMania X-Seven...well, and the fact that the pillow fight with Stacy Keibler, Torrie Wilson and the Miller Lite girls wasn't an official match. WrestleMania XIX was a great event with great matches throughout. It's too bad that Hardy and Mysterio only got about five minutes for their match. Given double that time (you know, about the time that the pillow fight took), they could have avoided being in this spot.
12 WrestleMania XX - Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
I think we all know the history of this one. Both Goldberg and Brock Lesnar were on their way out of WWE when WrestleMania XX rolled around and their match certainly showed that neither of them cared one bit about their match. Even with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin involved as the special guest referee, the crowd at Madison Square Garden let them have it with plenty of "YOU SOLD OUT" chants. After nearly 14 excruciating minutes, Goldberg picked up the win and it was Austin's job to get the crowd back into it, which he did as he stunned both men out of the ring and out of the company. Brutal to watch.
11 WrestleMania 21 - Big Show vs. Akebono
Speaking of brutal to watch, there's the sumo match between Big Show and Akebono at WrestleMania 21. I know that Big Show has always been a team player, but come on. Akebono was a legitimate sumo wrestler, but he was retired by this point and actually wrestling in Japan. So instead of having a wrestling match between the two, they went with this disaster. The match lasted for just over a minute and the guy that nobody had ever heard of picked up the victory. Big Show would go on to lose to another outsider, Floyd Mayweather, three years later.
10 WrestleMania 22 - The Boogeyman vs. Booker T & Sharmell
In what was thankfully his only WrestleMania appearance, The Boogeyman pulled out all of his usual tricks with the worms and everything that goes along with that. I'm not even exactly sure why Sharmell was even an official part of this match, but she was. Only a few years after being in a title match against Triple H, Booker T had to suffer through this match that didn't even make it to the four-minute mark. Unfortunately, we as viewers had to suffer through it as well. And yes, the Torrie Wilson-Candice Michelle match later in the night was more entertaining.
9 WrestleMania 23 - The Great Khali vs Kane
The ECW Originals and The New Breed should send a thank-you note to The Great Khali and Kane. That eight-man tag match wasn't good, but the match between Khali and Kane was just plain awful. I don't know if they were purposely trying to recreate the Hogan-Andre slam from 20 years earlier, but Kane did slam Khali during this match. I think it's safe to say that this match didn't have the same effect that Hogan-Andre had.
The Great Khali was just never going to be entertaining and Kane must have been furious when he found out that he had to waste a WrestleMania match on the Punjabi Playboy.
8 WrestleMania XXIV - Kane vs Chavo Guerrero
In just one of the many mistakes involving the new ECW, the title was on the line in this contest after Kane had won a pre-show battle royal for the right to challenge Chavo Guerrero, who was the ECW Champion at the time. I was actually in the stadium that night, but instead of seeing the talented Chavo take on The Big Red Monster, I got to watch an 11-second squash match...for a title...at WrestleMania. Couldn't they have just put the battle royal on the main show and made it for the title?
7 WrestleMania XXV - Rey Mysterio vs. JBL
The easy call for the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania is probably the Divas Battle Royal that saw Santino come out as the winner, but I'm actually going to go with the Rey Mysterio vs JBL match for the Intercontinental Championship. One problem is that this match was the first time in seven years that the prestigious title had been defended at WrestleMania, but the bigger problem is that the match was 21 seconds long. After Mysterio got the quick pin, JBL grabbed a microphone and screamed "I QUIT", which was actually true as he was retiring. It's a shame that this was his last match. I guess they needed all that extra time for Kid Rock.
6 WrestleMania XXVI - Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon
I actually didn't have a problem with this match being booked. Fans had waited 12 years for Bret Hart to get his revenge on Vince McMahon in an on-air capacity. The problem is that this match was completely overbooked and went on way too long. I suppose a wrestler who had so many concussions and a stroke fighting a 65-year-old man didn't help. The rest of the Hart family being involved was completely unnecessary and only added to this atrocious affair. Again, I don't like putting Bret Hart on this list, but that match is simply unwatchable.
5 WrestleMania XXVII - Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
There's unwatchable...and then there's unwatchable. After all the years that Jerry "The King" Lawler spent in the wrestling business, he finally got a WrestleMania match....against Michael Cole. Once again, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was named as the special guest referee and this match had a horrible five-month buildup. The match was worse. Let me put this in perspective. Edge and Alberto Del Rio opened the night with a match for the World Heavyweight Championship that went 11:09. Lawler and Cole went for 13:44...and Michael Cole officially got the victory after an awful finish. This is my pick for the worst WrestleMania match in history...and it's really not even close.
4 WrestleMania XXVIII - Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
In a rematch of a dark match from WrestleMania XXVII, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan were all set to square off for the World Heavyweight Championship and fans were ready for it as well. Unfortunately, what we got was an 18-second debacle that saw Bryan take a Brogue Kick as he turned around following his prematch kiss with AJ Lee. 1-2-3...done. It's a good thing they saved all that time so we could get that classic match involving Maria Menounos later on.
3 WrestleMania XXIX - Mark Henry vs. Ryback
This was never going to be a good match. I have all the respect in the world for Mark Henry. I think he's done his job well for 20 years and has had some very underrated matches in that time. However, I've just never been sold on Ryback at all. This match was insanely slow and insanely boring. The two just didn't have any chemistry in the ring and it was certainly the low point of the card...and this card had Fandango on it.
2 WrestleMania XXX - The Shield vs. Kane & The New Age Outlaws
I don't know if the Daniel Bryan-Triple H match ran long or what, but the match featuring The Shield vs Kane and The New Age Outlaws seemed way too short, clocking in under three minutes. Perhaps this was supposed to show how dominant The Shield had become, but I think this deserved a bit more. I also think The Shield should have been taking on The Wyatt Family at WrestleMania, but that's for another day. In any event, this match was the worst of the WrestleMania XXX.
1 WrestleMania 31 - Triple H vs. Sting
Listen, I know I'm going to take some heat on this one due to the fact that there was the cool moment with the nWo and DX battling at ringside (which actually makes no sense if you really break it down), but the actual one-on-one with Triple H and Sting was absolutely horrendous. The pace wasn't there and Sting just looked like a 56-year-old man. The finish didn't help matters. After all those years, Sting finally gets to the WWE and they immediately bury him. We get it, Vince. You won.