We are less than a week out from the greatest event in all of sports entertainment. For this blog I decided to give my 3 favorite Wrestlemania’s a whole. Don’t get me wrong I love almost every Wrestlemania but some just stand out to me. One shocker on the list is that Wrestlemania III is not on here. Being a native of Pontiac, MI the home of the event most people would figure that it would be in my top 3. When judging the events I looked at the strength of the card and the memorable matches.
We will start this off with one of the most underrated Wrestlemanias of all time. The Wrestlemania XIX card sometimes gets overlooked but it was loaded with star power and solid matches. WrestleMania XIX was the first WrestleMania to be promoted under the WWE name, prior to that it was known as the WWF but a after years of legal battles with the World Wildlife Federation the name had to change. Also this is the first Mania to have taken place after the WWE Brand Extension. This is when the WWE roster was divided between Raw and Smackdown with each brand featuring their own individual champions. The reason I liked this card is because it featured some big time matches that told a story. The pace of the card was good too as each match built with the anticipation. One of the forgotten matches from this Mania was the Booker T vs Triple H match that told a good story and had a awesome build on Raw. This was Booker T’s first real build up in the WWE after the WCW Invasion angle ended. He was able to prove he belonged in the main event in the WWE. The most memorable matches from this card were the Shawn Michaels vs Chris Jericho match and Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar. Both of these matches told great stories and showcased excellent in ring talent.
Matt Hardy (champion) (with Shannon Moore) defeated Rey Mysterio- for the Cruiserweight Title
The Undertaker defeated The Big Show and A-Train/ Handicapped match
Trish Stratus defeated Victoria (c) (with Steven Richards) and Jazz
Team Angle (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas) (c) defeated Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo Guerrero) and Chris Benoit and Rhyno – to remain tag team champions
Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Jericho
World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H (w. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair) defeated Booker T
Street Fight: Vince McMahon defeated Hulk Hogan
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar defeats Kurt Angle to become new champion
This was the first Wrestlemania that was seen on pay per view television. This was the first one that I saw live as it happened. The first 3 I had to see on tape a few weeks after each event. Wrestlemania IV was a set of unique circumstances because we went into the event without a world champion as the title was vacated. There was a problem with the title match between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant on Saturday Night’s Main Event. Apparently there was a referee switch between the Hebner brothers with was orchestrated by The Million Dollar Man. So he could purchase the WWF title once Andre the Giant won it. So WWF President Jack Tuney vacated the title and determined that there would be a tournament at Wrestlemania IV to determine a new champion. Other than the 20 man battle royal won by Bad News Brown, the entire card was the tournament. This was very innovative and the entire event told a story. By having Hogan and Andre squaring off early in the tournament it ensured that at least one of them would not take the title and adding intrigue to the overall event. This was a one of a kind event that was never done again.
20 Man Battle Royal: Participants-Bret “Hitman” Hart, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Paul Roma, Jim Powers, Sika, “Dangerous” Danny Davis, B. Brian Blair, “Jumpin” Jim Brunzell, Bad News Brown, Sam Houston, Jacques Rougeau, Raymond Rougeau, Ken Patera, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, The Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff, Boris Zhukov, Hillbilly Jim, “King” Harley Race, George “The Animal” Steele
Battle Royal was Won by – Bad News Brown when he eliminated Bret “Hitman” Hart
Wrestlemania XVII was by far my favorite Wrestlemania. This a one of the most loaded Wrestlemania with high quality matches that told great stories. Some think that this was the last Wrestlemania of the Attitude Era. This card featured names like Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and Triple H and none of those guys were in the main event. One of the highlights of this big event was the 1st TLC match. TLC stands for Tables, Ladders and Chairs and featured 3 of the best tag teams of all time. Edge/Christian, The Dudley Boyz and The Hardys made tag team history in one of the most brutal and exciting matches ever seen. The Main Event was the 2nd Wrestlemania showdown between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the 2 biggest stars of the Attitude Era and maybe of all time. This was a no disqualification match that went almost 30 minutes.
Chris Jericho (c) defeated William Regal – Jericho remains Intercontinental Champion
Tazz and The APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) (with Jacqueline) defeated Right to Censor (The Goodfather, Val Venis and Bull Buchanan) (with Steven Richards
Kane defeated Raven (c) and The Big Show – Kane becomes Hardcore Champion
Eddie Guerrero (with Perry Saturn) defeated Test (c) – Eddie Guerrero becomes new European Champion
Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit
Chyna defeated Ivory (c)- Chyna becomes the new Womens Champion
Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon (with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley)
Edge and Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) (c) and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff)- Edge and Christian become new Tag Team Champions
The Iron Sheik won The Gimmick Battle Royal by last eliminating Hillbilly Jim
The Undertaker defeated Triple H
Steve Austin defeated The Rock (c)- Stone Cold Steve Austin becomes New WWF World Champion
I hope you enjoyed the list and go back to watch some of these great matches. Hopefully Wrestlemania 27 can add this same type of excitment.