Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The 411 Wrestling Top 5: Best WrestleMania Non-Main Event Matches


TJ Hawke 
HMThe Rock vs. Hulk Hogan from Wrestlemania 18 - This match doesn't belong in the top 5, but it's still one of the most entertaining matches in Wrestlemania history and it absolutely deserves a mention for this topic.
HMRicky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage from Wrestlemania 3 - I wasn't even born when this match happened, but the styles of these two men arguably age the best of anyone from the eighties. While this was clearly the best match of the first 9 Wrestlemanias, I think this match has been topped several times since then. 
HMEdge vs. Chris Benoit vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian vs. Kane from Wrestlemania 21 - This match is hard to rewatch because of Benoit, but it will always be a favorite of mine. While it's missing the emotional context of the early TLC matches, this is easily the best Money in the Bank match in my mind.

5. Edge & Christian vs. The Hardys vs. The Dudleys from Wrestlemania 17 - Are these matches stunt shows? Yes, but these three teams always managed to make their crazy matches seem much more than that. This 18-month rivalry saw some of the craziest matches in WWE history and this may have been the craziest of all them. Some don't like the interference from Rhyno, Spike Dudley, and Lita, but I thought they added to the match. These 6 men set the standard for these types of matches, and I don't think anyone since has been able to create the same magic since. 

4. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin from Wrestlemania 13 - It's a somewhat popular opinion that is one of the greatest matches in WWE history and it's hard to argue with that. These two were arguably, along with Shawn Michaels, the best performers of their generation and they certainly delivered one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history. The double turn at the end of the match also makes this one of the most significant matches in WWE history.

3. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart from Wrestlemania 10 - This is one of those matches that I can just watch over and over again. Their roles were so well defined, and their in-ring work were so perfectly smooth and crisp. This match was seemingly overshadowed by the ladder match on that show, but I'm glad to see that history and time has sided with this match. 

2. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle from Wrestlemania 21 - These two were arguably the two best wrestlers of the 2000's, so it was no surprise that they had one of the best WWE matches of all time. This was an incredibly emotional match that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 

1. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker from Wrestlemania 25 - Every once in a while, I watch a match and think, "That was perfect." This is one of those matches. In fact, after recently rewatching this match, I've decided that this is my favorite WWE match of all time. These two went out and absolutely saved Wrestlemania 25. They took the live fans and the fans at home, on a wild, emotional roller coaster that reached heights that few matches in WWE history have ever been able to match. To me, this match is the definitive answer to this question. 

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