Best described as a crossroad combination of the World's Fair and the Superbowl, WrestleMania is arguably the largest yearly spectacle in America.
In April of 2018, WWE will be hosting their 34th installment of the Showcase of Immortals and there's no reason to think there won't be at least one hundred more of its kind.
However, like any major recurring event, WrestleMania has its ups and downs. If 33 WrestleMania's have taught us anything it's that every now and then WWE will give us objectively great and objectively horrible shows.
But which is is the best? Which is the worst? Well, we've done some heavy meditating on this topic, and have narrowed down our picks.
Here are the 5 Best and 5 Worst WrestleManias of All Time:
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Fifth Harmony
Main Event: Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Triple H
Why It's Bad: Outside of Zack Ryder's feel-good win, Charlotte Flair's moonsault and Shane McMahon's stunt work, WrestleMania 32 was 7 hours of nothing. It didn't help that most of the 100,000 fans in attendance had the collective intention of rejecting Roman Reigns so loudly that Vince McMahon would have no choice but to call a last minute audible and keep the WWE Championship on Triple H. When that didn't happen there came the sobering realization that we spent the equivalent of a work day rooting for an impossible circumstance.
WrestleMania 32 hinged on two objectives for WWE: break an attendance record and crown Roman Reigns. While both happened, the rest of the gluttonous show was painstakingly hollow and now, when the winds are just right, we can still smell the foul carcass of the Dallas, TX show.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Kathy Huey
Main Event: Lawrence Taylor (with Carl Banks, Chris Spielman, Ken Norton Jr., Reggie White, Rickey Jackson and Steve McMichael) defeated Bam Bam Bigelow (with Irwin R. Schyster, Kama, King Kong Bundy, Nikolai Volkoff, Tatanka and Ted DiBiase)
Why It's Bad: In reality, we almost feel bad bashing this show as WWE was amidst an ugly transition period. With Hogan and the booming success of the 80's officially gone, WWE was in a full-blown identity crisis. While they still had pieces to build around like Shawn Michales and Bret Hart, the rest of the cast was, well, not good. That's why 1995's main event used 15 people, half of which were actually wrestlers.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: N/A
Main Event: Yokozuna vs. WWE Champion Bret Hart
Why It's Bad: Like WrestleMania 32, WrestleMania 9 chose style over substance. Instead of focusing on producing a quality show, WWE was committed to making Cesar's Palace be the greatest venue of all time. While it was certainly novel, WWE forgot to put together a coherent card so WrestleMania felt more like a toga party themed house show.
To top things off, Hulk Hogan's version of the Money in the Bank cash-in tasted all too stale as it marked WWE returning to something they were trying to shed. Hulkamania was long gone, but WWE wanted to gorge themselves one final time.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Keri Hilson
Main Event: John Cena vs. WWE Champion The Miz
Why It's Bad: When Michael Cole, Jersey Shore's Snookie, and The Great Khali all get wins at the same show, it's a strong indicator that WWE missed the mark. While many fans will resent 27's main event, the real black eye was how much show's host, The Rock, affected the outcome. It's not that we don't love Rocky, it's more that he stole the show, further underlining how weak of card it actually was.
Attendance: 40,085 (combined)
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Ray Charles
Main Event: King Kong Bundy vs. WWE Champion Hulk Hogan
Why It's Bad: Well, we have to applaud WWE for its ambition, but that's where the positivity stops. WrestleMania 2 represent WWE creating the same blunder that ruined WrestleManias 9 and 32. Instead of focusing on a quality show, Vince McMahon and Co. got lost in the efforts to outdo themselves.
In a plot reminiscent of Independence Day, Vince McMahon lowered himself on three of America's most populated cities (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) and planned to deliver the death blow to his competition by putting on a triumvirate of epic shows. However, each and every one of this production ranged from poor to awful as WWE had totally overextended itself and its roster. Instead of the Showcase of Immortals, WWE essentially just put on 3 house shows via simulcast, a concept that was a ways away from being totally understood by the American public.
Why you'll recognize plenty of names on the card, none of them were in the right spots, thus killing WWE's ability to create the WrestleMania magic that keeps up coming back for more.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Little Richard
Main Event: Bret Hart vs. WWE Champion Yokozuna
Best Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon Intercontinental Ladder Match
Why It's Great: At first glance, WrestleMania 10's card may seem skippable, but you'd be very wrong. While there are certain matches worth napping though, it's the impact of 10 that makes it such a wonderful WrestleMania.
It's hardly novel to gush about Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon's ladder match, but that doesn't make it irrelevant. In just 18 minutes, the pair WWE Hall of Famers altered the course of WWE by executing the perfect weapons match. Without their epic showdown, TLC never happens, nor Money in the Bank.
But what's really special about WrestleMania 10 is its timing. As you saw earlier, WrestleManias 9 and 11 were awful. However, with a nearly identical roster, WWE was able to put on one of the greatest shows of all time. Looking back, it was almost as if the wrestling gods blessed 10 because, without it, WWE may have been on the fast track to extinction.
While the Monday Night Wars had yet to officially start, they were imminent and without the crystallizing moments for both Brett Hart and Shawn Michaels supplied by Wrestlemania 10, WWE would have gone into war with no soldiers.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Lillian Garcia
Main Event: Batista vs. WWE Champion Triple H
Best Match: Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels
Why It's Great: WrestleMania 21's card is one that delivers in its entirety. While the main event will not make anyone's list of best all-time matches, Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero would as does Michaels vs. Angle.
But 21 was all about the new. John Cena won his first ever WWE Championship. Randy Orton's match with the Undertaker solidified him as the main eventer. And Batista's main event win made him the king of WWE's new wave. And if that weren't enough, 21 marked the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: Aretha Franklin
Main Event: Andre the Giant vs. WWE Champion Hulk Hogan
Best Match: Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage
Why It's Great: WrestleMania 3 is may be the most important reference point in all of professional wrestling. Yeah, it may be a little campy, but it still universally applies to the product we know and love today.
WrestleMania 3 carries the same transcendental vibes as the Beatles did in the 60's. Aided by the magic of the wrestling gods, Vince McMahon and Co. were able to illustrate the spectrum that professional wrestling lies upon. With Steamboat vs. Savage, we got a personal fight, one that happened to be perfectly executed. The precision in that match still influences the company today as technicians like AJ Styles would happily admit to adoring that match.
But then, WWE gifts the world with Hogan vs. Andre. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Savage vs. Steamboat, WrestleMania 3's main event rolled out a story that should be in the Old Testament. When Hogan slew the giant, it felt like the skies had opened - go back and watch how damn happy these fans were to actually witness Hogan scoop slamming the Giant!
WrestleMania 3 is necessary viewing for anyone who's ever even heard of professional wrestling. However, it's not the best WrestleMania of all time. Or even second best.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: N/A
Main Event: Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton
Best Match: The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
Why It's Great: When Daniel Bryan capped his YES! movement and became WWE Champion at WrestleMania 30, he supplied the most cathartic moment in WWE history.
However, no one will cherish the ending of Undertaker's WrestleMania streak, but they'll certainly remember it. Brock Lesnar extinguishing the mystique of the Undertaker created one of the most meme-able environments that WWE has ever created. The shock of seeing The Deadman become mortal will likely be looked upon as transitional moment for WWE in future years, as it truly signaled the end of an era.
By having the up of Bryan's commemoration as the true people's champion, and the down of Taker's loss, WrestleMania 30 supplied a ride that could only be topped by one other show of its kind.
"America the Beautiful" Performer: N/A
Main Event: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. WWE Champion The Rock
Best Match: Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. WWE Tag Team Champion The Hardy Boyz in a TLC Match
Why It's Great: WrestleMania 17 represents a moment in WWE history where the company was able to strike the perfect algorithm. For the purist, WWE gave had Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle. For the surrealist, there was Vince vs. Shane McMahon. For the masochists, there was the greatest TLC match of all time. Then, for everyone, there was Rock vs. Austin.
In 2001, WWE had reached sacred period. Having just lopped off the head of WCW, a company that nearly put them out of business, Vince McMahon and Co. got to fully celebrate their new monopoly of professional wrestling and they did so with one of the most talented rosters that we'd ever see.
While there have always been iconic Superstars within the company, in Rock and Austin, WWE was blessed with transcendental talent hitting their peak at the same time.
The culmination of their story would be enough to consider this WrestleMania great, but given the supporting cast and obscene amount of fun that preceded their titanic match makes this the best WrestleMania of all time.