Nothing brings out more debate among wrestling fans than examining a WrestleMania and WrestleMania 34 is no different.
However, the show this year looks to be on an entirely different level than any WrestleMania in a decade. Scatch that, a different level than any WrestleMania ever. That doesn't mean that the show will end up being the best; it means the calibre of the matches going in is nearly unparalleled in company history.
The rationale for this argument is looking at matches that could main event the show. While there are many ways to rank a show, including the capacity for "show-stealing matches," the true ability for a match to main event the biggest event of the year show big that particular bout is. If you have many of these type of matches on a card, you've got yourself a very strong show in the making.
The argument here is that WrestleMania 34 has at least five matches that are realistically main event worthy. They are:
- John Cena vs. The Undertaker
- Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
- AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
- Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
- Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon and Triple H
Of course, there are other matches on the show that will likely be better matches than a couple of the above, but they also aren't realistic for main eventing the event. The five matches above, due to importance and star power, could all be placed in the sacred spot.
The last two WrestleManias (33 and 32) have been somewhat disappointing shows in the ring, while 30 and 31 rank among the top WrestleManias of all time. However, heading in, none of them had this many main event worthy bouts.
While we're sure calling this the best WrestleMania card ever will spur some debate and anger among fans, it is crystal clear this is the best WrestleMania card in a decade. Taking a look back at the last ten WrestleManias, this is how many possible main event matches each show had. For what it's worth, world championship matches are always included as a possible main event. Matches involving celebrities are also usually given special consideration.
- WrestleMania 33 (4*, realistically 3): Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, Triple H vs. Seth Rollins, Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt*
- WrestleMania 32 (2): The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon, Roman Reigns vs. Triple H
- WrestleMania 31 (2): Triple H vs. Sting, Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
- WrestleMania 30 (2): Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar (Bryan vs. Triple H can not be included since that match was for a possible title shot later in the show)
- WrestleMania 29 (4*, realistically 3): The Rock vs. John Cena, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger*, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk
- WrestleMania 28 (4*, realistically 3): The Rock vs. John Cena, CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho, Triple H vs. The Undertaker, Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus*
- WrestleMania 27 (2): The Miz vs. John Cena; Triple H vs. The Undertaker
- WrestleMania 26 (4): Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, John Cena vs. Batista, Chris Jericho vs. Edge
- WrestleMania 25 (3): The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, John Cena vs. Edge vs. Big Show, Triple H vs. Randy Orton
- WrestleMania 24 (4): Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair, The Undertaker vs. Edge, Floyd Mayweather vs. Big Show, Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
- WrestleMania 23 (3): The Undertaker vs. Batista, Bobby Lashley w/ Donald Trump vs. Umaga w/ Vince McMahon, John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
There is simply no comparison; no event of the last ten approaches five possible main event matches. In fact, last year's show, which has four listed, realistically could have never put Orton vs. Wyatt in the main event and could be amended as a three possible main event show. The same could be said for WrestleMania 28, which lists Bryan vs. Sheamus due to it being a title match and WrestleMania 29 with Swagger vs. Del Rio. However, both were included due to the fact that they were world title matches.
But why stop with the last ten shows? Looking down the list throughout the rest of history, there is no comparable show in the history of WrestleMania. Pre-WrestleMania 23, only one show has more than three possible main events.
- WrestleMania 22 (3): Triple H vs. John Cena, Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon, Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
- WrestleMania 21 (3): John Cena vs. JBL, Batista vs. Triple H, Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle
- WrestleMania 20 (3): Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
- WrestleMania 19 (4): Vince McMahon vs. Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, The Rock vs. Steve Austin, Triple H vs Booker T
- WrestleMania 18 (2): Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock, Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
- WrestleMania 17 (1): Steve Austin vs. The Rock
- WrestleMania 16 (1): The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show vs. Triple H
- WrestleMania 15 (1): The Rock vs. Steve Austin
- WrestleMania 14 (1): Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin
- WrestleMania 13 (2): Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, The Undertaker vs. Sid
- WrestleMania 12 (1): Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
- WrestleMania 11 (2): Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel
- WrestleMania 10 (1): Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna (despite it's historical significance, the IC title ladder match never could have been slotted as main event or considered. No other IC title matches are used in this list)
- WrestleMania 9 (2): Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna, Hulk Hogan and Beefcake vs. Money Inc.
- WrestleMania 8 (2): Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice, Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage
- WrestleMania 7 (2): Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior
- WrestleMania 6 (1): Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
- WrestleMania 5 (1): Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
- WrestleMania 4 (1): Randy Savage vs. Ted DiBiase (tournament)
- WrestleMania 3 (1): Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant
- WrestleMania 2 (2): Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy, Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper
- WrestleMania 1 (1): Hulk Hogan and Mr T. vs. Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff
The idea of a multiple main event worthy show is a somewhat recent phenomenon, as evidence by the above list. With that considered, there has quite clearly never been a WrestleMania with as strong of a top of the card as WrestleMania 34 next weekend.
When it comes to examining the shows as a whole, considering match quality from top to bottom, that would be an entirely different argument. That said, WrestleMania 34 also has Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz, Asuka vs. Charlotte, and the Usos vs. New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers that could all tear the house down.
But as far as looking at the main event scene, WrestleMania 34 stands on its own. There is no comparable show in WrestleMania history.