We are only days, nay, hours away from the grand spectacle that is WrestleMania 33. As we prepare our hearts and minds for the Ultimate Thrillride it's a perfect time to look back through the wrestling history books and explore the 'Mania matches that turned us all into lifelong fans. The bar for what is a great WrestleMania match has been set unbelievably high.
Whether it be for in-ring drama, grandiose story telling or shocking amazement, the WWE has displayed some of their finest gems on The Grandest Stage Of Them All. With over 30 years of matches to pull from, it's nearly impossible to rank the all-time greatest matches in WrestleMania history. In the early days of WrestleMania, larger than life characters like Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior captivated audience's imaginations, but their actual matches paled in comparison to some of the technical masterpieces that would soon follow.
The beauty of what makes wrestling so special is that each fan can pick and choose their own favorite match regardless of where it falls on some type of wrestling nerd ranking scale. And I can say that because I am, indeed, a wrestling nerd. With that thought in mind, I have polled the staff of Comicbook.com to find out which WrestleMania match (or moment) was the one that still, to this day, ranks as the greatest.
Each took the time to carefully mine their 'Mania memories and reflect on the match that forever changed their lives as a wrestling fan. So without further ado, click START SLIDESHOW to find our favorite WrestleMania matches and moments. Let us know on Facebook which ones still resonate with you.
HBK vs Razor Ramon - WrestleMania 10
This may be an unpopular opinion BUT the Wrestlemania X match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon was the best Wrestlemania match EVER -- let alone my personal favorite. It was right smack in the middle of my developmental years (age 13); featured my all-time favorite wrestler (HBK); a tremendous opponent (Razor); it was the introduction of the ladder match of which the likes has never been duplicated, and even had a good story to lead. Unfortunately for 13-year-old me, Razor ended up winning the match, but damn was it great!prevnext
Randy Savage vs Ricky The Dragon Steamboat - WrestleMania 3
I was a very convincing 9 year old. After six months of begging and pleading, my parents realized they had no option but to purchase WrestleMania III on pay per view. It's true that I went into that night desperate to see if Hulk Hogan could possibly overcome the immense challenge of the undefeated Andre the Giant. But it was a mid-card match that captured my imagination and turned me into a lifelong devotee to the art of wrestling.
Macho Man Randy Savage was set to defend his coveted Intercontinental Championship against the man who he, just months earlier, had put out of action by crushing his larynx with a ring bell; Ricky The Dragon Steamboat.
The match was a technical masterpiece and remains a benchmark for in-ring dramas. If you asked me today how long the it lasted, I would swear Savage and Steamboat easily went 45 minutes. In reality, however, it was only a 17 minute match. In those 17 minutes, there were 21 false finishes.
While this may seem fairly common today, at the time, we had never seen anything like it, which made Steamboat's final small package victory so impactful.
The best part of this epic battle is perhaps how it holds up 30 years later. No matter how many times I've seen it, it ceases to live up to my over-hyped nostalgic expectations.prevnext
Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton vs Batista - WrestleMania 30
I'm still a relative "noob" when it comes to wrestling, so my Wrestlemania viewing only goes back a few years. Probably, my favorite Wrestlemania moment during the modern era was Daniel Bryan's performance in Wrestlemania 30. Participating in two matches and overcoming the odds to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was the perfect end to a yearlong story and marked one of the few times where the WWE actually listened to their fans instead of stubbornly staying the course. Plus, it's great to hear Michael Cole shouting for Batista to tap out as the entire stadium starts to lose it.
Considering how the WWE immediately went from the "ultimate underdog" Daniel Bryan to two years of Roman Reigns in the main event of Wrestlemania and now a couple of part-timers, I just hope we get to see a fan favorite in the main event of Wrestlemania 34.prevnext
Stone Cold vs Bret Hart - WrestleMania 13
My favorite Wrestlemania match has to be Undertaker vs. Bossman in the Hell-In-a-Call at -- I'm sorry, I can't even finish that sentence. No, no. I'm going with Bret Hart vs Stone Cold in a Submission match at 13. The match featured the best double turn of all time and still, to this day, has one of the most iconic shots in wrestling history with a bloody Stone Cold refusing to tap out to the sharp shooter. Unlike ladder matches (which arguably got better over time for a while), I feel like even though this match's formula has been copied time and again in years past, no one's even come close to topping this masterpiece.prevnext
Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar - WrestleMania 30
I would say my favorite moment was the beating of the streak.
I haven't been that surprised, scared, exhilarated and completely unsure of what was real anymore after that match.What do I believe in if I can't believe in Undertaker winning at Mania? I was shaken to my core.prevnext
Hulk Hogan vs The Rock - WrestleMania 18
While my favorite clashing of styles belongs to Austin vs Hart at WrestleMania 13, this match redefined the phrase "WrestleMania moment". It was a surreal meeting of icons that embodied their generations. You had Hogan being the living legend and Rock on his way to becoming one in a match that exhausted the audience.
Each man played to the Toronto crowd with their signature moves and poses, and for almost 20 minutes, the crowd have their absolute all in not just cheering, but exploding with roars at every move they made.
Rock came away as the victor, but in that moment, Hulkamania was reborn as Hogan's fanbase was reignited. You can tell how much this match meant to the Rock as the Great One paused at the ramp afterwards and soaked up the emotions of what just happened.
While not exactly a technical spectacle, the match was nothing less than 100% pure magic.
- @Lan Pittsprevnext
Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania 25
- @Jim Viscardi
* editor's note: More could have been said. But the first of HBK and Taker's legendary WrestleMania bouts is arguably the greatest match in 'Mania history.
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