It’s WrestleMania season folks so everybody and their brother has a ton of content out to capitalize on the big event. Never let it be said that I am not one to jump on a bandwagon so here we go. (THIS ONLY RANKS THE MATCHES THAT WENT ON LAST. SORRY DEL RIO VS EDGE PEOPLE.)
This is my ranking of the first ten WrestleMania main events from an in ring perspective, not money drawn, not storyline, just how much I enjoyed that match from the work in the ring. Also, I won’t be listing managers etc. if you are taking the time to read this then you probably know who they are. All that being said, this is also opinion based, therefore your opinion may not match mine.
So let’s get started in reverse order from worst to first and see how these things stack up.
10: WrestleMania III (Pontiac, Michigan) – WWF Championship (C) Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant
Look, everyone knows that this match made all the money in the world and changed the way a lot of people looked at the business. I get it. That doesn’t mean that the match was any good. Andre was clearly in rough shape and almost immobile in the ring. As good as Hogan was at drawing a crowd he was no where near as good at carrying someone in this type of condition to a good match. Luckily the in ring quality of this match didn’t matter in the long run but it still was a real stinker and my personal vote for worst of the first 10.
9: WrestleMania VIII (Indianapolis, Indiana) – Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice
I really love Sid, but if you think that this match was any good you may need to get your head examined. These two put on a real stinker out there and the only reason it is above Hogan/Andre is because at least Sid could move without looking like he was in intense pain. This really should not have even main evented the show to be honest (Savage/Flair was right there) but it did and I just couldn’t get into it. Even more egregious than the match was the fact that it didn’t even have a clean ending! Papa Shango came out and got Sid disqualified (after Sid had to kick out of the legdrop) so we didn’t get any kind of closure with the story at all. The only saving grace in the entire deal was a 225 pound Ultimate Warrior with a lousy haircut coming out to save Hulk. Warrior Award indeed.
8: WrestleMania II (Los Angeles,California yeah I know it took place elsewhere too but the main event was in LA and that’s what we were covering)- Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship (C) Hulk Hogan vs King Kong Bundy
I actually didn’t hate this match. I thought it was probably one of the highlights of that God awful show. The deal is from here on out that the matches are at least decent so decisions had to be made and my absolute hatred for this show knocks it down near the bottom. Hey my column, my made up rules. I do really miss the big blue cage though, that thing was pretty sweet.
7: WrestleMania (New York, New York)- Tag Team Match WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
I’ve tried but I can’t hate this match. It wasn’t a mat classic but it was at least decently worked (especially with a celebrity involved) and kept me entertained throughout the entire thing. Roddy was at the height of his dickishness here and really brought the goods on the big stage. The fact that as successful as he was that this was his only WrestleMania main event (don’t feed me that boxing shit from II) is kinda criminal. I didn’t love it but it’s hard to hate it. That sums up that whole show actually, it gets a pass due to history.
6: WrestleMania IX (Las Vegas, Nevada)- WWF Championship (C) Bret”Hitman” Hart vs Yokozuna
I think the reason I like this match more than I should is because they kept it short and to the point. It was another one of those situations where the match wasn’t that great but it wasn’t that bad either. Bret generally didn’t screw around when it came to PPV main events and was probably angry at the outcome of this show so he was trying to look extra good out there. I’m going to ignore the Hulk Hogan deal at the end because it was a really bad idea.
5: WrestleMania X (New York, New York)- WWF Championship (C) Yokozuna vs Bret “Hitman” Hart
This match was almost the same as the previous year’s version except it didn’t have a screwjob ending. Bret working with a monster was always at least entertaining and this was certainly that. I also think that Yokozuna gets a bad rap as a worker, he moved pretty good for a big guy. Anyway, the main difference between this year and IX is that everything was back in it’s place and Bret got what he should have gotten the year before, a big coronation.
4: WrestleMania VII (Los Angeles, California)- WWF Championship (C) Sgt. Slaughter vs Hulk Hogan
Our second go around in LA was way better than the first. I really thing Sarge was underrated as champion and actually put on a pretty good match with the Hulkster. Hogan for his part actually tried a couple of new moves and even went up to the top rope in this match. The whole traitor angle kind of covered up the fact that wrestled a pretty nice little good vs evil match and sent the crowd home happy. I kinda liked it.
3: WrestleMania IV (Atlantic City, New Jersey)- WWF Championship Tournament Final “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase vs “Macho Man” Randy Savage
I know that both of these guys were tired and would have better matches in the future but as far as these shows go? It was pretty damn good. It was also the first WrestleMania where they decided to give someone besides Hulk Hogan the reigns (Sort of) and try to make a new star. We all know how that ended but on this night Macho Man getting to hold that belt over his head was enough for me as a fan. I miss Macho.
2: WrestleMania VI (Toronto, Ontario Canada)- WWF Championship vs Intercontinental Championship (C) Hulk Hogan vs (C) Ultimate Warrior
I’m going to tell you guys a secret, I was a HUGE Hulk Hogan fan and this match nearly broke my heart as a kid. I know these guys practiced this match a 100 times and I know the limitations each had in the ring normally, but on this night none of that mattered. They needed to go out and have a passing of the torch match for the ages and I’ll be damned if they didn’t pull it off. You have to give it to them, this was easily one of the best early Mania events no matter how you look at it.
1: WrestleMania V (Atlantic City, New Jersey) WWF Championship (C) “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs Hulk Hogan
This is the one folks, it made money, it had a great year long story and it delivered in the ring. I wish Macho could have held on to the title a bit longer in retrospect but you can’t argue that the second year in the Trump dome delivered the best match. I can watch this match to this day and still get excited, these two made magic out there. I can’t give all the credit to Randy either, Hogan wanted that belt back and worked his ass off to get it.
There we go folks. Did I get them wrong? Right? A little of both? We have a lot more to go so stay tuned.
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