The Top 40 Matches in WrestleMania History

Stoney Keeley counts down his 39 favorite matches in WrestleMania history with WrestleMania 39 set to kick off Saturday evening!

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Y’all know I’m going to do this shit every year as long as I’m EIC at this web site, right? We’re just a couple of days away from Wrestlemania 40, and we’re gearin’ up for a couple of nights in as the show is taking place over two nights. Today, we’re revisiting the grand debate – trying to determine which are the best matches in WrestleMania history. It’s a list – I know everyone loves lists….

THE TOP 40 MATCHES IN WRESTLEMANIA HISTORY

40. WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre, WrestleMania 37 – I distinctly remember being the only person at my WrestleMania watch party that was actually looking forward to this match, but something about it felt like an old school “pure sport of wrestling” type of heavyweight title match between two thoroughbreds. I loved it. Old school wrasslin’ at its finest.

39. Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. The Authority, WrestleMania 34 – WrestleMania 34 started off promisingly enough, but stalled quickly as the night went on. This mixed tag match marked Rousey’s debut, was a barrel of fun, and end up being the best match of the night.

38. World Heavyweight Championship: Batista vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania 23 – Probably would be remembered more if it wasn’t the fourth match on the show, but it was a fun, hard-hitting championship contest.

37. The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan, Wrestlemania X-8 – Icon vs. Icon, sure – but let’s not act like the match itself was actually worthy of a top 10 spot. It lands on these types of lists for the moment alone.

36. World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXIV – An underrated ‘Mania main event. This was when The Streak was just gettin’ good.

35. Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, Wrestlemania 32 – Honestly, this match could’ve been the main event as one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise boring show. Hindsight is 20/20.

34. Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes, WrestleMania 38 – It’s rare for a match to feel so big and important when you don’t actually know who one of the participants is going to be. I mean…we knew, but we didn’t know for sure until that music hit and Cody Rhodes made his return to the WWE. That moment was big enough on its own, but for these two studs to follow it up with a 21:40 match loaded with exciting near-falls and action made this one truly stand out in the annals of WrestleMania.

33. No Holds Barred: Triple H vs. Batista, WrestleMania 35 – Any time you see a man get his nose ring ripped out with a pair of pliers, you know you’re watching a fight. The build to this one was awesome. It was physical. It was big. It was meaningful. It was everything you’d want in a No Holds Barred match.

32. WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan, Wrestlemania XXX – The culmination of the Yes Movement was incredibly fun to watch, and man – they put a beating on Bryan to build up to that moment.

31. WWE Championship: Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage, Wrestlemania VIII – She was mine before she was yours! Say no more, fam.

30. Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania X-Seven – Virtually no story going into it, but these guys made it feel like a main event.

29. WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, WrestleMania 39 – Everything involving The Bloodline was just clicking…absolutely firing on all cylinders in the spring of 2023. Sami’s unceremonious exit from the group, nearly winning the title, and the subsequent feud with Jimmy and Jey while reuniting with KO….my goodness, it was all just brilliant wrestling storytelling. For that match to get the main event spot on Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 should say all you need to know about it. But, the action in the ring delivered right along with it.

28. WWE Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, Wrestlemania XIX – Remembered for the botched Shooting Star Press, but the main event of Wrestlemania XIX was a classic regardless before that spot.

27. Intercontinental Championship: Bret Hart vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Wrestlemania VIII – Another underrated ‘Mania contest. This one features two of the greatest competitors of all time with a fantastic finish.

26. World Championship: Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit, Wrestlemania XX – WWE won’t talk about this one, and that’s fine…don’t get me wrong, but it’s a classic main event from a classic Wrestlemania, and one of the best triple threat matches of all time.

25. Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Wrestlemania X – A revolutionary match between two guys who were just reaching the cusp of their full potential.

24. WWE Tag Team Championship, TLC II: Edge & Christian vs. The Dudley Boys vs. The Hardy Boyz, Wrestlemania X-Seven – A demolition derby that was the peak of excitement and represents the best of an entire era of tag team wrestling.

23. Boneyard Match: Undertaker vs. AJ Styles, WrestleMania 36 – This one was a ton of fun for several reasons. Just the story of how it came to be with the WWE having to call an audible due to the covid pandemic, and the decision to make this a taped production, was amazing. But, the way it delivered was just so much fun to witness. Seeing Taker ride out on that motorcycle for the last time made it an emotional one, too. I’ll never forget watching that happen and thinking, “I’ll be damned – I bet that was it.” It also helps that this was such a welcomed break from the pandemic that moods were lifted, and we forgot all about what was going on in the world at the time, if for only a couple of hours.

22. Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XXIV – High drama – I always said “I’m sorry – I love you” was the 2000s era version of Hogan slamming Andre. Just that classic, quintessential WrestleMania moment.

21. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock, Wrestlemania XIX – Austin’s last match was full of twists and turns and was the best showing these two had at ‘Mania.

20. WWE Championship: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania XX – A strong technical showing that made Guerrero look like he belonged among the best champs in history.

19. WWE Championship: C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho, Wrestlemania XXVIII – Underrated in my book. Great drama, great action.

18. Smackdown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair, WrestleMania 37 – Two women who made history at WrestleMania 37, closing out Night 1 in one of the most classical wrestling matches and storylines you could ask for. It was equal parts thrilling, sound, and entertaining and made for one of the most special moments in the storied history of the WWE. An all-time main event in my book.

17. Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania XXX – A technically tight, sound showdown that personified the anti-establishment vs. the establishment.

16. Extreme Rules Match: Edge vs. Mick Foley, Wrestlemania 22 – Mick Foley’s “Wrestlemania moment” made for one brutal showdown that elevated Edge as a dastardly heel.

15. C.M. Punk vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania 29 – It should’ve been for the WWE Championship, and it should’ve been the main event.

14. WWE & Intercontinental Championship: Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, Wrestlemania VI – Maybe it wasn’t that great of a match in retrospect. But, you can’t help but respect the magnitude of The Ultimate Challenge

13. WWE Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, Wrestlemania 31 – A great underdog story without the Seth Rollins cash-in, but a great moment with it.

12. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXV – I’m simply not as high on this match as everyone else. The rematch was better to me.

11. Hell in a Cell Match: Triple H vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXVIII – The brutal “end of an era” slugfest felt absolutely draining, both physically and emotionally.

10. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XIX – My two favorites in an underrated showing from one of the most stacked cards in WrestleMania history.

9. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, Wrestlemania X – A deeply personal technical masterpiece. Probably the best opener in WrestleMania history. This one was a tribute to the sport of professional wrestling.

8. WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania 23 – One of the best main events in Wrestlemania history. Underrated in its ability to sell Michaels as a legitimate threat to prime Super Cena.

7. WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston, WrestleMania 35 – It’s been a long time since a match came along and had quite this level of impact. I’d argue it had been since the Yes Movement five years prior to this one. In fact, Kofi’s rise to WWE Champion had people drawing a lot of parallels between those two championship programs. This one was one for the ages, and created a genuine feel-good moment.

6. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania 21 – A veritable dream match between two of the best workers of all time. It was intense, physical, and downright pure.

5. WWE/Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes, WrestleMania 39 – WrestleMania 39, as a whole, was an awesome couple of nights in wrestling history. This match in particular was a classic. I loved the action, the pacing, the near falls that genuinely made you believe that anything could happen for a split second. And, I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I loved the finish. It was one of those rare moments when wrestling just makes you feel incredibly deeply one way or the other. Besides, look at the story the match would go on to set up for WrestleMania 40.

4. Career vs. The Streak, Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXVI – The stakes were higher, it was the main event spot, it was better than the first match. Sue me. For my opinion….fucking sue me.

3. WWE Championship Iron Man Match: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, Wrestlemania XII – If it didn’t last an hour, it’s #1. But, this match is hard to sit through in its entirety in 2022.

2. Intercontinental Championship: Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat, Wrestlemania III – One of the classics that helped define the prestige of the Intercontinental Championship and springboard the careers of two of the industry’s greatest.

1. Submission Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart, Wrestlemania 13 – One of the greatest matches of all time, this one only gets better with age. I can’t claim to have seen every wrestling match that has ever transpired, but I’ll say that this is the greatest match that I’ve ever seen.

Whew – holy shit….did we make it through that entire list????

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.

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