With WrestleMania 34 on the horizon, it’s natural to feel a little nostalgic, and recount some of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history. The Showcase of the Immortals has provided us with many memorable matches and memories. From Andre the Giant being body slammed by Hulk Hogan, to Ric Flair performing for the last time – the fans were treated to some incredible instances that will forever be remembered.
WrestleMania is also the stage where performers bring their A – Game. With nearly hundred thousand fans in attendance, and millions watching around the world, wrestling’s Super Bowl is one of the most watched entertainment events on the planet.
Keeping that in mind, today, we take a look at the five greatest WrestleMania matches of all time.
#5 Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton, WrestleMania XXX
WrestleMania 30 was iconic for more reasons than one. Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker’s legendary streak, while Triple H and Stephanie McMahon set on a journey to keep Daniel Bryan away from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Bryan, injured and bruised, somehow managed to get the win over Triple H, but not without its repercussions. Daniel Bryan then had to drag himself into the ring in the main event, as he faced Orton and Batista, who tried to take Bryan out of the equation.
There are very few ‘feel good’ moments in professional wrestling, and WrestleMania 30’s main event was one of them. Daniel achieved his dream – the completion of one of the most audacious stories in wrestling history, by winning the WWE World Heavyweight title at WrestleMania 30.
In a way, it was the fans that won the title. Daniel Bryan always gives his 100% inside the ring, and the psychology involved, along with the ending made the triple threat match at WrestleMania 30 one of the greatest WM matches of all time.
#4 Randy Savage vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, WrestleMania III
When WrestleMania III rolled out, the fans were intrigued about one match in particular – the Andre – Hogan encounter, which promised to be one of the most fascinating match – ups in wrestling at the time. Hogan was the giant slayer, while Andre was the greatest threat to Hogan’s reign at the time.
However, when the night ended, the fans weren’t talking about Hogan body slamming Andre, but about Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat stealing the show. Their bout was methodical, carefully choreographed, with everything they did in the ring making sense, adding to the importance of the story.
At the time, it wasn’t common for Superstars to be so pedantic with their work. However, Savage and Steamboat put on a match that was ahead of their time, making it one of the most important matches, in terms of how the next generation Superstars approached their matches.
#3 ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart, WrestleMania 13
The night that arguably planted seeds to the birth of Attitude Era in the WWE. Austin was the dastardly heel going into WrestleMania 13, while Bret Hart was the clean – cut baby face that always sided with the truth. However, the roles were reversed on the night, as the image of Austin, wearing a crimson mask and laying motionless in the Sharpshooter, with Bret Hart not showing him mercy, has been engrained in the minds of wrestling fans around the world.
Austin was not a submission specialist, so the fans wanted to see how the Rattlesnake would fare in a match that was right down Bret’s alley. Both the Superstars however put on an outstanding match, with the entire bout built on storytelling and ring psychology. The fans loved every single minute of the bout, which, in the end, led to the fans turning on Bret Hart, and siding with Steve Austin.
Post WrestleMania 13, Austin became the red – hot fan favorite, and he rode this momentum until the turn of the new millennium, when he turned heel.
#2 Owen Hart vs. Bret Hart, WrestleMania X
Two brothers opened the WrestleMania X card, with Owen and Bret Hart putting on a wrestling clinic. Owen and Bret were embroiled in a heated rivalry in 1994, which also saw the brothers compete inside a cage for the WWE Championship. However, it was their 20 minute at WrestleMania that truly exemplified their brilliance.
Until then, not many believed that Owen could go toe – to – toe with Bret in the ring. However, at WrestleMania X, Owen not only proved that he can hang with the best, but also showed that he could in fact out – work the best of wrestlers in the company.
Their match told a story, had emotions, and was technically sound. In the 20 minutes allotted to both the Superstars, they put on an instant classic, giving the fans one of the best technical wrestling matches at the time.
#1 The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XXV
The Icon versus The Phenom collided at WrestleMania for the very first time at WrestleMania 25. While ‘Taker and Michaels faced each other before, both the Superstars were at the final lap of their respective careers, in terms of being at the top of their game.
The storyline leading up to the match was simple, yet had a tinge of nostalgia attached to it. Shawn and Taker had a history, which played into the storyline. But none would’ve expected the two old timers to put on one of the greatest pro wrestling matches of all time!
The match had everything – emotions, story, intrigue, and last but not least, two performers thriving on each other’s potential. Both the Superstars seemed to have a limitless reserve of talent, which they made use of to put on the greatest WrestleMania match of all time!