Wrestlemania is the biggest highlight in every wrestling fan’s calendar. This long-running event holds so many moments that we all cherish and will remember for as long as we live. So as we gear up for this year’s show of shows in Orlando, I’m looking at all of the various different aspects that make the biggest PPV in wrestling so special.
Wrestlemania has been home to some of the greatest moments in this wonderful sport’s history, but sadly, with so much greatness over the years, there are several brilliant matches that unfortunately get overlooked. But in the last 32 years, which matches from the show of shows have mostly been under-appreciated? Well, let me tell you. Here are the Top 10 Most Underrated Wrestlemania Matches.
10. Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio – Wrestlemania 28
Cody Rhodes’ mask period was possibly the most interesting part of his WWE career, and this match is unfortunately an overlooked part of it. It’s not exactly a show-stealer by any means, but nothing to be ignored either.
9. Chris Jericho vs The Legends – Wrestlemania 25
Although this isn’t as technical or physical as others featured in this list, it did involve four of the biggest names in wrestling in one ring, and an extremely hot crowd. It’s hard not to get caught up in the electricity of those fans, and the nostalgia between the ropes. Plus, watching Steamboat do his thing so seamlessly after all those years was a delight to behold.
- Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Wrestlemania 32
After last year’s Wrestlemania, it seemed as though all everyone could do was groan, and the only real praise the entire event received was for the fantastic Women’s Triple Threat match. As good as that match was though, I think the event’s opener deserved a wealth of praise as well. It was fast-paced with bodies flying everywhere, some brutal ladder spots between Owens and Zayn, and an amazing shock victory. Hopefully in time this multi-man bout will gain the appreciation it rightfully deserves.
7. Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle – Wrestlemania 20
Given that it involves two of the best technicians in WWE history, it surprises me that this match isn’t talked about more often. It’s a good 20 minutes of trading holds, suplexes, and emotion-filled brawling, culminating with Eddie’s cheating ways earning him the victory. It wasn’t as good as the main event world title match later in the show (which we may never speak of again), but it is definitely worth your time.
6. Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero – Wrestlemania 21
While this may not be the greatest encounter these two men had (that happened at Halloween Havoc 1997), it was still an amazing match – would you expect anything less from the two greatest cruiserweights of all time?
5. The Steiner Brothers vs The Headshrinkers – Wrestlemania 9
Wrestlemania 9 is the Mojo Rawley of the show of shows – simply terrible. But hidden within the PPV that brought you the Giant Gonzales vs Undertaker travesty, and the time Hulk Hogan came out and won the title at the end of the show for absolutely no reason, lies a match that feels completely ahead of its time. At a time before Scott Steiner started calling people “FAT ASSES!” he was competing in some of the most physical tag team bouts of the early 90s. Featuring a nasty flapjack over the top rope to the outside of the ring, and a Death Device reversed into a belly-to-belly suplex, this is one of the few things actually worth watching from this event.
4. Chris Jericho vs Christian – Wrestlemania 20
One of the most underrated mid-card Wrestlemania matches of the 21st century, this bout between two future hall of famers features amazing back-and-forth action throughout, and a fantastic sequence where Christian drags himself to the ropes to try to escape the Walls of Jericho, but Jericho keeps hold and locks the submission in on the outside of the ring. That’s right Jericho, you just made my list!
3. Edge vs Big Show vs John Cena – Wrestlemania 25
While this match is pretty much only remembered for John Cena’s inhuman levels of strength, being able to pick up both Big Show and Edge at the same time, it’s so much more than that. Each man plays their role so perfectly: Big Show is the true, dominant giant he deserves to be, Edge capitalises on every opportunity he can get, and Cena is just good old Cena. Featuring a spear through the barricade, a catching mid-air spear, and even an accidental spear to Vickie Guerrero, this match has plenty of moments to leave you talking about.
2. Vince McMahon vs Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 22
I’ve already spoken at length about why I love this match in my list of the Top 5 Matches Involving Non-Wrestlers, but simply put, this is a brutal hardcore match that is full of emotion and storyline, all capped off with the perfect visual of McMahon’s middle finger held in the air as he’s stretchered down the ramp.
Money in the Bank – Wrestlemania 24: Much like Elimination Chamber matches, they have been so many Money in the Banks that it’s hard to choose one that really sticks out, but the MITB match from Wrestlemania 24 is more than worth another watch.
Test vs Eddie Guerrero – Wrestlemania 17: On what many consider to be the greatest PPV wrestling card of all time, at least one great match is bound to be left underappreciated.
JBL vs Finlay – Wrestlemania 24: A hard hitting brawl between two big veterans beating the crap out of each other. And Finlay even tries a suicide dive at one point for some reason.
Raven vs Big Show vs Kane – Wrestlemania 17: Attitude Era hardcore title matches were just a joy to watch….sometimes.
- Edge vs The Undertaker – Wrestlemania 24
This is without doubt the most underrated world title match in Wrestlemania history, and given how great both of these men’s Wrestlemania records are, it’s unfortunate that it still doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. This masterpiece is an amazing back-and-forth contest where the victory really felt like it could have went either way at times. After two spears, it seemed as though the streak was in serious danger, but Undertaker locked in the Hell’s Gate and kept his streak alive. These two would go on to have yet another underappreciated gem at Summerslam that year in an incredible Hell in a Cell match. It may not be the best Wrestlemania match for The Undertaker, but that doesn’t take away from how great this brawl truly is. But if you’re still not convinced of this match’s greatness, let me remind you that this is the bout that saw Charles Robinson awkwardly run down to the ring for what felt like an eternity, and if that’s not worth watching, I don’t know what is.
Which Wrestlemania matches do you think are underrated? Let me know in a comment below or on Twitter @HairyWrestling.