clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

LOVPODAMANIA: The Top 25 WORST Wrestlemania Matches

It's time, once again, for everybody to agree that Yokozuna sucked

WWE Smackdown - Sydney Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images

So here we are - we've had the 100 best matches of all time - now for the top 25 worst.

Read on, and let us know what you think!

25 – The Great Khali vs Kane – WrestleMania

This one takes the #25 spot because no-one exactly expected this one to be any good. It wasn’t. It was awful. But they get points for at least being up-front about being awful. Prior to his days as a ‘Punjabi Playboy’ were still pushing the 7ft Khali as a monster and he went over Kane, but not before the Big Red Machine body slammed Khali in an ode to Hogan slamming Andre, unfortunately there were not 93,000 fans hanging on every single move of this one, I’m not sure there were even 93.

24 – Test & Albert vs Al Snow & Steve Blackman – WrestleMania 16: When the commentator has to apologize for the quality of the match, you know you’re having a stinker. JR describes this live as ‘bowling-shoe ugly’ and that it is. T&A were a hot-young team with potential. Al Snow & Steve Blackman were a team based on a sophomoric pun. Go figure. If the match wasn’t bad enough, we then had to suffer a post-match segment with Steve Blackman karate kicking a midget in a cheese wedge fancy dress costume. RIP Chester McCheesterton.

23 – David Sammartino vs Brutus Beefcake – WrestleMania 1: The allure to this one was that WWWF legend Bruno Sammartino was at ringside supporting his son. MSGs favourite icon was cheered uproariously but the match was overly long and boring as neither man was anywhere near ready for the occasion. Beefcake eventually became a solid mid-card hand who was overpromoted due to his friendship with Hulk Hogan, Sammartino couldn’t live up to his father’s name and faded into obscurity.

22 – Randy Savage vs George Steele – WrestleMania 2: One of the greatest Mania performers of all-time, it seems a shame to put Savage on a list like this. However, his WM2 match is the one blot on his otherwise impeccable WM record. Facing the politically incorrect character of George Steele, a (very) hairy man-boy with mental deficiencies who enjoyed eating the turnbuckles, this one is just gross to watch as Steele leches after Elizabeth at ringside. It’s hard to believe that WWE thought this was a suitable Intercontinental title match, especially when they had a ready-made angle in Santana vs Savage that needed a conclusion.

21 – Butterbean vs Bart Gunn – WrestleMania 15: The Brawl for All might be Vince Russo’s worst ever decision, and I don’t say that lightly. Fans would chant “we want wrestling” in the RAW arenas when these train wreck shoot MMA-boxing hybrid matches would take place. When all was said and done and half the roster was either injured or had their characters damaged from losses there was one man remaining, Bart Gunn. Instead of using the Brawl for All as an opportunity to give Bart a push he was put in the ring with Butterbean, a legitimate boxer, who of course had no trouble KOing the wrestling tough-man under boxing rules.

20 – The Rock vs The Sultan – WrestleMania 13: Watching WrestleMania 13, it’s hard to believe the greenhorn known as Rocky Maivia would one day become one of the greatest wrestling stars of all-time and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He took on The Sultan (aka Rikishi) whose cartoon gimmick was getting over about as well as Rocky’s, the two would have one of the worst intercontinental title matches of all-time on a WrestleMania card, much to the apathy of the Chicago crowd, who couldn’t have cared less about either guy in 1997.

19 – Bad News Brown vs Roddy Piper – WrestleMania 6: Poor match, awful ending as neither guy wanted to lose, they cheated the fans out of any sort of resolution by having a nonsensical double count-out. Wrestlers being marks for their own characters to the worst degree.

18 – Rick Rude vs Jake Roberts – WrestleMania 4: A big disappointment as on paper this had potential to be match of the night. Unfortunately, these two were booked to fight to a time-limit draw so that they could both be eliminated from the title tournament. The 15-minute draw is wrestled like a man who had about 6-minutes planned and is bloated with rest-holds and stalling tactics to get to the required time limit. I’m not sure if these guys simply got lost or if they were pitching a protest at going out early in the tournament but this is one of the worst matches on WM4.

17 – Bret Hart vs Bob Backlund – WrestleMania 11: On paper, you’d expect this to be quite good, certainly not in an all-time worst list, but the ‘I Quit’ stipulation and the performance of an over-zealous Roddy Piper as referee completely ruined this one. The match was languid and disappointing anyway (Bret later described it as the worst of his career) but it was made even worse by Piper jumping in with a microphone every 30 seconds asking if they quit, even on a move as tame as a headlock.

16 – The Miz vs John Cena – WrestleMania 27: One of the worst modern main events in WrestleMania history. The involvement of The Rock, to set up WrestleMania 28, was needless and poorly executed, the Miz was simply not ready for this torch to be passed to him, and he felt like an afterthought stood next to megastars in Cena and Rock. Cena, usually a reliable hand to carry a big match did not show up either on this night, and the result was a disaster that pretty much ended The Miz’s main event career, to this day.

15 – Hulk Hogan vs Sid Justice – WrestleMania 8: To think we could’ve had Hogan vs. Flair instead of this one. Even putting Savage and Flair as the main event would’ve satiated some of the stink of Sid vs Hogan. By WM8 Hogan’s stock was on the fall and matching him with the green big man did little to help. Both men needed carrying in 1992 and together they floundered to one of the worst main events in WrestleMania history.

14 – Undertaker vs Sycho Sid – WrestleMania 13: it doesn’t make good reading for Sid. 2 main events, two stinkers. This one wasn’t entirely his fault, he performed admirably in late ’96 and into early ’97 trying to fill the shortages on the roster. If Shawn Michaels hadn’t bolted before WM13, afraid he’d have to job to real life nemesis Bret Hart then this show may have been saved, instead we got a dead main-event that no-one cared about with two men not known at this point for their ability to put great matches together.

13 – Mr. T vs Roddy Piper – WrestleMania 2: Building on the success of WM1, Vince decided to put two of the four combatants from its main event against each other… in a boxing ring. As Mr. T fought Roddy Piper. The ‘match’ was boring, long and pointless and ended with Piper being DQ’d for body slamming Mr. T.

12 – Big Show vs Akebono – WrestleMania 21: In the build to WM28, Cody Rhodes did an amusing promo package pointing out how many embarrassing WrestleMania moments Big Show has had. This one ranks up there. Show donned a giant nappy and took on real-life sumo-wrestler Akebono…for some reason. The match was met with crickets, and Big Show, nappy and all, went sprawling to the floor.

11 – Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant – WrestleMania 4: Never go back. The rematch to the ‘greatest WrestleMania match of all-time’ was a disaster. Andre was a year older, the show wasn’t nearly as well booked and it was put on the middle of the show and booked to go to a non-finish so that both men could be eliminated from the competition. If this match wasn’t so forgettable, it could’ve harmed the legacy of the WM3 classic.

10 – Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania 20: Err, the main event of WrestleMania 33! Oh boy, they really don’t learn, do they? Back in 2004 Goldberg finishing up his disappointing WWE run while Brock Lesnar had decided to split and become an NFL star, much to the ire of the numerous superstars who’d spent the last two years sacrificing themselves to put him over. This is one of the rare times during WrestleMania where the crowd vehemently turned on both superstars. As both men were booed out of the building, and special guest referee, Austin turned the de-facto face of the match, the two men proceeded to lay an egg, sitting in chin-locks and putting forth sluggish offence that did little to endear themselves to the baying MSG crowd. The highlight of the match was Austin giving them both a stunner on the way out.

9 – Undertaker vs Kane – WrestleMania 20: If their WM14 was everything right about this angle, the WM20 was everything wrong. A clunky mess of a match in which the highlight was Undertaker’s return entrance (which, thankfully, lasted almost as long as the match itself).

8 – Triple H vs Randy Orton – WrestleMania 25: The build to this angle was so good that if this match had reached even 20% of the level that these two can perform to, it would have almost certainly made the top 100 greatest matches list. Unfortunately after a bitter blood-feud that included Randy attacking Vince, Shane & Stephanie and Triple H attacking Orton in his own home, the match was completely neutered by the stipulations that if Triple H was counted out or DQ’d then he’d lose the title, instead of the wild brawl that this match had been building towards, we got an anti-septic, tepid wrestling contest in front of a burnout crowd who’d just witness Taker and Shawn steal the show. The results, one of the biggest Mania disappointments of all-time.

7 –Roman Reigns vs Triple H – WrestleMania 32: Last year’s WrestleMania was awful. Roman Reigns big coming out party as a babyface, the pay-off to a year-long angle of being held back by the Authority and a chance at retribution over ‘the Game’, Triple H. One big problem, almost the entire arena was booing him. A storyline with the authority vs. the top star doesn’t work in 2016, when every backstage machination is free and available to read for even the partially interested wrestling fan. Roman Reigns IS the Authority’s choice, that is plain to see, so an angle based around the opposite seems counter-productive and a little bit silly. What made this one worse was after a 6-hour marathon of a show, the last thing people wanted to see was a cold main event that went back-and-forth and dragged on for a long 25-minutes. If the purpose of this was for Reigns retribution, it would have been better served being a 7-8-minute squash match. Badly booked, badly received and badly performed. Back-to-back main event flops in this list for Triple H, whose WrestleMania record suddenly looks less than stellar. More so when you add disappointing main events with Batista, Jericho and the 4-way at WM16 added to his resume.

6 – The Rock vs Erick Rowan – WrestleMania 32: I didn’t include any squash matches, and this one would have been spared, were it not for the cringe-inducing 10-minute segment that preceded it as the normally charismatic ‘Great One’ stumbled through a ridiculously bombastic segment which included him using a flamethrower to set a sign bearing his name alight and announcing (falsely) that WWE had broken the all-time attendance record – the actual attendance was a good 30,000 less than WWE advertised. He then proceeded to beat Erick Rowan in a 6-second match, utterly pointless and completely forgettable. The Rock has either been great or awful in the past few years of part-time appearances, this one was by far his worst.

5 – Undertaker vs Big Boss Man – WrestleMania 15: Any match that ends in a hanging is probably not going to win any plaudits. The Ministry of Darkness was an interesting angle that got several lower-card talents over and gave the Undertaker a big role on the shows, but this one went beyond Deadman bookiness and into farce. Once Taker demolished Boss Man, in a poor excuse for a Hell in the Cell match, three of his acolytes, Edge, Christian & Gangrel would rappel down from the ceiling and string the Boss Man from the top of the cell with a noose around his neck. Utterly stupid, bordering on offensive.

4 – Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon – WrestleMania 26: This one was just sad. Seeing one of the greatest ring technicians of all-time stumble around the ring wasn’t the way Bret Hart’s career should have ended. In an ideal world, this match would have taken place at WM 17 or 18 and would have been comparative to McMahon’s matches to Hogan or Michaels, instead it was a post-stroke Hart, full of bitterness and regret taking the opportunity to try and cash in on an angle and heat over ten years old at this point. McMahon neither was in the physical shape to carry Hart to a serviceable brawl. Nor were the key side-players of the story, Owen, Bulldog, Pillman alive to save it. Instead it was left to the likes of Bruce Hart and the Hart Dynasty to fill in the gaps. It was just a grim reminder that our heroes of the 90s had gotten old, ill or dead.

3 – Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez – WrestleMania 9: When Giant Gonzalez debuted at the Royal Rumble and eliminated the Undertaker, he did look impressive. He comfortably dwarfed the normally imposing Deadman. Unfortunately, he could not work a lick. For the Undertaker’s athleticism, Gonzalez was the polar opposite, lacking any grace or subtly in his movements. He was made to look even more ridiculously wearing a cheap-looking body-suit. Far from the polished worker he would later become, there was no carrying Gonzalez and the two had an all-time stinker on the grandest stage.

2 – Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler – WrestleMania 27: Announcer angles suck. They really do. They are always conceived so lazily, executed so poorly and yet always seem to take up so much time. I’m not sure what Vince’s fascination is with commentator partners who hate each other, but it’s a steady storyline he’s used since he stepped away from the booth himself. Here, Michael Cole played a cheesy-cartoon villain who decided to seclude himself in a glass box and proclaim himself the greatest, much to the chagrin of the King, one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time back in his day, Jerry Lawler. The King of Memphis wanted to set the cocky announcer straight and I think everyone assumed this would be a 3-minute squash match with Cole getting his comeuppance. Instead, what we got was a 15-minute bore fest that ended with heel Cole getting a victory over Lawler with the help of his bodyguard, the bland Jack Swagger. Utter rubbish.

1 – Hulk Hogan vs Yokozuna – WrestleMania 9: As good as Hulkamania was in its heyday, the last couple of years were truly torturous to watch. By this point, Hogan was routinely getting booed in arenas and his heelish antics that would be played off as just by commentators was now beyond a minor annoyance. At WM9 Hogan first teamed with Beefcake in a stinker of a mid-card tag-team match, that match could have easily made this list but it was the end of WM9 that truly galls fans to this day. When Bret Hart, the new, hot babyface and most popular superstar was defeated in the main-event by Yokozuna, Hogan came glad-handing to ringside, presumably just to offer emotional support to his ‘friend’. Seconds later he was in the ring, inexplicably challenging Yokozuna to a title match on the spot, even more inexplicably, the Samoan sumo accepted and 22 seconds later, Hulk Hogan was the world champion and the yellow ticker tape flowed. Hogan would be celebrating with the title before Bret Hart had even departed ringside. Amazingly, WWE had expected Hogan to be cheered for avenging his friend, instead, this looked exactly like what it was, a desperate Hulk Hogan (and Vince McMahon) beating the Hulkamania hoopla horse into the ground one last time. Hogan would leave WWE before the end of the year in search of a Hollywood career, while McMahon finally wised-up that Hogan’s star had faded and he needed new stars.