29 years and 268 matches later – Wrestlemania

It started the moment Gorilla Monsoon introduced Wrestlemania I to the world and Howard Finkel uttered the words “Welcome to Wrestlemania.” It most recently ended with John Cena closing Wrestlemania XXIX with a WWE Championship win over The Rock.  In the 29 years between those 2 moments, there have been 268 Wrestlemania matches!  There have been many great matches, but which matches would comprise the best collaborative 8-match card of all time?

Here’s my take: (This is about storytelling and the business, rather than the best 8 matches)

Match 1 – Hulk Hogan/Mr. T v. Roddy Piper/Paul Orndorff (Muhammad Ali as ‘ref’)… No doubt you would have to include the first ever Wrestlemania main event on this card.

Match 2 – Hulk Hogan v. Andre

the Giant… what this match lacked in athleticism, it gained from the spectacle.  The moment Andre passed the proverbial torch to Hogan can never be forgotten.

Match 3 – Hulk Hogan v. Ultimate Warrior… again, like all Hogan matches, you won’t see the most fluid in-ring action, but champion vs. champion, “title for title” was another historic landmark for the WWF at the time.

Match 4 – Hulk Hogan v. The Rock… Ultimately, this may have been one of Hogan’s best matches, EVER!  The storytelling in the match between the two was incredible.  The crowd reaction was deafening!  Icon vs. Icon

Match 5 – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon… The first ever PPV ladder match to crown the undisputed Intercontinental Champion.  At the time, you knew these two would become top players in the industry.  Michaels did it with WWE, Razor took his talents to WCW and the NWO as Hall, the ‘Outsider.’

Match 6 – Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (26)… This was the end of the road for Mr. Wrestlemania and the match was nothing short of sensational and legendary.  Plus, what would a Wrestlemania card be without the “Streak”

Match 7 – Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin… Wrestlemania 13 officially put a stamp of “without a doubt” on the career of Austin.  Blood pouring out of his forehead and passing out to the sharpshooter is a sight not soon to be forgotten.

Match 8 – The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (17)… What can be said other than Austin sold his soul to the devil!  The boss who he feuded with over the years had just helped him beat The Rock senseless, and capture the WWE Title.

While Michaels is “Mr. Wrestlemania” and The Undertaker has “The Streak,” Hulk Hogan is without a doubt the reason Wrestlemania is what it is today.  Him returning to the WWE to host Wrestlemania 30 is the perfect ending to a Wrestlemania career that will have spanned 3 decades from start to finish.

There are many matches NOT on this list that, from a pure wrestling standpoint should be on the card.  However, that was not the objective of this list.  While 8 matches is a short card by some Wrestlemania standards, it’s actually been the total matches on 6 different occasions.  The most matches ever is 14 (3 times).  The fewest matches ever is 6.  On average, a Wrestlemania card has 9.29 matches.

As far as BEST wrestling matches are concerned, lets save your eyes and my breath.  Vote on the match you think is tops of all time.  There are several that can be in the discussion, it’s all how you see it through your eyes!

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