The 411 Wrestling Top 5 3.13.13: Week 211 – Top 5 Worst Wrestlemania Moments
Posted by Ken Hill on 03.13.2013
From Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania XX and Daniel Bryan's "18 Seconds of Fame" last year to Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole at WrestleMania 27, Big Boss Man getting "hung up" at WrestleMania XV and more, the 411 staff counts down their top 5 worst WrestleMania moments of all time!
Hello everyone, Your "Kennection to All Things Wrestling" Ken Hill here, and welcome to 411 Wrestling's Top 5 List. What we are going to is take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, plus up to three honorable mentions.
So, on to this week's topic…
THE TOP FIVE WORST WRESTLEMANIA MOMENTS!
5. Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler Given all his major accolades over the years, it's amazing to realize this was "The King's" only Mania appearnce. Which makes it all the more galling that it had to be part of the idiotic feud with Cole. The match was poor with liberal interference and they couldn't even let Lawler win but having it reversed by the "Mystery GM," a huge insult to a fine veteran not to mention his fans who deserved to see Lawler get a win after all his service to the company but instead pushed aside for a wimpy commentator that didn't deserve a place at Wrestlemania.
4. Undertaker Hangs Big Bossman Mania XV is not a pleasant one to remember with several lowlights but the "Kennel in a Cell" has to be the worst. It's a terrible match to watch, worse with its ending as the Ministry helps the Undertaker hang Bossman from the rafters, meant to be a thrilling moment to sell Taker as a bad-ass but instead just dumb and stupid and makes you realize how bad Russo's interference was getting in the creative process at the time.
3. 18 Seconds Yep, I'm still pissed about this. After hyping for weeks a big encounter between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus for the World title, the actual match lasts a mere 18 seconds with a Brogue kick taking out a distracted Bryan and let Sheamus win the belt. It was horrible to start out the show and making the belt itself almost meaningless while robbing us of a fight between two guys who can really deliever a good match and deserved to on the big stage of the business.
2. Wrestlemania 2 celebrities Even WWE has ackowledged they went way too far with the celebrity influence for the second Mania, not helped by spreading it out to three cities. Joan Rivers as a ring announcer. The goofball "Herb" from the Burger King commercials as a timekeper. Dick Butkus and Ed "Too Tall Jones" as special refs who really did nothing. Susan Saint James, Cathy Lee Crosby and Elvira as commentators who knew nothing of wrestling. Just a total mess that convinced WWF that less was more when it came to big stars in the big show.
1. Santino wins "Miss Wrestlemania" This...wow, this burns me to the core. For WM XV, WWE brougt together a great battle royal of Divas past and present. Look the talent: Michelle, Mickie Jame, Molly Holly, Natayla, Victoria, Sunny, Torrie Wilson, Gail Kim, all great compeitiors and stars, a fine grouping for a match to name a great top Diva...and the winner is Santino Marella during his period posing as his "twin sister" Santana. An absolute insult to the entire women wrestling community and a waste of a great opportunity to show how great women wrestling can be just to push a dumb angle.
5. Brock almost kills himself (WM19) - Most things on this list appear because they were indicative of problems with their respective events. Not this one. Because Wrestlemania 19 was a darn good show. The last half of the card was well done and well booked (with the possible exception of HHH beating Booker T but whatever) and on the whole it was a good show. This moment makes it because of how scary it was, and what the repercussions could have been. Towards the end of the final match Brock Lesnar ascended the top rope with Kurt Angle on the mat, and went for a shooting star press. He had hit the move before (especially in OVW) but this time, well, not so much. Lesnar looked like he might have seriously hurt himself and things went in slow motion for a bit. In the end, Lesnar won when Angle basically F5'd himself and Brock won the belt while looking like he didn't even know where he was. A very scary moment in the biggest match of the biggest show of the year, and one that people are still talking about. Frankly, Brock got lucky he wasn't hurt any worse than he was.
4. Hogan and Sid go on last (WM8) - There were multiple things wrong with the booking of Wrestlemania 8. First and foremost being that the (debatably) much anticipated Flair/Hogan show down never happened. Instead we get Flair/Savage and Hogan/Sid Justice. That's a problem in itself for sure. But the bigger issue was Hogan and Justice getting to go on last instead of the WWF title program between Flair and Savage. There's reason for this, what with the return of the Warrior and all, but whereas Flair and Savage made chicken salad out of what they were given and had a nice little program (Heenan and Perfect's bait and switch on the photos of Liz not withstanding) leading to a nice match, Hogan and Sid had the type of match you would expect with a completely botched ending. Not the main event that Wrestlemania's are known for, for sure.
3. Giant Who? (WM9) - The streak is one of the most talked about parts of Wrestlemania today, and an automatic semi main event for whoever gets to take part. But that doesn't mean that the streak has always been in such high regard. Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez was a horrible match, but that should be expected as Jorge Gonzalez was a sideshow and not a pro wrestler. What makes this a worst moment, however, is when you go down the list of streak victims there has to be an asterisks by this match because the Undertaker won by DQ when Gonzalez used a rag soaked in chloroform to "knock him out". It looked as silly as it sounded and with hindsight being 20/20 we can look back and consider it a horrible outcome for a match that would be historically significant because of the great streak Undertaker has at the big dance.
2. Lawler Loses (WM27) - There were two things that made the Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole feud tolerable: 1) Jerry was finally going to get a Wrestlemania Match and 2) No matter how bad it got, we knew that Pro Wrestling booking 101 said that Jerry would get the win. That's how it works. You can't be as horrible of a person as Michael Cole and not get your comeuppance. Unless it's Wrestlemania 27 that is. Lawler beat the crap out of Cole for 13 minutes, but then Hornswaggle (according to cannon anyways) reversed the decision because Steve Austin was apparently a biased ref. I get that the visual of the beatdown is enough of a comeuppance, but come on. We had to sit through months of that crappy storyline and all we ask is that a legit hall of famer in the wrestling sense beat Michael Cole. Is that too much to ask?
1. Bossman hangs around (WM15) - The hell in a cell match between the Big Bossman and the Undertaker was bad. Real bad. The ending however, was worse with the Bossman being seemingly hung by the brood as the cage was raised to the rafters. It was an uncomfortable moment watching live at home and clearly was uncomfortable for the fans as well. But what is forgotten is this is directly in the higher power storyline as just a couple weeks before Undertaker had delivered Mr. McMahon Stephanie's bear on television in response to this match being booked. Meanwhile, Bossman, of course, was McMahons most loyal lackey who was always willing to take a butt whippin for the boss. More than anything else this moment points to the fact that the higher power storyline made no sense. McMahon had the man he was supposedly controlling to get to Austin fight and hang his lackey on the biggest stage of them all directly before Austin was going to challenge the corporate champ Rock for the title. What? Bad visual, bad booking, bad storyline. Worst moment.
5. Michael Cole vs Jerry Lawler Well, Jerry Lawler never really got his Wrestlemania moment, did he? One thing that I'll never understand was WWE's insistance on shoving Michael Cole down our throats and promoting him as one of the biggest heels in the company, despite the fact that he was an announcer and NOTHING MORE. The match stunk the joint up (surprise, surprise) and the result was offensive. Did they have to keep Michael Cole strong? Fucking mind boggling. Cole's 1-0 streak, that he mentions weekly, does nothing for Michael Cole as a character or the direction of any worthwhile storylines. I can generally see the big picture but there was no reason to go this route with the finish. After making the audience suffer through it, the least they could have done was put Lawler over for the feel good moment.
4. Undertaker vs. Big Bossman Ah yes, Wrestlemania 15. One of my least favorite Manias of all time despite the massive upswing in popularity at the time. Taker vs. Bossman is an awful match. It's slow and plodding with zero redeeming qualities. Post match, which I'm sure you remember as unwillingly as I do, we saw Bossman hung from the cell for all to see. The whole thing was just too over the top and ridiculous to be taken seriously despite Vince Russo's best efforts.
3. Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus I realize that this led to Daniel Bryan essentially becoming a permanent fixture on WWE programming for as long as he wants to stick around. I realize that because of this, Daniel Bryan became one of the most over faces in the company. This is still one of the worst moments in Wrestlemania history for me though. It completely deflated me right out of the gate. Luckily, they made up for it at Extreme Rules and put in my personal favorite match of the year.
2. Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg Woof. Despite this being perversely entertaining, you can't deny how terrible this match was. The crowd, completely aware that both men were leaving the company after Wrestlemania, turned on the entire match almost immediately.They proceeded to spend the majority of the match entertaining themselves and trashing the match. Even worse, Goldberg and Lesnar had no idea how to react to the backlash. They stalled for way too long and then worked the match they had mapped out in the back. Not the best decision.
1. Shooting Star Splat Everybody knows about this one but I can't ignore it. Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar were putting on one hell of a match to close out Mania 19. To put the cherry on top of the cake/match, Brock went upstairs to deliver a Shooting Star Press - A manuever that only a handful of fans had ever seen Lesnar perform. Unfortunately, he didn't get the take off he wanted and couldn't make the full rotation, landing face first on the mat. The crowd, completely taken out of the match, came to a hushed silence and legitimately feared for Brock's life. Luckily, the crazy son of a bitch managed to deliver an F5 and cover Angle to finish the match. This match would be held in far higher regards if Lesnar could have delivered that damn Shooting Star Press.
5. Following Hogan? Better off following Sinatra - It's not a terrible offense to either Triple H or Jericho, but there Undisputed Title Match was forgettable for mainly one reason: Hunter wanted so badly to go on after Rocky and Hogan tore down the house with their epic confrontation. The crowd was emotionally drained, and a good portion of them even left before the finish of the title match. The fact that it took Hunter so long for him to admit it was a bad move meant it had to really sting deep down about how wrong he was.
4. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales - Yes, the entire match. I know it's part of the vaunted Streak, and thankfully they only show little clips of Taker's victory, but the match in it's entirety was just plain godawful. Full of chin locks, stalling tactics, and a giant in a spray-painted body suit who made Khali look like goddamn Evan Bourne, it's the worst match I've ever seen at WrestleMania
3. Daniel Bryan's "18 Seconds of Fame" - Yep, I'm in the consensus on this one. Until Extreme Rules last year, WWE really screwed the pooch on the Daniel Bryan-Sheamus feud, even dating back to their US Championship days when their pre-show Mania match got turned into a Khali-won battle royal. While Bryan got a serious boost to his character and helped him get over loads with the fans, it's still a rather sour moment. Above all else, the World Championship exchanged in a squash match that didn't even break the ever-so-precious record they were aiming for? Just bad form all around.
2. Brock Almost Go Splat - Man, watching this still makes me cringe a decade later. Brock supposedly had the SSP down pat when he was in development and could pull it off without a hitch. However, he mistimed the leap, didn't make the full turn, and damn near broke his neck. Thankfully Kurt helped him to the finish. Shocks me to this day that Kurt was the one who ended up getting neck surgery and not Brock, even more so that Brock didn't snap his neck with all his weight crashing down. Took away from what I thought was an awesome technical match.
1. Michael Cole Won - That says it all right there. Cole won. The guy who had absolutely degraded, insulted and harassed Jerry Lawler over the last few months leading up to Mania and cost him the WWE Championship, who should have gotten his comeuppance in full, who shouldn't have gotten in an iota of offense, tried to "wrestle" Lawler and won the match on a stupid overturned decision by the computerized Raw GM. Yes, Lawler made him tap out and we got a nice Stone Cold moment or two, but it was terribly bittersweet and turned out to be the start of the worst feud in recent memory, right up there with Sharmell vs Jennifer Morasca.