The 411 Wrestling Top 5 3.27.13: Week 213 – Top 5 Worst Wrestlemania Matches
Posted by Ken Hill on 03.27.2013
From Randy Orton vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 25 and Jake Roberts and Rick Martel's "Blindfold Match" to Hulk Hogan's impromptu match with Yokozuna, Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler and more, the 411 staff ranks their top 5 worst WrestleMania matches 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.
WrestleMania fever is red hot, with storylines big and small reaching their pinnacle at the "Grandest Stage of Them All", but there will be occasions where the matches seen should be quarantined and never see the light of day.
So, on to this week's topic…
THE TOP 5 WORST WRESTLEMANIA MATCHES!
5. The Boogeyman vs Booker T and Sharmell Now, I actually liked the Boogeyman. Yes, a goofball but he was so in character, there was never a moment you felt he wasn't the Boogeyman, that you couldn't help but get sucked in. But to see such a talent as Booker T having to handle this insane match with wife Sharmell was something else. From the bit of the duo walking past a hallway of freaks (Eugene, Snitsky, Paul Burchill, Goldust) to Sharmell running around screaming and having worms shoved at her to a merciful pin, a total joke match that Booker shouldn't have been involved in let alone put on the biggest show of the year.
4. Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar, Wrestlemania XX Once more, Scott Keith summed up my own feelings: "A train wreck of a match but fascinating to watch as a social experiment." We'll cut the guys a bit of slack as no one could have predicted the massive loathing from the Madison Square Garden crowd, fueled by word both guys were leaving the company. I can't recall when you saw a crowd literally booing every move either man in a match made and it clearly threw them both totally off their game. All the good build was ruined as they were slipshod and lazy in their fighting and moves, the ending reportedly changed to Goldberg winning which made little sense in the storyline. The crowd only came alive with special ref Austin hitting a Stunner on both guys to send them out and end one of the most amazing train wrecks a wrestling ring has ever seen on such a major stage.
3. Jake Roberts vs Rick Martel, Wrestlemania VII Whoever came up with the blindfold match must not have been a wrestler. It's the only explanation as to why this terrible stipulation comes into the business time and again. Roberts and Martel had a hot feud going and sure, makes sense a bit after Martel "blinded" Roberts with his spray can, to have Roberts even it up here. But still terrible, both guys stumbling around, bumping into each other for brief fists, relying on the crowd to lead them on and just dull as hell to watch. Roberts managed to get the DDT to win but most fans no doubt hoped they could have been blindfolded as well rather than watch this.
2. Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez, Wrestlemania IX This is a match many who note Taker's Streak tend to overlook and for good reason. Gonzalez has the lead in the poll for possibly the worst wrestler of all time, a 7'7" monster who was so graceless he made Great Khali look like a luchadore. What followed was a hideously slow and stiff matchup ending with Gonzalez DQ'ed after using an ether-soaked cloth to take out Taker, Taker taken to the back but returning a few minutes later to chase Gonzalez off. Just horrible to watch and arguably the worst match of the all-time worst Mania.
1. Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus, Wrestlemania XXVIIII The reason this tops the list is because it could have been so damn great. We know the wizard Bryan is in the ring and Sheamus was rising as well. The build was good, both guys clashing on the mic leading up to it and showing good chemistry. So when they kicked off the show, we expected a grand battle to get the crowd in a great move and give them a major spotlight. Instead, Brogue Kick, cover, 18 seconds and Sheamus is the champ and Bryan is made to look a massive loser. I know, it led to a push for Bryan with the "YES" stuff but that is still no excuse for taking what could have been a great match and turning it into a total squash that killed the good mood of the crowd right off the bat. Just horrible in so many ways and thus topping my list.
5. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar - WrestleMania XX - I'd rank this even higher if it wasn't in the "so bad it's good" category. So yeah, the entire audience turned on the match immediately and had the time of their life. It's a pretty fun outing to check out for shits and giggles. Watching live however, it was almost cringe worthy witnessing the audience turn so hard on a match of this caliber. It didn't help matters that neither man involved could think on their feet and deliver anything but the match they had already laid out in the back. The moves that they did deliver were weak looking and uninspired. Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg was a complete train wreck. Check it out!
4. Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel (Blindfold Match) - Wrestlemania VII - Vince McMahon to himself in the mirror: "Lets see... what stipulation is going to really set this match off?" I get it. A blindfold match did make sense within the context of the story line but EVERYBODY knows that blindfold matches suck. Have you ever seen a good one? The match had such little contact that it's hard to stay invested. I like the whole "Wrestler A points in the wrong direction, crowd boos. Points the right way, crowd cheers" thing, but that got old FAST. At least Roberts won and we got the happy ending, right?
3. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole - WrestleMania XXVII - Going into this match, I was actually expecting a decent outing. I love a good overbooked clusterfuck and I thought this was going to fill that void at Wrestlemania 27. Unfortunately, somebody decided that Michael Cole needed to get a ridiculous amount of offense on King before winning via an awful decision reversal. So Lawler loses AND the feud must go on? Ugh. Good thing Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan was bumped from the card in favor of this.
2. Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna - WrestleMania IX - So, Yokozuna retains his WWF Championship through the nefarious, heel-like ways of himself and Mr. Fuji. Luckily, Hogan was in town to save the day! Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan on behalf of Yokozuna for the WWF Championship right then and there and the rest is history. This was all about Hogan standing up for what was right! Well, that and the pay day. For my money, this is the worst Wrestlemania ending in history and Hulk Hogan's ego is the culprit.
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus - WrestleMania XXVIII - I've been obsessed with the world of wrestling for about two decades. As a fan and a consumer, this was the most offensive match in Wrestlemania history bar none. Brogue Kick. 18 seconds. It's poor business and a huge slap in the face of the paying customer to do something like this. Maybe Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus only drew a fraction of the gate and PPV buys, but I paid to see it. The build was good enough and I was invested in their rivalry. The match had EXTRA buzz around it for the sole purpose that these guys were bumped off Wrestlemania the year prior. We thought they'd go out with something to prove. I'm sure they would have done that if they had the opportunity to. This completely deflated and alienated a large portion of the audience right out of the gate. Bryan, thank god, flourished and became a WWE staple as a result of the match, but Sheamus had to deal with major fan backlash due to the terrible booking. They made up for it with my personal 2012 MOTY at Extreme Rules in a 2 out of 3 falls contest (Which would also put you over the $150 mark if you've been buying PPVs to see these two lock up on a big stage).
5. Divas Battle Royal (XXV) - Divas from the past and present made there presence known, well at the very least tried since they never received a proper introduction, instead walking to the ring during a Kid Rock performance. Thus leaving me with a sense of confusion seeing some Divas I didn't recognize and asking my brother "wait, was that Sunny, who's that one, where is Nidia?". The match itself was no better, Santino in drag, aka Santina winning the damn thing.
4. Big Show Vs. Akebono (XXI) - The Big Show, the World's Largest Athlete, facing Akebono, a sumo Yokozuna in a Sumo match. The question is why and for what purpose? Big Show and Floyd Mayweather, that's understandable, and hell, a guilty pleasure. Who in the U.S. watches Sumo, I'm sure there is someone. Yet, did this match take place to cater to that fanbase? Regardless of why it happened, it happened, and thankfully it only took a minute and three seconds.
3. Randy Orton Vs. Triple H (XXV) - The amount of hate I have for this match is incredible. I've stated it before, to me this was one of the biggest letdowns ever. The buildup was immense, Orton punting Vince, knocking out Stephanie and then proceeding to kiss her while Triple H is cuffed to the ring rope. This screamed bloodfeud, Orton was elevated to a height he hadn't reached before, and with a win, he'd easily be a villain to rival all in history. It would be Lex Luthor finally defeating Superman. PG kicked in and we were all unfortunate enough to receive a match where if Triple H was counted out or disqualified he'd lose the title. Killing off any chance of a match that would live up to the build.
2. Bret Hart Vs. Vince McMahon (XXVI) - McMahon has had surprisingly good matches, Bret Hart is a ring general. The problem is, by the time these two had a match, Bret was in no way, shape or form capable of delivering a fragment of the matches he once could, and, well Vince is no ring general. What we did instead see, was Vince promising a "Wrestlemania sized screwing" introducing the Hart family and saying he'd paid them off. Hart revealed he was aware, and the Hart clan beat on Vince until Hart locked on the Sharpshooter and that was that.
1. Hulk Hogan Vs. Yokozuna (IX) - Perhaps a precursor to the WCW Hogan politics, or perhaps a really dumb move on McMahon's part. Either way, after Yokozuna became the first heel to win the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania IX, thus making history, Hulk Hogan came out to check on Bret Hart, after some smack talking from Mr. Fuji, Hulk went in the ring, and one Legdrop later beat Yokozuna, killing all his momentum. No buildup, no reason why, and Jack Tunney made the match official afterwards. Fuck Jack Tunney, while Bret and Yoko didn't have a 5-Star classic, they had a serviceable match. Yoko came out on top becoming the monster heel in the WWF. Hulk could have had a good enough run with him afterwards, Hulk chases the title, Yoko is a dominant champion. Instead we get this POS of a "match". Yokozuna eventually winning the championship back at King of the Ring due to Hogan's departure.
5. Booker T vs Triple H (XIX) - Everything about the buildup to this match SCREAMED Booker T winning the World Title; Triple H verbally burying Booker and the legacy of the WCW Championship (right in front of the Nature Boy, a former WCW Champion, to boot), the unfortunate-sounding notion that someone "like Booker" could never be World Champion, Booker proving he could beat "The Game" before WM 19. And what happens? Triple H wins. That's it. No comeuppance, no heroic kickout by Booker after a single Pedigree, and life goes on for Trips and Naitch. Great build-up, but a really deflating outcome.
4. Chavo Guerrero vs Kane (XXIV) - Funny thing about this is, I've always liked Chavo. Solid worker, put in some of his best years as Eddie's tag team partner in Los Guerreros, a top competitor in the Cruiserweight division; I thought it'd be legitimately interesting to see Edge and him run Smackdown and ECW as their respective champions, as part of the "La Familia" stable, and see him get a chance to really shine as a semi-top heel. 8 seconds later, my interest went right out the window.
3. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (XXVIII) - Yep, I'm firmly in the majority on this one. Awesome build-up based off of their exclusion from the WrestleMania before, a promising show-stealer that would've heated up the fans for the rest of the night, and 18 seconds and a Brogue Kick later, everyone's left scratching their heads wondering what the hell had just happened. Completely deflating and a dick business move to have people shell out money for the biggest PPV, only to give them a paltry 18-second opener between two men who we KNOW could've put on a great power vs. technical match. Just bad form all around.
2. Terri vs The Kat (XVI) - I'm sorry, but what the hell were either of these two doing on Wrestling's Greatest Stage? It was an "Out of the Ring" challenge, meaning all one had to do was get their opponent out of the ring, which pretty much told everyone that WWE trusted neither woman with even trying to make a credible cover for a pinfall. The only saving grace was Kat tearing up Terri's bodysuit following her loss to give us a rather lovely view. Regardless, two pieces of eye candy who should've not seen the bright lights that night at WrestleMania.
1. Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna (IX) - THE worst, most bullshit ending to any WrestleMania I've seen; Bret Hart puts up a damned good fight against the sumo, but Yokozuna comes away with the championship thanks to outside shenanigans by Mr. Fuji. That should've been it, there should've been complaints by Hart and others about how it went down and a rematch should've been in the works within the next few weeks. Did we get that? Nope, we had Fuji challenging Hogan, who objected to the ending of the match, ON THE SPOT for the WWE Title. Not even a minute in, Fuji accidentally salts Yokozuna in the eyes, Hogan drops the leg, and we have a "triumphant" new WWE Champion. It made Yoko and Hart both look stupid, and is the greatest example of Hogan's "creative control", i.e. his massive ego, going into overdrive.
YOUR TURN KNOW IT ALLS
List your Top Five for this week's topic in the comment section using the following format: