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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

The Ten Count 3.21.14: The Top 10 WrestleMania Moments
Posted by Evan Daniels on 03.21.2014

Seems Like Everyone Really Like SummerSlam 2002:

Yep, this PPV. It was on my list when I first thought about the top ten. It probably should have been on the final list. The show featured a great opening match (Angle/Mysterio), the emotional return of HBK, and Brock's 1st WWE Championship win. Here is my only question….was the rest of the card that good and was Brock's match with the Rock all that great. Just saying.

Lots of Love for Money in the Bank 2011:

Yeah, not including this was pretty bad. I actually watched it on WWE Network this past week and it was much better than I remembered. The 2 MitB matches were outstanding and even the Henry/Show match wasn't terrible.

WM X-7 Isn't On Somebody's List: In no particular order (aside from NWO 2001 being the best):

No Way Out 2001
Backlash 2000
Judgement Day 2000
Royal Rumble 2000
Wrestlemania 14
IYH: Canadian Stampede
Summerslam 2001
Summerslam 2002
MITB 2011
Summerslam 2013

...always found WM X-7 a bit overrated - there's a hell of a lot of filler going-on there...

MY THOUGHT: WM X-7 is not even on your list. That's interesting. I do like all the shows you have on here especially WM 14. I enjoyed that show.

Survivor Series 1995, You Say: I'd include Survivor Series 1995 for three main reasons:

1. Featuring a bevy of Japanese talent, the woman's tag match was very good, even though it was ultimately pointless since Alundra Blaze took off only a few weeks later.

2. The Wild-Card SS match was an excellent bit of storytelling, thanks to the "randomly chosen" sets of teams, which put enemies on the same team, and stablemates on different teams. That also lead to the hilarious bit of James E Cornette appearing in two promo segments, then denying he had taken part in the first one.

3. Diesel v. Bret Hart was one of best matches of Nash's career (behind perhaps his match with Shawn in early 96). The match itself was awesome, and the post-match angle that lead to Diesel's tweener run was also great.

I'd also consider the Royal Rumble 2001 for the list. The title match wasn't as great as the one from 2000, but it was solid enough. However, the gems for that show were the IC ladder match between Benoit and Jericho, as well as the Rumble itself, which I would argue is the best Rumble of all time (with only 1992 and 2004 as the only real competition).

MY THOUGHT: Yeah, I don't agree with that analysis. Just because it is the best match in a mediocre career doesn't make it a great main event. As an aside, I loved Royal Rumble 2001.

Exactly How Long is a Country Mile: the fact that WMXX is on here immediately invalidates this list, it's not a bad ppv, but it's not top ten. WM19 and WM24 were better, and where is Summerslam 2002? That was better than 2013 by a country mile IMO.

MY THOUGHT: Why all the hate for WrestleMania 20? I do love the expression "a country mile". Since I am a city boy, is a country mile further than a regular mile?

I Have a Follow Up Question: Whereas it is not the best wrestling event ever, can't argue with WMX7 being the WWE's best event ever.

MY THOUGHT: So what is it? Also, I am a sucker for comments starting with "whereas". Reminds me of my old student council/senate days.

Thanks, I Think: This writer is not as bad as most on this site.

MY THOUGHT: Well that was backhanded. Well played sir, well played.

And Finally, Some Comments on My "Stupid List": No Summerslam 2002 or Money in the Bank 2011 = NO SOUP FOR YOU!!!

MY THOUGHT: And I wanted bread….

Why do I still come here? Seriously, look at that list.

MY THOUGHT: Thanks for being a loyal fan.

I dare anybody to compare X7 against XIX match by match….Okay, here we go.

Rock/Austin vs. Rock/Austin = Winner X7
Benoit/Angle vs. Lesnar/Angle = Winner X7
Vince/Shane vs. Hogan/Vince = Winner X7
Jericho/Regal vs. HBK/Jericho = Winner 19
Chyna/Ivory vs. Trish/Victoria/Jazz = Winner 19
TLC 2 vs. Team Angle/Guerreros = Winner X7
Hardcore Match vs. Undertaker/A-Train and Big Show = Winner X7
Undertaker/HHH vs. HHH/Booker T = Winner X7
Guerrero/Saturn vs. Hardy/Myserio = Winner 19

Looks like the results are 6 to 3 in favor of WrestleMania X7. The bigger issue is that the 3 matches WM 19 had the advantage in were all very undercard matches. X7 blows 19 out of the water, no question.

Piper Had Another Title Run in WWE: He mentioned Piper's IC win at the 92 Rumble was his only title win in WWF/E. Didn't he and Flair have a cup of coffee with the World Tag Titles a few years back?

CORRECTION: Kudos to anyone who remembered that. I couldn't keep track of all the changes back then.

I think the visual of Daniel Bryan surrounded by "fans" that were inside the barricade was one of the best things I have seen on a wrestling show in years.

There are some things that can only be done once and I think that's one of them. I'm hoping that they don't do it ever again. The first time was the best and nothing will ever top it.

Secondly, Daniel Bryan should be on his hands and knees thanking CM Punk for what he did. If Punk was still there I don't think Daniel Bryan would be in the main event or even facing Triple H. Bryan would be facing Sheamus or something stupid like that. The only thing that might have saved this was the horrible reaction to Batista and they needed something else in the main event.

Some other thoughts:

  • This is the most confident I have been in a long time that the streak will continue. There is no money in Brock beating The Undertaker. None, period.
  • Where is the undercard for Mania???? Seems like there are Daniel Bryan matches and nothing else….I guess except that Wyatt/Cena match. Yippee.
  • The Andre the Giant Battle Royal sounds interesting, should be on the main show not the pre-show but we need WWE Network subscriptions.

    As I write this column on Monday night Raw just went off the air and what an ending. That is the type of segment that needs blood. I don't care what anybody says, it needs blood. That kind of beating without visible blood and guts just doesn't make it as believable as it should be. I did enjoy the chair shot to the head as it was a great visual but done in a really safe way. I'm sure HHH missed by a good 6 inches but on TV it looks like it killed him. That was just a great segment of TV there and moved the story forward in a perfect way.

    I thought this would be an interesting feature in my columns. My hope is that it might interest/inspire you to watch some of these shows. I'll only highlight the PPV shows.

  • Slamboree 1993. Never saw it so decided to watch.
  • Starrcade 1987. Great Flair/Garvin match and finally got to see all the backstage stuff not on the JCP 2 hour tape I rented at Video City in 1988 and watched at Greg Ryshen's house.
  • Money in the Bank 2011, as mentioned earlier
  • WrestleMania 6, just because.
  • Halloween Havoc 1993.

    Also, since this is the 1st week I am talking about this in the column I also want to share the main thing I watched. It was all the WCW PPVs from 1990. Those shows were sooooo good it's scary. So, so, so good.

     photo TenCount_zps6b46e6e2.png

    Here are the Ground Rules
  • The moment had to take place at WrestleMania
  • It could be part of a match or just some historical moment
  • These are moments, not matches. They are just moments in time.

    AND NOW *The Top 10 WrestleMania Moments *

    #10. {HBK's Walk Up the Ramp – WM 26}

    When Shawn Michaels lost his retirement match to The Undertaker on this night it was one of those rare times that I truly believed this was a true retirement match. While I know the walk itself was a revisiting of the Flair walk 2 years earlier but this just felt different. I didn't really believe Flair would never, ever have another match. HBK and The Undertaker had 2 classic matches in back to back WrestleMania's but there was such finality to this one. The long, long, long walk back up the ramp to the waiting arms of his family backstage is one of the most poignant moments in the history of the business.

    #9. {Benoit/Guerrero Close the Show – WM 20}

    Again, as always, let's suspend our disbelief and not remember the last 2 days of Chris Benoit's life and consider this moment as it was in 2004. The so-called "Vanilla Midgets" were both world champions at the close of WrestleMania 20. The 2 best friends who had traveled the world honing their craft. The 2 men who were told they are not big enough to be champions. Those 2 men were in the middle of the ring at Madison Square Garden with their respective championship belts on this March night. The tears that night were as real as they could be for both of them and for those of us lucky enough to be in the crowd. It was the moment for underdogs everywhere that dreams truly do come true. It was a true feel good moment for everyone. History has not been kind to those 2 men but that moment will live forever even in its altered state.

    #8. {Edge Spears Foley Through Flames – WM 22}

    This match was just reviewed as part of the Top 30 Matches of WrestleMania….right here, on 411mania. I just watched the match again today on the WWE Network and it holds up well today. This is a list about moments and the moment Edge sent Foley crashing into that flaming table is something I will remember forever. If you don't count the WWE produced ECW One Night Stand this is the 1st and only time the WWE has ever used a flaming table. Foley wanted his WrestleMania moment and Edge wanted to shut all the critics up so they did the unthinkable. The visual of 2 men falling into flames is just beautiful in a violent sort of way. The other reason it is so memorable to me is because I was there and no, you couldn't smell burning flesh but you could smell the fire.

    #7. {93,173 – WM 3}

    Okay, okay it might not have REALLY been 93,173 in attendance that day. I know that in the comments people will say there is no way that there were that many people there. My take on it is that the number is exaggerated like almost everything else in wrestling but Meltzer's 78,000 seems low to me. We'll just call it 85,000 and go from there.

    Here is why this moment is so important….back in the day before we got used to the HUGE WrestleMania crowds huge gates for wrestling events was around 35,000-40,000 people. If you drew that kind of house it was a monstrous accomplishment. Getting 80,000+ out to an event was unprecedented and just showed how huge WWE was back in 1987. That crowd cemented WWE as the worldwide leader and was just a cool visual.

    #6. {Austin Joins McMahon – WM 17}

    In one of the most shocking moments in the history of WrestleMania Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon joined forces to defeat The Rock in Houston. We all know how the storyline of Vince and Austin being together ended. Spoiler alert, it didn't end well from a television and box office perspective. Sometimes what looks like a pretty good idea on paper doesn't always work off the paper. Steve Austin's handshake with Vince McMahon didn't set the wrestling world on fire but it was a damn memorable moment. I will also give extra credit to Jim Ross and Paul Heyman for making the moment even bigger and more important. Geez do I miss those guys on commentary….they might be the most underrated commentary team in the history of the WWE.

    #5. {McMahon Gets His Head Shaved – WM 23}

    Some moments are meant for the bigger universe than just the WWE one. This moment at WrestleMania 23 is the epitome of something bigger than WWE. Donald Trump had the #1 show in all of broadcast television and was front and center in this match. It was the hair of Trump vs. the hair of McMahon in one of the most interesting stipulations ever at a WrestleMania. The result of the match was never in doubt as I couldn't imagine any scenario that would lead to Trump getting his head shaved. The humor of McMahon with a bald head is just priceless and his expressions while it was happening were great. More than anything else, that moment was all over the media and that makes it as memorable as any in WrestleMania's history.

    #4. {Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth Reunite – WM 7}

    So yeah….I was 12 when this happened and there might have been some crying involved. This moment was 2 years in the making ever since Savage officially left Miss Elizabeth when the Mega-Powers exploded back in 1989. The will they/won't they interplay for the 1st couple of minutes was a great buildup to the big hug that told the world that they still loved each other. The WWE production was, as always, great showing children and women in the crowd crying over this beautiful moment. Of course, Bobby Heenan was crapping all over it on commentary which made me so mad back then. It makes me laugh like crazy today which is why Heenan was just so good. Of course, the sadness behind the moment is that their marriage was falling apart by then and the behind the scenes stuff was awful. The on camera moment is one of the most beautiful things the WWE has ever done.

    #3. {"I'm Sorry. I Love You" – WM 24}

    So yeah….I was 29 when this happened and there might have been some crying involved. The line delivered by Shawn Michaels right before the final move that "ended" Ric Flair's career might have been the most perfect non-wrestling thing to happen during a wrestling match in the history of the business. It was so poignant that it was hard not to get emotional. The only thing that would have made it better is if it wasn't planned and it was just something that happened. The fact that the cameras were focused on his mouth makes me think that it was planned and not just real emotion. Nonetheless, it is a moment that will live forever and will be the benchmark for emotion during a match.

    #2. {Hulk Slams Andre – WM 3}

    Looking back on this moment now it is nowhere near as amazing as it was when I was 8 years old. I have now watched footage of Andre being slammed by many, many different wrestlers. Back in 1987, Andre being slammed was unheard of in my mind. It was unheard of in the minds of many of the fans that were just watching wrestling for the 1st time. No one believed that Hulk Hogan or another for that matter would be able to do it. The moment that it happened it made you believe that the impossible was possible. It made you believe that Hulk Hogan was never going to lose. Hulk Hogan was already a huge superstar but that slam made him a legend. It will be replayed for decades to come.

    #1. {Steve Austin Will Not Quit – WM 13}

    This is the moment that made Steve Austin into the superstar and legend that he became. As an aside, this is why using blood sparingly can have a great impact on a moment. Imagine this moment without the blood. Imagine this moment without the picture of the blood running into Austin's mouth and teeth. Imagine this moment without the pools of blood on the mat. You got it? It just isn't as good….it's nowhere close to being as good. The blood is one of the reasons this moment is so memorable.

    Anyway, there are 3 points in time that made Steve Austin into who he became….Austin 3:16, the 1st stunner to Vince McMahon, and this moment. I don't think it can get any bigger than that.

    So there you have it, the Top 10 WrestleMania Moments! What is your opinion?

    Tweet Me: @EvanDaniels411
    Email Me: evan.daniels411@gmail.com
    Make Fun of Me in the Comments Section: Keep Scrolling

    The next column in our WrestleMania series will detail the underappreciated matches at WrestleMania. These matches didn't have a title on the line or was the main event. They were just great matches for the sake of being great.

    Until then, remember it's all entertainment and shouldn't be taken too seriously. And I'm out.


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