The central feature on the wrestling schedule for well over three decades, WWE’s WrestleMania has provided countless memories and a number of stunning matches.Over the past few weeks, Sporting News has revisited every WrestleMania to determine the top 10 matches in history. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year10. Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior: WrestleMania VIIArguably the finest match of both men’s careers — definitely The Ultimate Warrior’s. But although Macho Man possessed a body of work that contained some absolute scorchers, the psychology and storytelling on display in their career-ending match was of the highest order.Was this match as scientific or technical as Savage’s battle with Ricky Steamboat four years earlier? Not a chance. But in terms of holding the audience’s attention for over 20 minutes and taking them on an unforgettable journey, this was the perfect climax to a brilliant rivalry. Savage had cost Warrior the WWE title against Sgt. Slaughter at the 1991 Royal Rumble and the painted- face icon was desperate for revenge. With both men’s futures on the line, they met at WrestleMania VII, where they both brought the best out of each other.Savage’s five consecutive elbow drops leading to Warrior kicking out was a special moment and Savage’s selling of disbelief afterwards was award worthy. Ultimately, Warrior took the win after a grueling effort and he quickly left the ring to let Savage have the spotlight as he turned face to reunite with Miss Elizabeth, who had been watching from ringside. WRESTLEMANIA 35Match card | Schedule | Buy PPV & tickets9. The Undertaker vs. HHH: WrestleMania XXVIIIAlthough these two classic wrestlers met at WrestleMania three times, it was their third meeting inside Hell in a Cell that made the biggest impact. With Shawn Michaels serving as special guest referee, the contest was given an extra twist, with “The Heartbreak Kid” playing his part expertly as the perfect foil for his fellow veterans. Both battered and aged, the pair relied on telling a story to deliver a classic match and they got it right from the opening bell.Although most agreed that HHH was no threat to Undertaker’s streak, the hush from the crowd when Michaels super-kicked Taker into HHH’s pedigree was an amazing moment followed by the kick-out, which brought even more pleasure from the audience. Ultimately and predictably, Undertaker grabbed the win to keep his undefeated streak intact, but the sight of all three cozied together on the ramp following a hellacious battle remains iconic. MORE: How WaleMania became WrestleMania weekend’s most anticipated event8. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart: WrestleMania XBret Hart had spoken to WWE creative on several occasions about feuding with his real-life brother, believing that a family feud against his younger sibling could draw well and also elevate Owen to a higher platform. He got his wish at the backend of 1993 as Owen began a slow heel turn, which prompted their match at WrestleMania X.The greatest opening PPV match in WWE history, Bret, perhaps with one eye on Yokozuna later in the show for the WWE championship, still demonstrated his professionalism by having one of the finest matches of his illustrious career. In a stellar piece of booking, Bret stared at the ceiling for Owen, and after defeating Yokozuna in the main event, a ready-made feud with Owen was waiting for him. MORE: SN Q&A: Charlotte Flair talks all-women WrestleMania 35 main event7. Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat: WrestleMania IIIFor years, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat could claim they were responsible for WrestleMania’s greatest ever match, but with WWE introducing host of gimmicks and consistently pushing the boundaries, by the time the new millennium arrived, the contest, technically perfect, had slightly aged. Still, in terms of quality, it was one of Steamboat’s finest efforts, a massive compliment and the springboard that elevated Savage towards a main event run the following year.With Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant bringing customers through the door at Detroit’s Pontiac Silverdome, it was left to Savage and Steamboat to quench the thirst of wrestling purists. With WWE operating a formulaic approach to its matches, largely featuring lethargic bodybuilders, Savage and Steamboat was a welcomed treat.Plotted meticulously backstage, it was the blueprint for how all WWE matches would be booked beforehand as they delivered something way ahead of the time that Vince McMahon’s company was operating in. Steamboat grabbed the win, but Savage’s performance would soon be rewarded as he quickly became one of the company’s most dependable entertainers. MORE: 10 great moments that define WrestleMania like no other6. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock: WrestleMania X-SevenRuined by a tedious finish that was unnecessary and nonsensical, WWE’s decision to shock the crowd in Texas by having Stone Cold Steve Austin turn heel and align himself with Vince McMahon was short-sighted at best. Having Austin go over The Rock was the right choice due to the latter’s movie commitments, but the journey there, promising at first, was not ideal, considering Austin would be a face just a few months later. Despite the rotten ending, what happened beforehand was two wrestlers, brought together by destiny, competing in a match of the highest order.Considering the amount of barren periods wrestling has had to endure, for Austin and The Rock to be around at the same time is truly astonishing. This absolute clinic in near-falls brought out the best in both men and although the climax was absurd, what occurred leading up to it was simply breathtaking. The main event of the finest WrestleMania ever was just a few minutes away from perfection. SN Q&A: Rob Van Dam talks return to Impact Wrestling, Vince McMahon, more5. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon: WrestleMania XWWE approached WrestleMania X with a determined swagger as it was the first version of the event not to feature Hulk Hogan. For years, each Mania main event had been dominated by the familiar red and yellow of “The Hulkster,” but in 1994, it was time for other performers to step up and show Vince McMahon that they were capable of helping the company move forward.Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, and a ladder accepted that challenge. With gimmicks firmly attached to wrestling matches in 2019, the sight of a ladder in a WWE ring was foreign to wrestling audiences with the Connecticut company only ever having staged one previously in a house show featuring Michaels and Bret Hart. This time, they were having one on the biggest show of the year and the grandness of the event brought out the very best in Ramon and Michaels as they battled back and forth for Intercontinental supremacy.A match ahead of its time, both superstars emerged from the match with immense credit, but it was Ramon who claimed the gold in a stunning effort with his real-life friend. 4. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge and Christian: WrestleMania X-SevenWhat these duos achieved in terms of raising the bar for tag-team grappling was nothing short of revolutionary. Whether facing each other or part of multi-man matches, the contrasting styles possessed by all three teams came together wonderfully whenever they shared a ring.At WrestleMania X-Seven, in front of a magnificent Texas crowd, all six men went that extra mile to deliver one of the greatest matches in a WWE ring. Using their own unique abilities and combining it with the countless weapons that were available at ringside, this death-defying tables, ladders and chairs match raised the bar in so many areas. For every stunt-filled ladder match you’ve witnessed in recent history, go back to this one as the birth of such chaos.Edge’s spear on Jeff Hardy as he swung from the cable holding the belts still defies belief today. The Canadian pair grabbed the win, but there wasn’t a loser in this match as all their stocks were heavily raised at the final bell. 3. Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania 21WWE didn’t need a major storyline to pair Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels together at Wrestlemania 21. Both perfectionists, the veterans were relegated to a mid-card spot as WrestleMania went Hollywood, with the bulk of the spotlight being reserved for faces to carry the company forward, most notably, John Cena and Dave Batista.That didn’t prevent the masterful duo from weaving together a story that blew away already high expectations. With Michaels desperate to prove to Angle he was just as good on the mat as the former amateur wrestler, and the Pittsburgh man striving to make “HBK” submit, what transpired was a match for the ages that stole the show by quite a distance. Some wrestlers are just destined to have classic matches whenever they are paired together and that can be said of both Angle and Michaels.In the end, after a herculean effort from both where the pendulum swung both ways, Angle locked in an ankle lock with all his might and Michaels had no choice but to tap out. 2. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels: WrestleMania XXVThere’s a line in “The Warriors” when describing Cyrus that goes “A whole lotta magic,” and it’s the quote that comes to mind when describing the chemistry possessed by The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels whenever they shared a ring together. Before WrestleMania 25, the veterans had already engaged in first class battles as their 1997 showdown inside the inaugural Hell in a Cell still remains the greatest cell match in WWE history.Twelve years later, they managed to better it. There was no shocking or controversial tactics used to promote this matchm as WWE knew exactly what both were capable of, but I don’t think anyone backstage, even the closest allies of both men, had any idea what was about to unfold. Everything good about professional wrestling was featured in this match as the drama and emotion reached levels rarely seen in a WWE ring.Undertaker’s reaction to Michaels kicking out of Tombstone finisher was one of the most believable moment in wrestling history. Another Tombstone after Michaels’ failed moonsault was enough to close the show on what had been a half hour master class.1. Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: WrestleMania 13 Quite simply put, the greatest match in WWE history. Never has a contest in professional wrestling changed the fortunes for so many people than what occurred at WrestleMania 13 when Bret Hart took on Stone Cold Steve Austin. Plans were in place backstage to elevate Austin to the face of the company and his face turn at the end of this match, with Hart reverting to a heel, was one of the best laid out plans ever devised in wrestling as the aftermath led to astronomical results.For 20 minutes, Hart and Austin could’ve been in a car, park or bar in Chicago as they treated the crowd inside the Rosemont Horizon to a crazy brawl that went all over the arena. With Ken Shamrock officiating, both Superstars failed to stop for breath once as this fast-paced showdown had the entire audience gripped.With Hart locking in his Sharpshooter finish to finish the match, Austin, blood pouring from his battered face, refused to tap out and instead passed out with Shamrock awarding Hart the victory. The Canadian’s continued beatdown of Austin afterwards drew sympathy for the Texan and the most successful period in WWE history was about to be conceived.
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