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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The 25 Worst WrestleMania Matches EVER

Because what's the IWC without a little negativity?

25. The Miz vs. John Cena (XXVII)
The Rock's looming shadow obscured WWE Champion Miz into the darkness, and a nothing-happening main event didn't help the champ's perception any. By the end, Miz was merely the third wheel in the whole ordeal, despite the fact that he had just won WrestleMania's main event.

24. Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice (VIII)
Another main event that fell flat, an aimless brawl with an exiting Hogan would have been wholly unmemorable if not for Warrior's surprise return at the end. The fact that the match ended in a lame disqualification would have shunted this further into the dregs, again if not for Warrior.

23. Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy (XI)
Not expected to be a technical classic headed in. The most interesting part of the match was Paul Bearer, Ted Dibiase, and Kama's game of keepaway with the urn. There's an 85% chance that Kama wore the melted-down metal once he became the Godfather. Bundy lost to a clothesline, by the way.

22. Dusty Rhodes/Sapphire vs. Macho King Randy Savage/Sensational Queen Sherri (VI)
One of the earlier 'comedy' matches at WrestleMania had Savage and Sherri bumping like a pair of inept Keystone Kops, while Sherri sold Sapphire's booty-bumps to the head like they were plated with Lex Luger's forearm steel. Jesse Ventura's indignant commentary saves it.

21. Psycho Sid vs. The Undertaker (XIII)
In the annals of, "That match should have ended WrestleMania," Bret Hart and Steve Austin's all-timer should have indeed closed the thirteenth WrestleMania. Instead, this plodding snoozer with Hart interfering three times got to hammer home the show. Hindsight and all that good stuff.

20. Demolition vs. Genichiro Tenryu/Koji Kitao (VII)
Essentially a commercial to promote Tenryu's Super World Sports promotion, which WWE was partnering with for upcoming events. Everyone's timing was off in the abbreviated battle, and most fans had no idea who Tenryu or Kitao were. Highlight was Bobby Heenan making wisecracks.

19. Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan (XIII)
Rock vs. Rikishi Part I, before any rattlesnakes were mowed down in the parking garage. It's positively strange seeing Rock co-opt his father's Soul-Man shuffling while Rikishi ambles around like a muted Iron Sheik. By 1997 standards, this felt outdated and inane.

18. Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel (VII)
I'm a bit torn on this one. On the one hand, the match is slow as molasses by design, since both men were working under blacked-out hoods. The crowd participation is actually a bit fun, with the fans aiding Roberts' direction. It doesn't exactly hold up on repeat viewings, however.

17. Chyna vs. Ivory (X7)
Everyone else at the greatest WrestleMania of all time put in maximum effort, assuring its place atop the 'Mania mountain. Chyna, in her shiny glam-rocker attire, slept-walked through this Women's Title match, selling as though fame had given her chronic fatigue syndrome.

16. Melina vs. Ashley (XXIII)
The annual Playboy showcase lacked the comedy of Trish Stratus treating inexperienced Christy Hemme like a goof, and was instead a brief exercise in showing how green Ashley truly was. That the 'lumberjills' featured real athletes such as Mickie James and Victoria makes it worse.

15. Big Show vs. Akebono (XXI)
Ten years later and I still have no idea the purpose of this match. It was another embarrassing WrestleMania loss for Show, and provided humor fodder for Cody Rhodes seven years later, but otherwise, why? The best thing you can say is that it was at least short.

14. Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon (XXVI)
The match ran for 11 minutes, and using the word 'ran' there is irony writ large. Hart's diminished physical state is understandable, but the beating dragged like Homer's Monorail anchor. Two minutes of smashes before the Sharpshooter would have been just dandy.

13. Head Cheese vs. T&A (2000)
The Anaheim crowd wasn't popping for anything that wasn't Rock, Foley, or ladders, and this battle in midcard hell had to follow a confusing ending to the Hardcore Title gauntlet. A few miscues in the match brought out Jim Ross' 'bowling shoe-ugly' remark, generally a match kiss-of-death.

12. Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger (X)
The DQ ending wasn't unacceptable, since a still-viable Luger needed an out. What was bad was the slow body of the match, in which Yoko resorted to at least three extended nerveholds. Granted, Yoko needed to pace himself with another match later, but it wasn't exactly fun to watch.

11. Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane (XXIV)
The only Mania defense of the ECW Championship lasted roughly ten seconds, as hapless Chavo ran into a Kane chokeslam, and the rest is history. The legacy of ECW was indisputably dead after the 2006 December to Dismember, but what's one more stream of piss on the smoldering embers?

10. The Kat vs, Terri (2000)
Behold, the only 1-on-1 singles match at WrestleMania 2000, and it was contested under 'first one to knock their opponent to the floor wins' rules. Mae Young giving Fabulous Moolah a bronco buster was actually way more compelling than Terri winning after a screwjob finish.

9. The Boogeyman vs. Booker T/Sharmell (XXII)
Sadly, Booker didn't follow Goldust's prematch advice and shove Boogeyman's worms up his own ass; that would have been a WrestleMania moment in itself. There's no carrying the spastic Boogeyman to anything resembling a quality match, and this was no exception.

8. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (XX)
More stalling than a vaporlocked car, with two completely disinterested brutes on their respective ways out of the company. New York fans took a giant shit all over both men, openly rooting for referee Steve Austin. After three hours, Goldberg finally won this train wreck.

7. Sable vs. Tori (XV)
Tori looked to be a bundle of nerves for this match, anxiously messing up spot after spot. The fact that fans weren't buying into her at all (why would they? She was a crazed stalker!) made matters worse when the crowd began openly rooting for self-indulgent diva Sable.

6. The Undertaker vs. Big Bossman (XV)
Bad omen before the match when Michael Cole dumbly asserted Hell in a Cell was dangerous because you can get your fingers stuck in the cage. Undertaker won after a slow and uninteresting brawl. Then The Brood hanged the Bossman, which disgusted Cole for all of nine seconds.

5. 25 Divas Battle Royal (XXV)
The women didn't get proper intros, instead all grinding up on Kid Rock as though he were the patron saint of testosterone. The entire bout was a backdrop for camouflaging Santino Marella, in drag, who ended up winning "Miss WrestleMania", as well as killing off his charming comedic edge.

4. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez (IX)
Lowered expectations for Gonzalez matches don't give this one a free pass. Undertaker was still in his 'plod intentionally for the gimmick' period, so this had disaster written all over it. Gonzalez' selling remains among the worst of all time, and the ether-rag finish cements its badness.

3. Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (XXVII)
The Lawler/Cole feud had actually been built up well as a potentially fun geek-show spectacle, and Cole found his voice as the smarmiest villain in years. Then they had Cole work Lawler's leg for an eternity, and then win by reverse decison. From entrances to exits, the whole mess took a half hour.

2. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (XXVIII)
It did Sheamus no favors, earning him the scorn of Bryan's fans. Those same fans felt that it was all a master plan to get Bryan over later. I guess if you consider having to flood social media with caustic anger in 2014 part of that master plan, then WWE's more cunning than Ivan the Terrible.

1. Yokozuna vs. Hulk Hogan (IX)
Let's face it: sure, the crowd seemed happy with Hogan's show-ending coup, but it made Yoko look stupid, made Bret look ineffective, and it made WWE look like complete fools when Hogan went to New Japan a month later and called the title belt 'a toy, a trinket.' It helped nobody.

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