Even though The Showcase Of The Immortals is always promoted as a can't-miss event... some of these historically, we could have probably done without. This is the flip side to our Ranking The 10 Best WrestleManias column and similarly, it's a completely subjective list, based on our experiences watching and re-watching different WrestleManias over the years.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know on Twitter @CanadianBulldog or in the Comments section below!
10) WRESTLEMANIA II - April 7 1986
While there were two decent matches on this show (Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy in a Steel Cage Match and The British Bulldogs vs. The Dream Team), most of the three-city show felt like filler and truly hasn't aged well.
Paul Orndorff vs. The Magnificent Muraco, Velvet McIntyre (no relation to Drew) vs. The Fabulous Moolah, Ricky Steamboat vs. Hercules Hernandez and Corporal Kirschner vs. Nikolai Volkoff would have been more at home on a Coliseum Home Video release than they would on The Grandest Stage Of Them All. And even the gimmick matches such as Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper in a Boxing Match and the NFL vs. WWF Battle Royal missed the mark.
9) WRESTLEMANIA IX - April 4 1993
Held at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, WrestleMania IX was billed as The World's Largest Toga Party. But once you got past the novelty of a smaller, Roman Empire themed setting, the show turned out to be more style than substance.
Matches like Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect, Bob Backlund vs. Razor Ramon and Crush vs. Doink The Clown didn't even feel like must-see matches at the time, let alone historically. And the "surprise" ending of Hulk Hogan defeating newly-crowned WWF Champion Yokozuna in an unscheduled match left the viewers with a bad taste in their mouths.
8) WRESTLEMANIA XXXVI - March 25/26 2020
WWE often presents souped-up attendance figures, but WrestleMania XXXVI legitimately set a new attendance record... of zero fans.
Of course, WWE can't be faulted here, as the pandemic prevented gatherings just weeks before the event, so they pivoted with an historic two-night event. Unfortunately, an empty Performance Center just didn't convey the vibe of a big stadium WrestleMania and apart from a Falls Count Anywhere Match between Edge and Randy Orton, and a pair of cinematic matches involving The Undertaker vs. AJ Styles and John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt.... the event failed to generate much excitement off such an unusual backdrop.
7) WRESTLEMANIA XI - April 2 1995
WrestleMania XI went back to its roots in many respects, leveraging celebrities including Lawrence Taylor, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Salt n Pepa and Jonathan Taylor-Thomas to help promote the show. Unfortunately, the Hollywood factor didn't offset the mediocre wrestling card.
The main event between the NFL's Taylor and WWF's Bam Bam Bigelow was passable as a one-off spectacular, and the WWF Title match between Shawn Michaels and Diesel was fine. But beyond that, the show was padded with bouts such as The Undertaker vs. King Kong Bundy, Razor Ramon vs. Jeff Jarrett and The Allied Powers (Davey Boy Smith and Lex Luger) vs. Jacob & Eli Blu.
6) WRESTLEMANIA XXV- April 5 2009
One might expect the "25th Anniversary of WrestleMania" (which, by the way, it wasn't; it was the 24th anniversary of WrestleMania I) to be a grandiose event. And the show did have a few highlights, including the first Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match at WrestleMania and a WWE Championship match between Triple H and Randy Orton.
Unfortunately, the rest of the show didn't live up to that. Santino Marella (as "Santina Marella") winning the Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal was a serious blow to womens wrestling. Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy in an Extreme Rules Match was a disappointment. And Chris Jericho defeating WWE Hall of Famers Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Ricky The Dragon Steamboat only got interesting in the final minutes of the match, due to 2/3 of the legends competing past their respective primes.
5) WRESTLEMANIA XIII - MARCH 23 1997
1997 was a pivotal year for the WWF and to its credit, the company featured an epic submission match between Bret Hit Man Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin that somee both men reverse their roles in the company after it.
However, no other match at WrestleMania XIII comes remotely close to matching the excitement of that one, and we're largely left with a bunch of stinkers including Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan, a Fatal Four Way Tag Team Title Match and in the main event, The Undertaker vs Sycho Sid. Woof!
4) WRESTLEMANIA IV - March 27 1988
To be fair, WrestleMania IV told one story really well - the coronation of Randy Macho Man Savage as the successor to Hulk Hogan as WWF Champion. Unfortunately, it took far too long to get to that point for most fans.
To win the gold, Savage had to compete in four separate matches on the show as part of a 14-man tournament that only had a handful of decent matches throughout it. How long was the event? The home video release was sold as two consecutive VHS tapes when other events were limited to just one. The show also featured a whopping five non-tournament matches throughout, including The Ultimate Warrior vs. Hercules, Demolition vs. Strike Force and a 20-man Battle Royal.
3) WRESTLEMANIA XVI - April 2 2000
Better known as WrestleMania 2000, WrestleMania XVI was a hodge-podge of multi-person matches and, in many respects, was the apex of Vince Russo booking things.
While the first Triple Threat Ladder Match between Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz was outstanding, most of the other bouts (Chyna & Too Cool vs. The Radicalz, Kane & Rikishi vs. X-Pac & Road Dogg; Test & Albert vs. Al Snow & Steve Blackman) felt thrown together. And the main event - another Fatal Four Way - featured Triple H defeating The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show to retain the WWF Championship, only after Vince McMahon came to his aid.
2) WRESTLEMANIA XXVII- APRIL 3 2011
WrestleMania XXIX was hosted by The Rock and looked decent on paper. But apart from The Undertaker vs. Triple H in their second of three WrestleMania matches, there wasn't a ton of write home about.
The main event saw The Miz defeat John Cena to retain the WWE Championship, thanks to interference from the guest host. Jerry Lawler had his first and only WrestleMania match - and lost to Michael Cole on a reverse-decision. And the other match being heavily promoted featured the wrestling debut of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, who is 1-0 at WrestleMania.
Interesting note: Both the # 2 Best WrestleMania (XXI) and # 2 Worst WrestleMania (XXVII) were held on April 3rd. That should be interesting for WM XXXVIII on April 3, 2022.
1) WRESTLEMANIA - March 31 1985
While I hate to be "that guy," it could (and should) be argued that the very first WrestleMania was also the worst.
Sure, the main event featuring Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff was a memorable spectacle... but what else on the card would have come close to breaking four stars or higher? David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake? Junkyard Dog vs. Greg Valentine, complete with a countout finish? Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd in a slow, plodding Bodyslam Match?
Don't get us wrong... we're glad that the first WrestleMania was a success and set the stage for dozens of sequels over the years. But the first one, historically speaking, truly doesn't hold up.