It's right around this time of year that many fans fondly look back on WrestleMania as the "Super Bowl of wrestling" and the home of wrestling's greatest and most important matches. 

 

And that's absolutely true; most WrestleManias produce at least one Match Of The Year candidate and moments that will live on forever. But over the years.... they've produced some real stinkers, too.

 

We tried to look at this objectively. Obviously, the preliminary matches were not expected to be all-time classics, so we ranked them accordingly in a spot closer to # 50 than # 1. But if a match had fairly high profile going into a WrestleMania and still sucked... then it will probably rank quite highly.

 

Just by way of explanation, none of the main events in WrestleMania history are on this list; they all stood out to varying degrees. And we also disqualified any pre-PPV "dark" or "kickoff" matches, such as the battle royals that sometimes happen before the official show begins.

 

In compiling a list of the Top 50 Worst WrestleMania Matches, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:

 

  • Was it expected to be a decent match?

  • Did fans feel disappointed and/or ripped off afterwards?

  • Is the match universally known for how bad it was?

  • Did it do anything to further a wrestler's career?

 

If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.


Ready? Here we go!

50.

Tito Santana vs. The Executioner

There's something fitting about the very first match in WrestleMania history landing in the 50th spot on this list, as the bout wasn't expected to be very good and delivered. The Executioner was jobber Buddy Rose under a mask, and he and Tito Santana put on an unremarkable four-and-a-half-minute contest.

48.

Bam Bam Bigelow vs. One Man Gang

What should have been a grudge match between two of the WWF's best super heavyweights was cut short because of the time constraints surrounding the WrestleMania IV World Title Tournament. Bam Bam and The Gang went less than three minutes before Bigelow was counted out, and so OMG advanced.

46.

David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake

Unlike some of the other matches here that ended quickly, this WrestleMania I match went almost 12 minutes, despite neither wrestler having the endurance or talent to do so. Sammartino (the son of Bruno Sammartino) ended up getting disqualified, as did Beefcake, rendering the lengthy match completely pointless.

44.

Doink & Dink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Luna

One of the least-anticipated matches on a packed WrestleMania X card was this mixed tag team match where the pint-sized Dink could only wrestle Luna Vachon, meaning Doink The Clown and Bam Bam Bigelow only faced each other. This match wasn't even overly comical; possibly someone's idea of a bad joke.

42.

Koko B. Ware vs. Rick Martel

The opening match at WrestleMania is typically used to get the crowd psyched up, but this one at WrestleMania VI fell short of accomplishing that. Martel was a year removed from any significant push he would have received doing "The Model" gimmick, and Ware was a jobber to the stars by that point.

40.

Big Boss Man vs. Akeem

As The Twin Towers, Big Boss Man and Akeem had terrorized the WWF, and it was expected that their eventual split would be a big deal. Instead, the match at WrestleMania VI was treated as an afterthought, with Bossman winning in less than two minutes, despite pre-match interference by The Million Dollar Man.

38.

Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid & Little Beaver vs. King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo & Lord Littlebrook

This mixed tag team match at WrestleMania III featured Hillbilly Jim and King Kong Bundy each captaining teams of vertically-challenged wrestlers. When Bundy got too physical with a little guy, both his teammates and opponents abandoned the walking condominium, leaving the tag match without a payoff.

36.

The Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan

While we don't have a particular problem with squash matches (though there are a few mentioned on this list), the appeal behind The Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan at WrestleMania V was to watch the Rooster get revenge on his former manager. Instead, The Brain was pinned in about 30 seconds with no real torture.

34.

Don Muraco vs. Dino Bravo

While there several mediocre matches in the WrestleMania IV WWF World Title Tournament, the first round contest between Don Muraco and Dino Bravo had to be the worst. The two power-based wrestlers lumbered around for a few minutes until Muraco won by disqualification at the 4:53 mark, advancing in the tourney.

32.

The Allied Powers vs. Jacob & Eli Blu

Here's another tag team match that seemed misplaced at a WrestleMania. The Allied Powers were Lex Luger and The British Bulldog, who both had been in top matches before. Yet at WrestleMania XI, they were relegated to the opening in an unremarkable win over Jacob & Eli Blu (a/k/a The Harris Brothers).

30.

Ronnie Garvin vs. Dino Bravo

While both Rugged Ronnie Garvin and Dino Bravo were accomplished wrestlers, their WrestleMania V encounter had very little substance to it. In fact, the two highlights weren't even parts of the bout: the WWF return of Superfly Jimmy Snuka before the match started, and Garvin stomping Bravo's manager after it.

28.

The Headbangers vs. The Godwinns vs. The New Blackjacks vs. Furnas & Lafon

This four corners tag team elimination match opened WrestleMania XIII and didn't do much to get the crowd on its feet. After 10 minutes of mediocre and sometimes-confusing action, The Headbangers became top contenders to the WWF Tag Team Championship. 

26.

Men on a Mission vs. The Quebecers

Because it was the tenth edition of WrestleMania, one would figure that the WWF could have come up with two teams better than Mo and Mabel and Jacques and Pierre to compete for its tag team championship. Yet this title match went nowhere quickly, with The Quebecers being counted out and retaining the belts.

24.

Head Cheese vs. T & A

One the many tag team matches at WrestleMania XVI (a/k/a WrestleMania 2000) featured the comedy team of Steve Blackman and Al Snow against Test and Albert. About the only highlight of the match happened after Head Cheese lost, as they took their frustrations out on temporary mascot Chester McCheeserton.

22.

Big Boss Man, Sgt. Slaughter, Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Virgil vs. The Nasty Boys, Repo Man & The Mountie

This WrestleMania VIII match tried to squeeze eight mid-card grapplers together and failed miserably. This ended up as a six-and-a-half minute bout, limited due to severe time constraints.

20.

Batista vs. Umaga

Considering the names involved, this WrestleMania XXIV match should have been better remembered. It was WrestleMania's first Raw vs. SmackDown match, supposedly for brand supremacy. Not only was SmackDown not the supreme brand despite Batista winning, but the match just didn't feel as important as it should have been.

18.

Mr. Perfect vs. The Narcissist

Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) and The Narcissist (Lex Luger) had both been World Champions before entering the WWF, and this was one of WrestleMania IX's marquee match-ups. But the two never seemed to click at all, with Luger getting the win after nearly 11 minutes, and the two stars never competed again.

16.

Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji

One the biggest feuds in the late-1980s WWF featured Ax and Smash against The Warlord and The Barbarian, which heated up when Demolition's manager Mr. Fuji turned against them. But this three-on-two handicap match for the titles at WrestleMania V was hurt by the aging Fuji donning the trunks.

14.

Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn

Bart Gunn had proven himself to be the best "real" fighter in the WWF in a quasi-boxing tournament known as The Brawl For All. However, the former Smokin' Gunn was no match for super-sized boxing champion Butterbean, who knocked Gunn out in 35 seconds, destroying any hopes Gunn had for a push.

12.

Kane vs. The Great Khali

At WrestleMania XXIII, WWE was attempting to replicate their iconic WrestleMania III feeling, complete with the giant Great Khali being slammed in Andre The Giant's place. But the match between Khali and Kane went 5:31, which was probably about five minutes and thirty seconds too long for this.

10.

The Boogeyman vs. King Booker & Queen Sharmell

The Boogeyman was a comedy wrestler with very little upside when he appeared at WrestleMania XXII to challenge the husband and wife team of King Booker and Queen Sharmell. Boogeyman dispatched the 6-time former World Champion (and his wife) in less than four minutes, an underwhelming result.

8.

The Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man

Another Undertaker match on this Top 50 list, this one from WrestleMania XV. Typically, a Hell In A Cell match is used to settle a score between hated rivals, but Boss Man was acting as a pawn for Vince McMahon here. Sadly, Boss Man was hung by a noose after the match and died (okay, fine - five years later).

6.

Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal

Most battle royals are harmless fun, but for this one at WrestleMania XXV, WWE didn't even bother to tell us which competitors were in the match -- even when they were on their way to the ring! Despite having women from the past and present wrestle, the winner was Santina Marella, the "sister" of Santino.

4.

Hulk Hogan vs. Yokozuna

WrestleMania IX had been built as WWF Champion Bret Hart defending his title against the massive Yokozuna. When Yoko won the belt through nefarious means, Hulk Hogan materialized out of nowhere to protest the result, and ended up defeating Yokozuna for the championship in mere seconds. Some main event!

2.

The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzales

Our fourth match in the Top 15 featuring The Undertaker took place at WrestleMania IX, where The Dead Man wasn't touting any sort of streak... but still being pushed as a top attraction. While the visual of Undertaker facing off against the 8-foot tall Gonzales was impressive, the Giant could barely move around.

49

Uncle Elmer vs. Adrian Adonis

This WrestleMania II match featured two of the larger athletes on the WWF roster, and lasted only three minutes due to the relative skill of the hillbilly Uncle Elmer. Despite Adonis (who could actually move around for a man of his size) taking several bumps, he was able to put away Elmer relatively quickly here.

47.

Velvet McIntyre vs. The Fabulous Moolah

Although this was a World Title match to kick off the Chicago portion of WrestleMania II (the event was held in three different cities), this wasn't exactly of Bayley vs. Sasha Banks quality. The champion Moolah pinned McIntyre in 1:25, despite the challenger having a foot on the rope when the pin was counted.

45

Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Bad News Brown

Another double-disqualification here, although the WrestleMania V match featuring Duggan and Brown was expected to be a tremendous brawl between the two veterans. Instead, we were given just under four minutes before both wrestlers decided to get disqualified, and the feud was over before it began.

43.

The Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc.

One of the least-anticipated matches on a packed WrestleMania X card was this mixed tag team match where the pint-sized Dink could only wrestle Luna Vachon, meaning Doink The Clown and Bam Bam Bigelow only faced each other. This match wasn't even overly comical; possibly someone's idea of a bad joke.

41.

Junkyard Dog vs. King Harley Race

One of the most disappointing matches from the iconic WrestleMania III lineup featured hated rivals Junkyard Dog and King Harley Race battling in a "Loser Must Bow" match. Race won the match in about three minutes, but JYD refused to bow, rendering the stipulation useless and wasting a disappointing feud.

39.

Corporal Kirschner vs. Nikolai Volkoff

Corporal Kirschner was brought into the WWF to take over the patriot's role from Sergeant Slaughter, so a Flag Match against the hated Russian Nikolai Volkoff made perfect sense. But the match only went a mere two minutes and five seconds.

37.

The New Day vs. The League of Nations

Going into WrestleMania XXXII, The New Day (Big E., Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) were WWE Tag Team Champions and one of the company's hottest acts. But they were quickly jobbed out to The League Of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev), which led to random interference by WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

35

Rocky Maivia vs. The Sultan

Who would have imagined that The Rock's WrestleMania debut would have been so unspectacular? As Intercontinental Champion, The Rock (then Rocky Maivia) was defending against The Sultan (Rikishi with his face partially covered) in a match that had no build-up, no drama and very little to it, even with The Rock's father Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas at ringside.

33.

The Bushwhackers vs. The Rougeau Brothers

Another disappointment from WrestleMania V, this tag team was expected to be little more than a bit of comedy relief. Instead you had Jacques and Raymond Rougeau going almost 10 minutes with Luke and Butch - longer than it should have gone - and The Bushwhackers won, which made no sense whatsoever.

31.

Torrie Wilson & Sable vs. Stacy Keibler & Jackie

While there are some women's "matches" at WrestleMania that you can excuse (the pillow fight featuring two non-wrestlers at WrestleMania XIX stands out), the competitors at WrestleMania XX were at least four women who had wrestled before! But the Playboy Evening Gown match still managed to disappoint.

29.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry

You'll notice that higher-number WrestleManias are somewhat less represented on this list because most matches range from decent to great. But the WrestleMania XXIX bout between Ryback and Mark Henry was an eight-minute plodding affair. More importantly, Henry surprisingly went over, killing Ryback's momentum.

27.

Genichiro Tenyru & Koji Kitao vs. Demolition

Sure, fans in Japan were aware of All Japan standout Genichiro Tenyru and former sumo star Koji Kitao... but most of the world had no idea who they were. So it made little sense for the non-WWF tag team to somewhat randomly debut at WrestleMania VII, defeat Smash and Crush of Demolition, and never be heard from again.

25.

Sable vs. Tori

When WrestleMania XV came around at the heart of The Attitude Era, Sable was arguably one of the WWF's most popular stars, so it made sense to give her the WWF Women's Championship. It made less sense to have her defend it against Tori (not to be confused with the aforementioned Torrie Wilson), a stalker character that wasn't able to make Sable look good.

23.

Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake

Another incredibly quick match, this one took place at WrestleMania X. In just 35 seconds, the massive Earthquake was able to vanquish the up and coming Adam Bomb. Had it served a larger purpose, fine, but this did nothing to further either man's career.

21.

Christy Hemme vs. Trish Stratus

When WrestleMania XXI rolled out, Trish Stratus was doing her best work as a heel, not only in the ring but on the microphone as well. So instead of giving her an opponent on her level, they fed her the Raw Diva Search winner and Playboy cover girl Christy Hemme, who couldn't provide Trish a decent match.

19.

Jake The Snake Roberts vs. Rick Martel

At WrestleMania VII, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Rick "The Model" Martel were finishing off a long, heated feud in which Martel blinded Roberts. But in this match, both competitors were supposedly blindfolded, making a grudge match appear to be more like a clumsy game of pin the tail on the donkey.

17.

Ashley Massaro vs. Melina

Although women's wrestling has come a long way in WWE over the years, WrestleMania XXIII featured a match between Playboy cover girl Ashley Massaro and Women's Champion Melina, with every WWE Diva surrounding them at ringside. Thankfully, this title bout only went four minutes.

15.

Braun Strowman vs. Goldberg

WrestleMania XXXVI was set to feature new Universal Champion Goldberg defending his championship against Roman Reigns in a dream match of sorts. But Reigns pulled out amid the pandemic and Braun Strowman as a substitute was disappointing, vanquishing Goldberg in two minutes in an empty arena.

13.

The Undertaker vs. The Big Show and A-Train

The Undertaker's career at WrestleMania has become synonymous with top matches, but this WrestleMania XIX contest left a lot to be desired. Originally a tag match, Taker's partner Nathan Jones was assaulted at the last minute and The Dead Man took on two opponents, but there was no doubt who would win.

11.

Akebono vs. The Big Show

Had this been Akebono vs. Yokozuna in a sumo match (sadly, Yokozuna had died five years earlier), this would have at least made sense. But matching the sumo star against the giant Big Show not only hurt his credibility, it also gave fans the haunting image of Big Show in a thong.

9.

Trish Stratus, Snooki & John Morrison vs. Team LayCool & Dolph Ziggler

WrestleMania XXVII's attempt to infuse some star power into the proceedings took the form of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi from the television show Jersey Shore. While Snooki wasn't the worst worker on this Top 50 list, the entire celebrity concept fell flat, and the tension between Morrison and Stratus was quite apparent.

7.

John Cena vs. The Undertaker

John Cena vs. The Undertaker is a bout that has "dream match" written all over it, yet the two weren't able to deliver in their brief WrestleMania XXXIV match. Leading into the show, they made it appear as though The Dead Man wouldn't even show up -- which, in hindsight, may have been a better finish.

5.

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon

It's easy to understand why this WrestleMania XXVI match was so underwhelming: Bret Hart was clearly not in any condition to wrestle. But a grudge match that had been building up for over a decade was reduced to Hart sitting in a chair while various members of his family took turns beating up McMahon.

3.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

Speaking of mere seconds... eighteen of them were all it took the World Title match between World Champion Daniel Bryan and Royal Rumble winner Sheamus! It was a terrible way to start the show, and fans protested the result the match; so much so that Daniel Bryan later became a star in spite of the title match.

1.

Bill Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar

Taking nothing away from their later WrestleMania XXXIII encounter, the first clash between Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX was terrible. After building it for months and adding Stone Cold Steve Austin as special referee, both men indicated they were leaving WWE at the conclusion of their match, so the Madison Square Garden crowd practically booed both men out of the building.

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Wrestling Merchandise and Memories podca
Wrestling Historian Mike Rickard