For this week’s Top 10 List, we’ve updated our list of the top WrestleMania matches of all-time. Because Sunday marks the 30th WrestleMania, this list includes the top 30 WrestleMania matches of all-time.
By the way, WWE has also compiled a list of the top 30 matches in WrestleMania history. You can find their list here and compare it to our list.
For the third straight year, we have three contenders from the previous WrestleMania to add to this list. The obvious choice from WrestleMania XXIX is the match between Undertaker and C.M. Punk, with Undertaker extending his WrestleMania winning streak to 21. The only question is how high on the list this match should go.
The main event of WrestleMania XXIX was The Rock against John Cena. This match was better than their match at WrestleMania XXVIII, but I thought there were too many false finishes. The Rock receives a huge thumbs-up for finishing this match despite suffering an abdominal injury that would require surgery, but that still doesn’t elevate it into my top 30. The other match from WrestleMania XXIX that could make this list was Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. Fans seemed split on this physically brutal match. I thought it was very good, but not good enough to make the top 30 list.
Please keep in mind that this list is subjective. It could change from month to month, week to week or even day to day. There were a few minor changes since last year. Next year the Rock-Cena and Triple H-Lesnar matches might make our top 30 list.
With a blockbuster show lined up for Sunday in New Orleans, this list could change again within days. With Undertaker vs. Lesnar, Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan and a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match involving Randy Orton, Batista and the winner of the Bryan-Triple H match, WWE has to hope that there will be at least a couple new additions to this list next year.
In one man’s opinion, these are the top 30 WrestleMania matches of all-time:
(WrestleMania number and site in italics)
30. Chris Jericho vs. Christian (XX, N.Y.) An undercard match that mixes terrific technical wrestling with wonderful story-telling
29. Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (Mike Tyson is referee) (XIV, Boston) The build-up for this WWE Championship match, with tension between Austin and Tyson (and Vince McMahon), was fantastic. Michaels, who has been accused of using injuries as excuses to avoid losing titles in the ring, deserves credit for fighting through back problems that would sideline him for the next four years to put on this tremendous match.
28. Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart (VIII, Indianapolis) A wonderful Intercontinental Championship match between friends, with Piper (now a good guy) fighting his bad-guy demons as well as fighting Hart
27. Hulk Hogan/Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper/Paul Orndorff (I, N.Y.) The match that launched the WrestleMania rocket ship. Without the success of this match, WrestleMania may have been a one-year venture.
26. Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior (VII, Los Angeles) A terrific “retirement” match with an emotional post-match surprise
25. Edge vs. Mick Foley (XXII, Chicago) Edge helps Foley attain his “WrestleMania moment” (below) with this fantastic hardcore match
24. Ric Flair vs. Randy Savage (VIII, Indianapolis) The build-up to this WWF Championship match, with Flair implying he had a prior relationship with Savage’s girlfriend, Miss Elizabeth, was pure gold. Manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and executive assistant Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig added immensely to the story-telling, and Flair and Savage delivered in the ring.
23. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit (XVII, Houston) A match that sometimes gets overlooked because of the other great matches on the same card. A wrestling clinic.
22. Edge vs. Undertaker (XXIV, Orlando) An excellent match between two of the best. Undertaker improves his unblemished WrestleMania record to 16-0 and captured the World Heavyweight Championship.
21. The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan (XVIII, Toronto) The emotion in this match is absolutely incredible. The crowd makes this match, but Hogan and Rock deserve tons of credit for adjusting to the crowd’s reaction and turning this into a memorable match.
20. Money In the Bank Ladder Match (XXI, Los Angeles) This ranks at the top of the MITB WrestleMania matches because, as the first one, it was so innovative
19. Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior (VI, Toronto) An exciting face vs. face WWF Championship match in which Hogan passes the torch to the Warrior
18. The Rock vs. Steve Austin (XVII, Houston) A terrific WWF Championship match featuring a surprising ending. This is the best of the Austin-Rock WrestleMania encounters, all of which were very good.
17. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (XIX, Seattle) An often-overlooked match because no title was on the line and it is on the same card as Angle vs. Lesnar and Steve Austin vs. The Rock (which turns out to be Austin’s final match)
16. Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar (XIX, Seattle) Two former NCAA wrestling champions battle it out in this tremendous WWE Championship match. Angle is an Olympic gold medalist. Lesnar later won the Ultimate Fighting heavyweight championship.
15. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (XII, Anaheim) What do you do with two of the best wrestlers of all-time? Give them an hour to entertain the fans on your biggest show of the year. An excellent iron man match between two real-life rivals for the WWF Championship match.
14. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H (XX, N.Y.) As good a triple-threat match as you’ll ever see. This WWE Championship match may have ranked higher except the feel-good moment of seeing Benoit finally win the world title is spoiled by the knowledge that Benoit kills himself and his family a few years later.
12. Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk (XXIX, East Rutherford, N.J.) Punk and Undertaker put on a dramatic match that convinced fans Punk could win, causing them to pop for many of the near-falls before Undertaker improved his WrestleMania record to 21-0
11. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon (X, N.Y.) Michaels and Ramon brought ladder matches to the masses with this dramatic confrontation
10. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (X, N.Y.) The Hart brothers put on a wrestling clinic in the opening match of WrestleMania X. Perfect execution, with younger brother Owen pulling off the upset of Bret, who won the world title later that night.
9. Undertaker vs. Triple H (XXVII, Atlanta) The Undertaker takes a brutal beating from HHH, but still pulls out the victory to extend his WrestleMania winning streak to 19-0
8. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant (III, Pontiac, Mich.) The match that arguably sold the most tickets in wrestling history. Not a technical masterpiece, but the magnitude of this WWF Championship match earns it a top-10 ranking.
7. Undertaker vs. Triple H (XXVIII, Miami) The Undertaker survives Hell in a Cell, extending his WrestleMania winning streak to 20-0. Shawn Michaels does a tremendous job as guest referee. Seriously.
6. TLC (XVII, Houston) Edge and Christian, Matt and Jeff Hardy, and D-Von and Bubba Ray Dudley brought the house down with this innovative Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the Tag Team Championship. (You thought TLC stood for Tender Loving Care?)
5. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (XXVI, Glendale, Az.) Undertaker’s WrestleMania winning streak vs. Michaels’ career (Michaels loses and retires)
4. Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (XXI, Los Angeles) A tremendous example of story-telling in the ring. An amazing match.
3. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (XXV, Houston) An outstanding match featuring two of the all-time best. Fantastic series of big moves, near-falls toward the end.
2. Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (III, Pontiac, Mich.) An all-time classic for the Intercontinental title that still holds up after all these years.
1. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (XIII, Chicago) An outstanding brawl featuring a perfectly executed double heel/face (bad guy/good guy) turn. By the end of this match, the fans are vociferously booing Hart and wildly cheering for Austin. Hart and Austin use their actions to tell a story, which is what professional wrestling is all about.
Honorable mention: 20-man Battle Royal featuring NFL players (II, Chicago); the British Bulldogs vs. Greg Valentine/Brutus Beefcake (II, Chicago); Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage (V, Atlantic City); Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel (XI, Hartford); Triangle Ladder Match (XVI, Anaheim); Undertaker vs. HHH (XVII, Houston); Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle (XX, N.Y.); Randy Orton/Batista/Ric Flair vs. The Rock/Mick Foley (XX, N.Y.); Randy Orton vs. Undertaker (XXI, Los Angeles); John Cena vs. HHH (XXII, Chicago); Undertaker vs. Batista (XXIII, Pontiac, Mich.), Randy Orton vs. C.M Punk (XXVII, Atlanta), Rock vs. John Cena (XXVIII, Miami), C.M. Punk vs. Chris Jericho (XXVIII, Miami), John Cena vs. The Rock (XXIX, East Rutherford, N.J.), Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (XXIX, East Rutherford, N.J.)