It’s that time of year again – the time when wrestling fans feel that something special in the air as we approach WrestleMania. Over the past 30 years, Mania has been home to some of the biggest and best matches and some of the most unforgettable moments in wrestling history. Every performer seeks to leave their mark on the grandest stage of them all. However, WrestleMania isn’t a place where nothing bad can happen. In fact, nearly every WrestleMania has a dud that fans love to hate. With that in mind, we’re here to take a look at the worst matches in WrestleMania history.
So, we assembled an all-star panel of Place To Be Nation writers and personalities to weigh in. Each participant submitted a list of their 15 worst WrestleMania matches of all time. The list of 1o voters includes Nick Duke, Ben Morse, Justin Rozzero, Greg Phillips, Todd Weber, Andrew Riche, Chad Campbell, Jordan Duncan, Glenn Butler and Wayne Maye. A points system was utilized, awarding each match 15 points for a first place vote, 14 points for a second place vote, and so on. Once the points were totaled, we came up with a composite list of the 15 worst Mania matches of all time.
For each match, we’ll list the event it occurred at, the number of points it received, how many ballots it was included on and which voter or voters ranked it the highest.
15. Ultimate Warrior vs Hercules — WrestleMania IV
22 points, ranked by 2 of 10 voters, ranked highest by Chad Campbell at No. 3
Chad Campbell: Warrior has some great matches in the canon but he also has many more eye raking bad ones. The placement of this match didn’t do itself any favors being surrounded by the snoozefest that is Rude vs. Jake and a mundane tournament with tons of missed opportunities. Hercules is not exactly someone I would deem as carryable to a lesser opponent. The result was predictable but still disappointing as these two lumber through a clumsy, nonsensical five-minute match before Warrior puts him away.
14. The Undertaker vs King Kong Bundy — WrestleMania XI
23 points, ranked by 2 of 10 voters, highest ranked by Greg Phillips at No. 2
Greg Phillips: I didn’t ever really appreciate just how boring this match is until a recent re-watch with my fellow Hard-Traveling Fanboy, Nick Duke. It has all the right ingredients for a WrestleMania dud – bad buildup, bad feud, cheesy mid-match angle, aging fat guy wrestler and zombie-era Undertaker. These guys went out and wrestled a slow, plodding match with little to no heat while Paul Bearer sought to reclaim the urn. The urn, it should be mentioned, was inexplicably massive at this time, more resembling Green Lantern’s titular lantern than an urn. The coup de crap was the finish: a simple clothesline, since Taker (presumably) couldn’t safely Tombstone or Chokeslam the egg-like superstar.
13. Miller Lite Catfight — WrestleMania XIX
24 points, ranked by 2 of 10 voters, highest ranked by Nick Duke at No. 1
Nick Duke: While I must acknowledge that this “match” isn’t really so much a match as it is a segment, and the fact that is mercifully short, the fact remains that it’s pretty damned atrocious. But, to be honest, it isn’t as much the segment itself as the promos that warranted the No. 1 spot on my list. I am, have been and always will be a card-carrying Hulkamaniac, and hearing that beer-selling chick saying “Hulk HOOOOgan” rather than the actual pronunciation just pisses me off to no end. Plus, the fact remains that they have a couple of women go out there and roll around, which is fine, but they end it with a rollup despite the fact that they never made it clear if it was an actual match or not. And they rolled up the Coach, not an actual participant. To hell with these chicks.
12. Uncle Elmer vs Adrian Adonis — WrestleMania 2
25 points, ranked by 3 of 10 voters, highest ranked by Justin Rozzero at No. 3
Justin Rozzero: There really isn’t much to say here. Adrian Adonis had put on mountains of weight and really lost a big part of his in ring mobility and skill as a result. His bumping and psychology still remained at a high rate, but he clearly wasn’t the same. Early in the stages of the Adorable gimmick here, Adonis was done no favors being matched up with Uncle Elmer, one of the dreaded hillbillies. I have no idea what they were thinking with this match and I feel bad for the Los Angeles fans that were stuck watching it. Although, I guess you can say that about all of WrestleMania II. They should have at least used Hillbilly Jim here as he could move around the ring and maybe deliver something in the positive star range. Instead, Elmer was given the slot and quickly takes the fall in one of the quickest and worst worked Mania matches of all time.
11. Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar — WrestleMania XX
28 points, ranked by 4 of 10 voters, highest ranked by Andrew Riche at No. 3
Justin Rozzero: One of the most hyped matches heading into WrestleMania XX was the showdown between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. It was first teased in late 2003 and pushed into overdrive at the Royal Rumble when Lesnar showed up and caused Goldberg to be eliminated. Bill paid the favor back in February, getting involved in Lesnar’s eventual WWE Title loss to Eddie Guerrero. That hype turned into disappointment quickly as word leaked on Mania weekend that Goldberg would not be renewing his one year deal and Lesnar had abruptly quit the promotion due to the rigors of the road and a desire to play pro football. Not even inserting Steve Austin into this mess could salvage things as the New York fans were angry, rabid and out to make a statement.
I was in the crowd that night and things went off the rails quickly. As Goldberg and Lesnar stalled and worked a template big man power showdown, the fans got creative, booing both men and only rooting for Austin as well chanting for random legends left and right. At one point, two fans dressed as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage staged a fake match in the stands, drawing a lot of attention and cheers away from the match. Clearly aware of the direction things were headed and knowing they had no immediate future in the company, the two big men played it safe, mailed it in and took it home. By the end, the fans actually got a bit into the match but it was too little, too late. Goldberg won the match, Lesnar flipped off the fans and Austin stunned the world. WrestleMania XX was a great night and this clusterfuck and the reaction of the fans only adds to its legend.