In honor of WrestleMania 33, members of the PTBN Staff has gathered to create a series of 33 lists, all dedicated to the rich history of WWE’s grandest spectacle. Each contributor assigned a ranking of 1-10 and votes were tallied accordingly. We will be releasing one list per day, with the final list to be posted on April 1, 2017, the day prior to WrestleMania 33! Be sure to share your feedback with us on social media! You can view the complete series here!
Day Eleven: Best WrestleMania Miscellaneous Title Match
Others Getting Votes: Hardcore Holly vs. Billy Gunn vs. Al Snow – WMXV (19), Chris Benoit vs. JBL – WM22 (17), Kane vs. Raven vs. Big Show WMX7 (17), Cruiserweight Open – WMXX (12), Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila – WMXIV (10), Diamond Dallas Page vs. Christian – WMX8 (10), Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero – WMXXIV (5)
10. John Cena vs. Big Show – United States Championship – WrestleMania XX (20 Points)
Highest Ranking: #3 (Glenn Butler)
John Cena’s ascension up the ladder was a quick one throughout 2003 and kicking off WrestleMania XX with a big US Title win over the hated Big Show was a perfect way to get the MSG crowd fired up for a long night of action. They showed an immediate chemistry as Cena got to show off his impressive power arsenal while also bouncing around for Show’s hard hitting strikes. The mega FU to end the match was an instant WrestleMania moment.
9. Jake Roberts vs. Ted DiBiase – Million Dollar Championship – WrestleMania VI (21 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Jason Greenhouse)
One of WWF’s hottest feuds in 1989 and early 1990 was between Ted DiBiase and Jake Roberts. It started when DiBiase injured Roberts and escalated when Roberts stole the prized Million Dollar Title. Here, the belt was on the line as both men were out for revenge. The match kept a good pace and is also known for the massive Skydome crowd breaking out the wave to rally the Snake. In the end, DiBiase won the match by countout, regaining his title, but the Snake got the last laugh when he dropped Ted with a DDT and gave away all his money.
8. Hardcore Battle Royal – Hardcore Championship – WrestleMania XVI (29 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Glenn Butler)
As the Attitude Era continued to boom, the Hardcore Title slowly became one of the most anticipated showcase pieces week after week. Featuring brawls throughout the arena and surrounding areas, it gave many in the lower card something to keep them interesting and occupied. And at WrestleMania XVI, it also gave a bunch of aimless drifters the chance for a big payday when they were all chucked into a giant modified battle royal. Basically, there was a 15 minute time limit and whoever scored the last pinfall before the buzzer would walk out champion. The match was filled with fun brawling, plenty of weapons and some nasty blood. The finish was a bit mistimed but still impactful thanks the shattering of glass over the head of Tazz.
7. Test vs. Eddie Guerrero – European Championship – WrestleMania X7 (32 Points)
Highest Ranking: #3 (Scott Criscuolo)
On a card loaded with marquee matches and big title bouts, it is easy for some pretty damn good matches to get lost in the shuffle. On most cards in most years, Test and Eddie Guerrero’s match in 2001 probably ticks in as one of the bouts of the night, but not on this evening in Houston. And it had nothing to do with the match itself, which was one of Test’s best to date and was a nice blend of power offense, high flying and a dose of cheating. Eddie Guerrero would find a way to steal Test’s European Title, giving Latino Heat his first WrestleMania victory.
6. Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy – Cruiserweight Championship – WrestleMania XIX (44 Points)
Highest Ranking: #3 (Mike Eller)
Matt Hardy was on a roll in early 2003, having donned himself the Sensei of Mattitude and dishing out Matt Facts along the way. He also did all he could to cut weight and become a cruiserweight so he could battle Rey Mysterio for his strap in Seattle. He indeed made weight and would steal the title after a fun sprint opener. It was disappointing at the time that they weren’t given much of a slot to work with, but they did a great job with the brief window they received.
5. Owen Hart vs. Triple H – European Championship – WrestleMania XIV (47 Points)
Highest Ranking: #3 (Tim Capel & Chris Jordan)
Still trying to find his way after being left behind by his family, the Black Hart was doing whatever he could to make life miserable for DX. After winning the European Title from Goldust (dressed as Triple H) on Raw, Owen put it back on the line against the former champ at WrestleMania. With Sgt. Slaughter handcuffed to Chyna at ringside, we got a nice dose of action both in and out of the ring. Triple H and Hart had strong chemistry and Hunter focused on Owen’s dinged up ankle for parts of the match before an assist from Chyna allowed him to hit the Pedigree for the win and title. The victory was a big one to set the stage for what was to come a night later.
4. X-Pac vs. Shane McMahon – European Championship – WrestleMania XV (53 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Neil Trama)
In one of the most surprising WrestleMania matches of all time, Shane McMahon, in most high profile match to date, went toe-to-toe with X-Pac and delivered one of the best matches of the night. Flanked by Test and with the support of his Mean Street Posse, Shane flew all around the ring, taking big bumps and unleashing some offense wherever he could. Shane would get an unlikely assist from the newly minted heel Triple H in upsetting X-Pac and winning the European Title.
3. Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit – EuroContinental Championship – WrestleMania XVI (55 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Scott Criscuolo & Steve Riddle)
Expectations were certainly through the roof for this one, with two matches in one featuring three of the best in ring wrestlers in the WWF at that time. Chris Benoit was red hot, Kurt Angle was quickly making waves and Chris Jericho was finally getting his feet under him as all three were making their WrestleMania debuts in this big time bout. It is also a match that has gained more love over time as the disappointment from the expectations faded away. Angle would lose both titles without ever getting pinned, setting up multiple storyline avenues that could be followed going forward.
2. Chris Benoit vs. MVP – Unites States Championship – WrestleMania 23 (65 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Glenn Butler & Chris Jordan)
Upon his debut in late 2006, MVP was treated and presented as an overhyped disappointment that was grossly overpaid and a bit of a joke. Late in the year that changed and the overall perception of MVP was that of a young lion starting to find his way in wrestling as he learned more and more with each match. Thus, a feud with veteran gatekeeper Chris Benoit seemed like a natural step in the right direction as he continued to grow. While it seemed possible that MVP could nab the title in their first bout at WrestleMania, we instead got a hot, hard hitting mat based war that saw Benoit eek out the victory. But on that night, MVP didn’t really lose as he continued to build a reputation and earn the respect of many that understood the vicious beating he just took.
1. John Cena vs. Rusev – United States Championship – WrestleMania 31 (94 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Mike Eller, Tim Capel, Steven Ferrari, Chris Jordan, Jason Greenhouse & Brian Bayless)
As Rusev continued to gain steam in WWE, he picked up a huge win over Big Match John back at Fastlane, setting us up for a WrestleMania rematch with Rusev’s US Title on the line. What started with one of the most memorable entrances of all time transitioned to a hot match filled with fun offense and a rowdy crowd and it ended with Cena getting his win back and taking the gold back to its home country, leading to one of the best storylines of the year: John Cena’s US Championship Open Challenge.