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 Twenty-Seven: Biggest WrestleMania Disappointments
Others Getting Votes: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar – WM29 (19), Finlay vs. JBL – WMXXIV (17), Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt – WM31 (17), John Cena vs. JBL – WM21 (16), John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels – WM23 (15), Edge vs. Chris Jericho – WMXXVI (15), Hulk Hogan vs. Sid Justice – WMVIII (14), Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar – WMXXX (12), Batista vs. Umaga – WMXXIV (11), MegaManiacs vs. Money, Inc – WMIX (11), The Rock vs. Mick Foley vs. Big Show vs. Triple H – WMXVI (11), John Cena vs. The Miz – WMXXVII (10), Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit – WMXVI (10), Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude – WMIV (9), Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy – WMXXV (9), Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole – WMXXVII (9), Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man – WMXV (7), CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho – WMXXVIII (7), Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels – WMXIV (6), Demolition vs. Powers of Pain & Mr. Fuji – WMV (5), Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy – WMXIX (3), Batista vs. Triple H – WM21 (3), John Cena vs. Batista – WMXXVI (2), John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton – WMXXIV (2), AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho – WM32 (2), Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon – WM32 (2), Big Boss Man vs. Mr. Perfect – WMVII (1), Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero – WM21 (1), Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper – WM2 (1)
10. Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania 32 (20 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Steve Riddle)
By the time WrestleMania 32 rolled around, the bloom was off the Brock Lesnar rose and the amazing rub from beating the Undertaker two years earlier was all but gone. Facing off against Dean Ambrose in a no holds barred street fight, though, had people excited that the Lunatic Fringe and the Beast Incarnate could tear the place down. Unfortunately, a five-star brawl wasn’t in the cards here. The match came down to what it normally comes down to: a German suplex, an F5 and a match that really should have been a lot more fun.
9. Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund – WrestleMania XI (21 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Neil Trama & Steven Ferrari)
While Bret Hart and Bob Backlund’s Survivor Series 1994 tilt ended with a lengthy chicken wing spot, the match leading up to that was fun. The rematch at WrestleMania XI, which included special referee “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, was a bit of a mess. With Piper asking each man if they gave up throughout the match, Backlund’s weird grunting and a seemingly unmotivated Hitman (though I doubt anyone blames him for that), a potential classic was turned into a WrestleMania moment everyone would like to forget.
8. John Cena vs. The Rock – WrestleMania 29 (22 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Brian Bayless)
It was a rematch that was one year in the making. The Rock, having beat John Cena at the previous WrestleMania, came back at the Royal Rumble and beat CM Punk for the WWE Title, while Cena won the Rumble to set up the rematch for a bout that was supposedly “Once in a Lifetime.” The result was all but guaranteed, though. Champion Rock wasn’t sticking around past WrestleMania and Cena needed to get his win back. Losing the element of surprise really hurt the match and it never managed to live up to the quality of the original contest.
7. Bret Hart vs. Mr. McMahon – WrestleMania XXVI (22 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Tim Capel)
Speaking of matches with a long build, the real-life Bret Hart/Vince McMahon feud that started in 1997 was finally paid off at WrestleMania XXVI in 2010. There was a lot of gaga all around the match, with the inclusion of the Hart family all around the ring helping the Hitman beat up the boss in a no-DQ match. But there’s no amount of gaga that can save a match where one of the competitors has had a stroke and couldn’t take a bump. The one-sided beatdown of Vince went on way too long and never felt as cathartic as it should have for Hart fans.
6. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho – WrestleMania X8 (24 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Chris Jordan)
Following a match with the kind of crowd heat that The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan had was going to be difficult for anyone, but a feud between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – being represented by Chris Jericho – was never going to garner much love. Despite being the first undisputed Unified WWF champion, having beaten the Rock and Steve Austin in the same night, Jericho was never presented as on Triple H’s level, and again, the formality of The Game winning the title back really hurt.
5. Roman Reigns vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 32 (24 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Chris Jordan)
Main eventing the longest WrestleMania card ever, last year’s WWE Title match between champion Triple H and challenger Roman Reigns was supposed to be the coronation for the Big Dog, and it had all the makings of Triple H attempting another epic. But the crowd was tired, and more importantly, no one really cared about the storyline between the two men. It may go down in history as the least-rewatched WrestleMania main event ever.
4. Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan – WrestleMania XXVIII (31 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Mike Eller)
18 SECONDS! Sure, the match for the World Heavyweight Championship led to the push that eventually put Daniel Bryan in the main event of WrestleMania XXX two years later, but without the knowledge of what to come, the quick defeat at the hands of Sheamus put people in an uproar. To make matters worse, both men had a great match four weeks later at Extreme Rules.
3. Steve Austin vs. Scott Hall – WrestleMania X8 (34 Points)
Highest Ranking: #2 (Jason Greenhouse)
The nWo was brought in to burn the WWF to the ground, and there was a lot of excitement around the potential matchups that could be created. While the Rock facing Hulk Hogan was a pretty big one, Steve Austin facing off against Scott Hall wasn’t really high on people’s MUST SEE list. And it felt like neither Austin nor Hall wanted to be there, either, and it showed in the match.
2. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania XX (37 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Steven Ferrari)
It could have been worse, the match could have been given under two minutes. Actually, maybe that would have been better. Both Goldberg and Brock Lesnar were getting ready to leave WWE after WrestleMania. The Madison Square Garden crowd knew it, too, and voiced their displeasure with both men. It had a lot of potential, but there were too many problems to overcome, and the only guy who managed to get over was special referee Steve Austin.
1. Triple H vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania XXV (68 Points)
Highest Ranking: #1 (Mike Eller & Jason Greenhouse)
These two men had a blood feud going leading into this match. Randy Orton had terrorized Triple H and his in-laws, the McMahon family, for months. So, the best possible match to put these two in at WrestleMania 25 was one where Triple H could lose the title by disqualification. Even worse, they didn’t bother to pull the trigger on the stipulation. This could have been an epic brawl between two sworn enemies. Instead, we got a one-on-one match that you’d just as likely get on an episode of Monday Night Raw.