WrestleMania has become the benchmark for climactic professional wrestling events. The spectacle of tens of thousands of fans crammed into a stadium to watch the biggest matches of the year still has its charm when ‘Mania season hits its peak every year.
To date, there have been 35 different WrestleManias. While the nature of the show has evolved as the years have passed, the spirit of the show has remained alive. Every year fans get extremely passionate about what will happen come WrestleMania. Who should main event? What match should open the show? Who should win every single match? The discussions had by fans are endless and one such discussion is which WrestleMania is the best.
As WrestleMania 36 approaches, we here at WrestleTalk have ranked every single WrestleMania from worst to best. Keep in mind this list is an opinion and will likely differ from your own thoughts. So if you think we have lost our minds feel free to let us know why on Twitter.
With that out of the way, let us begin with the bottom of the barrel.
35. WrestleMania 2
Whereas the first WrestleMania can be excused for not aging well, the same can not be said for its sequel. Vince McMahon had the ambitious idea to hold WrestleMania 2 in three separate cities. New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles would all get to witness an hour of live wrestling before having to watch the remaining two hours on large screens.
What resulted was a miserable show. The poor people in New York City were treated to three matches that lasted a combined 12 minutes and finally the infamous Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper boxing match. That match at the time was only the second match ever to be rated -5 stars by Dave Meltzer. The only highlights of the show were a pair of tag team matches. Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid defeated Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine in the match of the night, meanwhile, Terry and Dory Funk Jr. defeated Tito Santana and the Junkyard Dog.
34. WrestleMania IX
This was the first time that Vince McMahon had an existential crisis during his biggest show of the year. The early 90s were a historically bad period for WWE, and it is easy to point to an event like WrestleMania IX as an example of what was driving fans away from the product.
Deemed “the world’s largest toga party”, this show had no idea what it was. The first in ‘Mania history to be held outdoors, the show featured a Roman theme throughout its duration. Aside from the outlandish costumes and motifs, there was nearly no wrestling to be excited about on this show. Shawn Michaels had a good match with Tatanka but that is where the enjoyment stops. This show is best remembered for Yokozuna winning the WWF Championship from Bret Hart only to lose to Hulk Hogan mere minutes later. Progress be damned.
33. WrestleMania XI
Stuck in the depths of the misery of 1995, this show only ranks higher than the previous entry because of Shawn Michaels vs. Diesel. Hailing from luxurious Hartford, Connecticut, this was one of the worst WrestleManias business-wise of all time.
Michaels and Diesel had a good match for the WWF Championship. However, passed that there was nothing to be excited about here. Bret Hart had what he considered to be his worst pay per view match ever with Bob Backlund, Undertaker lumbered around with King Kong Bundy, and most famously, the main event featured an NFL player. Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in a match that was better than it should have been but probably should not have been the main event in hindsight.
32. WrestleMania V
The second of back-to-back WrestleManias to take place at Trump Plaza, this show is a fourteen match pile of garbage. Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan feels important but the undercard of this event is legendarily bad.
The Bushwackers vs. The Rougeaus was one of the worst matches in ‘Mania history, and Jake Roberts vs. Andre The Giant, Jim Duggan vs. Bad News Brown, and Dino Bravo vs. Ronnie Garvin were not much better. This was a far cry from the extravaganza of WrestleManias one and three. The Mega Powers exploding was a big deal, however it lead to Hulk Hogan on top at the end of the night once again.
31. WrestleMania IV
The predecessor. Equally as bad as its sequel, WrestleMania IV featured even more matches on its card with 16. The difference here was there was no main event that actually felt special.
Randy Savage defeated Ted Dibiase to win the vacant WWF Championship. While this was a big moment in the career of Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan did his best to steal the spotlight once again. Hogan joined Savage in the ring to celebrate with Miss Elizabeth, the precursor to the main event a year later.