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WrestleMania: The best and the worst, and why

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Editor's Note: This FanPost has been mildly edited for promotion to the front page and various sections within Cageside Seats for your enjoyment, Cagesiders!

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Are you a sucker for a good list or countdown? I know I am. Although I am sure that there have been countless others who have tried to rank the WrestleMania shows in order from worst to best -- well, that's fine and dandy --because here's another one; just in time for 'Mania 29!

Enjoy.

Ranked according to four categories, with points allotted as follows:

Fan heat: 1 point

The axiom is "a good crowd can make a good match great, and a great match legendary. A hot crowd can make a good match orgasmic." While true, wrestling fans ought to be able to appreciate a great match in spite of a dead crowd, you can't simply remove the crowd from the equation. That's part of the greatness of pro-wrestling, in a way even the best NFL/NBA/NCAA crowds simply can't replicate.

Spectacle: 2 points

WrestleMania needs to FEEL like a big deal. If it doesn't, then no amount of good matches can help earn it's way onto the list of the best. How many great PPVs has WWE been producing lately? They're actually on a pretty good roll lately when it comes to giving the fans 3 hours of great B-show entertainment. But very few of them are really "memorable" once the dust clears and Raw the next night kicks off. WrestleMania is the one show (especially lately) that just has a FEEL for the spectacular. There's a reason it's called the showcase of the immortals, and it's not because they were immortal walking in; it's because a special 'Mania MAKES men immortal.

Culmination of hot storylines: 3 points

Basically, this refers to whether or not the majority of the matches at 'Mania are "worth it." Certainly, the main event matches have to feel worthy of the name of the show. You want a WrestleMania match to give the impression that this was weeks, months, even years in the making and it's all coming to a head right now. Sure, you can get closure at SummerSlam or Survivor Series, or even at Breaking Point or No Way Out; but you're SUPPOSED to get it at WrestleMania. Otherwise, it's just another show with a bigger stage setup.

Great matches: 4 points

Obviously, this has to mean the most. I don't watch this stuff for the storylines. Sure, sometimes I'm impressed at the drama on display (HBK vs. Y2J in '09 for example), but I can get good drama on AMC, HBO or Showtime. What wrestling offers is a unique outlet to play out that drama. No mindless 2-minute gunfights here. No sir. Here we get 20- minute wrestling masterpieces, that keep you on the edge of your seat, shaking your head, screaming at your TV, and throwing your hands up in either rage or triumph at the sound of the ref slapping 1-2-3. If a WrestleMania doesn't have good wrestling, it's not worthy of the name.

So with a total of 10 points to be decided --

Here are MY rankings to determine the best shows in WrestleMania history...

THE BAD - 14:

28. WRESTLEMANIA XI

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0 points

How NOT to do a WrestleMania. This show had nothing going for it. Fans? Dead for the most part. Spectacle? It felt like the Impact Zone. Hot storylines? Who wasn't dying for that LT/Bam Bam match?! Great matches? Uh...

THE GOOD: The main event wasn't horrible; Pamela Anderson in her prime.

THE BAD: The abomination of a main event. Not just the match, but everything surrounding it, behind the scenes and otherwise.

THE BIZARRE: Vince McMahon selling the show at the beginning, like a carnival barker tempting you to toss some rings over his square cups. He almost makes you believe it will be a good show. Almost.

27. WRESTLEMANIA IX

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2 points

(for spectacle)

The first outdoor WrestleMania made for a nice change of pace, though the crowd was largely unenthused. The matches were of the lowest quality. Either they had promise but ended wrongly, or they were doomed from the start (Taker vs Giant Gonzalez) or they had no place on a WrestleMania card at all (Doink and Dink). The less said about the finish of the main event the better. Honestly I think it's nearly as big a travesty to Bret as the Montreal screwjob.

THE GOOD: Savage on Commentary (he was great...especially the way he'd say "Doink")

THE BAD: Savage on Commentary (he should have been wrestling)

THE BIZARRE: Savage on Commentary (the thing's he'd say)

26. WRESTLEMANIA XXVII

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3 points

(for the crowd and the big spectacle)

WrestleMania's visit to the Georgia Dome could have been something special. CM Punk was jockeying to be the main event opponent for Cena; Vince was begging Dana White to have... who the heck knows what. A shootfight? A Chael Sonnen contract on a pole match? Take away the incredible Miz video before his match and try and find any measure of justification for his being in the main event. The rest of the card (minus the Taker/HHH match) was at times only barely worthy of inclusion on PPV. The Rock bombed as host, but the stage set up was probably the best of the stadium-show era. I love the way the wrestlers walked up to the ramp like gladiators.

THE GOOD: Taker/HHH was great at the end.

THE BAD: Cena v Miz. Worst Main Event since....'13? '11?

THE BIZARRE: Let's not talk about the Lawler/Cole match, m'kay?

25. WRESTLEMANIA

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4 points

(for the fans and for the storylines)

It's hard to judge this PPV objectively. It's hard to judge any wrestling show objectively when you think about it; some fans say you should ignore the crowd heat and just focus on the bell-to-bell action. Others say the atmosphere of the event has to be taken into account. But the first WrestleMania is the hardest to judge. On paper it's among the weakest of the 28. But then you consider that it was the early days of PPV/Closed Circuit super shows, and everyone was still feeling around for how to do it. The Rock-n-Wrestling era is in full swing here, and it's a testament to the era when the Women's Title is arguably the number two match on the card. Still, the crowd is hot, and so was the product. Hogan vs. Piper (the feud, not the match that never was) had fans more passionate than they ever were for any Hart v Michaels, or Austin v Rock, or Cena v anyone.

THE GOOD: Watching it now is like watching a black and white 1950's NFL game. The rules are close to the same, it's basically the same on a fundamental level, but it's not. The production is stripped away; everything feels different. But darn it if there's not moments when you just smile.

THE BAD: King Kong Bundy vs. Special Delivery Jones. Everything about it.

THE BIZARRE: What's crazier, that the Miz can die saying he main-evented WrestleMania, or that Paul Orndorff can say the same thing? Hogan vs. Piper with Mr. T. (as like a ring side enforcer) would have been better in hindsight, but it's not like the main event bombed, so I guess it doesn't matter.

24. WRESTLEMANIA V

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3 points

(for the hot storylines, particularly the main event)

A one match card if ever there was one. Oh sure there are some other good ones (Rude vs. Warrior is a little gem), but the crowd couldn't care less. There were maybe five matches that could have been scrapped, replaced with one throw away battle royal, in order to give some of the big undercard matches more time. THEN it would have been a good show. Maybe even a great one with such a great main event. Alas...

THE GOOD: The Main Event.

THE BAD: The fans.

THE BIZARRE: The Red Rooster vs. Bobby Heenan.

23. WRESTLEMANIA IV

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3 points

(for the mostly engaged fans plus the spectacle of a WWF Title Tournament, which was pretty novel at the time)

Up there with 18 and 22 in the "what could have been" category. There's a lot wrong with the tournament that just defy logic. Let's start with the tournament itself. It was too bloated. The show ran five hours, full of mostly throw away matches with some inexplicable booking decisions. Personally they should have just taken their best eight guys and made the show an elite-eight tournament, That's seven tournament matches, with plenty of room for four to six non-tournament contests. You can still have Andre and Hogan going out early on, DiBiase can still heel his way up the card, and Randy Savage can still be the iron man/surprise hero, but the matches would be better.

THE GOOD: Rick Rude and Jake the Snake (minus the non-finish). Savage stands tall at the end of WrestleMania.

THE BAD: So many great matches that could have happened, didn't because of some stupid booking decisions...

THE BIZARRE: We coulda had Steamboat vs. Savage II, with Savage getting his win back on his way to the gold. Nah.

22. WRESTLEMANIA XV

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3 points

(for the culmination (or so it seemed) of the McMahon v Austin feud.)

Who says Hell in a Cell was ruined by the PPV named after it? Okay, so it was wasn't ruined here, but this show certainly proved that wasn't a ticket to a guaranteed good time either. From what I've read, Mick Foley was originally to be part of the main event as a triple threat, which would have left Big Show to the Undertaker in the Cell. That might've worked out better. Foley got the book because someone ::cough, HBK, cough:: told Austin that it was a bad idea and would steal his thunder. The show was overbooked, and felt rushed despite ten matches, and despite only one other than the main event going over ten minutes in duration. The crowd wasn't crazy for anything other than the bald-headed face of the company.

THE GOOD: the crowd was nuts for the main event, which wasn't bad either

THE BAD: Hell in a Cell mid-match; the crowd for the first 2 and 1/2 hours

THE BIZARRE: Hell in a Cell after-match; Brawl for All.

21. WRESTLEMANIA 2

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4 points

(for mostly good matches)

Sometimes Vince's hair-brained ideas work, and sometimes he simulcasts a WrestleMania from three different locations. Only one of the crowds were really into it, though the LA crowd was into the main event, believing at times that Hogan had no chance against the mighty King Kong Bundy. 80's marks are the best marks.

THE GOOD: Much better wrestling than what WrestleMania 1 offered, though still not the standard the show would have set in the future. Great Tag Title match, and the main event is classic Titan Era Hogan. It's not a technical masterpiece, but it wasn't supposed to be.

THE BAD: Piper v Mr. T. A good idea, but it ran outta steam fast.

THE BIZARRE: The whole three-city idea was just too gimmicky, even for the mid-80's. Shoulda just had it all in Chicago.

20. WRESTLEMANIA 7

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4 points

(for the crowd and the good conclusions to two big storylines)

The golden years and clearly behind us here, but we're still promoting the same old names, with mixed results. Despite the mostly hot crowd in the much-smaller-than-the-Coliseum, I think it's fair to say the anti-America angle was viewed as exploitation and not tapping into the culture/pulse of America, as Vince spun it. It was hated, but not enough to make much money for the company. Certainly it felt like a stopgap to get through WrestleMania, with Ultimate Warrior bombing as champion.

THE GOOD: Savage v Warrior, and post-match. I mean really. It's tear-jerking.

THE BAD: Still too many throw-away matches. Sgt Slaughter didn't deserve the angle he carried...though it made him a champ and gave him some serious heat, so I doubt he complained too much.

THE BIZARRE: Vince's intro is just ear-splitting. His voice is so gravelly and over the top. Worse than his WMVI intro... which is also very bizarre.

19. WRESTLEMANIA 13

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5 points

(for a pretty engaged crowd and some good matches)

The least-bought WrestleMania came on the cusp of the WWF's second boom. This was their rock-bottom (financially) before they reached new heights. Honestly, the show might be a bit underrated. The undercard is mostly throw-away, but the action is basically good, sometimes very good. I get that HBK sat the show out (with a knee injury everyone knew he was faking) because he didn't want to do the job back to Hart, but why couldn't Vince have talked him into dropping it to 'Taker? That would have been a better match than what Psycho Sid offered.

THE GOOD: Hart vs. Austin.

THE BAD: The main event.

THE BIZARRE: Obviously the drama behind the scenes, with smiles being lost, Rumble wins not counting, etc.

18. WRESTLEMANIA XIV

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5 points

(for a hot crowd and good solid wrestling)

Michaels deserves a lot of props for putting on a match like that with his back the way it was. This was the best PPV since WM-X, and it had to be considering it was the coronation of Austin as the new face of the company. Business was bad and like with WrestleMania 1, Vince has said that if the show didn't do good money, he would've had to consider possibly selling the company. The show still doesn't compare to the 'Mania's he'd be putting on in just a few years, but those shows owe a debt to this one, and the bald headliner, for giving Vince the money and tools to make those shows happen.

THE GOOD: JR's commentary from the start of the main event 'til the sign-off. The great black and white video package featuring Gorilla Monsoon and others reminiscing about their days, and how they are now fans of this generation.

THE BAD: Rock vs. Shamrock

THE BIZARRE: Goldust and Luna. Just Goldust and Luna.

17. WRESTLEMANIA XII

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5 points

(for wrestling obviously, and a crowd that stayed engaged throughout)

The roster was so thin on stars the Iron Man match wasn't just good booking, it was necessary. Whatever talent the company had to showcase they used on this 6-match card, including bringing back Ultimate Warrior for a cup of coffee.

THE GOOD: A solid show throughout, but nothing was incredible. Austin, Undertaker, Piper all had "good" matches but no more. The main event I think is a tad overrated. In fact (sue me) I'd say it's in the bottom tier of Iron Man matches, above only the Cena/Orton encounter, and below the Rock/HHH, Angle/Lesnar and HHH/Benoit matches. It's the kind of match you can sit back and mostly enjoy, but you're not going to mark out too many times. Kinda like the show as a whole.

THE BAD: HHH got squashed, instilling in him a desire to one day rise to the top of the roster and bury every single wrestler he could. And thatssssssss bad.

THE BIZARRE: Ultimate Warrior, minus (most of) the juice.

16. WRESTLEMANIA 2000

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5 points

(for a hot crowd, and some great action)

A lot of people HATED this show, but I admit to having a soft spot for it, as it was my first WM to see live. Admittedly it felt like a "small" WrestleMania and lacked the kind of splendor the show would have even a year later, but there were moments when it felt like the big show it's supposed to be.

THE GOOD: The top matches all delivered what they were supposed to. The Tag Title match was a spot fest, the Euro/Continental match was a technical showcase, and the main event was an Attitude Era spectacle.

THE BAD: The undercard was bloated, cluttered and un-memorable (though I'm a sucker for Hardcore 24/7).

THE BIZARRE: Watching Vince and co. beat each other up on the sidelines of the main event only to end up hugging it out at the end. No 1-on-1 matches?

15. WRESTLEMANIA 25

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5 points

(for the spectacle, and the storylines)

This show is a misstep for me. It has the great HBK/Taker match, and a very WrestleMania-esque moment with Jericho v the trio of legends, but the title matches are really lacking. I get there was a great story in HHH v Orton, but it didn't feel worthy of WrestleMania 25. Cena--the face of the company--was off fighting for the World Heavyweight title in a move that just felt like "give him something to do." Other than the Taker/HBK match, the undercard was really lacking.

THE GOOD: All things HBK and Undertaker.

THE BAD: None of the wrestling matches delivered really good wrestling, apart from the obvious HBK/UT match. Really it was a very underwhelming card.

THE BIZARRE: Santina. Just Santina.

______________________________

THE GOOD - 14:

12. WRESTLEMANIA VI

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6 points

(for the crowd, spectacle, and good stories)

"Jesse & Gorilla" is my favorite announce team (JR is my favorite PBP man, but I never cared for King), and they have their final 'Mania together here. Like the other WrestleMania's of their era, there are simply too many matches, but unlike most from this era, most of them are watchable.

THE GOOD: The main-event. Actually this is a great one to watch on Last Call with Scott Hall. A perfect Titan Era main event, and shocking to see Hogan do the job clean (if only it was to prove to Vince that Warrior would flop as champion) kickout out at 3 and a half.

THE BAD: The Hart Foundation were practically unused. Koko B Ware unfortunately wasn't.

THE BIZARRE: Oh man, Vince's intro, with the constellations... hilariously bizarre is the perfect word for it. Actually, it's perfect for a show that Warrior main-events.

13. WRESTLEMANIA X8

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6 points

(for the spectacle, the mostly-insane crowd and some good storylines coming to a head)

Okay, the main event was flat, there were some questionable booking decisions, and some of the undercard failed to deliver, but man Toronto needs to be up there with New York and Chicago as "at least once a decade" type venues for WrestleMania. The crowd started strong, and slowly got louder and louder coming simply unglued for the Rock/Hogan match. I mean I still can't get over that crowd.

THE GOOD: Everything Rock/Hogan. The Y2J/HHH match was very good, but the crowd was dead, making a very good match simply mediocre (the opposite of Rock/Hogan). Undertaker/Ric Flair had a great little feud going and ended it with a great little match here.

THE BAD: The tag match was a cluster-fuck; Kurt Angle was wasted on Kane; Steve Austin was wasted on Scott Hall.

THE BIZARRE: Austin in the midcard. Just a travesty all around. Booking decisions in general too. Other than Rock/Hogan and to a lesser extent Flair/Taker, there really isn't a lot to be said for the way the talent was used.

12. WRESTLEMANIA XXVIII

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6 points

(it has the crowd, the spectacle, the storylines reaching their zenith -- but there's not enough great wrestling)

What hurt this show is the undercard. Bryan and Sheamus both got robbed to make room for... what? Somebody call my mama? Half the card was done by the end of the 1st hour. That's not an exaggeration. I'm not saying you should shorten the HIAC match, or even the Rock/Cena match (even though Rock was blown up early on, that's the match people paid to see; let them soak it in). I'm saying you should cut out the filler and then you can have a wall-to-wall great wrestling show.

THE GOOD: strong upper card

THE BAD: Weak undercard. Also, for a four-hour show there's no excuse to have that much filler. Why not just... you know... longer matches? Or even more matches? I don't think you should go back to the days of 14 matches on a card, but this one only had seven (not counting the World Title match). Seven matches on a four-hour show is just ridiculous.

THE BIZARRE: 18 seconds

11. WRESTLEMANIA 21

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7 points

(for the matches and the storylines climaxing at the show)

Taking out the Big Show fiasco, this was a seven-match lean, mean, WrestleMania. Had Cena/JBL been given more time befitting a changing of the guard it would likely be better remembered. Hogan had a nice surprise appearance, and the "Goes Hollywood" skits were mostly very well done. This is a good 'Mania that is a bit under-appreciated.

THE GOOD: HBK vs. Kurt Angle. Both men would largely be utility guys/championship feed in the modern WrestleMania era, but here they got to show off, and boy did they. They had a 30-minute iron man-lite match on Raw not long after, and it might have been a hair better. But this was outstanding. HHH/Batista was better than it should have been at the time. The first MITB match was arguably the best among the 'Mania-held matches. Orton and 'Taker had a great match that made many think the streak was done.

THE BAD: Big Show vs. Akebono.

THE BIZARRE: John Cena's first world title coming off a Rey Mysterio-type match (get squashed, fluke win).

10. WRESTLEMANIA 22

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8 points

(for the great Chicago crowd, some good storylines paid off, and great wrestling on the matches that needed to deliver)

So the original plan, if I understand correctly, was for Eddie to win the WHC over a year-long reigning Batista. Obviously, Eddie passed away and Batista had the first of many championship-ending injuries. There's a lot to like on this WrestleMania, but there's some questionable booking decisions here too.

THE GOOD: The matches that had the time to deliver did so. Edge/Foley, Triple H/Cena (great crowd), and HBK had my 2nd favorite Vince McMahon match (after the Hogan contest).

THE BAD: The casket match. It's not really offensively bad, ala the HIAC match at WM-XV, but it's hardly worthy of the post-Mania 20 dead man. It's always easy (and fun) to fantasy book in hindsight, but you have to think Kurt Angle could have been a better Undertaker opponent than Mark Henry. They had a great match a month earlier. I would have saved that for here. The actual World Title match was a sub-ten-minute fluke win for Rey. Again, Rey vs. Orton one-on-one makes more sense.

THE BIZARRE: Conan the Barbarian vs. Al Capone: Live on PPV. Special attraction: The Boogeyman.

09. WRESTLEMANIA XXVI

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9 points

(for a spectacular atmosphere, good stories coming to a close, and mostly good action)

The crowd was never really into it until the main event, which is sad because a few matches were very good, though a few under-performed (Edge/Jericho and Hart/McMahon). I always loved the pyramid lighting rig they used; probably my favorite of the "outdoor" shows. Without the main event, this show doesn't get 4 points for the matches, as everything else would only have been "really good but not great." That main event really pushed it over the top.

THE GOOD: The WWE Title match was very good, and of course the main event is incredible. Punk and Mysterio had a really good midcard match as did Triple H and Sheamus.

THE BAD: Bret can't take a bump... I know. But could he at least wet his hair before coming out. The match was 11 minutes long but it felt twice that.

THE BIZARRE: Swagger as Mr. Money in the Bank. If you're going to go with someone who is good in the ring but bad on the stick Shelton Benjamin was right there, and the fans were clamoring for him to win it. Also Edge as a babyface (post-Rated-R run) just didn't work.

08. WRESTLEMANIA XX

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8 points

(for the crowd, the storylines, and the matches -- for the most part)

The show was too long, the show was too long, the show was too long. The card was better on paper than in execution, but it was still good in execution. This one is better on home video than live on PPV as you can cut the fat and get down to the actual wrestling. In that respect the show was a success.

THE GOOD: That final shot with confetti falling.

THE BAD: Too long. The crowd was just exhausted, though they came to life for the main event.

THE BIZARRE: Goldberg vs Lesnar vs The People of New York (though the crowd saved it from being a match to skip on DVD).

07. WRESTLEMANIA VIII

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9 points

(for the Hoosier Dome giving the show a big-event feel--especially that huge entrance way--and for the good storylines coming to a head and some really great wrestling work where it counts)

The wrong match main-evented, but that's not the last time it'll happen. This is Gorilla's last 'Mania as PBP man, and it's my favorite of the Titan Era shows. In a lot of ways this is the show that is the template for the 'Manias of today: less than ten matches, a hot match to start with, the work horses in the middle, and a bloated main event to close it out at a sold-out stadium.

THE GOOD: Several great matches, especially the WWF and I-C title matches. The main event is good fun if you like the formula Hogan match (I was always a shameless sucker for it), and the Warrior's return is a real mark out moment.

THE BAD: Undertaker vs. Jake Roberts should have been good. It was not, and that makes me sad.

THE BIZARRE: Start at Sid kicking out of the leg drop, and go from there.

06. WRESTLEMANIA 23

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9 points

(for the spectacle of Ford Field, a great crowd, and some great wrestling. It loses points because very little was actually resolved here.)

Batista's best match? The best hair vs. hair match? The best Cena match to that point? check. check. check. This was a great show that has somehow gotten lost in the cracks of other 'Mania's around the era. Maybe it's because so many of the stars of the show are no longer around. Mr. Kennedy wins MITB, ECW vs. ECW, Umaga and Bobby Lashley, Batista, Benoit & MVP all have prominent roles and programs at this time, but now? At the time it was a great show, and separate from history it holds up as a great show.

THE GOOD: Both title matches were great.

THE BAD: Kane slamming Khali is no Hogan slamming Andre. But they tried to make me think it was.

THE BIZARRE: Donald Trump with a clothesline. Not bizarre: that JR would call it like it was delivered by Austin circa 1998.

05. WRESTLEMANIA X

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10 points

(This felt like a bigger deal than 'Mania 20, what with this being the crowning of a new era. Also the crowd was jacked throughout, the matches were spectacular at times, great at others, and at least mostly unoffensive the rest of the way. Also, this show had multiple storylines crisscrossing and coming to a head at WrestleMania, to an extent that's maybe never been repeated.)

I love that closing shot of everyone (well, all the babyfaces) coming down to shake Hart's hand and then hoist him on their shoulders with the belt around his waist. He's technically a two-time champion here, but this feels like his actual coronation (ya know, since this one was actually on television). The Hogan era had been over for a while to this point, but here it was clear whose era it now was. Not just Hart, but what Hart stood for: the smaller (non-juiced) guys, represented in his opening match, as well as the I-C ladder match.

THE GOOD: Along with WM-VIII, this is the birth of the modern 'Mania card. eight to ten matches, a couple 20-minute classics, some 10-15 minute good ones, good pacing throughout.

THE BAD: Adam Bomb vs. Earthquake; the actual manner in which Hart won the belt with Yoko simply falling and then laying there like roadkill.

THE BIZARRE: Fink with a piece.

04. WRESTLEMANIA XXIV

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10 points

(Having it all: a strong upper card, the second best Mania MITB match, and the spectacle/then-novelty of an outdoors WrestleMania.)

One of my personal favorites to re-watch. There's very little worth skipping on DVD and most of the matches hold up separated from their historical context. Ric Flair and HBK didn't put on a technical masterpiece, but they did deliver an emotional one. Money v Big Show is probably the best celebrity match ever (not counting the Rock v Cena, har har). The best 'Mania of the PG-era (though this show was technically TV14, it was headed that way).

THE GOOD: All the top matches delivered. The WWE title match wasn't the greatest, probably because the three involved had just been feuding and feuding and feuding and feuding... but the main event was great with the debut of Super Shredder 'Taker. The opening brawl was good fun. And Flair's farewell was moving.

THE BAD: Batista vs. Umaga. Word is Batista was ticked off that "creative had nothing for him". He sure showed them what they were missing by stinking up the joint with a typically solid Umaga. Kane vs. Chavo was throwaway.

THE BIZARRE: The lights went out and nobody cared.

03. WRESTLEMANIA III

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10 points

(for atmosphere, the top 2 matches, and that moment when Hogan slams Andre)

This is our Super Bowl III. It's not the best ever on a technical level, but what makes it good makes it legendary.

THE GOOD: You got your workhorse match for the I-C title, and your giant v near-giant champ, with the crowd orgasm-ing, for the WWF title. That's how it should be.

THE BAD: A recurring problem of the early 'Mania's: too many filler matches, going three to five minutes.

THE BIZARRE: That shot, with the house lights on so you can see the crowd in all its glory. It's amazing to think that pro wrestling could produce THAT.

02. WRESTLEMANIA XIX

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10 points

(for a crowd almost always engaged, storylines that came to a head, a big stage in Seattle, and a card that's almost perfectly booked and executed)

Give the Undertaker a better opponent, and give Booker T the win, and you just might have as close to perfect as WrestleMania in 2003 could get. If I could have booked it, I would have had Booker T beat Triple H, and have Undertaker take on someone like Christian or even RVD. Someone younger. Other than those two gripes, this is a great show that's very re-watchable. This is as good as the Ruthless Aggression era got.

THE GOOD: The whole show was star-studded. The early matches were fast-paced and the final matches were epic.

THE BAD: Undertaker's throwaway match. This was the nadir of the Biker 'Taker era.

THE BIZARRE: Shawn Michaels' hair.

01. WRESTLEMANIA X-SEVEN

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10 points

(for the perfect show: Crowd, spectacle/atmosphere, storylines, wrestling -- all of it, golden)

There's nothing to be said. This is the Attitude Era's WrestleMania III, only with a much better card from top to bottom. Honestly, I think you can argue the XIX card is better on paper, but everyone just clicked on this show, and the product was certainly more popular than it would be just two years later.

THE GOOD: Everything from start to finish...

THE BAD: ...I mean, Chyna I guess... but is a piss break really a "bad" thing?

THE BIZARRE: The gimmick battle royal. It was good dumb fun, sure, but I can't believe they called the participants "gimmicks". That's what they are, of course, but I can't recall the word ever being uttered.

______________________________

So there you have it, Cagesiders. My order is here to be attacked, scrutinized, ignored, whatever. What's YOUR list? Or even just a top 10?

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.

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