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Cageside Countdown: Top 10 Wrestlemania Pre-Match Promos

Randall Chancellor at Wikimedia Commons

A few days ago, I asked you to nominate and rec your favorite Wrestlemania pre-match promo, and that you did. Over a hundred recs given to over two dozen promo packages, and from there, I ranked them from 10 to 1 based on your recs. With that, I present to you the first Cageside Countdown: Top 10 Wrestlemania Prematch Promos.

Actually, before I begin, here are...


  1. The most-talked about match of Wrestlemania XXIV was Ric Flair's retirement bout against Shawn Michaels. Many knew how it was going to end: the far past his prime Nature Boy going out one last time before the Heartbreak Kid "pulled the trigger on Old Yeller".
  2. Over a dozen men over the course of 23 years have tried to take down the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, but all have failed. Maybe the job requires a beast at Wrestlemania XXX?
  3. The most recent entry to the list, Bray Wyatt, the eater of worlds, looks to give The Undertaker his first losing streak at Wrestlemania this Sunday. The 30-second promo missed the top 10, but since then, a full-length promo has emerged, and it's worth a watch.
  4. From Wrestlemania 21, two of the very best in their craft were finally going to face off for the first time ever as Kurt Angle took on Shawn Michaels.
  5. The Undertaker-Shawn Michaels match at Wrestlemania 25 would be their first televised meeting since Shawn's career was put on hold at the hands of the Deadman in 1998. Indeed, sometimes it is hell, trying to get to heaven.



#10: Wrestlemania X-8's real main event: Icon vs. Icon.
The purchase of WCW opened up the possibility for dozens of dream matches to finally come to fruition. Here, it could have (and quite honestly, should have) been Steve Austin and Hollywood Hogan, the two men at the forefront of their companies in the Monday Night Wars. Instead, we get the next best thing: the two biggest crossover stars in professional wrestling history. Needless to say, they stole the show.

#9: Wrestlemania XX: Eddie Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle: nothing in common but the desire to win.
One month earlier, Eddie Guerrero defeated Brock Lesnar in one of the biggest upsets in WWE history. A man once fired from the company for substance abuse problems was now in a featured bout at Wrestlemania, and it ate Olympic Gold Medalist/moral authority Kurt Angle alive.

#8: Wrestlemania 29: CM Punk wants to be the one in 20-1.
The road to their clash at Wrestlemania took a dark (and some would say, tasteless) turn following the passing of the Undertaker's longtime manager William Moody (aka Paul Bearer). But the story's a basic one, one that's been told for years: CM Punk wanted to be the man to take down the Undertaker's streak.

#7: Wrestlemania XIV: Undertaker vs. Kane: brothers at arms.
You know the old saying of the past coming back to haunt you? Well, it did. Thought to be burned beyond recognition in a fire, Kane waited 20 years for his payback. And paybacks are hell. Pushed beyond the brink, Undertaker had no choice to avenge his--and his parent's deaths.

#6: Wrestlemania XX: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and Chris Benoit step up so they don't get knocked down.
Former best friends Triple H and Shawn Michaels had a year-plus long rivalry. As they were on the brink of settling it, Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble, and decided since he's shut out of trying for his brand's world title, he was going to try for the other one. Shawn did not like that. Triple H liked it even less. With neither challenger to the throne willing to budge, "Sheriff" Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff decided on the triple threat compromise, a first for a main event at Wrestlemania.

#5: Wrestlemania XXVIII: Triple H vs. Undertaker III: The Last Stand: Hell in a Cell: End of an Era
The conclusion to one the longest running stories in Wrestlemania history should have marked the end of not one career, but three. After all, you're calling it END OF AN ERA. Triple H following Wrestlemania XXVII thought he had the solution to the puzzle known as The Streak. And he had his BFF Shawn Michaels with him to referee.

#4: Wrestlemania XXVII: The Miz's career peaks with a Wrestlemania main event against John Cena.
Not a lot of good came from Wrestlemania XXVII. In fact, some would argue this is easily the best two and half minutes of a disappointing show. It's a Mike Mizanin career retrospective. Yeah, he made it. But hasn't been back since. And we're all better for it.

#3: Wrestlemania XXX: Daniel Bryan looks to break the glass ceiling against Triple H.
Opening matches usually don't get promo packages. But last year's opening bout for Wrestlemania had high stakes: the winner would advance to the main event. The four-minute masterpiece set to Imagine Dragons' latest hit at the time tells you everything you need to know about the "B+ player" trying to shatter the glass ceiling in WWE.

#2: Wrestlemania XXVI: Shawn Michaels trades his career for one more shot at immortality by beating the Undertaker's undefeated streak at Wrestlemania.
At Wrestlemania 25, Shawn Michaels came within an eyelash of defeating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. And it ate him ALIVE. It didn't really come out until later that year when expressed his desire for a rematch. The Undertaker turned him down time and again. It became an obsession to the point where Shawn couldn't go on with his career, much less his life, if he didn't get one more chance. Michaels would then force the issue by costing Undertaker the World Heavyweight Championship, then Undertaker dropped an ultimatum: if he failed again, his career was over.

#1: Wrestlemania X-Seven: One more fight between The Rock and Steve Austin.
It would be far from their last fight, but it was a fitting cap to the greatest Wrestlemania of all time--and the Attitude Era. And regardless of how you feel about the band behind it, the song for this promo was perfect.

How perfect? Youtuber TR72Pro made a shot-for-shot remake of the classic promo with this year's main event, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.

There's your top ten. Did your favorite make the cut? Any that we (or you) missed?

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