WrestleMania 37 is here and Night One is already in the books! WrestleMania is the WWE’s most exciting event of the year and many WWE superstars work their hardest throughout the year prior to try and score a spot on the illustrious card of the show and solidify their names in history.
This list is ranking the top 5 best WrestleMania shows of all time as well as ranking the top 5 worst. I know it’s hard to think of a truly bad show of shows, but believe me, it does happen from time to time.
With that said I want to make clear that this is strictly opinionated and I am not including WrestleMania 37 as it’s till underway with one more night left to air at the time of this writing. I would also like to clarify that I am ranking shows as a whole and not just any match in particular because sometimes a WrestleMania is only remembered for one match.
So, let’s begin with ranking the Top Five BEST WrestleMania shows of all time.
#5 WrestleMania 33
Back in 2017, Camping World Stadium in Orlando Florida hosted the famous spectacle and played host to 75,245 fans.
There was a lot of good things to say about this event from the get go. Right off the bat the show began with AJ Styles taking on Shane McMahon in a great contest that really set the pace for the show. The following match was Chris Jericho taking on Kevin Owens for the United States Champion and the two incredibly talented stars tore the house down.
The show continued to surprise when The Hardy’s made their surprise return and received a very welcoming ovation from the crowd and of course, Matt and Jeff stole the show.
Seth Rollins returned from injury to battle Triple H in what was a gruelling contest. Seth Rollins emerged victorious against the cerebral assassin and had a very memorable moment.
The show’s WWE Championship match was a little lacklustre as Bray Wyatt defended his Championship against the Viper Randy Orton. This match tried to spice things up a bit by including projections of maggots in the ring to “scare” Orton and get inside his head. This was very puzzling for fans and left them more startled than anything, but ultimately Orton took the title from Bray in a pretty forgettable encounter.
Later on the Universal Championship was on the line as Brock Lesnar took on Goldberg and this was a very explosive contest. Fans expected the match to go under ten minutes as longer bouts aren’t Goldberg or Lesnar’s forte, but they made every second count. This match was hard hitting, aggressive, and everything we expected it to be. Not like their encounter in 2004 at WrestleMania 20… that match may have put people to sleep. Brock Lesnar finally silenced his doubters and took the Universal title off the legendary Goldberg.
The night concluded with The Undertaker taking on Roman Reigns and this may have been the sloppiest match anyone had ever seen out of The Undertaker. Fans weren’t really sure how to feel about this match as Roman Reigns was in control almost the entire time and really laid into the deadman. This was during a time Roman Reigns had actual heat from the crowd and it wasn’t the heat you’d want from a crowd. In the end he delivered the Undertaker his second loss at a WrestleMania event and that only upset the live crowd even more.
Overall this WrestleMania wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t close to being the worse. The New Day hosting the show added for some extra entertainment and the stage was beautifully constructed. In the end it was a truly memorable night.
#4 WrestleMania 22
The Windy City, Chicago hosted the grand spectacle in 2006 and the 17,155 fans were in for a very hard hitting night. This WrestleMania had one of the loudest crowds in the history of sports entertainment and they never skipped a beat.
Kane and The Big Show opened the show retaining their Tag Team Championship Title’s against Carlito and Chris Masters.
The second match of the night was the newest tradition for WrestleMania, The Money in the Bank Ladder Match. This match became an exciting staple for the show before it was moved to its own pay per view, but before WWE made that awful decision, the second ever match saw Rob Van Dam secure the briefcase and thus began the elevation in his career.
The action continued when The Rated R Superstar Edge took on the Hardcore Legend Mick Foley in a street fight that turned into a blood bath quick. Fans were on their feet when barbed wire bats were being used, thumb tacks were penetrating skin, and Edge speared Foley through a table that was on fire. How could you not be entertained?
In a rare but unsurprising bout fans witnessed the Chairman of WWE in action against The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels. This match was what it needed to be. Shawn Michaels had received weeks of torture from the McMahon family to set the story up for their ultimate encounter on the grand stage. This match was contested under No Holds Barred so anything was legal leading Shawn Michaels to hit McMahon with anything and everything in his path and eventually hitting Vince with his signature elbow drop off of a 20 foot ladder while Vince was placed on a table with a trash can around his head. This match was purely crowd pleasing, but another win was secured for Mr. WrestleMania Shawn Michaels.
Mickie James made her Mania debut taking on Trish Stratus for the Women’s championship and Mickie managed to score a huge win over the future hall of famer.
WrestleMania 22 also saw the underdog Rey Mysterio triumphantly win the big one for the first time in his career. Rey won a huge win over Randy Orton and reigning champ Kurt Angle in what was a great matchup between the three. Rey dedicated his World Heavyweight Championship win to the late great Eddie Guerrero. Truly a heartfelt moment.
The Main Event saw Triple H challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship. Triple H was no stranger to main eventing WrestleMania and this match was to show the WWE universe if John Cena was ready to headline the show of shows and he definitely proved he was. This had to be one of the best matchups in both superstar’s careers and really elevated Cena’s status and his rise to the top.
WrestleMania isn’t well forgotten for many reasons and stand amongst the best WrestleMania shows of all time.
#3 WrestleMania 18
Rogers Centre in Toronto Canada had the privilege of hosting WrestleMania in 2002 for WrestleMania 18. 68,237 fans were in attendance for the illustrious event, but more importantly to see Hulk Hogan take on The Rock in a match that’s still being talked about to this day.
WrestleMania 18 began the night with Hardcore championship shenanigans which made for great entertainment as Maven took on Goldust leading to multiple interferences from different superstars taking advantage of the Hardcore Championship’s 24/7 rule.
Following that match fans witnessed DDP taking on Christian for the European Championship and fans were excited to see DDP make his Mania debut and score a big win over the future Captain Charisma
The night saw great encounters like the big red machine Kane taking a huge loss as Kurt Angle rolled him up for the win, Edge defeating Booker T, Rob Van Dam taking the Intercontinental Championship from William Regal, and so much more.
The first big match of the night saw the Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cole Steve Austin vs Scott Hall of the NWO. This match had weeks of build up as both The Rock and Austin were feuding with the iconic faction. This match was what it needed to be. It saw Stone Cole Steve Austin doing what he does best and laying out both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash who was in his corner truly making for great entertainment.
The night was then met with a matchup that is still standing the test of time in professional wrestling. Icon vs Icon. The Rock vs The immortal Hulk Hogan. More than 68,000 fans divided their allegiance between the two stars and it was truly something special. Hogan brought out the best in The Rock. The Rock brought out the best in Hogan and made Hogan prove that he could still hang with the best. Ultimately after The Rock’s iconic People’s Elbow finisher the match was over the The Rock stood over one of the al time greats. Truly a memorable event that’ll last several lifetimes.
The main event of the night was Triple H taking on Y2J Chris Jericho for the Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship. This was a great match, it just felt victim to an exhausted crowd that was seeing fatigue after pouring their energy into the Rock and Hogan matchup prior. Triple H delivered all he could to Y2J and even hit a pedigree finisher on his own wife to be at the time, Stephanie McMahon to get a pop from the crowd. Stephanie was managing Jericho to elevate his heel status and make for a better story. Triple H would emerge victorious with the World Championship to close the show and cultivate his moment having come back from a torn quad that laid him up for almost a whole year.
You can’t talk about great WrestleMania events without including WrestleMania 18 on your list, and that’s the bottom line.
#2 WrestleMania 3
We’re going all the back to 1987 for this next one. The very famous Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan was the home of the World Wrestling Federations third anniversary of WrestleMania and this is the show that many feel put WrestleMania on the map as a true spectacle of sports entertainment.
More than 93,000 fans were in attendance and that record set the bar for future WrestleMania’s to come. In fact, up until 2016, WrestleMania 3 held the attendance record.
This show saw two major headlining matches that to this day are being talked about. “Macho Man” Randy Savage took on Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship in a classic encounter. Fans saw techniques from Steamboat that many stars on the roster had yet to master and left the audience in awe. The cruiserweight like style from Steamboat saw the hard hitting style from Savage. Steamboat would ultimately win the competition, but Macho Man had no reason to hang his head as fans cheered on both superstars.
This show also saw a classic when The legendary Heart Foundation with Danny Davis took on The British Bulldogs and Tito Santana in a six man tag team match. All six competitors were some of the best that the federation had to offer and it was very fun to watch. The match would see Heart Foundation pick up the win.
The main event was a match that had weeks of build up and all 93,000 plus fans were on their feet as Hulk Hogan took on Andre The Giant for the WWF Championship.
Hogan was headlining his third straight WrestleMania event and facing his toughest challenge to date. Many fans were lead to believe that Andre would walk out the winner, but when Hulk Hogan lifted the 400 plus pound giant up and body slammed him, the wrestling world stood tall and gave Hogan a very loud reaction. Hogan then delivered his signature leg drop for the win leaving fans in disbelief in the best way.
#1 WrestleMania 17
What is there to say about this show that isn’t positive? This WrestleMania is perhaps the most solid WrestleMania that’s ever taken place.
The Reliant Astrodome in Houston Texas was the home of the 17th anniversary of WrestleMania and was filled to capacity with 67,925 fans in attendance.
The show opened with Chris Jericho defeating William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship followed by The APA taking out “The Right to Censor”
The night continued with a very entertaining Hardcore Championship Triple Threat Match between Big Show, Kane, and Raven and this match was fought all over the arena and backstage. Kane would ultimately win, but fans were very pleased with the carnage that took place.
Eddie Guerrero scored a big win over Test to become the new European Champion followed by Chyna taking out Ivory to secure the Women’s title.
The night continued with the first ever Father vs Son street fight as Shane McMahon took on his own father and chairman Vince McMahon. This match came about during the conclusion of WCW and the Monday Night Wars when Shane “bought” WCW and was “competing” with WWF. It made for a good story and a decent match.
One of the most iconic Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches followed as The Hardy Boyz, The Dudleys, and Edge and Christian challenged for the Tag Team Championships. This match was a highlight reel that set the tone for future hardcore matches in wrestling. The most exhilarating moment was when Edge speared Jeff Hardy from a ladder while Hardy was suspended above the ring holding onto the Tag Team Titles. This match is among the greatest ladder matches of all time. Edge and Christian would ultimately win the match, but all three teams left their Mark.
The Undertaker took on Triple H in his 9th WrestleMania appearance. This was a classic encounter by two titans in the industry. The Undertaker was still fresh into his “American Badass” Character and Triple H was finding his way as a solo act. The two beat the hell out of each other and inevitably, The Undertaker would win and score his 9th win in his undefeated streak.
The main event of course stole the show as Stone Cold Steve Austin was in the main event of WrestleMania against The Rock for the WWF Championship. There was no surprise that this match was as good as it was due to both men being the faces of the company at the time. The Rock was defending his Championship against the rattlesnake who was fresh off of a Royal Rumble Victory two months prior and looking to win back the title.
This match had fans on their feet and of course the pro Austin crowd was in full force… until the end. The end of this match saw one of the most controversial decisions ever made in wrestling as Stone Cold Steve Austin joined forces with Mr. McMahon who was his known arch rival and the two men beat The Rock with a Steel Chair. Austin would leave as the Champion, but the fans were left in complete disbelief.
Call the ending what you will, but it definitely got people talking. This WrestleMania from start to finish was the best overall show of all time.
Top 5 WORST WrestleMania shows of all time
#5 WrestleMania 27
Set in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Georgia, 71,617 fans in attendance, The Rock making his return to the grandest stage as the special guest host, one would assume these were all the makings of a great show, but let me tell you… This. Show. Sucked.
This night was supposed to be huge and instead fell flat which is a shame considering the three matches that really made this show stand out.
CM Punk took on Randy Orton in what ended up being a great contest overall and fans were taken by surprise when Orton hit his RKO finisher while Punk was mid air.
The Undertaker took on Triple H in a classic contest that went down in history as one of Undertaker’s best WrestleMania matches. It wasn’t on the same level as Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, but it was still a great match that almost made fans think the streak was going to end.
The last memorable contest of the night was when Edge defended and retained his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio. This match remains significant as it was Edge’s last match before being forced to relinquish his Championship and retire until 2020 when he made his return.
After reading about all of the good that happened on this show, one may wonder what was bad about it? Three matches couldn’t save the atrocity that was the rest of this night.
Kane, Big Show, Kofi Kingston, and Santino Marella teamed up and defeated The Corre. This match was quick, easy, forgettable, and just not worthy of making it to the show of shows. Many reading this may have actually forgotten that it was even a match that happened.
Rey Mysterio took on Cody Rhodes who at the time was having a crisis with his “disfigured” face which really took away from the match. This storyline was built up simply to have these two on the show and no one really got over with the fans. Cody wrestled a nice match which resonated well with fans, but his face shield was so distracting, it’s hard to remember he actually won.
Later in the night the worst thing to happen in WrestleMania history took place as Michael Cole went one on one with his broadcast colleague Jerry Lawler with special guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin.
This match sucked. There’s no nice way to put it. This match took way too long and was a huge slap in the face of Jerry Lawler’s career considering the entire reason for this match was to give him a match at WrestleMania since he had never wrestled on the grand stage. Michael Cole was trying to weasel his way out of wrestling for most of this match leading Stone Cold to get involved. This would lead Jerry Lawler to picking up the win and embarrassing Cole, but it was Michael Cole would would have the last laugh as the “Anonymous RAW GM” overturned the decision of the match due to Austin’s interference and awarded the win to Cole…
This match was long, obnoxious, hard to watch, and just overall insufferable.
To add further insult to the Mania stage later on, John Morrison teamed up with the returning Trish Stratus and celebrity guest “Snooki” to take on Dolph Ziggler and Laycool.
Snooki being involved in a match at WrestleMania was embarrassing should’ve never taken place. This match was just awful. It was solely designed to please the crowd and failed to do so because no one seemed interested in seeing Snooki compete. The whole thing was just a mess.
The main event of the night was nothing to brag about. The WWE Championship was contested with John Cena taking on the current champion Miz. This match didn’t feel like it belonged in the main event of WrestleMania or any pay per view event. This was a RAW match at best.
John Cena had headlined several WrestleMania’s prior to this and wrestled greater opponents than The Miz. It was hard to believe that Miz could give Cena a run for his money. Cena was overselling for the champion to make him look good, the whole thing just didn’t work.
To make matters worse, the match ended on a double count out before The Rock stepped in to restart the match only to then hit Cena with a Rock Bottom and secure the win for The Miz. All this main event did was set up for the inevitable match between The Rock and John Cena for the following WrestleMania.
#4 WrestleMania 13
Chicago played host to this event in the All State Arena holding over 18,000 fans.
When this WrestleMania comes to mind, the first match you probably think of is Stone Cold vs Bret Hart, and that’s because that was the only great match on the card.
Triple H vs Goldust, Rocky Maivia vs The Sultan (Rikishi), and The Legion of Doom vs The Nation of Domination? All of these matches were bad. Every one of them fell flat and failed to captivate anyone. It was hard to grasp who actually cared about these matches.
Owen Hart teamed up with The British Bulldog to take on Vader and Mankind. This match was decent given the four superstars in ring styles. Owen and Bulldog are natural athletes whereas Vader and Mankind are really limited to what they could do. The result was a double count out which didn’t help the matches chances of making the highlight reel.
The Submission match between Steve Austin and Bret Hart stole the show. Ken Shamrock served as guest referee for the bout and it tore the house down. Stone Cold isn’t known for submissions where as Hart on the other hand is an expert and this left fans wondering if Austin could pull of an upset win making the best there ever will be tap out. Ultimately he didn’t succeed and Hart would win the match, but this match really ignited Stone Cold’s career.
The last match of the night saw The Undertaker vs Sid Vicious for the WWF Championship and… yeah. What is there to say? This match was slow, dull, sloppy, basically not what you want in a Championship match. The Undertaker was still honing his own as a main stream talent while as Sid Vicious looked more menacing than he showed. Ultimately The Undertaker would win, but that win would never see the light of day of not for The Deadman’s undefeated streak.
#3 WrestleMania 9
Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas Nevada was the home of the 9th anniversary of WrestleMania. 16,891 fans were in attendance which was a huge decline from past years.
This WrestleMania showed a ton of promise with a great opening match between Shawn Michaels and Tatanka for the Intercontinental Championship, but fans were immediately let down after.
The Steiner Brothers vs The Headshrinkers? Doink the Clown vs Crush? The Bad Guy Razor Ramon vs Bob Backlund of all people? This wasn’t turning out to be a “historic” night.
The next match saw Money Inc. take on the face of WrestleMania Hulk Hogan and Brutus the Barber Beefcake. Hogan and Beefcake would go on to lose by Disqualification giving Money Inc a huge win in this otherwise forgettable match and that’s truly saying something considering Hogan’s status in the company.
Lex Luger took on Mr. Perfect afterwards in what was probably match of the night. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the talents of both men and the rest of the card being really awful.
The next match saw two larger than life characters clash. The Undertaker took on Giant Gonzalez and of all The Undertaker’s opponents at WrestleMania, this one was by far the worst. Gonzalez was 8 feet tall. You read that correctly, EIGHT feet tall, but couldn’t move to save his life. This encounter was the sloppiest disgrace to ever be seen by Wrestling fans. The Undertaker picked up the win of course, but it’s not a win worth remembering.
The main event of this night is what really chalks this show up as one of the worst. Fans witnessed Bret Hart take on Yokozuna for the WWF Championship in a classic David and Goliath Challenge. This match… sucked. Bret Hart was selling his tail off for Yokozuna who could barely keep up with the Hitman given his large size. As Hart gained some offence against the behemoth, Mr. Fuji at ringside threw powder in Hart’s face leading Yokozuna to pick up the win and become the new WWF Champion.
What followed after the match just made things worse. Hulk Hogan emerged at ringside during the match and afterwards inserted himself into a WWF Championship match against Yokozuna who had just competed. Hogan defeated Yokozuna for the title in under three minutes winning the WWF Championship and making all of Hart’s efforts to sell for The big man seem meaningless because of the “mighty” Hulk Hogan. This was arguably one of the worst booking decisions in wrestling.
#2 WrestleMania 16
In the year 2000, The Honda Center in Anaheim California hosted WrestleMania 16. The new millennium’s first WrestleMania event… and shockingly enough, it wasn’t a good one.
A lacklustre tag team match opened the show as Big Boss man and Bull Buchanan def. D-Lo Brown and The Godfather. The most memorable moment about this was celebrity guest Ice-T at ringside.
The night would soon pick up with the first ever Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match between Edge and Christian, The Dudleys, and The Hardy Boyz. This match arguably stole the entire show. All three teams had amazing chemistry and this match became a series of highlights which the WWE has used footage of for nearly two decades. Edge and Christian would win this match, but all three teams gave the fans a show.
A WrestleMania is only as good as its main event and with Stone Cold Steve Austin on the sidelines due to injury and The Rock only just starting to achieve mainstream stardom, the WWF was left with a tough call to make for its biggest show’s main event.
The main event saw a Fatal 4 Way elimination match for the WWF Championship and all four participants were represented by a member of the McMahon Family. Mick Foley was with Linda McMahon. The Rock with Vince McMahon, The Big Show with Shane McMahon, and reigning Champion Triple H with Stephanie McMahon.
Mick Foley was the fan favorite to win this match and many were surprised that he didn’t emerge victorious and was eliminated second overall after Big show. The match concluded with all McMahon’s getting involved in some way and Triple H ultimately eliminating The Rock for the win.
This left fans more upset than entertained and given how the night was going prior to this match, that wasn’t a good note to end on.
#1 WrestleMania 11
This event took place at the XL Center in Hartford Connecticut and played host to 16,305 fans who were all in for a mediocre night.
This night saw The Undertaker take on King Kong Bundy in a very boring encounter. Many thought the two styles clashing together would make for a great match, but it ended up being one of The Deadman’s weakest matches. Still a win for The Undertaker though so I guess it’s something.
The night consisted of dull matches one after the other. Jeff Jarrett vs Razor Ramon, Owen Hart and Yokozuna vs The Smoking Gunns, The Blu Brothers vs The Allied Powers of The British Bulldog and Lex Luger. Fans really couldn’t catch a break from being bored.
Bob Backlund took on Bret Hart in arguably the worst match of the night. Bret Hart was an amazing performer and I’ll personally never understand why Backlund was put in there against him. The two had zero chemistry and it definitely showed.
Shawn Michaels Competed in what should have been the main event of the night against his former partner Diesel for the WWF Championship. This was the best match of the night, but considering the card, that’s not a surprise. Michaels can work with anyone, even people twice his size. Michaels’ naturally gifted abilities in the ring made for a very entertaining bout to watch, even if it was against Diesel. This didn’t make up for the rest of the night, but at least fans got one good showing out of this event.
The actual main event was one that had received tons of hype because the WWF was cashing in on the athletic stardom of New York Giants Linebacker, Lawrence Taylor.
This match was what it was. It wasn’t worth the hype, but it wasn’t awful, and it definitely didn’t deserve the main event spot. Bam Bam Bigelow who many fans claim to be one of the most under appreciated big men to ever lace up a pair of boots, took a loss to an athlete that was the furthest thing from a pro wrestler.
Lawerence Taylor’s win received a decent reaction from the crowd, but this match just fell short of closing out this otherwise dull WrestleMania on any sort of high note.
So there it is. My personal top 5 best and worst WrestleMania events. Again, this is strictly opinionated. Let me know if you agree or disagree.