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Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Best and Worst WrestleMania Moments in the Last 10 Years (Part 1 of 2)

03/21/2024 12:50:34 PM

WrestleMania 33 stage. Photo from

I have been following professional wrestling (although not in a very religious way) since 2012. I have seen WrestleMania during Holy Tuesday of the said year; and it has been a yearly thing for me to watch the show, be it live, primetime replay, or on-demand. That said, it's fair to say I have watched WrestleMania for 12 consecutive years – and probably going on 13 by April 6-7 (or April 7-8 by the Philippine Standard Time).

But I don't wanna talk about the entirety of watching 12 WrestleManias. For sure, in the past decade-long of iterations alone, there was definitely a lot of highs and lows about The Showcase of Immortals, from celebrity cameos, the matches, the buildup surrounding these feuds, the audience itself, and even the production work that surrounds the stadium themselves and television.

It's hard to actually select only one positive and negative per year because a lot of them are worth arguing – err, discussing – about. And in a world where everyone has an opinion on practically everything, the sport and its massive fanbase – the internet wrestling community, as we call it – has become either a forum of timeless healthy exchanges, or a cesspool of self-centered arrogant yet brainless bastards.

I would rather digress and just say my handpicked takes on this article – at least for the first half of this 2-part series. Shall we?

WrestleMania XXX 

The 30th edition of The Show of Shows, but with an event name that isn't sounding PG for a PG product that is World Wrestling Entertainment. Hahaha. What's up with that?

Best: The Miracle at Bourbon Street

I could've watched the Hogan-Austin-Rock segment all day long because in my opinion, that's how you should open a monumental flagship event. But I have to give this one to Daniel Bryan. I mean... overcoming the odds by competing in two matches with one arm in peril just to win the biggest prize in sports entertainment? Sounds impossible-yet-improbable but it was a perfect fairy tale ending for the Yes Movement.

Photo credits: WWE, reddit

Hell, I even loved the video package during the buildup of the Daniel Bryan vs Triple H which had championship implications. Although it's obvious that DB is gonna with the contest, it has been done in convincing fashion enough to be called Match of the Night by both fans and critics.

Add to that is on how he took the combo of Batista Bomb and RKO at the announce table, only to kick the Viper out of the way and make the Animal tap a few minutes later. Talk about resiliency.

Worst: Death of the Streak

It sent nothing but shockwaves to everyone watching around the world. Like really, this just happened: the Streak that has remained intact for 2 decades, got lost in a snap by Brock Lesnar?

Photo credits: WWE, The U.S. SUN

This would've counted as a best moment, too. But it went the other way around because Taker got concussed just a few minutes after the match (Man, imagine losing the match and you don't even remember a thing, to the extent that your boss and your dance partner have to accompany you to the nearest hospital to check on your well-being). Second, Brock was already an accomplished athlete. If there was someone who needed to break Taker's streak the most, it could've been Roman Reigns. That being said, it wasn't a goodbye match the Undertaker didn't went as planned (see that documentary series called The Last Ride for context).

WrestleMania 31

I kinda dig the early afternoon vibe of Mania, along with the modernized stage design plus a play button. Then, there's also Terminator, tanks, a strange vibe of seeing Undertaker when there's still daylight around.

Best: The Heist of the Century

While the buildup for the Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship became forced (like a VinnyMac's “wet dream”), the saving grace for a terrible ending of the event was Seth Rollins's cashing in his Money In The Bank contract for a guaranteed shot for the top prize.

Photo credits: WWE, Sky Sports

And what's more interesting during the stretch is that Rollins – who just took a loss earlier that afternoon to Randy Orton with an eye-candy mid-air RKO – suddenly barged in during the middle of the match itself. It was perhaps, not a heel opportunistic move compared to the previous cash-ins wherein its briefcase holder would crash their way at the end of a match. 

But lo and behold, the bold move to inject your way to a triple threat and stealing the title was still done in perfection. I doubt anyone can top that one, should any other person dare to crash their way to the title picture at the succeeding WrestleManias.

Worst: Stinger Got Stinged

Sure, we've got stellar entrances and nostalgic WWE vs WCW clan wars in Degeneration X and the New World Order. But I still believe Sting should've won the match, damn it!

Photo credits: WWE, The Sportster

Hey, when you've got a once-franchise player at the hood of your former rival company, and you did him dirty? That sounds like you haven't moved on from 2001 by constantly rubbing it in their faces 14 years later.

Besides, I don't get the handshake at the end of the match. Sure, showing respect to the competitor? But this ain't mixed martial arts fro Chrissakes, nor involve a story that involves a little bit of kindness during its build-up. Then, an hour later, one will gloat about the victory in a 20+ minute segment that feels like a senseless filler? 

Oh, man. That's a fucking bummer.

WrestleMania 32

The first Mania at the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, with a (disputed) crowd attendance which reminds me of how the NBA All-Star game managed to pull over 100K crowd there six years prior.

Best: Ryd-in' High

One probably wishes for this to happen, like “Come on, WWE, let the internet superstar have his moment.” Yeah, we got better than being nutted by Torrie Wilson back in Miami some 4 years prior.

Photo credits: WWE, YouTube

The ladder match for the Intercontinental Champions itself became a spectacle to kick off the main Mania program, with so many criss-cross clashes taking elsewhere – a 'spot fest,' if you will. 

And just when we thought The Miz was about to claim one of his IC title reigns, there goes a feel good moment for Zack Ryder, who threw his opponent down and out and reclaim his one-night only glory. Of course, knowing WWE didn't really take this guy seriously even with the program with Mike Mizanin? We all know it was bound to happen. It's just we're happy to see him savor his moment of immortality up there at the ladder in AT&T Stadium.

Worst: Thy Kingdom Crumble

While I love the fact that there's a Avenge Sevenfold track used on its promo, the main event is nothing but another Vince-shoving-up-to-our-ass booking. Sure, Hunter gets his 14th World title reign after beating him (and 29 others) at the Royal Rumble; but it was all done since VKM couldn't get the job done in putting Roman vs League of Nations.

Photo credits: WWE, Rolling Stone

And at the end of such a dragging match (and event, since it clocked nearly 5 hours for the main program), Reigns knocked off the Final Boss. And even with the superb showing, he's still a product of bad booking that WWE had no choice but to deal with the polarizing reactions from its fanbase. 

WrestleMania 33

Ahhh, a WrestleMania with a roller coaster design that makes one think Disneyland and Universal just converged in a PG-rated soap opera for the big boys. Should it be a thrilling ride, perhaps? Maybe, with a very stacked lineup, Gronkski making his appearance, and a sudden dramatic ending which made up tinker: will the Undertaker retire at the end of the night after losing his yard to The Big Dog?

Best: An Extreme Return 

Although this was rumored just hours before WrestleMania 33, the return of The Hardy Boyz was still explosive that if if the Camping World Stadium had a roof, it would definitely blow off to stratosphere. The wrestling world was abuzz through their Mania 33 cameo as if we're back to those Attitude Era days with Team Extreme. Everyone who missed the show live (like yours truly) were also in frenzy even if we just saw the news on Twitter.

Photo credits: WWE, The Sportster

And what better way to end their stint that night by doing a celebratory toasting of the belts the RAW Tag Team Championship in a Fatal 4-Way ladder match? 

My goodness.

Worst: The Eerie Loss 

Say what you want about the couple of times we have seen an eerie-creepy slide show at the canvas (which was nicely done as it seems, from the bird's eye view); but I think Bray Wyatt should've retained his title there.

Photo credits: WWE, Sportskeeda

But alas, with another record number of title reign under his belt, the sad thing about then-new WWE Champion Randy Orton is that he was reduced into a transitional champion—just like his previous opponent. Like seriously, Bray vs Randy had a story beforehand unlike the Randy vs Jinder which just had much sense after Jinder Mahal took the title off him at the Backlash PPV later that year.

Not to mention, they were placed at the middle part of the show which not everyone seemed to care about them. That, along with the other championship matches, turned out to be a long bathroom break stretch since people were drained from Seth Rollins vs HHH and there wasn't really a big match feel in between them and the No Holds Barred main event between Roman Reigns and The Undertaker.

Yeah, no wonder why it was voted the worst match of the year 2017.

WrestleMania 34 

Yes, it's on New Orleans again after four years. But no Hogan and its Silverdome jokes. Plus, there's another forced booking for the main event featuring the Beast Incarnate and The Big Dog in a somewhat animalistic yet unwatchable clash. And it's so hard to really pick anything good from this iteration, so we end up choosing our best moment from the pre-show.

Best: The Strange Alliance 

Matt Hardy just won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal thanks to an assist by an unlikely of the allies. Hardy had a very impressive feud with fellow bizarre yet anarchic rival Bray Wyatt. So, seeing them in one picture together was so weird but a feel good one, because eventually they went on to become tag team champions. 

Photo credits: WWE, WhatCulture Wrestling

Imagine seeing this at 6 in the morning of Monday at Skinny Mike's or just at your home or wherever you are in the Philippine shores. Good morning, indeed!

Worst: Breaking the Streak (again!?)

New Orleans was the place to be if you want to break a streak, eh? As if Brock vs. Taker '14 wasn't an enough proof of that. 


I mean, sure, Asuka's undefeated and unpinned streak is meant to end at some point, but at the expense of the Queen at the Showcase of the Immortals? And then, Asuka's career went mostly on a downward spiral afterwards? Man, why's that Vince hates Japanese wrestlers so much? (Don't count Yokozuna, by the way, for he's actually a Samoan.)

I could've picked other downside moments that took place during Mania '38, but with the loss and a sudden post-match congratulatory mark? Sure, it shows sportsmanship but on the flip side... man, that was like a baloney joke that didn't click at all when you delivered it during your stand-up gig.


In the next half of this series, we'll talk about my handpicked takes on the best and worst stuff that happened during WrestleMania 35 to 39.

Author: slickmaster | © 2024 The SlickMaster's Files

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