Every year, there are matches at Wrestlemania that steal the show. Whether they are undercard matches or main events that are built up for months, they guarantee that no one will ever forget them. Unfortunately, this is not the case for every match at Wrestlemania. For every instant classic there is a “bathroom break”. Not to judge the match too soon, but the recently announced eight person tag team match between Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls versus Team Rhodes and the Bella Twins has all the makings to be another “bathroom break”. Here is a look back at the five worst matches of the 21st century at Wrestlemania (in chronological order).
If there was ever a time for a superstar to complain about part time talent taking up a spot on the Wrestlemania card, this was it. Featuring a plethora of WWE Hall of Famers, including Sgt. Slaughter, Michael Hayes, and The Iron Shiek, the match was quick but still painful to watch. Many of the men had a hard time moving around the ring, and all of them were well past their prime. The one saving grace of the match was the fun commentary provided by “Mean” Gene Okerlund and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, which was a good distraction from the uneventful activity in the ring. The Iron Shiek would go on to win the match after eliminating Hillbilly Jim, but suffered a Cobra Clutch from Sgt. Slaughter for his troubles. Bringing back WWE Legends for appearances is never a bad thing, but sticking them all in a match together is not an idea the WWE should revisit.
The rivalry between these two giants of wrestling started all the way back at the 2004 Royal Rumble when Lesnar came out and eliminated Goldberg from the match without being an actual participant. From there, Goldberg would go on to cost Brock the WWE Championship at No Way Out the next month, leading to them facing off on the Grandest Stage of Them All, with Stone Cold as the guest referee. It had all the makings to be an instant classic, until it soon came out that both men would be leaving the WWE after this match and the crowd turned on them. The men took what felt like an eternity to get the action going, which ended just as soon as it began, with Goldberg winning the match. After the post match celebration, Stone Cold ended up giving the Stunner to both men and giving them the proper send off they deserved.
Since Wrestlemania was in Hollywood in 2005, the WWE wanted to make sure that they had a celebrity match at their event. Unfortunately, the only person they seemed to be able to get was Akebono, a famous sumo wrestler. He would be booked to face The Big Show in a sumo match. This was not so much a terrible match as it was a terrible segment. The entrances and set up for the match took longer than the actual match itself, which lasted less than a minute. The finish came when Akebono knocked Big Show out of the ring, which is how one wins a sumo match. This is just one of the many embarrassing moments Show has had at Wrestlemania, and one that many of us wish we can forget.
Despite his popularity with the crowd, The Great Khali is someone who does not belong on the card at Wrestlemania. He does not have the best skill in the ring and has a hard time moving around fast enough given his size. On the other hand, Kane is someone who always deserves his spot on the card. His ability in the ring has only gotten better over time, and he has shown that he can still work with the younger talent, shown best in his current feud against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. So, it was unfortunate in 2007 that his talents were wasted when he was placed in a match against Khali. The action was very slow, with Kane working overtime to make the match look as good as it could, which ended up being an impossible task. In the end, Kane lost to The Great Khali in hopes of it getting him over, but it did not hold and Khali has now become a glorified jobber.
This match was made from one of the most annoying feuds in recent memory. It all started when Michael Cole became a huge supporter of The Miz after he successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank against Randy Orton. Jerry would soon begin a rivalry with The Miz, challenging him on several occasions for the title, but always coming up short thanks to interference from Cole. They would continue to bicker at ringside and even attack each other from time to time. It was finally announced that the two would face off at Wrestlemania, with Stone Cold serving as the referee as he has so many times in the past. The end result was a long and drawn out brawl pitting Lawler and Stone Cold against Cole and his trainer, Jack Swagger. The match seemed to be won by The King until the Anonymous Raw General Manager announced that due to Austin’s biased officiating, the decision was reversed and Michael Cole was named the winner. Fortunately for the audience at home, this provided an opportunity for King and his former broadcast partner, Jim Ross, to close out the night as the commentators after Stone Cold laid out all the other announcers with a series of Stunners.
After looking back at the past 13 years of Wrestlemania, one can see that every match was not an instant classic, but some stood out more than others for how awful they were. Whether it is a bunch of senior citizens limping around the ring or a seven foot giant who has a hard time turning, you can be sure you will not love every match at Wrestlemania. Hopefully the eight person tag match can be a surprise hit and not fall into this category, as no superstar wants to be just another “bathroom break”.