Posted by Evan Burke
With Wrestlemania less than 5 weeks away, the main events of the night have all been officially announced (outside of Triple H vs Brock Lesnar). We will get to see John Cena fight for redemption against The Rock, Alberto del Rio try to silence Jack Swagger, and C.M. Punk try to end “The Streak” of the Undertaker. Now that we know the main events of the night, the next weeks of programming will begin to focus on the undercard matches that will fill up the rest of the night. In the past there have been many forgettable matches on the Wrestlemania card, but every so often a gem is thrown in and surprises us all.
5. C.M. Punk vs Randy Orton, Wrestlemania 27
The main focus of this night was The Rock’s grand return to Wrestlemania, which is a hard thing to steal attention away from; fortunately Randy Orton and C.M. Punk were up to the challenge and succeeded. For weeks leading up to the match, C.M. Punk and his New Nexus had tormented Randy Orton and his family, which we all have seen is never a good thing to do. On the episodes of Raw leading up to their match, Orton defeated all of the members of the New Nexus, barring them from ringside at Wrestlemania. When these two finally met in the ring, they put on a great, fast paced match with lots of innovative offense. The finish came with Randy Orton hitting an RKO on Punk as he attempted a springboard clothesline from the top rope and getting the pin fall for the victory.
4. Triple H vs The Undertaker, Wrestlemania X-7
Before the No Holds Barred match, before the End of an Era, Triple H and The Undertaker met for their first Wrestlemania match in 2001. Triple H was on top of his game (pun intended), running through all challenges and backing down to nobody. The Undertaker was the American Badass, ditching his robes and druids for a motorcycle as he entered the 21st century. What was originally supposed to be a normally contested match soon turned into a street fight when the referee was knocked out and the two ring warriors took the fight into the crowd. Upon returning to the ring, Triple H’s infamous sledgehammer came into play but he was unable to overcome The Deadman, bringing the streak up to 9-0.
3. Triangle Ladder Match: Edge & Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz, Wrestlemania 2000
Oh, how we all miss the days where tag team wrestling actually meant something. At Wrestlemania 2000 we were treated to a match featuring the three best tag teams in the business at the time. The Dudleys came into the match as the tag team champion, defending against the young teams of Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz. These men put their bodies on the line, using the ladders in new and exciting ways. They also introduced tables and chairs into the match, which would be the inspiration for the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. The big spot of the night came when Jeff hardy hit a Swanton Bomb onto Bubba Ray Dudley through a table off of a 20 foot ladder. In the end, Edge & Christian would win the match and their first tag team championship after pushing Matt hardy through a table off the top of the ladders.
2. Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania 21
When you get two of the best technical wrestlers in the business together for a match, you are guaranteed to get an instant classic, and that is what Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle delivered. Their match began its build at the Royal Rumble when Angle attacked Michaels for eliminating him from the Rumble match. Over the next couple months, they would attack each other from behind and do whatever they could to get under each others’ skin. Angle even went so far as to attack people from Michaels’ past to torment him. When the bell rang, both men went back and forth in an incredible bout that kept everybody on the edge of their seats until Angle was finally able to overcome Michaels by making him submit to the Ankle Lock.
1. Hardcore Match: Edge vs Mick Foley, Wrestlemania 22
This match had all the makings to be forgotten but Edge and Mick Foley refused to let that happen. Their rivalry began when Mick Foley was the special referee in a WWE Championship match in which John Cena defeated Edge for the belt. Edge blamed Foley for “costing” him the title and his chance to headline Wrestlemania. He would challenge Foley to a match on the big stage to which Foley would raise the stakes and make it a hardcore match. From the second Edge comes storming through the smoke clutching his baseball bat to Foley’s barbed wire body armor, this match had hardcore written all over it. In an amazing finish, Edge speared Foley through a flaming table and covered him for the victory.
So, while we are all getting excited for the outcome to Cena vs Rock II, or if “The Streak” will finally come to an end, let us not forget the other guys on the card. While they may not be on all the posters and doing all of the talk shows, that does not limit them from stealing your breath and showing you a truly entertaining match.
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