The Top 10 Most Underrated WrestleMania Matches
By Tony Kegger
There are a lot of classic matches at WrestleMania that everyone remembers, but I have found out that there are several great matches that don’t get enough attention. I decided to give attention to those matches. The title says “underrated WrestleMania matches”, but I’m not focusing on matches that are only underrated. I read an underrated WrestleMania list that had Kane vs. Undertaker from WrestleMania 14 as the most underrated WrestleMania match of all-time. The match probably deserves a little bit more praise than it currently gets, but Kane vs. Undertaker is a very well-known match. Any Undertaker match at WrestleMania is a well-known match. When I started making this list, I decided I wanted to focus mainly on matches that are forgotten and/or under-appreciated. There may be some matches on this list you have seen, some matches you have heard about but never seen, and some matches you never knew existed. This list will not have matches from legends like Hogan, Undertaker, Austin, and Rock. Even their bad matches are matches people have seen or heard about. This list will not have matches that were in the main event of WrestleMania or matches that featured a World Championship. This list will not have any match from a WrestleMania as recent as WrestleMania 23 because even if they are underrated, it’s likely many people have seen or heard of the match. If I didn’t pick a match that you think is underrated, it is because I thought it was too well-known or I thought it didn’t deserve more attention than the attention it is currently getting. The matches I picked were matches that I felt are truly underrated and needs to get more attention. Not all of these matches will be matches that are completely forgotten. Some of them you may recognize. My list is a combination of forgotten and under-appreciated matches. I tried to mostly include great matches that are completely ignored, but I also included some great matches that should be considered classics and they aren’t. One thing all of the matches have in common is that I enjoyed them a lot and I think it’s disappointing that people don’t appreciate these matches as much as they should.
I have one last thing to mention before I start the list. The order of the matches isn’t by how great they are, but by how underrated they are.
10. “The Narcissist” Lex Luger vs. Mr. Perfect – WrestleMania 9 (10:56)
This match barely made my list. I don’t think it goes under the under-appreciated category, but it’s definitely forgotten in my opinion. I had never heard of this match before I started doing research for this column. One of the reasons why it’s never mentioned is because people say that WrestleMania 9 was arguably the worst WrestleMania of all-time. When people hear that about WrestleMania 9, no one is going to watch a mid-card match from that event unless they have to. This match isn’t a classic, but it features a Hall of Famer (Perfect) and someone worthy of the Hall of Fame (Luger). I liked the match, but I didn’t love it. What made me keep the match in this list was the commentary from Jim Ross, Macho Man, and Bobby Heenan. They were a great commentary team during this match and they noticed things I wouldn’t have noticed without their help. They showed why announcers are so important and it was fun to listen to Heenan rooting for Luger during the whole match. The combination of the great commentary team and two great in-ring workers made this a match that should be viewed at least one time.
9. Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James – WrestleMania 22 (08:48)
Here is one of those matches that many people have probably seen or have at least heard about. Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James should not be on this list because it is arguably the greatest women’s WrestleMania match of all-time. Unfortunately, it does not get enough attention. The match doesn’t get completely ignored, but I think a match that is the best women’s WrestleMania match ever should be appreciated a little bit more. What makes this match so famous is that it probably got the best crowd reaction for a women’s WrestleMania match. The fans were reacting to every move in the match and they were rooting for Mickie who was the heel in this match. I think without the reaction from the crowd, this match is just another women’s match at WrestleMania. Mickie did something in this match that was so controversial that WWE edited out of the DVD so watch the unedited internet version of this match and not the DVD version. It’s surprising to me that Trish Stratus will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on the night before WrestleMania 29 and I don’t see anyone talking about this underrated and under-appreciated WrestleMania match.
8. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio – WrestleMania 21 (12:39)
I can’t believe I am putting an Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio match on an underrated list, but this match needs to get mentioned. I’ve seen this match a few times and each time I thought it was a great match. I read some reviews of this match and the average rating is ***1/2. I think that’s too low and I would give it at least four stars. I can see why some people would underrate this match. Their WCW match at Halloween Havoc was a lot better and more famous than this match. Also, when you think of their best WrestleMania matches, you think about Eddie vs. Angle and Rey winning the World Heavyweight Championship, not this match. This match probably had high expectations and they weren’t met so people try to forget this match. And it didn’t help that Rey was adjusting his mask every 10 seconds during the match. Oh and one more thing, this is the WrestleMania that had the first Money in the Bank match and HBK vs. Angle. So I can see why this match is forgotten, but that doesn’t mean I agree with that. I enjoyed this match a lot. I didn’t know about any high expectations for this match and I didn’t care about the matches Eddie and Rey had in the past. I didn’t try to compare this match to other matches they had at WrestleMania and I didn’t focus too much on Rey’s mask. I just tried to enjoy the action in the match and this is a very entertaining match. It is fast-paced and some of the spots are amazing. I’m not a big Eddie Guerrero fan, but I think this match is excellent. It’s one of the best opening matches of WrestleMania in my opinion.
7. Chris Jericho vs. Christian – WrestleMania 20 (14:44)
I don’t think this match deserves to be underrated, but unfortunately it is. When I saw WrestleMania 20 for the first time, this was one of the matches I enjoyed the most. Everyone says Jericho vs. Michaels from WrestleMania 19 is Jericho’s best WrestleMania match, but I think I like this match more. Jericho and Christian are two of the best in-ring performers in WWE history and they had a classic match. I think it is one of Christian’s best singles matches ever. WrestleMania 20 had a lot of main event matches and this match got forgotten because it was a mid-card match. In my opinion, the only match better than this match at WrestleMania 20 was the triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship so I definitely think this match deserves to be appreciated more. Nothing memorable happened during the match, but it’s an enjoyable wrestling match featuring two great wrestlers. It’s only at #7 on my list because it’s not really an underrated match, but it has become forgotten and doesn’t get enough appreciation. Jericho is a future Hall of Famer and this is his second best WrestleMania match. This match is as good as the other WrestleMania classics that people talk about all the time. Most people who watch this match do give it the rating it deserves, but I think it deserves to get just as much attention as the Jericho vs. Michaels match.
6. Haku & The Barbarian vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) – WrestleMania 7 (10:41)
I really didn’t want to put a Shawn Michaels match on this list. He is Mr. WrestleMania so how can he have a match that is underrated and under-appreciated? It’s impossible I thought. Even his lesser known WrestleMania matches are matches people have at least heard about. I just assumed there would be no HBK matches worthy of my list, but I was wrong. I had never heard of this Rockers tag team match before I did my research for this list. I almost didn’t watch it because I had planned to avoid any match with Shawn Michaels, but I thought maybe I could make an exception for this match because it wasn’t a singles match. So I watched the match and I was very impressed. Both teams did an outstanding job and they really understood how important WrestleMania is. I hate seeing boring matches on Pay-Per-Views. It is my opinion that every PPV match requires everyone in the match to do at least one or two spots they don’t do on free TV. I’m paying money to see your match so I want to see something that I wouldn’t see for free on Monday Night RAW. The guys in this match did great spots that were very unique and creative. I saw stuff that I don’t see in tag team matches today and this match is more than 20 years old. I loved the effort by both teams. It really looked like their goal was to steal the show and not just have an ordinary tag team match. I’m glad I watched this match and I recommend anyone who hasn’t seen it to watch this match.
5. Cruiserweight Open: Chavo Guerrero vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Shannon Moore vs. Jamie Noble vs. Funaki vs. Nunzio vs. Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Tajiri vs. Akio – WrestleMania 20 (10:28)
The first time I watched this match was when I purchased the WrestleMania 20 DVD. I think the main reason I watched it was because Billy Kidman was in it and I wanted to see a Billy Kidman match. This match amazed me. Some of the spots in this match were unbelievable. During the match, I was thinking that it was surprising that this match doesn’t get mentioned at all. It’s not a classic and it does have a lot of pinfalls for a 10 minute match (it was an elimination match), but the match is very entertaining. The action doesn’t slow down at all and it’s enjoyable from beginning to end. It’s not a five star classic, but it’s a fun match and you can’t say that about many WrestleMania matches.
4. Marc Mero & Sable vs. The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust & Luna – WrestleMania 14 (09:10)
This match is probably the greatest WWE mixed tag team match of all-time and it seems like many people don’t realize that. This is a great match for my list because it has everything I was looking for when I started making this list. It’s underrated, it’s under-appreciated, and it’s forgotten. Look at the people in this match. It has zero WWE Hall of Famers. Sable might get in the Hall of Fame someday, but she’s not a lock. Goldust has a chance, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he never gets inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mero and Luna have no chance of making the Hall of Fame. This is a match-up you look at and I think most people would immediately think this is not a match worth seeing, but they are wrong. It’s not a classic, but it’s definitely an entertaining match. What helped this match was the crowd. In my opinion, a good crowd can really make a match look better. It helped Hogan vs. Rock, Cena vs. Triple H, Trish vs. Mickie, and it helped this match. The fans wanted to see Sable fight Luna and they were going crazy every time Sable was tagged into the match. What also helped was that Mero and Goldust looked good in this match. This match needed everyone to bring their best and that’s what they did. The match was booked perfectly and a match that didn’t look great on paper ended up being one of the best matches of WrestleMania 14. It’s probably my favorite Goldust match because I can’t think of a Goldust match I enjoyed more than this match.
3. The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) vs. The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) – WrestleMania 9 (14:22)
This is another match I had never heard of. I never knew the Steiners were in a WrestleMania match and I had never heard of The Headshrinkers. I just found out recently that Fatu is Rikishi. The first time I found this match was when I starting looking for matches for this list and this match happened almost 20 years ago. I really liked this match. One of the reasons it is so high on my list is because it is so forgotten, but I wouldn’t have put this match at #3 if I didn’t like it. Just like the Luger vs. Perfect match, the commentary team was Ross, Macho Man, and Heenan so I enjoyed that a lot, but the action in the ring was great. It’s a match that you got to see the whole match to appreciate. You can’t just watch two minutes of it, and say “This is boring”. During the match, I was thinking that the match was okay, but by the end I realized it was a really good match. I saw a lot of boring matches while creating this list so I definitely appreciated this match. One of the things I was looking for when picking matches was how many times I said, “Holy shit that was awesome” during the match and I said that a few times in this match. There were some really good spots and there was a spot near the end that was so amazing that people need to see this match just to see that spot. The commentary really helped because Ross, Macho Man, and Heenan knew how to call a match. They did a great job talking about the match and explaining what was happening. After I saw this match, I knew I had to include it in this list of underrated matches. If someone asks me to recommend a great WrestleMania match they haven’t seen yet, I’m definitely going to tell them to watch this match.
2. The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) vs. The Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake) – WrestleMania 2 (13:03)
If any of my matches on this list are going to be a controversial selection, it’s probably this one. I think most fans who have seen WrestleMania 2 will argue that this match is not underrated because it is probably the best match of WrestleMania 2. How can a match that stole the show be on an underrated list and be at #2? The reason is that I think this match is a classic and I feel that it isn’t really recognized as a classic WrestleMania match. In my opinion, it’s the best two-on-two tag team match in WrestleMania history. I can’t think of a better one. I don’t know how a match this great gets so little attention. Maybe it’s because it is a match from the 1980s, but that doesn’t stop Steamboat vs. Savage from getting attention. I consider myself a big wrestling fan and this was a match I had never seen or heard of. I bought WrestleMania 1 thru 5 on DVD a few months ago and I wanted to see the three Dynamite Kid matches from those WrestleManias. This was one of the first matches I watched after I received the DVD set and I loved it. It’s a very entertaining match and it features four great wrestlers. Only Greg Valentine is in the WWE Hall of Fame right now, but I think the British Bulldogs and Brutus Beefcake deserve to be inducted someday. It shouldn’t have taken me so long to find out about this match. I should have heard about it years ago. It’s one of the best WrestleMania matches of all-time and more people should be talking about it.
1. Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila – WrestleMania 14 (05:47)
Before I created my underrated list, this was the first match I knew I was going to include for sure. It was the first and only time the Light Heavyweight Championship was defended at WrestleMania. Out of all the matches on the list, this match is the shortest and the most underrated. Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila is unlike any WrestleMania match I have seen. I think it is the only lucha libre style match at WrestleMania. If a Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio match ever happens at WrestleMania, this is what it would probably look like. I thought less than six minutes is not enough time to have a great match at WrestleMania, but I was wrong. They were able to get in the same amount of great spots you would see in a 15 minute match. It was like watching highlights of a full-length match because almost every spot in this match is great. If this match got 10-12 minutes and if the crowd was a little bit hotter, I think it could have been one of the greatest WrestleMania matches of all-time. It falls short of being a classic, but I don’t know why this match is completely ignored. It’s like this match doesn’t even exist. This match is so underrated, that it doesn’t even appear in articles that discuss WrestleMania’s most underrated matches. I had to put this match at #1 because it doesn’t deserve to be ignored. It’s one of the most entertaining WrestleMania matches I have ever seen and people need to see it.
If you do a Google search, you should be able to find all of these matches in full on either YouTube or Dailymotion. I’m guessing that if you haven’t seen every WrestleMania, there are at least a few matches here that you haven’t seen so watch them sometime and you will see why they are some of the most underrated WrestleMania matches of all-time.
Terrific idea for a column, Tony! Eddie vs. Rey was just great stuff!
Yeah Eddie vs. Rey is awesome.