Liam Hoofe ranks every WrestleMania main event from worst to best…
The main event of Wrestlemania is or at least should be, the biggest WWE match in a calendar year. We hear wrestlers talk over and over again in video packages about how they watched Hogan slam Andre the Giant and have dreamt of being the victor on the grandest stage of all themselves.
The final slot on the biggest card of the year is highly coveted, but does being the ‘biggest’ match of the year also mean you are going to be one of the best? The main event of Wrestlemania has had some serious ups and downs over the years in terms of quality and with Wrestlemania 33 just around the corner, I have decided to sit back, relax, and watch all 32 main events to date.
So to celebrate this year’s Wrestlemania, here is my list of all 32 Wrestlemania main events to date, ranked from worst to best…
32) Hulk Hogan Vs King Kong Bundy – Wrestlemania 2
Wrestlemania 2 was an odd event. Taking place in three different cities, and on a Monday night, the show doesn’t really hold much of a torch to its predecessor.
The main event saw Hulk Hogan defending his WWE title against the number 1 contender King Kong Bundy. The narrative of the match focuses on a kayfabe rib injury suffered by Hogan caused by Bundy in the leadup. The match is woeful and is a pretty standard Hogan match, with The Hulkster hulking up towards the end to pick up the victory.
Of all the Mania main events I watched, this is perhaps the only one I could find nothing good to say about.
31) Hulk Hogan Vs Sgt Slaughter – Wrestlemania VII
There’s nothing quite like exploiting a real life war to push your main event storyline. The WWE have a long and storied history of using real life issues to further their product and Wrestlemania VII’s main event between Sgt Slaughter and Hulk Hogan is one of the most infamous examples.
With the gulf war raging on WWE decided to have Sgt Slaughter turn into an Iraqi sympathiser and deface the American flag. Hogan, being the all American hero that he is, stood up to Slaughter and took his title at the end of the match in the name of America.
The match sucks. It follows the usual Hogan formula to a tee and by this point, it’s incredibly tiring. Wrestlemania VII has some high points, this certainly isn’t one of them.
30) Lawrence Taylor Vs Bam-Bam-Bigelow – Wrestlemania XI
WWE fans complain about the company’s reliance on part-time stars to carry Wrestlemania year in, year out. We should be grateful at least that Mania is being main-evented by legitimate wrestlers.
Back in 1995 the WWE was not in good shape. Ratings were dropping by the week, and major stars had begun to jump ship. Vince decided then that it would be a good idea to have Lawrence Taylor, a former NFL linebacker headline Wrestlemania against Bam Bam Bigelow.
Now as celebrities wrestling goes, this isn’t terrible, but as Wrestlemania main events go, this is appalling.
Bam Bam Bigelow does his best to carry the matchup, but Taylor is quite clearly not prepared for the physicality involved in the match. A few minutes into the event Taylor is notably drained, and he can barely stand up. The match is a boring slog fest, and the finish is lame.
Post match Taylor is done. He has to be carried out of the ring by his entourage and can barely see straight. This is a terrible match, and, I suppose, a fitting way to end one of the worst Manias in the company’s history.
29) Hogan Vs Sid Justice- Wrestlemania VIII
Most of the old big man main events are poor by today’s standards, but Hulk Hogan Vs Sid Justice at Wrestlemania VIII is easily one of the worst from Hogan’s reign of dominance.
While the crowd was excited by it, there is very little to get involved with as a modern day viewer. The men spend the majority of the matches even posing, like they are trying to build their finishing move on a video game or, having tests of strength in the middle of the ring.
The ending, which comes after a few minutes of them clotheslining each other, is laughable. Hogan hits the leg drop on Sid, Sid kicks out, then Harvey Wippleman interferes to give the match a DQ finish. Except…. none of that was supposed to happen. What was meant to happen was Papa Shango was meant to come down to the ring to break the pin and end the match, except, he missed his cue and they had to improvise. The look on Shango’s face when he arrives on the entrance way says it all- this was a shambles. Following this Warrior arrives to save the day for Hogan and the two embrace in the ring. This is also notable for being the only Mania main event match to end in a DQ.