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The WrestleMania Top Twenty, Part 24

We are 16 days away from WrestleMania 32. As we continue down the road to the biggest show of the year, I continue to go through each show to prepare for the big day.

Instead of recapping every WrestleMania (other people here would do it much better than I would), I’ve been putting together a Top Ten list of WrestleMania matches and updating the list after I watch each event.

This time around, WWE wishes you were here for the “Biggest WrestleMania Under the Sun!”

WrestleManiaXXIV

WrestleMania XXIV – March 30, 2008

Hey look! It’s a widescreen WrestleMania on my television! Finally! Those black bars were really starting to annoy me…

This is one of my favorite WrestleManias of the last 10 years. Three really great matches on top, a surprise result in the WWE Title Triple Threat match and a Money in the Bank match that was, I think, much better than the previous two years.

WrestleMania XXIV is one of the few – if not the only – event of the modern era that I missed live because of lack of access at the time, where I was working on a Sunday night and had no WWE Network (THE HORROR!). But as soon as the DVD came out, I was all over it and it quickly became a favorite.

Best Match: Undertaker vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Championship. I honestly wasn’t expecting that, but Edge and Undertaker definitely had the match of the night. These two guys worked their asses off in the main event and built a match that was fitting to be in the final spot on the card. The crowd kept building to a crescendo, too, and when Edge finally tapped to the Hell’s Gate, the pop was pretty nuts. Of course, the pyro set off after the match sent a bunch of people to the hospital, but nothing goes off without a hitch, right?

Worst Match: Chavo Guerrero vs. Kane – ECW Championship. You have to wonder why they even bothered to bring ECW announcers Joey Styles and Tazz to Orlando for an 11-second squash in the one match where they have the singular spotlight. Kane won a preshow battle royal for the shot, sneaked in the ring behind Chavo during ring introductions and won with a chokeslam. Complete waste of time.

Show WWE The Money: I have a soft spot for the Big Show-Floyd Mayweather match at WrestleMania XXIV. Show was motivated and Mayweather seemed game to be tossed around at least a little bit. Of course, there was no way Mayweather was going to be the face here, as WWE intended when they started the program, and both guys adjusted to the roles that the fans chose for them. Having Mayweather’s handlers get destroyed was a good way for fans to get some catharsis, knowing “Money” wasn’t going to take a chokeslam. Although, I kind of shuddered watching the ending with some of the chair shots Show took from Mayweather. Easily Big Show’s best WrestleMania match.

Leave The Memories Alone: Coming in a close second for match of the night, the Shawn Michaels-Ric Flair match was the emotional centerpiece of the show. Flair wrestling his final WWE match the night after being inducted into the Hall of Fame, losing to the guy who arguably took his spot as the best in the business. It was the natural end for the “Nature Boy’s” career (as long as you ignore that whole TNA stint… and I think Flair does at this point, too).

Anything Can Happen: Maybe WWE was forecasting the end of the WWE Title Triple Threat when they had their text poll, asking fans who they thought would win. Randy Orton, the defending champion, was a distant third while fans expected either Triple H or John Cena to leave with the title. But the Viper managed to slither out of Orlando with the title to the shock of pretty much everyone.

Anything Can Happen 2: When CM Punk grabbed the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania XXIV, I would have bet any amount of money to say that Punk would have been the first cash-in to fail. After three straight years of title changes due to the briefcase, and not believing that WWE would get behind someone like Punk, his losing a cash-in attempt seemed like a good bet. Boy, was I wrong.

Guilty Pleasure: I admit, I enjoy the JBL character more than I probably should. I love the man’s entrance music, I thought he was great on the mic as a competitor (less so now as a commentator) and I generally enjoyed what he did in the ring. So, having said that, it should be no surprise that I love the JBL-Finlay Belfast Brawl that kicks off WrestleMania XXIV. The match is a fun brawl that sets the pace for the rest of the night.

Lights Out, Ladies: Even the Citrus Bowl in Orlando didn’t care about the Bunny Mania lumberjill match pitting Melina and Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix vs. Ashley and Maria. Halfway through the match, the lights went out in the arena, leaving only an emergency spotlight to show the action in the ring. It’s not the worst match ever, as Beth and Melina were able to carry the brunt, and for the most part it was just meant to get Santino over as a jerk. Plus, it gave Snoop Dogg a chance to make out with Maria, something I think we would all like the chance to do…

The Top Twenty! 

We get some more movement, as Shawn Michaels and Undertaker battle to see who can have the best night. I think that will become a theme the next two years…

*DISCLAIMER* The Top Twenty is (obviously) my opinion and meant only to spur on discussion. Leave any and all comments down below (Match winners are in italics).

1 – Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – Submission Match (WrestleMania 13)

2 –  “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat – Intercontinental Title Match (WrestleMania III)

3 – The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – No DQ WWF Title Match (WrestleMania X-Seven)

4 – Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit – World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat (WrestleMania XX)

5 – Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior – WWF Title vs. Intercontinental Title (WrestleMania VI)

6 – Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – WWF Title Iron Man Match (WrestleMania XII)

7 – Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Dudley Boyz – Tag Team Title TLC Match (WrestleMania X-Seven)

8 – Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania XIX)

9 – Edge vs. Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin – Money In The Bank Ladder Match (WrestleMania 21)

10 – Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. “The Rocket” Owen Hart (WrestleMania X)

11 – Ultimate Warrior vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage – Career Ending Match (WrestleMania VII)

12 – Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)

13 – Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Intercontinental Title Ladder Match (WrestleMania X)

14 – Undertaker vs. Edge – World Heavyweight Title Match (WrestleMania XXIV)

15 – Eddy Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle – WWE Title Match (WrestleMania XX)

16 – Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair – Career Threatening Match (WrestleMania XXIV)

17 – Undertaker vs. Randy Orton (WrestleMania 21)

18 – Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar – WWE Title Match (WrestleMania XIX)

19 – “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock (WrestleMania X8)

20 – John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Title (WrestleMania 23)

Bonus Lists! 

Top Twenty Celebrity Appearances

Mike Tyson – WrestleMania XIV

Pete Rose – WrestleMania XIV/WrestleMania XV/WrestleMania 2000

Bob Uecker – WrestleMania III/WrestleMania IV

Mary Hart – WrestleMania III

Cyndi Lauper – WrestleMania I

Donald Trump – WrestleMania 23

Snoop Dogg – WrestleMania XXIV

Alex Trebek – WrestleMania VII

Vanna White – WrestleMania IV

Burt Reynolds – WrestleMania X

Regis Philbin – WrestleMania VII

Gennifer Flowers – WrestleMania XIV

Jonathan Taylor Thomas – WrestleMania XI

LT’s All-Pro Team (Reggie White, Steve McMichael, Carl Banks, Rickey Jackson, Chris Spielman, and Ken Norton Jr.) – WrestleMania XI

Muhammad Ali – WrestleMania I

Elvira – WrestleMania 2

Jenny McCarthy – WrestleMania XI

Alice Cooper – WrestleMania III

Pamela Anderson – WrestleMania XI

Ozzy Osbourne – WrestleMania 2

Top 15 WrestleMania Musical Acts 

Ray Charles, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania 2

Little Richard, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania X

Fife and Drum Corp performing Piper’s entrance – WrestleMania I

John Legend, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania XXIV

Steve Allen rehearses in bathroom with the Bolsheviks – WrestleMania VI

Drowning Pool, Tear Away – WrestleMania X8

Aretha Franklin, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania III / WrestleMania 23

Boys Choir of Harlem, American the Beautiful – WrestleMania XX

P.O.D., Booyaka – WrestleMania 22

Boyz II Men, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania XV

Motorhead, The Game – WrestleMania X-Seven / WrestleMania 21

Jones High School Marching Band, The Time is Now – WrestleMania XXIV

Limp Bizkit, Crack Addict – WrestleMania XIX

DX Band, DeGeneration X theme – WrestleMania XIV

Willie Nelson, America the Beautiful – WrestleMania VII