The Ultimate WrestleMania Card Challenge

Narrowing down 35 events into one ultimate card.

WrestleMania
Source: BleacherReport

Across many pubs and restaurants over the last few decades, it’s quite common for fans around the world to discuss their fantasies. These could be what their first choice XI would be for their chosen football team, or it could be what two competitors they would love to face one another, such as in the world of boxing or wrestling.

I’ve even seen many Film Twitter discussions suggesting if they had to lose one out of four options (usually regarding a director or actor’s filmography, or just similar movies), which one would they pick? But one of the most difficult of challenges are the ultimate choices, where you may have to choose a Best XI featuring only one member of each club squad, or in this instance, the ultimate card.

The cltimate WrestleMania card is a relatively simple idea, where you have to create a WrestleMania Card featuring one match from every WrestleMania, totalling a 35 match card (no, we will not be considering the upcoming WrestleMania 36 in this example). But where we complicate this simplistic idea, is with the following rules, beginning with the fact that a competitor can only appear once.So, for instance, no Bret Hart against Owen Hart at WrestleMania X and then another match against ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13, it’s one or the other, double duty is not an option.

The second rule is that Pre-show matches cannot count, so that means I couldn’t even include the underrated Cruiserweight Championship match between Neville and Austin Aries, any match chosen has to have occurred on the main card.

The third rule, and the one that will definitely make things more difficult, is that every championship that appeared at WrestleMania must have a representation on this ultimate card. Now to be fair, it isn’t necessarily an enforced rule, other challengers may decide as long as they have, for instance, at least one tag team title match and one Women’s match, then that’s good enough. However, in my unfortunate stubbornness, I have decided to, as they say, “Go big or go home”, and will enforce the strictest of these rules.

The only two I could not include were the Divas Championship, and the Women’s Tag Team Championship, as they have both only appeared once. As I couldn’t fairly choose one over the other, without showing favouritism, or choose both without voiding my other rules, I’ve decided to remove both from the challenge. Because of this, there will inevitably be some surprise match choices on this card, but with these three rules, it does make things more difficult. But without further ado, it’s time for the ultimate WrestleMania.

 

WrestleMania

Career Vs $15,000 Body Slam Challenge

Andre The Giant Vs Big John Studd w/ Bobby Heenan

Unfortunately, the early WrestleMania cards are relatively weak in terms of star power and good matches, so rather than go for the main event and losing out on four possible main eventers in one go, I went with a crowd pleasing match where Andre took on the Heenan Family. The prospect of anybody being able to Body Slam Andre was shocking to the crowds, due to the uncomparable size of him at the time, but by adding such huge stakes to the match, with Andre’s career on the line against a substantial amount of money ($15,000 in 1984 was the equivalent of just under $37,500 in today’s market), it added to the spectacle of the match.

With Andre a fading force in comparison to his younger years, it’s nice to see him at least feature on this ultimate card for the tremendous work he did over the years, plus any match featuring Heenan is a positive. Andre against Studd was a slight tactical battle, both men having to batter the other down enough to gain an advantage for hitting a Body Slam, a move that at the time had already been made relatively generic, but here became the most important move of the match.

Following Andre’s victory, in a moment representative of his popularity with the adoring crowd, he would throw the money into the crowd, causing Heenan to sneak in and steal the money back, to the chagrin of the fans. However, that throwing of the money would not only prove a highlight of the night, but would become one of the first memorable moments made at a WrestleMania event.

 

WrestleMania 2

Boxing Match

Mr. T Vs Roddy Piper

With WrestleMania being an opportunity for celebrities outside of wrestling to get heavily involved, it only makes sense to include the original WrestleMania special celebrity, the one and only Mr. T, who would take on the charismatic but villainous Roddy Piper. The match itself unfortunately was surprisingly weak, unable to truly involve the audience until the end, where Piper would get himself disqualified relatively early once Mr. T began to take control of the rounds.

The lack of connection would seemingly be due to the fact that the majority of wrestling fans don’t tune in to watch boxing, or MMA fighters, or even guest hosts, they tune in to see wrestling, first and foremost, a preference unfortunately ignored at times by promoters who believe they know better. However, due to the historical significance of Mr. T being involved, this is an understandable choice in our ultimate WrestleMania card.

This WrestleMania is mostly remembered as the one where Vince McMahon attempted too much experimentation for his own good, having the event originate in three different locations, creating a messy broadcast that has yet to be repeated…so far. (Note – within a day of me writing this, it was announced that WrestleMania 36 might originate from two separate locations. How timely of me.)

 

WrestleMania III

Intercontinental Championship

‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage w/ Miss Elizabeth Vs Ricky Steamboat

The Intercontinental Championship has featured in many classic matches and is renowned as the championship often rewarded to the workhorse of the WWE. The names that have become synonymous with the championship are long and varied, but one of the original bouts that helped elevate the championship was this one.

Savage would end up being elevated to the WWF Championship, with his tremendous performances as Intercontinental Champion being one of the many reasons why. Savage’s maniacal method of planning his entire match beat-by-beat would inspire a generation of stars, and Steamboat is still renowned as one of the finest sellers and fluid wrestlers in the history of the business. A well deserved choice.

 

WrestleMania IV

Six-Man Tag Team Match

The British Bulldogs & Koko B. Ware Vs The Islanders & Bobby Heenan

With a slim list of options at WrestleMania IV, due to wanting to save certain wrestlers for other matches, I’d have to go with a relatively inoffensive six-man tag team match, that would predominantly be about entertainment and a crowd-pleasing revenge on Heenan.

Koko appeared at several WrestleMania events and Heenan himself is as synonymous with WrestleMania as any individual in history, whether regularly seen at ringside as manager or alongside Gorilla Monsoon as commentator. Bulldogs and Islanders would most likely offer the hard hitting action, whilst Heenan and Koko would entertain.

 

WrestleMania V

Tag Team Match

Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) Vs The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) w/ Bobby Heenan

With Randy Savage unfortunately already in use for WrestleMania 3, the explosion of the Mega-Powers was not possible to include, so here is a tag team match featuring two WrestleMania veterans in Martel and Santana, and one of the finest tag teams in The Brain Busters.

Anderson and Blanchard would get p;enty of opportunities to appear at the biggest show of the year for WWE, so it is relatively gratifying to see them appear on this ultimate card. This match would most likely have been a possible show stealer nowadays.

 

WrestleMania VI

Million Dollar Championship

‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil Vs Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts

As the only defence of this championship in WrestleMania history, this match was one of the easiest choices to make in order to fulfil my own strict obligations of every championship being defended. But it does mean we get to see two of the more underappreciated legends of WrestleMania history feature on this ultimate card; Roberts had so far appeared at all but the first WrestleMania (and in the future would become an early victim of the infamous Undertaker’s Streak), whilst DiBiase first appeared at WrestleMania IV in three tournament matches, eventually losing to Randy Savage in the final.

An interesting sidenote, the creation of the Million Dollar Championship allegedly originated from that Tournament Final, as Randy Savage received the championship to make up for The Honky Tonk Man refusing to drop the Intercontinental Championship to him. However, DiBiase had been promised a title run (and was meant to win the championship in that final), so as an apology, he was given his own championship, the aforementioned Million Dollar Championship.

The politics of professional wrestling strike again. Thankfully, no real classics missed out from this event due to this rule, although we won’t always be so lucky.

 

WrestleMania VII

WWF Intercontinental Championship

Mr Perfect Vs Big Boss Man

On a card unfortunately short on options, we’ve had to return to the Intercontinental well, this time featuring one of the finest wrestlers of the 1980s, Mr Perfect. Curt Henning was one of those amazing athletes that could truly live their gimmick, being able to put his hands to any sport or challenge and succeeding. One of Henning’s main strengths was his outstanding selling, which made him a vastly popular opponent for all wrestlers, not least helped by his reputation as a practical joker.

Boss Man was an underrated big man in the wrestling world, much more agile and faster than the majority of his compatriots, as well as a respected babyface. Even if we are low on options for this card, it is a pleasure to be able to see two legends take on one another in the squared circle on the biggest stage possible.

 

WrestleMania VIII

Singles Match

Sid Vicious Vs Hulk Hogan

hulk hogan
Source: WWE

It’s taken several WrestleManias, but we finally have the man who originally helped elevate the world of wrestling to unknown levels of popularity, Vince McMahon’s perfect symbol of Sports Entertainment. Hogan always represented the American Hero, the do-gooder who would spout the importance of prayer and vitamins (all things that have become more ironic over the decades, what with stories of Hogan’s racism, steroid use and backstage politics having become more predominant), someone audiences could flock to in beloved appreciation.
His main style of feuds would usually consist of Hogan battling against a big monster or a foreign heel, being beaten down before coming back to gain victory on behalf of his ‘Hulkamaniacs’.

Unfortunately, due to the strict rules in enforcement for this PPV, we end up with him facing a big monster in Sid Vicious, but end up with the first ever kick out from the Leg drop Of Doom by Sid Vicious.

Whilst this was a huge moment, unfortunately it was more because Papa Shango was late running to the ring, not because Hogan was making Sid look good on the way out. Can’t say any of us can be truly surprised.

 

WrestleMania IX

Singles Match

Razor Ramon Vs Bob Backlund

In the midst of a surprising return to the main roster, Backlund would take on one of the most popular members of the WWF roster, ‘Da’ Bad Guy’ Ramon, who would in just a few short years be the man who introduced the world to the New World Order. But for the moment, this would be a solid match where a veteran of the WWF would put over a popular fixture of the midcard. The fact Ramon never went on to become WWF Champion will forever be a slight mystery to many of his fans.

 

WrestleMania X

Women’s Championship

Alundra Blayze Vs Leilani Kai

Whilst not my actual choice for the Women’s Championship match, I do prefer this match over the lacklustre Yokozuna title defence against Lex Luger. Blayze’s history as Women’s Champion will always be tainted by her discarding of the belt into a trashcan on WCW Monday Nitro, but she was actually putting together solid matches as Champion.

Unfortunately, whilst this was a solid defence, she was in the wrong decade in terms of gaining respect from WWF for her work in the Women’s Division. But here, we can at least highlight her for her tremendous work over the previous decade.

 

WrestleMania XI

Singles Match

Bam Bam Bigelow Vs Lawrence Taylor

Bam Bam Bigelow

 

A surprisingly solid match that, while reflective of a weak card, is an opportunity for Bigelow to get an appreciative spotlight for the ultimate carry job, playing to Taylor’s strengths and hiding his weaknesses. For the tremendous work Bigelow displayed, he really deserved more from the Office, but it’s good to see him able to appear on this prestigious card.

 

WrestleMania XII

Tag Team Match

The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) w/ Sunny Vs The Godwinns w/ Hillbilly Jim

Unfortunately, I have had to break my own rule, as every single match on this card featured at least one wrestler who featured elsewhere, and with no options on the card, I had to take this match from the Pay-Per-View Free For All (although weirdly when I first watched this event on VHS, it was included on the main card).

This match was actually the finals of a Tag Team Championship tournament, owing to Billy Gunn of the Smokin’ Gunns having to forfeit the championship. In my mind, we would just have this match on our version of a pre-show.

 

WrestleMania 13

Submissions Only Match

Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart Vs ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin

There were not many matches that automatically “Had to be on the Card”, but this was definitely at the top of the list. While some others I haven’t been able to include due to requirements, I’ve been lucky to include this classic.

One of the most highly rated matches in WrestleMania history, with blood-soaked imagery that has impressed upon an entire generation, it also includes the perfect double-turn.

Beginning with a do-gooder Hart against an uncaring Austin, it was in Austin’s refusal to submit that would endear him to the audience, whilst a bitter Hart would change his reputation forever as he bitterly turned on the people he once called his fans. Of all the moments that would help catapult Austin to being the biggest star in wrestling, this match was close to the top, and well deserved.

 

WrestleMania XIV

Light Heavyweight Championship

Taka Michinoku Vs Aguila

Despite the Light Heavyweight Championship having been ongoing until 2001 and featuring several fan favourites such as Dean Malenko, Tajiri, and Jeff Hardy, it actually only featured once on a WrestleMania card, with the maligned TAKA Michinoku of future Kai En Tai fame defending against Aguila.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with his opponent, Aguila would return in 2000 to defeat Gillberg for this very championship, under a new guise of Essa Rios and accompanied by a little known valet called Lita, who went on to have a very successful career alongside The Hardy Boyz and the Rated-R Superstar, Edge.

Whilst the Cruiserweight Championship would have a much better appreciation over the next few decades, the unheralded and unappreciated Light Heavyweight Championship would sadly be unified and replaced by the WCW Cruiserweight Championship at Survivor Series 2001, a rare admittance from WWE during the Invasion that yes, WCW did do it better.

 

WrestleMania XV

European Championship

Shane McMahon Vs X-Pac

Shane McMahon 2017

It may surprise many to hear that whilst WrestleMania XV was a success headlined by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin finally defeating The Rock and by extension, The Corporation, for the WWF Championship, it may not even have been the best match of the card.

On a card that was overrun with questionable booking (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg had been chasing the Intercontinental and Hardcore Championships respectively, so they both randomly won the other championship and were infused into feuds that had involved the other) and even more questionable quality, this match was legitimately one of the strongest on the card.

With a good solid build up of Shane McMahon using his lackies, the Mean Street Posse, to weaken and damage X-Pac, an engrossing and fun match would reflect the stronger elements of Shane as a wrestler (willingness to work hard, solid selling) and had yet to pander to his worser qualities (an affinity for jumping off things just because, and a habit of being equal to full time wrestlers). This was also one of the few European Championship matches, and probably the best of the slim pickings that would follow over the next few years.

 

WrestleMania 2000

Tag Team Match

Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman) Vs T&A (Test and Albert) w/ Trish Stratus

This is one of the unfortunate filler matches that had to be drafted due to requirements elsewhere, but I’ve always had a wonderful soft spot for the pairing of Al Snow and Steve Blackman, the original and quintessential “opposites attract” partnership.

WWE would attempt to return to this several times over the next few decades, with successes such as Kane and Daniel Bryan, or Booker T. and Goldust. But Head Cheese had some tremendous skits, such as Blackman doing stand-up comedy at an old folk’s home, and it gave Blackman a personality that endeared him to the audience.

Meanwhile. T&A were getting good momentum at the side of manager/valet Trish Stratus, who would go on to maybe have the most successful career of all five participants. But at the WrestleMania renowned for no singles matches, this is a solid entry for this card.

 

WrestleMania X-Seven

Women’s Championship

Ivory Vs Chyna

Chyna had a tremendous career with the WWF, but it wasn’t until her fourth year with the company that she entered the Women’s division, here specifically to get revenge against Ivory, representative of the Right To Censor.

The RTC were a very underrated heel faction with potential for so much more, but instead WrestleMania X-Seven would signal the death knell for their group, having lost a six-man tag earlier in the night to Tazz and the APA. Chyna would leave the promotion by the end of the year, with this match the beginning of the end, but an interesting moment in time.

 

WrestleMania X-8

Hardcore Championship

Maven Vs Goldust

A bit more of a comedy match, options for the Hardcore Championship were low, as the WrestleMania X-Seven favourite where Raven defended against Kane and Big Show couldn’t be used due to Kane being vital for another match, and the Hardcore Battle Royal at WrestleMania 2000 had featured TAKA Michinoku, who was already chosen for another match. Because of that, this match would be the sole representative of the Hardcore Championship on this ultimate WrestleMania card.

 

WrestleMania XIX

Cruiserweight Championship

Matt Hardy w/ Shannon Moore Vs Rey Mysterio

In the history of WrestleMania, there have only been two matches that have appeared on the main card, both in concurrent years. My original plan had been to choose the Cruiserweight Open at WrestleMania XX, but I hadn’t realised that it featured as defending Champion Chavo Guerrero, who unfortunately had already been chosen for another match due to being the only option.

Because of this, I only had Matt Hardy against Rey Mysterio as my other option, which is why I couldn’t use TLC II at WrestleMania X-7, despite being an absolute classic of a Tag Team match. This also means Rey Mysterio was also no longer an option in any other matches, which will have major repercussions upon the rest of the card.

However, I would be doing the match a great disservice if I didn’t also admit that the match itself was a solid contender for one of the best opening matches of a WrestleMania card, as it set a decent standard for the rest of the PPV, getting the crowd highly involved, and kicking off one of the most underrated of WrestleMania cards there has probably been (I have seen discussions that suggest this is a better show than WrestleMania X-Seven or WrestleMania XX, a claim I wouldn’t rush to dispute but wouldn’t necessarily agree with).

 

WrestleMania XX

WWE Championship

Eddie Guerrero Vs Kurt Angle

One of my picks as an unheralded minor classic of WrestleMania, it is a good back-up option to another Kurt Angle classic against Shawn Michaels, and allows us to get both Eddie and Kurt onto this ultimate card.

The story in this one displayed Angle at his most vicious, believing Eddie not fitting as a WWE Champion due to his history of drug abuse. Eddie was at his best during this time, having successfully defeated Brock Lesnar the previous month for the WWE Championship and a beloved favourite of the crowd.

A technically brilliant match that told a fascinating story and allowed an interesting tweak on Eddie’s manta of “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal”, this would be the precursor to an embrace at the end of the show that would become tinged in sadness in the following years. This feels like the perfect choice for the WWE Championship to be represented on this card.

 

WrestleMania 21

World Heavyweight Championship

Triple-H Vs Batista

triple h pic
Image source:
betweentheropes.com

In one of Triple-H’s best and selfless performances, he would stand aside at the culmination of a wonderfully engrossing storyline that had shown the gradual implosion of Evolution, the natural progression of Batista as a fan favourite, and one of the best “Hell Yeah” moments at a contract signing ever.

Batista would go on to become a mainstay of the main event scene following this match, whilst Triple-H would begin a near fifteen year resurrection, banishing his days of the Reign Of Terror as World Champion. An important match in the overall history of WrestleMania, would Triple-H be the beloved fan favourite he is today if he hadn’t begun his change from his match onwards?

 

WrestleMania 22

Women’s Championship

Trish Stratus Vs Mickie James

There aren’t many matches for the Women’s Championship at WrestleMania that were given the true amount of attention they deserved, and few would measure up to the tremendous story depicted in this match.

Beginning in October with the introduction of Trish’s biggest fan in Mickie James and tying into Trish’s record title reign of 440+ days, the gradual lesbian subtext would give an edge to a division not often given the appreciation it deserved. This also would represent a changing of the guard, as Stratus has admitted to feeling the Women’s Division was in good enough hands for her to retire later that year, naming James as one of the reasons why she believed the Division was so strong.

A fine representation of a tremendous Women’s Championship that always deserved a little better.

 

WrestleMania 23

U.S. Championship

Chris Benoit Vs MVP

Looking beyond the future wrongs that Benoit would commit, this match was chosen on the basis of being of the few available U.S. Championship matches, as well as a solid match. Benoit and MVP had a good solid feud that made the U.S. Championship feel important and vital, one deserving of a WrestleMania match.

 

WrestleMania XXIV

ECW Championship

Chavo Guerrero Vs Kane

Instead of a hidden classic in Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship title defence against The Undertaker, Ric Flair’s retirement match, or even one of the better celebrity involvements in Floyd Mayweather against The Big Show, we have the only appearance of the ECW Championship at a WrestleMania.

Unfortunately, like the ECW brand itself, this championship would be treated as an afterthought, Chavo losing in 10 seconds to a WWE original in Kane, who had earlier won a Battle Royal in a dark match before the event. An unfortunate occurrence in the history of ECW, it feels very representative of WWE’s thought process towards what was once a beloved championship.

 

WrestleMania XXV

Singles Match

Shawn Michaels Vs The Undertaker

With the number of classics that both men have featured in, it was always going to be difficult to choose which Shawn Michaels or Undertaker match would appear on this ultimate card, and it was hard to look beyond a match commonly referred to as possibly the best in WrestleMania history.

Whilst their rematch the following year may have had more of an emotional impact due to Michaels’ loss, this was the match that truly reinvigorated Undertaker’s career and would lead to some of Michaels’ finest work over the next year.

Definitely one of the best matches to appear on any WrestleMania card, let alone the ultimate card. The only other Shawn Michaels match that could have challenged would have been his underrated classic with Kurt Angle a few years previously.

 

WrestleMania XXVI

Unified (WWE World) Tag Team Championships

ShoMiz (Big Show and The Miz) Vs John Morrison and R-Truth

A slight cheat, but one I will gladly admit to. With the loss of TLC II at WrestleMania X-Seven, it was hard to find many matches that could realistically replace it as a good choice for the World Tag Team Championships, coupled with the fact there were only two real choices for the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Due to that, I decided to utilise the Unified Tag Team Championship, which represented both the WWE and World Tag Team Championships, as my representative, allowing more options to open up elsewhere on the card. It’s also a deserving reward for the underrated team of ShoMiz to get such attention, as it continued a mild renaissance for Big Show over the last two years, beginning with his partnership with Chris Jericho as the wonderfully-named JeriShow. Big Show had been part of several surprisingly good tag team matches alongside both Jericho and Miz, whilst Miz himself was also the United States Champion at the time, showing the growing belief in a Superstar once deemed the weaker member of a tag team partnership with John Morrison.

Whilst Morrison and R-Truth had won the title opportunity due to a win over Cryme Tyme and The Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith), Morrison still had a grudge against The Miz due to Miz’s attack and betrayal of Morrison the previous year when Miz was drafted from Smackdown to Raw. It’s also quite delightful to see Big Show appear on the ultimate WrestleMania card considering some of the lesser matches he was forced to participate in at WrestleMania over the years (Akebono in a Sumo match definitely comes to mind).

 

WrestleMania XXVII

World Heavyweight Championship

Edge (c) w/ Christian Vs Alberto Del Rio

A bittersweet choice, as the winner of that year’s Royal Rumble, Del Rio, would take on World Heavyweight Champion Edge to open that year’s show. Whilst a solid match overall, it wouldn’t be until the next week that the ramifications of this match would become obvious to fans, as Edge would tearfully announce his retirement due to a damaged neck.

Over the past fifteen years, Edge had grown into an integral and beloved member of the roster, having won the WWE/World Championship a combined eleven times, and been tag team champion fourteen times, as well as King Of The Ring, a Royal Rumble winner, and the inaugural Money In The Bank winner. Whilst Edge has recently returned at the 2020 Royal Rumble and has a possible match at WrestleMania 36 against old teammate Randy Orton, the memories of his retirement will always be in the back of many fans’ minds.

 

WrestleMania XXVIII

World Heavyweight Championship

Daniel Bryan w/ AJ Lee Vs Sheamus

Another bittersweet memory in relation to the World Heavyweight Championship, this time it would be for completely needles and unrequired burial of indie darling Daniel Bryan, being booked to lose his World Championship against Royal Rumble winner Sheamus…in 18 seconds.

The only positive of this event would be that it would spark a backlash by the WWE Universe, goodwill support for Bryan growing over the next two years, culminating in the ‘Yes Movement’ pushing Bryan all the way to the top of the mountain.

Sheamus, in the meanwhile, would be unfortunately tainted by the booking decisions, and would develop multiple injuries that would require time off, recently returning to Smackdown. Fingers crossed that Sheamus will finally get over his injuries, and maybe even get an opportunity back in the main event scene.

 

WrestleMania 29

WWE Championship

The Rock Vs John Cena

There has been plenty of discussion over the years on whether CM Punk should have had to drop the championship to a part-timer, whether he should have featured in the main event of WrestleMania (possibly preventing him leaving), and whether Rock against Cena should have even gone ahead in a rematch.

The previous year had featured a supposed ‘Once In A Lifetime’ match between The Rock and Cena, with a lifetime turning out to be just 365 days long, and an unsurprising victory in the Royal Rumble by Cena.

On the other hand, this WrestleMania would end up being the highest grossing live event in WWE history, so from a financial point of view, it definitely made sense, and an ultimate WrestleMania card would feel slightly empty without either John Cena or The Rock featuring.

 

WrestleMania XXX

Divas Championship

AJ Lee vs Aksana Vs Alicia Fox Vs Brie Bella Vs Cameron Vs Emma Vs Nikki Bella Vs Naomi Vs Eva Marie Vs Layla Vs Natalya Vs Rosa Mendes Vs Summer Rae Vs Tamina Snuka

Despite originally not planning to include the Divas Championship because of it conflicting with the Women’s Tag Team Championship, I’ve ended up having to include it due to a lack of options, which feels mildly ironic.

Nevertheless, it does feel gratifying to be able to include AJ Lee, who was a rare positive during a timeframe where the lack of appreciation towards female wrestlers seemed to almost hit its zenith.

Despite my lack of enjoyment for the Bellas myself, they do have a large following and have contributed to a more modernised version of WWE, epitomized by the development of Total Divas, so it’s also nice to see them included, and that doesn’t include modern favourites such as Naomi, Natalya, and Emma. Plus, we get to include another Women’s match on this Ultimate Card.

 

WrestleMania 31

Grudge Match

Randy Orton Vs Seth Rollins

Sometimes, it’s enjoyable to just feature a singles match between two good Superstars, such as at WrestleMania 31, where a slow-burning feud since October finally came to a head, where former Authority favourite Orton took on their new prodigy, Seth Rollins.

Orton had been appearing at WrestleMania for over ten years at this point, featuring multiple times in championship matches and classic feuds against legends such as The Undertaker and Mick Foley, and by now was one of the veterans of the WWE himself. Orton had always been a safe hand, clean and methodical, refusing to take chances, but it seems wonderfully appropriate that in his appearance on this ultimate card, he took a rare chance with something risky and committed one of the best RKOs ever committed.

Seth Rollins represented a new style, continuing the standards of both Daniel Bryan and CM Punk to combine the workrate of the independents with the mainstream appeal of the WWE, but more than anything, this would be the last time Rollins would represent potential, as opposed to a true main eventer, thanks to an unbelievable moment later this evening.

 

WrestleMania 32

Singles Match

AJ Styles Vs Chris Jericho

Whilst not necessarily the best match of either superstar at WrestleMania, Chris Jericho is an undoubted challenger for the title of Greatest Of All Time, when taking into context his ability to reinvent himself over nearly 30 years, his promo work and his history of classic matches, whilst AJ Styles has defined his career as a ‘Phenomenal’ wrestler with a tremendous standard for few to measure up to.

I would feel mildly gutted for neither man to have featured on this ultimate card considering the tremendous moments and matches they have demonstrated over the last few decades, plus it was one of the few redeeming matches on an underwhelming WrestleMania card.

 

WrestleMania 33

Universal Championship

Goldberg Vs Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman

In a moment I never imagined occurring, Goldberg has appeared on my ultimate WrestleMania card, but in essence, my hands were tied. With only two appearances for the Undisputed Championship on a WrestleMania card, and the other one coinciding with another needed championship match, we find Goldberg defending the Universal Championship against Brock Lesnar.

Whilst unfortunately another example of several full time roster members (Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho) being sidelined for a WrestleMania event for two part timers, this smash mouth, high octane match is fondly remembered by some as ridiculously entertaining, and considering the unfortunate trainwreck that has been the existence of the Universal Championship, it does feel wonderfully appropriate overall.

 

WrestleMania 34

SmackDown Tag Team Championships

The Usos Vs Bludgeon Brothers (Rowan and Harper) Vs The New Day (Kofi and Big E)

One of the championships that has unfortunately appeared more often on the pre-show instead of the main card, this is one of the few occasions the championship has actually appeared on the main card, which is particularly shocking considering its excellent history.

Ranging from the heartfelt victory by Heath Slater and Rhyno for the inaugural championships, to the tremendous rivalry between New Day and The Usos, this match was more an angle designed to get over the Bludgeon Brothers, which was successful in that regard.

Unfortunately, just two years later, Rowan’s successful henchman role for ‘The New’ Daniel Bryan has given way to a terrible pay-off with an arachnophobe’s nightmare akin to Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy (seriously) and WWE has lost one of the best big men in wrestling in Harper (fingers crossed for a more successful career in AEW).

 

WrestleMania 35

Women’s Raw and Women’s Smackdown Championship

Ronda Rousey Vs Charlotte Flair Vs Becky Lynch

I’ve had to unfortunately go for both the Raw and Smackdown Championships in the same match, as at least one of these three competitors has appeared in five of the six Women’s Championship matches since both titles have been introduced.

However, it does feel wonderfully appropriate to end this ultimate card with the first ever Women’s WrestleMania main event, showing the development of the Women’s division over the last thirty-five years. Where once the Women’s division was treated as an unfortunate afterthought in the existence of WWE, nowadays it features some of the biggest stars in wrestling. The only match that neared this one for spectacle was the emotionally involving classic that was Kofimania, but overall, this definitely seems the most appropriate end to this card, as well as featuring both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championship.

So there it is, the ultimate WrestleMania card, with all but one title match on a WrestleMania card represented here, and mainstays of WrestleMania such as Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena, Edge, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Triple-H, and of course, The Undertaker (seriously, can you imagine the blowback if I hadn’t featured ‘The Dead Man’?) over the last thirty-five years.

There are some matches I wish I could have included (it kills me that TLC II especially never featured on here), but as the experts are fond of saying, “you have to kill your darlings”. Maybe some of you out there would have more luck, maybe you’d be less strict, maybe you’d be even stricter, but for me, this is the ultimate WrestleMania card.

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