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‘Mania’s worst matches
By JOHN POWELL -- Co-producer, SLAM! Wrestling


Click here for SLAM! Wrestling's 'WrestleMania XX' section.

Previously, we honoured the WWE by looking at the very best WrestleMania matches of all time. Now, we examine the other side of the coin...and it ain’t a pretty sight. The bouts that wasted our precious time. Time stripped from our lives that we will never get back. Contests that made us roll our eyes in despair, throw our hands up in frustration or had us slinking off to the fridge for a well deserved cold one after having to endure such pure agony.

It was no easy task sorting through 20 years of WrestleMania matches and having to suffer through those travesties all over again. In doing so, I formulated a couple of ground rules to chop down the huge list of stinkers. Here they are...

1. No boxing matches. Come on. Nobody ever took them seriously from the moment they were announced.

2. No obvious crapfests like Lingerie Matches, mixed tag matches, Bobby Heenan taking on the Red Rooster, bouts with Test in them or any contest that anyone could telescope as being horrendous from light years away.

So, without further ado, here are the matches you wish you could forget.

15. Triple H Vs Mick Foley Vs Big Show Vs The Rock (Four Way Elimination Match -WrestleMania 2000)

You are darn right. There have been worse ‘Mania matches than this...but...remember...this was the main event of WrestleMania 2000. Remember the all-day pre-show being better than the event itself? Remember the we’d-wish-you’d-disappear McMahons in every corner? Remember when Mick Foley was supposed to retire...again? Remember that nobody bladed even when barbed wire and chairs, heavyweight belts and a ring bell was brought into play? Remember when The Rock and HHH laid as if they had been shot in the ring for six minutes or more as Shane and Vince brawled? Remember the fans letting out deafening boos when HHH won the match? Remember how the WWE dropped the ball during a cornerstone WrestleMania? Some things never change, eh?

14. Hulk Hogan versus Andre The Giant (WrestleMania 3)

Get real. After all the lead up and the months of hype...this is all we get? A plodding, lethargic match that ends in almost the blink of an eye? Missed the encounter? Here is a rundown for you...kick...kick...punch...punch...stomp...stomp...with a couple of bodyslams and clotheslines thrown in. To top it all off, Hogan’s climatic bodyslam of Andre was way, way weak. Every match the two titans had after their WrestleMania 3 match (especially the steel cage match at WrestleFest) obliterated this slow-as-molasses yawner. Sound and fury equaling nothing is right.

13. Giant Gonzalez versus The Undertaker (WrestleMania 9)

This match makes Hogan and Andre at WrestleMania 3 look like a high-flying, Lucha Libre, cruiserweight match. It doesn’t help matters that Giant Gonzalez knows as many wrestling moves as the fat, out of shape, Las Vegas sweathog sitting in the front row gobbling down his eighth hot dog in three minutes. The use of chloroform during the bout is laughable as is that flesh-painted body suit Gonzalez was wearing to make him look like a menacing giant. Yeah, we were petrified. They might as well of dressed him in a toga like everyone else. Gonzalez shortly departed following this droner. I guess it was only a matter of time before he joined Mantaur and Bully Busick in the WWE Hall of Shame.

12. Vince McMahon versus Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 19)

Here’s some free advice for the supposed ‘wrestling genius’...you wrestle just about as well as you manage the WWE. Please stop insulting us. You have the agility of Nikolai Volkoff and the ring savvy of Uncle Elmer. What’s with that clownish “power stomp” to the ring any way? Mr. Roboto reborn? I think so. As far as his meeting with The Immortal One at last year’s WrestleMania goes, here is what I had to say at the time: ”McMahon's embarrassingly weak punches, stomps and clotheslines confirmed why he should never don wrestling tights again. McMahon's shabby in-ring skills combined with Hogan's broken down body made for really bad viewing.” In other words, it was 20 minutes and 47 seconds of living hell...except for the brief appearance by Roddy Piper. That was supposed to lead up to something between the two at WrestleMania XX until McMahon let Hogan go and began looking for any excuse he could find to can Piper...and he did. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Yep, Vince is a real “genius” all right.

11. Hardcore Brawl (WrestleMania 16)

From start to finish, what a freaking mess. An abominable riot with no common sense behind it. In the end, Hardcore Holly bashes Crash in the skull with J.R.’s candy dish to pin him? Proof why WWE will never, ever be as hardcore as ECW was.

10. Doink The Clown versus Crush (WrestleMania 9)

A wrestling clown meets a guy whose finishing move is squeezing someone’s head? Wonderful. The farce turns into a full-fledged sham when another Doink pops up. As if one of them wasn’t bad enough.

9. Paul Orndorff versus Don Muraco (WrestleMania 2)

Two legendary and extremely gifted grapplers short-shifted by terrible lighting problems in the arena as well as a rapid and bizarre double countout.

8. Yokuzuna versus Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 9)

Bested and blinded by Yokozuna (with a helping hand from Mr. Fuji), Bret Hart gives Hogan the greenlight to accept Yokozuna’s challenge to an impromptu match. A match which Hogan wins in about 15 seconds. Hogan steals Hart and Yokozuna’s thunder and degrades all of their hard work in building up to their WrestleMania 9 match. Hogan and Yokozuna could’ve at least had a real match.

7. Razor Ramon versus Bob Backlund (WrestleMania 9)

For months, Ramon and Backlund traded insults. For months, the WWF played up the feud as the “wily veteran” versus “the young lion”. Ramon beats Backlund in almost record time. Huh? One wonders why they wasted our time.

6. Gimmick Battle Royal (WrestleMania X-7)

Good idea. Very bad execution. No surprise. The WWE fumbles the ball...again. The grueling battle royal lasts approximately three minutes with the Iron Sheik winning after standing in a corner and holding onto the top rope for the other 2 minutes and 50 seconds. Lame.

5. Ultimate Warrior versus Hunter-Hearst Helmsley (WrestleMania 12)

Another “blink and you’ll miss it” match with HHH being sacrificed to the Warrior. Not the kind of thing you do to fans at a WrestleMania. Everyone should’ve had more pride in their work than that. A slap in the face to any paying fan.

4. Hart Foundation versus Bolsheviks (WrestleMania 6)

Let’s see. It is WrestleMania 6. The first ever WrestleMania in Canada, the home and native land of the Hart Foundation. How better to capitalize on their popularity then by having them sneak attack, clobber and pin the Bolsheviks in the middle of them singing the Russian national anthem? Who booked this? George ‘The Animal’ Steele?

3. Adrian Adonis versus Uncle Elmer (WrestleMania 2)

In one corner, the once tremendously talented Adonis who has since let himself go and is burdened with the ‘gay gimmick’. In the other, an obese pig farmer with no wrestling talent whatsoever. Okay, it breaks Rule Number Two but...man...it was really, really bad.

2. Lawrence Taylor versus Bam Bam Bigelow (WrestleMania 11)

At its lowest, the WWE resorts to hiring a professional football player - Lawrence Taylor - to battle against the extraordinarily agile ‘big man’ - Bam Bam Bigelow. The resulting debacle is so painfully bad that it is unbearable to even watch. Bigelow deserves mega praise for trying his damnedest to carry Taylor. Try as he might, even Bigelow couldn’t make Taylor look good. Appalling and baffling booking.

1. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts versus Rick Martel (Blindfold Match - WrestleMania 7)

You ain’t see tedious until you’ve sat through this steaming pile of ever-lovin’ crap. ‘Blindfolded’, Martel and Roberts spend almost all of the match languidly bumbling around and searching for each other in the ring. It’s worse then a four way match featuring The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, Mabel and Bastion Booger. I kid you not. The match is so crappy it makes even Test sick watching it.


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