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WrestleMania Run


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My workplace has the holiday year running from April-March so I, like quite a few of my colleagues, am off work this week due to having to take remaining annual leave this week or else lose it.  Having nothing better to do with my time, I decided to embark on a WrestleMania marathon of sorts.  10-15 years ago I used to watch all the previous WrestleManias in the weeks building up to the show, but that prospect is a bit too daunting nowadays, especially with last year's 16 hour show.  So I decided this year to embark on a novel mission - to watch one match from every WrestleMania, but without seeing the same wrestler more than once!  Has anyone else tried this?  I've put my own match order below (I'm about to watch LT vs Bam Bam from WM11, so still quite a way to go yet).  I'd encourage anyone else to have a go at it that has time on their hands and nowt to do with it, and share your results if you do!  And yes, I'm a sad git.


WM1 - Leilani Kai vs Wendy Richter

WM2 - Funk Brothers vs Tito & JYD

WM3 - Jake vs Honky

WM4 - Valentine vs Steamboat

WM5 - Mr Perfect vs Blue Blazer

WM6 - Colossal Connection vs Demolition

WM7 - Savage vs Warrior

WM8 - Bret vs Piper

WM9 - Headshrinkers vs Steiners

WM10 - HBK vs Razor

WM11 - LT vs Bam Bam

WM12 - Undertaker vs Diesel

WM13 - Chicago Street Fight

WM14 - Taka vs Aguila

WM15 - Shane vs X-Pac

WM16 - Angle vs Benoit vs Jericho

WM17 - Austin vs Rock

WM18 - RVD vs Regal

WM19 - Vince vs Hogan

WM20 - Goldberg vs Brock

WM21 - Eddie vs Rey

WM22 - Edge vs Foley

WM23 - Umaga vs Lashley

WM24 - Big Show vs Mayweather

WM25 - Matt Hardy vs Jeff Hardy

WM26 - Batista vs Cena

WM27 - Orton vs Punk

WM28 - Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres

WM29 - Del Rio vs Swagger

WM30 - Shield vs Kane & Outlaws

WM31 - Sting vs HHH

WM32 - Charlotte vs Becky vs Sasha

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I think you could put twists on such as not being allowed to watch a match for a certain championship after seeing it defended once or see if it's possible to watch a different stipulation from each show and you can only watch one them once. Good idea.

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You've set yourself quite a task there mate. There's only 6 decent matches on the list.

It's not that bad. I counted 11 that are good to great and I only went up to WM24 because I can't recall a single one since.


WM7 - Savage vs Warrior - GREAT

WM8 - Bret vs Piper - EXCELLENT

WM9 - Headshrinkers vs Steiners - GOOD

WM10 - HBK vs Razor - GREAT


WM12 - Undertaker vs Diesel - REALLY GOOD

WM15 - Shane vs X-Pac - GOOD

WM16 - Angle vs Benoit vs Jericho - GOOD

WM17 - Austin vs Rock - GREAT

WM19 - Vince vs Hogan - GOOD

WM21 - Eddie vs Rey - GOOD

WM22 - Edge vs Foley - REALLY GOOD

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I've found working through them that nostalgia carries a lot of the older matches.  For example, Kai vs Richter technically was absolute garbage, with blown spots all over the show, but the hot crowd, Jesse and Gorilla calling the action, and the antics of Moolah and Lauper really do make it strangely watchable.


The modern stuff is where I'll struggle.  The last 5 Manias all tend to blur into one for me, and the announcers in particular have been atrocious.

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Yep, I did something similar to this two(!) years ago. I gave myself the limitation of three matches per person, I think, and found that a bit of a struggle - so one match per person is a brace undertaking!


The thread is here: https://ukff.com/topic/135963-a-mania-match-a-day/


Good luck with this, looking forward to reading some write-ups.

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Okay, some write-ups from the first ten (more strictly speaking, observations made while viewing) ...


Wendi Richter vs Leilani Kai – The atmosphere was electric, particularly for the entrances. It really can’t be overstated how significant Cyndi Lauper and Mr T’s involvement was to the success of the inaugural WrestleMania. Hulk Hogan is often credited as creating WrestleMania when, in fact, the success of WrestleMania played a big part in creating him. Without the celebrity factor, this show would have tanked big time. Lauper played her part very well here (despite her post match rambling being incomprehensible) and, although she had the look of a teenage delinquent, she was actually 31 at the time! The match itself was dreadful.


Terry & Hoss Funk vs JYD & Tito Santana – ah yes, the WrestleMania from three venues. This one gets a lot of flack for the format not allowing much flow or atmosphere in the arenas, but credit to them for trying something different. Lord Alfred is on commentary with Jesse for this one, which is a treat. This is a real hidden gem in WrestleMania history, with all four working hard (including JYD who normally phoned it in, or shall we say faxed it in considering this was the 80’s), with particularly good work from Terry Funk and Tito Santana. This one is reffed by a sprightly looking Dave Hebner, two years before the twin ref debacle. Elvira was also on commentary and offered nothing. Terry takes a bodyslam on a table on the outside, somewhat foreshadowing his ECW run. Lord Alfred laments the outcome (Funks won by using Jimmy Hart’s megaphone) by labelling it a ‘miscarriage of justice’ – something tells me he learnt that one from Monsoon.


Jake Roberts vs Honky Tonk Man – It was a tough call to not pick Savage vs Steamboat from this card, but I really wanted to watch the Retirement match from WM7, plus I’ve seen the WM3 match probably over 50 times before. So we go with Honky vs Jake instead, which has the added bonus of Alice Cooper in Snake’s corner! This match actually followed Savage vs Steamboat and the campy entertainment value of it meant it was a pretty good example of card layout. Highlights of Honky doing a pearl harbour job on Jake on the Snake Pit a few weeks before the show. Alice Cooper calls Detroit the ‘hometown of heavy metal’ in the pre-match interview – a shame they didn’t let him actually perform a number during the show. Honky references the 90,000 attendance in his interview – good to see him be a company man and promote the propaganda about the size of the crowd, a bare faced lie that is still believed to this day. Match was technically the shits, but great entertainment value. Gorilla has the gall to note that Alice Cooper, a non-manager, shouldn’t help Jake back into the ring, despite defending George Steele from providing the same assistance to Ricky Steamboat in the previous match. Jimmy Hart and Alice Cooper square up in the post-match and, after Jake intercedes to hold Hart, Jesse declares Jimmy would have taken Cooper. Considering Cooper’s build, I think The Body had a point. Jimmy sold the post-match snake attack like a pro. After the match Mean Gene announces the worked figure for the attendance – 93,173, literally the biggest whopper I’ve ever heard. Gorilla tells us history has been made.



Greg Valentine vs Ricky Steamboat – Another experimental early WrestleMania, with the tournament format. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they’d gone with the original plan of having Ted DiBiase win the tournament. I imagine they got cold feet as they didn’t want to end WM with a heel win. Considering how shitty WM16’s ending was, they probably made the right call. Steamboat brings his baby son down with him for the entrance and Gorilla puts over the size of the infant. Very good match here, particularly considering the time constraints (all the early tournament matches were criminally short). Gorilla calls Steamboat the ‘excellence of execution’, seemingly trialling the moniker before giving it to Bret Hart. Monsoon also makes his obligatory reference to Valentine taking 15 minutes to get warmed up. Maybe he heard that from Pat Patterson one time? Jesse puts over a friend of his, Barry Blaustein, saying that he tipped Steamboat to win the tournament. I’m assuming it’s the same Barry Blaustein that made ‘Beyond the Mat’? Terrible tip, considering Steamboat was on his way out of the company at this point. I’ve always been disappointed by The Hammer going over here as I’d have loved to see Steamboat advance to the quarter finals to face Randy Savage, in what would have been an epic rematch from their previous year’s encounter. I can understand the reasoning against it (Savage would likely have been booed against the perennial babyface Dragon) but it still would have been great to watch. Worth noting, this is the third Mania in a row where I’ve watched a match with Jimmy Hart in the heel’s corner. His jackets have been extremely impressive on each occasion. Also worth pointing out that Dave Hebner officiated this match, only weeks after the twin referee screwjob at Saturday Night’s Main Event. Surely, in kayfabe terms, he should have been suspended?? Or under investigation at the very least.


Mr Perfect vs Blue Blazer – Second successive WM at Trump Plaza and somehow there’s even less atmosphere from the crowd than the year before. No entrance music for Mr Perfect, I suppose he was so perfect at this point he didn’t need any. Fast and furious action. Probably Perfect’s best match at WrestleMania, although his Mania resume is pretty shoddy. That match against Luger at WM9 was particularly underwhelming. Tim White is reffing this one, I didn’t know he was around way back then. No wonder he killed himself, refereeing for so long must have been pretty stressful.


Demolition vs Colossal Connection – The second big stadium WrestleMania and it looks awesome. Also it’s the last Mania with Jesse and The Body calling the action together, what an iconic pairing they were. Instantly I’m more hyped for this match than the last two I've watched as the crowd in Toronto are much more engaged than the prawn sandwich brigade at Trump Plaza. Demolition get a monster pop and come out in the mini ring – they need to bring it back for the stadium shows they do today. After putting the boots to Smash early on, Andre goes out onto the apron and never officially tags in – his health had sadly deteriorated pretty far by this point. Three participants in this bout – Axe, Smash and Haku – are all glaring omissions from the Hall of Fame. The reaction for Demolition winning the tag titles is one of the great pops in history. There are a couple of glorious shots of the crowd during this match, a view so good they used it as the title screen for the PC game Extreme Warfare Revenge (that reference is of course lost on anyone who’s not played it). Andre’s post-match face turn is excellent, one of the great early examples of a character coming full circle through WrestleMania angles.


Randy Savage vs Ultimate Warrior - One of the few matches I absolutely wanted to watch during this Mania run. What more can one say? This is incredible stuff – fantastic performances all round. Savage, Warrior, Liz, Sherri, Monsoon and Heenan calling it, everyone involved helped make the magic. Even Hebner does well when trying to talk Warrior out of walking out (after famously talking to his hands like a maniac). The biggest travesty was that this bout didn’t take place in the LA Coliseum. If ever a match deserved to be seen in person by over 100,000 people, this is it. I loved how Warrior didn’t run to the ring – it really stressed the importance of the occasion and offered a great contrast to his sprinting down in the Skydome the year before. Warrior got a lot of stick in his day, but give him his due – back-to-back classics at WrestleMania, not many can say that. The match was superbly paced and structured and as for the post-match reconciliation between Savage and Liz, it still brings a lump to the throat no matter how many times I re-watch it. Another great occurrence of characters coming full circle through WrestleMania. Fuck Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage is the real Mr WrestleMania for my money. The Steamboat match, the tournament win at WM4, Hogan, Warrior, Flair, dragging a decent match out of Crush – Macho always stole the show on the granddaddy of ‘em all. He was having ‘WrestleMania moments’ long before the phrase was even invented.



Bret Hart vs Roddy Piper – Another stadium WrestleMania, and a special one for me as it was the first one I saw as a kid. This bout is fantastic, with Piper doing a rare job to help elevate his friend, The Hitman. Monsoon and Heenan are in a real groove at this point (coming off of their classic performances at the Royal Rumble) and some of the banter in this match is priceless (“what the hell, use the bell!”). Bret blades in this encounter, so discretely that, unlike Ric Flair, he didn’t get chewed out by management after the show. Piper does a good job heeling it up in this one, showing that a face vs face dynamic can work well if one of the workers is willing to adapt. 1992 was a crazy year for the WWF, with multiple steroid abuse and sexual assault allegations, and who on earth would have thought Bret would have been holding the world title by the end of it?? This match is immediately followed by Lex Luger giving an interview in a WBF shirt and downing a glass of milk, for what it’s worth.


Steiner Brothers vs Headshrinkers – Ah yes, WrestleMania IX, the world’s largest toga party. Many people label this the worst WrestleMania ever. I’d personally have WM11 and WM27 below it, but I can understand anyone putting a case forward for this show being at the bottom of the pile. Crush vs Doink, Razor vs Backlund, Taker vs Giant Gonzalez, the Hogan debacle at the end – this is a pretty wretched event. This match is pretty good though, with both teams just beating the hell out of each other for ten minutes. This was JR’s debut show and quite early on in this match, Heenan amusingly demands an explanation of the term ‘slobberknocker’. The atmosphere for this show was pretty cool, being the first outdoor Mania in Caesar’s Palace. Randy Savage is on commentary and he’s pretty much the Booker T of his day at the booth. He’d have been of far more use in the ring on this show, either main eventing against Bret or getting that high profile one-on-one match with Razor Ramon that for some reason they never had. JR chimes in halfway through the match to tell us that Luna has attacked Sherri backstage. I looked forward to also being told that Shawn Michaels had left the building, but sadly that announcement never came.


Razor Ramon vs Shawn Michaels – Now we’re talking! This is another of the matches I definitely wanted to see during this Mania run. We’re at a new era of WM announcing, with Vince and The King calling the action. I can’t say much about this bout that hasn’t been said before – it’s spectacular and set the course for a match genre that is still held in high regard today. This is one of those matches where the winner is irrelevant, both guys are elevated just by participating in it. It helped that they ran the match quite a few times in house shows beforehand, giving them a chance to see what spots worked and what didn’t. Modern day Mania matches could probably benefit from this approach. Although who knows, that 18 second shite with Bryan and Sheamus from WM28 might have been tried out on the road too! This was the first Mania back in the Garden and looked to set a tradition of every tenth WM being held there, a tradition sadly ended at 30 as WWE don’t want to leave the stadium environment anymore. A shame as the atmosphere at MSG always adds an extra dimension to the event.



Tonight I'm planning to watch LT vs Bam Bam, Diesel vs Taker, Chicago Streetfight, Taka vs Aguila and Shane vs X-Pac!

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Lauper played her part very well here (despite her post match rambling being incomprehensible) and, although she had the look of a teenage delinquent, she was actually 31 at the time!


That's a funny bit of trivia.


The match itself was dreadful.


:laugh: I've been a wrestling fan for over 20 years (with the occasional network subscription) and I've still never seen Mania 1 or 2, primarily due to fear.

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Sounds like a fun way to spend a week off! I watched 17 yesterday, might catch a bit of 18 later today...haven't seen it before.

Let us know what you think of 18.  It polarised opinion at the time, will be interesting to see what a fresh pair of eyes makes of it for the first time 15 years on!

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The first WrestleMania must have been a wonderful occassion because of just how different it was and all the stars and seeing Piper and Hogan and Mr T and all that lot in the height of their star power. But for rewatch value, its really underrated when people discuss the worst WrestleMania ever. Maybe because I have no nostalgic value for it, because it wasnt really one I used to watch as a kid, but its pretty dull. Lighting is shit and there are few matches worth a watch. I'd watch WrestleMania IX ten times in a row over watching Mania I once.

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