11 WrestleMania Matches We’d Like to Forget

9/27/2023 2:04 PM

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11 WrestleMania Matches We’d Like to Forget

11 WrestleMania Matches We’d Like to Forget

September 27, 2023 2:04 PM
11 WrestleMania Matches We’d Like to Forget

We wish we could unsee these WrestleMania matches...

WrestleMania, “The Showcase of the Immortals” but as Chuck D once said, “don’t believe the hype”. Here are 11 WrestleMania matches we’d like to forget.What qualifies for our compilation of le crème de la crap you ask gentle reader? The winners are all matches with no redeeming value of any kind. That means that while matches like WrestleMania XVII’s Gimmick Battle Royal might seem ridiculous, that was a big part of the match’s charm. Comedy matches can be fun when they’re funny as that one was. On a related note, while there are many Divas WrestleMania matches we’d like to forget, most of them featured plenty of cheesecake and presented fans with an opportunity to heat up their nachos.

Warning: Wrestlelamia does not bear responsibility for dredging up any repressed memories with our list. With that out of the way, let’s look at our array of awfulness.

11. Pat McAfee vs. Mr. McMahon (WrestleMania XXXVIII)

Pat McAfee proved he can wrestle when he defeated Austin Theory in what was actually a good match and a reminder that McAfee has the athletic skills for a future in the ring (as unlikely as that is in light of his never-ending list of contracts involving football). Regrettably for Pat, Mr. McMahon also wanted him to prove he can take the humiliation that comes with working in the WWE. McMahon and Theory proceeded to beat the pigskin out of McAfee before Vince pinned him (and presumably paid) him. This match’s only saving grace is that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin ran in for the save and delivered a “Stone Cold” Stunner to Mr. McMahon that looked like crap and represented the match that proceeded it.

10. Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (WrestleMania XXXIII)

This match wasn’t billed as any special “Hell in a Hallucination” Match so why did the WWE go with the intelligence-insulting direction of projecting creepy crawlies onto the ring as WWE Champion Bray Wyatt battled his former (or so he thought) fellow Wyatt Family member, Randy Orton? This is something silly that you’d expect from the WWF in the late 80s or early 90s (if they had the technology to pull it off). This may belong lower on our list merely because by 2017, the WWE should have known better but we’ll leave that to you.

9. Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn (WrestleMania XV)

Fans have always wondered what would happen when boxing clashed with wrestling, something with the potential of two atoms smashing into each other. While the worked versions can be entertaining, the shoot versions have led to results ranging from soul-burning (Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki) to nausea-inducing (Butterbean vs. Bart Gunn). Bart Gunn had no business getting the ring with a professional fighter at WrestleMania XV nor did the WWF have any right putting him in there (although wrestling legend has it the WWF booked this as “revenge” for Gunn winning the real-life “Brawl for All” tournament). It’s difficult to think of a punishment worse than the WWF casting you as Punch-Out’s Glass Joe against Mr. Sandman

8. Akebono vs. the Big Show (WrestleMania XXI)

Fans have never wondered what would happen if a professional wrestler battled a sumo wrestler but apparently Mr. McMahon did as he booked this dud at 2005’s “Show of Shows.” It’s nothing short of a miracle that neither man experienced a wardrobe malfunction. Talk about WrestleMania matches we’d like to forget; that would take all 11 spots.

7. The Boogeyman vs. Booker T and Sharmell

What happens when The Boogeyman dumps a bucket of worms on Booker T and his wife Sharmell? You get this terrible intergender bout that proves WrestleMania XIX wasn’t the only time Booker was buried at ‘Mania. While the Boogeyman deserves a WWE Hall of Fame nod for his interaction with WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump at WrestleMania XXIII, his role in this match makes it unlikely that will ever happen.

6. Terri Runnels vs. the Kat (WrestleMania 2000)

There are any number of women’s matches from the Divas’ Era that could make our list but this one makes the grade because it features two women who had many skills but wrestling wasn’t one of them. Terri Runnels was a good manager while Stacy Carter (aka the Kat) looked better as Chyna’s submissive servant. This “Catfight” Match featured Val Venis (when he was still a WWF Superstar who was unaware of the future pitfalls of social media).

5. Money Inc. vs. Mega-Maniacs (WrestleMania IX)

By 1993, it was safe to say that nobody wanted to see Money Inc. (Ted “Million Dollar” Man DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) vs. The Mega-Maniacs (Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake). By 1993, DiBiase, IRS, and Beefcake’s wrestling skills had deteriorated vastly By 1993, DiBiase’s and IRS’ wrestling skills had deteriorated vastly, Beefcake’s had deteriorated in 1987, and Hogan, well, he’s Hulk Hogan.

This match featured the thrill of a Mega-Powers reunion (which is minimal at best) and the agony of watching all four Superstars lumber about the ring (now you know why this edges out the Gimmick Battle Royal). The supposedly scintillating storyline involving Money Inc. trying to disfigure Brutus Beefcake’s surgically-repaired face and Hulk Hogan vowing vengeance hearkened back to the sheer power of War and Peace. The real story was the mystery concerning Hogan’s odd spot on a WrestleMania. Hulkamaniacs everywhere puzzled over how the Hulkster would let himself be booked in the mid-card. History has that answer but like these WrestleMania matches we’d like to forget, that’s an impromptu main event that belongs in a future column.

4. The Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez

It takes a special level of awfulness for a WrestleMania to contribute two matches to our list. Such was the horror of WrestleMania IX (often mentions in top three lists of the worst WrestleMania events ever with the event taking spots one, two, and three) when Giant Gonzalez battled the Undertaker. It was a classic case of what happens when a talented big man (the Undertaker) battles an untalented big man (Giant Gonzalez) and the fans are caught in the middle. This match had everyone watching feeling like they were caught in Giant Gonzalez’ chloroform-soaked towel.

3. Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter (WrestleMania VII)

If the Mega-Maniacs vs. Money Inc. match has a marathon endurance challenge for even the most loyal Hulk Hogan fans, consider Hogan vs. Slaughter as an ultra-marathon. The irony of this match isn’t the the former patriotic babyface Sgt. Slaughter was no playing an Iraqi sympathizer. No, the irony was that just a year before the Hulkster had worked a very entertaining 24 minute match against the Ultimate Warrior while neither Hogan nor Slaughter could produce anything exciting during the match (other than the endorphin rush when fans realized the 20+minute mess was over). Lightning had struck once at WrestleMania VI but it sure as hell wasn’t going to strike twice with Hogan and Slaughter. “hatcha gonna do, when two dinosaurs do battle before you…and the WrestleMania matches we’d like to forget move ever so slowly!”

2. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper vs.”Bad News” Brown (WrestleMania VI)

Wrestling’s history of exploiting race in its storylines is well-documented and although “Rowdy” Roddy Piper likely had no intention of mocking “Bad” News Brown’s ethnicity (just look up the Andre the Giant and “Bad” News Brown story if you want to learn how much crap “Bad News” took), his decision to paint himself half-black in order to show “Bad News” that he was oblivious to ethnicity was tone-deaf at best and downright dumb at worse. This match is a decent brawl for the WWF at the time but the sheer ridiculousness and/or repulsiveness of watching Piper’s odd attempt to stop prejudice will have you saying “So many WrestleMania matches I’d like to forget” and this is one of them. You can be sure the Peacock will do its best to help because they’ve taken it off the WWE Network.

1. Uncle Elmer vs. “Adorable” Adrian Adonis (WrestleMania II)

Any match featuring Uncle Elmer is likely to top a “worst of the worst” list but what happens when you throw Elmer into the ring with “Adorable” Adrian Adonis? You get this disastrous display of gimmickry gone bad from one of the most poorly-rated WrestleMania events of all time. Both wrestlers were repulsive looking, which undoubtedly was Vince McMahon’s purpose. Although some fans might ask if Elmer (aka Stanley “Plowboy” Frazier) EVER had any reason to be in the ring (he made his kayfabe nephew Hillbilly Jim look like Daniel Bryan by comparison in wrestling ability), Adonis was always a strong worker and could bump like a madman, even when he gained weight. Unfortunately, even Adonis couldn’t get a watchable match out of Elmer without the aid of a forklift.

In the grand spectacle of WrestleMania, where legends are made and iconic moments etched in our memories, there exists a shadowy realm of matches we'd rather forget. These bouts lacked redeeming qualities, reminding us that not every showdown on the grandest stage can be a masterpiece. From the absurdity of insect projections to cringe-worthy cultural insensitivity, these encounters tested our patience. As we look back at this rogues' gallery of wrestle-flops, we're reminded that even in the world of professional wrestling, not every battle can shine.