With Wrestlemania 35 nearly upon us, we here at Pro Wrestling Post have been writing various ‘5 Spectacular…’ lists that focus on distinct areas, either geographic regions, or coverage, or the upbringing of the staff writing them. As evidenced by AB Morales’ 5 Memorable Latin Performances at Wrestlemania, here we explore the performances by a number of Canadian wrestlers at Wrestlemania. Canadian wrestlers have long been a part of WWE, and there have been many involved, past and present, in the company’s success, including at its biggest show of the year. Here is a look at some of the most spectacular performances and matches by Canadian born wrestlers at the showcase of the immortals, as Pro Wrestling Post presents Five Spectacular Canadian Performances at Wrestlemania.
5. Edge versus Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXIV
For a long time, there was a long streak at Wrestlemania that remained intact. When The Undertaker competed it was presumed that his opposition would be on the losing end of their match. However, at WrestleMania XXIV, when The Dead Man stepped into the ring with the Rated R Superstar, the result was a spectacular performance from the Orangeville, Ontario native. The match had everything: drama, suspense, deceit and of course violence.
At this time, Edge was accompanied everywhere by his Edgeheads, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, and the duo did attempt to aid the champion in retaining his title. Edge hit the Undertaker with a camera and a spear, and while both were to no avail that didn’t mean he relented in his pursuit to break the streak. Despite losing the World Championship, Edge was part of what was believed to be the best match of the night, earning in the minds of some fans 9.5 out of 10 stars in a match that was just over 24 minutes. They were given time to tell a story, and they certainly did.
4. Bret Hart versus Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIII
The event was Wrestlemania 13, and the two men facing one another took part in a match that may have featured the most organic transformation ever. For those that don’t recall the match, it was part of a brutal and personal feud between the Hitman and the Texas Rattlesnake. At the time Stone Cold Steve Austin as a heel was continuing to pick up steam. He was the consummate heel that was bad to the bone and would do anything and everything to put his opponents down.
However, this was the night where both men were part of the ‘double switch,’ when Bret went from becoming a face to a heel and Austin went from being a heel to a face. Austin’s crimson mask, when his face was covered in blood as he passed out while locked in Hart’s sharpshooter is an iconic image, and showed fans just how much he was willing to endure to ultimately succeed. Hart’s performance was spectacular, as he played his role and told the story exceptionally.
3. Bret Hart versus Owen Hart and then Yokozuna at Wrestlemania X
His time as the face of the company had arrived. Bret had lost the WWF championship to Yokozuna at Wrestlemania the year prior. However, he earned a championship match after being the first-ever co-winner of the subsequent Royal Rumble. However, around that time there was growing animosity towards him from his younger brother Owen, and on this night he had to compete not once, but twice.
In a technical masterpiece, Bret and Owen that went just over twenty minutes. Owen defeating his older brother with a roll up. However, that wasn’t the only match the Hitman would compete in on the night. In the main event, he faced Yokozuna, with Roddy Piper as the special guest referee. The result was win by Hart and his recapturing of the WWF championship. His performance on this evening was spectacular considering the story he and his younger brother told, and how he didn’t allow that disappointing loss to prevent him from ultimately becoming champion later in the evening.
2. The Dudley Boyz v. The Hardy Boyz v. Edge and Christian, WrestleManias 2000
During this time tag team wrestling appeared to be having a resurgence, and these six men were an integral part of it. This was the Wrestlemania tag team championship match that defined a generation and cemented each team’s place in the company for years to come. It was the definition of a car crash that fans couldn’t tear their eyes away from. There were risks taken by all involved, including several by Jeff Hardy.
This was the night where the spot took place where, as he hung from a briefcase without a ladder, Edge leaped from another ladder and speared him in mid-air. That one move was a spectacle itself, but fans were cheering for more and this match provided just that. The risks taken throughout the match set the standard by which all other matches would be judged during this time.
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho, WrestleMania XIX
At Wrestlemania XIX, the build-up was focused on how Jericho had admired Michaels and considered him one of his idols. This match had several moments where it appeared as though either man could walk away as the victor. During the contest there were near-falls, Walls of Jericho applied, and even Michaels being on the receiving end of ‘sweet chin music.’ In a match that went just over twenty-two and a half minutes, it was the Heartbreak Kid that ultimately walked away as the victor.
The pinfall came about after Jericho tried to suplex Michaels, who countered it with a roll-up for the win. Once the match ended the two men embraced in a sign of mutual respect. However, that would be short-lived as Jericho hit Michaels with a low blow, causing the former champion to crumple to his knees. It was a spectacular match up with a result that was a perfect betrayal by Y2J of his ‘hero.’