Five Forgotten WrestleMania Gems

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It’s only blimming Mania week peeps! I’ll be kicking off my festivities with this piece right here. I’ve watched every single WrestleMania, and I’ve thought long and hard about what matches have gone under the radar over the years. This ladies and gents, is my Five Forgotten WrestleMania Gems.

5. WrestleMania 25
World Heavyweight Championship
Edge (c) vs John Cena vs Big Show

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WrestleMania 25 will always be remembered for the amazing Shawn Michaels/Undertaker match, so it’s easy to forget this great match.

Admittedly there wasn’t really much of a story to this – it seems that the writers were too busy trying to get people to care about the Triple H/Orton storyline – but the match more than made up for it. This was an old school Attitude Era match, where the rules went out the window and there were spots galore.

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Watching John Cena lifting up both Edge and Big Show (got to be over 700lb in combined weight) on his shoulders and delivering a double Attitude Adjustment – or FU as it was back then – is something I will never tire of seeing.

But alas, due to its place on the card, the boring main event of Triple H and Randy Orton, and the greatest Mania match ever, this match has long been forgotten.

4. WrestleMania 7
Haku And Barbarian vs The Rockers

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I admit I was a huge fan of The Rockers back in the day. Their style was something so different in that era. Their pace and flash brash look was so exciting. And this match shows that to a great degree.

Haku and Barbarian, aka The Faces Of Fear, were known backstage as people to be feared but in the ring, it was a different story. They were always overlooked by the booking team. Not only were they monsters but they could wrestle different styles. Brawl, technical, bump, whatever the match needs.

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Every match needs a good storyteller, and this match had an unusual one. Hacksaw Jim Duggan stepped into colour commentary and did a grand job. Which left Bobby Heenan to leave the booth and manage his team to perfection.

Again placement in the card came into play here, but for the better. Here it’s the first match on the card and because of that, the crowd were all into what’s happening in the ring, The pure brute force of Haku and Barbarian. The speed and agility of The Rockers. It all came together to make a great underrated Mania match.

3. WrestleMania 23
World Heavyweight Championship
Batista (c) vs The Undertaker

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Uh-oh, it’s that subject again – card placement.

Slap bang in the middle of the card was this forgotten gem of match. Actually scrap that. This wasn’t a match, this was a full on drag out fight. And MAN was this good!

The dream match of The Animal versus The Deadman was something that not only the fans had wanted but Batista and Taker wanted too. And being in the middle of the card, not even towards the tail end of the card, pissed them off. And it showed in this match. Every single thing they did, they meant. Every strike, every move, every step was with purpose.

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The running powerslam through the announce desk by The Animal to Taker may sound kinda mundane in todays terms, but watching it you could see the fire and anger in their eyes. The crowd response was electric. It was a great big middle finger to WWE officials for putting McMahon versus Trump above two respected veterans who had earned a higher placement.

2. WrestleMania 14
Tag Team Championship Dumpster Match
New Age Outlaws (c) vs Chainsaw Charlie & Cactus Jack

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Don’t go scrolling down as you saw the words “dumpster match” folks! Yes, this is a hardcore match but this match itself was so much more than a typical hardcore match.

Chainsaw Charlie was none other than living legend Terry Funk, and he would be tagging with his friend and protege Mick Foley as his alter ego, Cactus Jack. In the week running up to this match, the New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) were running down both Charlie and Jack. Saying they were too old in the tooth and they should just retire already and let the younger generation through. Just general disrespectuful trash talk. The Outlaws even suggested they could beat them at their own game and called for this dumpster match – what a mistake!

The object of the match was to put both your opponents into the dumpster and close the lid. Simple enough huh? Not in this case as all four men participated in one of my most favorite brawls I’ve ever seen. The spot where Cactus and Gunn fell from the top of ladder int the dumpster is still such a great spot!

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Long term readers will know that Mick Foley is my all time favorite wrestler so it’s no surprise he’s here, but he’s here on merit. This match is an all-out war and lifted a meh kinda card into a “what the eff did I just see?!?!” card. It raised the roof and the spirits of the crowd which carried on into the rest of the card.

Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie won the belts after a hellacious battle and gave Terry Funk his all-important WrestleMania moment. At that time WWF needed Mick and Terry to show the world what hardcore wrestling was about, but more importantly, that hardcore wrestling can work even better when there’s a story to get invested in.

1. WrestleMania 22
Women’s Championship
Trish Stratus (c) vs Mickie James

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I’m a sucker for a good story. Be that a book, a tv show/movie, or a wrestling match. In my eyes, the story can make or break a match. And this story is so “real” that it ranks as one the best in my eyes.

Mickie James exploded onto WWE TV proclaiming she was Women’s Champion Trish Stratus’s biggest fan, a mega fan in fact. But as the weeks and months went on it became obvious that Mickie was obsessed with Trish. She didn’t just admire her, she wanted to BE her. And that included wanting Stratus’s Women’s Championship.

Looking back, the oversexualized nature of Mickie in this match does do the whole Women’s Revolution movement a bit of a disservice, but this is still the best women’s match on a Mania card ever…..Well until WrestleMania 35 that is.

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Mickie winning the crowd over here really did remind me of how Hogan turned the crowd in his favor back at Mania 18, and it’s not talked about enough. It’s a huge achievement for any wrestler but an even bigger one for a female back then.

Mickie bascially used Trish’s own move set against her to win her first of many Women’s/Divas titles. The match was like watching two Stratus’s face off against each other. Except one was a crazy loony toon 🙂

I hope you enjoyed my look back at these forgotten WrestleMania gems, it’s been great looking back and unearthing them. Please, all of you, go out of your way to watch back at least one of these matches, I’m sure it’ll make your day if you did!

I will be back with another list of forgotten gems of yesteryear, so keep your eyes peeled! If you have any ideas of what I should be covering next (NXT classics, PPV matches, etc etc) then feel free to hit me up using my social media links below –

Mark Blake Facebook – MarkBlakeSmart
Mark Blake Twitter – @Smart_Mark_B

So until next time…..Adios!

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