WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling stage of them all,and careers are taken to the next level because of this event. Every wrestler’s dream is to have a WrestleMania moment, something that will last forever in the hearts of wrestling fans. Most recently we saw moments like these; Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker’s streak and Sting facing off against Triple H in an absolute classic. Moments like theses leave fans with goosebumps and reminds us why we fell in love with this crazy world of pro wrestling.
Though, for all the great moments WrestleMania has given us, there are moments that the WWE wishes we can forget about. Even the biggest stage of them all can’t be immune to terrible bookings, awful matches, and embarrassing moments. WWE routinely tries to use celebrity power to enhance its viewership for WrestleMania, however, oftentimes it backfires and leaves fans angry and unsatisfied. Here are 13 moments the WWE wants you to forget about WrestleMania. Enjoy!
13. Big Show vs Akebono
At WrestleMania 21, the WWE had the not-so-clever idea of having a sumo wrestling match. Yes Vince, that’s what everyone wants to see, Big Show in a sumo thong (mawashi). Adding insult to the match up, there was also no build up whatsoever. Akebono made his first appearance three days before the event. Fans were not only disinterested, but they also didn’t get a chance to get into the match hype either. The WWE certainly wishes fans would forget about this encounter.
12. Undertaker Wins by DQ
In what was probably the worst match of The Deadman’s career, the finish to this encounter was something the WWE will want you to forget. The Undertaker continued his WrestleMania win streak by DQ after Gonzalez choked him out with chloroform. The illustrious streak was tainted because of the DQ win. When mentioning the streak, the WWE rarely mentions or shows vignettes of this match.
11. WrestleMania 17 Gimmick Battle Royal
Putting nineteen washed up wrestlers with bad gimmicks into a ring is a recipe for disaster. The WWE obviously thought that this would give fans a nostalgic feeling which they would enjoy, but unfortunately it backfired and was a total mess instead. The Iron Sheik won the match, which was surprising as he hardly moved an inch in the ring. The match lasted a total of three minutes and seven seconds. You know it was a fail when the entrances were longer than the match itself.
10. Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole
This shouldn’t have been a match on Raw, let alone at WrestleMania. Fans were uninterested from the start pertaining to the feud between these two. The WWE wisely threw Austin into the mix as a special guest referee so fans would have some sort of interest in watching the match. With the entrances, match, and other segments taking up about half an hour, this entire angle was deemed a waste of time for such a useless match.
9. Brawl For All Match WrestleMania 15
The “Brawl for All” tournament turned into a disaster for the WWE, as it legitimately injured wrestlers, and bored fans in the process. The WWE decided to take the winner of the tournament, Bart Gunn, and put him against professional boxer Butterbean. Fans didn’t want to see another unscripted shootfight boxing match and it was evident because the crowd was uninterested throughout the buildup. If the fans wanted to watch a boxing match, well, they’d tune into boxing and not wrestling. Luckily for the crowd, the match only lasted 34 seconds with Butterbean knocking out Gunn (what a surprise ending).
8. Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon
This would have been a match for the ages had it taken place ten years earlier. The match relied on steal chairs, punching, and Bret Hart getting help from family members. Hart was also very limited in the ring, as he could not perform any moves. This match was a huge failure considering all the hype that surrounded it.
7. Daniel Bryan Loses in 18 Seconds
Daniel Bryan had one of the best WrestleMania moments in history, going against all the odds and capturing the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXX. This was quite the turn of events compared to his experience two years earlier, which saw Bryan partake in one of the most embarrassing moments in WrestleMania history. In a World Heavyweight Championship match against Sheamus, Bryan would lose the match in 18 seconds. This was an awful idea in the long run. Not surprised that WWE fails to ever mention this moment.
6. “Santina” Wins The Battle Royal
WrestleMania 25‘s women’s match featured a 25 Divas Battle Royal to crown a Miss WrestleMania (sigh). The match was a total snooze fest, as most of the crowd on hand were very restless during the match, wanting it to end as soon as possible. To make matters worse, the ending was brutal with the winner being Santino portraying a female going by the name Santina. Talk about pushing the Women’s Division….
5. Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
This match should have been an instant classic, but instead, it was a recipe for disaster due to the fact that both wrestlers were leaving the company following the encounter. The match turned out to be awful from start to finish, and it was evident that both wrestlers had no desire to put on a good show. The crowd was so overpowering throughout the bout that the WWE needed to edit out the chants on the WrestleMania XX DVD. Luckily Austin was the only bright spot of the match, and he ended up stunning both wrestlers, giving the fans something to legitimately cheer about.
4. Lawrence Taylor In The Main Event
Some fans are in favor of having celebrities at WrestleMania. However, when you have them in the main event of wrestling’s biggest show, alarm bells are bound to go off. The main event for WrestleMania XI was Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Bigelow, and it still is considered one of the worst main event matches in WrestleMania history. Taylor had no clue what he was doing throughout the entire match. What made matters worse was the fact that this match was placed as the main event instead of the Michaels vs Nash encounter for the WWE Championship. This was a huge mistake on the WWE’s part as fans were gassed from cheering in the prior match, which was the Michaels-Diesel bout. Terrible booking on the WWE’s part.
3. Mickie James’ Inappropriate Gesture
During the match, James got a little too risque for the WWE. To counter a “stratusfaction” from Trish, James grabbed Trish’s private part. James proceeded to spread her fingers apart and pulled a licking motion. The crowd loved it, but the boss was furious watching backstage. James explained how mad he was in an interview: “I came back through the curtain and Vince was really mad. In the moment it had seemed amazing to me. I thought ‘Vince will love this’. ‘Crass’ was the word I got. He didn’t like it at all. He told me ‘We’re going to have to go back and edit that out. Do you know how much time (this will take)?” The moment was stripped from the WWE archives.
2. Undertaker Hangs Big Boss Man
The match itself was one of the worst Hell in a Cell matches of all time. That being said, it’s not the reason that it’s on this list. The aftermath of this match saw The Undertaker hang The Big Boss Man by a rope tied around his neck. The image of a lifeless body being hung haunted many young wrestling fans, as you can probably imagine. The worst part of the situation was the fact that they didn’t even show if he got out okay, they instead quickly cut to another segment. Remember, this was 1999, and wrestling seemed more real to fans (especially the young ones) who couldn’t determine whether it was real or fake. This isn’t a moment the WWE ever mentions when discussing the streak.
1. Chris Benoit Wins The Title
This WrestleMania XX main event is a moment the WWE wants you to forget for obvious reasons. It was one of the greatest wrestling moments when Benoit, after years of wrestling, had finally been put over on the biggest stage of them all. To top it off, the show ended with Benoit and his best friend, the late great Eddie Guerrero, standing in the middle of the ring with World Championships. It was a storybook ending that will always be remembered for those who watched it. Though, the WWE tries to make you forget it ever happened. When Shawn Michaels’ Mr. WrestleMania DVD came out this match was left off of it. Furthermore, if you go on WWE.com, the last match pictured is The Undertaker against Kane match. No photos of this match appear on WWE’s archives, and no mentions are ever made of this main event match.