WrestleMania. The showcase of the immortals, the biggest show of the wrestling year. No matter what, we tune into Mania with hopes of something big, some huge event that will shake us and entertain us and to see some history being made. Many a worker has gone through multiple Manias and in a terrific way to be a highlight of their careers and shine so well. Others, however, don’t do as well and have rather poor showings. Still, if you’ve had a long-term career with multiple WrestleMania performances, you should be in good shape. At least in theory but that doesn’t always work. Sure, we know of the Undertaker’s Streak and others with a great record but there are slews of other guys whose win-loss at Mania isn’t just bad but downright horrible.
Now, it’s one thing to be a low-level guy with only a couple of Manias on your belt. It’s another to be a true veteran of the company and slews of appearances yet the number of actual victories is very poor to say the least. The most remarkable thing is how so many of these records belong to frankly great stars, major names who somehow never got that many (or in some cases any) wins at the biggest show of the year. HHH actually has the record with 10 Mania losses but nine victories to balance it out a bit more yet some have a far worse percentage of defeats. Some may be true surprises and amazing to see how they unfold. Here are 15 of the most prominent guys who, while great in their overall careers, just never measure up at the biggest show and not the best when it comes to Mania performances.
15 The Big Show, 5-10
Even his opponents have taken shots at Big Show’s woeful Mania record which includes a few embarrassing matchups. At Mania XV, he lost to Mankind and then defeated in the 4-way title match at Mania 2000. He lost a Triple Threat match at X-7 and he and A-Train beaten by Undertaker at XIX. He lost the US title to John Cena at 21 and his sumo match with Akebono at 21 was among the worst Mania matches ever. He finally got a win at 22 as he and Kane retained the tag titles but lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr the next year. He lost to Cena at XXV but finally got wins at XXVI and part of a big team victory over the Corre. He then beat Cody Rhodes for the IC belt at XXVIII but lost as part of a six man match against the Shield. He was eliminated last in the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale at XXX but won the next year. He’s the largest athlete in the world but Mania rarely is the Big Show for this guy.
14 Randy Orton, 5-7
“The Viper” has been a great star for WWE for several years yet lacks a winning Mania record. He teamed with Batista and Ric Flair to beat Rock and Mick Foley at XX but lost to the Undertaker the next year. He also lost the Triple Threat match for the World title at 22 and MITB the next year but bounced back to beat John Cena and HHH to retain the WWE title at Mania XXIV. He lost to HHH at XXV (a match both admit wasn’t as good as could be) but beat his Legacy partners at Mania XXVI and against CM Punk the next year. He lost the triple threat match to Daniel Bryan at Mania XXX but beat Seth Rollins last year with one of the most epic RKOs ever seen. He’s hoping to even the score as things go on but as it stands, Orton’s Mania record is among the poorest around.
13 Chris Jericho, 4-8
Coming in hot from WCW, Y2J made a splash at Mania as he and Chris Benoit challenged Kurt Angle for his European and IC titles. Jericho beat Benoit for the European belt while losing the IC one to Benoit and won the IC belt against William regal the next year. He lost the Undisputed Championship to HHH at 18 and then to Shawn Michaels, followed by a loss against Christian at XX and coming up short in the first MITB match. He lost in his first Mania back in 2008 in MITB but managed to overcome Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka in a special challenge match at Mania 25. He then defended his title against Edge at XXVI but lost to CM Punk the next year. Upset by Fandango at Mania 29, Jericho is no doubt hoping his upcoming Mania battle with AJ Styles gets him more on the winning track.
12 Shawn Michaels, 6-11
This one may be a true surprise. After all, among his many nicknames, Shawn is known as “Mr. WrestleMania,” a man who has put on some fantastic battles and classic encounters with Ric Flair, Razor Ramon, Diesel, Bret Hart and so many more. And yet, his actual victory list is surprisingly light. His first appearance was one half of the Rockers crushed by the Twin Towers at V. They lost to the Orient Express by countout the next year before finally achieving victory over Barbarian and Haku at Mania VII. While IC champion, Shawn lost to Tatanka by countout at IX and while he and Ramon tore the house down with the classic ladder match, Shawn still lost that and to Diesel the next year. Even after his comeback, he’d come up on the losing side at XX, 21 and 23 as well as the classic battles with Undertaker, the last of which was his retirement match. We all hail him for his work but amazingly, Shawn’s actual win-loss record at Mania is surprisingly bad.
11 Ric Flair, 1-4
Given his long tenure in WCW, it’s no surprise that Flair hasn’t had that many Mania appearances but still notable how many are defeats. He and Hogan were to face off at Mania VIII but politics changed it to Flair dropping the title to Randy Savage. He lost to Undertaker at X8 but was able to win with Evolution against the Rock and Mick Foley at XX. He lost a MITB battle and at 23 teamed with Carlito in a dark match tag team victory. Of course, most famous is his losing to Shawn Michaels at Mania XIV in their classic battle to send Flair off in a good way and remind you how he’s a legend despite his Mania record.
10 Matt Hardy, 2-6
Like brother Jeff, Matt hasn’t really done well at Mania. They lost a tag team battle royal at Mania XV and while they helped change the course of things with the classic TLC battles at the next two Manias, they still lost both times. Into singles work, Matt did retain the Cruiserweight title against Rey Mysterio. He then had the infamous breakup with Lita and his release before returning to lose a couple of MITB battles. He did get a win over Jeff in an Extreme Rules match up to balance it out a bit more but while his record may be better than Jeff’s, Matt still isn’t a stellar Mania star.
9 Booker T, 1-5
He was one of the biggest stars of WCW but sadly, Booker hasn’t had that much success when it comes to Mania. Booker first made a Mania appearance at 17 but his first bout was X8 with the dumb angle of him and Edge fighting for a shampoo commercial and Edge winning. Then Booker came up short against HHH after the poorly received angle of HHH taking racist shots at him. He would get a win teaming with RVD to retain the tag titles in a four-way battle at Mania XX and won a dark match battle royal at 21. But the next year he and wife Sharmell lost to the Boogeyman in one of the worst Mania bouts ever and failed in Money in the Bank the next year. So, sadly, the man is a “Five time, five time, five time” Mania loser.
8 Jacques Rougeau, 1-6
The Canadian athlete had several gimmicks in WWE, and run as IC and tag team champion. He and brother Raymond were a great heel team, losing to Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine at Mania III and then eliminated in the big battle royal the next year. After Ray retired, Jacques remade himself into the Mountie, beating Tito Santana at Mania VII with his shock stick. He lost as part of an eight-man tag match at VIII and then formed the Quebecers, holding the tag titles despite a DQ loss to Men on a Mission at X. He was never a massive star but still a notable face for WWE at the time yet only one Mania victory for his resume.
7 Shelton Benjamin, 1-6
Considering how Shelton stole the first Money in the Bank match, a damn shame he never got to win the damn thing. He actually scored a win in his first Mania as he and Charlie Haas retained their tag titles in a Triple Threat match. They lost a Fatal 4-Way the next year and then Benjamin started in MITB battles, four straight with some fantastic bumps and spots but never winning. Even with runs as IC champ and “the Gold Standard,” Shelton couldn’t pull off another Mania win despite his tries, a bit disappointing for a top athlete like him.
6 Tito Santana, 1-7
He possesses a long record of consecutive Mania appearances but sadly, Tito has only a pair of victories to show for it. Tito has the honor of competing in the very first WrestleMania match, beating the masked Executioner which is an achievement. Since then, however, it was all losses. Tag matches at 2 and III although he wasn’t the one pinned. He and Rick Martel, then Strike Force, lost the tag titles to Demolition at IV and the next year, Martel turned on Tito to cost them a win. He then lost to the Barbarian, the Mountie and Shawn Michaels. He finally got a win at IX over Papa Shango but it was a dark match so folks didn’t see it. Santana may have a historic Mania moment but not much else for his resume.
5 Dudley Boyz, 0-4
They’re the most decorated team in wrestling history, holding belts in just about every promotion they’ve been in but a Mania victory eludes them. Bubba Ray and D-Von helped raise the bar with the TLC matches at 2000 and X-7, classic wars that fans speak of in awe, each of which they lost. They were also defeated in a four-team elimination battle at Mania X-8 and at XX as well. They left for TNA for a long stint and one wonders if a Mania appearance this year can break this as it seems off one of the best teams ever hasn’t had a win there.
4 MVP, 0-4
His act was pretty cool, an arrogant pro athlete type with a good skill set and he had decent runs in WWE as tag team and US champion. However, his Mania record isn’t quite stellar. He lost to US champ Chris Benoit at 23 and seemed set to win the Money in the Bank match at XXIV until Matt Hardy attacked him. He came up short in MITB again for the next two years, a decent attempt but just not working out for him. Proof that naming yourself MVP isn’t a good idea if you can’t live up to that.
3 Goldust, 0-4-1
Dustin Rhodes is a great athlete and Goldust was an act truly ahead of its time yet it achieved no victories at Mania. At XII, he and Roddy Piper had a bizarre “Hollywood backstage brawl” that went all over Los Angeles before ending in the ring with Piper beating him down and stripping him to ladies underwear. He did get a win at XIV as he and Luna defeated Marc Mero and Sable and Dustin returned to WCW. He came back at Mania 18, he and Maven fighting to a no-contest. He was seen last year eliminated in the Andre the Giant battle royal and showing that for all his skills, Mania hasn’t quite been golden for Dustin.
2 Vince McMahon, 0-4
Say what you will about Vince McMahon but when it comes to getting his ass kicked, he always gives folks their money’s worth. At Mania X-7, he and Shane battled in a wild street fight with Vince brutally beaten, slapped by Trish, kicked in the balls by Linda and a claw by Foley before being pinned. At 19, he and Hogan went at it with the now infamous shot of a grinning and bloody Vince looking like Satan himself before put away with multiple legdrops. At 22, he and Shawn had a wild brawl with Vince put down at last by a flying elbow while in a garbage can. At XXVI, he and Bret Hart finally had it out over Montreal with Bret beating Vince handedly. You can also argue the “Battle of the Billionaires” as Lashley beat Umaga to force Vince to have his head shaved. He’s accused of a massive ego yet Vince has yet to achieve a win at his own show.
1 Jeff Hardy, 0-5
Yep, the “Charismatic Enigma” has one of the worst Mania records ever. He and Matt were first involved in a multi-team battle royal at 15 and eliminated. They then competed in the classic ladder matches at 2000 and X-7, both of which they lost. After time away for personal stuff and TNA, Jeff returned in 2007 but his run for the belt was marred by a suspension. He returned for the Money in the Bank match at 23 which included the famed spot of doing a Swanton off the ladder onto Edge lying on a ladder on the outside but lost the bout. Then at 25, he lost to Matt in an “Extreme Rules” match. The man is notable for his high flying style but despite some sensational spots, Mania just isn’t his time.