Howdy, readers! This is Prince Osborne back with another interesting blog which will cover 10 of the underrated matches that has happened on the grandest stage of the WWE. These matches ranged from good to great despite having better matches on the respective cards. Let’s get right into the list!
Chris Jericho vs. William Regal – Intercontinental Championship Match: WrestleMania 17
No one will ever forget WrestleMania X-Seven despite growing up watching the show or going back later after getting to know about its iconic history of incredible matches and wonderful moments. However, the opening contest was completely overshadowed by the hallmark moments of the spectacle.
Here, two of the best athletes in the world squared off to ignite the greatest WrestleMania yet. Despite the egregiously small amount of time, the offence was executed perfectly and flowed effortlessly. While Jericho’s workhorse strategies were unaltered bell to bell, Regal did a pretty good job as the egotistical, self-proclaimed “commissioner” in this match.
Big E vs. Apollo Crews – Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: WrestleMania 37 (Night Two)
On January 8th, Crews had a shot at Big E’s Intercontinental Title which he lost much to his misfortune. He turned that around to unleash his rooted instincts as a villain who’s proud of his home tribe, the Nigerian soil. Then, he transformed into a pure Nigerian with the look, the accent and the slight change in moves as well. With this shift, he locked eyes with E once again at Fastlane much to another disheartening loss. After a predominant pinfall win over him on the 26th of March edition of SmackDown, the third & decisive match was set for WrestleMania where Crews added more pressure to it since it’s a blow-off clash; a Nigerian Drum Fight!
Because of the slow pace of the story’s development, I had low hopes going into this match. Crews’ character transformation was undoubtedly a breath of fresh air, and I had hoped for a tighter-knit, more serious layering of the plot, but it didn’t materialise. Luckily, the action lived up to the anticipation. The odd name seemed to fit the intensity in the beginning, and it turned into a furious street brawl as they executed perilous moves one after the other. The closing scene was cut short, which might have managed better given what they were trying to accomplish, but it was still acceptable for what they were going for. These men could have put on a fight that would have been a guaranteed heater if they had more time.
10. Taka Michinoku vs. Aguila – Light Heavyweight Championship Match: WrestleMania 14
WrestleMania XIV is remembered for the highly anticipated main event between Austin and Michaels with Mike Tyson’s involvement & the first ever clash between The Brothers of Destruction in The Undertaker & Kane. But the light heavyweight division had an engaging battle between Taka Michinoku & Aguila for the title.
Because to the high-flying skills of both wrestlers, this match felt like a breath of fresh air following a battle royal that went all over the place. Aguila is a highly skilled luchador, but he’s still relatively new to the sport, and I saw some areas that needed improvement. Taka halted for a bit, grasped the strategy Aguila uses, and then counter struck in his way. I thoroughly loved seeing these men outperform one another in a thrilling sprint for about six minutes.
9. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk – WrestleMania 26
One of CM Punk’s best years was 2010, when he formed a group of people who identified as “straight edge” by refraining from alcohol and living a moral life. His followers joined the Straight Edge Society after getting their heads shaved. The first two “supporters” of the divisive star’s faction were Serena and Luke Gallows, and they singled out a third man in the WWE sensation wearing a mask. After multiple assaults and mind games, things heated up on March 12 as Rey prepared to celebrate the ninth birthday of her daughter Aaliyah. Punk rudely interrupted and embarrassed Rey’s family, which led to a violent fight at the mega-show where it was agreed that if Rey lost, he would have to join the union.
This was the beginning of one of his best rivalries, much like his rivalry with Eddie, but respect must be shown when it is due. Also, this match is deserving of praise because it features two sport innovators competing in a fun, innocuous dash. Six minutes felt enough despite being too short because of how well their action styles blended. Thanks to these pioneers, everything on which this match was based was managed admirably.
8. Victoria vs. Trish Stratus vs. Jazz – Women’s Championship Match: WrestleMania 19
Victoria won the Women’s Championship from Trish Stratus at Survivor Series leading to a rematch at Armageddon with an added danger in Jazz as the third combatant. Victoria was successful over there too which led to both Stratus and Jazz settling their contendership issues in a match on an episode of Raw. But Victoria handed a double disqualification due to her displeasure on dealing both these women for several weeks. This action ended up in the Armageddon match refought in the grandest event of the promotion.
Thinking back on this battle, I firmly believe that this was the moment when the ladies had a chance to demonstrate that they, too, possess the skills necessary to present a fantastic exhibition. The rivalry between the three women had reached a very high degree, and each of their performances much exceeded expectations. Along with Steven Richards, Victoria’s valet, the focus was evenly distributed. Trish’s victory was partially predictable because it was anyone’s game, yet I would have felt the same way had the outcome gone in any other direction.
7. Finlay vs. JBL – Belfast Brawl: WrestleMania 24
Finlay and Mr. McMahon were locked in a notable rivalry involving the former’s close ally, Hornswoggle. As the rivalry was set to end inside a steel cage on the February 18th episode of Raw, JBL entered the fray rubbing more salt to the wounds of the Irish rebel. This resulted in a clash set in the grandest atmosphere of the promotion under the environment of Finlay’s taste – a Belfast Brawl.
As explained, the story sounds so lame to take place at WrestleMania, but the action was chaotic, fast-paced and most importantly entertaining! Both men worked at a breakneck pace surprisingly with most of the moves being almost perfect. Finlay is one of the underappreciated wrestlers of all-time as well as JBL who excelled as a character much better than inside the ring.
6. Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero – WrestleMania 21
The saga between Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero is undeniably one of the most intense and memorable rivalries in WWE’s history. The change of character in Eddie was out of nowhere leading to one of his best times as a wrestler showing excellent evolution as a dastardly heel. The matches between the miraculous representatives of lucha libre wrestling are magnificent, but the foundation of this hallmark storyline is a simple friendly fire between the then-tag team champions and the littlest of the fans acknowledge this!
The reason for this match being the underrated one in their series is because of not one, but three different reasons in my opinion: lack of an intense arc, an almost good length and the finish most importantly. Nonetheless, both had the fans’ adrenaline pump up to an all-time high through their exhilarating action that spilled all over the ring. It was wild to see these mavericks of the high-flying genre blast the fireworks for the rest of the night. Even though there were extremely better matches after this, I’m glued to this one as my personal pick for the top three listing.
5. The Usos (Jey Uso & Jimmy Uso) vs. The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus) vs. Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev – SmackDown Tag Team Championships Fatal Four Way Match: WrestleMania 35
On the April 2nd episode of SmackDown, the host of WrestleMania, Alexa Bliss appreciated The Usos’ behaviour in the tag team gauntlet against The New Day. She did, however, mention that their choice had consequences that needed to be dealt with, creating a fatal four-way competition for the tag team titles. The challengers were Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev, Aleister Black & Ricochet, and Sheamus & Cesaro as The Bar.
I was aware that if given the proper stage and amount of time to perform, these four teams would wreck the house. They lost little time in fighting like there was no tomorrow, even though the second aspect was less desirable, and ended up delivering a spectacular sprint. Even though there were two teams in this division with less experience than the other, there was no nonsense, and the game could have been won by either team.
4. Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles – WrestleMania 33
Shane McMahon, the commissioner of SmackDown, gave AJ Styles several chances to win back the WWE Championship after he failed to successfully defend it at Royal Rumble. At Elimination Chamber, Bray Wyatt won the title, which he successfully defended against John Cena and AJ Styles, two former champions, on the ensuing SmackDown edition. Styles attacked Shane brutally as a result of his repressed rage for failing to reclaim his throne. Because of this, Daniel Bryan, the brand’s general manager, fired him from the programme. Shane didn’t allow this happen and instead demanded a bout at WrestleMania to make things right.
This was a phenomenal (pun intended) surprise from both men as they exceeded all expectations and took the fight to the next level. Styles largely undervalued Shane, which led to frantic back-and-forth action with a ref bump that was expected when Shane was involved. The momentum increased after the bump, laying the groundwork for an amazing final stretch. Despite the storyline being developed on short notice, both men delivered a superb battle with all the emotions flowing smoothly.
3. Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes – WrestleMania 27
These two men engaged in a match on January 11, 2011, which served as the unintentional beginning of a rivalry. Mysterio attacked Rhodes’ nose more aggressively than anticipated by hitting the 619 on him while leaving his knee exposed. As a result, Rhodes missed several weeks of action and returned wearing a face mask to protect his nose. He immediately pointed the finger at Mysterio for making him miss the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber pay-per-views back-to-back. The masked maverick was destroyed by Cody Rhodes by unmasking him, setting up the inevitable duel for WrestleMania. However, Dusty Rhodes’ intervention to mediate the conflict was only a deception.
I thought the build-up to this match was a fantastic piece of work since it gave both men the chance to show off their greatest wrestling skills and personas. Both men’s careers reached their pinnacle at this point, but Cody’s has been the most successful since he has been able to locate the appropriate shoes to fit in. The “Undashing” character was THE finest creation of his time in the WWE, and I would want to see the current American Nightmare reprise any kind of viciousness. Yet, a fantastic combat with excellently detailed layers supported the strong story arc. The emotional aspect of this competition was greatly enhanced by both guys utilising each other’s protective gear as weapons to exact revenge. Mysterio might have easily won this match, but Cody’s victory enhanced the value of his upbeat attitude, making the continuation of this feud much greater.
2. Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali – Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: WrestleMania 34
Enzo Amore was fired from WWE and stripped of the Cruiserweight Title following the allegations in January 2018. The purple brand, 205 Live, was without a champion at the moment, and Drake Maverick, the brand’s newest general manager, faced a difficult choice. So he announced a 16-man knockout tournament to determine the next champion. The two contestants who advanced to the finals of the competition were Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali. The finale took place at WrestleMania, the biggest stage in the WWE.
After a highly regarded competition in the Cruiserweight Classic, 205 Live gained the majority of the eyes that enjoyed the international showcase event for cruiserweights. 205 Live first began as one of the entertaining endeavours under the direction of HHH. This particular game put a lot of strain on the fans’ attachment to their product. Thankfully, both men accepted this enormous responsibility on their shoulders, put on an exciting fight, and shown via their committed display and victory that they are some of the most talented individuals available. Although there were other matches from this group that performed even better, but they made a good initial impression on the general public with this one.
1. Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton – World Heavyweight Championship Match: WrestleMania 22
One of the most impressive performances in the Royal Rumble match was delivered by Rey Mysterio in 2006 thereby clinching a place in the Hollywood edition of WrestleMania facing the mainstream champion of his choice. Kurt Angle was the World Champion of the brand he was on and he took the easy route. But, Randy Orton spoilt the dreams of the masked maverick in a battle for the WrestleMania spot at No Way Out ending in a highway robbery for The Legend Killer. However, the heartfelt motive of Mysterio had Theodore Long make a decision and add him rightfully in the place he earned by outlasting 29 wrestlers.
There has never before been a World Championship match that lasted less than ten minutes in the rich history of WrestleMania. Naturally, there will be 5-minute sprints following this one, but they won’t be as memorable as this legendary confrontation. Lesnar/Goldberg at ‘Mania 33, Lesnar/Rollins at ‘Mania 35, and Lesnar/McIntyre at ‘Mania 36 were preceded by this match. This match, in my opinion, was one of the underestimated World Championship events at WrestleMania because of the fast-paced action, the outstanding competitors, and the promise Rey kept that he would be the winner in the end.
Hope you like this list of the underrated battles that took place at the granddaddy of pro wrestling spectacles, WrestleMania. Chime in your favorites in this category right below in the comments section. I’ll come back with another great cover! Until then, happy reading and happy living!
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