#16: Chris Benoit Wins The Title
Wrestlemania XX – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
March 14, 2004
The Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Benoit vs. HHH (c)
The Moment: For obvious reasons, I struggled a lot with this one. Given last summer’s murders, I wasn’t sure whether to celebrate Chris Benoit’s crowning achievement or not. In the end, I felt that we shouldn’t deny that this was a great ‘Mania moment. So, I kept it in.
#15: Family Feud
Wrestlemania X7 – Astrodome, Houston, TX
April 1, 2001
The Match: Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon
The Moment: The McMahons, the first family of wrestling, have had their share of infamous moments inside the ring but none more entertaining (or disturbing) than when Vince McMahon faced his only son, Shane, in a brutal match at WM X7. In the end, youth won out as Shane, who had just “purchased” WCW less than a week prior to their bout, reigned victorious over his old man with a devastating rendition of the Van Terminator.
#14: To the Employed Go the Spoils
Wrestlemania VII – LA Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA
March 24, 1991
The Match: The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy “Macho King” Savage in a Retirement Match
The Moment: There’s really nothing like a good ol’ fashioned retirement match– especially on the grandest stage of ‘em all. What made this one so intriguing was the uncertainty of who would have to call it quits. Would it be the babyface Ultimate Warrior or the now-heel Randy “Macho King” Savage? (Obviously, this is wrestling so we all knew the loser would return in six months but nevertheless it was squared circle drama at its best).
#13: The Ultimate Challenge
Wrestlemania VI – Skydome, Toronto, ON
April 1, 1990
The Match: Ultimate Warrior (I-C Champion) vs. Hulk Hogan (WWE Champion)
The Moment: This was Pepsi vs, Coke, Nike vs. Reebok, Jordan vs. Bird all rolled in one. In the early 1990s you were either an Ultimate Warrior fan or a Hulk Hogan fan. You just couldn’t be both. More importantly, Vince McMahon felt that Hulkamania was on its last legs and it was time to crown a new champion. Thus, he pitted the Intercontinental Champion, Ultimate Warrior, against the WWF champ, Hulk Hogan, in one of the most anticipated matches in WWF/E history. In hindsight, it was kind of fitting that this match took place on April’s Fools Day because clearly the joke was on anyone who thought Warrior would be a bigger star than Hogan ever was.