Corrigan’s Corner: 32 Biggest WrestleMania Blunders

You could call these the opposite of WrestleMania moments.

With half of the roster on the shelf, and fears that Undertaker will face Braun Strowman, WrestleMania 32 could end up as the biggest disaster in history.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit extreme. After all, there have been some real clunkers, trainwrecks and WTF moments over the past 31 years.

32. Hardcore Battle Royal

With seven seconds left, Hardcore Holly smashed a jar of candy over cousin Crash’s head and scored the pin to win the Hardcore Championship. However, referee Tim White was supposed to have time run out and Crash retain the title.

31. Bret Skips WrestleMania 22

Bret Hart entering the WWE Hall of Fame was a huge deal back in 2006. It was the first time The Hitman had anything to do with the company since the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. While Steve Austin’s induction speech and Hart’s acceptance are classic moments, it was disappointing the next night when all of the inductees were on stage for applause except for the Pink and Black Attack, who refused to make any other appearances.

30. Undertaker’s XX Return

Aside from the return of Paul Bearer, the Undertaker’s much-anticipated throwback to the days before his “American Badass” persona simply included a hat.

29. The Shampoo Showdown

Edge wrestled Booker T over a shampoo commercial deal at WrestleMania X-8. Yes, it’s better than hearing “Creative has nothing for you,” but that’s not exactly how Edge envisioned his first WrestleMania singles match in his hometown.

28. Mr. Perfect on Pre-Show

Having returned to the WWF at the Royal Rumble, and making a strong showing for himself in the ring with Stone Cold, Triple H and Kurt Angle, Mr. Perfect deserved better than being relegated to the pre-show of WrestleMania X-8.

27. Tag Title Unification

I’ll give you $100 and Jack Goodwillie’s snapchat name if you can tell me who was involved in the Tag Team Championship unification match on the pre-show of WrestleMania 25.

26. Nathan Jones

Ah, the Colossus of Boggo Road was so unnecessarily pushed that he was slated to be the Undertaker’s only tag team partner in Mania history. Thankfully, WWE got cold feet and pulled Jones from the match, blaming a sneak attack during Sunday Night Heat.

25. Blackface Piper

No one knows why “Rowdy” Roddy Piper painted himself half black during his brawl with Bad News Brown at WrestleMania VI. HotRod would be crucified if he pulled that stunt today, but even 26 years ago, folks felt uneasy about the “mind games.”

24. Bundy’s “9 Second” Squash

King Kong Bundy steamrolled “Special Delivery” Jones during the inaugural WrestleMania, but it certainly wasn’t in the nine seconds as had been reported. Listen, it took nine seconds just for Bundy to cover S.D.!

23. Trump Eats a Stunner

You have to give credit to The Donald for agreeing to do it in the first place.

22. Steph’s Rock Hard Lie

During WrestleMania 31, Stephanie McMahon slapped The Rock, questioning how he’d retaliate.

“What are you gonna do, Rock? Hit a woman?”

In today’s P.C., P.G. culture, obviously no. But 15 years earlier, yes Steph, he would hit a woman with a Rock Bottom—just like he did to you at WrestleMania 2000.

21. Flair on Pre-Show

One year before his incredible retirement match, the greatest professional wrestler in the history of mankind competed on the PRE-SHOW of WrestleMania 23, teaming with Carlito against Chavo Guerrero and Gregory Helms.

20. WrestleMania 7 Switches Venues

Originally scheduled for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, WrestleMania VII was moved to the smaller Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena due to “security concerns” surrounding Sgt. Slaughter’s anti-America campaign or, in reality, subpar ticket sales.

19. Brawl For All

The legitimate fighting tournament resulted in numerous injuries and an unlikely winner—Bart Gunn, who was then booked against legitimate boxer ButterBean at WrestleMania XV and knocked out in about 30 seconds.

18. Triple H Pins Booker T

All of the hate that Triple H receives for supposedly burying talent stems from WrestleMania XIX, when he defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Booker T. In the buildup to the match, The Game and his trusty pal Slick Ric alluded to the fact that black people have rarely been in the title picture because “people like you don’t deserve it. You’re not a competitor, you’re an entertainer. You’re here to make people like me laugh.”

It wasn’t the first time racism had been used in a championship storyline. About a decade earlier, Vader’s manager Harley Race said similar remarks to challenger Ron Simmons. But the difference between the two storylines is that the hero won in the Simmons’ angle. In the Booker T angle, he was nailed with a pedigree, HHH took a minute to cover him, and then Trips won cleanly.

17. Chester McCheeserton

Even diehard fans would be hard-pressed to know who this is. Answer: Headcheese’s (Al Snow & Steve Blackman) mascot at WrestleMania 2000.

16. Akebono vs. Big Show

Literally the biggest waste of space and time in WrestleMania history.

15. 25 Diva Battle Royal

To this day, I still don’t know who was in the match, but I remember the disappointment of how rushed this mess was. Instead of giving each diva, including a few blasts from the past that everyone was pumped for, their own entrance, all 25 women danced down the ramp while Kid Rock sang a medley. And then they “fought.”

14. Rock vs. Hogan Not Main Eventing

Although WWE could not have predicted that the Toronto crowd would embrace the evil “Hollywood” Hogan and transform his dream match against The Rock into greatness, it was still indeed a dream match. Triple H winning the Undisputed Championship from Chris Jericho would never have topped the reaction of a Hogan/Rock battle.

13. Orton vs. HHH

The hype was unbelievable as Randy Orton had become the hottest villain in the industry, attacking Stephanie McMahon and then kissing her prone body while her handcuffed husband was forced to watch. But then the energy just petered out as they exchanged finishers in the opening minute, leaving nothing to build to, and then ending with The Game uneventfully retaining the World Heavyweight Championship.

12. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels Not Main Eventing

Perhaps the main reason that match failed to deliver is because Undertaker and Shawn Michaels had already stolen the show. Whereas Rock/Hogan wasn’t a surefire hit, it would be impossible for the Deadman and HBK to have a bad match. Two legendary figures, both super babyfaces, both hometown boys, battling for the first time in more than a decade.

C’mon, Vince. That’s THEE main event.

11. Sheamus’ 18 Second Win

A kiss from AJ, a Brogue Kick and an immediate pinfall gutted the Miami crowd and spawned the worldwide “YES! Movement.”

10. WrestleMania VI Deaths

It’s not so much a blunder as it is a tragic statistic that WrestleMania VI has the most deceased performers on its card.

Seventeen of the performers, including Miss Elizabeth, commentator Gorilla Monsoon and his son, referee Joey Marella, have all passed away since the event 26 years ago. All but one of these deaths had occurred before the age of 64. Dusty Rhodes (age 69 at the time of his death) is the only one to have lived beyond that age.

9. CM Punk Never Main Eventing

There is a lot to be debated from CM Punk’s infamous podcast with Colt Cabana. One point that can’t be denied is that the “Best in the World” should have headlined a WrestleMania between 2011 and 2013.

While his pipebomb didn’t occur until after WrestleMania XXVII, Punk was still a hot heel heading into the event. A championship matchup with John Cena would be logical and most definitely more profitable than the Miz/Cena title bout. But in hindsight, the Miz was merely a proxy to set up The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII.

So what about WrestleMania 29? Although a rematch between Rock and Cena made sense businesswise after the two broke-records the year prior, it was dreadfully predictable. By inserting Punk into the match and making it a triple threat, the event would have had a bit more intrigue and Punk would be rewarded for his 434-day championship reign.

Unfortunately, that did not happen so we got Cena conquering Rock and Punk fleeing the company. But he did manage to leave us with a classic encounter against Undertaker, which of course, stole the show.

8. Vince vs. Bret

Thirteen years in the making, Bret Hart would finally get his hands on the man who screwed him out of the WWF Championship at Survivor Series 1997. Although a lot had happened in those years, Owen’s tragic death, Bret’s stroke, McMahon’s age, there was still anticipation over the Hitman locking his ex-boss in the Sharpshooter and savoring each second McMahon squirmed.

For 11 mind-numbing minutes, it was the fans who squirmed. Hart’s physical limitations allowed him to only bash McMahon with a chair and send him into the lions’ den of Hart family members eager to beat up the billionaire.

7. Undertaker /Wyatt Storyline

For once, WWE had an original storyline at its finger tips. After 21 years of going undefeated at WrestleMania, the Undertaker lost to Brock Lesnar. What would become of The Deadman? How did he feel? Why come back to the Showcase of the Immortals?

None of those questions were answered heading into WrestleMania 31 as the Phenom accepted Bray Wyatt’s challenge for really, no reason. Although the match was better than expected, especially Undertaker’s movement and conditioning, Wyatt losing to a tombstone rendered the whole thing pointless.

6. Andre the Giant Memorial

On paper, a battle royal honoring Andre the Giant and consisting of everyone not on the WrestleMania card is a brilliant idea. For the past two years though, the execution has been piss-poor as the match takes place on the pre-show and its winners, Cesaro and Big Show, have not advanced in their careers since winning the “prestigious” trophy.

5. Brock vs. Goldberg

A dream match turned into a nightmare as the Madison Square Garden crowd dumped all over Brock Lesnar and Goldberg during their clusterfuck at WrestleMania XX.

4. Jerry Lawler Loses

Broadcasting WWE action for 17 years, The King had yet to actually step inside the ring at WrestleMania. Well, that was about to change when Michael Cole became an obnoxious, villain-loving commentator and costed his partner the WWE Championship during a ladder match against The Miz. After months of hostility between Lawler and Cole, a match was signed for WrestleMania XXVI with Stone Cold as the referee.

Not only did the match, entrances and a long-winded promo total a half hour, but it sucked. For a majority of the match, Michael Fucking Cole was pounding away on JERRY “THE KING” LAWLER’S leg. After the Hall of Famer recovered and dished out his own punishment, he seemingly got the win, until the anonymous RAW General Manager reversed the decision, awarding Cole the illogical victory and King a loss in his only Mania match.

3. WrestleMania 9

Universally rated the worst WrestleMania, the ninth edition of the event featured a poor lineup, toga-wearing men in their 40s and 50s, and Hulk Hogan somehow walking out of Caesar’s Palace as the WWF Champion despite unsuccessfully challenging for the Tag Team titles earlier in the show.

2. Sting Loses

The Streak ending, the Screwjob, the Finger Poke of Doom, all pale in comparison to the absurdity of Sting losing his WWE DEBUT to Triple H at WrestleMania 31. After 14 world titles and two Royal Rumble wins and almost two decades of jamming his sledgehammer in everyone’s asses, Triple H does not need to be kept “strong,” no matter who or what his next conquest may be. Bringing in the Stinger and having him lose his FIRST MATCH is simply bad for business.

1. Hogan vs. Flair

Of all the sins that Vince McMahon will have to answer for, this will keep him outside the pearly gates the longest. WrestleMania VIII should have ended with Hulk Hogan challenging Ric Flair for the WWE Championship; instead, Sid Justice battled the Hulkster and the Nature Boy defended against Randy Savage.

Why? We still don’t know.

WWE officials have claimed that Hogan vs. Flair did poorly on the house show circuit. However, a few non-televised main events doesn’t compare with the promotion and anticipation of a WrestleMania main event. Plus, the first pay-per-view meeting between the two icons drew 1.02 million buys for Bash at the Beach 1994, a record for WCW at the time.

On his podcast, Naitch said he gets asked about the match all the time, but was never informed that it was in the plans.

Fans maintain that it was indeed the plan because of a televised press conference where President Jack Tunney announced Hulk Hogan as Flair’s No. 1 contender at WrestleMania. Somewhere along the line that changed to the matches mentioned above, and a storyline reason was never given.

Hell, we’re still bitter that the match WrestleMania was intended for never graced the Grandest Stage.

No Comment

Leave a Reply