The Worst Matches at WrestleMania

Michael N. Todaro

The Showcase of the Immortals has given us some real clunkers. Here's the best of the worst.

Not everything at Wrestlemania is awesome. In fact, the WWE frequently gives us some fairly horrible matches at its biggest show of the year.

Worst women's match

The Fabulous Moolah vs. Velvet McIntyre
Wrestlemania 2

There have been some fairly horrible women's concept matches at Wrestlemania -- the evening gown match at Wrestlemania 20 and pillow fight at Wrestlemania 22 come to mind almost immediately -- but for an actual women's wrestling match, nothing tops the topless.  In the opening match of the second venue for Wrestlemania 2 -- the event was scheduled with four matches each at Nassau Coliseum, the Rosemont Horizon and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena -- defending Women's Champion Moolah spent a minute getting hammered by the challenger McIntyre. But when Moolah sidestepped an attempted splash, McIntyre's top came off and she fell to the ground.  Moolah dove on top of her, which was technically a pin attempt. Three seconds later, it was over, with both competitors looking confused.

Worst match involving a future Senate candidate

Vince McMahon vs. Shane McMahon
Wrestlemania 17

A candidate running against Linda McMahon once looped a video of the WWE matriarch and multiple-time Connecticut Senate candidate kicking her husband in the groin for a political ad. But if someone really wanted to mess with McMahon's Senate chances and had enough money to run a 20-minute advertisement, he or she would be well-served by replaying the hype video and "street fight" between her husband and son at Wrestlemania 17.

Linda kicked a lot of people in the groin. It was basically her finishing move.

The premise was as weird as it ever got, even for Attitude-Era WWE. Vince wanted to fire Mick Foley as WWF Commissioner, but Foley was protected by a supportive Linda. Vince did what anyone would do in that situation: He demanded a divorce, which caused Linda to have a nervous breakdown. Vince was named CEO in her absence, and took advantage of the situation by firing Foley and starting an on-screen affair with Trish Stratus, often with Linda sitting comatose in a nearby wheelchair. The affair angered Shane O'Mac, who bought WCW out from under Vince's nose, then challenged the old man to a street fight.

The match is memorable for Shane throwing himself off the top turnbuckle through the Spanish announce table and missing most of the match, only to return, prop his dad up in the corner of the ring with a trashcan in his lap, and drop kick him from the opposite turnbuckle. What is less memorable is Trish Stratus wheeling a sedated Linda McMahon out to witness the carnage, Vince rolling Linda into the ring and setting her down on a steel chair to watch the match, and Linda coming out of her haze long enough to kick Vince in the groin. Linda kicked a lot of people in the groin. It was basically her finishing move.

Worst Gimmick Match

Brawl 4 All Finale
Bart Gunn vs. Butterbean
Wrestlemania 15

The Brawl 4 All was the WWE's answer to Toughman competitions, a 16-man tournament that featured actual fighting. It was a fairly horrible idea from the start, made worse by a convoluted set of rules and a bunch of competitors that probably should have won -- Dan Severn was in this thing, until he either quit or was taken out by WWE officials because he was totally going to win -- and even more who had no business being there.

Anyway, Bart Gunn eventually won the tournament by knocking everyone the hell out (except for Bob Holly, because Bob Holly doesn't get knocked out), defeating Bradshaw in the final on Monday Night Raw in late-August. It looked like Brawl 4 All had come to an end ... until Wrestlemania, when WWF booked Gunn in a boxing match with Butterbean, the portly pugilist who had previously fought Marc Mero on a WWF pay-per-view. The Mero match had been scripted. This one wasn't, and Gunn had no idea what he was getting into. 'Bean dropped him in just 27 seconds with a left hook that sent Gunn to the mat headfirst. Rumor was that, when Gunn came to, he thought he had won the match. And so ended Brawl 4 All, arguably the worst idea WWF ever had.

Worst Celebrity Involvement

Snooki vs. LayCool
Wrestlemania 27

This is all Donald Trump's fault.

It didn't used to be that flash-in-the-pan pop stars got a ticket to Wrestlemania on the road to irrelevance, but Trump's "Hair vs. Hair" match with Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania 23 changed the dynamic. Enter Snooki, at the waning moments of Jersey Shore popularity, who got into a fight with Vickie Guerrero on Raw, forced Layla and Michelle McCool from the ring later that evening, then beat up LayCool in a bar on another episode. They went to 'Mania for a six-person mixed tag match that somehow involved John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler that Snooki inevitably won.

It's a good thing we know that wrestling is fake, because otherwise having two former women's champions lose to the human incarnation of a Butterball turkey would be really embarrassing.

Worst Main Event

The Miz vs. John Cena
Wrestlemania 27

This match came immediately after Snooki's win, and it might actually be worse. It's hard to imagine now, but The Miz was pretty much excellent in early-2011 as a heel who won the WWE Championship by cashing in a Money in the Bank contract and then holding onto it for a shocking four months. But Mike was overshadowed completely by his opponent, John Cena, and Wrestlemania host The Rock, to the point that the champion was a bit player in the main event. For two months, the build to Wrestlemania was dominated by Cena and The Rock, despite the fact that the returning People's Champion was not actually wrestling in the event.

The match became what everyone expected the match would become: A rambling, incoherent mess performed less to highlight the best WWE had to offer and more to promote the next year's Wrestlemania main event (which was booked the following night on Monday Night Raw). After 20 minutes, both Miz and Cena were unconscious outside the ring, leading to a double countout in the biggest match of the year.

The Rock restarted the match as a no-disqualification, then planted Cena with a Rock Bottom, giving Miz the win and Cena a year to build for the next year's Wrestlemania. It was a comically bad ending to a rather putrid event.

Worst Match

Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez
Wrestlemania 9

Let's get this out of the way first: Technically, there have been worse matches at Wrestlemania. Brandon Stroud wrote last week that Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler at Wrestlemania 27 was his choice, and it's viable (that really might have been the worst Wrestlemania ever). Bret Hart pummeled Vince McMahon for 12 minutes the previous year, a match that went about 11 minutes too long. Many of the gimmick matches that Wrestlemania has hosted have been worse than Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez. But those matches are supposed to be terrible. Nobody expects Michael Cole to put on a good show, or Maria Menounos to start piledriving fools.

These two, on the other hand, are actual wrestlers, and their match at Wrestlemania 9 should not have been a joke. Undertaker was at the height of his pre-biker powers, with his character still less mortician and more zombie and bringing a live vulture to the ring ("LOOK AT THE VULTURE!" Bobby Heenan yelled). Giant Gonzalez was a 7'6 Argentinian in a hairy body suit.

Undertaker really had no answer for Giant Gonzalez. He had some early success with quick moves, but Gonzaelz eventually took control and tossed 'Taker around the ring like a rag doll. A chinlock by Gonzaelz went on for so long and got so boring that Macho Man, doing commentary at ringside, started talking about the Mr. Perfect-Lex Luger match that had just finished. This thing should have been over.

And then Harvey Whippleman threw Giant Gonzalez a rag soaked in chloroform, and Gonzaelz didn't even try to conceal its use. The announcers start talking about the stench, leading to this exchange.

Bobby Heenan: What's that smell? What's that smell?
Macho Man: It's chloro ...
Bobby Heenan: What is that smell?
Macho Man: That's, that's, that's chloro ... chlorofoam. What do they call it?
Jim Ross: It's chloroform.

In any case, the use of chloroform is a pretty obvious disqualification. Had they not been wrestling in Nevada, it would have probably been a Class C felony. AND THE STREAK GOES TO 3-0!

Worst match ever, you guys. Worst. Match. Ever.

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