3. Wrestlemania 19
Safeco Field in Seattle was the venue of Wrestlemania 19, and to say the 54,000 fans in attendance “got their money’s worth” is an understatement. Much like Wrestlemania 24, this show had both the intangibles that made a great PPV: great matches, perfect pacing. There was really no below average match. Sure, the first 4 matches of the night were quick-hitters but they were all solid tilts that the crowd was squarely behind. But it was the final 5 matches of the night that set this PPV apart from almost the rest of the crowd.
The double main event which was The Rock versus Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar versus Kurt Angle marked what was the best combined 2 closing matches in pay-per-view history. The Rock, after losing to Austin at 2 other Mania’s got his redemption in what would turn out to be “The Rattlesnake’s” final wrestling match. And as far as the Angle/Lesnar match went, everyone knew it was going to be a gem and these two went above and beyond that. In what was their first ever televised one on one match with each other, the two master technicians played pro wrestling chess over the course of 21 glorious minutes. And of course, there was Brock’s Shooting Star Press botch, which also adds to the “must-see” nature of this event.
And in what was no shock to any wrestling fan on Earth, the Shawn Michaels match stole the show. In his first ever match with Chris Jericho, a lifelong fan of Michaels, the duo put on a performance that should be on any top 10 list of Wrestlemania matches. It was beautifully woven story of a guy trying to top his idol, trying everything in his arsenal but still coming up short. The final image of Jericho crying before kicking Michaels in the groin is one Mania’s greatest moments and something that launched “Y2J”‘s career into another dimension. Amazing Wrestlemania, but there was one that was just a little bit better.