18. Wrestlemania 21
If we were to judge Wrestlemania 21 purely on the first two-thirds of the show, it might rank somewhere in the top 10 on this list. Unfortunately the final 3rd of this show is what took it from potentially one of the best ever, to one that was just really good. In the final 3 matches to close out the show, The Big Show faced Akebono in a silly, 3-minute sumo wrestling match, a clearly unqualified John Cena defeated JBL for the WWE Championship in awkward style, and Batista defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship in a highly anticipated match that ended up being staggeringly boring. This all left wrestling fans wondering what might have been if only the booking stayed strong throughout.
But on to the good stuff and what made this show so effective early on. It opened with a hard-hitting, fast-paced, 12-minute shootout between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. That was followed by the very first ever and quite possibly still the very best Money In The Bank ladder match which Edge won. After that, The Undertaker extended The Streak by out-dueling a young and hungry Randy Orton who had really just come into his own.
But the gem of the evening went to Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels who put on a masterpiece of a match that is not only one of Wrestlemania’s best matches, but quite possibly a top 20 match in the history of the WWE. Over the course of 27 minutes, the 2 legends battled back and forth in what was the first-ever meeting between each other. It was insane to watch Michaels out grapple Angle for long stretches, only for Angle to use every nasty trick in the book to get the victory. The role-reversal was perfectly executed. If only the show had stopped there. But it didn’t, so the ranking on this list suffered. But don’t take anything away from the show, that night in Los Angeles was still great, and very deserving of the top 25 ever.