3 classic WrestleMania matches to rewatch before WrestleMania 38

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Michaels attends the 2011 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Philips Arena on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 03: Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Michaels attends the 2011 WWE Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Philips Arena on April 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images) /

WrestleMania. “The Showcase of the Immortals”. “The Granddaddy of them All”. For nearly 37 years, this cross-cultural spring supercard has served as WWE’s biggest show of the year, the culmination of a year’s worth of storylines (most years).

While the build to this year’s show — which will air on two nights for the third consecutive year — has mostly failed to generate the level of anticipation worthy of the show, plenty of fans are still excited about it solely on the basis of it being WrestleMania. Plus, there are other ways to pump yourself up for the show without subjecting yourself to weekly WWE television.

For example, you could watch some classic WrestleMania matches that showcase the sorts of effort from wrestlers who want to turn in the best performance possible on such a big show. So, let’s take a look at a few of them.

These are three classic WrestleMania matches worth a look.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle (WrestleMania 21)

Remember when WWE pretended to care about the brand split and it created situations where certain matches felt special? Now, to be fair, Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle would’ve been great regardless of WWE’s adherence to keeping Raw and SmackDown separate, but having that little bit of mystery as to what a Michaels vs. Angle match would look like due to the two working on opposite shows helped add that little bit of extra intrigue.

Of course, once the match finally happened, it either lived up to or exceeded most fans’ wildest imaginations. Between the early and consistent story of Michaels frustrating Angle to get the former Olympian off his game (which led to a great Sweet Chin Music spot), Michaels’ excellent selling, Angle’s outstanding numbing good mat work, and an amazing finish that saw Angle rise like a zombie to lock in the Ankle Lock, these two turned in a masterpiece at WrestleMania 21.

Sure, that very same finish featured the sort of melodrama that would inform how Michaels agents NXT main events, but it took little away from the match.

Money in the Bank ladder match (WrestleMania 22)

Given how good the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match turned out to be, the sequel had a lot of expectations to live up to. Fortunately, the sextet of Rob Van Dam, Matt Hardy, Ric Flair, Finlay, then-Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin, and a young Bobby Lashley was up to the challenge.

The second edition of this match was more of a spotfest than its predecessor, but when two of those spots includes Benjamin running up and somersaulting off a ladder and then springboarding off the ropes and onto a ladder towards the end, calling it that is more of a compliment than a protestation.

Everyone else got their stuff in throughout the match, and it makes for an entertaining watch.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (WrestleMania 21)

As the story goes, WWE added this match to the WrestleMania 21 card at the last minute after Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio pitched for it due to the company having no creative plans for them for the show. Just a reminder: These weren’t two curtain jerkers that WWE had nothing for, these were TWO OF THE MOST OVER BABYFACES IN THE ENTIRE PROMOTION, ONE OF WHICH WAS WWE CHAMPION LESS THAN A YEAR AGO.

So, just in case you thought WWE not having plans for its top stars heading into WrestleMania was a new phenomenon, let this serve as a rebuttal to that notion. Oh, and Guerrero and Mysterio were also the WWE Tag Team Champions at the time, so it also showed how little WWE cared about tag teams even then.

Regardless of that, though, this opener proved that Guerrero and Mysterio were incapable of having a bad match together. Both were babyfaces (obviously), but even with this being a gentleman’s duel of a match, you could still sense the tension between the two and the frustration building in Guerrero over not being able to beat Mysterio. That frustration would fuel his heel turn later in the year.

Next. Roman Reigns must defeat Brock Lesnar clean at WrestleMania 38. dark

Is this match as good as their Haloween Havoc 1997? Well, no, but a fun match between two real-life friends.