WrestleMania is WWE’s biggest show of the year, the culmination of months of hard work, planning and preparation. Key storylines leading into the show and the top matches on the show itself are typically planned well in advance, those involving the very top stars taking precedence.
The Showcase of the Immortals has in recent times grown to accommodate as many of the active roster as possible, often featuring multi-man matches or battle royals so that everyone from Curt Hawkins to Shelton Benjamin can have their WrestleMania moment.
Naturally, the top matches are set aside for your John Cenas, Brock Lesnars and whatever legends or current headliners are in the mix. As it’s such a stacked show, WrestleMania arguably has several ‘main events’ but the reality is that only one match can go on last.
Common sense would tell you that the last match on the card should go to the match with the biggest stars or with the hottest angle going into the show, but that has not always been the case. WWE have routinely got the WrestleMania show-closer wrong, which is baffling when usually the most worthy match is usually RIGHT THERE ON THE SAME SHOW.
Whether plainly obvious at the time or easy to say in retrospect, the following matches should have, if the powers that be were paying attention, closed out WrestleMania in style.
10. Randy Savage Vs. The Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania VII
WrestleMania VII had its share of issues, the main one being that the show was moved from the 100,000 person capacity Lost Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the much smaller Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, due to ‘security concerns’.
The concerns, such as they were, stemmed from the possibility of a potential attack or attacks on wrestlers, fans or the building itself due to the heat generated from WWE Champion Sargent Slaughter’s turn as an Iraqi sympathiser in the wake of the Gulf War.
Riding a wave of good old-fashioned red, white and blue-blooded American patriotism, noted flag waver Hulk Hogan was challenging for the strap in the jingoistic headliner. While all well and good as a morale booster for those that reside in the land of the free, WWE’s international fanbase were left out in the cold, gravitating to a much more compelling and universal rivalry that was concluded further down the card.
The outing that should have gone on last was Macho King Randy Savage’s ‘Retirement Match’ with The Ultimate Warrior.
A way better contest than the Hulkster and Sarge could ever wish to pull off, the Savage/Warrior match had everything needed to close out the biggest show of the year.
They had a simple yet well-defined issue, with Randy having cost Warrior the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble, a great story within the match itself, real stakes with both men’s careers being on the line, audience investment and an iconic finish and post-match angle.
Sincerely, if WWE could go back in time and redo the show I’m sure they would yell ‘cut’ seconds after the reunion between Savage and Miss Elizabeth and have Hogan’s mandatory pose-down take place somewhere around match number ten.
Incredibly, Savage and Warrior’s big blowoff was match number seven on a fourteen-match card, meaning they went on before Greg Valentine, Virgil, The Mountie and Paul Roma.