13th Aug2020

Ten Best: WrestleMania Matches of the 2010s

by Chris Cummings

I’ve previously listed my opinions of the ten best WrestleMania matches of the 80s, 90s and 2000s, so I’ll bring things closer to modern day with my list of the ten best WrestleMania bouts of the 2010s. There have been some fantastic matches between the years 2010 and 2019, and it was a tough job to pick out what I felt were the ten best, but I did my damndest, so let’s get on with this.

10. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey – WrestleMania 35

This match wasn’t as good as it should/could have been. That’s certain. Still… it was very good regardless of the bits that didn’t quite land, and the importance it holds pushes it into this list too. It was the first women’s match to headline a WrestleMania, and the reactions that each superstar had been getting on the lead-up, as well as on the night, showed that it was deserved. These women didn’t get shoe-horned in, they earned this spot, and it was great to see. Charlotte Flair is, in my view, the best female wrestler of all time, and this was another notch in her belt. Lynch was on fire as the face of WWE here, and Rousey was on an engaging run as a heel. It was top notch stuff, and the reaction to Becky picking up the win was delightful.

9. AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon – WrestleMania 33

Yes. You read that right. Shane-O-Mac is listed in one of the top ten Mania matches of the 2010s. I went back to this match, and I can’t NOT include it. Styles is a great worker, we all know that, but Shane doesn’t get enough credit for his side of things. He’s had some entertaining brawls and spot-matches with various guys over the years, but this showed that Shane can actually deliver in the ring too. It’s a damn fine match, and a fun opener too. I’m still surprised that it’s listed here, but… here we are.

8. Kofi Kingston vs. Daniel Bryan – WrestleMania 35

Daniel Bryan, one of the great underdogs in wrestling’s history… no longer the underdog. The Planet’s Champion was now playing the antagonist, and Kofi Kingston was the underdog challenger, a man who had fought and clawed for years and been ignored by management, finally being given a shot at the title after earning his shot. It’s a fantastic one-on-one match between two great wrestlers, and the story is wonderful too. The finish was exciting, and the post-match celebration is still moving and emotional to watch. The New Day in tears, the fans on their feet, and one of the most hard-working guys in WWE holding the WWE Championship above his head for the first time. Progress.

7. The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Hell in a Cell – WrestleMania XXVIII

This was one of those matches that sold itself. HHH and Undertaker, with Shawn Michaels as referee, in a Cell? I mean, come on now. Everyone wants to see that. It was a blast, too. These guys worked a great match within the limits of PG programming, and created a classic. The “End of an Era” didn’t quite come true, but it was emotional and well done, and the closing moment with the three embracing on the stage is one of those iconic wrestling images. But… this wasn’t Taker and Hunter’s best Mania match. More on that later.

6. Charlotte vs. Asuka – WrestleMania 34

Asuka had an iconic run in NXT, and was now fighting for the Women’s Title at WrestleMania on the main roster against Charlotte Flair after winning the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble. I don’t like how this ended, especially in retrospect, with Charlotte picking up the victory and retaining her title, but the match itself was splendid, as it should be considering these are two of the best wrestlers in WWE. Asuka can play the babyface and heel so well, and Charlotte is a natural bad-guy, so it’s great when two people capable of so much go head-to-head. A questionable finish doesn’t stop this from being a bloody wonderful example of great women’s wrestling.

5. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch – WrestleMania 32

This is, in my view, one of the best main-roster WWE women’s matches ever. Sasha Banks, one of the brightest and most talented wrestlers in WWE (then and now) facing Charlotte and Becky Lynch (before she became The Man). It’s a top notch triple threat encounter with all three showing what they can do in the ring. Banks shines brightest, perhaps, for me, but all three women prove why they have become three of the biggest names in wrestling. It’s matches like this that show why progress was necessary, because without it we wouldn’t be getting such entertaining and enjoyable moments.

4. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (vs. Seth Rollins) – WrestleMania 32

Roman Reigns was bound to win this. We all thought it. Hell… by all accounts, even Roman and his family thought he was beating Lesnar for the title here. Until he didn’t. The match itself was one-on-one for a good while, with Reigns being beaten senseless by Lesnar, bloodied yet still getting back up. It was a fun story, and Roman did a damn good job as the unbreakable babyface. Then… the twist happened, and Seth (Freaking) Rollins ran to the ring and turned the whole match on its head. Picking up the victory in what Michael Cole called “The Heist of the Century” on commentary, or something like that, the fans looked on as a new star was born and a new champion stood tall, swinging the belt above his head. Way to burn it down, mate. Good stuff.

3. Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton – WrestleMania XXX

Daniel Bryan had to beat HHH earlier in the night at Mania XXX to get a shot at the title in this match. He won. It was a story that had built over months, organically, as fans demanded that Daniel Bryan was given his place in the title match at WrestleMania. It was a great story because it was a real story, a story that changed paths as management adapted to the fans reactions. The match was very entertaining, with heels Batista and Orton beating the hell out of Bryan, and a little out of each other, before Bryan tapped out Big Dave for the victory. A miracle on Bourbon Street, indeed. This was a classic match with a fan reaction to rival any before. Perhaps the defining moment of Daniel Bryan’s WWE career, it showed how good WWE can be if they let things grow organically and give the fans what they are clamouring for. Yes!

2. Triple H vs. The Undertaker – WrestleMania XXVII

This is my favourite out of the three Undertaker/HHH WrestleMania clashes. They’re all great, sure, but this one, a simple one-on-one encounter, was an absolute classic. These two guys are two of my favourites ever, and seeing them deliver here, working at their very bests, was wonderful. Following the Taker/Shawn matches was never going to be easy, but I think these guys managed to pull off two fantastic bouts. I have great fondness for this match, and it pulled me in totally, making me think that this was indeed the end of the streak. Great.

1. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XXVI

Is this better than their match the previous year at WrestleMania XXV? I’m not sure it is, but it’s still a classic and I go back and forth on which I prefer, for various reasons. The story here is better than the first, with Michaels putting his career on the line to get a shot at Taker again, the man he couldn’t defeat the year prior. They both delivered. They went back to the well and still managed to find new things to do and new twists to insert into things. The finish is exceptional too, and if we ignore the Saudi match that everyone wants to forget, this was the last match HBK ever had. Yep. He never wrestled again. Never. Move on…

So there we go. Do you agree with this list? Which matches do you think are the best of the 2010s? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!


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