WWE’s annual sports-entertainment extravaganza, Wrestlemania, is just around the corner with the main event set to be a rematch of last year’s showdown between The Rock and John Cena, this time for the WWE Championship. While the main event acts as the big draw, the colossal Wrestlemania always has a strong under-card on paper as the company put it’s top talent on show along with the annual showcase of who will try to take down The Undertaker’s undefeated streak.
Every now and then Wrestlemania puts together a match that outshines the mar-key match-up of the night. The matches not for the WWE Title, but instead the Intercontinental or Tag Team Championships. Not between Champion and Contender, but bitter rivals, lifelong friends or even family members (both kayfabe and real). When men fight for legacies and, occasionally, their careers, there’s a good chance that will be the match you’ll be talking about the next day and the joy of Wrestlemania is it’s potential to have a special moment at any time.
These ten matches made the most of that potential, blowing past their year’s main events to deliver matches that stole the show. Let’s kick it all off with…
10. Angle vs Benoit vs Jericho – WrestleMania 16
Wrestlemania 16 is a strange beast, being the only Wrestlemania to not have a single one on one match on the entire card, barring a Terri Runnels vs The Cat ‘catfight’ which amount to precisely no wrestling ability. Instead we get a host of tag team matches, an entertaining Hardcore Titles battle royal (Hardcore title matches were always a solid under-card affair through the early 2000s) and a pretty decent fatal four-way elimination main event with Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show.
The match of the night, however, is the two-fall triple threat match for both the Intercontinental and European Championships between Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. If just the sound of that doesn’t whet your appetite then you just plain don’t like quality wrestling. The match is made by three people who take the same style, the confident, aggressive but technically proficient wrestler in different directions and its great to see Angle’s reaction to losing both championships without being involved in either fall. There’s a strong case to be made for the Triangle Ladder match from this ‘Mania, but this triple threat match oozes physical wrestling talent. Besides, we might just see The Hardys, The Dudleys and Edge and Christian later on in the list.
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This article was first posted on March 10, 2013