Ranking 10 WWE Matches That Turned Wrestlers Into Superstars

Counting down stellar matches that created household names.

The Undertaker Brock Lesnar

Picture this: A mid-card wrestler steps through the curtain to a smattering of applause that's barely audible over the blare of their entrance music. The crowd isn't disrespectful -- there are no echoing boos or obnoxious epithets -- but it's clear their hearts and minds aren't focused on the guy making his way down the ramp.

When the bell rings, many in the crowd are chatting with their buddies about how excited they are for the main event, while others are taking selfies and generally ignoring the in-ring action. But as the match wears on, the energy between the ropes starts to sizzle. The excitement starts to build and the crowd heats up. There's something incredible brewing now.

By the time the winner's theme song hits again, the music is now being drowned out by the generous, appreciative roar of the fans. What those in attendance and at home may or may not realize is that they've just witnessed a star-making moment.

While it's not always so blatant as what I just described, watching a wrestler have "the match" that launches them up the ladder is one of the greatest parts about being a wrestling fan. So why not relive some of those special, crowning moments from back in the day?

10. Shawn Michaels Vs. Razar Ramon - Ladder Match (WrestleMania X)

The Undertaker Brock Lesnar

Shawn Michaels earned the moniker "Mr. WrestleMania" by being a perennial highlight of wrestling's biggest showcase. After all, when you're the best thing about WWE's biggest night, people take notice. So it's fitting that HBK's big jump to superstardom occurred at the show, with the tenth iteration where the world was treated to his first truly special 'Mania match.

Sandwiched between two WWE Championship matches that are barely remembered today, Michaels and Razor Ramon delivered a high-flying and unusual (for the time) hit parade that had the crowd rocking the whole way through.

While it's true that the wildest spots of the night look pedestrian by today's standards -- even the iconically photographed splash was only delivered from two-thirds of the way up the ladder -- this was uncharted territory for WWE, and these two deserve a lot of credit for their innovation.

Going into the match, Michaels' in-ring abilities were incontestable, but his cocky Heartbreak Kid persona hadn't fully caught on with audiences. (The ladies seemed to like it, but the rest of WWE fans were split.) The best way to get the fans on your side is to give them something special in the ring. This 5-star rated "Match of the Year" -- according to Dave Meltzer and Pro Wrestling Illustrated, respectively -- accomplished that in spades.


Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.