We’re three days away from WrestleMania XXX, and NZPWI is counting down the 10 best matches from the last 10 years of the showcase of the immortals.
We’re covering 10 different matches featuring 13 different superstars held at seven different WrestleManias over the past decade. Will your favourite make the list?
The next of our 10 in 10 is one of the most brutal and bloody matches in WrestleMania history. It was a match fuelled by blood and gold, and a match that ended in fire.
Coming in at number three, it’s the hardcore match between Edge and Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22.
NZPWI’s 10 BEST WRESTLEMANIA MATCHES OF THE LAST 10 YEARS
#3: EDGE VS. MICK FOLEY (WRESTLEMANIA 22)
For over half a decade, Edge had been plying his craft in the ring to become the best in the business. After years of winning Tag Team, Intercontinental, and United States Championships, Edge finally made the big time by winning the first ever Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 21.
Despite cashing in his briefcase and winning the WWE Championship at January’s New Year’s Revolution, Edge would lose the championship at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view only three weeks later. He would then also lose his rematch where Mick Foley was the special guest referee.
Enraged at Mrs Foley’s Baby Boy, Edge would spear Foley after a low blow by Lita. The next week, Foley would reject a wrestling match challenge and would offer a challenge of his own: “a match where there are no rules, where there are no excuses.” A Hardcore Match was set as a challenge for WrestleMania and, after a disgusting con-chair-to on Foley the next week, Edge accepted.
Unfortunately, with everything Edge had done to provoke Foley, he had awoken something “that had been sleeping for too long”, he had “created a monster”. The match between the two would not be between Edge and Mick Foley; the match would be between The Rated-R Superstar and the reawakened Hardcore Legend.
Each of these men had one thing that would allow them to destroy the other and emerge victor: Mick Foley, a semi-retired father of four, needed to “dig deep inside himself and find the evil son of a bitch” that destroyed himself and others all around the world; Edge, however, had the “Sinister Sexpot” by his side in a match where everything was allowed.
At first, it looked as though neither of these facets would come into play. Lita remained on the outside of the ring while Foley took the fight to Edge. However, once Edge had turned the match around with a big boot to the face, he began directing traffic on the outside before beating Foley with a number of foreign objects.
Edge had played his card and it looked as though the match would be over early. Foley was down, Edge waited patiently, and then hit what would usually be a match-ending spear. However, it turned out Foley was playing his card of insanity all along. As Edge came in to hit his finisher, Foley opened his shirt to reveal barbed wire wrapped around his torso. The result left Edge’s shoulder a bloody mess and allowed Foley to turn the match back in his favour.
He would maintain his new-found momentum, even hitting his patented Cactus Clothesline with Lita hanging on his back. However, it wasn’t long before control would turn again as Edge used Foley’s momentum and the steel stairs to his advantage.
Edge would then use the surrounding environment to his advantage with devastating effect. Once the two were back in the ring, Edge then tried to set his opponent on fire by dousing him in lighter fluid. Luckily, Foley managed to turn the tables once more and hit a piledriver on the Ultimate Opportunist.
Although he kept himself from being set on fire, he didn’t maintain control for long as Lita provided distraction long enough for Edge to hit Foley with a DDT to a metal sheet.
Edge would then use Foley’s weapon of choice against him: a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire known as Barbie.
Still unable to pick up the victory, Edge decided to continue down his own new path of hardcore by entering thumbtacks into the fray. Unfortunately for Edge, Foley turned the tide and dropped Edge onto the thumbtacks with a back suplex that was best described as “extreme acupuncture”.
Not content with that, Foley turned Mr Socko into Mr Hardcore-Socko by wrapping barbed wire around it before delivering his version of the mandible claw to Edge and then Lita. Now, it was time for Foley to make use of Barbie. A series of shots and Edge was opened up. Both men were now bloody and this was truly hardcore.
Foley then turned his attention back to the lighter fluid. He picked it up and began saturating a table set up on the outside. Unfortunately for him, Lita was not done yet and hit him in the knee with Barbie. She set the table on fire, Foley slowly got back to his feet, and Edge speared Foley through the ropes and through the wooden inferno.
Edge, now covered in second-degree burns, put his hand over the charred flesh of Mick Foley to score the pinfall and remain undefeated at WrestleMania. Despite losing the match, it appeared as though Foley truly had his defining moment on the Grandest Stage of Them All with one of the best matches in WrestleMania history.
#10: MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH (WRESTLEMANIA 21)
#9: EDGE VS. UNDERTAKER (WRESTLEMANIA XXIV)
#8: TRIPLE H VS. UNDERTAKER (WRESTLEMANIA XXVIII)
#7: RIC FLAIR VS. SHAWN MICHAELS (WRESTLEMANIA XXIV)
#6: CHRIS JERICHO VS. CM PUNK (WRESTLEMANIA XXVI)
#5: KURT ANGLE VS. SHAWN MICHAELS (WRESTLEMANIA 21)
#4: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. UNDERTAKER (WRESTLEMANIA XXVI)