Most Anticipated WWE Matches of All Time

RedHoundoom
WWE has produced a huge number of unforgettable matches. The matches are remembered for two reasons. The first is pure wrestling quality and the second is the hype before the match. Some may have failed to live up to the hype but the matches are still remembered for the anticipation of the fans.

The Top Ten

1 The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels- CAREER VS STREAK (WrestleMania XXVI) The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels- CAREER VS STREAK (WrestleMania XXVI)

Following the greatest match in WWE history on the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker delivered another classic which is the most anticipated match in WWE history. The match lived up to the hype as well as it went on to be the greatest main event in WrestleMania history.

Initially refusing the challenge, The Undertaker was forced to accept after the Heartbreak Kid cost him the World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber. Goading Michaels into putting his career on the line, the match was also made a no-disqualification contest.

The anticipation levels for this match were through the roof, as many wondered if Michaels would be the first man to end The Streak, or if it would in fact be the final match of a legendary career. The promo work between two of the WWE's all-time greats only heightened the tension, and the match was perfectly poised by the time WrestleMania rolled around on March 28, 2010.

In the end, the two put ...more - RedHoundoom

2 The Rock vs Hollywood Hogan- ICON VS ICON (WrestleMania 18) The Rock vs Hollywood Hogan- ICON VS ICON (WrestleMania 18)

A fantasy match most of us never thought we would ever see, the "Icon vs Icon" clash between Hulk Hogan and The Rock is, in my mind, one of the most highly-anticipated match in WWE history.

The atmosphere was electric on the February 18, 2002 Raw as the People's Champion interrupted Hogan's promo, challenging him to a match at the Showcase of the Immortals. Fans were in raptures as the two shook hands and engaged in an intense staredown before The Great One dropped his adversary with a Rock Bottom.

The microphone duels between arguably the two biggest stars in history had the audience hooked on every word, and the rivalry between wrestling's past and wrestling's future generated a unique big-match aura. Squaring off in the run-up to the event in tag and multi-man matches, the audience were kept guessing as to who would come out on top in the dream match at the Toronto Skydome.

The atmosphere was absolutely electric by the time the two men faced each other on March ...more - RedHoundoom

3 The Rock vs John Cena- ONCE IN A LIFETIME (WrestleMania XVIII) The Rock vs John Cena- ONCE IN A LIFETIME (WrestleMania XVIII)

Billed as a "Once in a Lifetime" event, the slow-burning rivalry between John Cena and The Rock culminated in Wrestlemania 28 smashing company pay-per-view records, largely due to the clash between two of the WWE's biggest ever stars.

The seed of the match was planted at the previous year's WrestleMania, when The Great One cost Cena the WWE Title in the latter's match against The Miz. Challenging the People's Champion on the following edition of Raw, the two engaged in a series of confrontations over the following year that generated a huge amount of excitement for the eventual match.

Despite The Rock's hectic schedule, he devoted enough time to the rivalry over the year that it remained relevant, and he proved once again why he is the greatest talker the business has ever seen. The two opponents belittled each other in pre-taped videos and promo segments whilst even managing to function as a tag team at Survivor Series 2011.

Deserving of a spot in the list as the ...more - RedHoundoom

4 Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III) Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III)

Billed as literally the biggest main event in WWF history, Hulk Hogan put his three-year reign as WWF Champion on the line against Andre the Giant's "15-year" undefeated streak in what was the most highly-anticipated match in WWF history at the time.

The feud began in January 1987 when Andre turned heel for the first time in his WWF career. Tensions arose when Hogan was presented with a trophy to commemorate his long run as champion, a trophy larger than the one Andre was given for remaining undefeated.

Shortly after, the Eighth Wonder of the World named hated heel manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan as his associate and challenged the Hulkster for his world championship in the main event of the upcoming Pontiac Silverdome spectacular.

The hype surrounding the match was incredible, as fans were unsure if Hogan would even be able to lift Andre off the ground, never mind retain his title. Audiences were constantly reminded of Andre's sheer size and his impressive ...more - RedHoundoom

5 The Undertaker vs Kane (WrestleMania XIV) The Undertaker vs Kane (WrestleMania XIV)

After making his debut in October 1997 during the inaugural Hell in a Cell match, Kane was set on a collision course with his "brother," The Undertaker. Despite vowing never to fight his sibling, The Deadman reneged on his promise and the two squared off at Wrestlemania on March 29, 1998.

The rivalry between the two only became more exciting in the months leading up to the Grandest Stage of Them All. Following Undertaker's Casket match against Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble, The Big Red Monster locked his brother inside the coffin and set it ablaze.

Almost two months later, Big Evil reappeared on Raw when he burst out of a coffin that had been placed at the top of the ramp and accepted Kane's challenge. The match between the two was an adequate encounter between two big-man grapplers before The Undertaker finally put Kane away after three Tombstone pile-drivers.

Kane's spectacular debut and subsequent path of destruction through the roster had created a huge ...more - RedHoundoom

6 The Rock vs Steve Austin (WrestleMania X7) The Rock vs Steve Austin (WrestleMania X7)

The two biggest stars and greatest rivals of the Attitude Era squared off in three high-profile WrestleMania matches, with this one being pick of the bunch.

After having two previous matches for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 15 and Backlash in early 1999, this particular chapter in the ongoing saga began after Stone Cold emerged victorious in the 2001 Royal Rumble. The following month, The Great One captured a record sixth WWF Championship from Kurt Angle to set the arch-rivals on a collision course that would end on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

The inclusion of Austin's wife Debra and her role as the reluctant manager of The People's Champion only made the rivalry more interesting as things began gradually building towards the WWE's flagship event. The microphone duels between these two were always excellent, and their constant attempts at one-upmanship had the audience guessing the outcome of the WrestleMania clash.

In the end, the Texas Rattlesnake ...more - RedHoundoom

7 Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XII) Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XII)

The well-documented backstage animosity between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels dominated the run up to the company's inaugural Iron Man match, and fans were desperate to see if the Heartbreak Kid could finally win his first WWF Championship on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

Earning his shot by winning the 1996 Royal Rumble, the two greatest in-ring talents in the company were set on a WrestleMania collision course. And when on-screen president Roddy Piper announced the match would go on for a full hour, anticipation for the match grew exponentially.

Fans were eager to see the culmination of Michaels' personal journey to the summit of the WWF. Following an unsuccessful title match against Diesel at Wrestlemania XI, a beatdown by a group of U.S Marines and a storyline concussion suffered against Owen Hart, the main event match of WrestleMania XII was seen as Michaels' time to finally capture the big one.

The Showstopper was presented as an equal to the champion in ...more - RedHoundoom

8 Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (WrestleMania V) Hulk Hogan vs Randy Savage (WrestleMania V)

When Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan faced each other for the former's WWF Championship on April 2, 1989, it was the final chapter in a story that began all the way back in October 1987.

After forming massively popular tag team The Mega Powers, Hogan and Savage were the two biggest babyface stars in the company throughout 1988, facing all the major heels of the era.

The first seeds of discontent were sown in January 1989, when the Macho Man became increasingly jealous of the attention his manager, Miss Elizabeth, lavished on the Hulkster. Things became more tense after Hogan accidentally eliminated his tag team partner from the Royal Rumble Match.

Savage turned heel on Hogan the following month when the latter had carried Miss Elizabeth backstage during a tag match after the Macho Man had accidentally knocked her unconscious. Savage then proceeded to attack Hogan in the medical area, leading The Hulkster to challenge for the WWF Championship at WrestleMania.

In ...more - RedHoundoom

9 Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VI) Hulk Hogan vs The Ultimate Warrior (WrestleMania VI)

Since his WWF debut in 1987, The Ultimate Warrior had been slowly established as the company's number two babyface. In a match billed as "The Ultimate Challenge," Warrior put his 216-day Intercontinental title reign on the line against top star Hulk Hogan, who was in his 364th day as WWF Champion.

The match was decent by the standards of the time, and Warrior scored a rare clean victory over the Hulkster to become the first man in company history to hold both top singles titles simultaneously.

Played out before a crowd of 67,678 in the Toronto Skydome, this was the eagerly-awaited conclusion of a simmering feud that had really gained traction at the 1990 Royal Rumble. With the company running short on genuine main event stars, Warrior's huge push was well-received by fans who were enthralled by seeing the WWF's two biggest names go head-to-head.

One of the biggest matches of the early 1990's, the highly-anticipated contest was the culmination of Warrior's main ...more - RedHoundoom

10 Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21) Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 21)

For many years, this had been one of the most talked-about dream matches in wrestling history. And at WrestleMania 21, Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels let their actions do the talking in one of the greatest contests ever seen in a WWE ring.

Anticipation had reach fever pitch by the time the match took place thanks to an expertly-booked feud between the two that began at the 2005 Royal Rumble, and went on to raise the stakes to increasingly personal levels.

The Olympic Hero vowed to match HBK's accomplishments in four weeks and went on to win a squash ladder match, defeat Marty Jannetty in singles competition and enlist Sensational Sherri as his manager, even reworking Michaels' entrance music to the tune of "Sexy Kurt." Add in to this an intense beat down by Angle on a bloodied Heartbreak Kid, and the feud was perfectly poised.

The classic contest between the two more than lived up to expectations, with Angle gaining the submission victory via ankle lock. One of the ...more - RedHoundoom

The Contenders

11 Team WWF vs Team WCW/ECW (Invasion 2001) Team WWF vs Team WCW/ECW (Invasion 2001)

The entire wrestling world was buzzing in early 2001 when Vince McMahon purchased his greatest rivals and inherited almost an entire roster of talent. Fans were salivating at the prospect of their WWF favorites squaring off against their WCW counterparts.

The constant run-ins from WCW stars during matches on WWF television created huge interest in the feud, even before ECW joined the fray to form the Alliance. After a series of gripping pull-apart brawls between the warring factions, the two would square off in an official match at the InVasion pay-per-view.

Anticipation was at fever pitch on July 22, as Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker and Kane collided with Booker T, DDP, Rhyno and The Dudley Boyz. In fact, the event remains the highest-grossing non-WrestleMania pay-per-view in company history.

The Alliance ultimately won the first battle after Stone Cold shockingly turned heel on the WWF.

Looking back with hindsight, we all know ...more - RedHoundoom

12 Bret Hart vs Mr. McMahon (WrestleMania XXVI) Bret Hart vs Mr. McMahon (WrestleMania XXVI)

Although the match itself was terrible, the personal history between Bret Hart and Vince McMahon made this contest as highly-anticipated as it was.

When Bret Hart returned on the January 4, 2010 episode of Raw, it was his first appearance on WWE television in over 12 years since the infamous Montreal Screwjob. Seeking to bury the hatchet, The Hitman was instead betrayed once again following a low blow from McMahon. Following weeks of back-and-forth attacks between the two, a grudge match that had been in the making since 1997 finally took place on March 28.

As cathartic as I'm sure it was for The Excellence of Execution to gain his revenge on the man who screwed him in Montreal, to say the match was a letdown would be an understatement. Hart crushed The Boss in a near-squash before making him tap out to the Sharpshooter.

Despite the poor quality of the match, audiences were delighted to see The Hitman back on WWE television, and even happier to watch him beat the ...more - RedHoundoom

13 Triple H vs Shawn Michaels (SummerSlam 2002) Triple H vs Shawn Michaels (SummerSlam 2002)

One of the most intense personal rivalries ever seen in the WWE, this marked the return to in-ring action of Shawn Michaels after a four-year hiatus, something many thought they would never see.

The feud began as Triple H teased a D-Generation X reunion with The Heartbreak Kid before instead nailing him with a Pedigree. It was also revealed that The Game had assaulted his longtime best friend in the parking lot, throwing his head through a car window. And on August 19, 2002 it was announced that Michaels would be coming out of retirement for an unsanctioned street fight against Triple H.

This instantly became a huge source of excitement to wrestling fans everywhere, as the legendary Showstopper was getting back into the squared circle. Fans tuned in during the build-up to see if Michaels had lost any of his renowned talent, and anticipation rose after several pull-apart brawls with the Cerebral Assassin proved he still had it.

The match itself was a brilliant ...more - RedHoundoom

14 Bobby Lashley vs Umaga (WrestleMania 23) Bobby Lashley vs Umaga (WrestleMania 23)

Here we find ourselves in a strange situation, where the participants in the match hadabsolutely nothing to do with the anticipation levels surrounding it. Built entirely around the "Battle of the Billionaires" between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump, the match also featured a "Hair vs Hair" stipulation as well as Stone Cold Steve Austin as special guest referee.

Gaining a huge amount of mainstream media attention thanks to the high-profile involvement of Donald Trump, the match is directly responsible for the massive 1.2 million pay-per-view buys, a company record that stood for five years.

Both wrestling fans and casual viewers were hooked by the unique rivalry between McMahon and Trump, which had created huge buzz by the time the match rolled around on April 1, 2007. Unfortunately, thewrestlers were a mere afterthought.

Lashley picked up the victory following a largely stagnant contest, but the defining image of the match remains Vince McMahon having his head ...more - RedHoundoom

15 Shawn Michaeld vs HHH (SummerSlam 2002)

One of the most intense personal rivalries ever seen in the WWE, this marked the return to in-ring action of Shawn Michaels after a four-year hiatus, something many thought they would never see.

The feud began as Triple H teased a D-Generation X reunion with The Heartbreak Kid before instead nailing him with a Pedigree. It was also revealed that The Game had assaulted his longtime best friend in the parking lot, throwing his head through a car window. And on August 19, 2002 it was announced that Michaels would be coming out of retirement for an unsanctioned street fight against Triple H.

This instantly became a huge source of excitement to wrestling fans everywhere, as the legendary Showstopper was getting back into the squared circle. Fans tuned in during the build-up to see if Michaels had lost any of his renowned talent, and anticipation rose after several pull-apart brawls with the Cerebral Assassin proved he still had it.

The match itself was a brilliant ...more - RedHoundoom

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List Stats

15 listings
269 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels- CAREER VS STREAK (WrestleMania XXVI)
2. Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III)
3. The Rock vs Hollywood Hogan- ICON VS ICON (WrestleMania 18)
RedHoundoom
1. The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels- CAREER VS STREAK (WrestleMania XXVI)
2. The Rock vs Hollywood Hogan- ICON VS ICON (WrestleMania 18)
3. Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant (WrestleMania III)
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