WrestleMania 17 is commonly accepted as the greatest WrestleMania of all time. For many, there is no argument. Personally, the greatest WrestleMania of all time isn’t even being discussed in this article: WrestleMania 30. But I’m not even 100% sure that puts WrestleMania 17 at #2, thanks to the greatness that is WrestleMania 19.
I made the suggestion on Twitter, and it was definitely met with some argument—in both directions. So I did what any good journalist would do: I sat down, fired up the ol’ WWE Network, and challenged my own claim that WrestleMania 19 is indeed the superior event between the two.
Let’s make some comparisons:
The Non-Main Event Matches
WrestleMania 17 is heralded as the greatest WrestleMania of all time because of the amazing line-up it features. Classics such as Chyna vs. Ivory, Kane vs. Raven vs. Big Show, and The Iron Sheik winning a Gimmick Battle Royal.
But hey, that’s not to mean WrestleMania 19 wasn’t without it’s own “classics” like The Undertaker vs. Big Show and A-Train (which is better than anything I just listed for 17, by the way), and…well…that’s it?
Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio wasn’t the greatest match of all time, but I’d rank it above those listed.
Compare the non-main event matches for each show. Remember, a “main event” at WrestleMania doesn’t just include the last match. No matter what CM Punk tells you.
- Chris Jericho successfully defends the Intercontinental Championship against William Regal
- Tazz & The APA beat The Right To Censor
- Kane beat champion Raven and The Big Show to become Hardcore Champion
- Eddie Guerrero beat Test for the European Championship
- Kurt Angle cheated to pin Chris Benoit
- Chyna destroyed Ivory to win the Women’s Championship
- The Iron Sheik eliminated Hillbilly Jim to win the Gimmick Battle Royal
- Matt Hardy defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the Cruiserweight Championship
- The Undertaker beat The Big Show and A-Train in a handicap match
- Trish Stratus beat champion Victoria and Jazz to win the Women’s Championship
- Team Angle beat Chris Benoit & Rhyno and Chavo & Eddie Guerrero to retain the Tag Team Championship
From an overall wrestling perspective, I am willing to give this one to 17. But it’s only by a slight margin, and only because I hate ties.
Using today’s criteria, women’s wrestling provides us with some of the most entertaining matches at WrestleMania. This year is no exception, with some making the argument that Charlotte’s defense of the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Asuka can headline next Sunday’s event.
WrestleMania 17 featured the match I already labelled a “classic” in Chyna vs. Ivory. That match wasn’t even really a match, and I regretted having to watch it again today.
WrestleMania 19 wins this category hands down with a very entertaining triple threat match between Victoria, Jazz, and Trish Stratus—one that say Trish capture the WWF Women’s Championship.
The build to WrestleMania is almost as important as the event itself. WrestleMania 19 almost has to lose this category for two reasons.
First off, it featured one of the worst world title builds in history, the build between Triple H and Booker T. This match was built on Booker T’s past transgressions, which landed him in prison. Triple H didn’t outright take the build into a racial area, but nearly every negative stereotype was used against Booker T. That build may have worked, if Booker had won. But he didn’t, and basically proved Triple H’s points about him as correct.
Flip it around to the build for WrestleMania 17, largely surrounding the second WrestleMania match-up between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock. My thoughts about that match will come in a moment, but the build? One of the best ever.
The Top Of The Card
This is where I have a hard time understanding those who swear by WrestleMania 17. I mean, the top of the card doesn’t even compare.
- Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon
- Edge & Christian beat The Dudleys and The Hardys in a TLC Match to win the Tag Team Championship
- The Undertaker beat Triple H
- Steve Austin pinned The Rock to win the WWF Championship
- Shawn Michaels pinned Chris Jericho
- Triple H beat Booker T to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
- Hulk Hogan beat Vince McMahon
- The Rock pinned Steve Austin
- Brock Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle to win the WWF Championship
WrestleMania 17—and no WrestleMania for that matter—can even come close to WrestleMania 19 the top of the card. It’s the greatest five match stretch in history. There is no argument here.
WrestleMania is a spectacle, and it’s remembered for its moments more than its matches. WrestleMania 17 had its emotion with the TLC match, Chyna shifting to the Women’s Division, Triple H nearly ending The Streak before it truly became special, and the “Stone Cold” heel turn that ultimately went nowhere. Plus you have the amazing payoff to the Shane vs. Vince feud, which is one of my favorite “entertainment” endings in history.
But WrestleMania 19 featured Chris Jericho ruining the moment between himself and Shawn Michaels, Booker T nearly taking off Triple H’s head, Hulk Hogan waging (and winning) a bloody war against the man who used him to build an empire, The Rock finally beating Steve Austin in what would be the latter’s last WrestleMania match, and Brock Lesnar cementing himself as the future by winning the WWF Championship from Kurt Angle (which ultimately turned out as well as Austin’s heel turn at 19).
Another category where 17 simply loses out to 19.
The Undercard. The Women. The Build. The Top Of The Card. The Emotion.
Both WrestleMania 17 and WrestleMania 19 are amazing events, and they rank among the Top 3-5 WrestleManias ever. But taking an objectively subjective look, removing the rose colored glasses of personal memory and emotion, it’s hard to rank 17 above 19.
The title of this article is “WrestleMania 17 vs WrestleMania 19: Which Was Better?”
The answer is WrestleMania 19.
AJ’s Thoughts: Five Potential Returns
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With Trips in charge and already starting to bring back some people that didn’t work in Vince’s picture, AJ got an idea. Who else could we see on the horizon radar?
With everything going on with WWE, the one thing we have all been hyped about are all of these returns. Dakota Kai made her return at SummerSlam alongside Io and Bayley and now on last SmackDown, Karrion Kross and Scarlett made their returns in a big way against Drew McIntyre and showed the Hourglass to The Bloodline.
With all of that, there have been things in the pipeline saying Triple H’s foot isn’t off the pedal so these are 5 returns from either NXT, main roster or even Try-Outs that I would love to see happen with the new regime.
1. Johnny Gargano
Now this is a name that people have been saying, “Maybe Impact or MLW” but, what about a return? Gargano didn’t renew his contract, most likely to be with his family which is a valid and amazing reason, will never disrespect that. If he were to return, there would be a handful of great reasons. Maybe a singles run with the Intercontinental or United States but with Ciampa getting limelight in the main roster from RAW, what if we get a tag team reunion?
WWE is hurting for Tag Teams and what better than to scare off The Bloodline, loosen the stranglehold of championships with some Do It Yourself action. DIY reunion could be amazing, especially with newer faces showing up to get championship aspirations like Kross and Ciampa. Want to break the hierarchy? Do It Yourself.
2. James Storm
This one is a little bit weird and off. On one hand, who doesn’t love the Tennessee Cowboy, Jimmy James Storm? On the other, he is 45 and getting some nagging injuries as of late. So why would I say Triple H should bring James Storm back and give him something for the main roster? One of the things I said for Gargano, we have a lack of something and The Usos might need to watch two things in the rearview.
Watch your Money and your Alcohol.
Beer Money showing up in WWE would be amazing in my personal opinion. The Bloodline jump Roode, someone in a hoodie or jacket comes up and jumps them to even the fight and as soon as one Uso remained in the ring, the figure goes down and the old stomping goes off and we hear “BEER…” and Roode looks around and gets hyped up and shouts, “…MONEY!”
3. Big Cass
Since his departure from WWE, he has done something I have said since they split him off from Enzo. Take him through the Kevin Nash School of How To Big Man. ROH and Impact are great examples that he actually cleaned up and worked on what he has to do to be good in the ring. He can work the microphone, he can work the ring so we got a new big boy to take on the WWE once again.
Now I could have said Enzo and Cass to rejoin but, I’m sure the antics of Enzo will get Cass in deep water along with the fact that I already made two tag team predictions, we don’t need another. Cass brings a lot to the table and was kind of unproven in WWE because he was just the big enforcer to the more charismatic Enzo. Give this man about six months in the ring and you have your next MASSIVE problem in the IC or US Championship scene or even more.
4. Bronson Reed
The big man from down under is a former NXT North American Champion. He looked to have a good push going with that championship but he got release. If you wonder where he went… he actually made a pit stop in Impact Wrestling as JONAH with the most fire theme song in recent history I swear… I will link the theme song and Trips… please. Get rights to this theme song. I will be a bigger Bronson Reed fan.
Bronson to me is the weird man in all of this but, I think with Triple H involved, he could get something going for him with a good singles champion run or a big threat to go through like a gatekeeper of sorts. Big boy with a great amount of athleticism? Can’t really hate on that considering the last time we saw athletic bigger people were Keith Lee and… what was that one guy? Sherman Tank with a Ferrari Engine…?
5. Bray Wyatt
And the last one is the obvious one in all of this. Yes… we have Judgment Day as the somewhat supernatural dark group but we know the true successor of the supernatural and that is “The Eater of Worlds”, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. This time around, I don’t think we will get the Jekyl and Hyde, Mister Rogers gimmick. I believe this time around we get full darkness and mayhem. We get the darkness and the theory of reverting back to your prime.
To make a refresher… Miz went back to being the cocky narcissist after fighting The Fiend. Finn turned back to the Prince and much more. With guys like Edge returning, maybe we see the return of the Heel Ultimate Opportunist, maybe a Fiend fight with AJ Styles to get the TN-AJ perhaps. Possibilities are endless and with a great mind like Wyatt for character and execution, I think Hunter will pick up the phone and Let Him In.
– There are clearly others that I could say, or maybe even didn’t think about, but hey, that’s the Chairshot way of Always Using Your Head. Those are just five returns that could happen and hopefully you read this before RAW or SmackDown and who knows if I get any of these right, maybe I missed an obvious one or maybe we get a giant signing that nobody thought possible. Let me and all of Chairshot know!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
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