With Wrestlemania Week upon us, I figured what better time to make my triumphant return to talking wrestling? To kick off the week, I give you my top five favorite Wrestlemania matches ever.  After 31 years of Wrestlemanias, this was a challenge but these five matches captured my imagination and kept me captivated from beginning to end. Let's get started:

1. Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Shawn Michaels- Ironman Match for WWF Championship, Wrestlemania 12

Very few superstars would be able to pull off a 30-plus minute match -- much less keep fans on the edge of their seats for a 60-minute Ironman Match. Hart and Michaels were the rare breed of performers that can not only pull off that kind of match, but also last longer than an hour.


2. "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat- WWF Intercontinental Championship, Wrestlemania 3

Everyone knows the main event was Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant for the WWF Title, but no match has ever stolen the show to the extent the main event couldn't possibly follow it.  That very thing happened when the "Macho Man" faced off against "the Dragon."

3. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock- WWF Championship No Disqualification Match, Wrestlemania X-7 (17)

No other rivalry headlined three Wrestlemanias for the WWF/WWE Championship belt, but it was the second match-- turned into No Disqualification moments before the start of the match-- that was the most compelling of the three.  Both men entered the match as "faces" (fan favorites/good guys), but the ending was the most unexpected twist.  The Rock executed a better Stone Cold Stunner than Austin had ever delivered to an opponent, followed by Austin delivering a better Rock Bottom than the Rock ever had.  In the end, Austin made a deal with the devil himself-- longtime and biggest rival, the boss himself, Mr. McMahon.


4. Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker- Wrestlemania 25

Not a lot of build up was needed for this match.  The Heart Break Kid and the Deadman had a long, violent rivalry that had no other end in sight other than Wrestlemania itself.  While they would meet again in what turned out to be HBK's retirement match at Wrestlemania 26, this match was definitely the better of the two.  The sheer raw energy and emotion that both performers put into telling us their story with this match, left all of us exhausted but extremely satisfied with the end result.


5. Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin- Submission Match, Wrestlemania 13

Setting up this match, Hart entered the match as the "face" but the crowd had slowly been turning on him leading up to the match; Austin was the "heel" (bad guy) that was beginning to get cheered by the fans.  Both men worked one of the greatest matches ever in a rarley used gimmick, the winner can only win by submission-- no pinfalls, disqualifications, or count outs existed in this match.  The end gave us two compellling images:  the first, a bloody Austin refusing to tap out to Hart's Sharpshooter and holding on until he passed out to end the match; the second, Hart successfully pulling the "double turn" by attacking Austin after the match-- guaranteeing he was now the "heel" and Austin the "face".


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