100 Greatest Matches Part 3 (60-41)

 

Part 3 of our countdown of the 100 Greatest Matches of all-time.

60. Roman Reigns vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship: Extreme Rules 2016)

For the Roman Reigns critics, this match at least gave them a slight change of mind about what Roman could do in the ring especially when his opponent is a beloved star like AJ Styles.
Following their match at Payback that had controversial finishes, this match exceeded their previous encounter. Styles and Reigns went through the crowd and back during this match.
They hit each other with multiple finishers and still kicked out of each of them. AJ Styles proved why he is so respected and world renowned as he brought the best out of Vince’s latest Samoan Centerpiece.
Reigns is already a natural athlete, which helped him, even more, when he was able to pull his own weight in this match. Reigns even turned a Razor’s Edge into a sit-out Powerbomb.
Reigns grabbed Styles like he was going to give him a Powerbomb and slammed him against the Apron. In the end, Reigns finished this great battle with the Superman Punch and Spear for the win.

59. “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania V)

This was where the “Mega Powers” Exploded! For over a year, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were riding high as the “MegaPowers” during Savage’s most lucrative run as WWF Champion. However, jealousy over Miss Elizabeth and the WWF Title would drive them apart. This was like Thor vs. Loki. Hogan was Thor and Savage was Loki.

The match started with both Hogan and Savage looking for a Psychological Advantage. Savage would start the match with a headlock. After two failed headlocks by Savage, Hogan would chase him around the ring before Randy grabbed Liz to shield himself.

Back in the ring, Hogan went for a headlock before it was countered into a backdrop suplex. Hulk decked him with a series of punches, but Randy came back with a double axe handle for a two count. Hogan rams him into the turnbuckle a few times, hitting him with a clothesline and an elbow.

The sequencing was well done, including a clothesline by Macho Man that gave The Hulkster a slight cut above his eye. The match seemed to be at Savage’s pace until he slapped Hogan in the face. Hulk woke up. Hogan hit him with a combination of punches along with a hard clothesline as well as a throw over the top rope.

Elizabeth tried to tend to Savage, but he told her to leave. Hogan tried to ram Savage into the ring post, but she got into the way. Savage slipped out and shoved Hogan. Liz checked on Hogan, but Savage told her to leave again.

Finally, the Ref himself sent Liz back to the Locker room. Savage went to the top to hit Hogan with his Double Axe Handle on the guardrail. Hogan’s throat hit the rail. When they get back into the ring, Macho Man performs good ring psychology by focusing on Hogan’s neck to weaken him for the Elbow Drop.

Macho Man finally hits the flying Elbow Drop. However, Hogan throws him off at two to “Hulk Up”. The Hulkster would hit Macho Man with the Big Boot and the Leg Drop to win the WWF Title in Classic “Super Hogan” Fashion.

58. The Hart Foundation vs. Stone Cold, Ken Shamrock, Goldust and LOD (In Your House: Canadian Stampede 1997)

In 1997, Bret Hart reformed The Hart Foundation. This time, he added his Brother Owen, Brother-In-Law Davey Boy Smith and Friend of the Family/Dungeon Student Brian Pillman.

Here in the States, Bret and the Hart Foundation were Heavily Despised as Bret insulted Americans in a very condescending way. Meanwhile, Bret was the Hero in Canada anytime WWF traveled in that area.

At this time, Bret was involved in a heated feud with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as they tore the house down with their Submission Match at WrestleMania 13.

In the Summer of ’97, Austin teamed with The Legion Of Doom, Ken Shamrock, and Goldust to go to War with the Hart Foundation at Canadian Stampede. This match was the Prime Example of how Bret Hart is treated like a Superhero in Canada. Meanwhile, Austin & Co. were clearly in Enemy Territory.

Bret is to Canada what Michael Jordan is to Chicago, and what arguably Austin himself is in Texas. The Hitman carried Canada on his back and his sect of support was very strong.

This was one of the greatest 5-on-5 Elimination Matches you will ever find. The Harts were heels, but the crowd cheered everything that they did. The crowd is what ultimately made the match as The Hart Foundation triumphed over their American Adversaries.

57. The Rock vs. Triple H (Backlash 2000)

This can consider the best match of the Saga between The Rock and Triple H. This match had great storytelling as it illustrated the animosity between The People’s Champion and The Game.

To add fuel to the fire, Shane McMahon was named the Special Guest Referee. The match took place in Washington, DC (my hometown) as I was there live to witness this match. It was very exciting and intense.

The highlights of this match were The Rock giving Triple H and Shane The Rock Bottom together through the announce table, along with Stone Cold’s interference as he knocked out everyone that got in his way.

 

Austin nailed Triple H with the Steel Chair to help The Rock win the WWF Championship. This was the very match that should’ve happened at WrestleMania 2000.

56. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania XXX)

This match marked the End of an Era for WWE. For more than 20 Years, The Undertaker ruled WrestleMania as he made it his Graveyard going Undefeated for 21 Years. Taker’s opponents only got better as time went on, and the streak would soon take on a Life of its own.

Going from Jimmy Snuka, Jake The Snake and Diesel, to Batista, Edge, and Shawn Michaels. WrestleMania was Taker’s Domain.

However, that would all come crashing down at the 30th Anniversary of WrestleMania in New Orleans at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Despite the criticized quality of the match, it was most known for the Iconic Finish. Undertaker fought with resiliency to keep the legacy that he worked hard to built for Two Decades. Brock still would not back down.

Things took an even bigger turn when Taker suffered a concussion during the match. After Three F-5’s, The Beast conquered The Phenom to do what was deemed Impossible: Break The Streak.

It took the Power and Ferociousness of a Younger, hungrier Lion to take down the King of the WrestleMania Jungle. When the Referee made the Final Three Count, the Arena was in Utter silence, including Heyman himself. The Streak was the last Superhero type of thing in wrestling that fans could hold onto. Now, that Chapter has closed.

55. CM Punk vs. The Undertaker (WrestleMania XXIX)

After losing the WWE Title to The Rock, CM Punk set his sights on another prize, The Undertaker’s Streak. To add fuel to the fire, Punk and Paul Heyman mocked Paul Bearer’s death by carrying the Urn.
Punk went even further when he attacked Undertaker and dumped the ashes out of the Urn. Heyman even dressed as Paul Bearer to distract Undertaker.
The match at WrestleMania 29 was not only about The Streak, but also about Paul Bearer’s Memory. Punk came to the ring with the Band Living Color playing his song “Cult of Personality” Live.
Meanwhile, Undertaker came to the ring with hands reaching out to him from “The Grave” as he walked down the aisle. CM Punk’s trunks were even gray and purple (Taker’s original colors). For much of this match, Undertaker was on the Defensive.
Apart from his usual flurry of Offense that includes his Leg Drop on the Apron, Undertaker doesn’t have as much momentum as he would in previous Streak Matches. Punk’s Offense really kicks into high gear after he steals “Old School”.
Undertaker really starts to show his age, and it is clear because of how Punk is constantly a step ahead of him during this match.
Stealing Taker’s “Old School” was one of the highlights of this match, before Punk gave Taker the Flying Elbow Drop onto the Spanish Announcer’s Table.
Things finally culminate and reach the fever pitch when Undertaker breaks out of the Anaconda Vice before closing out with the Tombstone Piledriver for the 1,2,3. This was CM Punk’s BEST WrestleMania Match (and last).
Meanwhile, this was Undertaker’s last high-quality match of the Streak, because the following year it would come to an end thanks to Brock Lesnar.

54. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Steel Cage Match for the WWF Championship: Summerslam 1994)

Throughout 1994, the Wrestling World witnessed the sibling rivalry of Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart. Time and again, Owen was out to prove that he was the superior brother. At WrestleMania X, Owen pulled the ultimate upset when he defeated his older brother Bret in the opening match.
However, Bret would win the WWF Title in the final match of the night. Owen won that year’s King of the Ring Tournament to become the Number 1 Contender for Bret’s WWF Championship at Summerslam.
This time, the feud would culminate inside of a Steel Cage. As Owen entered the cage, he immediately attacked Bret. Jerry Lawler cheered him on throughout the match because of his disdain for Bret.
However, Bret would gain the advantage with a DDT. After kicking Bret in the head, Owen tried to escape, but Bret would quickly follow as they both tried to climb over the cage several times while stopping each other in the process.
This the Environment was a Steel Cage, the match mainly consisted of brawling. When Owen climbed over the cage, Bret dragged him back by pulling his hair. Owen performed a Piledriver, but Bret came back by throwing him into the Cage’s bars.
As Owen made another attempt to escape, Bret suplexes him from the top of the cage back into the ring. Owen gave Bret the Sharpshooter, but Bret escaped and gave him the same move.
The match ended when Bret threw Owen into the cage as Owen’s leg got trapped into the bars. After the match, the Hart Family went to blows with each other. Typical Family Feud.

53. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena (WWE Championship: Summerslam 2013)

By the Summer of 2013, Ring Of Honor transplant and Internet hero Daniel Bryan was riding high on the momentum of the “Yes” Movement as he made his way into the Staples Center in L.A. for Summerslam.
Daniel was Anti-Establishment while John Cena embodied everything that WWE stood for which is also what Bryan’s fans hated.
Despite the fact that Bryan never held the WWE Championship by that point, he still stood confidently against the future 15-time World Champion.
It was a Clash of ideals, as it was a mirror image of Cena vs. CM Punk.
The match itself is hard-hitting and at full throttle filled with reversals and counters in between.
When Cena’s back is against the wall, he can show that he can hang with even the most polished and respected technicians.
The crowd fueled Bryan in this match because it was predominantly filled with “Yes” chants.
The match has great move sequences, shades of Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog, or any of Ricky Steamboat’s matches.
This match is an example of why Wrestling Observer Newsletter renamed their “Best Technical Wrestler Award” the “Daniel Bryan Award”. Bryan puts the icing on the cake with a running knee to pin Cena for the three count.
However, as Triple H awards Bryan with the Title, Randy Orton enters the ring. The Game surprises everyone with a Pedigree on Bryan, setting up Orton’s cash-in to recapture the WWE Championship.

52. Ric Flair vs. Vader (WCW Championship: Starrcade 1993)

In November 1983, Ric Flair was the Young Lion that took the Crown from Harley Race at the very first Starrcade. Fast forward ten years later, Ric is now seen as the older lion that wants to prove that he still had “it”.
Meanwhile, the Monster that stood in his way was the man called Big Van Vader. For over a year, Vader was the WCW World Champion as he dominated anyone that stood in his way.
To add a Wild Card to this situation, Vader’s Manager just so happened to be Harley Race himself. In Starrcade 1993, Flair found himself in the same position that Harley was in at that stage of his Career.
To raise the stakes even higher, Ric Flair put his Career on the line as he challenged Vader for the WCW Championship. This was the ultimate example of a clash of styles.
Initially, Vader dominated Flair in typical Vader fashion, imposing his will while throwing his 450-pound weight around.
The older guy (Flair) was getting beat from pillar to post but still fought for his legacy to show that he still had what it took to be the very best.
The psychology and storytelling that these match shows were perfect for the scenario. Vader’s punches cause Flair to bleed from the mouth. Vader dominates until the last quarter of the match where Flair makes a comeback.
Ric hits Vader repeatedly with stiff shots of his own. Vader managed to escape the Figure Four, but Flair manages to roll Vader up for the win to reclaim the prize he has held many, many times.
Flair won back the title in the same place that he won it the night of the first Starrcade, in his hometown of Charlotte, NC. Flair’s legacy survived as his Career came around full circle.
At 44, Ric showed that he still had it.

51. Undertaker vs. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship: WrestleMania 23)

On January 27, 2007, The Undertaker made History of his own by winning his First Royal Rumble ever in his Illustrious and Iconic Career.
This set the stage for him to be the Number 1 Contender for either the WWE Title (held by John Cena), ECW Title (held by Bobby Lashley) or World Heavyweight Title (held by Batista).
The following night on RAW, The Deadman chose to challenge “The Animal” Batista for the WHC at WrestleMania 23 in Detroit. Their match would be part of a Double Main-Event along with Shawn Michaels vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship.
In the weeks leading up to their Match at Mania, Batista vowed that he would not be intimidated by The Phenom. Dave wanted to make History of his own by not only retaining his World Heavyweight Title but also by breaking the Streak. Batista missed the previous WrestleMania because of injury, so he wanted to make the most of this opportunity.
Big Dave did not even flinch when Taker made his Entrance. As soon as the Bell sounded, Batista immediately rammed Taker with a Spear.
After this, Taker unloads a series of punches in the corner right before he chases the Ref away. This was an absolute brawl between two monsters. Their exchange of blows almost reminded you of two Great Heavyweight Fighters.
The Highlights of this match were when Undertaker flies over the Top Rope to the outside for his “Flying Deadman”, followed by Batista’s Powerslam through the announce table.
When they get back in the ring, Batista goes for the pin only for Taker to kick out at two.
Batista kicks out of the Last Ride. After Batista hits Undertaker with the spine buster, he gets ready for the Batista Bomb.
However, The Deadman hits him with a Chokeslam for the two count.
After two Batista Bombs, The Phenom kicks out at two.
A frustrated Batista goes for a Tombstone of his own, which was the biggest mistake that he could make. Undertaker reverses it into his own Tombstone for the win. Undertaker wins the WHC and keeps the Streak alive.

50. Undertaker vs. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship: WrestleMania XXIV)

By 2007, Edge had already proved that he had what it took to dance in the Main Event. Now, this was his moment to shine on that same Main Event Stage at WrestleMania. He was no longer a supporting cast member, but instead, he was in a starring role.
To raise the bar even higher, Edge put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against The Undefeated Phenom at the time, The Undertaker.
To make things even bigger, their Entrances were spectacular. The Rated R Superstar put his own Undefeated Streak (5-0) on the line against Taker’s Iconic Streak (15-0). They carried the Smackdown Brand and kept it from sinking.
Edge already had a great WrestleMania singles match against Mick Foley two years earlier, but it was time for him to turn things up even higher on the Grandest Stage of Them All as they say. He did not disappoint at all. Undertaker brought his WrestleMania best as expected.
However, Edge showed great psychology by countering whatever Taker threw at him, from Old School to even the Tombstone Piledriver itself. Still, The Deadman would not give up. Edge even hit Taker with a camera, reminiscent of what he did at Survivor Series. He would hit The Phenom with a Spear, but only for a two count. Edge goes for his own Tombstone, but Undertaker reverses it into his own in true Taker fashion.
Unfortunately, the Referee is out. As Taker pins Edge, Charles Robinson makes the longest run from Miami to the ring for the count. Instead, Edge obviously kicks out. Edge’s stooges, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder run down for interference. UT would make short work of taking them out of the equation.
The Deadman turns around and walks into a Spear for only a two count. Undertaker goes down from another Spear, but scissors Edge’s head and puts him in the Triangle Hold (Hell’s Gate) to make him Submit.
Undertaker extends his winning Streak to 16-0 while winning the World Heavyweight Title at WM for the second year in a row. This was the first WrestleMania Match where Taker ever made someone submit.
This match remains a Hidden Gem in Undertaker’s Large Catalog of Great Matches, while it is one of the shining moments of Edge’s Career because of the Significance.

49. The Rock vs. John Cena (Once In A Lifetime Match: WrestleMania XXVIII)

When The Rock made his Grand, Triumphant return to the WWE, one of the first orders of business that he made was to call out John Cena. Rocky was announced as the host of WrestleMania XXVII, where he gave Cena the Rock Bottom to help The Miz retain the WWE Championship. The next night, Rock and Cena booked their Dream Match together for WrestleMania XXVIII.

For an entire year, they exchanged a War of Words and Mind Games. Rock and Cena finally clashed at WrestleMania XXVIII in The Rock’s Hometown of Miami, FL. Cena stepped into the Dragon’s Lair. The People’s Champion is a Hometown Icon in Miami and he was right at home.

This was a Battle of Two Different Generations. Rock from the Attitude Era, and John Cena from the Modern PG Era. Neither one of them held back. The Match was very well paced, as The Rock did a great job of selling Cena’s Offense.

John proved to Rock and the world that he belonged in the same ring as The Great One. The Brahma Bull kicked out of Two Attitude Adjustments, while “Super” Cena kicked out of the Rock Bottom AND People’s Elbow. In the end, John trolled the fans and showed a heelish side when he went for his own People’s Elbow.

However, The Rock got up in time to land The Rock Bottom for the three count. This match was named “The Most Anticipated” WrestleMania Match of all-time as it drew nearly 80,000 fans (78,363). Even though this match took place on April Fool’s Day, nobody walked away feeling like fools.

48. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho (WrestleMania XIX)

The Teacher vs. The Student. A Classic Storyline. For years, Chris Jericho was heavily influenced by Shawn Michaels as he patterned his appearance and mannerisms in the ring after HBK. When you look at the quintessential wrestler, Shawn Michaels was considered nearly perfect. Y2J will boldly say that his favorite wrestler and greatest of all-time is HBK.

By this time, Jericho was carving his own name in history. He was Undisputed Champion and Multi-time Intercontinental Champion among other achievements. However, he also wanted to jump out of Shawn’s shadow. Instead of being the next Shawn Michaels, he wanted to be the first Chris Jericho. Chris was out to prove that he had surpassed Shawn on every level.

Meanwhile, HBK had returned and wanted to prove to himself, Y2J and the world that he still had it. Jericho called Michaels the “Has Been Kid” right before Shawn superkicks him to prove otherwise. The action was fast paced and smooth from the start, especially from Shawn Michaels. This match drew shades of Savage vs. Steamboat.

This was Shawn’s time to put everyone on notice in his WrestleMania return. The Story of this match was that The Student (Jericho) wanted to surpass The Master (Michaels). This was Jericho’s WrestleMania highlight match because this was his dream.

Chris showed his ring savvy by countering Shawn’s moves. Jericho even gave HBK the Walls of Jericho outside of the ring to wear down Shawn’s surgically repaired back. This match was filled with kip-ups and Superkicks in a match where Shawn walked away as the winner to show why he was still “Mr. WrestleMania”.

47. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H (Summerslam 2002)

The Battle of Best Friends. Shawn Michaels and Triple H were the Founding Fathers of D-Generation-X. However, everyone knew that Shawn was the Main Guy in charge. In the early years, HBK was Mario and Triple H was Luigi.

In Shawn’s absence, Hunter made a name for himself and jumped out of the shadow of the Showstopper. When Michaels returned, he and his DX comrade teased a DX reunion. However, Triple H hit him with the Pedigree. Then, Shawn was attacked in a Parking Lot and wanted to know who was behind it. Come to find out, his “Friend” Triple H was behind it.

This set the stage for Shawn’s official return to the ring at Summerslam. After being on the shelf for 4 years, Shawn Michaels wanted to test himself by going against one of the very best, his former ally Triple H.

Once the bell sounded, Shawn Michaels showed no signs of ring rust at all. With the bad blood that they had, a Street Fight was perfect as HBK wore jeans and cowboy boots in this match.

Regardless of ring attire, Shawn Michaels was still the same performer. In many ways, he returned better than before. As the underdog throughout this match, Shawn found a way to win.

However, their feud was just beginning as Triple H hit him with the Sledgehammer after the match. This was the launching pad for Shawn’s Comeback Tour as he would enjoy an extra eight years that were added to his already stellar Career.

46. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn (NXT Takeover: Dallas)

NXT Takeover: Dallas was certainly a spectacle during WrestleMania Weekend. Fans were looking forward to this more than Mania itself (thanks to injuries), and the match that stood out the most was Sami Zayn versus new NXT Arrival Shinsuke Nakamura.

This was Nakamura’s first match ever in NXT and he came with plenty of fanfare. Nakamura applies a Cross Armbreaker, but Zayn fought out of the hold. Sami applies the Koji Clutch, but Shinsuke countered into a roll up for a near fall.

 

Nakamura attempted a Kinshasa on Sami but Zayn avoided the move and gave him the Blue Thunder Bomb for the near fall.

Near the end, Zayn attempted an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckles, but Nakamura countered it into a Kinshasa off the middle rope, followed by another Kinshasa for the win.

This match had the right combination of high-flying mixed with aggression and physicality. This match sent shockwaves all across WWE on Twitter and was critically acclaimed by outlets such as PW Torch, Wrestling Observer, and even IGN. This is a strong candidate for Match of the Year for 2016.

45. Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (WWF Intercontinental Championship: Summerslam 1991)

By the Summer of 1991, Bret Hart was free from the Hart Foundation and ready to fly on his own to reach for the stars as a singles wrestler.

With his Classic Hitman Shades, Bret’s future was bright as he set his sights on the stepping stone for Greatness: The WWF Intercontinental Championship.

For years, Bret had proven himself as an excellent Tag Team Wrestler with great technical gifts, but he was still an unknown commodity by himself. Meanwhile, fellow Second Generation Wrestler Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect) was the IC Champion.

This was Bret’s chance to prove to Vince, the higher ups, and the fans that he could cut it on his own. Bret proved himself in Madison Square Garden at Summerslam during this match with Perfect with the IC Title on the line. This match is historically considered one of the finest technical wrestling matches ever because they were both first class ring generals. Mr. Perfect thought that he would retain the title when he put Bret in the Perfect Plex. However, the “Hit Man” surprised everyone when he kicked out of the Perfect Plex. Moments later, Bret locked in the Sharpshooter to capture his first IC Championship. This would open the door for one of the most decorated and prolific careers in WWE History. With this win, Bret opened the door for other wrestlers that wanted to transition from Tag Team success to Singles Success.

 

 44. Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind (WWF Championship: In Your House/Mind Games)

By 1996, Shawn Michaels was the WWF Champion and considered by many to be the Best Wrestler in the Entire World. HBK was firing on all cylinders at this point. Meanwhile, Mankind made a name of his own upon his arrival to the WWF with his feud against The Undertaker.
Foley was traditionally known for Hardcore Gimmick Matches, but not known very well for matches that did not involve a weapon.
Mick was tested with the challenge to adapt his style and he did very well. When you go toe to toe with Shawn Michaels, you HAVE to make adjustments and Mankind did that accordingly. Meanwhile, this was also a test for HBK to prove that he knew how to brawl with one of the toughest wrestlers in the world. Their chemistry was incredible. This was an action-adventure match leaving you wondering “What If they had a match on a bigger PPV Platform?”.

 

43. Elimination Chamber (World Heavyweight Championship: Survivor Series 2002)

The Shawn Michaels “Comeback Tour” was quickly gaining steam. After defeating Friend/Enemy Triple H at Summerslam, HBK made history again as he would wrestle in the First Ever Elimination Chamber Match at Survivor Series for the World Heavyweight Championship.

To make it even more special, Survivor Series was held at Madison Square Garden. Historically, the Garden was the Epicenter for Title changes, as the Championship has changed hands an unprecedented FIVE times.

This match would mark the fifth occasion with six Superstars. Those names included: World Champion Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, 5-time Champion Booker T, RVD, and Kane. Each competitor would be released from their pods at different intervals. They brutalized and battered each other as they threw each other through the glass pods and into the bars of the Chamber itself. Finally, it all came down to Shawn Michaels and Triple H, the best friends turned bitter rivals. HBK ended The Game’s reign with the Sweet Chin Music to capture his first World Heavyweight Championship (Big Gold Belt). This was a defining moment in the Career of Shawn Michaels, as he celebrated while confetti came down. This was the first time Shawn was World Champion since WM XIV, and it would also be the last World Title that he would hold for the rest of his career.

42. The Undertaker vs. Triple H (WrestleMania XXVII)

After vanquishing Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker would have another powerful opponent to conquer in his Undefeated Streak: Shawn’s best friend Triple H.

After taking time off, The Deadman would rise again in February of 2011 to meet his next challenge. Soon, Triple H’s music would hit as The Game would enter the ring to stand toe to toe with The Phenom. Everything was in place. In front of 70,000 fans in Atlanta, the two legendary Titans clashed in an Epic Match that was the highlight of the night. The Cerebral Assassin brought the fight to The Deadman. Unlike the matches with HBK, this match was much more physical as you can see the toll that it puts on Taker’s body. In the end, The Game became another victim of The Streak. However, Triple H was able to walk on his own, while Undertaker could not. Even in victory, this was a strong reminder that even The Undertaker had to face his own mortality.

41. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship: WrestleMania XIV)

By the start of 1998, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was on fire.

Austin won his second straight Royal Rumble as he tore through the WWF Roster on his quest for the WWF Championship.

The year prior, Austin proved his Main Event Status with his Submission Match with Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13.

Even a Career-Threatening Injury could not hold Austin back. Stone Cold had one goal in mind, the WWF Championship.

The man standing in his way was WWF Champion, Shawn Michaels.

HBK was on the Wrestling Mountain with his DX Comrades Triple H and Chyna by his side.

To add another twist, “Iron” Mike Tyson would join with DX as the “Special Enforcer”.

Austin had opposition on every side. However, he still fought for the prize.

WrestleMania XIV took place at the Fleet Center in Boston, MA.

I remember watching this match on PPV  as a child in 1998. I was torn because I was a fan of them both. Austin and HBK are still my all-time favorites.

Going into this match, HBK had an injured back from his Casket Match with Undertaker. Despite injuries, this match was still spectacular and significant.

Even with his pain, Shawn fought like the soldier that he was.

Stone Cold was firing on all cylinders with a laser-like focus.

The match went to the entrance way as Michaels hit Austin with the Iinstruments.

HBK even hit him with the ring bell. Triple H and Chyna were soon banned from ringside.

Still, SCSA took no prisoners and it was evident in this match.

In the end, Shawn would tune up the band to put Austin away with Sweet Chin Music.

As Shawn launched his foot for the Superkick, Stone Cold moved out of the way to attempt the Stone Cold Stunner. Shawn pushed him off to attempt another Sweet Chin Music. However, Austin caught his foot, turned him around to nail the Stunner as Tyson rushed in the ring for the three count. The Stone Cold Era had officially begun for the WWF and Professional Wrestling itself. The Austin 3:16 Era had officially arrived. Austin had now dethroned HBK to become Wrestling’s, Undisputed King.

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