WrestleMania Matches That Made Absolutely No Sense

WrestleMania is the biggest night of the wrestling year, but what they give us isn't always deserving of that title. Plenty of terrible, pointless, and insulting matches have made WrestleMania memorable, but for all the wrong reasons:

Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania 20)

Goldberg's gross Band-Aid hanging off his armpit throughout the match was a great metaphor for this, perhaps the most wasted opportunity in WrestleMania history.

Both Goldberg and Lesnar entered this match knowing they'd be leaving after it ... problem was, the fans knew too, and screamed "you sold out!" the entire time. They responded to such accusations by ... doing absolutely nothing. In fact, this fight consists mostly of two men staring at each other like a couple of bored, lovelorn exes. They even touch noses at one point. Uncomfortable. They do maybe three actual movies in 14 minutes. It's so boring, the commentators just start going on about bulls. Who decided that was a good idea? What do bulls even have to do with anything, outside of matadors and the stock exchange?

Goldberg won, in case you cared. Then guest referee Stone Cold Steve Austin stunned both him and Lesnar, just to finally give the crowd a reason to smile. Those of you who didn't get enough of this match the first time around are in luck, because a wholly unnecessary retread is booked for this year's Mania. Sadly, no Stone Cold this time. Maybe they'll do four movies this time to make up for it.

Akebono vs Big Show, sumo match (WrestleMania 21)

This was the first (and last) sumo match in WWE history. Anthony Kiedis was in attendance this year, looking around confusedly from his perch behind the commentary desk. There's also a dude with a Mudvayne sign in the crowd, because 2005.

To be fair, all the trappings of the match are spot-on and traditional (to the detriment of interest levels around the world). And nobody sells a weird angle like always-down-for-the-cause Big Show. But he and Akebono — the first non-Japanese-born sumo wrestler to be elevated to yokozuna (i.e. grand champion) status — mostly compete to give each other a wedgie.

A minute later, Akebono wins, Show does the gentlemanly hand-shaking thing, and saunters off to drive monster trucks through vats of slime at yet another kids' awards show. That sounds like a way better time than this.

Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan (WrestleMania 28)

Sheamus beats Daniel Bryan in EIGHTEEN SECONDS, because if there's one person who needs a little bit more of a push, it's someone who's nicknamed after the greatest prehistoric killing machine of all time.

This wasn't the shortest match in WrestleMania history (that would be Rock vs. Erick Rowan at Mania 32, which ended in just six seconds), but it's arguably one of the most aggravating. For one thing, it was the opener — try to imagine how disappointed the gathered crowd would have been for this to kick their big night off. What's more, this was a World Heavyweight Championship match. It was a featured, headlining, heavily-hyped encounter — basically, it was one of the main events. And they tossed it on its ear in less time than it takes to sing "Happy Birthday."

At the very least, the audience's outrage over the disgracing of fan-favorite Daniel Bryan stood as yet more proof that nothing could stop his inevitable rise to the top of the pack. Also, it's never not amusing to realize that Sheamo is the Niall Horan of WWE. He's just really happy to be a part of it.

The Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royale (WrestleMania 25)

Mae Young looks, er, dismaeed to even be sitting ringside for this, and who could blame her? Aside from Nikki Bella, who's come a remarkably long way in the intervening years, it's difficult to even remember who half of the participants are, or to figure out what happened to them. Aside from suffering the indignity of entering all at once during a Kid Rock medley – so even massive, returning names like Molly Holly are somehow lost in the fray — the commentators couldn't even be bothered to call it when somebody gets knocked out. They're just girls, apparently.

Further to this, the rules of a regular Battle Royale (go over the top rope, you're gone) are altered to allow for the participants' "daintier" status. To that end, these talented women — many of whom had more than proven themselves at this stage in the game — only have to get each other through the second rope for it to count as an elimination.

Is there anything more humiliating? Well, a man wins. A man dressed as his own sister, who is not real. Don't watch this match on International Woman's Day unless you want to scream.

Vince McMahon vs Bret Hart (WrestleMania 26)

This match is just two really old, decrepit dudes moving each other around the ring slowly, until one or both of them nodded off. Why isn't Bret angrier? This was finally his chance to beat Vince to a pulp, twelve years after getting screwed out of the WWE Title in Montreal. Why is the big twist (McMahon thought he had bribed the Hart family to be on his side, but they were on Bret's side all along) revealed so early on in the match? It also has the longest lead-in ever, as Vince cuts a long promo on the ramp, then Bret does another one in the ring. Hart takes a little sit-down midway through because he's tired — we're tired just watching this all play out.

Bret won, and it took him ELEVEN MINUTES OF AWKWARD OLD-MAN BEATING TO DO IT There's no heat, it's not fun, nor is it worthy of a coveted WrestleMania spot (remember: people in the front row paid just over a grand to go and watch this, on uncomfortable chairs emblazoned with someone's face, which they then had to figure out how to get home).

HHH vs Sting (WrestleMania 31)

Ah yes, Mad Dad vs. Sad Dad. This match boasted a terrific entrance for Trips, which saw him all gussied up like The Terminator and getting a salute from Arnie himself for good measure, but everything that followed kind of ... sucked. Sting appearing at WrestleMania was such a huge deal, and the way in which he was inserted into the narrative prior — appearing in the ring unannounced, spookily hanging out in the rafters, getting The Game noticeably rattled — was so expertly handled, the match itself never reasonably stood a chance of living up to it.

But did it have to be this terrible? Did it have to be the equivalent of a burst balloon slowly letting out air for half an hour? So much was thrown at these two dudes in the hopes of something, anything sticking (or maybe distracting fans from what wasn't happening in the ring). From each man's favorite weapon (Sting's bat breaks Trips' sledgehammer, as though that's a normal thing that happens in real life), to the members of Degeneration X and the NWO showing up to stand around looking a bit confused, nothing could rescue it from the brink.

It's the (un)natural successor to Vince/Bret but with yet more moments of old dues being winded, and somehow even less at stake. As for the result: HHH won. The nefarious bad guy, who according to the stoyline had helped drive Sting's beloved WCW out of business, won. And then, Sting shakes his hand, like a pathetic loser, because this wasn't a match: this was Vince Spits on WCW's Grave, Part 9478.

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs Goldust, Hollywood Backlot Brawl (WrestleMania 12)

This wasn't just just a fancy name — this "match" takes place in an actual parking lot which, to some lunatic in the back anyway, seemed like a great spot for a wrestling match. Pre-recorded footage introduces it, before giving way awkwardly (and unconvincingly) to live-action, with the show cutting back throughout the night, to jarring effect (since nothing exciting really happens). As for the story: Goldie had been teasing Piper for weeks with his weird, borderline homophobic (especially nowadays) fake-out sex assaults. The brawl "culminates" with tough-guy Piper revealing his opponent's lingerie for the whole world to see (back in the ring, naturally), humiliating Goldust and proving something sinister is afoot with him, once and for all. This also, bizarrely, wins it for Piper.

Props, including a well-stocked catering table and a rack of clothes — exactly the kinds of items usually found in a parking lot — are well-utilized during the outside portion, which is notable primarily because Piper, who is considerably better dressed for the rainy weather, breaks his knuckles midway through. An ill-advised car chase spot later on, leads to the weirdest OJ Simpson reference this side of Big Daddy. As in, they used footage of OJ's white bronco chase and pretended it was Piper chasing Goldust. This served no purpose other than letting the world know Vince McMahon sometimes watches the news.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts vs Rick "The Model" Martel, blindfold match (WrestleMania 7)

This match, brought on after Martel sprayed cologne in Roberts's eyes, blinding him so bad one of his eyeballs grew a blurry-white contact lens, could have been cerebral and bizarre. It could have been one for the ages. But, of course, the reality of this so-called "blindfold match," is that we paid to watch two dudes with bags on their heads stumble around the ring trying to find each other for ten minutes. Consider Homer Simpson's extended family running at each other with pots on their heads and cheering mindlessly for each almost-hit, and you're halfway there. It's good fun, but inescapably dumb — the kind of match that was probably much more entertaining for the in-house crowd (who help Jake throughout, to their very vocal delight) than those watching at home. Jake does the classic hotter/colder thing to find Rick, to hilarious effect, while Rick takes to dropping elbows on thin air.

The commentators squeal that they "still haven't found each other yet!" as doing so creates endless amounts of tension. Meanwhile, everyone else on the planet reasons that Roberts and Martel just need to get to a corner and they'll never be found again. Easy.

Mr T. vs Rowdy Roddy Piper, boxing match (WrestleMania 2)

This is a kayfabe (scripted) boxing match between a wrestler and an actor — it looked like crap in 1986, and it looks especially clunky twenty years later. It was a huge deal to get celebrities involved in wrestling back then, so thirsty was Vince McMahon for worldwide recognition of his carnie show (he still is: et tu, Stephen Amell?), but why boxing? Mr. T's background in the sport amounted to little more than his starring role in a Rocky movie. The ending (a dull disqualification) is telegraphed at every available moment, with the two men managing to go just four rounds out of a possible ten.

Piper's dislike for his amateur opponent has been well-documented over the years, mostly by the man himself. Most revealingly, in a captivating interview on Stone Cold Steve Austin's podcast, Piper discussed how T had zero respect for the match or the sport. Piper (a former amateur boxer, which gives him even more reason to hate T) also revealed that he chucked a stool at T — during one of several tense breaks in the match — for real, after T missed a punch that was crucial to the story. Although Piper reckons it was one of his "most shameful" moments, those in-between digs at the super-smug Mr. T are the high point of this plodding, pointless encounter.

Thankfully, it was all worth it, as boxing is now a super-integral part of the WWE product. World Boxing Entertainment, right?

John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki vs Dolph Ziggler and Laycool (WrestleMania 27)

Jersey Shore was a really big deal back in 2011 (it was a simpler time), so this was actually quite a coup for the WWE. But rather than just let Snooki chill at ringside, they let her fight. And her team won. And she got to make the pin. At least when Stephen "Green Arrow" Amell wrestled a couple years back, he looked like a wrestler, and the actual wrestler got the win for his team. Snooki just looked like a kid who got a job while hanging around the tanning booth.

Although it's demeaning for the legendary Trish Status to be paired up with the artist bafflingly known as Snooki, what's even more disappointing is that the non-wrestler's acrobatic display is the clear high point. Well, "high" point — Snooki doesn't exactly make a case for herself as a performer (and thankfully, she never came back) but the fans do tire of booing her about five minutes in, so there's that.

So, either she impressed somebody or everyone took this opportunity to go to the bar/take a nap. Maybe both.

Kane vs Chavo Guerrero, ECW World Title match (WrestleMania 24)

After teasing it for what seemed like forever, finally the hallowed ECW World Championship got the esteemed honor of being fought over on the grandest stage of them all. Unfortunately, the champion was Chavo Guerrero, who was never in ECW and was never as cool as his uncle Eddie, and the challenger was Kane, who also was never in ECW and was never as cool as he was before he lost his scary mask years prior. What's more, the championship itself gets buried in eight(!!) seconds, wasting a truly incredible buildup — even on the night, it was teased until the very last moment, since Kane didn't get the shot until winning a battle royale 90 minutes earlier — as two mid-card guys with nothing to gain battle it out so quickly (the entire match constitutes ONE move), their entrance themes have barely finished playing when it's all over.

Kane beats Guerrero, a third-generation wrestler who could've more than held his own against him were he given half a chance to do so, with zero stakes because ... reasons. Shockingly, it took ECW another two years to officially die, though its death warrant was signed the second the ending bell rung, eight seconds after the beginning one.

Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett vs D'Lo Brown and Test, Tag Team Title match (WrestleMania 15)

This was one of those instances where two dudes are inexplicably teamed up as a tag team and given a title shot out of absolutely nowhere. In tis case, D'Lo and Test were co-winers in a battle royal 30 minutes before this match, so they got to be in the match. That's insulting enough to the championships on a meh episode of RAW, but at WrestleMania? This match felt like a complete afterthought at the time, but on re-watch, it somehow registers as less. Although it wasn't exactly bad per se, it definitely wouldn't be considered Mania-caliber, especially when you factor in the ridicuousness of how they set the whole thing up.

Distractingly (but totally on-brand for the Attitude Era that Mania 15 was neck-deep in), Owen and Jarrett's manager, Debra, wears a blazer with just lingerie underneath, because business-casual means something different entirely in the world of wrestling. Try to imagine Paul Heyman wearing the same outfit. Sadly, that mental image is more exciting than anything that happens in the ring here.