1000 Matches Better Than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25

As is often the case with things I become invested in, this started as a joke. Somehow in the course of talking shit in our infamous Slack chat, Quentin Moody and I challenged each other to a bet of sorts. He would try to find 1000 matches that he thinks are better than the Last Man Standing match between John Cena and Umaga from Royal Rumble 2007, one of my favorite matches. In turn I would watch and review 1000 matches that I think are better than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25, which is one of Quentin’s favorites. By the end of this process we hope to find our respective top 100 matches of all time, which would result in a podcast of some sort in theory. Whether that will ever come to pass, God only knows. Regardless of whether it does I’d like to complete my end of the deal, if only to give me a chance to revisit and review matches I haven’t seen in years as well as to dive into periods and promotions I’ve never approached. This will probably take a long while but (hopefully) I’m going to be plugging away at this thing consistently for a hot minute, so be sure to check back in for updates.

Here is my review of Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25.

You can follow along with the matches listed here by way of the 1000 Matches Better tag.

Here are the reviews of matches on this blog that I’ve already considered and found to be better than Shawn/Taker, with more to come soon. Right now these are just listed chronologically and do not indicate any hierarchical level of quality:

[last updated 09/23/2018]

1. Antonio Inoki vs Tatsumi Fujinami – NJPW Challenge Spirit 1985 Day 22 (09/19/1985, Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Tokyo, Japan)

2. Tatsumi Fujinami (c) vs Antonio Inoki – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – NJPW Super Monday Night in Yokohama (08/08/1988, Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium, Yokohama, Japan)

3. Raven vs Tommy Dreamer – Number One Contender’s Match – ECW Holiday Hell 1995 (12/29/1995, Lost Battalion Hall, Queens, New York, United States)

4. The Undertaker vs Mankind – Boiler Room Brawl – WWF SummerSlam 1996 (08/18/1996, Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio, United States)

5. Shawn Michaels (c) vs Mankind – WWF World Heavyweight Championship – WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games (09/22/1996, CoreStates Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

6. Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin – Number One Contender’s Match – WWF Survivor Series 1996 (11/17/1996, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, United States)

7. Terry Funk vs The Sandman vs Stevie Richards – Number One Contender’s Match – ECW Barely Legal (04/13/1997, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

8. Raven (c) vs Terry Funk – ECW World Heavyweight Championship – ECW Barely Legal (04/13/1997, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

9. Shane Douglas (c) vs Taz – ECW World Television Championship – ECW Wrestlepalooza 1997 (06/06/1997, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

10. Terry Funk (c) vs Sabu – No Rope Barbed Wire Match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship – ECW Born to Be Wired (08/09/1997, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

11. Bam Bam Bigelow (c) vs Rob Van Dam – ECW World Television Championship – ECW Hardcore TV (taped 04/04/1998, aired 04/08/1998, Flickinger Center, Buffalo, New York, United States)

12. Super Crazy vs Yoshihiro Tajiri – Mexican Deathmatch – ECW on TNN (taped 01/15/2000, aired 01/21/2000, ECW Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

13. Steve Corino vs Yoshihiro Tajiri – ECW Hardcore Heaven 2000 (05/14/2000, The Rave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States)

14. Daisuke Sekimoto & Bad Bones vs The Catch Hoolz (Big Van Walter & Sami Callihan) – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2009 Day 3 (03/08/2009, Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany)

15. Eddie Kingston vs Big Van Walter – wXw The Vision (03/13/2010, New Alhambra Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States)

16. Sami Callihan vs Big Van Walter – 16 Carat Gold 2011 Tournament Finals – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2011 Day 3 (03/13/2011, Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany)

17. Yoshihito Sasaki & Yuko Miyamoto vs The Mind (Big Van Walter & Anthony Zeus) – wXw Fight Club 2011 (09/30/2011, Saint, Oberhausen, Germany)

18. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Kazuchika Okada – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – NJPW The New Beginning 2012 (02/12/2012, Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, Osaka, Japan)

19. Big Van Walter vs Zack Sabre Jr – wXw Live in Hamburg (08/18/2012, Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany)

20. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Kazuchika Okada – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 7 (01/04/2013, Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan)

21. RockSkillet (Jonathan Gresham & Jay Skillet) & Axel Tischer vs The Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) & Big Van Walter – wXw Hasta la Victoria Siempre Tour 2013: Mannheim (02/03/2013, Alte Seilerei, Mannheim, Germany)

22. RockSkillet (Jonathan Gresham & Jay Skillet) (c) vs The AUTsiders (Big Van Walter & Robert Dreissker) – wXw World Tag Team Championship – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2013 Day 3 (03/03/2013, Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany)

23. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Kazuchika Okada – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – NJPW Invasion Attack 2013 (04/07/2013, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan)

24. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii – G1 Climax 23 Block A Match – NJPW G1 Climax 23 Day 2 (08/02/2013, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan)

25. Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – IWGP Heavyweight Championship – NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling 2013 (10/14/2013, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan)

26. The AUTsiders (Big Van Walter & Robert Dreissker) (c) vs Hot & Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr & Da Mack) – wXw World Tag Team Championship – wXw 13th Anniversary Tour: Hamburg (11/13/2013, Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany)

27. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada – G1 Climax 26 Block A Match – NJPW G1 Climax 26 Day 17 (08/12/2016, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan)

28. Matt Tremont (c) vs Nick Gage – Cinderblock Canvas Deathmatch and Nick Gage Invitational II Finals for the GCW Heavyweight Championship – GCW Nick Gage Invitational II (09/16/2017, Game Changer World, Howell, New Jersey, United States)

29. Johnny Gargano vs Tommaso Ciampa – Unsanctioned Match – NXT TakeOver: New Orleans (04/07/2018, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States)

30. Shayna Baszler (c) vs Dakota Kai – NXT Women’s Championship – NXT (taped 05/09/2018, aired 05/30/2018, Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida, United States)

31. The Killer Product (Jordan Devlin & David Starr) vs WALTER & Low Ki – OTT A Haven for Monsters (06/02/2018, Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, Ireland)

32. Darby Allin vs WALTER – EVOLVE 106 (06/23/2018, Saint Finbar Catholic Church, Queens, New York, United States)

33. Daniel Makabe vs Timothy Thatcher – 3-2-1 BATTLE! Wet Hot Seattle Summer 2 (07/13/2018, The Battle Palace, Seattle, Washington, United States)

34. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada – G1 Climax 28 Block A Match – NJPW G1 Climax 28 Day 17 (08/10/2018, Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan)

35. Kota Ibushi vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – G1 Climax 28 Finals – NJPW G1 Climax 28 Day 19 (08/12/2018, Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan)

36. Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada – Number One Contender’s Match – NJPW Destruction in Kobe 2018 (09/23/2018, Kobe World Hall, Kobe, Japan)

 

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