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Top 3 closing matches in WWE WrestleMania history

  • A list of the most exhilarating WrestleMania closing matches.
Aviral Shukla
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 16 Feb 2019, 13:10 IST

#2 Chris Benoit vs Triple H vs Shawn Michaels, WrestleMania XX

Benoit, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels stare each other down
Benoit, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels stare each other down

On January 2004, Chris Benoit won the Royal Rumble and jumped ship from the SmackDown roster to Raw to challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.

The problem, so the storyline went, was that Triple H had a pre-existing feud with Shawn Michaels, and Shawn had sort of had his heart set on taking the main event title shot himself. So instead of the one on one match Benoit's Rumble victory promised, we get the dreaded triple threat match, the rules of which allow a champion to lose the match and the title without actually losing the fall.

I've never liked this gimmick, mostly because it seems lazy to end a match with three guys after one guy gets pinned. Why not have an elimination match, like WCW used to do with its triangle matches? Because if you end it after one fall, the prima donna star who whines and moans about not going over can lose the match without actually taking the fall.

I, in an uncharacteristic moment of cynicism, assumed this was why Michaels was inserted into the match, so Benoit could go over him and win the title and Triple H, having never lost a fall to Benoit, could come back in a few weeks (or months, if he was feeling generous), face Benoit in a singles match, no-sell the Crippler Crossface and win "his" belt back.

It turns out I was hilariously wrong about all of this. Triple H not only does the job for Benoit at WrestleMania XX, but he also goes out like a man, tapping out to the Crossface - the first time a WrestleMania main event ever ended in a submission. 

The match itself was a masterpiece, with Michaels nearly killing himself and bleeding like a pig in the process. The finish came when Michaels was tossed from the ring, and Benoit clamped Triple H into the Cross-face. Hunter almost made it to the ropes, but Benoit rolled him back to the middle of the ring and cranked it for all he's got. Triple H tapped out, and Benoit won his first World Title.

Chris Benoit, the best wrestler of his generation, is finally a World Champion, standing in the ring holding the belt, confetti flying everywhere. But if that's not good enough, Benoit turns around and sees Eddie Guerrero in the ring all of a sudden. Eddie, also a World Champion as the holder of the WWE Title on SmackDown, embraces Benoit in the ring and they celebrate together.

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Published 16 Feb 2019, 13:10 IST
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