Found this on another forum - thought it was interesting!
(Originally from liveaudiowrestling.com)
Honorable Mentions: CARD SHARKED
Razor Ramon vs. Goldust, Wrestlemania 12
Mankind vs. Vader, Wrestlemania 13
Kane vs. X-Pac, Wrestlemania 16
Edge vs. William Regal, Wrestlemania 18
John Cena vs. Fabolous and Jay-Z, Wrestlemania 19
Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry, Wrestlemania 20
- Scott Hall and Goldust were feuding over the Intercontinental Title, but Hall gave notice to jump to WCW and was coincidentally suspended for failing a drug test, so they put Roddy Piper in his spot.
- Mick Foley wrote in Have A Nice Day about his idea to reprise his WCW feud with Vader, but it was decided to make them a team first so they could break up and then feud. Except they never got around to the breakup or the feud. Too bad, 'cause that show could've used another good match.
- Kane and X-Pac were programmed for like six months from the end of 1999 to the beginning of 2000 and were building to some kind of ultimate blowoff for Mania involving explosions or something. But that got nixed and they did a not-so-ultimate tag match instead.
- Edge and Regal were programmed for like four months from the end of 2001 to the beginning of 2002 and were building to Edge regaining the IC title at Mania. But the matches were boring and the feud wasn't over, so they aborted it with one month left and put Rob Van Dam over the belt instead.
- John Cena was supposed to "battle rap" against some stiff MCs, but it fell through. What'd do you want him to do, man, call out your fiance? He'd have a better competition battle rapping with Beyonce.
- Matt Hardy as a heel was on a losing streak gimmick after jumping to Raw, and apparently the plan was that he'd finally pick up a big win and turn face by beating the Very Strong Man, Mark Henry. Except Henry got hurt just before Mania, Hardy didn't get on the show, and things would get increasingly worse for him from there.
30-29. DREAM DEFERRED
Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior, Wrestlemania 7
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair, Wrestlemania 8
These are ranked so low because I'm almost positive they're not really real. Hogan vs. Warrior might've been a long term idea, but when the time came, with Warrior not drawing like Hogan did, I assume they thought there was more money in Hogan chasing the title against a heel, especially draped in the flag against a Per$ian Gulf War-based heel. Hogan vs. Flair was announced on TV, but just as storyline, as the main event with Hogan had been promised to Sid Justice all along, Hogan/Flair had already done a house show run, and, as funny as it sounds, Vince probably thought a monster like Sid would be the bigger draw. Would both suggested matches have been cooler and more historic? Yeah. Were they ever concretely planned to happen? I don't believe so. An interesting sidenote is that if you read Observers from late '90-91, there's actually some speculation that if the WWF really thinks they're going to sell out the L.A. Colosseum, then their best bet would be if the unhappy Ric Flair left WCW for the WWF and wrestled Hogan. A little under a year later and he does, but they never headline a Wrestlemania. They do headline a Bash at the Beach, but it's not quite the same thing.
28-27. ALL SIZZLE, NO STREAK
The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle, Wrestlemania 21
The Undertaker and Kane vs. Gene Snitsky and John Heidenreich, Wrestlemania 21
After Kurt Angle's return from a neck injury in summer 2004, he and Undertaker came up with the idea of headlining Wrestlemania 21 on the Smackdown side as the two top stars who would be kept apart building to the big match, where Taker would finally be able to have a classic match at Mania. Well, Bradshaw's title reign inexplicably kept going and Angle's neck explicably started hurting again, and plans changed. Inspired by the success of their amazing vignettes together, there arose the idea of teaming Snitsky and Heidenreich against a reunited Taker and Kane in an interpromotional tag match conflating each brands' respective awful feud. However, over the past five years, the Undertaker has shown a remarkable knack for getting out of bad Wrestlemania matches and getting into good ones. Instead of a probable tag match against Rikishi and Haku at 17, he ended up with a strong match with Triple H. Instead of a suggested match with Kevin Nash at 18, he ended up with a good match with Ric Flair. And here, instead of a nightmare of a match against Snitsky and Heidenreich, he ended up having a very good match with Randy Orton. By also opening the door for the Angle vs. Shawn Michaels match, there's probably been no decision in the history of wrestling to cause a greater swing in match quality.
26-24. YOU GO, BOSS
Vince McMahon vs. Mick Foley, Wrestlemania 17
Vince McMahon vs. Eric Bischoff, Wrestlemania 19
Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin, Wrestlemania 20
I think it's safe to assume that we're never going to see Vince wrestle a match again, although after seeing his Lazarus-like appearance on Monday, maybe I should think twice. Still, McMahon turned down doing a match with Foley for this year's show even before he obliterated his legs at the Royal Rumble. Foley regrets not doing the match when it was first offered to him in 2001, opting instead to referee Vince vs. Shane. In 2003, the allure and drawing power of a McMahon/Bischoff match had already been nullified by the nature of Eric's introduction and role on TV, but it was going to happen anyway, until Hulk Hogan showed up again and took the match and the Mania payday from his dear friend. They ran it a year later on TV with Austin officiating as an afterthought in the build to Wrestlemania 20 -- the idea had actually been to have an Austin vs. McMahon shortcut brawl-type match after Vince had spent the entire year getting heat on himself going over Hogan, Zach Gowen, Stephanie, and Undertaker. The only problem was nobody bothered to tell Austin and he declined doing the match. Vince vs. Bret Hart is only going to happen when cloning is invented.
23-22. QUAD QUITTY DJs
Steve Austin vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 18
Steve Austin vs. Triple H, Wrestlemania 19
The best laid plans of vice and men. When Triple H tore his quad in May 2001, he was in a tag team with a heel Steve Austin, the point of which was to lead to a breakup that would turn Hunter face and let him challenge Austin for the world title. The injury put him on the shelf for some seven months and gave him a natural sympathetic return angle to come back and headline Mania 18 with -- a face Triple H winning the WWF Title from heel Steve Austin. Weird to think about, huh? Everything fell into place for Hunter, but nothing fell into place for anybody else. With WWF booking and any semblance of longterm direction disintegrating in HHH's absence, Austin was turned back babyface before Hunter returned for their match. They kept the idea of HHH returning from injury to win the world title, but used Chris Jericho as the heel champion instead, and it did not work out very well for him. Or for Hunter, for that matter, since his Mania main event and big title win didn't get over and played to mostly silence.
Upset with, among other things, that disintegrating WWF booking, Steve Austin left the WWF a couple months after Mania 18. By Mania 19, he was back in the fold, and his natural opponents to return against were the Rock and Triple H. With Rock's sights set on doing a match with Goldberg, that paired up Austin and HHH. Hunter laid the groundwork for Austin's return by alluding to "pulling an Austin" and walking out on Raw, and by objecting to Austin's winning Raw Superstar of the Decade in January. But once again, the Austin Wrestlemania match got away from him when a deal couldn't be reached with Goldberg and the decision was made to reprise the Austin/Rock rivalry. Since Kevin Nash would not be recovered from his own torn quad in time to work with him at Mania, Hunter had to settle for and bury Booker T.
21-20. HARD ROCK CACHET
The Rock vs. Goldberg, Wrestlemania 19
The Rock vs. John Bradshaw Layfield, Wrestlemania 21
After the end of his career as a full-time on the road performer in 2001, it seems like the Rock has made it his goal to come up with original, special matches as a good reason to come back for Wrestlemania each year. In 2002, he wrestled Hulk Hogan in a dream match, and in 2004, he reunited the Rock & Sock Connection and wrestled Ric Flair. I would think Rock would probably consider both matches artistic successes in terms of doing something original and special, performing with legends and drawing record-setting buyrates. But he's had other ideas that didn't quite come to fruition. In 2003, Rock essentially personally brokered a deal between Goldberg and WWE so that he could have another never-before-seen Wrestlemania dream match. However, that deal wasn't finalized in time to set up a match for Mania, so it was held off for the next month. Alas, the buildup was a disaster, the match wasn't much better, and the buyrate was far from record-setting. Rock put over Goldberg with the idea of winning a rematch at Wrestlemania 20, but they didn't bother.
For Mania 21, Rock was purportedly very excited to once again come back and do something special for Wrestlemania, and had come up with a handful of ideas that he suggested to Vince. One of these was to wrestle Sting, whose name has been semi-seriously mentioned for every Mania since 17. According to Dave, the Sting match was only his second-best idea, and if I was to speculate, I might guess at his wanting to do a singles match with Flair stemming from the year before (already done once but few remember it), or a Rock and Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair dream tag match that Dave and Mike Tenay thought about on one Observer Live. Whatever it was, WWE had different ideas and wanted him to wrestle JBL, back when the plan was to keep the belt on him indefinitely through the spring. At some point there was even talk of Rock winning the title and dropping it back two days later to swerve everyone who would assume he couldn't win. Anyway, it all became moot when the company let his contract expire in an "oversight" and he ended up not working the show in any capacity. Our loss. Things would certainly be a lot different right now if Rock/Layfield had happened; for one, John Cena's coronation would've been held off. Instead, WM21 ended the show with their two young hopes for the future as the new world champions: John Cena and Randy Orton. Or ... wait.