Every match at WWE WrestleMania XL ranked from worst to best

WrestleMania 40 had plenty of highs and lows, but which match stood out as the best of them all?
The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL. (Credit: WWE.com)
The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL. (Credit: WWE.com) /

WWE pulled out all the stops for WrestleMania XL. That shouldn't come as a surprise to those familiar with the company; WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year. But this year's was that much more special as it was the 40th edition of the event. And to bring it to life, the company executed one of the finest builds in its decades-long history.

The question is: Did the event live up to the hype? It's always harder to judge WrestleMania these days as it now takes place across the Saturday and Sunday nights of its respective weekend, so let's take a look at the matches to help us decide.

Was The Rock's return as electrifying as his glory days? Could Cody Rhodes' well-documented attempt to "finish the story" in his clash with Roman Reigns outdo their showdown last year? Was WrestleMania 40 the greatest edition of the Showcase of the Immortals of all time? Let's rank all of the matches from the two-night extravaganza and find out.

WrestleMania 40
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 7: WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on April 7, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by WWE/Getty Images) /

14. The Pride vs. The Final Testament

I don't even know where to begin with this match. It had all the makings of a fun bout given its Philadelphia Street Fight stipulation but it just never got going. The fact that it immediately felt like a one-sided beatdown by The Final Testament just took all the excitement that had been built up out of the arena as the crowd quickly grew disinterested, and when things began to pick it, it was all down to Bubba Ray Dudley's involvement as special guest referee.

The final sequence, in which Bubba directed traffic, was fun, but it all felt very intentional and choregraphed, offering nothing to the match itself outside of waking the crowd up. And even though Snoop Dogg provided some fun commentary for those watching on TV, there was too much happening to focus on.

WrestleMania 40
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 6: WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on April 6, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by WWE/Getty Images) /

13. Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso

The long-awaited showdown between the Usos had a lot of hype behind it for two reasons: It was an extension of the Bloodline storyline, and it had been going on for close to a year. It's understandable that it didn't quite manage to live up to those expectations, but the sad thing is that it felt like a complete disappointment in most aspects.

The brothers had chemistry, sure, but what should have been their big Undertaker vs. Kane moment ended up feeling a little underwhelming. The crowd's disinterest didn't help matters and even though they came to life during Jimmy's "plea" to his brother for forgiveness, it didn't make up for the lacklustre match.

Damian Priest
WrestleMania 40 / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

12. Damian Priest vs. Drew McIntyre

Well, it finally happened. Damian Priest cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase and it was as epic as we hoped it would be.

Drew McIntyre looked like the decisive champion after defeating Seth Rollins, but his taunting of CM Punk saw him on the wrong side of an attack - an attack that Priest capitalized on.

With just one South of Heaven Chokeslam, this wasn't an all-out war because it wasn't supposed to be. It was a nine-second piece of storytelling beauty, giving us all the moment we were waiting for.

WrestleMania XL
WrestleMania 40 (courtesy of WWE.com) /

11. Rey Mysterio and Andrade vs. Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio

You can always count on heat wherever Dominik Mysterio goes, but not even that could get the WrestleMania XL crowd engaged in his match on Saturday night. You can't blame them on this occasion, because there wasn't much to get engaged about in this one.

It was a little surprising to see WWE renewing the Rey and Dominik rivalry jus ahead of WrestleMania, especially because "Dirty Dom" was on Raw with the Judgment Day. There was really no reason to renew the feud, and that was even more clear after the final bell rung.

WrestleMania 40
WrestleMania 40 (Courtesy of WWE.com) /

10. Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill, and Naomi vs. Damage CTRL

As epic as it was to see Jade Cargill in action at WrestleMania, this match felt exactly like what it was: A last-minute addition to the card that didn't offer anything outside of, well, seeing Jade Cargill in action at WrestleMania.

The match certainly wasn't bad. You can always count on Bianca Belair and Naomi to put on a show when they are in the ring, and Damage CTRL have proved to be an interesting threat in the past, but the outcome of this match was clear before it even began and the subsequent contest didn't offer up anything to suggest otherwise. I still can't help but feel that Asuka deserves better than this, but that's a complaint for another day.

R-Truth, The Miz
WrestleMania 40 / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

9. Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder Match (Undisputed Tag Team Championship)

Multi-man Ladder matches are always a good time at WrestleMania and that was certainly the case with the Six-Pack tag team Ladder match. This one didn't have as larger-than-life a feel as the Money In The Bank Ladder matches of old (a long-term problem with the tag team division), but it was a solid addition to a stacked WrestleMania card and a welcome repreive on an underwhelming Saturday night card.

I'm so glad that they allowed the titles to be split here (with A-Town Down Under winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and the Awesome Truth securing the Raw Tag Team Titles) as it makes things much more exciting for the tag team division and also allows for more growth on both brands, rather than just pinning both of the belts on the same team. So yes, a lot of points for that.

AJ Styles and LA Knight at WrestleMania 40 (Courtesy of WWE.com) /

8. LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

LA Knight and AJ Styles have been having a very old school physical rivalry over the past few weeks so of course that was going to lead to a very old school physical brawl at WrestleMania. The two wasted little time getting their hands on each other, trading blows before we even get the introductions and entrances finished.

The two wrestled a very respectable match that felt more like a fight in places. That's good, but with a pretty brief runtime of just 12 minutes (which definitely feels brief considering the AJ Styles lost the match) and an overall lack of excitement from the audience, it felt a bit underwhelming too.

You definitely felt the intensity and you definitely like LA Knight had earned that victory

WrestleMania 40
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 7: WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on April 7, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by WWE/Getty Images) /

7. Iyo Sky vs. Bayley (WWE Women's Championship)

Bayley's long-awaited moment in the spotlight saw her win the WWE Women's Championship in a match that was a tale of two halves. The first half of it was a little slow, which wasnt helped by the fact that the crowd just didn't seem all that into it (a big issue with a lot of the matches on both nights). However, once it kicked into gear, it kicked into gear.

The match's final few moments were bloody brilliant, helped in no small part by the fact that both Bayley and Iyo Sky masterfully woke the crowd up. The wrestling was very, very good here, but the storytelling was absolutely masterful.

A long-awaited and well-overdue moment in the spotlight for Bayley. And what a moment it was.

WrestleMania 40
The Rock and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL. (Credit: WWE.com) /

6. The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins

Wow, this was a strange match. It was certainly the most-anticipated match on WrestleMania Saturday (and perhaps the whole event, even) as it was the first time that The Rock would compete in a WWE ring in eight years. The Brahma Bull did well, showcasing that he's still electrifying in the ring. The match, however, was not. Well, not for the most part.

The earlygoing was a little slow-moving as all four attempted to "feel each other out" and see how they wanted to approach it, but things didn't pick up quickly enough. When it did, there were some botches (minor, but they were there) before we slowed things down for the typical bland single-out-one-man trope on Rollins. That lasted far too long, and when we picked back up for the "final stretch", it also lasted far too long.

There were some fantastic moments in there, including The Rock taking a Rock Bottom through a table. The overall larger-than-life feel of this one also gets it a few points, because it certainly didn't disappoint on that front. It just didn't need the 40-minute runtime.

WWE WrestleMania 40
Rhea Ripley and Becky Lynch at WrestleMania XL. (Courtesy of WWE.com) /

5. Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch (Women's World Championship)

Like most of the matches at WrestleMania XL, the Women's World Championship bout started off as a bit of a mixed bag. It had a solid opening, sure, but it took Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley a few moments to find their groove. It was also pretty unusual seeing the crowd actively root against Lynch considering how over she was at 'Mania just a few short years ago, but hey they love Rhea Ripley and I can't blame them for that.

The truth is that they found their groove about halfway into it and produced some absolutely killer spots as a result. We had a couple of near-falls, a couple of huge "surprise" kickouts and a really gripping final act. The final spot, in which Rhea delivered her finisher on Becky into the turnbuckle before doing it again in the center of the ring, was quite the surprise in and of itself, but perhaps the biggest surprise was Rhea's victory. Thankfully, it was a pleasant one.

WrestleMania 40
Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40 (Courtesy of WWE.com) /

4. Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre (World Heavyweight Championship)

If Seth Rollins was going to lose the World Heavyweight Championship, he needed to lose it in convincing fashion. After all, WWE's "workhorse" has been proving himself week in and week out for a year. His showdown with Drew McIntyre pulled that off, but no necessarily in the way that you might expect.

The Claymore right out of the gate was a surprise, but I'm very thankful we didn't follow that up with a quick victory. Rollins kicked out, and a few minutes later he kicked out of another one, and another one, before a fourth finally kept him down for the three-count. There was some solid back-and-forth in there, including an awesome Stomp on the announce table, as well as a lot of trash-talking from Drew to CM Punk.

It wasn't a classic, and it wasn't the great wrestling match that these two could have had; but it was a convincing win for McIntyre that allowed Rollins to look strong in defeat.

WrestleMania 40
Kevin Owens, Logan Paul, and Randy Orton at WrestleMania 40. (Courtesy of WWE.com) /

3. Logan Paul vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens (US Championship)

Triple Threat matches almost always deliver, and they almost always deliver at WrestleMania. That was no different at WrestleMania XL, as the showdown between Logan Paul, Randy Orton, and Kevin Owens was a thriller.

Orton and Owens' teamwork early on presented a fun change-of-pace from the typical 3-way match while also teasing the eventual clash between the two. They didn't make us wait long for it either as the humorous dynamic soon gave way and the two "besties" began to pummel each other, allowing Logan Paul to eventually take advantage.

Almost everything about this one was perfect. I do feel that we skipped out a bit of middle, taking us to the final act a bit too quickly but if my biggest criticism is that it could have been a bit longer, then I think they did a good job. Even Paul's eventual win was executed really well.

Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes
WrestleMania 40 / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

2. Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes (WWE Universal Championship)

The one we were all waiting for. The big one. Could it deliver? Could the year-long build pay off? In a word: Yes.

I'll admit: When both men went into the crowd early on, I got incredibly worried that a good wrestling match would be forsaken in favor of a gimmicky fight. Thankfully that didn't happen, as Rhodes and Reigns quickly relocated their chemistry from last year, delivering a barn-burner of a showdown that had the audience screaming from start through finish.

We had The Rock interfere. We had John Cena. We had Seth Rollins in The Shield attire. We had the freakin' Undertaker show up. And we had an incredible main event match. What a way to finish the story.

WrestleMania 40
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 6: WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on April 6, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by WWE/Getty Images) /

1. Gunther vs. Sami Zayn (Intercontinental Championship)

On paper, this one was destined to be a classic. In execution, it absolutely was.

Whoever had to follow this match was in for a bad time, so it was fitting that they put it on second-to-last, as the hype of the main event would see it through. But it couldn't allow it to come close to the showcase that Sami Zayn and Gunther produced, because this was a thing of beauty.

Even without the storytelling aspect of Gunther's record-breaking title reign hanging over it, the match told a wonderful story; and the audience bought into it, continuing to root for Sami Zayn and the incredible year-long comeback he was making. Throw in the possibility of Gunther's title reign ending, and you had storytelling bliss.

The final sequence is goosebump-inducing, because you can literally feel like history is about to be made (even on rewatch). And history was made, as Zayn's eventual win - which ended Gunther's 666-day long title reign was ended in a truly magical moment that was only the icing on the cake of a phenomenal match.

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