The best WrestleMania is a tricky thing to define. It’s not necessarily the best overall collection of in-ring action, or the WrestleMania with the most memorable or iconic moments. It’s not simply the show that had the strongest or most satisfying stories. Like wrestling itself, it’s a combination of all of these factors. The best WrestleMania is the one where the disparate strands of pro wrestling best congeal into a cohesive, compelling whole, and ideally a whole that captures the zeitgeist of not just the wrestling world but pop culture in general. It’s a tall order, but throughout the annals of wrestling history no show has been better suited to that task than WrestleMania.
This Sunday WWE holds the 33rd annual WrestleMania in Orlando, Fla. Paste will be there, but before making the drive down 75, let’s look back at the big show’s storied history, from 1985 all the way up to last year. What WrestleManias are still worth watching today? Which ones should be consigned to the history books? Flip through this gallery to see one site’s humble opinion.