#22. Money in the Bank Ladder Match — WrestleMania 21
Ladder Matches on The Grandest Stage of Them All tend to be great — no surprise there’s a bevy of them on this list — so the inaugural Money in the Bank Ladder Match, with its novel, game changing stipulation and can’t miss lineup of topflight athletes, Evel Knievels and a real-life monster, was bound to be excellent.
The second bout at WrestleMania 21 played out like a Michael Bay trailer with exploding robots replaced by guys like Christian and Kane. Fifteen minutes of gratuitous carnage led to Edge coming out on top — setting in motion what would become a defining run as a villain — but it was Shelton Benjamin who stole the show (and defied physics) by running up a diagonal ladder to deliver a diving clothesline to Jericho. This was the sports-entertainment equivalent of a Hollywood summer blockbuster. No wonder it spawned so many sequels. — RYAN MURPHY
#10. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian — WrestleMania X-Seven
What is the best tag team match ever wrestled? Hard to say for sure, but there’s no doubt this brutal melee from the Houston Astrodome is on the short list. The final match in an epic trilogy, this one — featuring bigger stakes, a bigger stage, bigger ladders and bigger surprises — was by far the most captivating.
In the weeks leading up to the event, the Hardys, Dudleys and Edge & Christian had exchanged the World Tag Team Titles with a dizzying pace, and they were all primed for a “WrestleMania moment.” The entirety of their WrestleMania X-Seven encounter felt like that moment, but one indelible image from the contest endures. In the thick of the match, Edge Speared Jeff in mid-air as the daredevil hung from a cable high above the ring, driving him perilously to the canvas below. The impactful crash landing not only defined TLC Matches, but raised the bar for all of tag team competition. — ZACH LINDER