5 Never-Before-Seen ‘WrestleMania’ Matches

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Tito Santana-Papa Shango

You won’t believe the Hall of Famer who was relegated to such a dark match.
(Photo : WWE)

Every year, there are dark WrestleMania matches that the WWE Universe doesn’t get to see as part of the live pay-per-view event.

For WWE’s weekly 5 Things segment Wednesday, the company looked back to five such matches that were never-before-seen by the masses of pro-wrestling fans.

Kicking off the segment was a Tito Santana vs. Papa Shango match at WrestleMania IX, which memorably took place outdoors at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas back in 1993. Santana defeated the strange superstar in what would turn out to be closure for his nearly 15-year Hall of Fame WWE career.

Next up, the segment posed the question that, if the titles change hands but nobody was there to see it … does it still count?

Well, that’s exactly what transpired during WrestleMania XII in 1996, when the Bodydonnas used a little interference from former WWE diva Sunny to snatch the tag team titles from the Godwinns. Why was the tag team title match not aired? Well, that same “Show of Shows” had the iconic 60-minute Iron Man match between Bret “the Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight championship, so the tag team title match had to hit the cutting room floor to give them the time they needed in the main event.

Before WrestleMania X8 in 2002, only the live Toronto SkyDome crowd witnessed a six-man tag match that had Too Cool and Rikishi defeating the trio of Mr. Perfect, Lance Storm and Test. Although Too Cool and Rikishi were the faces in the match, the old-school Canadian crowd booed the outcome, as they were pulling for Mr. Perfect to get the ‘W’ the whole time.

WrestleMania 21 in 2005 had Booker T outlasting the likes of the Hurricane, Val Venis, William Regal and Chris Masters in a Battle Royal that wasn’t included on the live show.

Ric Flair is a two-time WWE Hall of Famer, but for one WrestleMania, he was relegated to wrestling a dark match. It took place at the onset of WrestleMania 23 in 2007, when he teamed with Carlito to defeat Gregory Helms and Chavo Guerrero. How about that — the Nature Boy not being included on the live “Show of Shows?”

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