It’s been a long time coming, but you know what they say, good things come to those who wait. In ten days, on February 26th, Black Sheep Wall will make their long-awaited return with the release of their new album, Songs for the Enamel Queen, via Silent Pendulum Records. This is the band’s first new record in over five years, the follow-up to 2015’s I’m Going To Kill Myself.
The long hiatus was precipitated by some internal turbulence, which led to lineup changes, but now the quintet has returned, reinvigorated and more enthusiastic than ever, with their most compelling release yet. Nearly one hour in length, Songs for the Enamel Queen is one intense journey, from start to finish, with four of the album’s seven songs coming in at over ten minutes in length. If you like purposeful, well-constructed, musically impressive heavy music, then you’ll absolutely adore this experimental metal adventure.
Like many other hard rock and heavy metal artists, the dudes from Black Sheep Wall identify with being major wrestling fans. There’s something about heavy music and wrestling that goes together perfectly, and these guys aren’t afraid to admit their affection for this rollicking brand of sports entertainment. Taking a pause from music for a moment, Black Sheep Wall joins us to run down their Top 10 favourite WWE Wrestlemania matches of all time.
“This list compiled between Brandon Gillichbauer (vocals), Juan Hernandez Cruz (bass), and Scott Turner (guitar), consists of matches we deemed the top 10 Wrestlemania matches of all time. Obviously, wrestling is subjective and if we each had our own list some matches might rank higher or lower, and there might be an inclusion/exclusion or two. One thing is for sure, we are definitely a “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels band. That being said, we toiled away at not being able to include some matches, so we wanted to make some honourable mentions.”
10. Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat – Wrestlemania III
“Ah, back when the Intercontinental Title was held in a much higher esteem. This match makes the list mostly because of its ‘ahead of its time’ match quality that still holds up today.”
9. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – Wrestlemania X
“Two of the baddest/drippiest boys in WWE going head to head. Some will say this match is boring *cough cough* but to me, this was a dope pre-D-Generation X/NWO moment that included a ladder. Also, who doesn’t love them some HBK Florida man mullet era? The best part is when HBK gets stuck in the ropes after he decimates Razor Ramon with the ladder and then Ramon says goodnight to the boy toy.”
8. Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart – Wrestlemania XII
“Let’s be honest, this match starts off lit with HBK ziplining down like a shiny boy toy into the crowd and Bret Hart coming out with that neon admiral jacket looking like he manages boy bands (drip). Seeing these two fight each other for over an hour is a true treat. Favourite moments of the match are when Bret was rolling out before it became a sudden death match, and HBK laying down that super kick. Perfection.”
7. The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Wrestlemania XIX
“I know what you’re thinking, ‘wait a second why not their bouts at 15 and 17?!’ Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of the match at 15 and Stone Cold turning heel at the ending of 17 sours the match beyond reproach for me. Fucking Stone Cold shaking hands with Vince McMahon out of nowhere? Get out of here… Anyways, their meeting at 19 however feels like two dope ass wild west gunslingers coming back for one final battle. Before kicking out of every finish was a thing, it was truly stunning (pun shamelessly intended) to see the two all-time greats do just that time and time again during the match. Shit was wild! In hindsight, knowing it would be Austin’s final match only adds to the mystique of the encounter.”
6. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker – Wrestlemania XXVI
“Whilst not as good as their epic encounter at Wrestlemania XXV, this match inherently had more weight behind it as it bore the stipulation of Shawn Michaels’ career being on the line. HBK pulls out all the stops as a man driven mad by his desire to defeat the Phenom ultimately realizing there’s no hope before giving the Undertaker one final defiant slap in the face to close out his career.”
5. Daniel Bryan vs. HHH/Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Batista – Wrestlemania XXX
“Technically cheating by choosing two matches, but you need both of Daniel Bryan’s triumphant performances at Wrestlemania XXX to tell the whole story. Bryan, widely regarded at the time (arguably even currently) as the best wrestler in the world just couldn’t seem to get a break. Time and time again the WWE would push the fan favourite to the side in favour of pushing other wrestlers. Fans weren’t even apathetic about the wrestlers the company chose to get behind, they were straight-up pissed.
Eventually, fan fervor reached a boiling point that could not be ignored and led to an amazing roller coaster ride spearheaded by two awesome matches at Wrestlemania XXX that ultimately saw Daniel Bryan win the company’s top prize in the main event.”
4. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle – Wrestlemania XXI
“This match was built around one-upmanship taken to the next level. The ever-resilient Heartbreak Kid testing a man who had won an Olympic Gold Medal with a broken neck. HBK drove Angle to near insanity building up to the match to the point where he put wrestling legend (and former HBK manager) Sheri Martel in an ankle lock to prove he would do anything to get to Michaels. By the time we reached the match Angle was a man possessed and the two put on a clinic for the ages before Angle ultimately beat HBK on his own stage, Wrestlemania.”
3. Undertaker vs. Triple H – Wrestlemania XXVII
“This was the (at the time before their horrible Saudi Arabia match) conclusion of an epic saga set in motion at Wrestlemania XXV when Undertaker defeated HBK. HHH had already failed once at trying to do what his best friend couldn’t accomplish, beat the Undertaker’s streak. He did however leave Taker in a heap at the end of their Wrestlemania XXVII match leading the Deadman to be the one ultimately pining for a rematch. Add a Hell in a Cell stipulation, HBK as the guest referee crying, and Wrestlemania and you have an emotional match that quite frankly stole the show on a stacked ass card that had The Rock returning for his first singles match in almost a decade.”
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart – Wrestlemania XIII
“It goes without saying there have been countless classic Wrestlemania moments over the years, but not since the years of Hulk Hogan in the ‘80s has there been a match that has ushered in an era like Stone Cold vs. The Hitman. While other matches have anointed stars for years to come this piece of wrestling art shifted the entire paradigm and paved the road for what would become wrestling’s hottest period thanks in part to finally bringing Stone Cold Steve Austin to the dance as a character fans could get behind. Wrestlemania XIII sucks, but this match quite possibly saved the WWE at the time.”
1. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker – Wrestlemania XXV
“Widely regarded as a ‘perfect’ wrestling match and the best Wrestlemania match of all time and we have to agree. The match was bolstered by the fact that it was two icons reigniting their feud from almost a decade past and going toe-to-toe for the first time ever at Wrestlemania. They played into HBK’s real life, born-again Christianity and Undertaker’s dark imagery to create a heaven vs. hell scenario. Luckily hell won and the match was such a dramatic spectacle that people often forget that Wrestlemania XXV was a pretty lackluster show saved almost entirely by this match. That being said, every wrestling fan remembers where they were the first time they saw this match.”
TLC 2 – Wrestlemania X-7
Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero – Wrestlemania XX
CM Punk vs. Undertaker – Wrestlemania XXIX
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania XIX
The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin – Wrestlemania X-7