The 2-night spectacle that is WrestleMania 36 is just 48-hours away and to pass the time, I will run-down the top 10 moments in the event’s illustrious 35-year history.
I’m also running a series, titled WrestleMania Rewind, where I’m in-depth reviewing every WrestleMania from 20 through 35, leading up to the first day of WrestleMania 36 (April 4th). 20 through 33 are now available to read and you can click those links, below!
Now, let’s get into the 10 biggest moments in the history of WrestleMania…
- 10 – The Austin Era Begins – WrestleMania 14
Backstory – The attitude era was ushered in after this match in which Mike Tyson cost Shawn Michaels (who then took a 4-year hiatus due to a serious back injury) the title and the new face of WWF was born, in the form of “The Texas Rattlesnake” and would also birth “The Attitude Era”, which many fans claim is the best run in the company’s history.
- 9 – Shawn Michaels Says “I’m Sorry, I Love You” Before Ending Ric Flair’s Career – WrestleMania 24
Backstory – This was a great match between a pair of generational legends of the WWE which had the added stipulation of the loser’s in-ring career was over. We all had a pretty good idea that Flair was losing this match but nobody could predict how emotional the final sequence would truly be. A beat up, exhausted, defiant Ric Flair barely able to bring himself to his feet would urge Michaels on and tell him to come bring it…and on the other side of the ring, an emotional wreck, Shawn Michaels mouthing the words “I’m sorry, I love you” and drilling Flair with Sweet Chin Music and went for the cover and got the 3-count that would end Flair’s career.
- 8 – Becky Lynch Wins First-Ever Women’s Main Event – WrestleMania 35
Backstory – Becky Lynch, RAW Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair were all involved in the first-ever Women’s main event in WrestleMania history. The stipulation to the match was “Winner Take All”. The winner would gain both the RAW Women’s Championship as well as the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Becky Lynch had “The Man” movement as the most over thing in WWE by a long-shot from early Summer 2018 all the way through WrestleMania 35 in April 2019. The women deserved this spot and Becky Lynch deserved the win.
- 7 – Macho Man and Elizabeth Reunite – WrestleMania 7
Backstory – Randy Savage lost his “Retirement” Match to Ultimate Warrior and his new manager Queen Sherri came into the ring and attacked Savage which prompted Elizabeth to come to the ring and throw Sherri out of the ring which led to Savage embracing with his old manager, Elizabeth to the biggest pop of the night from the Los Angeles crowd.
- 6 – Seth Rollins Completes “The Heist of The Century” – WrestleMania 31
Backstory – Brock Lesnar defended the WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 31 against Roman Reigns.. Both men traded brutal offense which led to both being incapacitated which led to the Money in The Bank holder, Seth Rollins to come running down to the ring and cashed in his contract which immediately made the match a triple-threat match for the WWE Championship, that Rollins would win just seconds later in one of the best pure elation moments in WrestleMania history.
- 5 – Shawn Michaels Realizes His Boyhood Dream – WrestleMania 12
Backstory – In one of the best matches in WrestleMania history, Shawn Micahels would defeat the WWF Champion, Bret Hart in a 60-minute iron-man match in which neither superstar would gain a fall and would have to go into sudden-death overtime, where Shawn Michaels would drill Bret Hart with “Sweet Chin Music” to get the 3-count and gain the WWF Championship.
- 4 – Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero Celebrate Their World Title Wins – WrestleMania 20
Backstory – One of the best in-ring workers of all-time, Chris Benoit would never get a true shot to win “The Big One”…until the main event of WrestleMania 20. Chris Benoit would finally get his due and win the World Heavyweight Championship against 2 of the biggest stars in the company’s history in Triple H and Shawn Michaels. After the match, his real-life best-friend, WWE Champion, Eddie Guerrero would come out to the ring and the 2 champions would celebrate in middle of the ring with confetti falling and Benoit’s theme song playing in the background while the New York City crowd poured in the love from the stands in one of the most perfect moment in WrestleMania history.
- 3 – Hulk Hogan Slams Andre The Giant – WrestleMania 3
Backstory – Up until this point, Andre The Giant was the most unbeatable force in Professional Wrestling history and nobody could even knock him down, never mind slam him or even beat him…step in Hulk Hogan. Hogan would slam Andre in middle of the ring and deliver his patented Leg Drop finisher for the 3-count and win the match. More then the result of the match, the slam heard around the world is still one of the most famous moments in the history of Wrestling, not just WrestleMania.
- 2 – Brock Lesnar Ends The Undertaker’s 21-year Undefeated Streak – WrestleMania 30
Backstory – The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania began March 21st, 1991 at WrestleMania 7 where he defeated Jimmy Snuka and would continue until April 6th, 2014 where he would lose to Brock Lesnar. This match literally made Twitter go down for a few minutes and sent the entire world (not just the Wrestling community) into an absolute frenzy. There was what seemed like 10 minutes of straight silence from the crowd in New Orleans until the 21-1 graphic would pop up on the big screens in the arena and that made it real. The Undertaker was no longer undefeated at WrestleMania…and that wasn’t even the most emotional thing to happen that night.
- 1 – Daniel Bryan Wins WWE Championship – WrestleMania 30
Backstory – The most pure emotion from a Wrestling fan was when Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista in the main event of WrestleMania 30 for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Earlier in the night, Bryan defeated Triple H to earn a spot in this match, just hours later. The YES! movement was the biggest movement in WWE history and was the ultimate underdog story. Daniel Bryan was this undersized, looked over, techincal wrestler that would never be anything above a mid-carder that put on 5-star matches on a consistent basis and would be the darling of the Internet Wrestling Community (commonly referred to as the IWC) and would be the favorite Wrestler of us “Marks” that only love technical Wrestling…at least that’s what the WWE tried to tell us…but it got to big and they had to cave in. Daniel Bryan deserves all the credit in the world and the fans of not only the WWE, but Professional Wrestling in of itself, always knew he could do this and on April 6th, 2014, his and our dream became a reality. Daniel Bryan was King of the WWE and the face of Professional Wrestling. The YES! movement will live forever. YES! YES! YES!
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