Wrestlemania 36 is right around the corner. This year’s event looks to be the most controversial ones of all-time. Multiple performers have pulled out of the WWE’s biggest pay-per-view, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, wrestling fans could be in for one of the worst productions in recent memory. With that in mind, I decided to take a trip to the past and list my top Mania moments in WWE history.
10. Wrestlemania VII: Miss Elizabeth Stands By Her Man
Wrestlemania VII saw the Macho Man Randy Savage take on the Ultimate Warrior in a retirement match. While Warrior survived five flying elbow drops to get the win, it sent the crowd into a frenzy. Nothing topped the reaction to Miss Elizabeth hopping the guardrail to defend the Macho Man from Sensational Sheri. That coupled with their emotional embrace and Savage hoisting Ms Elizabeth on to his shoulders was enough to make even the toughest guy misty-eyed.
9. Wrestlemania I: The Rise Of Hulkamania
The original Wrestlemania, and its main event set the stage for one of the most popular runs in sports entertainment history. From the moment WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vanquished Mr Wonderful and Roddy Piper, wrestling and Hogan himself became the biggest trend on the planet. A generation of children began wanting to “eat their vitamins, and say their prayers”. Hogan became a household name and Wrestlemania emerged as an honored tradition.
8. Wrestlemania X-Seven: TLC II Jeff Hardy Risks It All
The second TLC match in WWE history was just as exhilarating as the first. However, what took place at the 17th annual “showcase of the immortals” was even more special. Jeff Hardy risked life and limb when he attempted his trademark ‘Swanton Bomb’ from a 20-foot ladder. Everyone’s collective jaws were on the floor when he took off. Even more terrifying was the impact he made below. He collided with both Rhyno and Bubba Ray Dudley, who were sprawled out on two tables. The end result was the type of carnage one could only equate with a car wreck.
7. Wrestlemania XIV: The Austin Era Begins
When it comes to sports and entertainment, certain moments are etched in time. For baseball fans, you know where you were when Barry Bonds broke the home run record. Basketball fans all remember what they were doing when Michael Jordan hit the final shot in Utah. As for wrestling fans, they know where they were when Steve Austin stunned Shawn Michaels and captured the title. That match changed the landscape of wrestling forever. Austin became the biggest draw in history, and the WWE put its completion out of business soon after.
6. Wrestlemania X-8: Icon vs Icon
Wrestlemania 18 brought us the matchup of a lifetime, as it marked the meeting of two icons from different eras. When The Rock took on Hulk Hogan, wrestling fans across different generations were forced to take a side. The match was polarizing, considering Hogan was a “heel” at the time, but was still a crowed favorite in comparison to The Rock. Nothing could compare to the electricity in the room when these two giants of pro wrestling met face-to-face.
5. Wrestlemania 13: Hart, Austin Double Turn
There are few examples of storytelling better than what happened between Bret Hart and Steve Austin. Their bitter rivalry culminated in one of the most brutal exiting matches in history. What was even better was the narrative created along the way. In one match, Hart went from fan favorite to martyr. Simultaneously, Austin went from reviled to revered. One match took one character to another dimension while making the other a legend.
4. Wrestlemania XXX: Daniel Bryan Beats The Odds
The finish of Wrestlemania XXX may have been one of the most cathartic moments for any wrestling fan. When Daniel Bryan finally broke through the proverbial glass ceiling, it was a victory for every person who was told you can’t do something. It signaled a brief change in the company’s thinking, and its willingness to listen to the fans. When Bryan tapped out Dave Bautista, we all won.
3. Wrestlemania XXX: Brock Snaps The Streak
There is no way to describe the shock on the collective faces of the WWE universe when The Undertaker’s streak was broken. Brock Lesner did the unthinkable, as he conquered the unconquerable. It signaled the end of an era and was a moment none of us will ever forget.
2. Wrestlemania XX: Benoit and Guerrero Embrace
We have now reached the most controversial choice on this list. While no one approves of Chris Benoit’s heinous actions outside of the ring, you can not discount the emotion that was felt when he hugged his best friend in the middle of the ring. At that time, Eddie Guerrero and Benoit were everything you loved about pro wrestling.
1. Wrestlemania III: Hulk Slams Andre
The image of Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre the Giant will love on forever. Even the casual viewer knows what happened at the Silverdome that night. There isn’t a wrestling clip played more often than that of the 8th wonder of the world being slammed to the mat. For that, it is best Wrestlemania moment of all time.