Well here it is friends. This weekend marks one of the occasions we all look forward to each year, and as such, we are blessed with such great memorable Wrestlemania moments to reflect upon. Moments that leave us in awe...and others that just leave us shaking our heads in disbelief or that into a serious state of Deep Thoughts.
As an ode to one of the greatest sporting events in history, and in honor of this forthcoming chapter, we’d like to share RSVLTS top 37 favorite Wrestlemania moments to-date. Without further adieu let us allow Vinny Mac to bring us into the mix.
- Fink Gets Hair (Wrestlemania X)
Longtime WWE announcer, Howard Finkel, was always the WWE universe's favorite cue ball. Known mostly for his towering voice, The Fink thought it was time to make up for some of his other shortcomings. Hair Club for Men President, Sy Sperling, gifted Fink with his very own hairpiece for the special occasion. Fink donned it with such class and it made for such an odd yet funny Wrestlemania moment for the ages.
- Kane Tombstones Pete Rose (Wrestlemania XIV)
Your textbook case of when keeping it real goes wrong. Good ol' Charlie Hustle treated the Boston faithful to a few jabs as he razzed the arena about their teams inability to secure a World Series. Well, it appears Kane & Paul Bearer may have taken offense to that notion. The Big Red Machine made his way down to the squared circle where a visibly shaken Rose stood in fear. As the crowd cheered in excitement, Rose came to realize he had made a terrible mistake. The devil's favorite demon piledrived poor old Petey straight to hell providing us with one hell of Wrestlemania moment!
- Hogan Forgets Where He Is (Wrestlemania XXX)
Our next moment came live from the Superdome in New Orleans. The Hulkster took the helm as host of this momentous occasion. With over 75,000 Hulkamaniacs in attendance Hulk began to amp up the crowd by welcoming them all to the Silverdome. Only problem is, they weren’t in the Motor City. Maybe he was reliving his glory days of Wrestlemania III, maybe he just truly caught up in the moment and blanked. Either way this flub blessed us with one hell of a ‘Mania moment that we won’t soon forget. A small flub turned into some playful razzing from the likes of other WWE Legends, The Rock & Stone Cold Steve Austin just to name a few. Aside from the small mix-up we were able to see three of our favorite legends stand in the squared circle and shower each other with praise. It doesn’t get any better than that!
- Kurt Angle/Ronda Rousey vs. HHH/Stephanie McMahon (Wrestlemania XXXIV)
Our next moment brings us back to the Crescent City for a mixed tag match between The Authority, Rowdy Ronda and Kurt Angle. The WWE’s power couple thought this match would be a breeze and soon found out that Rousey meant business. Rowdy Ronda wowed the crowd with her in ring presence and was able to armbar Stephanie McMahon into submission. Not too bad for a debut match if you ask me!
- Randy Orton’s Super RKO on Seth Rollins (Wrestlemania XXXI)
This moment's buildup was just as good as the actual moment itself. A young up-and-coming superstar destined to win the belt versus a proven legend of the squared circle. Even though this match may have been overshadowed by other matches that evening, it definitely did not disappoint. We got to witness both performers at their absolute best and we were treated to one of the sweetest RKOs that came out of nowhere and that anyone has ever seen.
- Ronda Rousey vs Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch (Wrestlemania XXXV)
Our next moment was a big turning point in the history of Wrestlemania. For the first time in thirty-five years, a women's match main-event would be the biggest show of the year. To say this was long overdue would be an understatement. The growing feud between Becky Lynch & Charlotte was reaching a boiling point. This was only intensified once Rousey was thrown into the mix. What ensued was a triple-threat match which would provide the winner with both the Raw & Smackdown Women’s titles. ‘The Man’ Becky Lynch was able to make history and come out of the ring with both belts. Just like that…”Becky 2-Belts” was born.
- LT vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Wrestlemania XI)
New York Giants great Lawrence Taylor traded in cleats for wrestling boots as he took on Bam Bam Bigelow in a match for the ages. The tension started bubbling between these two after a run in at the Royal Rumble that same year. LT tried to take the high road and Bam Bam responded by shoving him back into the third row. The buzz around the feud started to build and ultimately turned into a main event match at Wrestlemania with late legend, Pat Patterson, as the guest referee. Taylor was accompanied to the ring by some fellow NFL notables, as Bam Bam had the Million Dollar Corporation at an arm's reach. Bam Bam learned the hard way as LT landed a series of super punches before pinning Bam Bam for a three count.
- Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior (Wrestlemania VII)
In a true heel vs face matchup we were treated to one of the first ever career vs career matches. The tension had been building up on this one a year earlier. Macho Man was destined to get his title shot and would stop at nothing to get it. A year later he would finally get his chance in an epic showdown with the Ultimate Warrior. Unfortunately for Savage, Warrior was able to deliver some punishing shoulder-block’s and take home the victory. To say this was legendary would be an understatement.
- Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker “Hell in a Cell” (Wrestlemania XXXII)
Let’s start this off by first giving props where props are due. Shane McMahon and the Undertaker without a doubt are two of the most gutsiest wrestlers to ever enter a ring. They have never shied away from the extreme and both were always willing to put his body on the line for a big moment. After a six year hiatus, the prodigal son returned to stake his claim for what he felt was rightfully his: full control of the WWE. However, Vince had different plans in store for old Shane-O. The only way for the rightful heir to claim what was his would be for him to face the Undertaker in a “Hell in a Cell” match. It may not have been the greatest match, but it sure provided a few OMG moments. Most notable being Shane’s leap off of the top of the cage onto the announce table below. Considering that Undertaker fathered the “Hell in a Cell” matches, it was no surprise when he walked away the victor.
- Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon - Ladder Match (Wrestlemania X)
This showdown brought the showstopper face to face with one of the best gimmicks the wrestling world had to offer. During that year Michael’s had been suspended due to not defending his title enough. In his absence, up-and-comer Razor Ramon was able to secure the Intercontinental title. Only issue is, Michael’s was already the IC champion. How were we to proceed? Well a ladder match at Wrestlemania for both titles…..Duh. This match was a true gem and we were treated to a hell of a show. Much to HBK’s dismay, Razor was able to climb the ladder to secure the titles. Say hello to the bad guy!
27. HBK vs Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania XIV)
There comes a time when you get to experience an event that has the power to change the trajectory of a business and ushers in a new era. Lucky enough for us we got to witness both on this fateful night. From top to bottom this whole promo was cut perfectly. Mike Tyson as special guest enforcer and two of the greatest talents of our generation going toe to toe?!?! Sign me up! This match had action, excitement and even a little bit of double-cross. The best part is that we got to witness two great performers do what they do best. The torch was passed that night as Stone Cold landed the infamous Stunner and got some help from a quick three count by Iron Mike…..The rest, as you know, is history.
- Edge vs. Mick Foley - Hardcore Match (Wrestlemania XXII)
This one was a complete gem but also an absolutely brutal match. Neither were shy about putting their bodies on the line and this match just drove that fact home. This was as entertaining as it was stomach churning at some points. From barbed wire belts, cookies sheets all the way to thumbtacks all of the stops were pulled out. Both men were busted open with Foley wearing the same blood red facemask we had seen him don a few times before. The match culminated in Edge spearing the broken Foley into a flaming table beside the ring. There is no doubt both of these legends walked away with their fair share of injuries. In doing so they were able to endear a whole world of WWE fans to them in the process.
- Macho Man vs. Ted DiBiase (Wrestlemania IV)
Our next moment was one hell of an accomplishment. For the first time ever WWE held a fourteen man tournament to crown the next champion. The lineup was a star studded one for sure. Both Macho Man Randy Savage & The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase came out strong as both made their way to the finals. DiBiase had enough backup as he was accompanied to the ring by Andre the Giant. Andre provided a good amount of interference and did his best to thwart Savage’s title hopes. Luckily Savage and Miss Elizabeth had one more trick up their sleeves. As the match winded down, Miss Elizabeth went backstage only to come back moments later with Hulk Hogan in tow. This would prove helpful as Hogan would provide a little payback and slam a steel chair into DiBiase’s back opening the door for a flying elbow from Savage. A new champion was born and with it a memorable Wrestlemania moment.
- Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (Wrestlemania XII)
- The Hardyz Return ( Wrestlemania XXXIII)
What was originally dubbed as a triple threat ladder match featuring Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Bar, and then Raw Tag champions, Gallows and Anderson, quickly turned into a treat that the WWE faithful won’t soon forget. As the match was set to begin, amazing hosts, New Day strolled out onto the ramp and quickly informed the teams that the match had just turned into a fatal four-way ladder match. The members of New Day began to slowly walk down the ramp hinting that they may be the new additions. As they slowed their strut the undeniable sound of the Hardy Boyz theme song started to blare out of the arena speakers. Like myself, many fans bursted out in cheer as our favorite tag duo made their way down to the squared circle. I think the best part about this moment was just the pure look of joy and excitement from the Hardyz as they realized just how special of a moment it was.
- John Cena vs. JBL (Wrestlemania XX1)
It seemed as if JBL’s title reign would never end but lucky for us the era of Ruthless Aggression was going to provide us with our next great champion. The brand had been building up Cena for quite some time so it seemed inevitable that we would be soon crowning a new champion. Cena was able to end the reign and take home his first ever WWE title. Little did we know the WWE world and the title belt would never be the same!
- Kurt Angle vs. Eddie Guerrero (Wrestlemania XX)
When you think of great performers in the WWE these two are definitely on that list. Eddie was the champ defending his title against the newly turned heel, Kurt Angle. Madison Square Garden was the perfect backdrop for this Wrestlemania moment. This was just an all around fun match to watch. Two of the most technically sound wrestlers put on a display for the masses and they did not disappoint. In true Guerrero fashion he was able to lie, cheat and steal his way to a victory. Guerrero began to undo his boot playing as if his ankle was injured. As Angle tried to apply one more ankle lock, Eddie’s boot came off and he was able to roll into a pin for the three count. The only downside to this match is that it wasn’t later in the card. We were truly treated to one great match that will be etched in our minds forever. We miss you Eddie!!
- Brett Hart vs. Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X)
Our next moment brought us one hell of a sibling rivalry. It is very rare we get to witness these types of moments. They are like shooting stars, if you miss it you regret it, but if you are lucky enough to witness one it will be etched in your memory forever. The friction started after a victory in a match that pitted four Hart brothers against Shawn Michaels and three masked Knights. Owen was the only Hart brother eliminated from this match and for some reason the fault laid directly on Bret’s shoulders. The rift continued to grow deeper after a tag match against The Quebecers ended in similar fashion. On this fateful night we got to watch two brothers square off in one for the ages. The late Owen was able to secure the W and finally get out of Bret’s shadow. Coined as one of the best opening matches in Wrestlemania history it sure lived up to the hype.
- Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff (Wrestlemania I)
Madison Square Garden hosted the inaugural Mania and they didn’t forget to pull out all the stops. This match didn’t suffer from a lack of star power. We had Liberace ringing the bell and Muhammad Ali as the special guest enforcer. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka accompanies T & Hogan, while Bob Orton provided the backup for Piper & Orndorff. The match started with a hell of a slap-off between Piper and Mr. T. From there, business only picked up and didn’t let up. In the end the notable faces were able to get the victory due to a botched interference attempt by Orton.
- Randy Savage vs. Hulk Hogan - The Mega Powers Explode (Wrestlemania V)
This baby had started bubbling years before the match even took place. Hogan and Savage were no strangers, and had competed against each other in many house shows on the circuit. Their in-ring chemistry was something to be admired. When they formed the Mega Powers it appeared the tag tandem could not be beat. Add a bit of jealousy into the mix and you have yourself a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. It had been known that Savage was extremely protective of Miss Elizabeth. He didn’t even like fellow wrestlers conversing with her backstage. All it took was a few harmless acts between Hogan and Miss Elizabeth that pushed Savage over the edge. The two came to blows at Wrestlemania V and we were able to see Hogan win back the title.
- HHH vs. Roman Reigns (Wrestlemania XXXII)
Our next moment brought us to Dallas, Texas, where the Cerebral Assassin would take on the Big Dog himself with the WWE title on the line. The two had their fair share of bad blood and that made this bout even better. The Authority had put every obstacle in Reigns way but he was able to chug along undeterred. The most impressive thing here is that Reigns never shied away from any obstacles put in his path. But on this night nothing was going to stop the big guy. Spears were doled out like hot cakes, and Reigns was able to win his third championship.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock (Wrestlemania XVII)
This moment will probably be one I hold very near and dear to the old pumper. Do yourself a favor and watch the promo video for this match. If you are not ready to run through a wall after maybe this blog just isn’t for you. Limp Bizkit’s “My Way” is the background music so that’s all you really need to know. But in all seriousness this match was a damned treat. Two performers at their absolute best in the biggest match. Both Austin & The Rock lived up to every inch of the hype for this No DQ match and were able to bless us with one of the best bouts of our lifetime. Stone Cold was able to win the title, but more surprisingly turned a heel with the help of unlikely ally Vince McMahon.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart (Wrestlemania XIII)
This next moment pitted the Texas Rattlesnake against The Hitman in a submission only match. Due to his expertise in the field, Ken Shamrock was brought in as the special guest referee. In a way, it was the perfect hero versus villain matchup. In a time where the WWE was in limbo, they needed just one match to restore confidence in the future direction of the brand. These two stallions absolutely beat the shit out of each other. As the match was barreling along it would appear that the crowd was heavily in favor of Austin. Much to their dismay, Bret would secure the win by applying the infamous Sharpshooter to a bloodied Austin, who passed out from the pain. A match for the ages, that’s for certain.
- Edge Cashes Money In the Bank (Wrestlemania XXI)
This match was just awesome! Little did we all know that it would be here to stay. With it being the first of its kind many did not know what to expect. The lineup was stacked with talent. You had the late Chris Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Kane, Chris Jericho and Edge. You had everything from high flyers to big enforcers. It turns out that was just the recipe needed for one of the greatest matches to over grace the canvas. It appeared Benoit was able to climb to glory until the Rated R Superstar hit him with a steel chair and climbed up to gain the MITB briefcase and title shot that was rightfully his.
- Tables, Ladders & Chairs (Wrestlemania XVII)
If you thought the last moment was amazing this one make it pale in comparison. In a time where the WWE was at its best were were lucky enough to be blessed with a match that seared its memory into our brains. Three of the best tag tandems were set to square off in the second TLC match ever. It was Edge/Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz. Each squad was no stranger to the extreme and they proved it that night. We were treated to absolute destruction and a beautiful dose of Swanton Bombs, Spears and 3D’s. Most notable of all was Edge’s spearing of Jeff Hardy as he was holding onto the tag title belt high above the ring. Edge & Christian were able to secure the titles in epic fashion.
- Kane vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania XIV)
Our next moment brings us to the first singles match between the two storyline brothers. Kane had been riding a heavy unbeaten streak since his debut earlier in the year. Undertaker had not been in the squared circle since Kane cost him a casket match against the Heartbreak Kid at Royal Rumble. The excitement for this match was at an all time high. The backstory helped carry these two to one hell of a match. It took Taker 3 Tombstone Piledriver's to put the final nail in Kane's coffin.
- Brett Hart vs. Vince McMahon (Wrestlemania XXVI)
A moment 13 years in the making for the Hitman finally came to be. On a night where the WWE world honored Bret’s late father Stu Hart, Bret thought what better time to get some payback for the infamous Montreal Screwjob by turning the tables on Vince McMahon. The no holds barred match started with Vince being accompanied to the ring by the Hart family. Many thought Vince was able to lure the Hart family to the darkside. He was even able to get Bret’s brother Bruce to come in as the special guest referee. Vince found out that the Hart family bond was stronger than he could ever imagine. Bret gave Vince an epic beatdown and even paused for a brief sit down to admire the carnage. McMahon ultimately succumbed to the infamous Sharpshooter and tapped out.
- The Rock vs John Cena (Wrestlemania XVIII)
Our next moment brings us to Miami for an epic meeting of two greats! Dubbed as a “Once in a Lifetime” match, this bout did everything it could to fill the collective belly of the hungry WWE fanbase. Two of the brands biggest superstars put on a display. Each were able to land their signature moves and get some good pops from the crowd. In these instances the win will normally go to the face but on this night the Brahma Bull was able take home the win and let everybody smell what he was cookin.
- Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar - Seth Rollins Cash-In (Wrestlemania XXXI)
Getting to this match was not the easiest task for Roman Reigns. After outlasting 29 other opponents in that year's Royal Rumble one would have thought that Reigns title match was within grasp. Guess again! The Authority did everything within their power to stop Reigns momentum but ultimately failed. Roman earned his way to the title match only to be F5’ed and suplexed repeatedly. When his luck looked as if it were about to turn he was treated to one last F5. As both Reigns and Lesnar laid broken on the canvas, Seth Rollins cashed in his MITB opp and pinned Lesnar to take the title.
- KofiMania - Kofi Kingston Wins Title (Wrestlemania XXXV)
All true wrestling fans know how long and tough of a road Kofi Kingston has had to-date. Throughout his long career he has laid his body on the line in hopes of one day being able to clutch onto the prized championship belt. Each time Kingston would take a step in the right direction it was as if Vince McMahon was there placing a new hurdle in his way. Kingston never gave up and was able to work his way to the title match at Wrestlemania. The only thing standing in his way was current champion, Daniel Bryan. Lucky for us Kofi had the heart of a lion and stopped at nothing to attain what was rightfully his. Kingston would go on to hit Daniel Bryan with a little Trouble in Paradise and take home his long awaited championship.
- Yes-leMania - Daniel Bryan Wins Title (Wrestlemania XXX)
Our next moment turned into a cultural phenomenon. For years we watched Daniel Bryan give his all in the ring. It was evident he had the drive that a lot of other performers lacked. Little did he know that the Yes movement would take the world by storm. The Authority (HHH & Stephanie) seemed dead set on not allowing Bryan to ever get his fair title shot. After defeating Orton at Night of Champions he was forced to vacate his title. It took Bryan literally occupying Raw to finally get his fair shot. The match was unfortunately not for a title but for the title shot. This match was awesome to experience. The build-up alone was worth the price of admission. Daniel Bryan was able to overcome and get his well deserved title shot.
- The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin (Wrestlemania XIX)
Our next moment is the passing of the torch if you will. After being bested by Stone Cold at their two previous Wrestlemania meetings, The Rock was ready to become the new head honcho. Little did we all know that this would be the final time that Stone Cold would step into the ring as a performer. We were lucky to see these two meet multiple times in their Wrestlemania careers. Much like X7 this one was a pure treat. The Rock was able to deliver 3 Rock Bottoms and end the careers of one of the biggest legends this industry has ever seen.
- Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair (Wrestlemania XXIV)
Our next moment was a tough pill to swallow for the wrestling faithful. The match wasn’t for a fancy belt or bragging rights. One could argue that there was no clear winner of this match due to the stipulation. Before the match Vince McMahon had informed Flair that his next loss would be his last in a WWE Ring. What we witnessed on the evening of Wrestlemania XXIV was nothing short of perfection. Both legends laid it all out on the table and didn’t fail to deliver. As HBK lined up for the third and final Sweet Chin Music he uttered the words “I’m sorry, I love you.” to Flair as he ended his career. Woooooooooooooh!!
- Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels - Streak vs Career (Wrestlemania XXVI)
Possibly the best segue between Mania moments right here. After ending a career a few years prior it seemed as though it would be time for HBK to pay the piper. In this case the piper came in the form of 6’10’’ behemoth, The Undertaker. This rivalry was nothing new to us, we had seen it replayed over the years for our viewing pleasure. This match however was a bit more special. Were we going to see Undertaker’s perfect Wrestlemania record ended or would we say goodbye to the Showstopper. On this evening it just so happened to be the latter and we had the unfortunate task of having to bid Michaels adieu. As a true sportsman would, 'Taker helped Shawn up off the canvas and the two shared a final handshake and hug. Michael’s was given the heroes sendoff as the capacity crowd gave him one final standing ovation. Thank you Shawn!!
- Rock vs Hulk Hogan - Icon vs Icon (Wrestlemania XVIII)
The Hulkster had just made a triumphant return at No Way Out earlier in the year and the wrestling world was pumped. From the beginning speculation was running wild as his return had to mean something big was in the works. Luckily for us The Rock took umbrage to this and issued a challenge to the aging legend. Lucky for us we would get to be front row center yet again for another great moment. The match may not have been the best you’ve ever seen but it did not lack the wow factor we all yearn for. Hogan would unfortunately take the loss but seeing this two legends share the ring was priceless and will be etched in our minds forever.
- Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar - The Streak Ends (Wrestlemania XXX)
It was a night we never wanted to come but had a feeling we would have to face sooner or later. For decades, the deadman was at the top of his game. Each Wrestlemania match he was in he was able to come out victorious. Some years we would begin to question and then feel silly when he would pull out the win. Unfortunately on this night our worst fears would come to life. The two battled it out and it appeared Taker was going to come away with yet another win after a Tombstone Piledriver. Much to his dismay, Brock was able to kick out. Brock would hit Taker with the third F5 of the match ultimately ending the unbeaten streak of one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live…….We also got this really amazing gif out of it.
- Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant The Unstoppable Force vs The Immovable Object (Wrestlemania III)
What better moment to round out this amazing list. It was a moment of strength and also the passing of the torch. If you watched the Andre the Giant documentary you would know that this was a moment that Andre really did not want to allow to happen. Andre’s career was coming to an end and he was not yet ready to pass the baton to the next man up. It was a true David vs Goliath match we got to witness that night. The match may have lacked in physicality due to Andre’s limitations but the crowd was in awe of what they got to experience. The Hulkster did the unthinkable and body slammed Andre and delivered the final leg drop to win the championship belt.