With WrestleMania now less than a month away, I thought now would be a great time to take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the greatest moments in WrestleMania history.
15. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero – WrestleMania 20
Who would have thought that 10 years ago when these two icons celebrated in the ring together both as world champions, we would be celebrating WrestleMania 30 without them?
Eddie defeated his challenger Kurt Angle to retain the WWE Championship and Chris defeated both Triple H and Shawn Michaels to win the World Championship.
Two of the greatest superstars to ever step between the ropes and the best of friends, that night in Madison Square Garden they realised a dream and each was as happy as the other that his friend was there to share it.
Despite what happened since in both men’s lives, this will go down in history as one of the most iconic WrestleMania moments.
14. Shawn Michaels ends Ric Flair’s career – WrestleMania 24
Perhaps one of the most emotional matches in WWE History, the 16-time world champion Ric Flair was finally to quit the squared circle and who would be the guy to condemn him to retirement? None other than his best friend, The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels.
As HBK went for the Sweet Chin Music, you saw him mouth the words “I’m sorry, I love you” before kicking Ric in the face and ending one of the most decorated careers in professional wrestling.
No one would have done this match justice like HBK, and it was one of the greatest moments of that WrestleMania and of Mania history as a whole.
13. The Rock v Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania 18
Icon Vs icon, The Rock and Hulk Hogan finally faced-off at WrestleMania 18. The two had been feuding in the run-up to the match, with The Rock challenging a heel Hulk Hogan to a showdown at ‘Mania.
The crowd were behind the match 100%, not caring who the face or heel was, and the reactions from this match managed to bring back a face Hogan shortly afterwards. Before the days of John Cena, that day the biggest face and heel in the company divided the crowd and left it all in the ring.
12. Return of The Ultimate Warrior – WrestleMania 8
While many WWF fans wanted to see Ric Flair v Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 8, Flair instead defended his title against Macho Man Randy Savage and Hogan ended up in a match against Sid Vicious.
But, while fans didn’t get what they wanted, they were eventually given something even better. During the Hogan v Vicious match, after Papa Shango had already interfered, The Ultimate Warrior made his way to the ring, returning to the company after an eight month absence, to the delight of the crowd.
Warrior helped Hogan to the win and the iconic image of the two celebrating afterwards is one that will forever remain in the minds of hardcore WWF fans.
11. Shawn Michaels realises a dream – WrestleMania 12
WWF’s first ever Iron Man match took place at WrestleMania 12 with Bret Hart up against Shawn Michaels. With the scores tied after an hour, the match went into overtime and tensions rose with the fans were on the edge of their seats to see who would become the new World Champion.
Shawn Michaels eventually picked up the win, which led to the iconic image of him on his the canvas, clutching his first ever WWF Championship – the title he had dreamed of holding as a child.
10. The Undertaker begins his streak – WrestleMania 7
It’s the streak that has defined his legacy. The Deadman is the king of WrestleMania, and it was his win ‘Mania 7 against Jimmy Snuka that launched the run which would see him go on to take out the likes of Jake Roberts, King Kong Bundy, Diesel and Sycho Sid before coming up against his own brother Kane at WrestleMania 14.
He then faced Big Boss Man, Triple H, and Ric Flair before a triple threat match with A-Train and The Big Show at ‘Mania 19. WrestleMania 20 saw another face-off with his kayfabe brother Kane, before victories over Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and CM Punk saw his total rise to 22-0.
He will now face Brock Lesnar at this year’s show, in the hope of taking the total to 23-0.
9. Mick Foley finally secures his Mania moment – WrestleMania 22
Mick Foley has always been a wrestling icon, he was the man with four faces, but he had never truly had that WrestleMania moment that everyone would remember him for and that was what he craved.
The hardcore legend was dragged into a hardcore match with Edge after he cost him the WWE Championship against John Cena months before, and what followed was one of the most horrific matches in WWE history.
Thumbtacks, barbed wire and fire were all on show before Edge finally pinned Foley following a spear through a flaming table. One of the most iconic, and bloody, matches in WrestleMania history.
8. Edge’s career come to an end – WrestleMania 27
But back in 2011 Edge faced Alberto Del Rio on the grandest stage of them all and even though the match itself wasn’t the greatest of Edge’s career, it was his last ever Mania match after a neck injury he sustained during it forced him to retire from wrestling completely.
7. Vince McMahon is bald – WrestleMania 23
It was the showdown of the billionaires, with Vince McMahon up against Donald Trump. Umaga and Bobby Lashley represented the respective billionaires, with Steve Austin as the referee. And the loser had to have his head shaved.
Vince thought he was clever picking one of the biggest men on the roster, but Lashley got the win and everyone held McMahon in the chair as his locks were forcefully shaved off.
6. John Cena wins first world title – WrestleMania 21
Nine years ago, John Cena was just a punk kid in the way of Kurt Angle’s WWE domination. He wore tight shorts and nobody would have looked at him and thought he would be the leader of the Cenation right now.
His first mission on his path to the top was WrestleMania 21 and JBL. Back when JBL was the in-ring superstar that fans loved to hate, he made Cena work hard, but the match turned out to be the defining moment of John Cena’s career as he walked out WWE Champion for the first time.
5. Shawn Michaels’ career ends – WrestleMania 26
His name is synonymous with wrestling and his career speaks for itself.
A career that spanned more than 26 years ended in Arizona, as HBK came up against The Undertaker for the second time in as many WrestleManias. The match was cut to perfection and The Undertaker’s 18th straight win at the event was one of his hardest and Michaels final bow is one of the most memorable ever.
4. The Rock returns – once in a lifetime at WrestleMania 28
It was 10 years since The Rock v Hogan and The People’s Champ had been absent from WWE for most of that time. In his time away, the company had seen the rise of John Cena.
The Rock returned and it set up a showdown the world had been waiting for: The Past v The Future. Once in a lifetime, John Cena and The Rock would leave it all in the ring to see which era’s champion was best.
The Rock walked out with the title, but John Cena made the score even with a win at the following WrestleMania. Will we one day see another match, for a best of three?
3. Batista wins the World Title – WrestleMania 21
The Animal had found fame in Evolution and was looking to show the world that he was just as good when he wasn’t under the wing of Ric Flair or Triple H.
He was given that chance at WrestleMania 21 as he faced off against his mentor Triple H. In one of the most impressive matches on the card, The Animal came out on top against one of the best wrestlers in the business, winning his first ever world title.
He would go on to win another three before leaving, only to return and main event this year’s WrestleMania.
2. Rey Mysterio wins the World Title – WrestleMania 22
This may be a controversial add to the list – higher up than both Shawn Michaels and John Cena’s wins – but Rey Mysterio made a statement that night in Chicago. The 175 pound superstar became the biggest champion in WWE by being himself.
He almost lost his place in the main event after Randy Orton goaded him into putting it on the line and then cheating to pick up the win, but Rey was put into a triple threat match and pinned Randy Orton to claim the title.
The celebration between Rey, Vickie and Chavo Guerrero after the match is still one of the most pleasing images to the eye.
1. Hulk Hogan v Andre The Giant – WrestleMania 3
No WrestleMania countdown is truly complete without the irresistible force v the immovable object. It was the match the world wanted to see and following a feud that was ignited over jealousy, Andre challenged Hogan for the WWF title at ‘Mania.
WrestleMania 3 was the largest show in the company’s history and the rumours go that the world stopped that day to see this match. When Hogan slammed Andre to the mat it was felt all around the world, and then Hulk’s patented leg drop saw him end Andre’s 15 year undefeated run and retain the title he had held for over three years himself.