Nine Superstars who pulled double duty at WrestleMania
On April 6, someone’s pulling double-duty at WrestleMania 30. Whether it’s Daniel Bryan or Triple H remains to be seen, but one of them is guaranteed a second match, since the winner of their singles contest immediately becomes the third participant in Randy Orton and Batista’s bout for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Whoever it ends up being will join some appropriately elite company. Only nine Superstars — seven of them WWE Hall of Famers — have previously competed more than once on the same Show of Shows. From Yokozuna to, of course, Hulk Hogan, these are the rare Superstars who can boast multiple WrestleMania moments at the same WrestleMania. So, before this select club welcomes its 10th member, here they are in all their glory — the Superstars so nice they wrestled twice.
Bret “Hit Man” Hart — WrestleMania X
If you’re going to call yourself “The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be,” it doesn’t hurt that you wrestled twice on The Grandest Stage of Them All. At WrestleMania’s 10-year anniversary, Bret Hart did just that, facing off in a pair of matches to open and close the blockbuster event. The first didn’t turn out so well for the “Hit Man,” who fell to his brother Owen in a classic battle of mat technicians. But “The Excellence of Execution” redeemed himself by defeating none other than Yokozuna in the main event to capture the WWE Championship.
The Million Dollar Man — WrestleMania IV
If opulence is your preference, perhaps we can interest you in Ted DiBiase, who put on a million-dollar performance at the fourth Show of Shows by competing not once, not twice but thrice as part of the tournament to determine the winner of the then-vacant (or abeyant, if you’re feeling fancy — and DiBiase is always feeling fancy) WWE Championship. The Million Dollar Man ran rampant in the tournament, besting fellow WWE Hall of Famers “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Don Muraco in the opening rounds before coasting to the finals via a bye. DiBiase was ultimately denied that third victory — and the WWE Title — all thanks to the man he met in the tournament final …
“Macho Man” Randy Savage — WrestleMania IV
The definition of “madness” is repeating the same action over and over again and expecting different results. The definition of “Macho Madness” is repeating it four times. Happily for legendary Superstar Randy Savage, he didn’t only expect the same result but received it, plowing his way through Butch Reed, Greg Valentine and The One Man Gang in the WWE Championship tournament of WrestleMania IV.
Macho Man faced an uphill battle thanks to his disqualification win over One Man Gang in the semis, and Ted DiBiase — fresh as a million bucks coming off a bye — took advantage by applying The Million Dollar Dream to his drained opponent. However, thanks to a timely assist by Hulk Hogan, Savage broke both the bank and DiBiase’s sternum with his signature flying elbow to capture the title. As far as WrestleMania moments go, it was priceless.
Hulk Hogan — WrestleMania IX
It was Hulk Hogan who lucked out in Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace at WrestleMania IX when he competed — and won — twice in the same evening en route to a WWE Championship victory. Hogan’s first match of the night saw him team with Brutus Beefcake against Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster, but The Immortal One’s ultimate goal for the evening was to challenge the winner of the Bret Hart-Yokozuna WWE Title Match for an opportunity at the ultimate prize. The Hulkster did just that, relieving Yokozuna of his newly won title after a failed attempt at dirty play by Mr. Fuji backfired and allowed Hulkamania to run wild once again.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine — WrestleMania IV
The durable “Hammer” — so named for his pounding strikes as well as his ability to take a thumping — was the type of Superstar who was built to wrestle more than once on the same night. He did so — as many of the men on this list did — at WrestleMania IV where he outmaneuvered Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat in a first-round tournament match before falling to a Randy Savage small package in the second. All told, Valentine put in about 16 minutes of ring time on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Impressive, sure, but it was barely enough time for this venerable WWE Hall of Famer to break a sweat.
Yokozuna — WrestleMania IX & WrestleMania X
Two WrestleManias, four opponents, no problem for Yokozuna, who pulled double duty in WrestleManias IX and X. And it’s not like Yoko was facing a pair of ham-and-eggers off the street, either. His first twofer, at WrestleMania IX, began against Bret Hart, whom he defeated to win the WWE Championship. His second match — an impromptu defense against Hulk Hogan — was really a “match” in name only, as Mr. Fuji accidentally blinded Yoko with his signature salt instead of Hogan and — one Atomic Leg Drop later — the big man’s title reign was over.
WrestleMania X, however, was a different story. The 600-pounder not only wrestled two proper matches, but put his WWE Title on the line each time. First, Yokozuna successfully defended his championship against Lex Luger in a bout that finished with a DQ thanks to some convenient duplicity from special guest ref Mr. Perfect. The second match ended in a more traditional — albeit unsuccessful — manner for Yoko, when he was defeated by Bret Hart in the main event and lost the title in the process.
Don Muraco — WrestleMania IV
Yet another WWE Hall of Famer to put in work at WrestleMania IV, Don Muraco took on both Dino Bravo and The Million Dollar Man at The Show of Shows in Atlantic City, N.J. The original Rock got past the Canadian strongman in the first round of the WWE Title tournament — and broke one hell of a sweat in the process — after Bravo was disqualified for using the referee like a human shield. Muraco was less fortunate in the following round where he fell to Ted DiBiase in less than six minutes after getting dropped neck-first on the top rope. Not exactly magnificent.
Kane — WrestleMania XXIV
The Undertaker has won 21 consecutive WrestleMania matches, but his baby brother Kane can lay claim to a feat even The Phenom can’t: He won twice in one night, and captured a title in the process. At WrestleMania XXIV, The Devil’s Favorite Demon first won a roster-wide Battle Royal to determine the No. 1 contender to the ECW Championship in the pre-show, last tossing Mark Henry over the top rope to earn a match against reigning titleholder Chavo Guerrero. Thanks to some timely misdirection, Kane didn’t only defeat Chavo for the title later on in the night — he did so in 11 seconds. The win still stands as the fastest title victory in WrestleMania history. Now that’s extreme.
One Man Gang — WrestleMania IV
The 450-pound One Man Gang’s selling point was always his size. But what was even more impressive about the Chicago hood was his ability to forge ahead without his impossible girth weighing him down. He showed off that gas tank at WrestleMania IV where he dismissed Bam Bam Bigelow in under three minutes in a first-round match. Gang’s frustrations got the better of him in his next bout against Randy Savage as he resorted to using his manager Slick’s cane on the resilient “Macho Man.” Still, the big man’s surprising stamina was confirmed on The Grandest Stage of Them All.