28 WrestleManias, 28 Moments
WrestleMania is an event unlike any other. It is The Grandest Stage of Them All and The Showcase of The Immortals. Each year the world watches as new champions are crowned and WWE Superstars become legends. WWE.com looks at the most memorable moments from all 28 WrestleManias.
WrestleMania I - Hulk Hogan and Mr. T join forces
Mr. T teamed up with Hulk Hogan at the inagural WrestleMania to battle "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. The special guest referees for this contest were boxing legend Muhammad Ali and the first Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson. Hogan and Mr. T won the contest when "Cowboy" Bob Orton accidentally hit Orndorff, allowing The Hulkster to score the pin.
WrestleMania II - Turf war: WWE/NFL Battle Royal
WWE Hall of Famer William "The Refridgerator" Perry and other NFL stars such as Russ Francis and Ernie Holmes participated in a 20-man battle royal against WWE Superstars. Andre the Giant stood tall at the end of the contest, but perhaps the most memorable fact of the contest was a young Superstar named Bret Hart being the last competitor eliminated.
WrestleMania III - Hulk Hogan defeats Andre the Giant
Hulk Hogan served Andre the Giant his first loss in 15 years at WrestleMania III. The most memorable moment of the battle occured when then-WWE Champion Hogan scooped up The Eigth-Wonder of the World and impressively slammed him to the mat. The Hulkster sealed the deal with his patented leg drop, sending Andre and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan out of The Pontiac Silverdome with their tails between their legs.
WrestleMania IV - "Macho" champion
"Macho Man" Randy Savage competed in four matches duringWrestleMania IV's WWE Championship Tournament before capturing the WWE Title. Savage defeated Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, One Man Gang and ultimately The Million Dollar Man to win the tournament following an assist from Hulk Hogan. This new alliance between Hogan and Savage would lead to the formation of The Mega Powers.
WrestleMania V - Piper lets off some stream
During a Piper's Pit interview, celebrity Morton Downey Jr. continually blew smoke from his cigar into WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper's face. Although Piper repeatedly asked Downey to stop, the host of "The Morton Downey Jr., Show" did not comply. This prompted The Rowdy One to grab a fire extinguisher and put the cigar out himself.
WrestleMania VI - The Ultimate Challenge
At WrestleMania VI, then-Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior battled then-WWE Champion Hulk Hogan in a match that would become known as "The Ultimate Challenge." The entire WWE Universe watched as both Superstars slugged it out inside the Toronto SkyDome. In the end, The Ultimate Warrior stood victorious, serving The Hulkster with his first WWE pay-per-view defeat.
WrestleMania VII - The Streak begins
WrestleMania VII marked the debut of The Undertaker on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Perhaps more significant is the fact that The Deadman's victory over WWE Hall of Famer "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was the first of his unprecedented WrestleMania Undefeated Streak.
WrestleMania VIII - Hot Rod vs. Hit Man
WWE Hall of Famers Bret "Hit Man" Hart and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper squared off at WrestleMania VIII for the Intercontinental Championship. The personal nature of the rivalry between the two Superstars only added to the stakes of the contest. In the end, Hart managed to use the turnbuckle to reverse Piper's sleeper hold and win his second Intercontinental Championship.
WrestleMania IX - Hulk Hogan shocks the world
During his battle with then-WWE Champion Bret "Hit Man" Hart, Yokozuna managed to score the victory and win the title after Mr. Fuji threw salt in Hart's eyes. After the contest, Hulk Hogan was checking on Bret Hart's condition when Mr. Fuji dared The Hulkster to challenge the new champion. Hogan accepted. Mr. Fuji again attempted to use salt by throwing it in Hogan's eyes but The Hulkster ducked, thus causing the salt to instead hit Yokozuna. One leg drop later and Hulk Hogan was crowned the new WWE Champion. Even more impressive, The Hulkster managed to defeat Yokozuna in only 21 seconds.
WrestleMania X - Climbing to new heights
At WrestleMania X, Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon changed the course of WWE history with the first-ever Ladder Match. Both Superstars had a rightful claim to the Intercontinental Championship and thus, two titles were suspended above the ring. The first to get both titles would be the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. The battle was unlike anything the WWE Universe had seen before. Jaws dropped and everyone inside Madison Square Garden was on the edge of their seats as HBK leaped from the ladder in a moment that truly made him The Showstopper.
WrestleMania XI - Lawrence Taylor enters the ring
After being shoved by Bam Bam Bigelow at Royal Rumble, NFL star Lawrence Taylor trained with Diesel in preparation for a match with Bigelow at WrestleMania XI. During the highly-anticipated contest, Taylor proved he was just as tough inside the ring as he was on the field. The NFL legend stood victorious over Bigelow following an impressive manuever from the top-rope.
WrestleMania XII - A boyhood dream fulfilled
At WrestleMania XII, WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and (then-WWE Champion) Bret "Hit Man" Hart squared off in an unprecedented 60-Minute Iron Man Match. Both legendary Superstars lasted the entire match without scoring a pinfall or submission. Therefore, the match went into overtime to determine without a doubt who would be WWE Champion. Michaels managed to hit Sweet Chin Music to score the victory and win the WWE Championship, realizing his boyhood dream.
WrestleMania XII - One tough Texan
Although King of the Ring 1996 gave birth to "Austin 3:16," "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's No Disqualification Submission Match against Bret "Hit Man" Hart proved that The Texas Rattlesnake was one tough S.O.B. The intense and brutal contest pushed both WWE Hall of Famers to the limit in and out of the ring. When Hart locked in his patented Sharpshooter, Austin refused to give up and only lost the match because he passed out.
WrestleMania XIV - Tyson delivers a knockout
At WrestleMania XIV, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship. Legendary boxer Mike Tyson served as the special enforcer and seemed to be aligned with Michaels and DX. However, when the referee was knocked out, Austin took down HBK with a Stunner and Tyson made the three-count, crowning The Texas Rattlesnake as WWE Champion. An irate Michaels confronted Tyson, but "Iron Mike" responded with a knockout punch, leveling HBK.
WrestleMania XV - Austin regins supreme
At WrestleMania XV, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock clashed for The Great One's WWE Championship. At the time, The Rock was aligned with Mr. McMahon nefarious faction, The Corporation. The Chairman had also made it his personal goal in 1998 to ensure that Austin would never again win the WWE Championship. However, The Texas Rattlesnake overcame the odds, defeating The Rock and leaving Mr. McMahon with a beer bath.
WrestleMania 2000 - Spear! Spear! Spear!
In a match that would undoubtedly serve as inspiration for the Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match, Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boyz and The Hardys battled in a wild Triangle Ladder Match. The match was filled with unbelievable and jaw-dropping moments, but none were more memorable than Edge taking Jeff Hardy off the ladder with a huge Spear from the top-rope. Edge & Christian would capture the tag team titles in a match that arguablly stole the show.
WrestleMania X-Seven - Iron Sheik, number one!
Legends such as Kamala, Hillbilly Jim and The Bushwackers returned to the squared circle at WrestleMania X-Seven to participate in the 19-Man Gimmick Battle Royal. Also, returning to the announcer table to call the action were "Mean" Gene Okerlund and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. However, when the chaos finally ended it was the incomparable Iron Sheik who stood victorious.
WrestleMania X8 - Icon vs. Icon
Generations clashed at WrestleMania X-8 when The Rock battled Hulk Hogan. In The Hulkster's first WrestleMania appearance since WrestleMania IX. It did not take long for nostalgia to take hold of the sold-out Toronto SkyDome as they began cheering for Hogan early in the contest. At the time, Hogan was still a member of The New World Order, but the reaction from the WWE Universe proved Hulkamania still ran wild. Although The Rock was victorious, shortly after The Show of Shows Hulk Hogan returned to his trademark red and yellow attire.
WrestleMania XIX - Mr. WrestleMania returns
After being out of action for four years, Shawn Michaels returned to the ring at SummerSlam 2002 to battle Triple H. That match proved that The Heartbreak Kid could still compete at the highest level in WWE and it would not be long before he returned full-time. Finally, at WrestleMania XIX in Seattle, Shawn Michaels made highly-anticipated return to The Grandest Stage of Them All. Once again, Michaels proved "he's still got it" by defeating Chris Jericho.
WrestleMania XX - His time is now
John Cena made his WrestleMania debut in the world's most famous arena - Madison Square Garden. The Cenation leader battled Big Show for the United States Championship in the opening contest of the event. Cena put his impressive strength on display for the WWE Universe by taking down The World's Largest Athelete with an Attitude Adjustment, capturing the U.S. Title.
WrestleMania 21 - Hulkamania runs wild
In search of his "WrestleMania Moment," irate Superstar Muhammad Hassan interrupted an excited Eugene as he addressed the WWE Universe. Hassan attacked Eugene and put him into the Camel Clutch, looking to create his own moment. As Hassan relentlessly attacked Eugene, the unmistakable "Real American" played through Los Angeles' Staples Center and Hulk Hogan came to the rescue. The Hulkster, who was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame the previous night, quickly disposed of Hassan to the delight of the WWE Universe.
WrestleMania 22 - Behold the King
At WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, then-WWE Champion John Cena made his entrance making reference to the days of Al Capone and other Chicago mobsters. However, Cena's entrance was upstaged by his challenger, Triple H. The Game channeled his inner Conan The Barbarian and rose through the entrance stage on a skull throne. While Cena was victorious in the contest, The Cerebral Assassin's memorable entrance certainly cemented his legacy as The King of Kings.
WrestleMania 23 - RK-Oh My God!
In the third Money in the Bank contest, eight WWE Superstars, including Randy Orton and Edge, battled to reach a briefcase suspended high above the ring that guarantee a WWE or World Title opportunity. The bedlam inside the ring was highlighted first by Edge Spearing many of the Superstars, later followed by Randy Orton levleing three participants with three RKOs in about 10 seconds. However, the most jaw-dropping moment occured when The Viper took down CM Punk with an RKO off the top of the ladder.
WrestleMania XXIV - End of an era
In the months leading up to WrestleMania XXIV, Ric Flair was required to win every match in order to continue his career. On The Grandest Stage of Them All, The Nature Boy challenged Shawn Michaels in a Career Threatening Match, confident that he would defeat HBK. The match between the two legends could have gone all night, often times because HBK hesitated to take Flair down. However, in the end, Michaels reluctantly hit The Nature Boy with Sweet Chin Music, ending Flair's legendary career.
The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania - The Streak continues
Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker squared off many times during their illustrious careers, except never at WrestleMania. That changed at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania when the living legends traded blows. The battle brought out the best in both Superstars and proved to the WWE Universe that they were in a class of their own. Although The Undertaker extended The Streak to 17-0, the contest won Match of the Year honors at the 2009 Slammy Awards.
WrestleMania XXVI - HBK says goodbye
Following his defeat to The Undertaker at The 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels was convinced that he could defeat The Phenom at WrestleMania. After HBK cost The Deadman the World Heavyweight Title, The Phenom accepted Michael's challenge on one condition - HBK had to put his career on the line. The legends squared off once more at The Show of Shows and battled in a memorable contest that rivaled their match from the previous year. When the dust settled, The Deadman's Streak extended to 18-0 and Shawn Michaels' legendary career was over.
WrestleMania XXVII - Cena hits Rock Bottom
In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania XXVII, tension between John Cena and WrestleMania host The Rock seemed to reach a boiling point. At The Show of Shows, Cena challenged then-WWE Champion The Miz. Originally, the two Superstars battled to a double count-out which prompted The Rock to restart the match. Inside the ring, The Miz used the ropes to avoid an Attitude Adjustment as The Great One waited, hitting Cena with a Rock Bottom. The Awesome One took advantage of The Rock's interference and retained the WWE Championship.
The next night on Raw, The Rock and John Cena agreed to square off at WrestleMania XXVIII.
WrestleMania XXVIII - The Great One's still got it
In his hometown of Miami, The Rock entered The Grandest Stage of Them All with his sights set on John Cena. After a year of trash-talking, the two ring warriors finally clashed in an epic and physical battle that left the WWE Universe in Sun Life Stadium breathless. After a back and forth contest, it was The People's Champ who stood tall, raising his hand in victory.