5 classic moments the week before WrestleMania

5 classic moments the week before WrestleMania

Over the years, The Road to WrestleMania has twisted and turned through SmackDown and Raw to create countless memorable moments. In particular, the week before WrestleMania has contained some of WWE's most electrifying television incidents.

WWE.com takes a look back at 5 classic matches and moments that aired on television the week before The Show of Shows. Let's wind the clock back 13 years and get started with a "Stone Cold" beer bath ...

5. Raw: March 22, 1999 - "Stone Cold" beer delivery service

In one of the most iconic moments in the career of one of WWE’s most iconic Superstars, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin left the competition all wet, raising a little hell and casting his unforgettable mark on the memories of everyone watching Raw on March 22, 1999.

In what has become known simply as “the beer bath” in WWE lore, Austin busted into the arena at the helm of a beer truck and delivered an emphatic message to The Rock, who he would face at WrestleMania XV later that week.

From atop the truck, Austin hosed down the McMahons and The Rock with gallons upon gallons of ice cold brew. In the lead up to their bout at WrestleMania XV, Austin raised The Great One’s ire before taking his title at The Showcase of the Immortals.

4. Raw: March 26, 2001 - WCW owner Shane McMahon

In one of the most shocking moments in WWE history, regular viewers of WCW were in for the surprise of a lifetime on March 26, 2001. Those tuning in for WCW action were greeted by the WWE Chairman himself, Vince McMahon, who appeared in a first-time-ever simulcast on both programs — Nitro and Raw.

Broadcasting live from Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. McMahon announced to the WWE Universe and the WCW faithful that he had acquired his competition and had delivered the final blow in the “Monday Night War.”

But the shocks didn’t end there. While Vince McMahon addressed the WWE Universe on Raw, his son Shane McMahon emerged to make a shocking announcement on Nitro: Shane had purchased WCW!

3. SmackDown: March 31, 2006 - World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle: SmackDown, March 31, 2006

Days before competing in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania, Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio go one-on-one.

Days before World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle defended his title against Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 22, the former Olympian battled the Master of the 619 in a non-title match in the main event of SmackDown on March 31, 2006, a foreshadowing of what would go down on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

The Superstars traded blows in the squared circle, but eventually Angle proved to be too much when he reversed a 619 attempt and cinched in his excruciating ankle lock. When Orton stormed the ring, he also ended up suffering the devastating submission hold.

However, Rey Mysterio would again earn his moniker of The Ultimate Underdog at WrestleMania 22, when he became the new World Heavyweight Champion and solidified his place among Show of Show's greats.

2. SmackDown: March 27, 2009 - Shawn Michaels' "tribute" to Undertaker

On the March 27, 2009 episode of SmackDown, Shawn Michaels delivered a “tribute” to his WrestleMania 25 foe, The Undertaker. Appearing amidst white smoke and draped in a long white coat and white top hat — an inversion of The Deadman’s trademark look — HBK had plenty to say just days before their momentous bout on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

Slowly taking off his white hat in the ring, however, Mr. WrestleMania's wry smile said it all.

Michaels’ impersonation aimed to deliver a pointed message to his WrestleMania opponent, that he was unafraid of The Phenom, arguably the most intimidating Superstar in WWE history. He promised to take Undertaker to the very depths of hell, saying that it would be HBK who would ascend to victory when it was all over.

But Michaels’ display was cut short when The Undertaker himself appeared, bursting through the ring and setting the stage for one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history.

1. Raw: March 28, 2011 - John Cena and The Rock's first in-ring confrontation

April 1 won't be the first time that John Cena and The Rock have stared each other down in the squared circle - not by a long shot. The WrestleMania XXVIII opponents met in the ring for the first time on Raw SuperShow days before WrestleMania XXVII.

After numerous appearances via satellite, The Rock came to Raw SuperShow to confront John Cena on March 28, 2011 in Chicago. Tossing aside social media swipes for a direct verbal assault, The Great One mocked the leader of the Cenation, calling him a "homeless power ranger" and "Vanilla Ice".

Not one to be shown up - especially right before The Show of Shows - Cena appeared and retorted. After an exchange of words between the two legends, The Miz and Alex Riley appeared and attacked The Rock. The Great One fended them off  - even delivering a vintage People's Elbow - but Cena blindsided hom with a blistering Attitude Adjustment, getting the last laugh of this particular confrontation.

The rivalry between the two only heated up over the past year as they prepare to clash in the squared circle in a "Once in a Lifetime" match at WrestleMania XXVIII.

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