WrestleMania 28: 25 Greatest Moments in WrestleMania History
WrestleMania XXVIII is a mere few days away. Anticipation has been building for over a year, and some people are already proclaiming that this year, WrestleMania XXVIII, will go down as the greatest of all time.
What makes a great WrestleMania moment?
In my opinion, a great moment comes from a moment that makes the fans think they just witnessed a historic event. These events can bring great joy or sadness, but either way, they bring out a strong emotional response.
With that said, I have compiled a list of what I feel are the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time.
I look forward to hearing if your favorite moment made the list, and if not feel free to add it in the comment's section.
25. WrestleMania XIV: Undertaker's Entrance
WrestleMania has been known to have some of the most elaborate entrances ever. The Undertaker has had his fair share of grand entrances.
What makes this one special is that this marks the first appearance of the druids.
The Druids made their way through the tunnel, with torches held high, and lined the entrance ramp for the Deadman.
A bolt of lightning strikes, the gong hits and chills go down the spines of all the fans watching.
24. WrestleMania XXIII: Vince Shaved Bald
The match was billed as "The Battle of the Billionaires."
Donald Trump and Vince McMahon would each choose a wrestler to represent them. The stipulation being that the billionaire who was in the loser's corner, would have their head shaved.
Vince would choose "The Samoan Bulldozer" Umaga, and Donald would pick Bobby Lashley.
To add more fuel to the fire, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin would be placed in the role of the special guest referee.
Lashley would come out victorious, and McMahon would suffer the embarrassment of having his head shaved by a man with the worst toupee that money can buy.
23. WrestleMania XXVI: Bret Makes Vince Tap
Bret Hart finally returned to the WWE in January 2010. This was the first time Bret stepped foot in a WWE ring since the Montreal Screw Job 13 years earlier.
During Bret's return, Vince ended up hitting Bret with a low blow.
This led to a match between the two at WrestleMania XXVI.
Bret was a shell of his former wrestling self. A stroke that he suffered had severely limited what Bret could do in the ring.
At WrestleMania, members of the Hart family surrounded the ring, supporting Bret.
Many members of the family took their shots at Vince.
At the end of the match, Bret grabbed Vince by the legs, and pulled him to the center of the ring.
The Harts pounded on the apron in unison, and the crowd was rabid with anticipation.
Bret locked in the sharpshooter, and made Vince tap.
22. WrestleMania XVII: Austin Turns Heel
For years, we were witness to the Austin vs. McMahon feud. McMahon was a pure heel, and Austin, the anti-establishment hero. Never in a million years could we imagine these two men would join forces.
At WrestleMania XVII, Austin faced The Rock for the World Championship.
During the match, Rock had Austin covered, and McMahon pulled Rock off of Austin.
The distraction by McMahon was enough to allow Austin to hit Rock with a stunner, giving Austin the win, and the title.
Austin and McMahon shook hands, and the fans waited for Austin to do what he had done so many times in the past. They were waiting for McMahon to be hit with a stunner.
It never happened. Austin officially crossed over to the dark side.
21. WrestleMania XXI: 1st Money in the Bank Match
Every so often, we are witness to a brand-new match concept that turns out to be a major success.
Money in the Bank was just such a concept.
The premise of the match is simple. A briefcase is hung above the ring. Inside the briefcase lies a contract which allows the winner a guaranteed title shot at any time, within one year.
The first match saw Jericho, Christian, Benoit, Edge Kane, and Shelton Benjamin.
The match was full of action, and incredible spots.
Edge came out victorious, and eventually "The Rated R Superstar," would become known as "The Ultimate Opportunist." Edge would pick the time where the champion was most vulnerable, cash in, and win the title.
20. WrestleMania X: Owen Beats Bret
This was the wrestling version of a civil war, brother vs. brother.
Throughout their childhood, both men would beat each other up in the legendary Hart Dungeon.
Now these same two men could showcase their talents on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania.
Bret was already a super-star in the wrestling world, and Owen was sick of being in the shadow of Bret.
The match opened the show, and was an instant classic.
Bret tried to end the match with a victory roll, which was blocked by Owen, allowing him to get the win.
19. WrestleMania VII: Macho Man Reunites with Ms. Elizabeth
WrestleMania VII saw "Macho King" Randy Savage put his career on the line in a match with the Ultimate Warrior.
Savage battled valiantly, and even after five elbow drops, he could not put Warrior away. Savage would lose the match, and have to retire from the WWF.
"Sensational" Sherry was now the manager of Savage, after her and Elizabeth parted ways years earlier.
After the match, Sherry would begin to attack Savage. Elizabeth, who was in attendance, entered the ring and took out Sherry.
Savage saw his former manager in the ring, and extended his arms for an embrace.
The first power couple of the WWF was now back together.
18. WrestleMania VI: Ultimate Warrior Wins WWF Championshop
The Ultimate Warrior exploded onto the wrestling scene, and instantly became a fan favorite.
Warrior dominated the competition and in the process, won the Intercontinental Championship.
At WrestleMania VI, Warrior went up against Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title. The match itself was not really that great, but what made it memorable was the fact that Hogan lost clean to Warrior.
Hogan was the man in the WWF for many years, and this match was the torch being passed from Hogan to Warrior.
Unfortunately, Warrior was not able to run with the torch for long. He was set to become the future of the WWF, and he was never able to live up to it.
17. WrestleMania XIX: Austin's Last Match
The final wrestling chapter in the legendary career of Steve Austin was written at WrestleMania XIX. His opponent, for the third time in WrestleMania history, was The Rock.
These two men's careers ran parallel, and it was only fitting that Austin's last match be with The Rock.
At the time, we did not know that Austin was retiring after this match. That alone makes this match even more special to go back and watch.
Austin was battling neck injuries, and it was time for him to stop wrestling, and take care of his health.
16. WrestleMania 2000: Hardy Swantons off the Top of a Ladder
The first WrestleMania of the new millennium was upon us.
In a three team triangle ladder match we saw The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boys vs. Edge and Christian.
These three teams were no strangers to ladder matches, and this match was one of their best.
As with all ladder matches, we see moves that stand out and make us say OMG.
In this match, that moment came when Jeff Hardy climbed to the top of a ladder, and hit the Swanton Bomb on Bubba Dudley, sending both men crashing through a table, to the floor, about 20 feet below.
15. WrestleMania III: Steamboat Wins Intercontinental Championship
In what is regarded as one of the greatest matches in history, Steamboat and Savage stole the show at WrestleMania III.
Both men gave their all to entertain the fans that night. Each move served a purpose, and each minute that passed by told a story.
In the end, Steamboat was able to turn a body-slam into a small package, pinning the champ, and winning the title.
14. WrestleMania XVIII: The Rock and Hogan, Eye to Eye
It is a rare site to see two icons from different generations square off in the ring. It is even more rare for this match to happen at WrestleMania.
At WrestleMania XVIII The Rock took on "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan,
The crowd was electrified when these two men stepped into the ring together.
They slowly walked to the center of the ring, and locked eyes. The fans in attendance blew the roof off the building. Just typing this out brings goose bumps to my skin. This match was actually going to happen.
The crowd was split on who to cheer for, and as the fans were cheering both men slowly turned their heads to acknowledge the fans.
This was the definition of a WrestleMania moment.
13. WrestleMania XXII: Spear into the Fire
Mick Foley is known as a hard-core legend, and has been in his fair share of matches that involved fire. What made this moment great was that we never saw this side of Edge.
At WrestleMania XXII, Foley was standing on the apron of the ring. Behind him, Lita, set a table on fire.
Edge ran across the ring, spearing Foley, sending both men into the inferno that waited for them below.
12. WrestleMania X: Shawn Splashes Razor
Shawn Michaels is known by many nicknames. Mr. WrestleMania is one of those names. Throughout his career, Shawn has found a way to steal the show at almost every WrestleMania he was part of.
At WrestleMania X Shawn Michaels battled Razor Ramon to determine who would be the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. This match would be decided with a ladder match.
Shawn Michaels began his journey into super-stardom on this night.
As Razor was laid out in the middle of ring, Shawn climbed up the ladder. At the time, we were not sure what was going to happen, since this style of match was new.
What happened next was Shawn's first WrestleMania moment.
Shawn leaped off the top of the ladder, splashing Razor Ramon.
This moment would be considered the birth of the ladder match, and all the great moves we see today in that type of match.
11. WrestleMania XXII: Mysterio Is on Top of the World
Rey Mysterio battled for the World Title in a triple threat match at WrestleMania XXII.
His opponents were Kurt Angle, and Randy Orton. Compared to these two men, Rey was a severe underdog.
No one really gave Mysterio a chance in this match, but since everyone loves rooting for the underdog, Rey had the support of the crowd behind him.
Rey was brutalized in this match by his much larger opponents, but in the end, it was his speed and agility that let him pin Orton, and become World Champion.
Rey proved that no matter how small you are, dreams can still come true in the WWE.
10. WrestleMania XX: Eddie and Chris Celebrate Together as World Champions
At WrestleMania XX, the main event was a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The wrestlers were Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chris Benoit. The name Chris Benoit stirs up many emotions in the wrestling community. However, I prefer to keep separated his life in the ring and his life outside of it. That being said in this match, Chris Benoit was able to make Triple H tap and achieve his dream of becoming World Champion.
As Benoit celebrated, Eddie Guerrero joined him in the ring. Earlier in the night, Guerrero was able to retain his World Championship.
Both men traveled the world together as wrestlers, and were best friends.
They shared an embrace in the ring as confetti fell from the roof.
After all the hard work, these men did to get to the top of the wrestling world, they were able to share this moment and celebrate being on top together.
9. WrestleMania XIV: The Austin Era Begins
It was no secret that Shawn Michaels was suffering from back injuries going into the match with Austin at WrestleMania XIV.
This match was the beginning of a change that would take over the world of pro wrestling forever.
Both men battled, and once again, Michaels was able to prove why he is Mr. WrestleMania.
Since Michaels was not going to be able to continue wrestling, the proverbial torch needed to be passed.
Austin was the man chosen.
After a final sequence of moves that saw Austin block Sweet Chin Music, he hit the Stunner on Michaels.
Mike Tyson came into the ring and counted the three count.
The Austin era began that night, and with it, the seeds of the Attitude Era were planted.
8. WrestleMania XII: 60 Minutes Is Not Enough
Arguably, the greatest iron man match of all time took place at WrestleMania XII.
Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels battled for the World Heavyweight Championship.
This match could not have worked better with any other wrestlers.
For 60 minutes, Bret and Shawn, captivated every person who was watching.
With 30 seconds left in the match, Shawn was trapped in the Sharp-Shooter, and refused to give up. As the clock reached zero, no man was able to record a pin-fall or submission. They were tied at 0-0.
The match was ordered to continue until one of the wrestlers could win. We did not have to wait long.
After one minute into overtime, Michaels connected with Sweet Chin Music, and for the first time was World Heavyweight Champion.
7. WrestleMania XIII: Austin Will Not Quit
WrestleMania XIII was likely one of the worst WrestleManias of all time. The one shining light in that night was the match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin.
The rules of the match were no disqualification, and the only way to win was by submission.
Both men battered each other. The ending of the match saw a busted open Austin lay victim to Hart's Sharp-Shooter.
Austin was in the hold for what seemed like an eternity. The crimson mask that Austin was wearing would pour down his face as he screamed in pain.
Austin refused to tap-out to the hold, and eventually, he would pass out from the pain.
That night, Austin proved that he was in deed the toughest s.o.b in professional wrestling.
6. WrestleMania XVII: Edge Spears Hardy off a Ladder
The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, and The Dudley Boys revolutionized the ladder match.
At WrestleMania XVII, the three teams met again in the second TLC match of their careers.
In the first TLC match, we saw spots that we never imagined could be possible. What more could these teams do?
The moment of the night came as Jeff Hardy climbed a ladder to reach the tag titles. Bubba Dudley tried to pull the ladder out from under the feet of Jeff Hardy. Jeff was already too high and was able to grab hold of the titles hanging above the ring.
Edge saw the Hardy was close to winning the match. Edge climbed up a ladder in the corner of the ring, and as Hardy's momentum was swinging him, Edge launched off the ladder, spearing Hardy, and driving him into the mat.
5. WrestleMania XX: The Dead-Man Returns
Shawn Michaels may be known as Mr. WrestleMania, but no other wrestler is as synonymous with WrestleMania as The Undertaker is.
In the months prior to this match, The Undertaker was not the same man we grew up watching. He changed his gimmick.
Leading up to WrestleMania, a feud between The Undertaker and Kane developed. It was clear that the current version of The Undertaker would not be able to defeat his brother Kane. A re-birth was needed.
At WrestleMania XX, Kane came out first, waiting to finally end the streak. Then suddenly a voice filled the arena. It was the voice of Paul Bearer.
The expression on Kane's face said it all. He was scared to death.
The American Bad Ass was gone, and The Dead-man, The Phenom, The Undertaker was re-born.
4. WrestleMania XXVI: Undertaker Ends Shawn Michaels's Career
The streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania has become legendary. Over the past few years, the streak has been challenged by some of the best wrestlers in history.
At WrestleMania XXVI, The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels faced off for the second year in a row, except this time it was streak vs. career.
Going into this match it was impossible to believe that either man could lose.
The match was as amazing as the one they had the year prior.
At the end of the match, Shawn, was pulling himself up to his knees in front of The Undertaker. Shawn made the motion of cutting his throat. This was a symbolic gesture that The Undertaker used when he felt the victory was within his reach. However, this time, the gesture was made by his opponent. This was Shawn's way of telling The Undertaker to finish him.
The Undertaker looked at Shawn with pain in his eyes. He did not want to end the career of a fellow legend. Shawn could see that The Undertaker was having doubts about finishing him.
Shawn stood up, and slapped the doubt right out of The Undertaker's head.
The Undertaker hit Shawn with the tombstone, Stopping "The Show Stopper's" career.
3. WrestleMania XXIV: "I'm Sorry. I Love You"
When those words are read on any wrestling site, fans know exactly what you are talking about.
Ric Flair was involved in a storyline that would ultimately lead to his retirement. The stipulation for Flair was set months earlier. The next time he lost a match, he would be forced to retire.
Flair went months without losing, and would find himself facing off against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV.
The night before, Flair was inducted into the Hall of Fame, becoming the only active wrestler to be inducted.
We all knew that Flair would be loosing this match, but every fan had a small part of their brain telling them that Flair would somehow pull out a victory.
The ending of the match will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments in wrestling history, and WrestleMania history.
Shawn was in the corner tuning up the band, and beginning to realize he was about to end the 36 year career of the man who inspired him to become a wrestler.
Shawn looked at Flair and said, "I'm Sorry. I love you," and hit Sweet Chin Music.
Shawn covered Flair and the ref counted three. Ric Flair's career was over.
2. WrestleMania III: Hogan Slams Andre
"The Irresistible Force meets The Immovable Object," was how this match has become known as.
Andre the Giant was the largest wrestler in the world, and Hulk Hogan was the most popular.
It is said that Andre had never lost a match going into WrestleMania III. He would face Hogan, in the main event, and battle for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The match was not one that will be remembered for the wrestling. It is remembered because of one moment.
This moment, for most people, is the greatest moment in WrestleMania history.
Over 93,000 fans packed The SilverDome, and witnessed the unthinkable.
Hulk Hogan lifted up Andre, and body slammed him.
1. WrestleMania I: A Historic Event Is Born
On March 31, 1985, the world of wrestling changed forever.
It was on this night that the first WrestleMania aired.
Vince McMahon wanted to promote his company in a way that was never seen before. He came up with the idea of a night where the best wrestlers would perform.
The concept was a huge risk. If he failed, he likely would have ended up out of business. Luckily, the event was a major success.
WrestleMania will be celebrating its 28th birthday this Sunday. WreslteMania 28 could easily go down as the best of all-time.
How many great WrestleMania moments will we see? Only time will tell.
I hope you enjoyed the slideshow of the 25 greatest moments in WrestleMania history. Please leave comments about some of your favorite moments, or moments you think should have been included.
Louie Babcock has over five years experience working in emergency medicine, and is studying biology and health science at the University of Minnesota.
Follow me on Twitter@Medic_Louie