WWE WrestleMania 29: 29 Reasons Why We Love WrestleMania
We come back time and time again. We plunk down our money and watch, whether it is good, bad or just mediocre.
We watch each match like our lives depended on it. We hope and wish like it was Christmas Eve and we got a glimpse of the gifts St. Nick left us. Better yet, we hope there is something left for us we did not ask for, like the return of one of our favorite superstars.
As Vince McMahon said 29 years ago, "Welcome to WrestleMania." We still love hearing those words.
The take on whether this year will deliver or not is truly a split decision. One thing is for certain—we watch with anticipation hoping to be amazed and dazzled, and still want to be treated like what we are watching is the best thing we have ever seen.
For 29 years now, there has been something about this event that makes our heart race a bit faster, makes us a little more animated and has us treating it like something better than Christmas, the Super Bowl and the Daytona 500 all in one.
These are 29 reasons we love WrestleMania.
29. Miss Elizabeth
Let's start with a little beauty and elegance. There was no one as beautiful and elegant as Elizabeth Hulette.
Miss Elizabeth had as much to do with the rise and fall of Randy Savage as himself in the WWF. Their relationship, courtship, partnership, marriage and fall was as much a part of the WWF circus and the characters who walked in and out of the doors of Stamford.
Elizabeth proved to be a help and hindrance in and out of the ring. Her ability to make an opponent lose his composure or his vision and help Savage win was uncanny. Her ability to also seem like a liability outside the ring may have cost Savage a few matches and maybe some karma in the WWF.
Still, when we think of Elizabeth and that smile, we could not help but smile back.
28. The Surprise Win
We saw it at WrestleMania IX.
Yokozuna beat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship when Mr. Fuji threw salt into the champion's face. Blinded, Hart was then pinned by Yokozuna.
Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji celebrated while Hulk Hogan came to the ring to help Hart. He was challenged by Mr. Fuji to take on the champion for his newly won crown. After Fuji accidentally threw salt in Yokozuna's eyes, Hogan beat him and captured his fifth WWF title.
Seeing events like that (even with Hogan claiming the title) make WrestleMania special.
Could we see the same thing this coming weekend with Dolph Ziggler? Is it his time to cash in?
Rey Mysterio. Eddie Guerrero. Chris Benoit.
Everyone loves the smaller wrestlers. And the smaller wrestlers love their chance to shine. There are great moments when we have seen cruiserweights light up the night.
It's a missing factor these days in the WWE. It would be awesome to see more of these battles. Daniel Bryan has been a beast against all opponents and could own this kind of division.
26. 18 Seconds
Speaking of Daniel Bryan...
We will all remember the kiss heard around wrestling. It also led to the greatest run by a female (without a title) in wrestling history.
Daniel Bryan lost the World title to Sheamus in Miami and made AJ Lee a superstar.
Isn't that how it is supposed to go?
25. Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor
It was one of the worst matches in WrestleMania history. But it was the brain child of Vince McMahon and was a perfect way to bring more over-the-top greatness to the event.
The feud between Bigelow and Taylor proved that celebrity matches are a great idea in theory, but a bad idea in execution and concept.
But we all remember it well.
24. Mike Tyson
The baddest man on the planet was perfect for WrestleMania.
As the special enforcer between the Stone Cold Steve Austin/Shawn Michaels main event for the WWE title, we saw a swerve in whom the champion of boxing supported.
At the tail end of the match between the two, Austin ducked a superkick, attempting a Stunner on Michaels as he turned around, only to be thrown into the ropes and met again with a Sweet Chin Music attempt. Austin countered once again, nailing the Stunner.
Tyson jumped into the ring to make a quick three-count and the new champion celebrated by tossing the enforcer an Austin 3:16 t-shirt.
Some would say this helped usher in the "Attitude Era" of the WWF.
23. Kane vs. Undertaker
In one of their many classic battles. The WWE Universe never gets tired of seeing these two in action together or against each other.
Whether it was WrestleMania XIV or other pay-per-view events, this is always a crowd pleaser and one of the true rivalries the WWE can get right on any occasion.
Kane and The Undertaker have history, drama and of course, the late Paul Bearer. How can you not love the soap opera which has lived decades and transcended generations?
22. Mean Gene Okerlund
It was what Ric Flair used to say when Okerlund would interview the WCW champion. But Okerlund was just as instrumental in making the WWF believable with his interviews of WWF superstars and his involvement in WrestleMania.
His smug, direct questioning was perfect for the time and era. Heck, he became Hulk Hogan's "best friend" in painting the WWF champion as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
21. Ladder Matches
We love ladder matches, especially the one in WrestleMania X between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels.
For the Ladder match, the Intercontinental belts belonging to Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels were both hanging above the ring, and the first wrestler to use the ladder to reach both belts would be declared the winner.
In the end, Michaels climbed the turnbuckle and jumped onto the ladder, and used his weight to push it down across Ramon's chest. He then tried to retrieve the belts again, but Ramon pushed him off. Michaels fell into the ropes and got tangled up, allowing Ramon to get the belts and win the championship.
Capt. Lou Albano, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart. Three great managers who have had their part in WrestleMania lore.
Now, we have moved forward to the likes of Paul Heyman, Vickie Guerrero and our favorite, AJ Lee.
If anyone thinks managers are not a major part of the show, they are sadly mistaken. Sometimes, the managers are even a better show than the match itself.
The beauty who replaced Miss Elizabeth as the darling of the WWF still has us talking today.
She was the reason we all watched Raw and even supported Marc Mero. We loved how she was everywhere in the WWF. We loved her long gowns and her sex appeal.
In other words, we loved everything about Sable and still do.
At WrestleMania XV, Butterbean and Bart Gunn put on a boxing clinic.
Well, Butterbean (Eric Esch) put on a show. Gunn was just there to take the brunt. Brawl For All was a show that boxers are just as tough as wrestlers.
The match began with the two meeting in the middle, Gunn running into some blows from Butterbean. The two traded punches, neither man managing to contact properly until Butterbean shook Gunn with a left-hand jab.
Butterbean cornered him, giving him another right hook which knocked him down. Gunn got to his knees and took advantage of the eight seconds before standing up fully. As soon as he stood up though, he was met with an immediate right hook which knocked him straight back down, giving Butterbean a victory via knockout.
17. Location, Location, Location
New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Orlando, Miami.
Different locales bring out WWE fans from across the world. We have seen everything unfold over the years with drama, performances, great matches and, of course, fans who pack the venues.
Yes, this is exactly what Vince McMahon had hoped for when he came up with this idea.
16. Steamboat and Savage
It has been called the greatest WrestleMania match of all time. It's a debatable topic, but it was one of the best I have ever seen. And with the Intercontinental Championship on the line, it certainly delivered.
The feud began during a title match between the two when Savage attacked Steamboat as he greeted fans at ringside. Savage then pushed Steamboat over the security rail and delivered an elbow shot that thrust Steamboat's throat.
The feud lasted six months, cost both wrestlers blood and led to Steamboat taking the title from the Macho Man.
15. The Champ Is Here
We love him, we hate him. We tolerate him.
John Cena makes us watch Monday nights and pay-per-views because we want to see him fail. Plain and simple. I wish upon wish the "vanilla" Cena would add a little flavor to his character.
His recent actions give us hope and his recent increase in performance means he is hungry to put the title back around his waist. We may not like it, but we will continue to watch and see what unfolds.
Oh you didn't know?
This stable was the greatest stable of all time in the WWF and featured the talents of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, X-Pac, Chyna and The New Age Outlaws. Along the way, Rick Rude was also an associate of this wolf pack.
Whether it was competing for the WWE title or the world tag titles or the Intercontinental title, DX was part of the show and part of the grandeur of the event.
If you didn't know, your ass better go call somebody.
We love seeing who will show up at various events.
Alex Rodriguez, Torrie Wilson, Liberace and others. They all have been part of the WrestleMania scene.
The cool thing about making wrestling more mainstream is the fact the stars want to be in the spotlight and the limelight of the event.
Donald Trump, Pete Rose, Cyndi Lauper and yes, even Mike Tyson, have gone down in history as part of the greats to grace the WrestleMania runway.
12. Jim Ross
Good old J.R. We love the Oklahoma twang and the delivery that is only Ross.
The man who replaced Gordon Solie as the greatest voice on the mic of all time. Ross has a way of sounding like it is the most important thing in the world.
Things tend to pick up when J.R. is around. And when he calls a match a "Slobberknocker," you know things are just about perfect.
11. Rowdy Roddy Piper
He is just as important to the development of WrestleMania and Hulkamania as Hulk Hogan.
He was involved in the War to Settle the Score, which brought mainstream MTV into the realm of professional wrestling because Cyndi Lauper became involved in the match between Wendi Richter and The Fabulous Moolah.
At WrestleMania V, during "Piper's Pit," he hosed down a smoking Morton Downey, Jr.
Even to this day Piper still gets some of the most pops than any other wrestler today.
10. Randy Savage
Let me just say this for the record. Savage was a better wrestler than Hulk Hogan.
Savage was a better interview than Hulk Hogan.
Savage was a better entertainer than Hulk Hogan.
Savage was such an important cog in the WWF machine and proved to be as important as any person to ever set foot in a wrestling ring.
Savage could have carried the WWF if given the chance.
9. Trish Stratus
At WrestleMania XIX Stratus defeated Victoria and then-heel, Jazz to capture her fourth Women's Championship, equaling the record previously set by The Fabulous Moolah.
The soon-to-be inducted Hall of Fame member was one of the reasons I watched Monday Night Raw each week during the Attitude Era. Her feud with Lita was as important to wrestling as any men's rivalry and gave the women of the WWE a real appeal for everyone to follow.
Oh, did I mention how hot she is?
8. Hogan and Andre the Giant
WrestleMania III was regarded as the greatest of all time, all culminating with Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan meeting in wrestling's biggest event of all time.
To hear Hogan talk about it in his biography, it was the match that put him over. Andre was in the twilight of his career and ailing, and then the impossible happened.
The Giant was bodyslammed.
If anything was remembered from an average match, was that Hogan put the Giant on his back.
At WrestleMania XXVI, Michaels lost to The Undertaker and, as a result, he was forced to retire due to the match stipulation—the same way HBK ended Ric Flair's career.
Gotta love the irony. Two of the greatest legends in the business were retired on wrestling's greatest stage.
Could a loss by The Undertaker finally lead to his retirement and the loss of one of the greatest of all time?
6. Muhammad Ali
"The Greatest" was the special guest referee in the main event match, pitting Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, accompanied by Jimmy Snuka, against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff, accompanied by Cowboy Bob Orton.
This was part of Vince McMahon's idea to pack a lot of celebrity influence in the very first WrestleMania event. Despite the infusion of celebrities and Ali being part of the luster, John Powell of SLAM magazine rated the event average and the match which became the main event, humorous.
It's where it all really started.
Just think, Vince McMahon thought about pinning all his hopes on Jimmy Snuka. That would not have lasted. McMahon and Hogan forged a way through wrestling like a wildfire, and it lived on for decades. Part of it still lives on in every WrestleMania event.
From the glitz and the pomp that was over the top, Hogan remained the top draw against many great talents and still survived.
Whatcha gonna do, when Hulkamania runs wild over you?
4. The McMahon Family
The McMahon Family is to wrestling what the Kardashians are to E! Entertainment.
We always want more from them. And while we have seen McMahon and his family in the ring, we want to see it over and over again like a car accident we cannot take our eyes off of.
Mr. McMahon is without a doubt one of the greatest characters ever created in professional wrestling. And to think the owner of the company gets in the ring and beats the hell out of his opponents and vice versa is freaking cool as hell.
3. Shawn Michaels
Is there anything we have not seen from The Heartbreak Kid?
Drama, wins, championships, heartbreak. Shawn Michaels has done it all. And like Monday night, we can expect the unexpected with him come Sunday night.
This is Shawn Michaels' playground and he is inviting all of us to play in his sandbox.
While The Undertaker's streak is the thing that brings us to the table, the dramatic theatrics of Michaels over the years has kept us wanting more. And in most cases, Michaels delivers in more ways than one.
Can we expect drama on Sunday? Yes we can.
The rivalry is better than anything we have seen in wrestling circles. It is better than Sammartino/Morales.
It is better than Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. It's better than Flair/Steamboat.
The Rock and Steve Austin defined what wrestling in the WWE during the Attitude Era meant.
There may not be a better rivalry in the future. Others have tried, but have not succeeded to be better.
1. The Undertaker
Who else would be first on this list?
The Undertaker embodies everything that is great about WrestleMania. With his advanced age and the injuries that have taken a hold of his body over the years, it is only natural we wait and hope the living legend gets in the ring one more time.
And the Streak, which is the most hallowed of any record in the WWE, comes into play every year.