WrestleMania 30: Power Ranking Biggest Upsets in Event's History
Professional wrestling is built around upsets. The art of the upset is something that can draw absolutely huge reactions from the crowd and provide twists nobody saw coming.
WrestleMania has been an event where we have seen some huge upsets in the ring, with underdogs and rank outsiders coming from nowhere to pick up historic victories.
That has been evident in the previous 29 editions of the show—all the way through to last year's edition at WrestleMania 29.
However, for all the shocks and upsets, there have been a select few that rank higher than the rest. These select few feature right here on this list of biggest upsets in WrestleMania history.
6. Sheamus Defeats Daniel Bryan (WM28)
We start with a match that, although not a huge upset in terms of the result, was a massive upset in terms of how it panned out.
Sheamus and Daniel Bryan had been having a decent enough rivalry for the World Heavyweight Championship in the months leading up to WrestleMania, after Sheamus had won the Royal Rumble earlier in the year.
Bryan's momentum and popularity was just starting to grow, but nobody could have expected what happened once the bell was rung for the start of the match.
Bryan leaned out of the ring ropes to give his girlfriend, AJ Lee, one last kiss before the match began. However, when he did so, he turned around and was met by a huge kick in the face from Sheamus.
The match lasted just 18 seconds. Remarkable. It has to go down as a huge upset in WrestleMania history, without a doubt.
5. Fandango Defeats Chris Jericho (WM29)
Fandango was a relative newcomer to WWE when WrestleMania 29 rolled around. In fact, he had yet to step in the ring under his new guise before WrestleMania.
Chris Jericho finally managed to coax Fandango into a match and show everyone what he could do inside the ring. He obliged—and pulled off a remarkable upset.
Nobody could have foreseen a victory for Fandango with his in-ring debut—especially against such a legendary figure like Jericho.
It was arguably one of the more remarkable WrestleMania debuts in recent history. Whether he manages to pull off as big a shock this time around is very much unlikely.
4. Ravishing Rick Rude Defeats the Ultimate Warrior (WM5)
WrestleMania 5—the show that is perhaps most fondly remembered for Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage.
However, the secondary feud on that card was Rick Rude vs. The Ultimate Warrior, in a rivalry that had rumbled on for several months.
At the Royal Rumble, the two met in a "posedown," where the winner was decided by a fan reaction. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Warrior triumphed.
It was all set to culminate in an Intercontinental Championship match at WrestleMania, with Rude challenging the Warrior.
It was a great match all the way throughout, and the ending was certainly controversial. Bobby Heenan, Rude's manager, held down the Warrior's leg whilst Rude was covering him and got the win.
It was The Ultimate Warrior's first pinfall loss in the WWE—and an absolutely huge shock.
3. Yokozuna Defeats Bret Hart (WM9)
The first of two entries from Bret Hart on this list, and they both make the top three.
For our first entry, we go back to WrestleMania 9, when Hart went up against Yokozuna. Hart put his WWF Championship on the line—and it was all going to plan, for the most part.
The massive face that was Hart was dominating the proceedings, and he looked to be getting close to victory when he had Yokozuna locked in the Sharpshooter.
However, Yokozuna's manager, Mr. Fuji, had other ideas. Whilst Hart had the submission move locked in, Fuji threw salt in the eyes of Hart, which enabled the challenger to nail Hart and pin him for the championship.
Of course, we all know that Hulk Hogan came out afterwards and managed to end the show on a high—by winning the belt himself. However, for those few moments when Yokozuna stood holding the belt, the crowd was stunned by what had just happened.
2. The Miz Defeats John Cena (WM27)
On to a more recent edition of WrestleMania that still featured a pretty huge shock, it has to be said.
The Miz, the defending WWE Champion at the time, took on John Cena. Only one winner here, right? Wrong.
Amazingly, The Miz managed to pick up the win over Cena and retain his championship. Except it wasn't quite as straight forward as that. The interference from The Rock—actions which set up matches between Cena and The Brahma Bull in the forthcoming years—played a huge part in The Miz getting the win.
However, even when you factor that interference in, this was an absolutely huge shock at the time. Looking back, it seems an even bigger one in retrospect.
It was a result that very few people saw coming. Everyone expected Cena to pick up the belt with a victory over The Miz that night. However, the fans in attendance were left stunned.
1. Owen Hart Defeats Bret Hart (WM10)
This was a night when Bret Hart pulled double duty and managed to win the WWF Championship from Yokozuna.
However, what happened in the opening match of the night has to be regarded as the biggest shock in WrestleMania history.
Bret took on his brother Owen, in a rivalry that would really pick up after WrestleMania X. Owen had turned on Bret a few weeks after Survivor Series, when a mix-up caused the brothers to be eliminated from a traditional Survivor Series match.
The fact that Hart was booked to wrestle for the championship later that night appeared to suggest his match against Owen would be nothing more than a squash. However, when Owen managed to roll up Bret and nail the three-count, the crowd was in a state of disbelief.
It was a huge moment in Owen's career—and arguably the biggest upset WrestleMania has ever seen.