If you can smell, then the scent of Wrestlemania is in the air. It is a kind of holy day for wrestling fans across the world. It will be hard to find a fan that does not love this spectacle. It is most certainly the grandest stage of pro-wrestling.
Many legends have displayed their craft at this theater of dreams in a masterful manner. Mr. McMahon, on the other hand, pulls out everything he can to ensure that this event is equipped with the best of the ambiance. Together they create some of the best memories of our lives. They offer us many reasons to love the spectacle.
Therefore, I decided to write an article that would enlist some of the reasons that have such aphrodisiac effect. Let me clarify that this is not a ranking. The sequence is based on categories rather than the importance.
To sum up, this is list of factors that decorate Wrestlemania. It has some moments that distinguish Wrestlemania, some matches that define the level and few people, who have become an epitome of this grandeur.
Let the journey begin.
To begin with, Wrestlemania is the night of dreams. It is a night when wrestlers enter with a totally different flare in their eyes. This is a night when passion runs through the bloodstream and every performer gives his best to ensure that his tryst with the glory does not go in vain.
Many dreams have come true on this night. Wrestlers who dream of achieving that one big belt of gold have met their destiny at Wrestlemania, whereas some dreams have remained just that.
The photo in this slide is one of such rendezvous of reality with dreams.
Such an atmosphere ensures that emotions run high. There is no wonder as to why we can relate much more with stars on Wrestlemania than other occasions.
The road to Wrestlemania begins with the Royal Rumble and boy there cannot be a bigger start.
Excitement, hype and relentless entertainment. These have been the hallmarks of this period over the years. WWE pulls all the loose ends together; they throw some surprises and shift the gear to a whole new level.
It is the time when the biggest of feuds reach their crescendo. It is the time when legends appear and again prove why they are so different than the rest. Promos in this period have a different air to them. Everybody buckles up to reach the destination that is Wrestlemania.
The road to Wrestlemania is one of the main reasons why Wrestlemania is so beyond the level of normal PPVs.
The WWE Hall of Fame is one of WWE's best initiatives. Andre The Giant was the first inductee. Wrestlemania is a fitting time to pay homage to those who have graced us by putting their bodies on the line. Over the years many have received this honor whereas some omissions continue to raise eyebrows.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is one of the most beautiful events in my opinion. All the stars are human for that night. It is one moment when we see the person behind that gimmick. It is the moment when we get to listen to some of the most heartfelt speeches. This night has given us countless special moments.
As I said earlier, WWE pulls out all the stops to ensure that the grandeur is not lost. One of the most awesome aspects of these efforts is entrances of stars during the event. The use of lights, different stunts and pyros is just never matched at regular PPVs.
Undertaker in particular has adopted some of the coolest effects on this night, at Wrestlemania XX for example. The entrance of HBK at Wrestlemania 25 was one of the most fitting I have seen. John Cena, HHH and Stone Cold have done some awesome entrances as well.
The reason i added this factor was that it makes a superstar look like a true megastar. And honestly, we would be a lying if we say that we don't dig it.
Here, Here... Here. I know you might keep staring at the photo but if you are a lover of 'nature' then I am sure you won't. Anyway, back to business.
Over the years many C to A list celebrities have appeared on Wrestlemania. Some of them have been really entertaining, like Mike Tyson or Donald Trump. Some have been absolute disaster like Mayweather. Different rock stars/bands like Kidrock have performed their art at Wrestlemania.
This part is usually an enjoyable act and on the whole it has been an attraction of the night.
This year it may change given that Justin Bieber... Anyway, let us rather look at the photo here and move on.
I honestly love the crowd at Wrestlemania. It makes hell of a difference to the ambience. When you have totally charged up crowd of more than 60,000 and then you have icons battling it out, you don't have to be a scientist to define that electricity.
Wrestlemania III, which saw two of the best moments history (which will appear here later), had the audience of more than 93,000 freaking people. I cannot imagine the vibe it must have created in the stadium. This event held the world record for biggest crowd in an indoor stadium for decades.
Moreover, if we have matches like Hogan vs. Rock or Taker vs. HBK then the crowd reactions are priceless. Anxiety, disappointment, excitement and passion, the whole array of emotions that we see on thousands of faces defines a real Wrestlemania moment.
Well here we approach to the moments that have over the years become our evergreen memories.
The main event of Wrestlemania was a biggest match, which that generation has seen. A giant, who was not defeated even once in 15 years and the man whose force would have put superman to shame were going to square off. It was billed as the classic case of Immovable object vs. Unstoppable force. Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan faced off each other for the WWF championship in main event.
Nobody was really able to predict the winner of this match and thanks to the lack of Internet, the buzz was not killed.
That match saw one unprecedented thing as Hulk Hogan lifted Andre the Giant in and slammed him on the mat. 93000 people were left stunned for a second and millions watching on TV were speechless and the moment after everybody marked out like anything. Every major Media in the States covered this phenomenal foot.
Pro-Wrestling took one giant leap as the Giant hit the mat below and Wrestlemania for once and all confirmed its stay at the pinnacle.
Mid-nineties were the transition period of WWF. Two men were trying their best to carry it on their shoulders. First of them was Bret 'the Hitman' hart and second was his challenger, the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels.
At Wrestlemania XII, HBK challenged Bret Hart for the WWF championship in a ' 60 minute Iron Man' match. He pinned Bret hart in the extra time.
That moment was immortalised by Mr.McMahon as he exclaimed "The Boyhood Dream Has Come True!" It was so damn true. You could have judged that from watching Shawn clutching his title like a dear dream. It was the whole journey from the days of wilderness, minor leagues and AWA that must have flashed before his eyes. For few moments that victory was not Key-Fabe, it was as true as it could be.
Bret hart is involved in two of the most iconic Wrestlemania moments, and that too at back to back Manias.
At Wrestlemania XIII, Stone Cold and Bret Hart fought each other in a 'Submission match'. This match is one of the greatest Wrestlemania matches and one of the most historically significant matches in the history of WWF. This match saw an excellent double turn as at the end Hart turned heel due to his vicious assault and Stone Cold turned face because of undying resilience.
The image of unrelenting Bret hart's sharpshooter and Stone Cold's denial to submit while lying in the pool of own blood is a moment that gave birth of Anti-Hero. It was a moment, when Stone Cold rose from normal league to join those few, who have turned this business upside down in their careers.
There are few guilty pleasures of normal Pro-Wrestling fans. One of the more prominent of these is 'Dream Matches', which happen million times in our fantasy and seldom in reality. However, Mr. McMahon for once felt pity and gave us one of the biggest dream matches for a life.
At Wrestlemania XVIII, Hulk Hogan and the Rock faced each other. What more you would ask for? A person who put WWF on the map and another who glorified it further in the mainstream were going to battle it out. They were by far the most popular two wrestlers of all time and had mesmerized respective generations.
Emotions ran really high that night. I have never seen similar atmosphere to be very honest. Match was technically not great and result does not matter either. All that matters is the fact that we can tell future generations, "yes we saw Hogan vs. Rock at Wrestlemania."
You might have noticed that I have put a lot of stress on emotions in this article so far. It is simply because Emotions is the factor that separates Mania from other events. And speaking of emotions, who could forget this particular moment?
At Wrestlemania XX, Eddie Guererro had already defended his title against Kurt Angle in an epic Match. His night only got better as his best friend; Chris Benoit clinched the world title in unforgettable 'Triple Threat' match against HBK and Triple H.
As Benoit was celebrating, Eddie came down to the ring to devour a night when he and his best friend had finally realized the dream. It was one of the most heart-warming ending Mania has seen. That joy on their faces is not acting, it is true.
I will never forget this one moment in my life. It was one of those moments when i realized my love for the WWE.
Wrestlemania XXI was one of the manias that saw history and made some too. Two youngsters dethroned reigning champions of their respective bands and announced the beginning of new era.
Batista and Cena, both were billed as the future of the company. However contrary to the popular notion, it was John Cena who went on to be the Megastar and poster-boy of the company.
The reason I chose Cena's win over Batista's is not only because it turned out to be more significant for future. The reason is euphoric crowd, ballistic Cena and the celebration both of them put on after the match. Very few times Crowd has been so involved in anybody's win. This moment was a true Wrestlemania moment.
Among many other things, Wrestlemania is a night when legends choose to bid adieu in style. Many great stars have performed their art at this stage for the one last time. There are many, but I will name three biggest names to assert the legacy of Mania. Stone Cold, Ric Flair and HBK wrestled their last match in WWE at the Wrestlemania and that too against some really special opponents.
At Wrestlemania XIX, Stone Cold battled his greatest foe The Rock. Ric Flair chose his best friend HBK to do the honours at WM XXIV and Shawn retired against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXVI. All three matches were iconic and match of the night.
We all knew in these cases that these greats are going to retire. We all knew that our lives going to poorer tomorrow. And definitely these guys did not disappoint as they put on the great show.
The magnitude of these matches and our emotional investment in these matches compel us to watch the event and love the Mania.
There are very few gimmick matches that have appeared on Wrestlemania. Only one Gimmick Match however has become a feature of Wrestlemania and that is 'Ladder Match'.
It all started with the epic match between HBK and Razor Ramon. This match was a ***** match and cemented both men's place in the history. Then later of in the Attitude days, E&C, Dudley boys and Hardy brothers put hell of a show in ladder matches and ensured that the popularity of the match never dies.
WWE smelt money and at WM XXI, started 'Money In The Bank' ladder match. This match as we all know gave its winner an assured shot at the Championship of his choice. Edge was the first winner. Then Mr. Kennedy, CM Punk and Jack Swagger won the match and championship eventually. MITB has been a laboratory of future main-eventer. Over the years, Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison, Christian, Kofi Kingston have put on some stellar performances in this match. MITB still remains one of the focal points of every mania.
Now let us come to some of the matches that have defined ‘Wrestlemania’ quality. When we start talking about some special matches, the first name that springs up is a Wrestlemania III match. This match still has special place in every purist’s heart and will always have one.
Ricky ‘the Dragon Steamboat’ and Randy ‘the Machoman’ Savage were feuding for months leading to the Mania. They had put on some spectacular matches but the ending was simply epic. The feud culminated at Wrestlemania in a match for Intercontinental Championship. This match went to be the match that stole the show even when Hogan and Andre were going to face off in the main event.
This match is widely regarded as the best match in Mania history. Both men put on a clinic and showed what exactly it means and it takes to perform at the Wrestlemania.
Very few rivals have faced off each other twice at the Wrestlemania. But one pair however went to battle it out there Three times at Wrestlemania Main Event. This fact alone speaks volumes about the magnitude of feud and involved superstars. We actually don't even this fact when we are speaking about Stone Cold and Rock. If ever any feud has defined whole era and Wrestlemania for that generation, then here is that feud.
Rock and Austin faced off thrice at Mania, at WM XV, XVII and XIX to be very precise. There is no point in speaking about results. Both these megastars gave everything they had on all three occasions and created few more memories for us. The last encounter remains more special given that it was the last match of Stone Cold. The emotional investment of people in these matches was simply astounding.
Two greatest legends of WWE – one, the greatest big stage performer and another simply the best gimmick and one of the biggest draw ever and both who have become synonymous with Wrestlemania faced off each other at Mania twice. HBK and Taker is the only pair to fight at back to back manias for that matter
In simple words they waved magic. First encounter remains one of greatest matches at Mania and second is the best ever rematch. No word is left to describe what they did. Both legends just left one uphill task to future generations with those two epics. Shawn Michaels and Undertaker proved that you don’t need gimmick matches, violence and abuse to create a masterpiece.
The second match remains a special match since it was HBK’s last match. Those few moments after the match was over are some of greatest moments this business and fans have ever seen.
This feud is more special because it had no title on the line. It was about legacy and reputation. It was then about the streak and a career. These matches remain the paramount example of storytelling and use of emotions in a wrestling match.
I have just one remark to make. I consider myself fortunate to have born in the era of HBK and Taker. It was my fortune to be able to witness these matches. These will be the everlasting memories of WWE in my life, Thank you Shawn and Thank you Taker for the privilege.
Here we come to the last part of our journey. There are few people who have simply epitomised Wrestlemania. Let us start from the first.
Hulk Hogan is the first and foremost reason for Wrestlemania's such a long existence. I will confess that I hate that guy but in all honesty, I can't deny him his due. Hulk Hogan carried Wrestlemania for almost a decade on his drawing power. He put it on the global map. Hulk Hogan gave Wrestlemania its defining moment as he slammed Andre on the mat.
Hogan still holds the record of maximum Main Event appearances at Wrestlemania. The fact that his record still holds on is the testimony to his contribution and a possibility that his 'reincarnation' will break it is the further proof.
One person undoubted claims the honour of the best performer in the history of Wrestlemania. Shawn Michaels owns the title without any competition. He was indeed the showstopper and more importantly Mr. Wrestlemania.
HBK has been the part of all ***** matches in Mania's history. He stole the show at practically each and every Mania. He took home the 'Match of the Year' award almost a dozen of times for his Wrestlemania performances.
He delivered some of the best matches against rivals like Kurt Angle, Jericho, Scott Hall, Bret hart and most importantly Undertaker. He had the uncanny ability to make his opponent look good. HBK also owns the most number of Wrestlemania moments.
HBK has been one of the biggest reasons of our love for Mania. And to put simply, those who have not yet realized it will understand it this year when there is no Mr. Wrestlemania.
So we come to final point of our ride as we approach to a milestone, which has become the biggest attraction of Wrestlemania. Indeed we are talking about the famous 'Streak' of the Undertaker. There is not a single person here who does not know what 'The Streak' is, so i will not explain it.
Over the years, many legends have fallen to the Undertaker. However, only twice this Streak has been in jeopardy. It was against Randy Orton and HBK. This streak has also helped in solidifying statures of people like HHH, Orton, Batista and Edge.
There is not a single week, when we don't hear about Streak here on BR. Every year there is a massive curiosity as to who will be the next. The sad part is, speculation begins the moment after Mania is over.
I want to add one more thing. It is not only the streak that has made Taker so synonymous with Mania. His returns and cool entrances are equally bigger attractions.
Anyway, I am one of the biggest Taker marks on this planet. His every match holds a special place in my heart. There are hardly two Manias and simply 1 year is left before he leaves us. That will be the biggest moment in Mania's history, mark it down
So here the journey ends. I hope you enjoyed the ride as we discussed about numerous things that are close to our heart. I would greatly appreciate it if all of you share your special reasons with me and other readers. Thank you very much for reading.