WWE WrestleMania 27: The Rock and the 27 Best WrestleMania Competitors of All Time
WrestleMania 27 is this Sunday, but instead of looking to the future, let's take a look at the past, and the men who helped make WrestleMania what it is today.
Now with lists there will always be complaints of the order, or who made the list and who didn't. So if you agree/disagree, let yourself be known. If enough of you feel the same way, I'll update the list to your liking.
First some honorable mentions.
Kane, Big Show, Psycho Sid, C.M. Punk, and "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase.
Now on to the list, and the 27 Best WrestleMania Competitors of All Time.
27. Vince McMahon
WrestleMania Record - 0-4
Highlights - Well he did create it
Why is Vince McMahon on this list? 2 reasons.
1. He's the reason why this list can even exist.
2. While he's never won a match at WrestleMania, all four of his outings have been enjoyable in some fashion. Be it the Father vs. Son against Shane, his bloodbath with Hulk Hogan, him going no holds barred with Shawn Michaels, or even Bret Hart beating the hell out of him for 10-plus minutes. They've all been fun to watch.
You add the role he played during the "Austin Era", and his involvement with Donald Trump in the hair vs. hair match at Mania 23, and you have more than enough to justify his spot.
26. Rob Van Dam
WrestleMania Record - 4-0
Highlights - Won Money In The Bank 1x (22)
The answer to the question, who's the next closest to the Undertaker when it comes to an undefeated streak? Rob Van Dam. It may only be 4-0, but no one has more wins at WrestleMania without a loss than RVD.
His first WrestleMania match scored his some gold, at Mania 18; RVD defeated William Regal to win his first of six Intercontinental Championships.
Along with Booker T, he retained the Tag Team Championship in a four-way tag match at WrestleMania 20.
His greatest victory came in the second Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania 22. By winning, RVD would go on to win his only WWE Heavyweight Championship.
25. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
WrestleMania Record - 3-2
Highlights - Won Intercontinental Title 1x (3)
Ricky Steamboat appeared at the first four WrestleMania's, winning his first three matches.
None was more important than his duel with "Macho Man" Randy Savage for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 3. People may have packed the Pontiac Silverdome to see if Hogan could beat the Giant, but there was no doubt at the end of the night of what the best match on the show was. In what for the longest time was considered the best match in WrestleMania history, Steamboat won the I.C. Title in a classic.
The next year, Steamboat was in the WWF Title Tournament, but was upset by Greg Valentine in the first round, depriving the world of a round two rematch with Savage.
That would be Steamboat's last appearance at WrestleMania for over 20 years. At WrestleMania 25, teaming with Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper, Steamboat made his return as the three legends took on Chris Jericho. It would be a bittersweet return as Jericho won the 1-3 handicap match.
24. Ric Flair
WrestleMania Record - 1-4
Highlights -Defended Heavyweight Title Unsuccessfully 1x, "Retirement" Match (24)
It wouldn't be a "greatest" list without the "Nature Boy" on it. Now, although Ric Flair accomplished the vast majority of accolades in NWA/WCW, that's not to say he was without his highlights up North.
In Flair's first run with the WWE (then WWF) in the early 90's, Flair was able to do what he'd been doing down South. Capturing the WWF Heavyweight Title at the 92' Royal Rumble, Flair carried the belt into WrestleMania 8, defending against the "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Flair's first WWF title run ended that night as Savage won the Title.
His next WrestleMania match wouldn't be until a decade later. At WrestleMania 18 Flair was added to the ever-growing list of members of the Undertaker's streak.
He picked up his only WrestleMania victory at Mania 20. There teaming up with evolution members Batista and Randy Orton, they defeated Mick Foley and the Rock in a handicap tag match.
What should've been his final match took place at WrestleMania 24 (Thanks to alberto buckley) , against Shawn Michaels. In a match that Flair would "retire" if he loss, Flair was able to dig down (with a lot of help from Michaels) and pull out one more classic match, only to lose. The match and ensuing Monday Night sendoff was the perfect way to say goodbye to the "Nature Boy". Sadly, Flair didn't agree, and continues to bleed on a weekly bases.
23. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper
WrestleMania Record - 2-4-1
Highlights - Headliner 1x (1), Fought in first "boxing" match at a WrerstleMania
"Hot Rod" headlined the very first WrestleMania, teaming with Paul Orndorff to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Hogan and T got the win, but that didn't end the feud, by the time we'd reached WrestleMania 2, Piper was now taking on Mr. T in a boxing match. Mr. T won the match when Piper took matters into his own hands and body slammed T, to be disqualified.
WrestleMania 3 was going ito be Piper's self-professed retirement match to focus on acting full-time. Taking on former cohort, Adrian Adonis in a Hair vs. Hair match. Piper was successful, and headed into the sunset, well for three years at least.
Piper made his return at WrestleMania 6, against "Bad News" Brown, fighting to a double count-out. The most notable thing that came out of the match was Piper for some unknown reason coming out painted half-black.
At WrestleMania 8, Piper had his best match, losing his only WWE singles title, the Intercontinental Title to Bret Hart in the best match of the night.
A four-year hiatus would ensue before interim Commissioner Piper returned to take on Goldust in a Hollywood Backlot Brawl. In another weird note, for some reason WWE decided to splice in footage of the O.J. Simpson car chase, saying Piper was driving a white Bronco. Why?
In 2009, Piper teamed with former rival Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat, to take on Chris Jericho. The legends were unable to use the numbers to their advantage as Jericho won.
22. Chris Benoit
WrestleMania Record - 3-5
Highlights -1x Winner of Heavyweight Championship (20), 1x Headliner (20)
(Full Disclaimer: Chris Benoit is a horrible person, and personally I wouldn't put him on this list, but not showing bias, his accomplishments deserve him being on this list)
Chris Benoit had what should still be remembered as one of the great moments in WrestleMania history. The picture above shows it. After years of overcoming the odds, the technical master who earned everything he got. Still, nobody could see him headlining the biggest show of the year.
At WrestleMania 20, he achieved that. In what may have been the greatest triple threat match in WWE history, Benoit made Triple H tap out, while Shawn Michaels was incapacitated on the outside. As Benoit celebrated with Eddie Guererro in the ring, both Heavyweight Champions, no one could have anything but a warm feeling at the sight.
That same feeling is long gone, never to return.
21. "Diesal" Kevin Nash
WrestleMania Record - 1-1
Highlights -Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title 1x (11), Headliner 1x (11)
"Big Daddy Cools" first appeared at WrestleMania in the corner of Shawn Michaels at Mania 10. One year later, Diesel was the WWF Heavyweight Champion and was squaring off in the Main Event of WrestleMania 11, against Michaels.
Despite Michaels winning the right to have Pamela Anderson valet him to the ring, Anderson choose "Big Daddy Cool" instead, and by the end of the match she'd chosen the winner. Diesel became only the second man to successfully defend his Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania.
In his only other WrestleMania match, Diesel became victim number five of the Undertaker's streak. Despite delivering two Jackknife Power bombs, Diesel couldn't finish off the "Dead Man".
20. Kurt Angle
WrestleMania Record - 3-5
Highlights - Headliner 1x (19), Defended Heavyweight Title Unsuccessfully 2x (19,22), Defeated Shawn Michaels in Match Of The Year (21)
Kurt Angle has the dubious distinction of losing all five of his title matches at WrestleMania. In non-title matches, Angle is a perfect 3-0, but with a strap on the line, Angle could never come out on top.
It began at WrestleMania 16, going in as the Euro-Continental Champion, Angle in a three-way match with Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, with both titles on the line, lost them both. First the I.C. to Benoit, then the Euro to Jericho. In neither fall was Angle pinned.
Over the next two years, in non-title matches, Angle would beat Benoit at 17, and Kane at 18. At WrestleMania 19, going in as Heavyweight Champion against Brock Lesnar, Angle lost again. The Next year, now a challenger for Eddie Guererro's WWE Title at Mania 20, Angle came up short again.
Angle's WrestleMania highlight came the following year at Mania 21. Taking on "Mr. WrestleMania" Shawn Michaels, in what became the match of 2005, Angle forced Michaels to tap to the Ankle Lock.
In currently his last WrestleMania match at Mania 22, Angle once again entering as Champion left home empty. In a triple-threat match against Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio, Mysterio won, and once again, Angle wasn't involved in the decision.
19. Andre the Giant
WrestleMania Record - 2-3-1
Highlights - Headliner 1x (3), Won WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal (2)
By the time WrestleMania came to fruition, Andre the Giant's prime had already peaked. But, the Giant still had some gas in the tank for the early years. At the inaugural WrestleMania, Andre beat "Big" John Studd in a 15,000 dollar body slam match. Andre slammed Studd, and the preceded to toss some of his prize to the crowd.
WrestleMania 2 saw Andre win a WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal easily, at the Chicago portion of the event.
But, it was at WrestleMania 3, that the biggest match in the history of wrestling occurred. In front of 93,000 (give or take 20,000) fans at the Pontiac SilverDome in Detroit, MI, Andre the Giant challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. For the first-time Hogan wasn't the favorite, but was able to overcome Andre.
Andre would get his revenge during the pursuing year, beating Hogan for the Title, before giving it to the "Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase. This was illegal and the belt was vacated, a new champion would be crowned at a tournament at WrestleMania 4. Andre and Hogan would get a first round bye, but would face each other in the quarterfinals. The match ended in a double DQ, both men eliminated from the tournament.
Andre would fight at two more WrestleMania's (5,6), losing at both.
18. Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania Record - 1-1
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (19), Headliner 1x (19)
The "Next Big Thing" accomplished more in a rookie year than anyone in WWE history. Debuting after WrestleMania 18, Lesnar would win the King of the Ring, the Heavyweight Title, the Royal Rumble, and finally a date at WrestleMania 19 with Kurt Angle, with the Heavyweight Title on the line.
After nearly breaking his neck on an attempted Shooting-Star Press, Lesnar was still able to top Angle, and leave the night Champion, wrapping up a hell of a year.
At WrestleMania 20, with news of Lesnar's impending departure for an attempted shot at being an NFL player widely being reported. His "dream match-up" with Bill Goldberg, instead became 14-minutes of Madison Square Garden fans booing the two. The only highlight coming at the end, when special referee "Stone Cold" Steve Austin gave both opponents a "Stone Cold Stunner". Oh yeah Goldberg won, but no one cared.
WrestleMania Record - 3-3
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (9), Headliner 2x (9,10)
Before Brock Lesnar, there was Yokozuna. Debuting in the Fall of 1992, Yokozuna steamrolled through the Royal Rumble on his way to a main event match against Champion Bret Hart, at WrestleMania 9. With the help of manager Mr. Fuji, Yoko was able to capture his first Championship. If it had all ended there, it would've been a good night.
Unfortunately it didn't, Hulk Hogan came out to dispute how Yokozuna had won, Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to a match, and after some inadvertent salt to the eyes, Yokozuna's first title run had been rather short.
At the inaugural King of the Ring PPV, Yokozuna was able to regain the Championship from Hogan, and would hold onto it all the way to WrestleMania 10, where he'd have to get by both Lex Luger and Bret Hart.He'd get by Luger, but Hart proved to be too much, ending his run as Champion.
WrestleMania 11 saw Yoko team up with Hart's younger brother Owen to capture the Tag Team Championships from the Smoking Gunns. Becoming the first man to win a singles and tag title at WrestleMania.
WrestleMania Record - 3-2
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (21), Headliner 1x (21)
Batista teamed with Evolution members Ric Flair and Randy Orton at WrestleMania 20, to defeat Mick Foley and the Rock in his Mania debut.
By WrestleMania 21, Evolution was in flames as Batista was challenging leader HHH for the World Heavyweight Title in the Main Event. The "Animal" beat the "Game" for his first Heavyweight Title.
Injury caused Batista to have to vacate his title, and kept him out of WrestleMania 22. But, during the show he proclaimed that come Mania 23, he'd have his belt back.
The good news was he was right, heading into WrestleMania 23, he was the Champion. The bad news was his opponent was the Undertaker, and as we know the streak is still alive, that means Batista didn't end it that night.
Last year, Batista went into WrestleMania 26, a Champion again. But like Mania 23, Batista didn't leave with it, this time John Cena got the better of him.
15. Eddie Guerrero
WrestleMania Record - 2-3
Highlights -Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title 1x (20)
"Latino Heat" appeared at five WrestleMania's, and traded off losses and wins each time. His first success came at Mania 17, where he won his second European Championship, defeating Test.
His biggest victory would come at WrestleMania 20. Going into the event, Guerrero was the defending WWE Champion, facing off against Kurt Angle, Eddie was able to outsmart Angle, and retain his title. In doing so, he became at the time only the fourth man to successfully defend his Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania.
Sadly, his last match at WrestleMania came at the following Mania 21. Opening the night against best friend Rey Mysterio, Guerrero was unable to come out victorious, but both men shook hands in respect in the end
14. Randy Orton
WrestleMania Record - 3-4
Highlights - Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title 1x (24), Headliner 1x (25)
Like Batista, Randy Orton made his debut at WrestleMania 20, making up a team of Evolution with Ric Flair that would defeat Mick Foley and the Rock.
His next WrestleMania match saw a step up in difficulty. Orton took a whack at ending the Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania 21, take a guess how that one ended, yep, you nailed it
He'd lose again at WrestleMania 22, being pinned by Rey Mysterio in a triple threat match with Champion Kurt Angle; another loss came at Money in the Bank, at Mania 23.
Things turned around for Orton at WrestleMania 24. Going into another triple threat match, this time against HHH and John Cena, but this time also being the Heavyweight Champion going in. Orton was able to join the small club of men to defend their title successfully at WrestleMania.
Orton's first WrestleMania Main Event came one WrestleMania later at 25. This time Orton was the challenger to Champion HHH, and this time a result unfavorable to Orton played out as the "Game" finished the "Viper".
Last year, Orton won a battle of Legacy, beating Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr, in a triple threat match.
WrestleMania Record - 5-4
Highlights -Headliner 1x (24), Defended Heavyweight Title Unsuccessfully 2x (24,25), Won First Ever Money In The Bank
No mans had more success dealing with ladders at WrestleMania than Edge. His first match at WrestleMania, was at Mania 16, teaming with partner Christian, E&C took on the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz in a Triangle Ladder Match, in the process beginning the era of TLC matches. E&C would win the Tag Team Championships that night.
Just like they'd win the following year at the second official TLC match. Once again taking on the Hardy's and Dudley's, E&C ended the match with the Tag Title straps.
At WrestleMania 21, the Money in the Bank match was introduced for the first time. In a match featuring Chris Jericho, Kane, Chris Benoit, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, and Edge, Edge would be the first man ever to grab the briefcase, guaranteeing himself a title match at anytime of his chosen.
Edge went "hardcore" with Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22, in arguably the match of the night, Edge took the match when he speared Foley through a flaming table, another first in Mania history that can be accredited to the "Rated R Superstar".
WrestleMania 24, finally saw Edge break his way into the Main Event. Going into the event the Heavyweight Champion, Edge had the unenviable task of taking on the Undertaker. The streak continued.
The next year, Edge again was a Heavyweight Champion going into WrestleMania 25. Again, he lost his title, this time to John Cena, in a triple threat match that included the Big Show.
Last year for the third straight year, Edge was in a Heavyweight Title match at WrestleMania, and for the third straight year he loss. This time to Chris Jericho.
Edge will try to break the trend this Sunday, in his fourth straight Heavyweight Title match.
12. Chris Jericho
WrestleMania Record - 4-6
Highlights - Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title 1x (26) Headliner 1x (18)
Before the last two years, Chris Jericho track record at WrestleMania had been suspect to say the least.
Jericho won gold at each of his first two WrestleMania's. First the European at Mania 16, and then the Intercontinental at Mania 17.
Jericho's lone Main Event came at WrestleMania 18. Despite being the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion, Jericho was an afterthought in his match with HHH, The real feud was between HHH and Stephanie McMahon. No one believed Jericho was going to win, and he didn't.
Jericho followed up his one Main Event with his best match at WrestleMania 19. In a show stealer with Shawn Michaels, still Jericho loss the match.
At WrestleMania 21, Money in the Bank, a "creation" of Jericho was held for the first-time, Jericho didn't win the match he "created".
Two years off would come before Jericho returned at WrestleMania 24, again in the Money in the Bank match with the same results.
WrestleMania 25, finally saw Jericho get another win at WrestleMania. Facing off against the three legends of Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat, Jericho was victorious in a 1-3 elimination handicap match, all though Mickey Rourke then proceeded to drop him with a punch.
Last year, Jericho found his greatest success. The World Heavyweight Champion going into the show, Jericho defeated Edge to retain his belt, thus becoming only the seventh man to successfully defend his Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania.
11. Rey Mysterio
WrestleMania Record - 4-2
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (22)
Rey Mysterio lost his first two matches at WrestleMania, since then he's rolled off four straight wins. His first caming against best friend, Eddie Guerrero.
The next year, Mysterio was looking to win his first ever Heavyweight Title, in tribute to Guerrero. Facing Champion Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a three way match at WrestleMania 22, Mysterio was able to achieve his goal, pinning Orton to win the Championship.
Injuries kept Mysterio out of the next two WrestleMania's, before he was able to return at Mania 25. Taking on Intercontinental Champion JBL, Mysterio was able to capture his first I.C. Title in only 21 seconds, and essentially retired JBL, who quit after the loss.
Last year Mysterio beat C.M. Punk.
10. Ultimate Warrior
WrestleMania Record - 4-1
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (7), Headliner 1x (7)
After splitting wins and losses in his fist two WrestleMania matches, the Ultimate Warrior took off as the build to WrestleMania 6 began. Warrior, the Intercontinental Champion would take on Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, in what was dubbed "The Ultimate Challenge", with both titles on the line.
Warrior was triumphant in the greatest victory of his career, being the first man to hold both the I.C. and Heavyweight Championships simultaneously.
At WrestleMania 7, in arguably the greatest match of his career, Warrior defeated the "Macho King" Randy Savage in a "Career Ending" match.
The Warrior's last WrestleMania appearance came at Mania 12. In his last run with the WWE, Warrior destroyed a young HHH in 1:38.
9. The Rock
WrestleMania Record - 4-4
Highlights - Defended Heavyweight Title Unsuccessfully 2x (15,17), Headliner 3x (15,16,17), Icon vs. Icon (18) The Real Main Event
At his first two WrestleMania's (13,14), the Rock was able to retain his Intercontinental Titles.
He'd take his game up to the next level in the coming years, headlining WrestleMania 15,16, and 17. The only downer to that would be he'd lose all three years.
Entering WrestleMania 15, Rock was the WWF Heavyweight Champion looking to get over the hump of his nemesis "Stone Cold" Steve Austin; he didn't, as Austin left Philadelphia with the belt.
With no Austin for WrestleMania 16, the title picture was wide open. A four way elimination match with Big Show, Mick Foley, Champion Triple H, and the Rock was the Main Event. Rocky would make it to the final two, but due to the McMahon's that was as far as he got.
The Rock headed into WrestleMania 17, again Champion, and once again the "Texas Rattlesnake" was in the opposite corner. In front of a sold out Astrodome crowd in Houston, Texas, the Main Event of the greatest WrestleMania of all-time commenced. Again, the Rock couldn't get past Austin.
Though the Rock streak of headlining was over, his two most fulfilling WrestleMania matches were still ahead of him. First at WrestleMania 18, in an Icon vs. Icon match against Hulk Hogan. A surprising classic took place that rocked the SkyDome crowd. The young lion was able to overcome the old lion as Rock defeated Hogan in the match of the night.
Finally, at WrestleMania 19, the Rock was able to exorcise his final demon. In the final match of their WrestleMania trilogy, the "Great One" was able to take down "Stone Cold".
Before this Sunday, Rock's last WrestleMania was at Mania 20. There the Rock 'n' Sock Connection made a reunion to take on three members of Evolution. In his last match to date, the Rock came out on the losing end.
8. "Macho Man" Randy Savage
WrestleMania Record - 7-4
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 2x (4.8), Headlined 2x (4,5)
If the history of WrestleMania was split into two half's, while Shawn Michaels would own the last half, Randy Savage owned the first half. No one on a consistent level had more great matches than the "Macho Man"
His first WrestleMania match was a successful defense of his Intercontinental Title at Mania 2, against George "The Animal" Steele. A year later he lost his I.C. Title at Mania 2, coming up on the short end of the all-time classic with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.
Savage made the step-up to elite at WrestleMania 4. With the WWF Heavyweight Title vacant, a tournament was held to crown a new Champion. Savage went through Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, and the One Man Gang on his way to the finals. There he met the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, and there the "Macho Man" won his first Heavyweight Title.
The next year, as the "Mega Powers" broke up, they were set to settle the score at WrestleMania 5. Savage, still Champion from the year before, took on Hulk Hogan in the Main Event, where his nearly year long reign came to an end.
At WrestleMania 7, now the "Macho King", Savage took on the Ultimate Warrior in a "Career Ending" match. For the second time, Savage stole the show, leading the Warrior to the best match he'd ever had, and even thought he lost, he won in the end, as for the first time in years, he and Miss Elizabeth were reunited on good terms.
His enforced retirement wouldn't last a year, and by WrestleMania 8, Savage was looking for his second Heavyweight Championship against Ric Flair. He would by beating the "Nature Boy" to capture the title.
Savage's final WrestleMania match would be at WrestleMania 10, his ninth in a row. In a falls count anywhere match, Savage was victorious over Crush.
7. Bret "The Hitman" Hart
WrestleMania Record - 8-6
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x, Headliner 3x (9,10,12), Part of Greatest Match in WrestleMania History
Bret Hart set a record for most consecutive WrestleMania appearances with 12 from Mania 2 to 13. He then tied a record last year with the greatest range of WrestleMania appearances of 25 years. Tying Ricky Steamboat, who appeared at the first WrestleMania, then again at Mania 25, Hart at the second and 26th.
At WrestleMania 2, in a WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal, Hart was the last man eliminated by winner Andre the Giant. Hart would again be a runner-up in a battle royal at Mania 4, being double-crossed by "Bad New" Brown.
His others appearances at Mania in the 80's and early 90's would be as part of the Hart Foundation with his partner Jim "the Anvil" Neidhardt, including in these was a win over the Bolsheviks at Mania 7 in a mere 19 seconds.
It wouldn't be until WrestleMania 8, when Bret had become a singles wrestler that things would take off for him. In the match of the night, Hart captured the Intercontinental Title from "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. The Next year, he'd be entering Mania 9 the defending World Champion, but controversially lost to Yokozuna.
At the tenth WrestleMania, Hart saw both victory and defeat. Opening the night in a battle of the brothers, Bret was beating by little brother Owen. Later after Yokozuna beat Lex Luger, Hart was able to avenge his previous year’s loss by defeating Yokozuna in the main-event.
WrestleMania 12 saw the conclusion of the "boyhood dream" as Shawn Michaels was able to dethrone Hart in a sixty-minute Iron man match to close the night.
The next year, in his final Mania for a while, Hart battled "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in what is arguably the greatest match in WrestleMania history. In an I-Quit match, Hart was able to incapacitate Austin in the Sharpshooter, being declared the winner. Not letting go of the hold, Hart and Austin achieved the double-turn, and the "Austin Era" was created.
Last year, Hart was able to get a bit of retribution, destroying Vince McMahon in no-holds barred match.
6. John Cena
WrestleMania Record - 6-1
Highlights - 3x Won Heavyweight Title (21,25,26), 2x Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title (22,23), Headliner 2x (22,23)
John Cena has fought at seven WrestleMania's, each time his bout has been with a title on the line, six of them, Cena has ended the night leaving with a belt.
His first WrestleMania match was at Mania 20, where he took down the Big Show to win the United States Title. The next year he took a step up, challenging JBL for the WWE Championship. Cena would easily dispose of JBL at Mania 21 to win his first Heavyweight Championship, certainly not his last.
In the next two WrestleMania's, Cena would defend the WWE Championship against DX. First at Mania 22, he beat "The Game" HHH, and then the next year defending against Shawn Michaels at 22. In doing so, Cena joined Hulk Hogan as the only man to defend his Heavyweight Title in consecutive years.
Cena's only failure at WrestleMania came in 2008 at Mania 24. There he was defeated by Randy Orton in a triple-threat match.
Cena more than made up for that by winning a Heavyweight Championship in each of the last two WrestleMania's. First at 25, over Edge and the Big Show, and then last year over Batista.
And of course, Cena will be going for the three-peat this Sunday when he takes on the Miz for WWE Championship.
5. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
WrestleMania Record - 5-2
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 3x (14,15,17), Headliner 3x (14,15,17)
His first match at WrestleMania was still as the "Ringmaster", defeating Savio Vega at Mania 12. By WresltleMania 13, the "Ringmaster" was gone, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was here, and he was here to stay.
Locked in a bitter feud with Bret Hart, the two decided to settle the score in a "Submissions" match. At the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, IL, the greatest match in WrestleMania would commence. The scene late in the match with Austin trapped in the Sharpshooter, wearing the crimson mask, remains one of the most Iconic in Pro Wrestling history. Unable to escape, Austin would pass out, Hart declared the winner. Even in defeat, an era was given birth to, the era of "Austin 3:16".
A year later, at WreslteMania 14, in Boston, MA, Austin was now in the Main Event, challenging Shawn Michaels for the WWF Heavyweight Championship. With Mike Tyson making the count, "Stone Cold" won his first Heavyweight Title.
Austin made it two in a row at WrestleMania 15. Taking on the Champion Rock, Austin captured his third Championship, beating the Rock. Injury kept Austin from going for a three-peat at Mania 16.
But the "Texas Rattlesnake" was back in the Main Event at WrestleMania 17. In front of a home State crowd in Houston TX, Austin met the Champion Rock again for the WWF Heavyweight Title. As the two closed out the greatest WrestleMania to date, Austin proved the victor again, winning his fifth Championship.
This also proved to be a watershed moment for Austin, as he reached his peak. At WrestleMania 18 he was in the middle of the card, beating Scott Hall. And, at his final WrestleMania match, and final match to date at WrestleMania 19, the Rock finally got one over on ol' "Stone Cold", beating him for the first time at a WrestleMania.
Austin has made multiple appearances at WrestleMania since, and will be a guest referee for the second-time, when he refs the match between Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler, this Sunday.
4. Triple H
WrestleMania Record - 7-7
Highlights - 3x Defended Heavyweight Title Successfully (16,19,25), Won Heavyweight Title 1x (18), Headliner 6x (16,18,20,21,22,25)
His first appearance at WrestleMania saw him lose to the Ultimate Warrior in a minute and a half, things could only go up, and boy would they.
The Game headlined his first Mania in 2000, at Wrestlemania 16. By the end of the night HHH had made history. Walking in as Champ, HHH not only joined a small list of Champions to end the night still holding their title, but became the first heel in WWE history to close WrestleMania out victorious.
After becoming part of the streak at Mania 17, and then blowing out his knee, HHH returned as baby-face, Carrying his momentum from winning the Royal Rumble, HHH defeated Chris Jericho in the main event at Mania 18 to capture the Heavyweight title. The next year HHH tied Hulk Hogan's record for defending a Heavyweight title, by beating Booker T at Mania 19.
From 2004-06, the Game headlined Mania, but would lose all three times. Injury kept him out of Mania 23, and he'd lose another title match at Mania 24, in a three-way against John Cena and Randy Orton.
But, HHH would get back on his "game" the next year, while at the same time creating more history. For his record-breaking third time, at Mania 25, HHH successfully defended a Heavyweight title, beating Orton.
Last year, HHH beat Sheamus to get his total record back to .500. With him taking his second whack at the Undertaker this Sunday, the odds are heavily in favor of that record going back below .500.
3. Hulk Hogan
WrestleMania Record - 8-3-1
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 3x (5,7,9), Successfully Defended Heavyweight Title 2x (2,3), Headliner 8x (1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9)
He headlined eight of the first nine WrestleMania's. No one has headlined more. He won the WWF Heavyweight Title three times (tied for most), and was able to successfully defend it on two other occasions. He accomplished the feat at WrestleMania 7; only John Cena has achieved each multiple times, doing ti 18 years later at WrestleMania 25
To say it plainly, this man owned the first nine WrestleMania's. That man was Hulk Hogan, and only Vince McMahon is more responsible for WrestleMania than him.
The original WrestleMania was headlined around Hogan and Mr. T taking on Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper, Hogan and T won, and WrestleMania was success.
His first defense followed at WrestleMania 2, Hogan retained his title in Cage match with King Kong Bundy.
Hogan's biggest match, and the biggest in wrestling history came at WrestleMania 3. Fighting Andre the Giant in front of jammed pack Pontiac Silverdome, Hogan did the unthinkable, body slamming the Giant, before delivering an "Atomic Leg Drop" for the 1,2,3.
All through out the first three WrestleMania's, Hogan held the title, but unlike say someone like John Cena, Hogan three years was all just one reign. He lost the title before Mania 4, and at that event a tournament was held to determine a new Champion for the vacant belt. Hogan, a heavy favorite was eliminated in a double DQ, with Andre. But, Hogan played a role in the outcome, helping fellow "Mega Power", Randy Savage win his first title.
A year later, the "Mega Powers" had blown up, and Hogan was looking to take the belt from Savage at WrestleMania 5, he did.
At WrestleMania, Hogan faced the tough test of the Ultimate Warrior; Hogan couldn't overcome the Warrior, losing his title. Many thought the "torch had been past" to Warrior, and that Hogan was in the twilight of his career, they were wrong.
Only one WrestleMania later, Hogan was back in the Main Event, winning his third Heavyweight Championship, by beating Sgt. Slaughter at Mania 7.
At WrestleMania 9, Hogan didn't figure to play a prominent role, teaming up with Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake to challenge Money INC for the Tag Team Titles, the two were DQ'ed. But, after Yokozuna won the Heavyweight Title in the Main Event from shady tactics, Hogan came out argue the decision. When Yokozuna manager Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to a match, Hogan accepted and won his fifth and final WWF Title. It was Hogan's last appearance at WrestleMania for nearly a decade.
When he finally made his WrestleMania return, it was to take on the Rock in "Icon vs. Icon" match at Mania 18. In his best match in years, Hogan showed the Rock there was plenty of gas left in the tank, nearly winning the match before the Rock was able to pull out the victory.
In what will probably be his last WrestleMania match at Mania 19, Hogan took on the creator of WrestleMania Vince McMahon in a bloody brawl; the "Immortal" one took down the "Chairman".
2. Shawn Michaels
WrestleMania Record - 6-11
Highlights - Won Heavyweight Title 1x (12), Headliner 6x (11,12,14,20,22,26), More Great Matches at WrestleMania than anybody
You don't get the moniker "Mr. WrestleMania", without earning it, and Shawn Michaels has more than done that. And, just to think, at the beginning of the new millennium it appeared that his career was over, and he'd be nowhere near the top of this list.
But, he did, and the second-half of his career produce more than a handful of classic matches on greatest stage in Professional Wrestling.
Michaels first three WrestleMania matches would be as a member of the Rockers, going 1-2. His first singles match came at Mania 8, a victory over Tito Santana, ariba.
Of course his break out performance came at WrestleMania 10, going up against Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Title. For the first time in WrestleMania history it would be contested for in a ladder match. Both proceeded to dish out moves no one had seen on a National level, Ramon coming out victorious.
A year later, Michaels headlined his first WrestleMania, challenging Diesel for the WWF Heavyweight Championship at Mania 11. He'd come up short that night, but another year later, a different result played out.
Riding the momentum of the "boy hood dream", Michaels was set to challenge Bret Hart in a one hour "Iron Man" match in the Main Event of WrestleMania 12. An hour later, the two were still in a deadlock, neither man scoring a pin fall. A five minute overtime was added, and one "Sweet Chin Music" later, Michaels had achieved his dream.
What appeared to be his last match happened in the Main Event of WrestleMania 14, where he'd lose to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. It would be five years before Michaels returned to WrestleMania.
The man to meet his return was Chris Jericho, and the two would steal the show at WrestleMania 19, Michaels winning his Mania comeback match.
At WrestleMania 20, Michaels was back in the title hunt, in the Main Event, Michael was up against Chris Benoit and Champion HHH, Michaels wasn't victorious that night, but it was the best match of the night. Two in a row.
For WrestleMania 21, Michaels took on Kurt Angle, stop, you already know where this is going. He'd lose again, but had the match of the year in the process. Three in a row.
WrestleMania 22 broke the streak, but he had a very entertaining match with a 60 year-old Vince McMahon.
His last Title match at WrestleMania came at Mania 23. Taking on Champion John Cena, Michaels was unable to gain one more run with the gold.
WrestleMania 24 saw Michaels carry another geriatric to a great match. In what should have been Ric Flair's last match, Michaels gave Flair a match that anyone would be proud to call their last.
Finally, over the last two WrestleMania's, Michaels had two all-time classics with the Undertaker. The first at WrestleMania 25 was the match of the year. In Michaels second effort at ending the streak, he put his career on the line. In another match of the night, Michaels career was ended.
To tally it up, that's nine times the "Showstopper”, had the best match at WrestleMania.
1. The Undertaker
WrestleMania Record - 18-0
Highlights - The Streak (duh), Won Heavyweight title 3x (13,23,24), Headliner 3x (13,24,26)
Could there really be any other choice for the greatest competitor in WrestleMania history? His undefeated streak transcends WrestleMania itself. Beginning with Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka in 1991 and now continuing into its third decade, the streak remains alive against a who's who of current and future WWE Hall of Famer's.
Here below is a list of Takers victims.
1991 – WrestleMania VII – Jimmy Snuka
1992 – WrestleMania VIII- Jake "The Snake" Roberts
1993 – WrestleMania IX – Giant Gonzales
1995 – WrestleMania XI – King Kong Bundy
1996 – WrestleMania XII – Kevin "Diesel" Nash
1997 – WrestleMania 13 – Sycho Sid
1998 – WrestleMania XIV – Kane
1999 – WrestleMania XV – The Big Boss Man
2001 – WrestleMania X-7 – Triple H
2002 – WrestleMania X-8 – Ric Flair
2003 – WrestleMania XIX – The Big Show & A-Train
2004 – WrestleMania XX – Kane
2005 – WrestleMania 21 – Randy Orton
2006 – WrestleMania 22 – Mark Henry
2007 – WrestleMania 23 – Batista
2008 – WrestleMania 24 – Edge
2009 – WrestleMania 25 – Shawn Michaels
2010 – WrestleMania 26 – Shawn Michaels
While in the beginning there was nothing really impressive about the Undertaker and his WrestleMania appearances (His meetings with Giant Gonzales and King Kong Bundy being particularly atrocious). The 90's did see some highlights including headlining and winning his second WWE Title against Sid Vicious at Mania 13, and beating his "brother" Kane the following year at Mania 14.
As we entered the new millennium, Takers match qualities began to take off. Now the "American Badass" his first of the 00's, against HHH was at Mania 17 was a classic, only to be followed up by another with Ric Flair at Mania 18.
After a returning as the "Dead Man" at Mania 20, to once again defeat Kane, Taker would in back-to-back years win the World Heavyweight Championship at Mania 23 & 24 over Batista and Edge.
Just that alone would've had Taker at number one on this list, but what transpired the last two years has made it un-debatable. Takers epic feud with Shawn Michaels delivered two of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history, and put the Undertaker on a whole other level when it comes to WrestleMania.
Taker will look to make it 19-0, this Sunday by beating HHH for the second time.