Floyd Mayweather, Snoop Dogg and WWE WrestleMania's Greatest Entrances Ever
WWE WrestleMania is often an exhibition of spectacle before the bell even rings. That was the case when boxing great Floyd Mayweather invaded the world of pro wrestling and when rapper Snoop Dogg introduced his cousin Sasha Banks ahead of a big title match.
Much in the way the Super Bowl halftime show can outdo the game, the elaborate entrances at WWE WrestleMania have sometimes entertained more than the matches.
Pyrotechnics light up the sky. Music blares. Superstars cruise to the ring in cars or arm in arm with celebrities.
WrestleMania is WWE's biggest event, and that's clear in the creative effort put into the entrances. The marquee pay-per-view has seen a bruiser make his way to ringside on a tank, a Cadillac carry a pair of grating heels and blazing torches light former WWE champion Undertaker's path.
Before we see how Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura, Ronda Rousey and others try to top those entrances on April 8, let's take a look at the best introductions The Show of Show has previously offered.
How original and memorable these moments were earned them a spot here. The same goes for the artful use of props or celebrities.
Ring Carts (WrestleMania III)
Before WrestleMania became known for its over-the-top individualized entrances, the 1987 edition of the event featured a uniform means to welcome its stars.
Greased-up gladiators headed to battle via ring carts. The motorized mini-rings coasted down the ramp with wrestlers like Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and Jake "The Snake" Roberts inside.
The move added to the atmosphere of the event, as bruisers and babyfaces looked like royalty as they were carried to their destination.
Bobby Heenan, decked out in blinding white, standing next to the towering Andre the Giant in a ring cart ahead of the latter's famous showdown with Hogan that night remains one of the most enduring images of WrestleMania.
Rhythm & Blues (WrestleMania VI)
The Honky Tonk Man and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine don't have a classic match at The Show of Shows on their resumes, but they will forever be remembered for how they traveled to the ring at WrestleMania VI.
The guitar-strumming villains sat in a slow-moving pink Cadillac alongside loudmouth manager Jimmy Hart. Women in poodle skirts joined them for the ride as their song "Hunka Hunka Honky Love" played over the Skydome speaker system.
As Matthew Artus of WWE.com noted, former WCW champ Diamond Dallas Page appeared as the tag team's driver that night.
This was a groundbreaking entrance, one that inspired future ones. A number of wrestlers followed Rhythm & Blues' lead in later years, from John "Bradshaw" Layfield to John Cena.
Diesel with Pamela Anderson (WrestleMania XI)
Diesel's march to the ring in 1995 ahead of his battle with Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship doesn't get high marks for pomp and circumstance.
Broken glass fell before the big man stomped out. Blue light illuminated smoke. There was nothing nearly as outlandish as the biggest WrestleMania entrances.
Where Diesel's entrance made its mark, however, was through star power.
Baywatch actor Pamela Anderson popped out to meet him, and the two locked arms, much to the announcers' excitement. She's still famous, but back then, she was a huge name. Diesel got cool points for hanging with her, and WrestleMania instantly felt bigger when she appeared.
Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XII)
WrestleMania highlight reels have been playing the clip of Shawn Michaels soaring from the rafters to the ring for more than 20 years. And with good reason.
The Heartbreak Kid was set to take on Bret Hart for the WWE Championship in an Iron Man match. And he arrived in style. Lights flickered off his studded chaps as he zip-lined over the audience en route to the ring.
This stunner of an image helped build up his reputation as Mr. WrestleMania.
Micheals often brought his A-game in the ring at the event. This was a case of him doing that before the action began.
Undertaker with Limp Bizkit (WrestleMania XIX)
Undertaker's entrances are an experience like no other. The towering figure stepping through fog as a gong tolls has created a number of enduring images.
In Seattle in 2003, though, we saw a less eerie side of Undertaker, as his biker persona took the stage instead.
Limp Bizkit played a live version of "Rollin'" to welcome The American Badass to WrestleMania. Undertaker rode past roaring fans on his motorcycle with an American flag flapping behind him. Throw in some pyro, and it's hard to argue Undertaker's entrance wasn't more entertaining than his bout with A-Train and Big Show that night.
Undertaker (WrestleMania XX)
An ominous scene played out before Undertaker slowly marched to meet Kane in the ring at Madison Square Garden at WrestleMania XX.
Fog billowed from the floor. Hooded druids carried torches. Chanting echoed through the arena. And then The Deadman stepped out, with digital lightning hopping under his boots.
This was classic Undertaker fare turned up to 10 for the sake of WrestleMania. The clash with Kane was forgettable. His walk into the battlefield was just the opposite.
As a bonus, the entrance included Paul Bearer's return. Undertaker's ghoulish manager was again by his side after a long absence.
Floyd Mayweather (WrestleMania XXIV)
In a merging of worlds, boxing champ Floyd Mayweather took on WWE giant Big Show in 2008.
Mayweather proved to be a perfect fit for pro wrestling. His cockiness was befitting of WrestleMania. That was evident during his entrance, which borrowed elements of the typical walk to the ring for a big title fight.
Paper money fluttered down on to Mayweather and his entourage. He wore his usual garish outfit, complete with an oversized chain around his neck. Fireworks waved across the night sky behind him as he raised his gloved fists into the air.
This was not a celebrity shoehorned into the WrestleMania landscape; it was a showcase of an athlete who looked at home on that grand stage.
Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XXV)
Light versus darkness played heavily into the Michaels vs. Undertaker narrative at WrestleMania XXV, and WWE played that up in a dramatic way with The Heartbreak Kid's entrance.
Michaels—whose outfit was part angel, part cowboy—stood on a descending platform. Heavenly lights, clouds and pyrotechnics added theatrical layers to the scene.
It was the antithesis of Undertaker's usual gloomy entrances.
HBK gets bonus points for the bells and whistles having a thematic point. He was able to throw in enough new elements to top all his previous WrestleMania arrivals.
John Cena (WrestleMania XXV)
Cena's WrestleMania 22 mobster-themed entrance was something to behold, but he delivered something bigger and more majestic in Houston in 2009.
A flock of Cena lookalikes lined the entrance ramp and did his trademark "you can't see me" gesture in unison. The powerhouse then came charging past the blur of hands and wristbands.
Edge and Big Show, Cena's foes that night, could only look on stunned from the ring area.
Cena was well on his way to being one of The Show of Show's most important figures. He now had an enduring image to add to his WrestleMania resume.
Triple H (WrestleMania XXVII)
Michaels has had the best matches at WWE's marquee event. Undertaker had the longest winning streak in its history. But Triple H may be the king of WrestleMania entrances.
His gimmick has been the ideal foundation to build on when crafting an artistic achievement of an entrance. Skull masks and golden helmets have been a common sight for The Game.
At WrestleMania XXVII in the Georgia Dome, fiery images climbed a steel structure behind a wall of shield-bearing soldiers. Triple H soon emerged amid flashing lights. His standard entrance had taken on some WrestleMania-sized upgrades.
Triple H's No Holds Barred match with Undertaker felt like a work of epic theater before either rival could throw the first blow.
Undertaker (WrestleMania 29)
By 2013, when Undertaker was set to face CM Punk, fans had seen The Deadman take that walk down the WrestleMania entrance ramp 20 times prior. It wouldn't have been surprising if his next march into battle didn't stand out and was just the usual mix of light and fog.
But Undertaker's WrestleMania lore deepened with a cinematic scene.
Writhing figures reached from the shadows to paw at The Phenom as he passed by. The blue-and-black backdrop looked like something out of a horror movie. It was simply beautifulone of WrestleMania's best images.
Triple H (WrestleMania XXX)
The final image of WrestleMania XXX, with Daniel Bryan hoisting two championships above his head as confetti fell on him, is among the event's most powerful. Before that climax, the opening match saw Triple H kick off the show in majestic style.
The Game sat up from his throne, a menacing figure in horned golden attire. Masked women removed his garb so he would be ready to fight Bryan. Operatic music played. Big red eyes of a skull figure burned through the fog.
A fantasy movie and heavy-metal concert had fused together, and it was a beautiful thing.
The women involved in the scene—Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks—were uncredited at the time, but soon turned into stars themselves. That gives the entrance added importance in retrospect.
Rusev (WrestleMania 31)
Any day you enter WrestleMania on a tank is a win regardless of the outcome of your match.
Rusev made his WrestleMania debut in 2015 in that exact fashion. An army marched ahead of him with the Russian flag stretched out between them. His manager, Lana, sauntered along holding Rusev's United States Championship. Then came The Bulgarian Brute, sitting atop a war machine, boring into the California audience with his glare.
The grand entrance furthered WrestleMania's tradition of going big.
More than the bout itself, Rusev's tank trip has become a WrestleMania memory one can't shake. The bruiser and his vehicle almost immediately joined Michaels and his zip line as part of the event's lore.
Sasha Banks with Snoop Dogg (WrestleMania 32)
Sasha Banks has a winning combination for a great WrestleMania entrance: swagger to spare and a famous cousin.
Before the WrestleMania 32 Triple Threat match between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Banks to crown the WWE women's champion got started, Snoop Dogg introduced The Boss by doing a remix of her theme music with Raven Felix.
Banks soon joined the rapper on stage, and the two strutted under a drizzle of purple confetti.
The whole scene popped. Banks had made her WrestleMania debut in style. And Snoop Dogg added another memorable moment en route to a WWE Hall of Fame induction.
The New Day (WrestleMania 32)
The record crowd in Arlington, Texas, watching WrestleMania 32 live got to see The Rock make an appearance, Shane McMahon leap from the Hell in a Cell and one of the nuttiest entrances ever.
The New Day burst out of a gigantic cereal box. Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E stepped over spilled Booty-O's in video game-inspired gear. Like just about everything the trio has done, this was loud, colorful and well off the beaten path.
It's not surprising that a group that has brought so much energy to the WWE product was part of such a strange, joyous scene.
Other wrestlers are going to go big and bold at The Showcase of The Immortals, but this may be the one and only instance of Superstars emerging from the flaps of a cereal box rather than the curtains.