Nothing beats a Wrestling Top 10 list, and no wrestling event is bigger than the "Granddaddy of Them All", "The Showcase of the Immortals", none other than WrestleMania. Before this years WrestleMania gets underway from SoFi Stadium in California lets take a look back at 10 of the most memorable WrestleMania moments.
10. Champion v Champion: The Ultimate Challenge - WrestleMania VI
WrestleMania VI saw WWF Champion Hulk Hogan lay down the "Ultimate Challenge" to Intercontinental Champion, the Ultimate Warrior. If you were part of a record 67,678 crowd inside the Toronto SkyDome, you were part of history. If you were in the first grade like I was, you saw classrooms divided. Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, Champion vs Champion title for title, and oh boy, did it deliver. It was a pivot away from the normal WWF script of the time: good guy vs. bad guy, or Heel vs. Face.
The crowd was on their feet from the stare-down to start the match, to Hogan's famous finger wag and Warrior's beating of his chest through to the pinfall, the handshake, and the hug and NEW Champion, the Ultimate Warrior.
9. Stone Cold vs Bret Hart: Submission Match - WrestleMania XIII
To this day, this is one of the greatest matches in all wrestling and one that elevated the iconic career of Stone Cold Steve Austin. What makes this match so memorable was not only the grueling and bloody brawl it turned out to be, but the double turn executed to perfection by both men. At the start of the match, Hart was the face and Austin the heel, but by the matches end the roles would reverse. Hart would be the heel and Austin the new fan favorite.
One element that helped that along was the suggestion by Hart that Austin bleed during the match. Done without permission, it is one of WrestleManias' lasting images. Austin in the Sharpshooter, blood pouring down his face, refusing to give up. Hart was booed by the fans after being victorious due to a referee stoppage. Bret Hart would go on to comment on his favorite match by calling it "the greatest song I ever sang."
8. Women's Main Event - WrestleMania XXXV
WrestleMania 35 would put women at the forefront and for the first time in the event's history a women's match would be the main event at WrestleMania. Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women's Champion, vs Ronda Rousey, the Raw Women's Champion, vs Becky Lynch. Moments like this have seen the likes of Hogan, The Rock, Austin, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H taking centerstage, but now, it was the women's stars taking a turn in the limelight. Flair, Rousey, and Lynch put on a stellar performance in a match that had a great build to it. Charlotte and Ronda were champions, but Becky was too strong to ignore. At the end of the match, she took both champions' belts and got the end-of-the-show fireworks. Becky Two Belts not only got her WrestleMania moment but a spot in the history books as well.
7. Mike Tyson KO's Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania XIV
WrestleMania is known for its celebrity appearances, and one of the biggest occurred at WrestleMania XIV when Iron Mike Tyson was brought in as a special enforcer for a match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. The kicker was, the supposed-to-be impartial Tyson was fully in the pocket of DX, with the odds stacked against Austin. When referee Mike Chioda went down with an injury, Austin hit his signature Stunner. Tyson, wearing a DX shirt, hopped in the ring and counted the 1-2-3 declaring Austin the winner. The Texas Rattlesnake tossed Tyson his Austin 3:16 shirt. Michaels was none too pleased when he came to and confronted Tyson about it. The result of the encounter was HBK ate a right hook courtesy of the baddest man on the planet.
6. Daniel Bryan Defies the Odds - WrestleMania XXX
By most accounts, Daniel Bryan wasn't what Vince McMahon considered a WWE champion, let alone a WrestleMania main event star. Yet there was no denying that Bryan was the most over superstar in wrestling at the time. If Vince wanted a true WrestleMania moment, Bryan was going to be the one to deliver that. But to do it, the smaller Bryan was going to have to go over three of the WWE's biggest heavyweights. First, Bryan had to defeat Triple H in a singles match earlier in the night, which he did. Setting up a triple-threat match between himself, Randy Orton, and Bautista. Bryan was looking strong in the no-disqualification bout until Triple H and wife Stephanie McMahon showed up and replaced referee Mike Chioda with crooked referee Scott Armstrong working on behalf of Triple H's 'The Authority'. Bautista and Orton teamed up with a combination RKO/Bautista bomb, sending Bryan through the announce table. He would be put on the stretcher, but fight his way off it, and back into the match, eventually submitting Bautista to the Yes! Lock and turning WrestleMania into Yest!lemania.
5."I'm Sorry. I Love You" : Shawn Michaels Retires Ric Flair - WrestleMania XXIV
The build to this match started almost one year prior, with Vince McMahon giving an ultimatum to Ric Flair, the veteran of nearly 30 years. Your next loss will be your last. Flair set out on weekly television and pay-per-views, defeating opponents left and right who tried to be the ones to end the career of the greatest there ever was. The stage was set at WrestleMania XXIV, and a match with Shawn Michaels, Flair's friend and Michaels' mentor. With most fans knowing what to expect, it was on both Flair and Michaels to send the legend off in a manner befitting all those years, memories, and championships. And that is just what they did. After a long match, Flair kept coming at the Heartbreak Kid, refusing to stay down, until Michaels finally ended the legendary career of Ric Flair with his iconic Sweet Chin Music. He mouthed "Im sorry, I love you" in an emotional in-ring display of his love and appreciation for Flair.
4. Icon v Icon: Hogan vs. the Rock - WrestleMania X8
Joe Carter may lay claim to the biggest moment in the history of the Toronto SkyDome, but Hulk Hogan may very well own the second and third. The SkyDome played host to another classic Hulk Hogan WrestleMania moment when he squared up against The Rock at WrestleMania X8. Hogan had just come back to the WWE from the recently purchased WCW and brought his Hollywood Hogan NWO gimmick with him. While Hogan was meant to be the heel in the match, some moments are just bigger than a storyline. The two men stood in the ring engaged in an extended stare-down, letting the fans drink in this moment in wrestling history. The Rock and Hogan finally locked up, with Hogan throwing the Rock across the ring, flexing his muscles to a roar from the crowd. The Rock would emerge victorious, but few will forget the thunder he and Hogan filled the SkyDome with.
3. HBK v Bret Hart: The Boyhood Dream Comes True - WrestleMania XII
When you talk about Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels the Ironman match comes to mind for most wrestling fans. However, probably not this one. Which is a shame. This match is often overshadowed by the rematch that would happen the following year. The infamous Montreal Screwjob match. At WrestleMania XII in 1996 this match, before their rivalry got very heated, was won by HBK 1-0 in sudden death overtime as no man scored a pinfall in the allotted 60 minutes. It was best known for Shawn Michaels zipline entrance and the first WWE championship win for Shawn Michaels. The match and the finish went as planned and no one was angry or left the company afterward.
2. The Streak Ends: Undertaker vs Brock - WrestleMania XXX
The Undertaker's streak of WrestleMania wins was the most talked about stat ahead of most WrestleManias. Racking up win after win Taker had got his streak to an impressive 21-0 at WrestleMania. But at WrestleMania XXX Brock Lesnar became the one, to put the one in 21-1 when he upset the Undertaker and stunned the crowd by defeating the Dead Man at WrestleMania
1. Hogan Slams Andre the Giant - WrestleMania III
Now we get to the moment that created the WrestleMania moment. WrestleMania I and II were successful, but they didn't carry that memorable moment in time that we have now come to expect from WrestleMania. That is, until Hulk Hogan did what no one thought he could do, or anyone could do for that matter. He body-slammed Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III. Hogan knocked Andre off his feet, something that had seldom been done before, which brought the crowd to their feet just as Hogan began to 'Hulk up'. Then he delivered the infamous body slam to the 300+ pound Giant to a deafening roar from the fans inside Pontiac Silverdome. He dropped the big leg and scored the pinfall in what can be considered the very first WrestleMania moment.
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