WrestleMania is clearly the biggest show of the year in the wrestling industry. It's the one constant wrestling event to never lose prestige through the years. In fact, WrestleMania manages to come off bigger than the previous year every single time. The best wrestlers get spotlighted in the major matches on the show. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are four stars that have either produced their most memorable accomplishments or put out the best performances of their careers on the big stage. We know all about the top stars, but some less celebrated names have also achieved wins at the biggest show of the year.
Through the thirty-two WrestleMania events to this point, many shocking names have won matches. The allure and name value attached to WrestleMania makes it seem like only the highly respected wrestlers pull out the wins, but that isn’t true. We'll take a look at some of the surprising wrestlers to have a WrestleMania victory on their resume. Celebrities will be exempt from this list considering how often WWE will try to get media coverage by having a famous name work on the huge show. These are the fifteen most obscure wrestling personalities to have won a WrestleMania match, enjoy!
15 Doink the Clown
90s wrestling fans can appreciate the nostalgia of the fun antics associated with Doink the Clown. His face character is most memorable for providing entertainment through his humorous segments. Not many recall the heel era of Doink, but he did start off as a heel, portraying an evil clown. Doink played cruel pranks on the face wrestlers and fans in attendance to get cheap heat.
The biggest win to come for the heel version of Doink’s character came at WrestleMania IX. Doink used the heel antics of having another Doink come out to help him defeat Crush. The match was nothing to write home about, but the forgettable character received the win. Doink quickly turned face shortly after and held down his spot as a comedic face.
14 David Otunga
David Otunga is known today for being a horrible commentator struggling to find his way at the announcer's table. It's easy to forget Otunga was once known for being a horrible wrestler that could never find his stride in the ring. Otunga flopped in every way imaginable during his wrestling career. The most successful portion of his career saw him work as an assistant and legal aid to John Laurinaitis.
WrestleMania XXVIII featured a match between Team Johnny and Team Teddy Long, with the winning GM getting control of running the shows. Otunga was somehow named to be a part of the heel team with The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and Drew McIntyre to score the win over the faces. No matter how bad he is at every job he gets in wrestling and no matter how much we make fun of him, Otunga will always have a WrestleMania win.
WWE’s attempt to create a compelling women’s division following the end of the Attitude Era delivered some noteworthy stars. Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly and Victoria stood out as the pillars of the division. An obscure but talented name that is rarely acknowledged for her contributions would be Jazz. WWE signed Jazz after a run in ECW, shortly after the promotion went out of business.
Jazz rarely scored the big win but she did manage to get one in the biggest match of her career. WrestleMania X8 saw Jazz defeat legends Trish and Lita to retain the Women’s Championship. No one expected Jazz to win, but her momentum as a heel was strong enough to land the surprise victory. This match actually followed the legendary Hulk Hogan versus The Rock bout, making Jazz’s win the first thing to happen after the classic.
12 Santina Marella
We follow a credible women’s wrestling match with one of the worst things to ever happen to the division. The only women’s match at WrestleMania XXV would see all of the ladies participate in a Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal. Both active stars and familiar faces from the past mixed it up to get everyone in one match.
The surprise, but ridiculous twist would see Santina Marella win the match and earn the title of Miss WrestleMania. It was Santino Marella dressing as a woman and running the charade to get on the card. Santina would have a run for a couple of months that everyone wants to wash out of their memory. The terrible booking decision led to a name no one expects to see in the WrestleMania history books getting a win.
11 Scotty 2 Hotty
WWE has always tried their best to fit everyone on the card for WrestleMania. All of the wrestlers want the respect and honor of performing on the biggest stage. WrestleMania XX was one of the best examples of this with two Tag Team Title matches attempting to get as many names on the show as possible. The title matches each involved four teams opposing each other.
Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty retained the WWE Tag Team Championship for the SmackDown brand. The popularity of Rikishi earned him a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame many years later. Rikishi’s Too Cool partner Scotty was never pushed as hard, but saw his sole WrestleMania victory come with a good friend. The match is generally forgotten but it's one Scotty will always remember.
10 Terri Runnels
The majority of Terri Runnels's WWE career took place during the Attitude Era. Terri was primarily used as a manager and in various eye candy roles. She would be the first one to admit she was never truly a wrestler and actually hated the in-ring aspect of the job. Naturally, WWE would put her in a match on the biggest show of the year in 2000.
The lone women’s match for WrestleMania 2000 saw Terri defeat Stacy "The Kat" Carter in a Cat Fight. Runnels and Carter tried to rip each other’s clothes off for the entirety of the match before Terri scored the win. Both of the women failed to impress in the ring and WWE’s direction of going for the tawdry entertainment led to this match being a horrible memory with an unlikely winner.
The very forgettable tag team of Men on a Mission actually achieved the honor of winning the WWE Tag Team Championships. Mo and Mabel made up the team that would come to the ring with their own rap song performed by Oscar. Their colorful outfits and overly friendly personas struggled to connect, but they did have some good moments together.
They defeated The Quebecers at WrestleMania X by count out. Mabel winning a WrestleMania match isn’t too shocking, considering he worked many years for the WWE continuing his career as Viscera. Things shook out very differently for Mo. WWE let him go shortly after the team split and Mabel received a singles push. The rest of Mo’s career was lackluster, but he luckily snuck in a WrestleMania win before leaving WWE.
8 Genichiro Tenryu
Genichiro Tenryu is a legend in Japanese wrestling with incredible runs in various promotions such as All Japan, FMW, WAR and New Japan. The talented star branched out by trying his luck in the United States. Tenryu would have a run with the WWE and land a match on the biggest show of the year. A surprising match result saw Tenryu and Koji Kitao defeated the top WWE tag team, Demolition, at WrestleMania VII.
Tenryu achieved just about everything possible in Japan. His WWE run never took off, but he did find a way to accomplish the feat of scoring a WrestleMania win in his career. Japanese fans and Tenryu likely wouldn’t rank it among his championship victories in Japan, but it's still a great honor to have won a match at the biggest show in the United States.
7 The Boogeyman
Another absolutely shocking result at WrestleMania featured The Boogeyman defeating Booker T. Reading the results and seeing that The Boogeyman won is enough to make anyone do a double take. Booker was a close friend of The Boogeyman and tried to get him over on the biggest stage possible at WrestleMania 22.
WWE believed Boogeyman could have been a special character to add variety and depth to the show. The face character that scared the villains with his theatrics and covered them in worms following matches was meant to be a bigger deal than it came off. Booker did the job leading to Boogeyman scoring the biggest win of his career at the huge show. Sadly for both men, nothing else would come of it and The Boogeyman went on to flop in the long run.
6 Vickie Guerrero
Vickie Guerrero was never technically a wrestler, but she did wrestle in a handful of matches as a heel personality. The fans booed her louder than anyone else and it led to WWE making her an authority figure at various points of her career. One of the most high profile matches of Vickie’s career saw her lead a heel team in a Ten-Women's Tag Match.
Along with Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse and Alicia Fox, Vickie defeated the face team of Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Eve Torres, Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix at WrestleMania XXVI. Vickie did a tribute to her late husband Eddie Guerrero by attempting her own version of the Frog Splash to pin Kelly Kelly. The improbable win makes Vickie among the most obscure winners in WrestleMania history.
5 The Great Khali
Everyone remembers The Great Khali as one of the worst professional wrestlers in the history of the business. As a seven foot tall giant, Khali was a pet project of Vince McMahon, who saw huge monetary potential in the prospect. Khali however would be unable to pick it up and put out laughable performances in the ring. Fans and wrestlers alike mocked Khali for his inability to work a competent match.
WWE tried their best to push Khali on a few occasions. One of the pushes saw him defeat Kane at WrestleMania 23. In retrospect, it is a bit disheartening to realize that a terrible wrestler like Khali holds a WrestleMania victory over the legendary Kane. Khali could definitely be argued as the worst wrestler to win at WrestleMania and is one of the most obscure ones as well.
WWE launched the project of Tough Enough to try and cash in on the buzz in the early 2000s of reality shows. Tough Enough was meant to get new eyes on the WWE product by branching out on MTV with the program and the hope was to find a star or two along the way. The winners of the first season were Maven and Nidia.
Maven received an opportunity on television a few months after winning the competition. The hardcore division would become the home of Maven and it landed him a WrestleMania X8 match against Goldust. They never finished the match with the 24/7 rule allowing wrestlers to try to win the Hardcore Championship at any point. The title switched hands all night, but Maven won it at the end of the evening by pinning Christian in the parking lot before driving away.
3 The Red Rooster
Terry Taylor currently works for the WWE as a respected trainer helping the young wrestlers at the Performance Center. Many of the current top stars have worked under Taylor’s management through the years in WWE, WCW and TNA, as he's had multiple backstage roles. It's rarely discussed that Taylor had a long wrestling career due to him never finding noteworthy success.
One accolade that Taylor did achieve came with the silliest of gimmicks. WWE hired Taylor to portray The Red Rooster. Yes, Taylor had to act like an actual rooster during his matches. The Red Rooster managed to snag the victory of his life when defeating Bobby Heenan in just 30 seconds at WrestleMania V. The record books will always have The Red Rooster as a winner in WrestleMania history. Yikes!
2 Michael Cole
Michael Cole's commentary work is polarizing with both argument for and against him having valid points, but everyone can agree his in-ring wrestling was an abomination. One of the worst matches in WrestleMania history featured Cole making his in-ring debut against Jerry Lawler. WWE actually invested lots of television time to make it among the top matches of WrestleMania XXVII.
We all expected the obvious, but best outcome of Lawler getting revenge on Cole for saying horrible things to him during their feud. Instead, Cole pulled off the win by disqualification leading to everyone getting Stone Cold Stunners from Steve Austin. The horrible match helped make the entire show look like a disaster. Cole winning a WrestleMania match is still hard to believe and one finish that probably shouldn’t have happened.
Without a doubt, the most obscure name to ever win a WrestleMania match has to be Fandango. The debut of the Fandango character saw him wrestle a highly anticipated match against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29. As the first big match of Fandango's career, he scored the victory, defeating a legend at one of the most high profile shows in wrestling history.
Jericho has gone on the record about never wanting that match, but Vince McMahon was adamant. Fandango won the match on the big stage and that was his peak. His stock instantly dropped a few months later and he fell into enhancement talent territory. You will likely never witness a more obscure name have such a victory over an all-time great at a WrestleMania event again.
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