WWE and the wrestling business as a whole are built on the connection between characters and the crowd. Their reactions are the main reason why WWE is still in business, but there are definitely a few that stand above the rest. From iconic returns to hometown followings to massive title wins, the following list is just a sample of what we think are the biggest WWE pops of all time.
Mankind makes his dream come true
Mick Foley has gone by many names in his wrestling career, but it was during his role as Mankind in WWE in which he achieved his biggest successes. On one Monday on RAW, he made his dreams come true when he defeated The Rock to win the WWF Championship. It was a major turning point in the Monday Night Wars, as WWE was pre-taped at the time, and WCW spoiled the result early, but instead of making viewers turn away they all tuned in to see Foley’s dream come true. It came with an assist from Stone Cold, but it was huge none-the-less, and the crowd were simply deafening as a result.
The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment returns
The Rock is easily the biggest star in the wrestling industry, and by the time 2011 came around he hadn’t appeared in the WWE for 7 years. So when a surprise host for WrestleMania was announces and that famous music hit, the entire arena erupted. His entrance lasted for at least 5 minutes, and the fans were hot for every second of it. It just shows how popular WWE was in the Attitude Era on the back of popular stars like The Rock and Stone Cold. Since that point, he’s been back several times, and has received many huge pops, but few in WWE history can compare to this one.
Dolph Ziggler cashes in
Dolph Ziggler at his peak was incredibly over with the audience (whether WWE wants to admit it or not), and the night after WrestleMania 29, he almost blew the roof off of the Izod Center. These cash-ins often create huge, memorable moments and even bigger pops, but this one was on another level, and it just proved how good Dolph really was at the time. He spoke to The Miz about it on their “Ride Along” episode on the WWE network, and The Miz claimed it was the loudest pop he’d ever heard live. If you go back and watch it, it’s really hard to argue with him.
CM Punk makes his hometown entrance
CM Punk is one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history, and he was no hotter throughout his career than the Summer of 2011. With Money in the Bank in his hometown of Chicago, we all knew there would be a thunderous ovation. He entered to his classic Killswitch Engage theme song, and the crowd were deafening. They stayed hot the entire night for what was WWE’s last 5-star match (before 2018 of course). When he won the match with his signature GTS, fans again exploded, and it’s genuinely one of the hottest crowds that WWE have ever had. It's just unfortunate that WWE struggled to capitalize on his immense popularity at the time.
The Glass Shatters
This is the most famous music in WWE history, and every time the famous glass shattered in the Attitude Era, fans would rise to their feet in unison with thunderous ovations. So this isn’t one particular entry, this is just about the pop Austin would receive every time he entered an arena. Every time he returns since his retirement, the pop is just as loud as it was during the Attitude Era, a testament to how relatable the Austin character was and how popular he still is to this day. There are a few you can look to that might stand out above the rest, but the glass shattering simply opens the door for many of the biggest pops in WWE history, so it’s hard to pick one for this list, so we will use them all.