WrestleMania. The Showcase of the Immortals. Where history is made and legends are born.
When it comes to the WWE's marquee event, there isn't a greater spectacle in professional wrestling. When you look through the years, there have been plenty of star-making moments — Macho Man Randy Savage winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania IV, Shawn Michaels in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania X, Batista and John Cena winning their first world titles at WrestleMania 21, and Seth Rollins cashing in his Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 31, just to name a few. It's a night that is anticipated all year long and is remembered forever.
The event essentially sells itself today, as it seems no matter how many gripes us fans have with certain booking decisions, or what's on the card, the event still packs stadiums and serious and casual fans alike are watching it on the WWE Network. So much has been documented about WrestleMania and many fans are well aware of the history behind it.
But at the same time, there have been plenty of interesting facts that have gone on over the 33 years of this event. Here is one historical tidbit about every WrestleMania that you probably didn't know.
32 WrestleMania I: It Was Almost Named The Colossal Tussle
31 WrestleMania II: Only Event To Be Held On A Monday
30 WrestleMania III: The Last WrestleMania Hulk Hogan Successfully Defended His Championship
WrestleMania III was (obviously) the biggest event the WWE had held up to that point, and one of the biggest reasons behind that was the mega main event between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant, one that was for the WWE Championship. While Hogan walking away with the illustrious prize wasn't a shocker to anyone, what was surprising was that it was the last time he would successfully defend his championship at the Showcase of the Immortals. Sure, Hogan did capture the belt at WrestleMania V, WrestleMania VII and WrestleMania IX, but at WrestleMania VI — where he walked into the show as champion — he didn't leave with the same distinction.
29 WrestleMania IV: Trump Plaza Technically Wasn't The Venue
When looking back at the history of WrestleMania, it's funny to think that a future President of the United States of America would have such a prominent part in various events. While he's most famous within WWE for his time spent in the Battle of the Billionaires during WrestleMania 23, Trump also hosted WrestleMania IV and WrestleMania V in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at Trump Plaza. There's just one small anecdote about the venue — there's no such thing as Trump Plaza. The consecutive WrestleManias were actually held at Boardwalk Hall, the home to many future WWE events.
28 WrestleMania V: Ted Turner Nearly Started the Monday Night Wars Almost A Decade Earlier
27 WrestleMania VI: Diamond Dallas Page Makes His WWE Debut
Speaking of the Monday Night War, WCW didn't do a great job of making their own stars. One of the exceptions, however, was Diamond Dallas Page, as he was one of the most popular wrestlers during that time period who also got his start with WWE's rival company. But before he became a household name in the late 90s, Page had plenty of other jobs in the wrestling business. Amongst those were working as a manager, color commentator, and...valet at WrestleMania VI?
26 WrestleMania VII: It Wasn't Threats That Made The WWE Change Arenas...
When Vince McMahon decided to head to Los Angeles for WrestleMania VII, he had his hopes high as he chose Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the venue. The location could hold over 100,000 fans with the WWE envisioning a record-breaking attendance record, one that topped WrestleMania III. Not too long before the event, the WWE announced that they were changing the venue because they received credible threats due to Sgt. Slaughter's portrayal of an Iraqi sympathizer in the midst of the Gulf War.
25 WrestleMania VIII: The Finish Did Not Go As Planned
24 WrestleMania IX: It Was Supposed To Kick Off An Epic Feud
By the time WrestleMania IX came around, the Macho Man Randy Savage was on the downswing of his career — not because he couldn't keep going but because Vince McMahon was ready to begin his push towards the future. While McMahon decided that Savage was better off as a commentator, the Macho Man had an idea as to how he wanted to close his career out. According to his brother Lanny Poffo, Savage's plan was to make Shawn Michaels a star by putting on a two-year program with The Heartbreak Kid, one that began at WrestleMania IX and culminated in a career versus hair match.
23 WrestleMania X: The Match That Never Was
When there's an event as spectacular as WrestleMania, you know the decision makers try their best to fit everyone on the card. But when matches go longer than expected, others may be cut due to time constraints. That happened for the first time at WrestleMania X, as a 10-man tag team match was supposed to have The Smoking Gunns, Bob Holly, Tatanka, and The 1-2-3 Kid go up against The Headshrinkers, IRS, Jeff Jarrett, and 'The Model' Rick Martel. Because Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon's ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship went on longer than expected, the 10 men were robbed of their WrestleMania moment.
22 WrestleMania XI: Chris Benoit Almost Made His WWE Debut
21 WrestleMania XII: The Hollywood Backlot Brawl Was Filmed In Advance
As Vince McMahon decided to push the New Generation narrative, one of his ways to do so was to enlist realistic storylines, a precursor to the Attitude Era that was to take place a little more than a year down the line. At WrestleMania XII, the creative team put together a match that was a first for its time (and one that hasn't happened again), as Goldust went up against Rowdy Roddy Piper in the Hollywood Backlot Brawl.
20 WrestleMania 13: Ken Shamrock, New Japan Star?
19 WrestleMania XIV: A Terrible Rendition
One of the awesome traditions that take place at each and every WrestleMania is the opening song (whether America the Beautiful or Oh, Canada) that's played beforehand. Over the years, Vince McMahon has gotten some of the hottest acts to honor America before the first match. From Aretha Franklin to John Legend, from Boyz II Men to Ray Charles, from Willie Nelson to Aloe Blacc — they've all honored the USA at the show of shows.
18 WrestleMania XV: Bart Gunn Is Punished For Winning The Brawl For All
In a continued theme with the WWE wanting to add realism in the Attitude Era, the creative team came up with the Brawl for All tournament, a boxing-like shoot fight bracket that put WWE Superstars (with no training, mind you) against one another. The plan was for Dr. Death Steve Williams to win, as he was one of the lone wrestlers in the tournament with a legitimate fighting background. With Williams on tap to be victorious, he was to become a monster heel and feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin over the summer of 1999.
17 WrestleMania 2000: Just One Singles Match On The Card
When looking at past WrestleManias, the event that was held in the year 2000 is considered one of the worst in WWE history. One of the biggest reasons behind that sentiment was due to the fact that only one match was a singles match — and the match itself was nothing to remember. In that instance, The Kat took on Terri Runnels in a catfight with The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young accompanying the two Divas and Val Venis as the special guest referee. To no one's surprise, the contest went less than three minutes.
16 WrestleMania X-Seven: Shawn Stasiak's Gigantic Mess Up
After coming off arguably the hottest year in WWE history, Vince McMahon took his company to even higher territories as he bought out his two remaining competitors in WCW and ECW. With the WCW acquisition fresh in everyone's mind, it would've been smart for the WWE to bring their new talents into the fold on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania X-Seven. As fans now know, that never ended up happening — but that wasn't always expected to be the case.
15 WrestleMania X8: Hulk Hogan Almost Donned His Classic Colors
When thinking of the early years of WrestleMania, there is one name that is synonymous with the event — Hulk Hogan. Whether it was saying prayers and taking vitamins, going up against the likes of Macho Man Randy Savage, Andre the Giant, The Ultimate Warrior, and countless other Hall of Famers, or his iconic red and yellow attire, Hogan and WrestleMania were one in the same. Speaking of his colors, WrestleMania X8 was the first (and only time) he didn't wear red and yellow, instead wearing black and white for his Hollywood Hulk Hogan nWo gimmick. Hogan claimed in his autobiography that McMahon asked him to bring his red and yellow tights to the event, just in case they wanted to throw in a dose of nostalgia. While Hogan had his red and yellow gear with him, it was ultimately decided that the time wasn't right to bring in his old colors.
14 WrestleMania XIX: John Cena Was Supposed To Battle Rap a Hip-Hop Heavyweight
Like Hulk Hogan goes hand in hand with the early days of WrestleMania, John Cena is the current man for the job. The true face of the WWE has done everything one possibly can at the showcase of the immortals, as his accolades further that narrative. WrestleMania XIX, however, was his first 'Mania, before he broke out as a legitimate star. Cena didn't wrestle at the event but was pegged to partake in something very special. What's that, you ask? A rap battle with famed rapper Fabolous. Unfortunately, however, the New York-based rapper ran into legal trouble weeks before the event which forced the WWE to change their plans.
13 WrestleMania XX: Rebranding?
WrestleMania XX is famous for many things. It was the 20th addition of the show. It was the last to be held at the famous Madison Square Garden, where the first and 10th WrestleMania's took place. It featured the culmination of the incredible in-ring careers of Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. WrestleMania XX also went by the tagline, "Where it all begins again," and many speculated what that really meant for the company.
12 WrestleMania 21: Edge Wanted No Part Of Money In The Bank
11 WrestleMania 22: Handshake Snub
10 WrestleMania 23: The Replacement
9 WrestleMania XXIV: Florida Citrus Bowl Receives A Major Facelift
8 WrestleMania XXV: Mickey Rourke Brings Backup...And It Doesn't Phase Vince McMahon
When Chris Jericho was scheduled to partake in a physical confrontation with Mickey Rourke at WrestleMania XXV, the actor believed that Jericho was serious when he was speaking of beating up Rourke at 'Mania. Because of this, Rourke brought UFC fighters with him just in case anything went down. After the air was cleared, Jericho informed McMahon of the narrowly-avoided incident. Let's let Jericho himself explain it. "After about a half hour of going over the punch spot a dozen times, Mickey was happy and he left ringside with his posse in tow. I went over to Vince and told him what had almost happened." Jericho wrote in his book, The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea. 'You know, Rourke hired those guys to kick my ass if I tried to double-cross him.' Vince stared down the rampway at Rourke's gang. 'Are you kidding me? Those guys?!' He laughed.
7 WrestleMania XXVI: The Final Money In The Bank At 'Mania
6 WrestleMania XXVII: Sting Gets An Offer He Can Refuse
When the WWE began to mysteriously hype the date of 2/21/11, many believed that it would eventually lead to Sting's long awaited WWE debut. A lot of times fans' imaginations run wild, as they predict something that's beyond farfetched. But when it came to these vignettes, it was Sting who the company intended on revealing at that time. Unfortunately, however, Sting still had trust issues with the company and decided to turn down the offer. But not only did he turn down a WrestleMania appearance, he turned down a match with The Undertaker and an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in WCW's stomping grounds of Atlanta.
5 WrestleMania XXVIII: First Time For Everything
4 WrestleMania XXIX: Chris Jericho Wanted To Put Another Young Superstar Over
When Chris Jericho made one of his many returns to the WWE in 2013, he wanted to spend his time establishing younger stars instead of collecting wins on his future Hall of Fame resume. When looking up and down the roster, Vince McMahon gave the distinction to Fandango, and Jericho gladly did the job at WrestleMania XXIX. But if it was up to Y2J himself, he would've chosen another young star to lose to — Ryback. At that time, Ryback looked like a legitimate main event player, as his physique and athleticism were something McMahon loved.
3 WrestleMania XXX: Daniel Bryan and Sheamus, The Trilogy
2 WrestleMania 31: Modernizing The Show
WrestleMania 31 was one of the better WrestleMania events in recent memory. A deep card, a variety of legends, and an absolute shocker of an ending combined for an event that won't be forgotten anything soon. The WrestleMania that took place in 2015 did, however, see a noticeable change — the WWE decided to stop putting numbers on the event. The reason behind the decision is simple — Vince McMahon felt that the growing number combined with roman numerals made WrestleMania feel old, so he decided to scrap numbers altogether.
1 WrestleMania 32: The Divas Revolution Becomes The Women's Revolution
From the summer of 2015 up until today, the WWE has pushed their Divas Revolution — now the Women's Revolution - and rightfully so. Not only was it a matter of time before the WWE focused on in-ring action for their female talents, but they also have enough competent women to make a deep and interesting division. When looking up and down both Raw and SmackDown Live's rosters, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch are considered the top three of the class, so it only made sense that the threesome were the semi-main event of WrestleMania 32. But it wasn't just the placement of the match that showed the WWE was serious about pushing their women. The triple threat match for the newly christened Women's Championship went on over 16 minutes, way longer than any other women's match in WWE history.
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