WrestleMania is where WWE Superstars dream of showcasing their talent in front of millions. It is the Super Bowl of the WWE and is the place where Superstars make a name for themselves. Whether wrestlers earned a match in WrestleMania through the Royal Rumble, a #1 Contender’s Match, or another obstacle, getting a spot on the WrestleMania card is no easy task which makes wrestling at the event even more spectacular.
The results of a WrestleMania win/loss could be the turning point of a Superstar’s career. They could win their first title, earn the respect of fans and other Superstars, or jumpstart their fan base. WrestleMania matches determine a Superstar’s legacy and career. The Undertaker is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best to ever step in the ring. He has endless moments and matches in the WWE, but he is most known for his unbelievable record at WrestleMania. Even though he lost to Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX, he was 21-0 before that loss.
Being an underdog in a regular match is already a hard task to overcome, but being an underdog in a WrestleMania match is the ultimate hurdle to jump over. Since WrestleMania is the Super Bowl of the WWE, winning a match as a underdog is like the New York Giants beating the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. The magnitude of these matches can make or break a Superstar’s career. On the biggest stage of them all, how will Superstars perform? Will they fold under pressure or rise above it?
These are the wrestlers that proved all the doubters, haters, and opposition wrong by overcoming the odds and being victorious when nobody else thought they would.
12. Michael Cole Defeats Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania XXVII
On a Raw episode in 2010, the Anonymous Raw General Manager announced that commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler would be in a WWE Championship match against The Miz in a Tables, Ladder,s and Chairs. During the match, while Lawler was climbing the ladder, Cole interfered, causing Lawler to lose. Lawler had a rematch against The Miz at the Elimination Chamber PPV, in another losing effort. Cole made fun of Lawler losses as well as his family problems. This set up a WrestleMania match between the two, with Stone Cole Steve Austin as special guest referee.
During the start of the match, Lawler took the upper hand, but Cole ended up gaining ground. Lawler then ended the match by putting Cole in a ankle lock and making him tap out. After the match, the Raw Anonymous General Manager sent an email, read by Josh Matthews, stating that Austin was a biased referee and that Cole was the winner of the match by disqualification.
11. Fandango Defeats Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29
When FAN-DAN-GO first step onto the WWE scene, he would never get into the ring and wrestle because the ring announcers would not pronounce his name properly. So, one night on SmackDown, Chris Jericho took advantage of that and mispronounced his name on purpose. Fandango interfered in two of Jericho’s matches, assaulting afterwards and setting up their meeting at WrestleMania.
Fandngo’s debut match started off with him being taught a lesson by the veteran Jericho. Fandango got back in the action, but Jericho gained control again. Jericho went to put the match away by applying the Walls of Jericho, but Fandango reversed it into a pinfall and won his very first WWE at Wrestlemania against the 9-time Intercontinental Champion.
10. Triple H Defeats The Rock, Mick Foley, and Big Show at WrestleMania 2000
There were various matches and situations that occurred leading up to this match. It started with the Royal Rumble, which The Rock won by eliminating The Big Show to become to the #1 contender for Triple H’s WWE Championship. Earlier that night, Triple H defeated Mick Foley as Cactus Jack in a Street Fight to retain his title. The following month at the No Way Out PPV, Big Show beat the The Rock to to steal his spot in the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania.
Later that night, Triple H defeated Cactus Jack again in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the title, and forcing Jack to retire. The Rock got his title shot back by beating the Big Show on RAW, with the the help of Vince McMahon, making the WrestleMania match a Triple Threat. Linda McMahon would then add Foley as himself to the mix, making it a Fatal-Four-Way Elimination match for the WWE Championship.
The four Superstars in this match each had a McMahon in their corner with all odds against Triple H who was the primary target. However, thanks to Vince McMahon turning on The Rock, Triple H would shockingly walk away with the title.
9. Rick Rude Defeats Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania V
This feud came down to Rude wanting the WWE Intercontinental Championship and Rude losing a “Posedown” at the Royal Rumble when the fans voted Warrior the winner. Rude attacked Warrior after the posedown, which ignited the feud between the two.
During their WWE Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, Rude would find himself on the apron. Warrior tried to duplex him back into the ring, but Rude’s manager Bobby Heenan grabbed Warrior’s leg causing Rude to fall on top of him for a pinfall. While Rude was pinning him, Heenan held onto Warrior’s leg so he could not kick out, giving Rude the win and the helping him become the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
8. Yokozuna Defeats Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX
Since debuting in 1992, the 500 pound Yokozuna had been an unstoppable force. In 1993, just a year after his debut, Yokozuna won the Royal Rumble Match and earned a title shot at WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Bret Hart.
Yokozuna and Bret Hart were slotted for the main event of Wrestlemania IX. While Hart used his quickness and technical abilities, Yokozuna used overpowering size. Hart removed the padding from the turnbuckle in the corner, exposing it. Hart threw Yokozuna into face first first and then applied his signature sharpshooter submission move. Just when everybody thought Hart would win by submission, Yokozuna’s manager Mr. Fuji threw salt into Hart’s eyes blinding him, allowing Yokozuna to pin Hart up for the win.
Afterwards Hulk Hogan came down to the ring and Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to a tile match on the spot. Mr. Fuji tried to throw salt into Hogan’s eyes but instead hit Yokozuna. Hogan then hit a leg drop and pinned Yokozuna to become WWE Champion.
7. Sheamus Defeats Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania XXVIII
In 2011, Daniel Bryan won the Money in the Bank match to earn him a title shot at any time over the next year. That December at Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Bryan cashed in his briefcase against the brand new World Heavyweight Champion, Big Show, who had just defeated Mark Henry for the title.
The following month the Royal Rumble, Sheamus was the last man standing and eventually announced that he would wrestle Bryan for his championship at the upcoming WrestleMania.
At Wrestlemania, Bryan got a good luck kiss form his girlfriend AJ Lee, but it didn’t work out for him. As soon as Bryan turned around, Sheamus hit him with a Brogue Kick and pinned him, winning the World Heavyweight Championship in 18 seconds, one of the quickest title matches in WWE history.
6. The Miz Defeats John Cena at Wrestlemania XXVII
John Cena won a #1 Contender Elimination Chamber match, earning him a title shot at WWE Champion, The Miz. In their WrestleMania main event match, Cena and Miz went back and forth, giving it their all. The match would eventually carry outside of the ring, with both players knocking each other out, ending the match in a double-countout, with The Miz retaining his title.
The Rock, who was the host of WrestleMania, came out and demanded the match be restarted with no disqualification. The Rock then crept up behind Cena and hit him with a Rock Bottom, getting payback from Cena hitting a Attitude Adjustment on him weeks prior. The Miz took advantage off the Rock Bottom and pinned Cena to retain his title.
5. Eddie Guerrero Defeats Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX
At the No Way Out 2004, Kurt Angle beat Big Show and John Cena in a Triple Threat match to earn a title shot at Wrestlemania. Later on that night, Guerrero beat Brock Lesnar to become WWE Champion.
Guerrero was known for “Lying, cheating and stealing” and WrestleMania was no different. The match started off fair, with both competitors battling. Angle eventually locked Guerrero in an Ankle Lock. When Guerrero finally broke the hold, he would loosen the string on his boots andappear in pain but really he was setting up another one of his deceptive plans. Angle saw Guerrero hold his ankle and ran back in the ring to apply the Lngle lock again, but when he did he pulled off Guerrero’s boot, which Guerrero had just untied. While stunned, Guerrero rolled Angle up into a small package pinfall and retained his title over Angle.
4. Rey Mysterio Defeats Randy Orton and Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania 22
In the 2006 Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio beat all the odds and became the biggest underdog to ever win the match by eliminating Randy Orton last to win a title match at Wrestlemania 22. At the No Way Out, Orton got his revenge by beating Mysterio and earning himself a title match as well, making the Wrestlemania 22 World Heavyweight Championship match a Triple threat between Mysterio, Orton and champion Kurt Angle.
Going into WrestleMania, nobody had Mysterio winning or even posing as a threat. Just like the Royal Rumble match, Mysterio proved he belonged with the big dogs. Mysterio took advantage of Orton on the ropes and hit him with his signature 619 move, followed by the West Coast Pop, earning him a pinfall victory and the World Heavyweight Championship.
3. Owen Hart Defeats Bret Hart at Wrestlemania X
During the 19993 Survivor Series PPPV, the Hart Brothers were in a elimination match, in which Bret suffered a kayfabe injury. As the match continued, Owen would be the only member eliminated from the Hart Family team. After the match, Owen and Bret had a face-to-face confrontation, but nothing physical. Owen wanted a match with his brother but Bret declined. At the Royal Rumble, the Hart brothers came back together in a tag team match, but Bret suffered another kayfabe injury, causing the referee to end the match. Owen was upset by the result of the match and attacked Bret afterwards, starting the feud between the brothers.
The match between the two brothers had been building for a while. They both went at it, with neither gaining the upper hand in the match. Both brothers applied the Sharpshooter submission move on each other, but could not pick up the victory. Bret attempted to roll up Owen in a pinfall but it was reversed into a pinfall by Owen, causing him to pick up the victory.
2. Hulk Hogan Defeats Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III
This feud started from pure jealousy. Hogan and Andre were companions but that all changed when Hogan was presented with a trophy for being WWF Champion for three years. Andre came out and congratulated him sincerely. Then Andre was presented with a trophy for being undefeated in the WWF for 15 years, but his trophy was smaller. When Hogan came out to congratulate Andre, Hogan stole the spotlight during the interview, causing Andre to walk off. Andre then hired Bobby Heenan, a enemy of Hogan, as his manager.
The main event of WrestleMania III between Hogan and Andre was billed as the biggest match in history. Hogan came out aggressive against the bigger and stronger Andre, but it almost cost him the match early. Hogan tried to lift Andre but couldn’t, causing Andre to fall on top of him into a pinfall, but Hogan kicked out. Andre and Hogan then went back and forth until Hogan eventually clotheslined Andre, taking him off his feet for the first time in all match. Hogan then did his infamous “Hulk Up” as the crowd went crazy. Hogan lifted Andre off his feet this time and scoop slammed him, setting him up for his infamous Leg Drop. Hogan then pinned Andre and retained his title.
Does this qualify as a shocking upset? Yes, if you consider Andre’s record.
1. Brock Lesnar Defeats The Undertaker atWrestleMania XXX
Brock Lensar originally wanted a World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania, but was declined. The Undertaker then confronted Lesnar and wanted a match, which Lesnar accepted.
The Undertaker was 21-0 coming into this match and nobody had Lesnar winning. The Undertaker had been undefeated at WrestleMania for two decades and although everybody knew The Undertaker would come out victorious, it was always entertaining to see him keep “The Streak” alive. Lesnar took “The Deadman” to the limit as The Undertaker would suffer a legitimate concussion. Lesnar then ended the match with three F5 Suplexs and did what nobody had ever done at WrestleMania: pin The Undertaker. The crowd went silent and was in shock as Lesnar’s manager Paul Heyman raised his client’s hand in victory. This is the biggest upset, not only in WrestleMania history but the history of the WWE.
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