As another WrestleMania approaches, fans may recall that they have been exposed to the most shocking, most underrated and the most overrated matches in the event's history. There have been a number of moments that caught fans off guard and amazed us. For the biggest event of the year, it is always going to have pomp and circumstance surrounding it. Whether it was Sheamus defeating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds or a large contingent of Canadian fans embracing a heel Hollywood Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania X8 and turning him babyface, WrestleMania has certainly had its stunning moments. While we could focus on the best or even the most enticing matches, there are a number of winners we could never have been predicted. Winners that totally came out of left field considering the push some of the talent was receiving at the time.
In today's age of insider knowledge, it is easy to see who is getting a push or who isn't, but even in instances where fans seemed to be privy to lots of information, they were caught off guard. Each year the WWE manages to do something unpredictable, whether good or bad. Certainly, these particular winners couldn't have been predicted.
While in hindsight it would be safe to say Fandango defeating Chris Jericho was a bad move, at the time Fandango was in the midst of a push, so him winning at the time really couldn't be considered a surprise (it actually would have been more of a surprise to see Fandango defeat Jericho this past Monday night on RAW). Here are the top 14 WrestleMania winners you never saw coming.
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14 The Boogeyman Over Booker T - WrestleMania 22
He's the Boogeyman and he's coming to get you! At least that's what happened during his match against Booker T at WrestleMania 22. The Boogeyman was never the most talented in ring competitor, but his persona certainly stood out and fans could certainly gravitate to someone that was as colourful as he was. And in the end, he defeated the former five-time WCW champion and World Heavyweight champion. Did it make sense? Would fans honestly have predicted The Boogeyman going over someone the caliber of Booker T? It wasn't likely, but it did happen.
13 Stone Cold Steve Austin Over The Rock - WrestleMania X-Seven
It seems as though The Rock being screwed during a main event at WrestleMania is a recurring event. At WrestleMania X-Seven, the main event pitted The Great One against Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Championship. As the match was approaching its climax, Mr. McMahon came out and got a steel chair. Rather than attacking his long time adversary to ensure that his champion, The Rock, would retain, he handed the chair to Austin who merciless beat down his opponent. It resulted in not just a heel turn for Austin, but an alliance with McMahon. Admit it, you had no idea this was coming.
12 Triple H Over The Rock, Big Show and Mick Foley - WrestleMania 2000
During the main event at WrestleMania 2000, The Rock competed in a four-way elimination match for the WWE Heavyweight championship against Big Show, Mick Foley and Triple H. While Triple H was the champion, wrestling fans and pundits seemed certain that The Rock would go over. It was shocking, not just because Triple H won, but also because of how he won. As the match was reaching its conclusion, Vince McMahon picked up a chair, came into the ring, and after appearing to side with The Rock and striking Triple H, he instead blasted The People's Champ, much to the surprise of everyone. This set up Triple H to pick up the win.
11 Honky Tonk Man Over Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake - WrestleMania IV
During the 1980s, one of the most popular characters in the WWE was Brutus ‘The Barber' Beefcake. Given the character's popularity, it seemed a given that at some point in time he would be the Intercontinental Champion. But the title couldn't change hands on a disqualification, which meant that he did not walk away as the champion. Actually, most of the encounters between these two ended via disqualification, so sadly, Beefcake never held the title. While it may not seem like a big deal now, at the time it was always a shock that The Honky Tonk Man was able to retain.
10 Owen Hart Over Bret Hart - WrestleMania X
At WrestleMania X, while Bret “Hitman” Hart was preparing for his championship rematch against Yokozuna, there was a sub-plot developing between Bret and his younger brother Owen. At the time, the storyline was that Owen was tired of living in his brother's shadow, and the only way he would be able to do get out of it was beat him in a one-on-one match at WrestleMania. In the end, Owen not only beat his brother, but did it cleanly, and in the process stunned a number of fans thinking that Bret would get the better of his little brother.
9 Honky Tonk Man Over Jake 'The Snake' Roberts - WrestleMania III
Jake "The Snake" Roberts was one of the most popular characters and biggest faces in the WWE. So when he went against the slimy and loathsome Honky Tonk Man, there was no way that the beloved Snake could lose. Sadly, the naïve and unaware wrestling fan watching that match was wrong, as Jake lost despite Alice Cooper’s involvement. Yes, Jake delivered some comeuppance, but his not coming out on top was surprising. While in hindsight fans may be able to see how impressive The Honky Tonk Man’s Intercontinental title run was, we would have loved to see Roberts walk away as a champion.
8 Jazz Over Lita and Trish Stratus - WrestleMania X8
Two of the biggest and most successful women's wrestlers in the WWE were Lita and Trish Stratus. They battled each other countless times, and contested for the WWE Women's title at WrestleMania X8. If either of these women walked out the champion it wouldn't have surprised fans, as they carried the division. What was surprising was that Jazz was the one that walked away the champion. She was a formidable competitor during her time, but having her go over not just Lita, but Trish wasn't something fans had anticipated. Her time with the promotion was short-lived, which also makes her win that much more shocking.
7 Christian Over Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XX
One of the rivalries that developed leading up to WrestleMania XX was between Christian and Chris Jericho. It was an interesting development because they had been a successful tag team. But Christian thought Jericho had become soft due to his onscreen romance with Trish Stratus. While they were presented as being equal, Jericho's past singles success made him not only the fan favorite, but the favorite in the match. In what seemed an accident, Trish elbowed Jericho, leading to a roll-up win by Christian. But then Stratus turned on Jericho and sided with Christian, creating one of the more surprising moments in WrestleMania history.
6 Rick Rude Over The Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania V
Yes, Ravishing Rick Rude was arguably one of the most underrated wrestlers of his time, but this match was a surprise because of who he went over. When The Ultimate Warrior faced off against Rude, it was all but a foregone conclusion that Warrior would win because his character was huge. So while The Warrior lost due to outside interference by Bobby ‘the Brain’ Heenan, it was still a shock. While in hindsight it was probably the most believable way for Warrior to lose, it was surprising nonetheless.
5 Hulk Hogan Over Yokozuna - Wrestlemania IX
At WrestleMania IX, Bret ‘The Hitman' Hart faced off against Yokozuna in what was clearly, an uphill battle. While Hart's loss may not be considered a big surprise, what happened after the match was. While Hart was recovering from having salt thrown into his eyes, Hogan came to his aid and Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to face Yokozuna right there and then for the championship. Hogan took him up on the challenge and immediately hit his signature moves and picked up the three and the win. It was a shock to have someone not originally booked in the main event to end up coming out as the champion.
4 The Ultimate Warrior over Hulk Hogan - WrestleMania VI
At WrestleMania VI, two of the biggest names and faces of the decade were facing off against one another at the most pivotal time. While it could be argued that The Ultimate Warrior was becoming the bigger star, wrestling fans were accustomed to the narrative of Hogan overcoming the odds and maintaining his place at the top of the WWE. When Warrior eventually prevailed, as much as fans were pleased with the result, they couldn't have been seen this coming, especially at that time. The decade of the 80s was past, but that didn't mean wrestling fans could have predicted an Ultimate Warrior win.
3 The Miz Over John Cena - WrestleMania XXVII
Now it's a running joke, but when The Miz headlined WrestleMania XXVII against John Cena, a number of fans called it the worst WrestleMania event ever. While those comments are debatable, what many may have difficulty believing is the fact that Cena lost to Miz. Regardless of whether it was clean or not, Cena still lost. During this event, The Rock was being reintroduced to WWE and was teasing a feud with Cena. In retrospect, it's really hard to believe The Miz not only was part of the main event at WrestleMania, but went over John Cena.
2 Seth Rollins Over Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns - WrestleMania 31
As WrestleMania 31 was approaching, fans were lukewarm on the Brock Lesnar/Roman Reigns WWE World Heavyweight Championship match. Fans were behind Lesnar and unfortunately for Reigns, no matter how hard he tried to get them on his side, he was relegated to being just another visitor to Suplex City. As the match approached its dying moments, Seth Rollins' music hit and the Money in the Bank briefcase winner charged to the ring, intent on cashing in his briefcase. At first it appeared as though he wasn't going to win, until he hit Reigns with a curb stomp and picked up the unsuspected victory.
1 Brock Lesnar Over The Undertaker - WrestleMania XXX
WrestleMania XXX was where The Beast was pitted against The Streak. Fans confidently predicted an Undertaker win coming. Every year, the same question had been asked: ‘Will the streak remain intact?’ The answer had been a resounding yes for twenty-one WrestleManias. Until this night. Despite the beating The Undertaker was receiving, fans still believed that he would overcome the odds and the streak would be extended. However, when the referee hit the three count after a third F5, there was a collective gasp from those in attendance. The streak that was twenty one years in the making was now over and Brock Lesnar had ended it.
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