WrestleMania is the Grand Daddy of them all. For wrestling fans, it is bigger than the World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup combined. For wrestlers, it is the day they earn their biggest paychecks. On the biggest stage in the WWE, history is made, legends are born, and often there are swerves. Recently, WrestleMania has been placed in football stadiums, guaranteeing that the company maximize their audience. If you watch every WrestleMania from start to finish you will see the evolution of it. Just like the Super Bowl it was once just another event and now it has become a spectacle.
For a professional, their ring entrance is their first impression. It is where the fans will get their first look at a Superstar who they may have never seen wrestle before. With WrestleMania being the mega-show that it is, often times there are new eyes on the product for that night only. People who normally do not watch wrestling or who may have decided to stop for one reason or another usually watch 'Mania.
As WrestleMania has evolved so has the ring entrances. With millions of eyes on the product, the WWE Superstars have found ways to get creative to create a memorable entrance. Every wrestler wants to give fans something to talk, text, or tweet about. Some entrances remind fan what’s at stake. By just looking at how the wrestler approached the ring, fans knew something was about to go down. Then there are some that just wow the audience with theatrics.
Here are the top 15 greatest WrestleMania entrances.
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15 Diesel WrestleMania XI
At the 1995 Royal Rumble, the winner not only would get a shot at the WWE Champion, but Pamela Anderson would also escort them to the ring. Having Anderson on your arm as you go for the biggest prize in the company meant you already won before the match started. In 1995, clearly she was one of the hottest women on the planet.
Shawn Michaels was the 1st wrestler to ever win the Royal Rumble as the #1 entrant. He earned the right to have Pamela Anderson accompany him to the ring, but due to some confusion between the two, she went missing. Jennifer McCarthy was the replacement. When Diesel’s music hit, he came out of the curtain and signaled back to it and out came Anderson. This entrance solidified just how “cool” Big Daddy Cool was. The fact that he was able to steal the Heartbreak Kid’s girl at WrestleMania showed everyone just who the ladies really loved.
14 Trish Stratus WrestleMania X8
Everyone loves some Stratusfaction, right? With WrestleMania X8 in her backyard, Trish Stratus paid homage to her hometown crowd by wearing the Canadian Flag and having her trunks decorated in her native colours. Her entrance was something not only Canadians could appreciate, but millions around the world could as well. While Trish would not manage to pull out a victory in front of her hometown faithful, this patriotic entrance is one to remember with pride.
13 Hulk Hogan WrestleMania VII
In 1991, WrestleMania VII was originally set to take place at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. WWE were expecting over 100,000 to attend the outdoor event. However since WWE Champion Sgt. Slaughter’s character became an Iraqi turncoat during the Gulf War, he began receiving death threats and they decided to take the event indoors.
On this night, it was clear that it was an American themed WrestleMania; in fact the colors of the American flag were ever-present. Sgt. Slaughter arguably had the most heat any main eventer has ever had at WrestleMania. After he made his entrance, fans could not wait for his challenger, Hulk Hogan to enter the arena. When Hogan entered the arena, the roof exploded and he came out wearing an American flag bandana, the flag printed on his patented Hulk Rules t-shirt, and of course he was carrying old glory. Hogan came ready not only to reclaim the WWE Championship, but he was ready to defend his country.
12 Macho Man WrestleMania IX
Macho Man Randy Savage was always a larger than life character. WrestleMania IX was booked at the world’s largest toga party. Savage as he always did, dressed in a very color outfit that stood out from the rest. His entrance did as well. He came to the ring on a cart being showered with rose pedals. His entrance stole the show and he did not even wrestle that night, he was the color commentator; proving that Randy Savage was still a major player in WWE despite being away from the ring.
11 Triple H WrestleMania 22
Up to this point, fans watch Triple H use live music for his entrance, but at WrestleMania 22, he turned it up a notch. Now starting to call himself the King of Kings, he showed everyone in Chicago what a king looks like. Triple H wore a crown on his head, dressed in fur around his shoulders and he sat on a throne of skulls as he prepared to face John Cena for the WWE Championship. If you were watching wrestling for the first time that night, you knew he meant business.
10 Hell in a Cell WrestleMania XXVIII
There are no other individuals whose names are linked with Hell in a Cell more so than The Undertaker and Triple H. At WrestleMania XXVII Triple H came within inches of ending The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Though he came up short, Triple H beat The Undertaker to the point he could not leave on his own will. Undertaker was not happy and wanted a rematch and would not budge until he got one. But a regular match was not good enough; this required Hell in a Cell.
This match was booked as the "End of an Era" as two staples of the Attitude Era would face each other for the very last time. Of course, The Undertaker and Triple H had their elaborate WrestleMania entrances, but what stood out in this match was the entrance of the cell. As Triple H and Undertaker stood and looked at each other, Metallica’s “Memory Remains” echoed the arena and down came the cell. For a match of this magnitude, it was only fitting that cell received its own entrance.
9 John Cena WrestleMania XXV
By the time WrestleMania XXV came around, John Cena had shifted from the doctor of Thuganomics to the face of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect. With this being the silver anniversary of WrestleMania, it was only fitting that all the stars brought out their best. John Cena challenged Edge and Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat match. For Cena, there seemed to be 1,000 John Cena’s dressed up and they came out in unison to his former theme music, “basic thuganomics.” They lined up on each side as John Cena’s current theme hit and for his opponents in the ring, they knew Cena came to play.
8 Rhythm and Blues WrestleMania XI
Greg the Hammer Valentine and Honky Tonk Man were scheduled to perform their gold-hit “Honk-a Honk-a Honky Love." Being accompanied by the Mouth of the South, Jimmy Hart, and driver Diamond Dallas Page, Valentine and Honky Tonk certainly arrived like the rock stars they were. With a pink Cadillac and the Gold record being raised in the air, you knew this was an entrance that only belonged at WrestleMania.
7 Ultimate Warrior WrestleMania VII
Ultimate Warrior has always been known for his fast-paced, high-energy entrances. But at WrestleMania VII, he wrestled Macho Man Randy Savage in a Career vs. Career match. After Savage entered the ring, fans waited for the Warrior’s music to hit and when it did, he walked at a normal pace to the ring. As fans watched Warrior walk to the ring, immediately they understood the magnitude of this match. Even his ring entire had a picture of the WWE Championship belt and the words read, “It’s bigger than this.” During his entire entrance, fans were left with the question, is this it?
6 John Cena WrestleMania 22
John Cena’s WrestleMania 22 is a classic. Though he was WWE Champion, this was a match he needed to prove that he was the guy. What better opponent for him to do so than the King of Kings, the Cerebral Assassin, The Game, Triple H. Cena sent a car full of gangsters as if he was a member of a Chicago mob. As they surrounded the ring, Cena entered the arena with a trench coat and hat and pulled out a tommy gun and fired off some shots. In his first WrestleMania main event, John Cena proved to the fans that “The Champ is Here!”
5 Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XII
Prior to WrestleMania XII, Shawn Michaels trained extensively to make sure he would achieve his dream that he had since he was a 12 year old boy. Having come close a year earlier at WrestleMania XI, Michaels would not be denied. Now a babyface, Michaels decided to give his fans an entrance they would remember forever. When his music hit, his trainer Jose Lothario entered the ring leaving fans in at the Arrowhead Pond wondering where was Michaels? Lothario pointed to the rafters and Michaels came sliding down a zip line as only the showstopper could. Where else but WrestleMania in which a man is looking to win the WWE Championship could this entrance take place?
4 Undertaker WrestleMania XIV
For years The Undertaker was the phenom of the WWE. But in 1997, his half-brother Kane joined and proved that he was the one could possibly rid the WWE of the Dead Man. The Undertaker vowed never to face his brother, but after numerous attacks, he was left with no choice. Having beaten each one of his previous WrestleMania opponents and constantly taking a beating from Kane, The Undertaker was not given much of a chance going into WrestleMania XIV. For 'Taker, it began with his entrance. Before entering the ring, the druids preceded him to the ring and held up torches for him to walk underneath. As Undertaker approached the ring, millions knew that this was a just as big if not bigger than the world title match he had the previous year.
3 Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XXV
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker was booked with a good vs. evil theme. Michaels had never lost to the Undertaker leading into WrestleMania XXV, while Undertaker had never lost at WrestleMania. Something had to give. The entrance that Michaels had really revealed just how big this match was. Before his music hit, Michaels descended from above in all white attire to angelic singing. This entrance really embodied the real life change Michaels had experienced as he as now a born-again Christian. This entrance was a the perfect contrast to The Undertaker’s dark side, especially with 'Taker coming from down under as he entered the ring.
2 Triple H WrestleMania XXX
Going into WrestleMania XXX, Triple H was by far the biggest heel in the company. His opponent, Daniel Bryan had become the most popular Superstar the WWE had seen in ages. Bryan had won the WWE Championship from John Cena at SummerSlam with Triple H as special guest referee. After winning the title, Triple H Pedigreed Bryan and Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to snatch the title away from Bryan. Triple H refused to embrace the popularity of Bryan and repeatedly called him a B-plus player. In order for Bryan to get a title shot in the main event that night, he had to first beat The Game.
On this night, Triple H used his entrance as an attempt to intimidate Daniel Bryan and his fans. This match opened the card and with a world title shot on the line, anyone watching for the first time could see based on this entrance that Triple H wasn't fooling around. Dressing up in Conan the Barbarian fashion and having three valets remove his attire, Triple H wanted to show Daniel Bryan exactly how an A-Plus player enters the ring.
1 Triple H WrestleMania 31
For years, fans waited for one man to wrestle at WrestleMania, Sting. When he surprised everyone at the Survivor Series and took out Triple H, it would cause Triple H and his wife Stephanie to lose control of the company. Having regained it weeks later, Triple H wanted Sting in a fight. In a match that was themed WWE vs. WCW, a final showdown of the Monday Night War, Triple H entered WrestleMania 31 armed and ready.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame the night before, Triple H paid homage to him. One can say it was not forced either given the theme. Here is Triple H, a WWE guy, who was there when WCW led by Sting were close to putting WWE out of business. Before his music hit, Sting stood in the ring and as he waited, a target with his name showed up on the screen. Robots stood on stage as Triple H rose from underneath dressed up like the terminator. To cap it off, Schwarzenegger appeared on screen and let everyone know it was "time to play the game." Everyone around the world knew from this moment, Triple H was coming to win. This is how you prepare to go to war with a guy who tried to take your livelihood.
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