Over the course of 31 years, wrestling fans have been treated to some of the greatest matches in history on the grandest stage of 'em all, WrestleMania. Macho Man Randy Savage vs Ricky The Dragon Steamboat at WrestleMania III. Bret The Hitman Hart vs "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz wowed audiences for two years straight at WrestleMania 2000 and WrestleMania X-Seven. The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels pulled off that same feat at WrestleMania XXV and XXVI.
Within great matches are great WrestleMania moments and there's certainly plenty of those to go around. There's the sight of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin writhing in pain and dripping with blood as he passed out to Bret Hart's Sharpshooter. I could name about 20 different spots in the ladder/TLC matches, but the most memorable is likely when Edge speared Jeff Hardy in midair. There was the crazy Shooting Star Press attempt from Brock Lesnar on Kurt Angle. There's all of WrestleMania IX....obviously kidding on that one.
But then there's those WrestleMania moments that come after the bell. Or before the bell. Or right before the action starts. Or none of the above. Sometimes, all it takes for a WrestleMania moment to happen is for three icons to be standing in the ring together...or walking out of a ring together for that matter. It's a celebration. It's a stare down. It's a crowd reaction. It's a final goodbye. So many things can make up a WrestleMania moment.
Here are 15 of my favorite non-wrestling WrestleMania moments.
15 WrestleMania 23 - Vince McMahon Gets His Head Shaved/Trump Gets Stunned
14 WrestleMania VIII - Roddy Piper & Bret Hart Walk Out Together
13 WrestleMania XXX - Crowd Reacts To The End Of The Streak
12 WrestleMania VI - Andre's Final Walk
11 WrestleMania VI & VIII - Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior
There are a couple of great moments between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. Their match at WrestleMania VI, while not a classic, told a great story, but the emotion that came afterwards was just as good. Hogan wouldn't drop the belt to just anyone back then and it was easy to see how thankful Warrior was to get that respect. As the two embraced in the middle of the ring, just notice Warrior pounding on Hogan's back as if to say "thank you so much for this".
10 WrestleMania XXX - Daniel Bryan
This is the first of a few celebrations on this list from guys that were never supposed to win the WWE title. They were either pegged as "too small" or "a tag-team guy" or whatever other reasons Vince McMahon and the powers that be could think of to not put the strap on a guy. However, in this case, the fans spoke and they spoke loudly. Daniel Bryan was never supposed to be a top guy, but after "The Yes Movement" caught on, the company really wasn't left with much choice and Daniel Bryan beat Triple H in the first match of the night and Randy Orton and Batista in the final match of the night to win the title.
9 WrestleMania XXVI - Shawn Michaels Says Goodbye
8 WrestleMania X8 - Hulk Hogan & The Rock Electrify Toronto
7 WrestleMania XX- Chris Benoit/Eddie Guerrero Celebration
When Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero came over from WCW, most expected them to be lifetime mid-carders with no real chance at main-eventing a WrestleMania. Both were tremendous wrestlers, worked hard and found themselves in huge matches at WrestleMania XX. Eddie Guerrero had captured the WWE Championship by defeating Brock Lesnar and defended that title successfully at WrestleMania against Kurt Angle.
6 WrestleMania III - Hogan Celebrates A Giant Victory
5 WrestleMania XXVIII - "End Of An Era"
4 WrestleMania XII - The Boyhood Dream Comes True
3 WrestleMania IV & VII - Savage & Liz Bring The Tears
2 WrestleMania XXIV - Ric Flair Says Goodbye
1 WrestleMania XXX - Three Icons Share The Ring
Hulk Hogan, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock are three of the biggest names in the history of the industry, which made the opening of WrestleMania XXX so awesome. First of all, it was great to see Hogan back at WrestleMania after a nine-year absence. Granted, his excitement made him forget exactly which arena he was in, but that only made things better when Austin hit the ring and made fun of him for it. As the two showed a great deal of respect for one another, business only picked up when The Rock hit the ring. Having these three legends in the same ring at the same time on the 30th anniversary of the biggest wrestling event in the world was undoubtedly a huge WrestleMania moment.
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