In the early 1980s, Vince McMahon had an idea. He'd only recently acquired control of his father's company, the World Wrestling Federation, and McMahon felt it was time to take things to the next level. He wanted an annual main event, a showpiece akin to a Super Bowl or a World Series through which he could broadcast his entertainment business on a world stage.
It was in these embryonic moments of McMahon's ownership of his family's business that WrestleMania was born. The first WrestleMania was showcased in 1985, and two years later it had already grown into a sports entertainment extravaganza, attracting 93,173 people to the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. McMahon has never looked back.
Over the past 30 years, WrestleMania has helped McMahon's company grow into the billion dollar franchise it is today. It has also propelled several wrestlers to greatness. Shawn Michaels made a huge name for himself with several big wins at WrestleMania on his way to legend status. The likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H have basked in WrestleMania glory, while The Undertaker managed 21 straight wins there before losing to Brock Lesnar two years back.
But WrestleMania hasn't been so kind to every superstar that's graced its hallowed ring. Not everyone on the roster has been given their WrestleMania moment, including several big names who have probably deserved it. It's a tricky arena to win in. Often those booking matches favor more extravagant contests than a typical singles match. Bulging battle royals are not uncommon, neither are four way tag team matches, triple threats and fatal four ways. Sometimes you don't necessarily need to be pinned to lose your title, as Kurt Angle found at at WrestleMania 2000 when he surrendered both the Intercontinental and European championships. Here's the top 15 wrestlers who have never won at WrestleMania.
NOTE: To qualify for this list, wrestlers must have competed in a minimum of two WrestleMania events.
15 15. Val Venis
14 14. R-Truth
13 13. Rhyno
The former ECW man with the brutal spear was never quite able to get it done at WrestleMania. He was only booked twice at the pay per view, and never in an overly suitable match. His debut came alongside Chris Benoit in a three way tag team match at Wrestlemania 19. They were beaten by Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas in a match that also featured Eddie and Chavo Guerrero. He was then part of the 30 man battle royal won by Booker T, which preceded WrestleMania 21 and was not televised.
12 12. Crush
Crush spent most of the 1990s with either WWE or WCW, but never landed his WrestleMania moment despite coming very close. He made up one half of Demolition in the WWE with tag team partner Smash, and the pair lost to on loan Japanese tag team Genichiro Tenryu and Koji Kitao at WrestleMania VII. At WrestleMania IX Crush lost to Doink The Clown in a singles match, thanks largely to Doink knocking out the referee. A year later in a falls count anywhere match, Crush would drop a falls count anywhere match to Randy Savage. Savage eventually won the match by pinning Crush backstage, then tying him up with a cable so he couldn't return to the ring.
11 11. Finlay
10 10. William Regal
9 9. Bray Wyatt
8 8. Goldust
Nothing more than a WrestleMania jobber over the years, Goldust has featured on the program nine times without success. In fairness it's probably a fair reflection of his place in the midcard hierarchy of the WWE. Roddy Piper was the first to cash on on Goldust back at WrestleMania XII in a match that even involved a car chase. Triple H beat Goldust a year later. He featured occasionally in mid card matches before challenging Maven at WrestleMania X-8 for the Hardcore Championship. Goldust wasn't pinned over the course of the night, but the belt did change hands five times, eventually ending up back in Maven's possession.
7 7. Bob Backlund
6 6. Sycho Sid
5 5. Ken Shamrock
No one on this list has come closer to a win at WrestleMania than the World's Most Dangerous Man Ken Shamrock. After refereeing a submission match between Stone Cold and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 13, Shamrock debuted in the event 12 months later fighting Rocky Maivia (The Rock) for the Intercontinental Title. He applied an ankle lock to The Rock who tapped out, handing Shamrock victory. But he was not finished, and after dispatching of The Rock's friends in the Nation Of Domination, who were ringside throughout the match, Shamrock reapplied the ankle lock.
4 4. Vince McMahon
3 3. Jimmy Snuka
2 2. The Dudley Boyz
1 1. Jeff Hardy
The most surprising entry on this list, given what he brought to the company during his high flying heyday. Jeff Hardy has never won a match at WrestleMania. He started off at WrestleMania XV, partaking in a 21 man battle royal but the match was broadcast on Sunday Night Heat and not part of the main card.
His proper debut came a year later alongside brother Matt in the infamous Triangle Ladder match against Edge and Christian and the Dudleyz. This was where Jeff pulled out the astonishing swanton bomb from the top of a 20 foot ladder in the entrance way, slamming Bubba Ray through a table in the process. Edge and Christian won that match, and had a similar match, this time with the TLC moniker, the following year. At WrestleMania X-8 the Hardy Boyz lost in a four way tag team match.
After a five year absence Jeff returned as a singles wrestler. He lost an eight man Money in the Bank ladder match and his WrestleMania swansong came two years later when he squared off with his brother in an extreme rules match, which Matt won.
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