The History Of WrestleMania

Here is a look at some of the greatest moments from WrestleMania 1-22.
April 02, 2007
I wrote the following up for my gaming website Gamescape ( Hope everyone will enjoy reading it.

WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling event ever. It's as simple as that. You can classify it as the WWE's own Superbowl or World Series. This year is the 23rd annual event and to celebrate I would like to take any wrestling fans who may be on the site a trip down memory with some of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time.

Liberace dances with the Rockettes - WrestleMania
Liberace played the role as guest time keeper for the main event at the very first WrestleMania but that didn't stop him from getting inside the squared circle. He danced with the Rockettes which created one of the first real celebrity Wrestlemania memories.

Andre the Giant vs. Big John Studd - WrestleMania
Andre the Giant and Big Jon Studd competed in the first ever $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge at the very first installment of WrestleMania. Following Andre's victory he began to throw the $15, 000 into the rabid New York audience. The fun ended shortly as Bobby Heenan ran into the ring and stole the bag filled with the remaining cash.

Leilani Kai vs. Wendi Richter - WrestleMania
The WWF Womens Championship was on the line as Leilani Kai defended it against Wendi Richter. The major news story was that Richter had pop sensation Cyndi Lauper in her corner. Lauper's interference did help Richter get the pin fall and bring home the gold for a moment that helped further the "Rock n' Wrestling" era.

King Kong Bundy vs. S.D. Jones - WrestleMania
During the original WrestleMania King Kong Bundy was ready for a memorable match against S.D. (Special Delivery) Jones. It was but not for the match we all thought it could have been. The match lasted a very quick nine seconds as we saw Bundy literally squash Jones for an easy 1-2-3.

Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff
The very first main event in WrestleMania was a mix tag match that got a large amount of press due to the involvement of then A-Team star Mr. T. The end came with Hulk Hogan scoring the pin fall on Paul Orndorff.

Battle Royal - WrestleMania 2
The WWF and NFL did battle in the very first battle royal to take place at a WrestleMania. One of the many highlights saw William “Refrigerator” Perry pull Big John Studd over the top rope and eliminating him. The end came after Andre the Giant eliminated both Hart Foundation members for the victory.

Ray Charles performs "America the Beautiful" - WrestleMania 2
WrestleMania usually begins with a performance of "America the Beautiful" but the performance by Ray Charles may have been the greatest of all. Charles opened the festivities for the second installment of WrestleMania in what is remembered as one of his best live performances.

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T - WrestleMania 2
Both Roddy Piper and Mr. T were set to go at one another in a boxing match. It didn't end that way as Piper began to be fed up with the rules and decided to body slam Mr. T in the middle of the ring. This was marked as a disqualification on Piper's part.

WrestleMania 3 Sets Record - WrestleMania 3
93,173 packed the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan to witness Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant do battle along with an amazing under card. This event is also considered the pinnacle of the 1980's wrestling boom.

King Kong Bundy squashes Little Beaver - WrestleMania 3
Hahahahahahaha. Wait, after all these years this is still funny. Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver took on King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook in a Mixed Tag Team match. Now everyone in this match aside from Bundy and Hillbilly Jim was a "little person". The memorable moment came with King Kong Bundy splashed Little Beaver and was disqualified.

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis - WrestleMania 3
The match was being billed as Piper's "retirement match". Obviously this became bogus as the Rowdy one made several comebacks through the years. Piper put Adonis asleep for the victory following a sleeper hold. After the match Brutus Beefcake made his way to the ring and cut the hair of Adonis.

Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat - WrestleMania 3
"The Dragon" took on "Macho Man" in what is considered by some the single greatest wrestling match up ever. Over 93, 000 fans watched it live in the arena while countless others watched it at home or at their local bar. Both men gave one hell of a show as they battled over the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant - WrestleMania 3
The match many argue that was the biggest in wrestling history. Over 93, 000 fans packed the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987 to witness WrestleMania 3. The show was headlined with the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan as he did battle with his one time friend Andre the Giant. The match came to a close following Hogan using the classic body slam then leg drop to Andre.

WWF Championship Tournament - WrestleMania IV
Trump Plaza served as host for WWF Championship Tournament. Fourteen wrestlers began the tournament but it ended with Randy Savage getting the pin fall over Ted Dibiase. Another classic moment came when Savage celebrated with Hulk Hogan and his then-wife Miss. Elizabeth.

Piper's Pit - WrestleMania V
Piper's Pit made it's return to Trump Plaza for the fifth WrestleMania. During the segment we saw Piper put both Brother Love and Morton Downey Junior in their place. This was even voted in the top ten during WrestleMania 2000's countdown show.

"Ravishing" Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania V
Say what you will about the Ultimate Warrior and his in ring ability (and mental state) but he gave one great showing against Rick Rude. The highlight came when Rick Rude got the pin fall victory on Warrior as his manager (Bobby Heenan) held onto Warriors feet for an easy victory.

Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage - WrestleMania V
The Mega-Powers exploded during WrestleMania V as Hulk Hogan took on Randy Savage. The fued sparked when Savage believed Hogan had eyes for Elizabeth. Hogan got the victory over Savage following the leg drop.

Demolition vs. Colossal Connection - WrestleMania VI
Demolition scored the biggest victory of their tag team career when they defeated the Colossal Connection (Andre the Giant and Haku). Following the match both Haku and Andre had a spat that eventually ended with Andre finally getting his hands on Bobby Heenan (who was his manager that night once again).

Hart Foundation vs. The Bolsheviks - WrestleMania VI
A match that you may have missed if you blinked. Both Jim Neidhart and Bret Hart (Hart Foundation) attacked both members of the Bolsheviks as they performed the Russian National Anthem. 19 seconds later Hart and Neidhart came out on top.

Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania VI
During 1990 the WWF had the top two stars in wrestling. You had the Intercontinental Champion the Ultimate Warrior and the WWF Champion Hulk Hogan. Vince McMahon decided that to heighten the momentum of that years event they were going to have both superstars due battle in a "Champion vs. Champion" match. Many were shocked with the outcome as the Warrior actually pinned Hogan with a clean 1-2-3 right in the middle of the ring.

Undertaker vs. "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka - WrestleMania VII
Undertaker started his win streak at this very event as he tombstoned Snuka right into the mat for the victory. Who would have thought this match would have turned into such an amazing legacy for one man?

Randy Savage reunites with Elizabeth - WrestleMania VII
During WrestleMania VII one of the most emotional events took place as both Randy Savage and Elizabeth reunited after being apart from one another for nearly two years. Savage also had a match that evening against Ultimate Warrior which he lost (it was Savage's "retirement" match).

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Bret Hart - WrestleMania VIII
Two fan favourites did battle for the Intercontinental Championship during WrestleMania VIII. This also featured one of the most unpredictable endings as Hart rolled up Piper following a sleeper hold.

Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair - WrestleMania VIII
The "Nature Boy" made his WrestleMania debut as the WWF Championship but he didn't leave that way. He lost to Randy Savage in a match that was builded behind his interested with Savage's valet (Elizabeth).
Jim Ross wears a toga - WrestleMania IX
The greatest commentator in the history of wrestling (in my opionon) made his WWF debut at WrestleMania. It may have not been the debut he was wishing for as he had to wear a toga due to the events high advertisement of having a roman theme.

Giant Gonzalez vs. Undertaker - WrestleMania IX
It wasn't a great match. Hell, it was horrible in all honesty. During the 1993 installment of WrestleMania we witnessed Undertaker take on Giant Gonzalez. Gonzalez's wrestling talent could be fit into a thimble. Taker still was entertaining and his return to ring after being choked out my chloroform is still one of the top things I think of when I remember WrestleMania IX. Let us also not forget than Gonzalez marked WrestleMania with the memory of a spray painted fake body suit including ass cheeks. Yeesh.

Bret Hart vs. Yokozuna - WrestleMania IX
Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart to capture the WWF Championship in the main event but that really wasn't the major story. Following the match Hulk Hogan made his way to the ring and accepted a match between himself and Yokozuna. Hogan pinned Yokozuna in 21 seconds following a leg drop after Mr. Fuji (Yokozuna's manager) blinded his own man with salt.

Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - WrestleMania X
It was brother versus brother during the 1994 installment. The Hart family feud exploded at Madison Square Garden and even featured the shocking end that had Owen Hart pinning his brother Bret.

Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon - WrestleMania X
Madison Square Garden played host to one of the most innovated matches in the history of WrestleMania. Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon did battle in the very first ever ladder match to take place at the grandest stage of them all and it didn't disappoint to say the very least.

Owen Hart and Yokozuna vs. Smoking Gunns - WrestleMania XI
The Smoking Gunns were at the time the top tag team in the WWF. Yes, sad I know. Owen Hart was going on for weeks as to how he had a special mystery partner he was going to debut at Mania. Who could it be? We got our answer and it was a huge one. Yokozuna made his return that night alongside Owen Hart and they captured the championships.

Lawrence Taylor vs. Bam Bam Bigelow - WrestleMania XI
Lawrence Taylor (who is known for his NFL days) took on Bam Bam Bigelow in the main event. After months of build up and media press the two men even had their own factions. L.T. had his "NFL All-Star Team" while Bigelow had the "Million Dollar Corporation" on his side. In the end L.T. pinned the veteran known as Bam Bam right in the middle of the ring.

Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. Goldust - WrestleMania XII
At the time Goldust was known as a wrestler that... well, let's just say he enjoyed the company of men. The match was set up after Goldust started reenacting "Piper's Pit" segments on WWF Raw. The match was made and took place in a back lot. Eventually both men made it to the arena and Goldust was disrobed (he was wearing female underwear underneath).

Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart - WrestleMania XII
This match has way too many memorable memories to count. Shawn's entrance from the rafters. The 60-minute "Iron Man" stipulation for the match and the overrun. Let us also not forget about Shawn's emotional victory over Hart.

Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin - WrestleMania 13
When Bret Hart returned to the WWF and decided to do battle with Steve Austin it came as a huge surprise when fans started cheering for "Stone Cold" as he was supposed to play the role of the "heel". Here you had the "Hitman" on the other side of the spectrum as we started to enter the age of the anti-hero. Ken Shamrock was the special guest referee and the match featured Austin's famous blade job.

Pete Rose doesn't die - Numerous WrestleMania Events
Pete Rose was a special guest ring announcer for the Undertaker and Kane match at WrestleMania XIV. It didn't really work out that way due to Kane delivering a tombstone to the once famous baseball player. It still wasn't over due to him returning at WrestleMania XV and receiving the same treatment. Think it's over? Nope. Pete appeared at WrestleMania 2000 and got beaten by Kane and also received a "stink face" from Rikishi.

Shawn Michaels vs. Steve Austin - WrestleMania XIV
Both men gave one of the most memorable performances of their careers. Through the match you can tell Michaels was going through extreme pain in his lower back (which he hurt earlier in the year). This was also Steve Austin's first title victory after he pinned Michaels following a Stone Cold Stunner. Mike Tyson was also the special guest enforcer.

Mankind vs. Paul Wight (Big Show) - WrestleMania XV
Just one month after joining the WWF Paul Wight had the task of wrestling the demented Mankind in his very first WrestleMania match. The end comes after the Big Show is disqualified after hitting Mankind with a foreign object but that wasn't the major story of the night. During the match Mankind jumped onto Wight's back only to have him jump backwards crushing him the process (what some call one of the sickest movies in WrestleMania history). We also saw Vince McMahon slap Wight across the face and in response get a punch that knocked the WWF Chairman out cold.

The Rock vs. Steve Austin - WrestleMania XV
The Rock returned to WrestleMania as the WWF Champion and defended it against "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. The end came after an over blown Stone Cold Stunner and Austin was able to get the pin fall. Following the contest Austin attacked his long time rival Vince McMahon.

Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit - WrestleMania 2000
One of the few matches that would go on to settle two championships at one time. During this contest Chris Benoit would walk out with European gold while Chris Jericho claimed the Intercontinental belt as his own.

Edge and Christian vs, The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz - WrestleMania X-Seven
Houston didn't know what hit them with this amazing TLC (Tables, Ladders, Chairs) match. In a match that saw interference from Rhyno, Spike Dudley, and Lita, the end came with both Edge and Christian capturing the WWF Tag Championship.

Gimmick Battle Royal - WrestleMania X-Seven
Houston played host to many of the superstars of yesteryear as they did battle in the first ever "Gimmick Battle Royal". Superstars included The Iron Sheik, Bushwhacker Luke, Bushwhacker Butch, Duke Droese, Doink the Clown, Nikolai Volkoff, Tugboat, The Goon, Earthquake, Gobbledygooker, Hillbilly Jim, Brother Love, Michael Hayes, One Man Gang, Kamala, Jim Cornette, Repo Man, and Sgt. Slaughter. The match was pretty horrible to watch but did it ever bring back memories.

Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon - WrestleMania X-Seven
Father and son went at it in Houston when the WWF presented the seventeenth WrestleMania. In what was an amazing match (especially considering the wrestlers) this match was a shock to almost everyone. Shane McMahon also hit his very memorable top rope attack from where he jumped from one side of the ring to the other only to kick a trash can in Vince's face. Mick Foley was also the special guest referee.

Steve Austin vs. The Rock - WrestleMania X-Seven
The soon to be Hollywood stars (Well maybe not Austin... yet) gave one hell of a showing during the main event match at WrestleMania X8. The ending could have been one of the most shocking when Vince McMahon helped Austin defeated the Rock and become the WWF Champion (Austin and McMahon were feuding on WWF TV for years).

Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock - WrestleMania X8
Hulk Hogan makes his return to WrestleMania with the eighteenth installment. The event originated from Skydome and featured a pro Hogan crowd even thoe at the time the Rock was being portrayed as the "baby face".

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XIX
It was Y2J versus HBK in this action packed contest. After very near finishes it all came to a close after Michaels pinned Jericho with a roll-up.

Chris Benoit and Eddy Guerrero win big! - WrestleMania XX
Long time friends Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit came out on top during the 2004's installment of WrestleMania. Guerrero retained his WWE Championship against Kurt Angle while Benoit defeated both Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a Triple Threat Match to capture the World Heavyweight Championship. What made this even more memorable was Guerrero coming to the ring following Benoits victory and celebrating with the "Canadian Crippler".

Money In The Bank Ladder Match - WrestleMania 21
The first ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match took place and Edge took home the world title match. The match also included Chris Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, Christian and Kane.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle - WrestleMania 21
Expectations were set high as both men did battle in an outstanding contest. The end came with Angle making Michaels tap out to the ankle lock.

Edge vs. Mick Foley - WrestleMania 22
The WWE decided to go "hardcore" with Mick Foley (who is well known for is Cactus Jack persona) as he took on Edge. Both men gave an amazing hardcore match and even featured an amazing flaming tables spot in which Edge speared Foley off the apron.

Money In The Bank Ladder Match - WrestleMania 22
The second ever Money In The Bank Ladder Match took place and this time Rob Van Dam took the world title match home. The match also included Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Lashley, Matt Hardy, and Fit Finlay.
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