It is said that the greatest memories aren’t the ones that are planned beforehand, but those that capture the essence of the moment. Professional wrestling might be predetermined, but sometimes, when the companies truly pull off something that the fans don’t expect, it leads to those few seconds, when the stunned crowd gathers its collective wits, that forever remain special.
There have been many such instances in the WWE. Over the past 33 years, WrestleMania has been ground zero for some of the truly magical moments – surreal emotions that wash over the fans, who take a moment or two to truly take in the gravity of the situation.
With such moments once again expected in a couple of weeks’ time, we take a look at the top five ‘OMG’ WrestleMania moments in history.
#5 Double turn at WrestleMania 13
WrestleMania 13 was supposed to be Bret’s redemption, as he was rumored to face Shawn Michaels. However, all that changed when Shawn reportedly refused to face Bret Hart, and this resulted in Bret feuding with Steve Austin.
In hindsight, this arguably saved WWE and the wrestling business in general, considering their match at WrestleMania kick started the Attitude Era in the WWE.
Austin, who was the devious villain, became a massive fan favorite at WrestleMania 13, while Bret Hart, who was one of the biggest baby faces in the company’s history, turned heel! All that happened not because the WWE wanted it to, but because the fans chose to side with Austin, the rebellious character who went against the powers that be. The exact moment when the ‘double turn’ happened is easy to pin point, with a blood – soaked Austin laying unconscious, while Hart wouldn’t let go of the Sharpshooter!
#4 ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin makes a deal with the devil, WrestleMania X – Seven
WrestleMania 17 saw Austin and The Rock go at each others’ throats yet again. The two Superstars had collided numerous times before, but at WrestleMania 17, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The WWE Championship was on the line, and a no disqualifications stipulation was added just before the event.
While the fans did not understand why the stipulation was added, it was revealed towards the end of the bout that Austin had made a deal with the devil himself. The two former arch rivals set aside their differences, and Austin, with the aide of Vince McMahon, defeated The Rock to become the new WWE Champion!
The other shocking thing which happened during the match, was Austin pummeled Rock 16 times with a chair, beating the life out of the Brahma Bull! The fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing, as two of the greatest adversaries made a pact at WrestleMania.
#3 Seth Rollins cashes – in his MITB contract, WrestleMania 31
WrestleMania 31 saw Lesnar defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Reigns, which many expected to be Reigns coronation as the new face of WWE. With talks about Lesnar’s contract expiring, and him going to the UFC being rife, the fans braced themselves to see Roman winning the title.
However, as it turned out, neither Superstar walked out of WrestleMania with the title. Instead, it was the one Superstar many wanted to walk out as the champion – Seth Rollins. The Architect, who had won the Money In The Bank Ladder match, cashed – in his contract at WrestleMania!
The place came unglued when Seth’s music hit, as he made a beeline to the ring, and cashed – in his briefcase, to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
#2 Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant, WrestleMania III
At WrestleMania 3, Hogan and Andre were involved in a match for the ages. The irresistible force met the immovable object, as Hogan and Andre clashed for the WWE Championship. Going into the match, the question on everyone’s mind was if Hogan could lift Andre, and the narrative carried deep into their bout.
As the finish neared, Hogan finally put those questions to bed. As the world watched in amazement, The Hulkster picked up Andre, body slamming him to the mat, as the fans went into frenzy! Hogan the connected with the leg drop and pinned the giant, but the moment when Hogan lifted Andre off his feet has been etched in the minds of the fans, who witnessed it live!
#1 Brock Lesnar beats The Undertaker, WrestleMania XXX
Our number one pick wouldn’t surprise many – if any. The Undertaker’s legacy at WrestleMania has been unheralded, and can never be replicated. Going 20 – 0 at the grandest stage, The Phenom has defeated who’s – who at WrestleMania.
However, at WrestleMania 30, he finally met his match. Taker, till then, had never beaten Brock at a big PPV, but the fans believed that The Undertaker would, in his trademark fashion, pull yet another improbable victory out of the bag. However, it wasn’t to be, and the moment the referee’s hand hit the mat for the third time, it was almost as if time stood still!
The expression on the fans’ faces told the complete story. In utter bewilderment, the entire arena fell into a deep slumber for a second. The fans then appreciated The Undertaker’s effort, but that will undoubtedly live on as the greatest upset in WrestleMania history.