The days leading up to WrestleMania are magical; not only is there anticipation in the air, but the excitement the event brings is almost tangible. You can sense the tension building, as the WWE Superstars gear up to put on a memorable show for the fans.
WrestleMania season is always special. There is more anticipation and excitement than any other time, and WrestleMania has always given the fans memorable matches and moments. The grandest stage of them all has seen careers blossom and wither, Superstars ascending to the top, and passing on the torch. While some achieved true greatness, others have perished into the shadows.
Today, we take a look at the top five WrestleMania moments.
#5 Shawn Michaels’s last stand at WrestleMania
Every great career must one day see its end. Shawn Michaels was one of the greatest performers in the history of the company. In the 90’s, there was arguably no other Superstar who could touch Shawn in terms of pure entertainment value and athletic ability. As the years progressed, Michaels became much wiser, and focused on putting other talent over.
The first WrestleMania encounter between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels was an instant classic. It made all the sense in the world for Shawn to retire at the hands of the greatest WWE Superstar of all time, and at the grandest stage in the business. The storytelling throughout the match was phenomenal, with Shawn pulling a few pages out of his ‘Showstopper’ playbook, throwing everything he had at The Undertaker.
However, as the reality dawned on Shawn, he decided to go out on his own terms. A never – say – die mentality saw Michaels pull himself up using The Undertaker as support, while one final defiant slap turned back the pages, bringing glimpses of the old Heart Break Kid back, as The Undertaker put an end to Shawn Michaels’s legendary career.
#4 Ric Flair pleads with Shawn to end his career
Very few performers in the business get to achieve half of what Ric Flair achieved in his career, which spanned four decades. From being the biggest name in the industry in his heyday, to traveling around the world, putting on matches in turbulent countries, uniting people through the art of wrestling, Ric Flair has done what very few people could ever dream of accomplishing in the business.
And when The Nature Boy had to call it a day, he decided that only one man earned the right to put an end to his misery. His best friend, Shawn Michaels was the Superstar Ric Flair chose, and when the time came, Flair made it up to his knees, with tears in his eyes, almost begging for Shawn to get it over with.
As Shawn uttered the words, “I’m sorry, I love you”, Flair got on his feet, ready to face reality. After a Sweet Chin Music, the greatest wrestling career we’ve had the pleasure of watching had finally been put to rest.
#3 Hulk Hogan bodyslams Andre the Giant
In the 80’s, there was no other Superstar that was as big as Hulk Hogan on a global scale. Hulkamania truly swept North America, with kids taking their vitamins, saying their prayers and drinking their milk. Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan created magic working together, taking professional wrestling to unprecedented heights.
Hogan’s greatest challenge came at WrestleMania III, when he faced Andre the Giant in the main event. It was billed as the unstoppable force versus the immovable object, as WWE wanted to make Hogan the undeniable face of professional wrestling.
Everything boiled down to the final sequence of the match, where the crowd eagerly anticipated to see if Hogan could lift the giant off his feet. Sure enough, Hogan body slammed Andre, as the place came unglued! One leg drop, and Hogan had tamed the monster. Years later, that one instance inspired numerous future champions to get into the business.
#2 Daniel Bryan and his Cinderella moment
In 2013, Daniel Bryan became the hottest Superstar to walk the planet. The fans couldn’t get enough of him, and even sports teams borrowed his ‘Yes’ chants. Everyone but the WWE management believed in the impossible dream of Daniel Bryan reaching the upper echelons of the company.
However, the fans never gave up on the Superstar. While WWE tried to sweep it under the rug, the Yes Movement spread across continents, crossing the oceans, and the fans made sure that their voices were heard. WWE finally relented, as Daniel Bryan received his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania, but had to cross a few hurdles first.
Bryan took on Triple H earlier in the night, and later main evented the show, winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship! With the two titles held high above his head, the Cinderella dream finally came true, and Daniel Bryan, because of the WWE fans, defied the odds and WWE management to become the world champion.
#1 Brock Lesnar conquers the streak
Very few things make the wrestling world stand still, and even fewer make us question our sanity. Hogan turning heel was one such occurrence, but nothing could’ve prepared us for what we were going to witness at WrestleMania 30.
The fans expected The Undertaker to defy the odds yet again, and beat the one Superstar he had failed to vanquish. However, when Lesnar hooked The Undertaker’s leg, and the referee’s hand hit the mat for the third time, the entire arena stood in silence for a second. Hearts raced, eyes wide open in disbelief; the one constant had been interrupted, and the industry was shaken to its very core.
Lesnar conquering The Undertaker’s streak is easily the most unbelievable moment in wrestling history, and we had the chance to witness it unfold in front of our very eyes!