The Grandest Stage of Them All is the place where anything can happen: An underdog can prevail, a new star can be born, love can be in the air, a wrestler could make an incredible jump, a Celebrity could appear… These moments became iconic for every wrestling fan, but also cemented the legacy of this pay-per-view in the history of sports entertainment. As the SteelChair Mag Writers are “WrestleManiacs”, some of them decided to share with you their favourite Mania moments.
Alex Richards – The “YestleMania” – WrestleMania XXX (2014)
WrestleMania 30 bore witness to the culmination of the biggest underdog story in years. Having been put down by the authority and screwed from SummerSlam 2013 onwards, the fans wanted one thing and one thing only: for Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. After years of seeing “WWE” guys being pushed over talented wrestlers, fans feared that Bryan didn’t have the look that WWE wanted. When Bryan wasn’t even in the Rumble, fans rebelled both in the arena and online. Finally, the WWE had no choice but to book Bryan vs Triple H. If Bryan won he would be added to the main event. After pulling out a victory Bryan was attacked and injured by Triple H. His place in the main event was in serious doubt. Bryan made his way out to fight what was basically a 2 on 1 handicap match. But Bryan WOULD NOT QUIT. In the end, he forced Batista to tap out to his YES lock. The crowd chanted YES YES YES to their heart’s content as their guy had finally. Finally, he won the big one.
Victoria Tezangi – The End of the Streak – WrestleMania XXX (2014)
The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania has been a big part of our lives as pro wrestling fans. For over two decades the dead man stood on the grandest stage of them all scoring victory after victory over the likes of legends including Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Diesel and so so many more. With every man standing in his way failing to take out ‘Taker we all wondered whether anyone would score the win or if the dead man would end his WWE run still with that streak intact. Then, of course, we had Wrestlemania 30. A night we will all remember as Brock Lesnar shocked the world defeating the Undertaker and ending one of the most iconic streaks in wrestling history! It was a moment that felt had lasted forever. The shock left everyone in attendance and at home speechless. As time stood still history moved and the start of a new era began.
Josh White – The Rock vs. Hogan – WresteMania X-8 (2002)
When we talk about the greatest WrestleMania moments, what list could ever be complete without the great one himself – The Rock standing toe to toe with the New World Order’s own, Hulk Hogan? It felt as if time truly stood still, and without so much as a headlock being applied, they had every single person in the crowd in the palm of their hands, not quite believing what was before them – the once utterly impossible at that moment made real. Just imagine what could have happened had Scott Hall and Kevin Nash not defected to WCW, this moment may have never happened. At least, not in a way that was just too sweet.
Amanda Why – The Women’s Revolution- WrestleMania 32 (2016)
Set in the context of the Women’s Revolution, the triple-threat between Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks was a huge deal. Three of the ‘four horsewomen of NXT’ fighting for the brand-new WWE Women’s Championship. The belt was unveiled by Lita during the Kickoff show alongside the announcement the women would no longer be Divas, they would simply be Superstars. It was the first WrestleMania for all three, and they were all over the poster. The match itself was fantastic. You could feel the determination to make it the best women’s WrestleMania match ever. They achieved that. The occasion was marred only by Ric Flair who caused multiple distractions and grabbed Sasha Banks to stop her breaking up the Figure Eight Charlotte made Becky Lynch tap with. Ageing Hall of Famer’s aside, this was the match that showed the WWE universe the women couldn’t just keep up, they could steal the show.
Liam O’Rourke – Shawn Michaels’ Ladder Splash – WrestleMania X (1994)
Time can do funny things with classic matches. Some age better with time due to the elements that made them great fading away in the current style (the intensity in Austin Vs. Bret from Mania 13, for example). With Shawn and Razor, if you watch it for the first time now, it may not be as special. But watching at the time, your mind was blown when Michaels hit that baseball slide to the ladder. Something like that was an injury angle back then. You couldn’t believe the repeated ladder shots. The bumps from Shawn were incredible. Razor’s timing and selling was perfect throughout. The twists and turns with both men looking to bring down the belts were breathtaking. Shawn’s legendary splash. A finish that blew the roof off Madison Square Garden. For years, this was the match you showed people who didn’t understand how great wrestling is.
Steph Franchomme – The first-ever Iron Man match – WrestleMania XII (1996)
When Commissioner Rowdy Roddy Piper announced that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels would compete in an hour-long match at WrestleMania XII, competitors seemed as stunned as the audience was. Was it possible to wrestle 60 long minutes and offer a good match? It was mostly promoted as Bret Hart’s legacy vs. Shawn Michaels’ Boyhood Dream because it was everything it was about, a Changing of the Guard. Just the entrances proved it, Hart walked to the ring while Michaels flew to it. For 60 minutes, both men gave everything they had from both a performance and an endurance standpoint. As the clock ticked down, neither wrestler was able to record a fall. As Hart walked up the aisle, championship in hand, Commissioner Gorilla Monsoon asked the referee to restart the match with sudden death rules. Less than two minutes and two Sweet Chin Music later, Michaels recorded the only fall of this epic encounter. “The boyhood dream has come true for Shawn Michaels,” said Vince McMahon. An angry Hart left the building to come back a few months later to challenge Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and his Kliq started to create their own legacy.