There’s no drama like wrestling, which means the April 3rd debut of WrestleMania 32 could be the most dramatic event of the year.
Longtime wrestling fans already know this, of course. WrestleMania has long been the stage for some of the biggest rivalries in the industry to come to a head, but fans are treated to spectacles of blood and sweat no matter how the storyline of the year plays out. It’s no mistake that WrestleMania is considered one of the key components that formed the WWE into the media giant it is today, and in honor of this decades long legacy, why not get hyped for WrestleMania 32 by looking back on some of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time? This annual event has been the place where the legacies of wrestlers both begin and end, and all of these moments deserve to be remembered for their impact on the WWE as we know it.
If you’d like to share our journey through wrestling nostalgia, read on to discover the five moments that fans consider some of the craziest and wildest things to ever happen during WrestleMania.
5: Brock Lesnar’s Shooting Star Press
If there’s ever been a WrestleMania moment that came too close to breaking the fourth wall, it’s definitely Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania 19 finishing move.
Aiming to conclude his battle with Kurt Angle with extraordinary spectacle, Brock Lesnar climbed to the top rope and performed the iconic Shooting Star Press move on his opponent. However, because Angle was positioned a bit further away than anticipated, Lesnar botched the move and landed nearly head-first on the mat. It’s clear from the footage that there are genuine moments of concern following the move, but while both wrestlers did suffer serious injuries during the match, the move was fortunately not fatal like some initially feared. Regardless, the fact that Lesnar performed the move as well as he did speaks volumes of his strength and commitment, and the match would go on to be one of the most talked about in wrestling history.
4: Mick Foley gets a fiery tackle
When an announcer sees something and asks “it remains unbeaten here at WrestleMania, but at what price?”, you know the bar for brutality has officially been raised.
In the final moments of his hardcore match against Edge, Mick Foley held on to the outside of the arena while wrestling diva Lita ignited a table right behind him. Edge then used this opportunity to spear Foley right through the ropes and onto the table, leaving Foley completely shocked while Edge pinned him to win the match. With both men completely bloodied and burned, fans looked on in disbelief as the two staggered away from one of the craziest moments ever seen on (or technically off) the ring.
3: Donald Trump beats Vince McMahon before shaving him bald
Donald Trump’s foray into politics has practically defined him for the past year, which makes it hard to remember that the billionaire mogul made appearances in just about every facet of pop culture throughout the last 2 decades. This includes being a part of the WWE canon.
At the height of an in-universe fued with Vince McMahon that was dubbed “Battle of the Billionaires,” Donald Trump chose Bobby Lashley to represent him in a battle against McMahon’s Umaga. While it would take too long to recap the twists and turns that took place in the wrestlers’ battle at WrestleMania 23, all that needs to be said is that Trump wound up taking matters into is own hands by bodyslamming McMahon himself as Lashley made a last minute comeback to win the title. Then, following the victory, Trump actually took to the ring and, as per their agreement for the loser’s punishment, shaved McMahon’s head bald. You can’t make this stuff up!
2: Bret Hart obliterates Steve Austin
At the end of the day, the WWE isn’t just about blood and brutality; it’s about the stories that lead to the vicious matches. So when it comes to matches that had a dramatic impact on the face of wrestling, fans agree that Bret Hart’s takedown of Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13 is one of the most memorable fights to ever take place.
Leading up to the match, Hart was characterized as the lovable babyface while Austin was the villainous heel. However, in the match between the two wrestlers, all of that changed in an instant. Not only did Hart leave Austin bloodied and beaten in the middle of the ring, he revealed a malicious side as he continued to beat on Austin after the match had already been decided. Fans booed Hart when he left the stage, and while Austin struggled to stay conscious as he limped out of the ring, fans applauded him with uproarious cheer. No longer were the lines between good and evil so defined, and Austin’s new image as an antihero propelled him into the legendary status he retains today.
1: Hulk Hogan body slams Andre the Giant
It’s sometimes hard to distinguish between whether we like something just because of nostalgia or because something was genuinely great for it’s time. Though WrestleMania 3 may lack the violence we’ve seen up to this point, the match between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant holds up as well today as it ever did due to its earnestness and genuine enthusiasm from the fans.
In the final moments of the climactic matchup, Hogan attempts and fails a body slam against the impossibly tall Andre. Keep in mind that sources note Andre’s weight and height to be as high as 520 lbs and 7’4”, so Hogan is essentially attempting a herculean feat. After the two exchange a few blows that give Andre the upperhand, Hogan performs a last minute comeback and – yes – actually succeeds in picking up and slamming the giant for the win. Some may say that Andre more or less slammed himself in the maneuver, but for the fans at the time, they couldn’t care less. The cheers from the crowd could not be matched after seeing the proverbial David take down Goliath with such bravado, and it was clear that enthusiasm for the WWE spectacle was at an all time high. WrestleMania 3 proved that the WWE and WrestlMania were here to stay, and with WrestleMania 32 just around the corner, it’s likely that the craziest and most memorable moments are still ahead.
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