This Sunday is a big day for wrestling fans. Why? Because it’s WrestleMania, baby! It’s like the Super Bowl of Wrestling. Only instead of it being free to watch, you have to pay $55—or $65 if you want it in HD. But other than that, it’s totally like the Super Bowl of wrestling: the WWE’s biggest day in which they pull out all the stops. They even count WrestleManias in Roman numerals, just like the Super Bowl. This year will be WrestleMania XXVIII, which is 28 for those of you not well-versed in this archaic mode of numeration.
In celebration of this year’s big event, I thought it would be appropriate to bring you a list of 9 classic WrestleMania moments. I can’t say they are without a doubt the greatest moments in the history of the event, but they are all awesome for one reason or another. If you’re an expert in WWE history and you see that I omitted a moment more amazing than any of these, by all means, please enlighten us.
So click on, friends, for some awesome/hilarious pro wrestling action.
Fans were excited when they heard Mike Tyson would be the guest ref for a match between Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV in 1998. Why? Because you know they're not going to have the former heavyweight boxing champ of the world step into the ring—for a whopping $3.5 million fee—and not have him throw a punch, even if he is the ref. And sure enough, after Austin won, a protesting Michaels got schooled by the ref.
9. Tyson KOs Shawn Michaels
At WrestleMania XX in 2004, what was supposed to be a dream match between two powerhouses turned into the worst match in the history of the event when word leaked that both Goldberg and Lesnar were leaving the WWE—the latter to pursue an NFL career.
As you can see from the video, fans in attendance at Madison Square Garden let the two hear what they thought about them. At the 4:40 mark, they start cheering "YOU SOLD OUT," presumably at Lesnar. Then at the 5:25 mark they start up a chorus of "NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY, GOODBYE." And finally, at the 6:30 mark, the crowd starts cheering for the referee (who just happened to be Steve Austin)–perhaps the only time this has ever happened in the history of pro sports.
8. Worst. Match. Ever.
After Macho Man Randy Savage's loss to The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VII (1991), his manager emasculated the dude in front of the whole world by berating him for the loss. Then, out of nowhere, the Macho Man's old flame and former manager, Miss Elizabeth, comes out of the crowd to defend the man she still loved from that nasty b-word. This led to the most tender and tear-inducing moment in WrestleMania history: the embrace and reunion of Savage and Elizabeth right there in the middle of the ring.
But if you think that was awesome, check out the post-match interview. Macho Man Randy Savage (God rest his soul) hams it up like only he could. Totally amazeballs.
7. Macho Man's Romance
At WrestleMania XV in 1999, the WWE thought they'd try out a new gimmick: a "Brawl for All" shoot match (i.e., an unscripted contest) between Bart Gunn and the comical professional boxer Butterbean. Luckily for fans, but unluckily for Bart Gunn, the gimmick was freakin sweet. Gunn was no match for legit heavyweight punches, and Butterbean cleaned his clock.
Unfortunately, Gunn's beating led the WWE to give forget the unscripted matches in the future. They proved to be a little too risky.
6. Butterbean KOs Bart Gunn
WrestleMania XIV (1998) certainly wasn't the first occasion in which a pro athlete stepped into the WWE ring. But it was certainly one of the most memorable ones. That's because it involved baseball's disgraced all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, getting Tombestoned by Kane.
5. Baseball's hit king gets Tombstoned
At WrestleMania VI in 1990, Hulk Hogan lost his title to The Ultimate Warrior in an epic match. Afterwards, a crestfallen and teary Hulkster practically stole the spotlight with his sportsmanship, climbing back into the ring to hand Warrior the belt and pronounce him the new champion. Awwww. The two would reunite for another classic moment at WrestleMania VIII in 1992. Hulk was being torn apart by Sid Justice and Papa Shango, when all of a sudden The Ultimate Warrior comes sprinting into the ring to save the day.
As you can see from the clip below, it ruled.
4. Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior
At WrestleMania XXIII (2007), the WWE managed to work a nice little feud between billionaire Donald Trump and WWE CEO Vince McMahon into the festivities. The two agreed to settle their dispute (who knows what it was about) in the ring—only instead of wrestling each other, each man chose a wrestler to represent him. And the loser would have his head shaved.
Of course, no one thought for a minute that Trump's guy would lose. And he didn't. But we did get to see The Donald engage in a little bit of brawling himself, which was a nice touch.
3. Donald Trump vs. Vince McMahon
This WrestleMania moment gets the award for "Most Surreal."
The match between Rowdy Roddy Piper and the bizarre Goldust (who would come on to his opponents mid-match) at WrestleMania XII (1996) began as a backlot brawl which turned into a OJ Simpson-style freeway car chase before concluding in the ring. That's when Piper stripped off Goldust's leotard to reveal his sexy lingerie, complete with thong panties.
I kid you not. Watch the whole video.
2. Roddy Piper strips Goldust naked
At WrestleMania III in 1987, in front of 93,000 screaming fans at the Pontiac Silverdome, America's most beloved wrestler took on his former friend, the supposedly undefeated and unbeatable Andre the Giant, with the WWF title on the line. In the final moments of the match, with the Giant stunned, the Hulkster did what nobody else had ever done: he picked up 7'4" 500lb beast and slammed him to the mat.
Choreographed or not, that's an impressive feat. It sure whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
1. Hulkster body slams Andre the Giant
Brock Lesnar, Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Rock, WrestleMania, WWE,