Because of the WWE Network, fans can now watch every single WrestleMania from start to finish.
So, for 30 days leading up to WrestleMania XXX, we will take an extensive look back at each event from the very first, to the most recent.
Here's the WrestleManias we've covered so far:
Date: April 4, 1993
Venue: Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nev.
Intercontinental Championship – Tatanka def. Shawn Michaels w/Luna Vachon by count-out
The Steiner Brothers (Scott Steiner & Rick Steiner) def. The Headshrinkers (Fatu & Samu) w/Afa
Doink def. Crush
Razor Ramon def. Bob Backlund
World Tag Team Championship – Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) def. Hulk Hogan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake w/Jimmy Hart by disqualification
“The Narcissist” Lex Luger def. Mr. Perfect
The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer def. Giant Gonzalez w/Harvey Wippleman by disqualification (Undertaker: 3-0)
WWE Championship – Yokozuna w/Mr. Fuji def. Bret “Hit Man” Hart
WWE Championship – Hulk Hogan def. Yokozuna
- WrestleMania IX was the first and only time the WWE Championship changed hands more than once during the event. After Bret Hart lost to Yokozuna due to having salt thrown in his eyes by Mr. Fuji, Hulk Hogan came down to refute the decision and help Hart. Mr. Fuji then challenged Hogan to fight Yokozuna for the title right on the spot. With Hart’s blessing, Hogan accepted and quickly defeated Yokozuna after Mr. Fuji inadvertently threw salt into Yokozuna’s eyes.
- The ending to the show was new and the fans in attendance loved it, but it ultimately hurt the show overall. Hogan, who left the company later in the year, pretty much strong-armed his way into another title win and did so at the expense of the top babyface (Hart), who was pushed to the side after being the champion, and the top heel (Yokozuna), who’s first title reign lasted only a few minutes. In the end, it left a bad taste in the mouth of fans as well.
- The show overall wasn’t that great either. A lot of the matches were average at best and some of the finishes were simply head scratching. Aesthetically, the show was fantastic. Since the show took place in Caesars Palace, the WWE spent a lot of money presenting the show with a Roman theme. The company went as far as to dress the announcers, cameramen and ringside hands in togas, place columns around the stadium and provide live animals for select entrances, including a raven for the Undertaker and a camel for Bobby Heenan. The sunny skies provided a completely different backdrop for any WrestleMania before or since. For the production alone this show is memorable.
- This WrestleMania marked the WWE debut of Jim Ross, who spent years working for Mid-South Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling before finally making his way to WWE. Because of that, this was also the first WrestleMania to not have Gorilla Monsoon providing play-by-play. However, he was still featured on the broadcast.
- Despite being one of the longest-reigning WWE Champions of all time, Bob Backlund never worked at WrestleMania until 1993.
- Yokozuna was the first man to earn a match for the WWE title by virtue of winning the Royal Rumble, a tradition that lasts until this very day. Before then, there was no real reward for winning the Royal Rumble besides bragging rights. In 1992, the winner received the vacant WWE Championship, but in 1993, WWE decided to make the winner the No. 1 contender for the title at WrestleMania.
- Although Yokozuna’s first title reign was brief, he still managed to make some positive history, as he became the first Samoan-born WWE Champion. Despite portraying a Japanese sumo wrestler, Yokozuna was born Rodney Anoa’i. The Anoa’i family includes major wrestling names such as The Rock, Rikishi, Roman Reigns and Jimmy and Jey Uso.
- From WrestleMania VII to WrestleMania IX, Bret Hart climbed the ladder of success, which was evidenced by the title matches he was in on each show. He was in a tag team title match at WrestleMania VII, an Intercontinental title match at WrestleMania VIII and in the WWE title match at WrestleMania IX. According to WWE, he’s the first man to ever compete in three different title matches on three consecutive shows.
- The Undertaker’s match at WrestleMania is so important today that it’s arguably more important than the WWE Championship match. And by virtue of its spot on the card on past shows it was. WrestleMania IX was not one of those times. Undertaker went up against Giant Gonzalez in probably his worst WrestleMania match. It was not Undertaker’s fault. He didn’t have a quality opponent to work with. Even worse was that he won the match by disqualification, which people would riot over today. WWE had no idea that Undertaker would have such a streak back in 1993, but it would never have him extend the streak with a disqualification victory today.
- Brutus Beefcake endured a bad parasailing accident in 1990 and suffered many injuries to his face as a result. His face took years to fully heal and was used as apart of the angle when he teamed with Hogan against Money Inc. He wore a protective mask during the match that put LeBron James’ to shame and made him look like a ridiculous Power Ranger.
- The Doink-Crush match was nothing to go crazy about by any stretch of the imagination, but the angle that was played out during the match was pretty creative, in my opinion. Before the match, Doink cut a promo where he said that by the end of the match Crush would be seeing double. After the referee was knocked down during the match, a second Doink appeared from under the ring, attacked Crush and cost him the match. The original Doink, played by the late Matt Osborne, then did the whole looking in the mirror gimmick with the other Doink, who was played by Steve Keirn. I love Bobby Heenan on commentary pretending that it was some great illusion played by Doink. Once the referee came to his senses, another official tried to inform him that there were two Doinks. That official was Bill Alfonso, who later made a name for himself as a whistle-blowing manager in Extreme Championship Wrestling.