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: March 24, 1991
Venue: Los Angeles Sports Arena, Los Angeles, Calif.
The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Mart Jannetty) def. Haku & The Barbarian w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
The Texas Tornado def. Dino Bravo
The British Bulldog def. Warlord w/Slick
World Tag Team Championship – The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) w/Jimmy Hart def. The Hart Foundation
Blindfold Match – Jake “The Snake” Roberts def. Rick “The Model” Martel
The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer def. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (Undertaker: 1-0)
Retirement match – Ultimate Warrior def. “Macho King” Randy Savage w/Queen Sherri
Genichiro Tenryu & Koji Kitao def. Demolition (Smash & Crush)
Intercontinental Championship – Big Boss Man def. Mr. Perfect w/Bobby “The Brain” Heenan by disqualification
Earthquake def. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) def. Power and Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) w/Slick
Virgil w/”Rowdy” Roddy Piper def. “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase by count-out
The Mountie w/Jimmy Hart def. Tito Santana
WWE Championship – Hulk Hogan def. Sgt. Slaughter w/General Adnan
- This WrestleMania was memorable before it even began because of the change of venue. The event was originally scheduled to take place in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which could have had more than 100,000 spectators, but the event was moved into the Los Angeles Sports Arena where the event was seen by less than a fifth of that amount. WWE said the move was done due to security reasons as the event took place during the first Gulf War and Sgt. Slaughter played a very controversial character. However, rumors have been floating for years that the event was moved because of poor ticket sales instead. Both reasons are very plausible, but it all seems odd to me. WrestleMania VI had more than 60,000 people. WrestleMania VIII had more than 60,000 people. Like WrestleMania VII, Hulk Hogan headlined both events, so there wasn’t a drastic change in star power in either of the three. Sgt. Slaughter wasn’t the greatest opponent in the world, but neither was Sid Justice the next year. Maybe WWE wouldn’t have packed 100,000 people into the stadium, but it seemed perfectly capable of having at least 60,000, as the event was bookended by two events that did so. Granted, 60,000 people in the Coliseum wouldn’t have looked great, but WWE could have taken measures to make it look so. Ticket sales must have been very poor if WWE settled for 16,000 people instead.
- Watching the event more than 20 years later, you can tell that Hogan’s act had begun to wear a little thin. It was even more noticeable the next year. Hogan was still a huge star and the people were more than fired up to see him come out with the American flag, but the match itself felt like a rerun of a weekly television show with the only difference being the villain. Hogan faced seemingly insurmountable odds, fought from behind and made a miraculous comeback to once again become the champion. We’d seen this story before. Sure, the Gulf War backdrop gave this main event a different wrinkle, but it still wasn’t enough to really give it the sizzle Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior had the year before.
- The retirement match between Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior was the best match on the card by far and was chalked full of drama. The match itself was a classic with a number of near falls, including Savage hitting five elbow drops only for Warrior to kick out. The two wrestlers looked legitimately spent in the latter stages of the match, which only added to the drama. The reunion of Savage and Miss Elizabeth after the match literally had people in the audience crying tears of joy. To say that people were emotionally invested would be an understatement. The conversation of the best performers at WrestleMania usually begins and ends with Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker, but Savage has to be considered in that conversation as well. He had one of the greatest wrestling matches ever at WrestleMania III, wrestled four times in one night at WrestleMania IV, took part in one of the biggest angles ever at WrestleMania V and executed one of the most emotional matches and angles ever at WrestleMania VII. That’s four masterpieces in the span of five years. He probably could have had a couple more if WWE didn’t force him to sit behind the announce table for the rest of his time with the company. We know now that he wanted to face Shawn Michaels at two consecutive WrestleManias, which would have been all-time classics for sure.
- This marked the WrestleMania debut of the Undertaker. He beat up Snuka pretty bad to begin his legendary streak that still lasts until this day. Back then no one had any idea that he would have such a run. Who could have had such foresight, anyway? Watching every WrestleMania up until that point makes it even more evident just how different he was from everyone else in wrestling. Everyone else had lots of color in their ring attire and in their personalities. On the other hand, Undertaker was in all black and rarely spoke.
- This marked the final WrestleMania appearances for Dino Bravo and Texas Tornado, better known as Kerry Von Erich. Bravo had appeared in numerous WrestleManias until this point and was a mainstay in WWE, but retired from wrestling in 1992. This was Von Erich’s first and only appearance at the big show. Unfortunately, both men died within a month of each other in 1993. Von Erich committed suicide on his father’s ranch in Texas in February. Less than a month later, Bravo was murdered in his home in Quebec.
- This was also the final WrestleMania appearance for Andre the Giant, who walked down during the Big Boss Man-Mr. Perfect match on Boss Man’s behalf and attacked Heenan. Andre the Giant walked to the ring very gingerly and went after Heenan. In January of 1993, Andre the Giant passed away.
- This was the first WrestleMania that did not have Jesse “The Body” Ventura on commentary. While I loved Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon together, Ventura’s departure gave way for Monsoon to partner up with Bobby Heenan, who provided very entertaining banter between each other.
- Another good match on the card was surprisingly between the Nasty Boys and the Hart Foundation. The Nasty Boys weren’t the most technical of wrestlers, but carried their own during the match. Also of note, this was the last time Bret Hart worked in a tag team match at WrestleMania.
- The blindfold match between Jake Roberts and Rick Martel was pure comedic gold. Seeing Martel bodyslam Roberts and attempt to follow it up with an elbow drop, only for Roberts to no longer be there was hilarious. Seeing Martel poke at the air with a steel chair was hilarious also. What’s funny is that the time Roberts and Martel spent searching for each other actually built up anticipation with the crowd. Every time they did come into contact, the crowd went nuts. Roberts and Martel had one of the hottest matches from a crowd standpoint and did maybe six moves between the two.
- This wasn’t the first time, but Vince McMahon had a ridiculous voiceover to start the show. He started doing these the year before and he was so over the top. I know he would go over the top on commentary sometimes, but these were him at his cheesiest.