With Wrestlemania around the corner, I am going to take you down memory lane and pick certain matches from different Wrestlemania’s that happened on this day. What a lot of you should know is I am a huge wrestling fan that has been a fan for over 3 decades. I’m not a part of the stupid fan wars that has been happening since last year. I am unbiased and will acknowledge the good and the bad of all shows. I love wrestling in general and truly happy that there is so much to watch. From the longest running, WWE to the current next big thing, AEW and everything from ROH to Impact, AAA to NJPW and of course my personal favorite, Stardom, there is no shortage of wrestling to watch. I watch it all and enjoy everything as a fan. I have my favorites and ones I hate but overall, I love it all and will never choose a side. Anyways with that being said, allow me to take you down through the history of Wrestlemania.
So real quick, yesterday was the 22nd and 11th year of Wrestlemania’s 15 and 26. A brief recap of those is in Wrestlemania 15 marked the first of three encounters between The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, the finals of the lame Brawl-For-All tournament and one of Undertakers’ lackluster Mania matches against the Big Boss Man. The rest of the ppv is pretty unmemorable except for those matches. However 26 is a different story. 26 was headlined by the historic Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, Streak vs Career match which saw the Undertaker win and retire the Heartbreak Kid. On the card you had John Cena defeat Batista for the WWE title. If you don’t watch wrestling, Batista is in the MCU as the character Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy. Current AEW star and front man for hard rock band Fozzy, Chris Jericho retained his title against Edge. It also saw the return of Bret “The Hitman” Hart taking on the owner of WWE, Vince McMahon and another current AEW star, Jack Swagger aka Jake Hager become the 6th Money In The Bank briefcase holder. The funny thing is, in this ppv, 9 of the competitors on this show now all wrestle or are part of AEW. Crazy that this all happened 10 years ago. My has the landscape changed. Now that I gave you a brief recap of those 2 Wrestlemania’s let delve into Wrestlemania’s 3, 14 and 31.
Now unfortunately, when Wrestlemania 3 happened I was only 2 so there isn’t much I can tell you about it except the biggest match there was Andre the Giant vs Hulk Hogan where Hogan body slammed Andre which was the first time televised to the world. However, one of my favorite wrestlers growing up was the late great Macho Man Randy Savage and he defended his Intercontinental title against Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat where unfortunately he didn’t retain but the match itself is considered one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history. Macho Man was by far one of the most entertaining superstars back in the day with his promos and wrestling ability. Unfortunately today, there isn’t many stars of today that can hold a candle to him, the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper or Jake the Snake Roberts in terms of talking. Speaking of Piper he had a Hair vs Hair match against the late Adrian Adonis which Piper was successful at this Wrestlemania. Come to think of it, Jake Roberts with the rock legend Alice Cooper by his side also had a match against another favorite of mine, Honky Tonk Man but unfortunately like Macho he lost. So overall 3 had some pretty memorable moments but 11 Wrestlemania;s later, we get the greatest era in wrestling, specifically for WWE or WWF at the time, the Attitude Era.
Wrestlemania 14, where do I start? I was 13 years old and surprisingly was a WCW fan. But occasionally I would check out WWF if I was allowed because if you read my post previously on 2pac’s Me Against The World, I mentioned I was a troublemaker and would be punished and grounded a lot so therefore no tv or early bedtime. This Wrestlemania is memorable for one reason and that was the appearance of “Iron” Mike Tyson which if you remember at this time, was notorious for biting the ear of Evander Holyfield. Known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet”, Vince McMahon brought him to bring more eyes to the WWF and one of the greatest superstars at the time and probably on a majority of wrestling fans Mount Rushmore, Stone Cold Steve Austin didn’t take too kindly to that and confronted Tyson on Monday Night Raw. This was the true start of the Attitude Era that would lead WWF to finally beat WCW in the Monday Night War. As for the show itself, it saw the return of one of the most dominant tag teams in wrestling history and one of my favorites, the Road Warriors return as LOD 2000 which unfortunately was their darkest time win a battle royal to become the number 1 contenders for the Tag Team titles. Triple H who is now the boss of WWE’s 3rd brand, NXT and alongside Shawn Michaels formed one of the best stables in the companies history, known to fans as Degeneration X, defended his European championship against the late great Owen Hart. The show also saw one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson defeat the “World’s Most Dangerous Man” former UFC star, Ken Shamrock by DQ. The legendary phenom, The Undertaker defeat his storyline brother and this year’s Hall of Famer, Kane after hitting three Tombstone Piledrivers to put him down. The main event saw Stone Cold defeat Shawn Michaels for the WWF title with Mike Tyson as the special enforcer which saw Tyson turn on DX and counted the 3 for Stone Cold to get the win. Crazy how things have changed. This was truly the silver age of wrestling which leads me to the new age, Wrestlemania 31.
Now unfortunately, these newer Wrestlemania’s just don’t have the luster of the last 30. Nothing really memorable. Granted the wrestlers of today are far more athletic than the previous generation of wrestlers but a lot of them lack personality and promo skills. Plus this is when WWE starts relying on part timers and legends, factor in that they changed their rating to PG, you really see the difference on how things are. Let’s see what happened here: Daniel Bryan won the Ladder Match to become the new Intercontinental champion. Randy Orton defeated Seth Rollins in a match. AJ Lee and Paige defeated soon to be Hall Famers, the Bella Twins. Wrestler turned Hollywood star John Cena defeated current AEW star Miro aka Rusev for the US Title. Undertaker rebounding from his streak being broken to defeat Bray Wyatt. Seth Rollins cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase in the title match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns to become the new champion. However I skipped over one match because I felt this was the big one. WCW Legend and Icon, current AEW wrestler Sting took on Triple H in a No Disqualification match which saw appearances from the NWO and Degeneration X. Some say, Sting was brought in for Vince to finally put the nail in the coffin of WCW due to fact that Sting is the symbol of WCW. Others thought otherwise and some like me was just in awe to even see him wrestle in what at one time was known as the enemy. No matter how you view it, this was truly a Wrestlemania moment to witness because of the history between 2 companies that culminated in a final clash. Would’ve been a lot better if it was Undertaker but unfortunately we will never, ever get that match. Despite the players, you had to mark out for the appearances of DX and NWO, 2 factions that dominated their respective companies during the Monday Night Wars side with the respective wrestlers. This alone would’ve been the biggest moment of the show but unfortunately, Sting lost and the fans were very disappointed. Honestly, Sting should’ve won since they weren’t going to give us Undertaker vs Sting but more importantly, would’ve been a great moment for Sting in his legendary career. Later on, Sting would get hurt and that would be the end of his WWE career and wrestling career until late last year when the Icon would return to now a rival promotion once again, AEW. Boy has history repeated itself again.
So there you have it. After 36 years, 36 Wrestlemania’s that time is upon us once again. But for now, let us continue to relive these moments. Stay tuned for part 2 of my Wrestlemania Retrospective. I am your tour guide and wrestling fan, The Oracle, thank you for reading. Remember, one love and zero miedo. Oracle out!