WrestleMania 33 is right around the corner, it is now less than two weeks until the biggest event of the year, and it already looks as though it will be an epic night. WrestleMania is always the standout part of the wrestling calendar and always provides some of the most memorable moments in the history of WWE.
Over the past 33 years, there have been some incredible WrestleMania moments that the WWE Universe enjoys rewatching and remembering. There is a reason why this is considered both the biggest and the best event of the year. Not only is WrestleMania memorable for the greatest moments of the year, but there are also some of the most emotional moments in WWE history that have happened on The Grandest Stage of them All.
The following is a list of the 15 most emotional moments at the past 33 WrestleMania events, the ones that shook the company to the core, and the ones that forced many to hold back the tears. These moments weren’t just emotional in what they were doing, but they were also emotional because of what they meant, what the wrestlers had worked for, and how hard they had fought to be where they were at that point.
15. Charlotte Vs Becky Vs Sasha – WrestleMania XXXII
Charlotte defended her newly unveiled Women’s Championship at WrestleMania for the first time back at WrestleMania 32, in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest female matches at a WrestleMania event.
Charlotte is the daughter of Ric Flair and has worked so hard over the past few years to prove that she deserves to be in the position she is currently in. Becky Lynch has fought many personal demons to begin training to be a wrestler and proved that she is good enough to be named amongst the greats, while Sasha Banks was a former NXT Women’s Champion at this point who also had something to prove. All three women were making their WrestleMania debut and they wrestled out of their skin on that night in April 2016, to prove that the current Women’s Division is the best it has ever been.
14. Randy Savage And Miss Elizabeth’s Reunion – WrestleMania VII
Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth are one of the best known former couples in WWE history. They broke up and made up so many times throughout their lengthy career and were actually dating in real life at the time as well.
Back in 1992, it seemed as though Savage and Elizabeth were over and Savage had just lost a career-threatening match to The Ultimate Warrior. Sensational Sherri began attacking Savage after the match until Elizabeth made her way to the ring and defended her fallen friend. She threw Sherri out of the ring and then hugged Randy. He then held the ropes down to help her out of the ring, something she had always done for him up to that point.
13. John Cena Finally Defeats The Rock – WrestleMania XXVIIII
WrestleMania 27 began what was a gripping feud between The Rock and John Cena when The Great One decided to become involved in the match between Cena and The Miz in the main event. John Cena and The Rock then faced off at WrestleMania 28 in a match that was deemed “Once in a Lifetime,” a match that The Rock ended up winning.
The win for The Rock was one of the most shocking moments at that WrestleMania event and WWE decided to give John Cena a shot at redemption the following year as The Rock took the WWE Championship into WrestleMania 29 and put it on the line against John Cena. Cena finally came out on top and silenced all the voices who were telling him that The Rock was so much better than he was.
12. Zack Ryder Wins The Intercontinental Championship – WrestleMania XXXII
Zack Ryder has been one of the most underrated wrestlers in WWE for the past few years. He has been in WWE for almost 12 years, but it was only at WrestleMania 32 that he was finally able to hear his own music played at WrestleMania.
Ryder is used to not being used in events or being part of The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, but last year he was part of the Intercontinental Championship ladder match and was definitely not considered to be a favourite heading into the match. It came as a huge shock when it was Ryder who climbed the ladder and won the title, but WWE decided to take the title away from him less than 24 hours later on Monday night Raw, which ruined the entire thing.
11. Roddy Piper Says Farewell – WrestleMania III
Roddy Piper faced Adrian Adonis at WrestleMania III in a hair vs hair match. At this point Piper had become a popular star in WWE and this was deemed to be his final match with the company because he wanted to move away from wrestling and begin a career in movies, after a few successful cameos beforehand.
Piper won the match and exited the arena to a standing ovation from the crowd. Unsurprisingly, Roddy’s hiatus from wrestling only lasted for two years and the Canadian star returned just two years later at WrestleMania V. Roddy sadly passed away back in July 2015 following a heart attack, which allowed the WWE Universe to say their own goodbyes to the legend, almost 20 years after his retirement match at WrestleMania.
10. Seth Rollins Cashes In Money In The Bank – WrestleMania XXXI
WrestleMania 31 was an underwhelming event, to say the least, but it is best remembered for the fact that Seth Rollins became the first ever star to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on The Grandest Stage Of Them All.
Rollins had earlier been defeated by Randy Orton, but later in the night he decided to invade the match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, he hit his signature kerb stomp to win the WWE World Championship for the first time. Rollins then had a lengthy title reign following this. It was even more emotional for Rollins, who was celebrating his first ever WrestleMania as a singles star after The Shield disbanded back in 2014. If it wasn’t for Rollins’ injury back in November 2015, it is thought that he would have had a much longer title run.
9. Ultimate Warrior And Hulk Hogan – WrestleMania VI
Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior had a fantastic rivalry throughout their times in WWE together. This all came to a head at WrestleMania six with the Intercontinental Championship on the line. Hogan was the popular character at the time but Warrior had his own fans as well.
This was the first time there was a good guy vs good guy match in WWE and it was highly confusing for many fans. It led to a lot of the WWE Universe turning on Hogan and cheering on Warrior instead. It was Warrior who came out on top and took the title away from Hogan, making this the first time that Hogan had been pinned in WWE history. Hogan handed the title over to Warrior and hugged him which was thought to be his way of passing the torch onto Warrior.
8. Shawn Michaels Wins The WWE Championship – WrestleMania XII
Shawn Michaels always dreamed of becoming WWE Champion. His rivalry with Bret Hart is one of the best-known feuds in WWE thanks to The Montreal ScrewJob back in 1997, but at WrestleMania that year, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had one of their best matches.
Michaels and Hart collided in a 60-minute Iron Man match but after the hour was up, neither man had managed to score a pinfall. This then took the match into sudden death where anyone who scores a pinfall would be declared the winner. Michaels hit Sweet Chin Music to win the match and his first ever WWE Championship. This was Michaels’ dream and he sat in the ring for a few minutes afterwards just staring at the title, unable to believe it himself.
7. Edge’s Final Match – WrestleMania XVII
Edge was forced to prematurely retire from WWE back in 2011 when it was revealed that he was suffering from Cervical Spinal Stenosis which meant that he could no longer wrestle full-time for WWE because a blow to his neck could potentially cause him to be paralyzed for the rest of his life.
A few days before Edge had successfully defended the World Championship at WrestleMania 27 against Alberto Del Rio, Edge was then forced to relinquish the Championship when his diagnosis was made public. As an 11-time World Champion, Edge had a lot of success in WWE and now the WWE Universe fondly remember his final match at WrestleMania as the end of an incredible career.
6. Rey Mysterio Wins The World Championship – WrestleMania XXII
Rey Mysterio was best friends with Eddie Guerrero prior to his death in 2005 and then dedicated his performance in The Royal Rumble to Latino Heat, a match he went on to win, to secure his place in the WrestleMania main event.
There were twists and turns along the way that eventually included Randy Orton in the match as well, but in Chicago on April 2nd, 2006, Rey Mysterio hit the West Coast Pop on Orton to lift the World Championship for the first time in memory of his best friend. His widow Vickie Guererro and his nephew Chavo were there to celebrate with Rey after the match and the arena fought back the tears for the 2006 Hall of Fame inductee. Rey went on a decent run with the Championship, but ultimately lost the title thanks to Chavo in a cruel twist of fate.
5. Daniel Bryan Wins The World Championship – WrestleMania XXX
Daniel Bryan was the front runner in WWE for the better part of 2013-2014. He was referred to as a B+ Player by The Authority and they stated that he was never going to be the champion or the face of the company.
Bryan was forced to fight against this stereotype for most of the year before it all came to a head at WrestleMania 30 when Bryan was forced to wrestle twice at the event. Bryan faced Triple H for the right to fight for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later in the night and it actually turned out in Bryan’s favour when he defeated Triple H and Batista and Orton in a triple threat match to finally stick it to The Authority and become the World Champion. This WrestleMania event is now referred to as “YesleMania” by the WWE Universe.
4. Shawn Michaels Is Forced To Retire – WrestleMania XXVI
Shawn Michaels had a lengthy WWE career, but it was one that was plagued with injury when Michaels faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 and became another name who was added to his famous undefeated streak.
Michaels was then convinced to face The Undertaker again the following year because he had a point to prove. He stated that he had to defeat Undertaker and if he couldn’t then he would retire. The match then became a career threatening match. The match was one of the best of Michaels’ career and after he lost the match, Undertaker picked Michaels up and the couple embraced in the ring afterwards. It was a great ending to an incredible career. Michaels is one of the only stars in WWE history who has stayed retired since he walked away from the company.
3. Ric Flair Retires – WrestleMania XXIV
Ric Flair is a legend in WWE circles. He is a former 16 time World Champion and back in 2008, it was decided that Ric’s time in the ring should come to an end. Flair faced his long-time friend Shawn Michaels in the match as Flair’s career was put on the line.
The build up to the match stated that the next time Flair lost a singles match, he would be forced to retire. Ric went on a winning streak from November 2007 until WrestleMania when he came up against Michaels. The two were good friends and they put on a match of the year performance until Michaels utter the words “I’m sorry, I love you” before he hit Flair with Sweet Chin Music and ended the legend’s career.
2. The End of The Streak – WrestleMania XXX
The Undertaker is one of the best-known superstars in WWE history. Since his birthday at WrestleMania VII, Undertaker has had an undefeated streak at the biggest event of the year. This all came to a sad end back in 2014 when one challenger proved too much for The Deadman.
Undertaker took on The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar, and on the surface, it looked like a match that Undertaker could easily come out on top of. The ending of the match changed a few times before the show, but Lesnar destroyed the legend easily and following a third F5, he pinned The Undertaker and ended the streak after 21 successful defences. The fans in the arena and at home sat in awe for the nest few minutes as they attempted to come to terms with what had just happened.
1. Eddie Guerrero And Chris Benoit – WrestleMania XX
Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were the best of friends throughout their careers in WWE, but it wasn’t until WrestleMania 20 that the duo were both holding a title. Eddie faced Kurt Angle with his WWE Championship on the line, and he came out on top against the submission machine.
Chris Benoit had the odds stacked against him in the main event as he was put in a triple threat for the World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Benoit was the shock winner and lifted the world title for the first time, before Eddie appeared in the ring after his match and the two friends celebrated the incredible win as confetti fell throughout the arena. Knowing that these two stars are no longer with us makes this moment even more emotional for the WWE Universe.