Since 1985, WrestleMania has grown from somewhat humble beginnings to an international phenomenon, getting bigger year after year to the point where some of the biggest U.S. cities are now vying for the honor of hosting the show. Currently, it’s one of the biggest draws that a city can bring in and it’s no surprise, because some of WWE’s biggest moments occurred here. This is where legends are created and wrestlers are immortalized forever in not only fan’s memories, but pictures as well.
Here you will see some of the most amazing mix of pictures from hidden backstage scenes to some of the most iconic moments ever produced. With over 30 years in the books, there’s no shortage of sensational pictures to select from; in fact, it’s pretty difficult to narrow things down to only fifteen.
Legends like Andre the Giant, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, and The Undertaker, among many others, will be found in this collection of wrestling lore. Enough with the hype though, this is WrestleMania, and there is no bigger pro wrestling show on Earth, so let’s relive some of the finest photos WWE has to offer.
15. Austin, Michaels, and Tyson
Not that Shawn Michaels and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin need any help selling a match, WWE decided to take it up another level by bringing in boxing legend Mike Tyson to be the match’s ring enforcer. Along the way he made it clear he was in the corner of DX and Shawn Michaels, famously brawling with Austin on Raw.
In the end, with a change of attire, Tyson revealed himself to be an Austin supporter, helping him get the win and knocking Michaels out post-match. Michaels sold the punch like he was hit by a Mack truck, dropping almost immediately to the mat, which is a highlight that is still constantly shown to this day.
14. The Never-Ending Story
At WrestleMania XXV, Michaels engaged in an intriguing battle of “light vs. dark” against the Undertaker, in which he came up short in what many consider a classic match. The next year they topped themselves when Michaels was determined to get his rematch, even at the risk of his own career, which Undertaker was indeed able to end for good.
Being friends with Michaels, Triple H then came into the story, demanding a match against “The Deadman” at WrestleMania XXVII; yet again Taker came away with the win. Triple H went to the well one more time, this time with Shawn Michaels as the referee, in a Hell in a Cell. Even with the odds stacked against him, Taker picked up the big win; shown here are all three of them walking out together to massive cheers from the crowd.
13. Icon Vs. Icon
When WWE (or specifically Vince McMahon) wanted to bring back the n.W.o. their sole goal was to destroy the WWE. Along the way Hogan bumped into Rock and the two decided the only way to settle their differences was to battle it out on the biggest stage of them all.
In front of a rowdy Toronto crowd, they decided to change up the game and cheer on Hulk, even though he was clearly the heel in this feud. This photo caught both men looking to their left and right as the crowd went wild. In one of the greatest dream matches ever, Rock was able to overcome “The Hulkster” and get the huge victory, cementing his status among the wrestling greats.
12. Ms. WrestleMania?
WrestleMania has never been a kind place for women’s wrestling; only a fraction of them have had title matches, with the others being pointless, short-lived gimmick matches. The one woman who has done the most with her time here though has been Trish with five matches total and a 3-2 record.
She’s had some well wrestled triple-threat matches that have included Lita, Victoria, and Jazz, while also having the honor of the best women’s match ever against her once obsessed fan, Mickie James. The gap between one and two is not even close, although with Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte about to fight it out, that number one spot may soon change.
11. Hulk Takes On The Boss
After losing to The Rock at WrestleMania XVIII, Hulk moved on to a Street Fight against the boss, Vince McMahon. Had Hogan lost the match he would have been forced to retire, so with that at stake he came to the match as pumped up as ever to get the victory.
While not the most technically sound match, it was a hard fought battle that lasted for over twenty minutes, including chair shots and even a Roddy Piper appearance. Piper (a long time foe of Hogan) came to the ring and hit him with a lead pipe; not surprisingly, he recovered to defeat Vince McMahon and continued fighting on.
10. Power Couple
It’s always a good time when The Rock shows up at WrestleMania, especially when he comes with friends. During a promo, Rock got into a bit of a back and forth against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Well, he’s not one to get into battles with women, but luckily for him, there was someone who was more than happy to get in Stephanie’s face.
At ringside was former UFC champion, Ronda Rousey, who was invited into the ring by The Rock. The crowd went nuts as she not only locked Steph in a standing armbar, but judo tossed Triple H out of his suit.
9. The Immovable Object Vs. The Unstoppable Force
When Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan hooked up at WrestleMania III, fans knew it was a special moment, it was a passing of the torch, it was one of those rare matches that didn’t come along that often. Andre was a proud veteran wrestler, who was big enough to do exactly what he wanted in the ring, and if he didn’t want to do it, there was nothing his opponent could do about it.
Hogan actually feared that Andre may change his mind mid-match and end up taking the win for himself. Being the pro that Andre was, he put Hogan over in a big way, giving the WWE their next big star for many years to come.
8. The Entrance
One of the most critical aspects to a wrestler’s success is their entrance and none have done it better than The Undertaker. Opting for a much slower and more dramatic vibe, he’s been able to constantly change up the look, while always keeping that creepy vibe that just never gets old.
Whether it’s him floating to the ring, riding a hearse (with a crow), or having the undead clawing at his feet, it’s always a true spectacle to watch. At 51, Undertaker has only a handful of matches left, so every single entrance is going to particularly special.
7. The Kid
Going back to 1996, Shawn Michaels had worked his way up from the tag division, to a solo mid-card act, to becoming a main event attraction. At WrestleMania VII, Michaels got his first chance at greatness by going up against Bret Hart in a 60-minute Iron Man match for the WWE Title.
Iron Man matches typically are tough to watch because of the dead time along the way, this match definitely bucked the trend with great wrestling from start to finish. They ended up going the entire 60 minutes and were forced into a sudden death overtime with Michaels getting the win and his first world title. He sat on the mat, title in hand, tears in his eyes as he finally achieved a boyhood dream.
6. Never Give Up
At WrestleMania XIII, Steve Austin took on Bret Hart in a Submission match, which seemed to be a big advantage for Hart, who was known for his technical skills, while Austin was much more of a brawler. The two ended up beating the heck out of each other to the point where blood poured from the head of Austin. Bret was able to lock in his Sharpshooter, Austin yelled out while he was in absolute pain, which became overwhelming that he passed out.
Ken Shamrock was the referee for this match and awarded it to Bret since Austin could not answer him. Post-match Bret continued to beat on Austin pulling off the extremely rare “double turn” where fans began booing Bret and cheering Austin.
5. AJ Lee
To be honest, this was just a really great picture of AJ Lee, who seemed to be really enjoying her moment in the sun. Some of her WrestleMania highlights include; winning the Vickie Guerrero Invitational, where she was about to outlast a number of other Divas to retain her title.
This photo showed AJ at her last WrestleMania, where she and Paige were able to defeat the Bell Twins. Although her big moments were sparse, she was easily the most over women’s wrestler during her time with the company, skipping her way into the fan’s hearts.
4. Taunts Collide
After Brock Lesnar ended his amazing WrestleMania streak, The Undertaker went back to work the next year by taking on “The New Face of Fear” Bray Wyatt. Bray taunted Undertaker with promos week after week leading up to the event. Taker had enough and decided he would teach the young gun a lesson in respect.
During their match, Bray thought he had Undertaker down, doing his signature crab walk taunt towards his fallen opponent, at that moment Undertaker sat up like he always does, actually scaring Bray a bit. Bray might have the fancier taunt, but nothing is scarier than a wrestler who never ever stays down.
3. Stole The Show
At WrestleMania III, fans might have been hyped for Andre vs. Hulk, but by the end of the show there was another match on their lips and that was Randy vs. Ricky. These two hooked up for the Intercontinental title and put on not only the match of the night, but quite possibly the best WrestleMania match ever.
It’s amazing they got such a good picture of these two because they both were like lightning in this one, never slowing down for the fourteen plus minutes they went at it. Partly blocked by the ropes is the angelic Miss Elizabeth rocking a classy looking pink dress.
2. The People’s Champ
The Rock has always been a staple for WrestleMania, so when he decided to come back for another run as the WWE champion it was a treat that wrestling fans very much appreciated. He’s obviously doing well in Hollywood, so for him to still come back to his roots says a lot about the guy.
He was able to roll into WrestleMania (taking the title from CM Punk) to fight John Cena for a second year in a row. Rock was able to win the first match between the two superstars, but the second time around he wasn’t as lucky when Cena won the match and his title.
1. The Showcase Of The Immortals
Do yourself a favor and check out one of the first few WrestleMania events, obviously it has a dated look, but it gives you an idea where the show came from. Then fast forward to WrestleMania XX (at Madison Square Garden) and see how the theatrics grew. Now, go to one of the most recent ones and see how ridiculously big it has become. Filling NFL stadiums, WWE’s biggest show has become can’t miss even to casual and non-wrestling fans.
If you look to the big screen in the picture you’ll see Seth Rollins holding up the WWE World Heavyweight title. The surprising finish was a great way to end WrestleMania 31 with fireworks going off around the entire arena; it must have been a sight to see live in-person.