Not many things are better than getting together with your best buds and ordering wrestling’s premier event, Wrestlemania. No matter how into wrestling you are, the spectacle that is Wrestlemania, always leaves you in awe with that jaw-dropping moment that you’ll be talking about the following day (and probably the following month). I can remember watching Steve Austin and The Rock tear the house down in Houston, in front of 68,000 fans and just thinking “wow,” after Vince shockingly helped Austin to the victory. I can remember being in utter shock and losing at least 4 hours of sleep that night, pondering on what I just saw. This is the impact of Wrestlemania – it gives wrestling fans an unforgettable feeling. Wrestlemania has had a fair share of these moments, moments that simply left you speechless. This article will look at 10 Wrestlemania moments that left us all in shock, and were regarded as huge upsets that took place under the lights of the biggest stage of them all.
10) Eddie Guerrero Defeats Kurt Angle To Retain The WWE Title (Wrestlemania XX)
Wrestlemania XX took place where it all began, in Madison Square Garden, in front of 18,000 strong. The late great Eddie Guerrero shocked the world at the previous PPV, by defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE championship. I can still remember the roar of the crowd when Eddie hit the frog splash for the victory. In the following PPV, Guerrero defended his new Championship against Kurt Angle, and many thought Eddie’s Championship run was short-lived (he would drop the belt to Kurt at Mania), however this was not the case. Eddie would retain the title via roll-up, and later that night, Benoit would capture the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event, prompting Eddie to join Benoit in the ring, with both “underdog” wrestlers celebrating with their titles. Certainly a chilling moment that wrestling fans still talk about to this day.
9) Two-Fall Triple Threat Match For The Intercontinental Championship & The European Championship: Kurt Angle Loses Both Titles To Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho (Wrestlemania 2000)
One of the most under-rated Wrestlemanias of all time took place in Anaheim California. This card was absolutely stacked, with the hardcore title “Battle Royal,” the four- way elimination main event (which saw Triple H retain), the Triangle Ladder match for the tag titles, which absolutely stole the show, and the two-fall triple threat match, which saw a huge upset unfold. Kurt Angle walked into Wrestlemania 2000 as one of the hottest superstars in the industry; the guy was untouchable and couldn’t lose a match, till this event, of course. Angle saw both his titles gone in the match, despite never being pinned. Benoit took the first fall for the Intercontinental title, via a diving headbutt on Chris Jericho, and the next fall for the European title would go to Chris Jericho, via Lionsault. Angle would leave the match without either of his championships.
8) Owen Hart Defeats Bret Hart (Wrestlemania X)
At Wrestlemania X, Bret Hart was slated to fight Yokozuna later in the night, for the WWE title, after both Bret and Lex Luger earned a chance to fight Yokozuna. Owen was tired of living under Bret’s shadow and decided to challenge Bret to a match at Wrestlemania. After initially rejecting the match, Bret would later accept and the two would kick off Wrestlemania X. Owen would shock Bret and the entire MSG crowd, with a major upset victory over his brother, via victory roll. This was especially shocking, due to that fact that Bret was one of the major faces in the company at the time. Don’t feel to bad for Bret, though, after Luger would lose his opportunity to beat Yokozuna for the title, Bret (in his second match of the night) would defeat Yokozuna in the main event to win the WWE title.
7) Rey Mysterio Defeats JBL in 21 Seconds, Capturing The Intercontinental Championship (Wrestlemania XXV)
Wrestlemania XXV, which took place in Houston Texas, saw the Intercontinental Championship defended for the first time in seven years at Wrestlemania. JBL promised the WWE universe the most dominant Wrestlemania performance of all time, but sadly for JBL, it wasn’t the case. In front of a packed house of almost 73,000 people, Wrestlemania would turn out to be a disaster, after he was stunned in just 21 seconds, via 619 by Rey Mysterio and would lose his title. Following the match, JBL would announce “I quit”, and this would end up being his final match.
6) John Cena Defeats JBL After 280 Days as WWE Champion (Wrestlemania 21)
After the third longest title run of the 2000’s, behind John Cena’s 380 days, and CM Punk’s 434 day reign, JBL’s streak finally ended at Wrestlemania 21, in front of 20,000 at the Staples Center. Cena shocked the WWE universe and won his first ever WWE Championship, via the FU. This was the beginning of Cena’s massive rise to the top in the WWE, and he would go on to be part of the main event, five times out of the next nine Wrestlemanias.
5) Triple H Defeated Big Show, Mick Foley & The Rock In Four-Way elimination Match To Retain The WWE Title (Wrestlemania 2000)
Much of the bitterness that came from wrestling fans regarding Wrestlemania 2000, was the fact that Triple H walked out of the PPV, as still, the WWE Champion. Each wrestler had a McMahon in their respective corner; Big Show had Shane, Mick Foley had Linda, The Rock had Vince and Triple H had Stephanie. The match would end with Vince turning on The Rock, and aiding Triple H to victory in the main event. This was a massive upset and is still being discussed to this day, as one of the worst endings in Wrestlemania history, ouch.
4) The Miz Defeats John Cena To Retain The WWE Championship (Wrestlemania XXVII)
In front of a massive capacity crowd of 71,617, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta saw the main event feature The Miz defending his WWE Championship against John Cena. After a rather predictable event, in which I can remember Orton and Punk stealing the show in the mid card, I remember thinking, “Okay, Cena will win, fireworks will hit, and the show will finish with Cena raising the title, once again.” Surprisingly, I was wrong. The WWE threw a massive curve ball and decided to overlook the main event match, and already start to promote for the next Wrestlemania’s main event, beginning a feud between The Rock and John Cena. The Rock would hit the Rock Bottom on John Cena in the main event, leading to a massive upset by The Miz, who would retain his title in the main event. The shock factor was added to the fact that this was the main event of the night, leaving wrestling fans everywhere, very bitter to the fact that such an ending was put as the main event.
3) Rey Mysterio Defeats Randy Orton & Kurt Angle To Win The World Heavyweight Championship (Wrestlemania 22)
Wrestlemania 22 took place in front of 17,000 fans in the Allstate Arena, Illinois. The biggest upset of the night and perhaps the biggest upset in Wrestlemania history, saw Rey Mysterio defeat Kurt Angle and Randy Orton, capturing the World Heavyweight Championship. This incredibly fast-paced Triple Threat match saw Kurt Angle set a Wrestlemania record, in where he lost a third Championship, despite never getting pinned for all three Championship loses. Rey Mysterio has played a key part in this history of Wrestlemania upsets.
2) Hulk Hogan Defeats Andre The Giant Retaining The WWE Championship (Wrestlemania III)
In front of a Wrestlemania record crowd (which still stands today) of 93,173, in the Pontiac Silverdome, the main event was labelled as the biggest main event in sports and entertainment history. Hulk Hogan’s title was in major jeopardy against the 520 pound Andre The Giant. Hogan promised he would Scoop Slam the monster, but many within the WWE universe thought this was impossible and Hogan’s beloved run as champion would finally come to an end. Late in the match, Hogan delivered a “clothesline”, finally taking the Giant off his feet. Hogan gained momentum through this and through the crowd, and by “Hulking up”, he would then somehow Scoop Slam the 520 pound Giant. A roar came from the 93,000 strong that will never be forgotten. Hogan would then hit the leg drop and pick up the improbable victory to retain his title.
1) Brock Lesnar Defeats The Undertaker (Wrestlemania XXX)
It still sends chills down my spine, hearing the silence from the crowd after the pin-fall is proceeded by the bell ringing, indicating the match is over, more importantly the streak, is over. The crowd looked on in disbelief, and my buddy’s kept saying “this is a mistake.” No match in Wrestlemania history has ever left more fans in disbelief, also due to the fact that Brock ended the streak. Following the match, the big screen in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome indicated an eerie 21-1 record, which just did not feel right. Wrestlemania XXX will go down in history as the end of one of the greatest streaks in wrestling history. As a wrestling fan, you live for moments that will live forever, and this moment is certainly one that will live in WWE history for a long time.