Yet another WrestleMania in the books, and one thing’s for sure, WrestleMania 31 had its fair share of memorable moments. Like many other WrestleMania events in the past, there’s always that one match that steals the show, and this year, Sting and Triple H tore the house down with run-ins by DX and the nWo; long time wrestling fans were certainly “marking” out during this match. Once again, a match that was not slotted for the main event stole the show. This certainly isn’t the first time nor will it be the last time a match that isn’t in main event steals the show. Let’s take a look at 10 other matches that stole the show in past WrestleMania events, enjoy!
10) Shawn Michaels Vs Kurt Angle-WrestleMania 21
When you put these two phenomenal wrestlers in the ring together, they’re going to steal the show no matter what the event is. Wrestlemania 21 saw Batista defeat Triple H in the main event for the World Heavyweight Championship. Despite its main event status, no match came close to the Michaels Angle match that night. The match was given almost 30 minutes of the card, in comparison to the main event which was just over 21 minutes. As you will see in this article, this is one of the many matches HBK would end up stealing on the biggest stage of them all; Wrestlemania (hence the nickname, Mr. Wrestlemania).
9) Edge Vs Mick Foley (Hardcore Rules) – WrestleMania 22
Throughout Mick’s memorable career, one thing he had not done till that point was steal the show at WrestleMania. In a match he made famous, Mick took on his real life best friend Edge, in a match which stole the show on a card that was pretty stacked from top to bottom. The image of Edge spearing Mick Foley through the flaming table was one that will live in the minds of wrestling fans forever, as it was truly the Wrestlemania moment of the night. After the match, Foley was finally able to cross that off his list of many accomplishments in his terrific WWE career.
8) Tag Team Title TLC Match – WrestleMania X-Seven
This event took place in 2001, in front of 68,000 in the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas. This Wrestlemania (to this day) is known to be the greatest Wrestlemania of all time. The card was stacked with matches such as Angle against Benoit, Shane McMahon against Vince McMahon, The Undertaker against Triple H and of course, the main event which saw Stone Cold Steve Austin defeat the Rock. Despite all these great matches, the tag team division stole the show with the second ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Some spots during the match were absolutely jaw dropping, and till this day, this match is believed to be by far the greatest tag team title match in Wrestlemania history.
7) Ric Flair Vs Shawn Michaels (Career Threatening Match) – WrestleMania XXIV
Despite a mediocre card, WrestleMania XXIV will forever be remembered as the final chapter in the career of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, Ric Flair. Add Shawn Michaels to Flair’s final match and you’re certain to get a match you’ll never forget. The ending of the match engraved itself into the history of WrestleMania. HBK hesitated to hit the “sweet chin music”, and before he did, Michaels said to Flair “I’m sorry. I love you”. The next thing you know, Shawn hit a thunderous Super kick ending the career of perhaps one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The crowd stood up in absolute aw of not only the match, but to celebrate the tremendous career of the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
6) Razor Ramon Vs Shawn Michaels (Ladder Match) – WrestleMania X
At that point in time, wrestling fans had never seen anything like this type of match. This ladder match not only stole the show but also cemented itself as one of the most memorable WrestleMania matches of all time. The scene of Shawn Michaels hitting a flying cross body off the top of the ladder still remains one of the most iconic images in WrestleMania history. The match came together when Razor won the vacated Intercontinental title. HBK protested the title win and decided to carry around a fake Intercontinental title in protest. Ultimately, there was only one way to decide who the true champion was; hang both their belts high above in the air, and whoever claims the belts first will be the undisputed champion. The match went on to change the career of both superstars. In Shawn’s case, this was the beginning of the legacy of “Mr.WrestleMania”.
5) The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XXV
The match labelled as The Streak Vs Mr. WrestleMania is considered to many as the greatest match in WrestleMania history. Michaels, who is known for stealing the show on the biggest stage of them all, calls this match the best out of his entire career. The match had many jaw-dropping moments; particularly Michaels kicking out of the tombstone, and for the first ever time ever, looking like Taker’s streak was in major jeopardy. Ultimately, the Undertaker would pick up the win going 17-0. Shawn Michaels would end up re-challenging the Undertaker at the following Wrestlemania, putting his career on the line. The two fought in the main event of WrestleMania 26, and this would end up being Shawn’s final match, ending his illustrious career on the stage he stole the show on for many years.
4) The Rock Vs Hogan – WrestleMania X8
Billed as a once in a lifetime type of match, icon versus icon took stage in front of 68,000 in Toronto’s SkyDome. The stare down between the two before the match was one of the most electrifying moments in WrestleMania history; simply put, it was absolutely chilling. A spot during the match saw Hogan “Hulk up”, leaving 68,000 fans out of their seats in disbelief with what they were seeing. WrestleMania X8 will forever be remembered as the first time the Rock and Hogan tore the house down together.
3) Stone Cold Vs Bret Hart (Submission Match) – WrestleMania 13
This match was known to be as a type of passing of the torch and a match that would change Steve’s career (a changing of the guard and the debut of a new era in wrestling, the Austin 3:16 era). The image of a bloody Steve Austin refusing to tap earned him his first of many memorable spots in WrestleMania history. The following year, Austin continued to ride his momentum from this show, stealing the matchup the previous year by defeating Shawn Michaels in the main event of WrestleMania 14. Austin would go on to become the face of the WWE and change the “Monday Night Wars” forever.
2) Ricky Steamboat Vs Macho Man Randy Savage – WrestleMania III
In front of 93,173 fans, Steamboat and Savage tore the house down with a match that is considered as being one of the greatest matches in WWE history. Despite the night being highlighted by Hogan slamming Andre, all fans could talk about following this night was what a great match Steamboat and Savage put together. The two wrestlers took a different approach dazzling the fans with their speed, aerial strikes and agility, as opposed to a clash based on size and power. This match forever changed the landscape of wrestling and proved that you don’t have to be 6’5, 270 pounds in order to succeed.
1) Brock Lesnar Vs the Undertaker – WrestleMania XXX
The match itself may not have been show stealing, but the outcome certainly was. The streak was somehow finally over. It still sends chills down my spine when I think of the silence from the crowd after the pin fall, which was proceeded by the bell ringing indicating the match was over, and more importantly, the streak was over. The crowd was in shock, as no match in Wrestlemania history has ever left more fans in disbelief. 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 forever be remembered, and this moment is certainly one that will live in WWE history for a long time; the streak was beat.
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