On Sunday April 3rd, WrestleMania will be celebrating its thirty-second anniversary. Over the past thirty-plus years, a number of incidents have taken place that shocked, disappointed, amazed or caught fans off guard. While not all of the incidents were appreciated by fans, they certainly got them talking. What is interesting is that some of the moments just seemed to happen, and created a response. Sometimes fan reaction wasn't seen coming when you consider who was involved in the matches. Some of the most notable wrestlers that performed at WrestleMania were jeered and there was no way to see it coming. Other times, there were moments that no one predicted involving heel and face turns. These things are what have made WrestleMania the most talked about event of the year.
Vince McMahon will say that anything can happen in the WWE, and when it comes to WrestleMania, that's true. WrestleMania is often referred to as the Super Bowl of professional wrestling and each year it proves to be so. With the pageantry and attention given to the event, there are still moments of true surprise. It is the one event a year that the promotion generally builds around. So while a number of moments may tend to bore or annoy fans because they are left disappointed, a number of moments were unexpected even by the most attentive of wrestling fans. Which moments caught us most off guard? Here are the 15 Most Unexpected Moments in WrestleMania History:
15 The crowd reaction to the Chris Jericho and Triple H match at WrestleMania 18
WrestleMania X8 took place in Toronto, Canada, the last time WrestleMania took place north of the border. It was during that event that ‘Hollywood' Hulk Hogan faced off against The Rock in what many thought would see fans showing their support for The Rock. But the fans threw their support behind Hogan, and in the process turned him face! It was a momentous occasion as it was the first time these man had faced each other, and each represented the success of the WWE in different decades.
14 The Ford Bronco chase between Roddy Piper and Goldust at WrestleMania 12
One of the more unusual events to take place during a WrestleMania involved a wrestler turned actor and a wrestler whose gimmick was tied to the movies. During WrestleMania XII, Rowdy Roddy Piper faced Goldust in what was called the Hollywood Backlot match. The match was essentially a street fight between the two. It appeared as though it was more an action sequence in a film, only it took place literally behind the arena with the two of them. Goldust first appeared and attempted to run over Piper with his gold-colored car. While it was a shocking sight, what was more shocking was how art attempted to imitate life.
13 The nWo/DX Invasion between Sting and Triple H at WrestleMania 31
At WrestleMania 31, wrestling fans were looking forward to seeing something they had never seen before. For the first time ever, the icon Sting was going to compete in a WWE ring and finally have his WrestleMania moment. While many probably believed it was never going to happen, it in fact did. Sting, who was known as the franchise of WCW, was poised to face off against Triple H. The match itself was surprisingly quite good considering the ages of the parties involved.
12 First ever Money In The Bank at WrestleMania 21
WrestleMania XXI was known for being when they went to Hollywood. It should, however, be known for when the Money in the Bank stipulation turned the company on its ear. Jericho, Chris Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Edge, Kane and Christian all took part in this inaugural match up. While the spots that occurred in that match have been replicated time and time again, when it first happened fans stood up and took notice. Moments like challengers jumping from the top rope to the outside to take out multiple opponents, or climbing a ladder while on an incline and striking others were memorable.
11 Rey Mysterio defeats JBL in 20 seconds at WrestleMania 25
At WrestleMania XXV, JBL faced Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Championship. Intercontinental Champion JBL was one of the better heels in the WWE at that time. He got lots of heat regularly, and once again did so during his walk to the ring. He boasted that he was essentially the greatest champion ever that he was a wrestling God, and spent the better part of two and a half minutes talking about where he will stand in wrestling history.
10 Steve Austin's heel turn at the end of WrestleMania 19
If there was ever a moment that fans didn't see coming it was the union of Vince McMahon and Steve Austin after years of animosity. At WrestleMania 19, The Rock faced Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE Heavyweight Championship in the main event. During that main event most believed there was going to be a renewed alliance between The Rock and McMahon, but it did not end as fans anticipated. As the match reached its climax, McMahon came out and gave Austin a steel chair to use. Now, fans may have anticipated him using it to knock out McMahon, based on their previous run-ins with one another.
9 The double turn at WrestleMania 13 between Bret Hart and Steve Austin
One of the greatest matches in the career of both Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret The Hitman Hart was their match-up at WrestleMania 13. The match showcased not only Bret, but Austin as well. During the match we noticed that the action was all over the place. Austin was the clear heel, and regardless of what he said and did, he was getting jeered by the fans because Bret was the babyface who overcame whatever Austin did. What we ended up receiving was one of the most unanticipated moments in WrestleMania history.
8 The crowd reaction to Brock Lesnar and Goldberg match at WrestleMania 20
One of the more anticipated matches in WWE was between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX. It was built up as two of the most dominant men in the sport facing each other. Questions arose as to how Goldberg would do against the strength of Lesnar and vice versa. The match was refereed by Stone Cold Steve Austin, so there was a great deal of star power tied to it.
7 Hulk Hogan winning title at WrestleMania 9
The Bret Hart/Yokozuna match at WrestleMania IX was a fairly good match, all things considered. While many will question Zuna’s mobility, in this match his moves and ability to sell his offense were truly something to be admired. When we add to that how Bret Hart was able to mount an offense and still sell Yokozuna’s offense, both of them were able to tell a convincing story. What fans couldn’t have anticipated was Hulk Hogan’s involvement at the end of the match.
6 Sheamus defeating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds at WrestleMania 28
At WrestleMania XXVIII, Daniel Bryan's character was in a very different place. His character was that of a heel involved with AJ Lee, who he treated poorly during their entire time together. Lee often acted timid and would frequently be berated by Bryan publicly, raising the ire of fans. On the opposite side was "The Celtic Warrior" Sheamus who had been a heel, but was now among the top faces in the company at the time.
5 Ultimate Warrior defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 6
WrestleMania VI it was a battle of two of the biggest names in wrestling, when the Ultimate Warrior took on WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan. At the time, Warrior was the Intercontinental Champion and immensely popular. Despite all his popularity, having him face Hulk Hogan for the championship at WrestleMania was incredible. It was also hard to believe that the main event had two babyfaces battle one another.
4 Trish Stratus turning on Chris Jericho after match with Christian at WrestleMania 20
From the file of "we didn't see that coming" there is the heel turn of Trish Stratus. Leading up to the Christian and Chris Jericho match at WrestleMania XX, fans had seen Stratus involved in an on-screen relationship with Chris Jericho. The feud had begun when Stratus began to develop feelings for Jericho, and Christian attacked Stratus, causing Jericho to fight for her honor. Much like any man fighting for what's right and seeking retribution, Jericho went after Christian.
3 Ultimate Warrior returns at WrestleMania 8
During his rise in the mid to late 1980s, The Ultimate Warrior was one of the biggest draws the WWF had at the time, including Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage. When he captured the WWF Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania VI, for as many fans that were pleased with that result, there were just as many that were surprised that it even happened. Warrior ended up leaving the WWF amid turmoil and a poor relationship with the company's administration, so what took place at WrestleMania VIII made fans pop out of their seats.
2 Hulk Hogan slamming Andre The Giant at WrestleMania 3
At the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, Michigan, the WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan faced Andre The Giant for the title. While the match itself was less than stellar considering who the workers in the match were, there was a moment that fans couldn't have seen coming.
1 Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30
WrestleMania XXX was one of the biggest in the history of the event's existence. One particular match which took place featured The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar. Fans will recall that each year the build to WrestleMania also included a question that is asked: Will the streak continue? The streak referred to Undertaker's WrestleMania win streak, which by this time was at twenty-one. But more and more questions were raised whether The Undertaker's body could physically stand up to the punishment that Brock Lesnar could inflict.
And indeed, during the match The Dead Man faced a barrage of punishment. But we had seen this narrative before: Undertaker is subjected to punishment only to kick out and come back to win in the end. This year seemed likely to be more of the same…only it wasn't. After receiving an F5 for the third time, The Undertaker's shoulders were counted down for the 1…2…3. Paul Heyman, the advocate of Brock Lesnar, slid in the ring, shock and disbelief on his face. The streak was over. The reaction by fans in attendance mirrored that same shock and disbelief.
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