WrestleMania has been dubbed the best event ever to come out of WWE. Its success has even cooled down the harshest of its critics. It is considered as WWE’s Super Bowl by many and is one of the longest-running professional wrestling events in history. It is the brainchild of WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon with the credits for the name going to Howard Finkel, the longest tenured employee at WWE.
The event has attracted many celebrities over the years. The legendary Muhammad Ali served as an official in the first WrestleMania with Liberace as the timekeeper and Billy Martin as the ring announcer. WrestleMania XIV played host to Mike Tyson as a special guest enforcer while WrestleMania XXIV saw yet another boxer, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., battle it out against the Big Show. Other stars that have made appearances at WrestleMania include Ozzy Osbourne, Donald Trump, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Snoop Dogg, Cyndi Lauper and Pete Rose.
The event held the record for the highest-attended indoor sports event in the world from 1987 to 2010 when it was beaten by the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Given its massive success, WWE has always tried to outdo itself when it comes to setting up WrestleMania stages. Here are 16 of the best WrestleMania stages ever:
16 WrestleMania 21
Our sixteenth best stage is the WrestleMania 21 stage. It was set up at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Batista beat Triple H at the main event to clinch the World Heavyweight Championship after dishing a Batista Bomb on The Game on this small but well-structured stage. John Cena beat John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and walked away with the WWE Championship.
15 WrestleMania XVI
Set up at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California, WrestleMania 16, also known as WrestleMania 2000, had one of the most visually thrilling stages in the history of WWE. The main event involved a four-way elimination match for the WWF Championship between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show. Triple H clinched the title after last eliminating The Rock to put an end to an awesome Wrestlemania.
14 WrestleMania XXVIII
The WrestleMania XXVIII stage was a stylish setup at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. WrestleMania XXVIII is one of the highest grossing pay per view events in WWE’s history with a record of 78,363 fans in attendance. The cities of Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Detroit, New York City, Orlando, Tampa, St. Louis also bid to host the 2012 WrestleMania. The main event featured The Rock and John Cena in a highly anticipated match that had been building up for a full year prior.
13 WrestleMania XV
The stage for WrestleMania XV seemed like the culmination of the ingenuity we are accustomed to today as far as levitating screens and entrance structures go. It was set up at the First Union Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 28, 1999 where Stone Cold Steve Austin beat The Rock at the No Disqualification match to clinch the WWF Championship. WrestleMania XV also marked the last appearance of the legendary Gorilla Monsoon.
12 WrestleMania X-Seven
The WrestleMania X-Seven was the first WrestleMania held in Texas. It saw the construction of a stage that played host to a record-smashing 67,925 people in attendance. Held at the Reliant Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the main event had the same results as WrestleMania XV with Stone Cold Steve Austin beating The Rock at a No Disqualification match to clinch the WWF Championship. The event is also remembered for featuring Vince McMahon face off against his son Shane in a street fight.
11 WrestleMania X8
The stage setup for WrestleMania X8 was larger than that of its predecessor. The event took place at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario. The main event was a singles match between Triple H and Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWF Championship, which Triple H won after a Pedigree. The Undertaker beat Ric Flair in a No Disqualification match while Rob Van Dam defeated William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
10 WrestleMania XXII
The twenty-second annual WrestleMania stage was set up at the Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Illinois and featured two main events. The Raw main event was between John Cena and Triple H. Cena won the WWE Championship after Triple H submitted to the STF. The main event at SmackDown! was between Randy Orton, Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio, which Rey Mysterio won. The stage looked fantastic with superstar images plastered all over.
9 WrestleMania XIX
The stage set up at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington for WrestleMania XIX was bigger and more modern than anything previously seen at WrestleMania. 54,097 fans attended the event from all 50 states. This nineteenth annual WrestleMania was the first event to be announced under the WWE brand. Winners from the event included Booker T who clinched the World Heavyweight Championship and Kurt Angle who won the WWE Championship.
8 WrestleMania XXIV
This stage was set up at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. WrestleMania XXIV was the second WrestleMania to be held outdoors after WrestleMania IX. The stage played host to the exuberant professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who competed against Big Show eventually defeating him by knockout in a No Disqualification match. Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship at the event, extending his WrestleMania winning streak to 16-0 against Edge.
7 WrestleMania XXIII
The WrestleMania XXIII stage was simply marvelous. Set up at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, it was the stage that saw Billionaire Donald Trump shave Vince McMahon's head live. 80,103 fans attended, beating the attendance of WrestleMania XXVIII. Mr. Kennedy won the Money in the Bank ladder match against contenders such as Edge, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk. Cena won against Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship.
6 WrestleMania XXV
The entrance at WrestleMania XXV was just awe-inspiring. The star atop the entrance just nailed it. The event returned at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The event generated over 960,000 pay-per-view buys and saw 72,744 fans in attendance. It is estimated that WWE brought in a whopping $21 million in revenue and over $49.8 million for the US economy with WrestleMania XXV which saw Triple H defeat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship and John Cena defeat Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship.
5 WrestleMania XXXI
The latest WrestleMania was held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Its stage had a simplistic feel but was still awesome. Seth Rollins shocked everyone when he beat his former partner Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar in a Triple threat match to clinch the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Big Show won the 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal when he last tossed Damien Mizdow over the top rope. 2015's WrestleMania broke Levi Stadium's attendance record by 6,177 with 76,976 fans.
4 WrestleMania XXVI
The stage set up for WrestleMania XXVI at the University of Phoenix Stadium in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale, Arizona was just amazing. During the match, the Undertaker won against Shawn Michaels in a no disqualification, no countout match. As such, Michaels was forced to retire. Batista also lost to John Cena by submission, losing the WWE Championship to him in the process.
3 WrestleMania XXIX
WrestleMania XXIX was held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and attracted 80,676 fans, becoming one of the most attended WrestleMania events in WWE history. The Shield made their debut at this event, defeating Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show in a six-man tag team match. The Rock was defeated by John Cena for the WWE Championship, a win that avenged Cena's loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII.
2 WrestleMania XXX
WrestleMania XXX was held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The stage was stunning and the show was described by The Times-Picayune as ‘spectacular’. One of the matches was a triple threat match between Daniel Bryan, Batista and Randy Orton. Bryan ended up the victor, winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship which he would later be forced to vacate due to injury.
1 WrestleMania XXVII
WrestleMania XXVII's stage was set up at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia and its graphics were to die for. It was dubbed ‘The Biggest WrestleMania Ever’, and rightly so; 1,059,000 pay per view buys were generated with a turnout of 71,617 fans. During the matches, Edge beat Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The event also saw The Miz defeat John Cena to retain the WWE Championship.