World Wrestling Entertainment, formerly the World Wrestling Federation, transformed performer ring entrances into true works of art that have been copied by other organizations for decades. The boxing world and also mixed martial federations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship have attempted to recreate the magic that has been seen on WWE episodes of Raw and also as wrestling pay-per-view events, but the WWE has remained king of his portion of the genre. From iconic songs that remain in the memories of fans up through flashy props that have been used, WWE entrances are unlike anything else you see in sports and entertainment.
There is something about a ring entrance that includes a wrestler utilizing a vehicle as a prop that causes crowds in attendance to pop just a little bit more than normal. Perhaps it is the added element of danger in that all it would take would be one MPH too fast or a few feet off of the planned route for things to go horribly wrong. Maybe it has to do with the knowledge that a vehicle being driven from behind the curtain more often than not means that a heel who happens to be standing a few feet away is about to be taken down in a brawl.
Limousines. Tricked-out cars. Semi-trucks. Beer trucks. A Zamboni. Milk trucks? If you can think of a vehicle that could be used for a ring entrance, the WWE has probably at least attempted to use it. Just as with everything, not all of these gimmicks are going to result in a home run that lives on for generations. When the WWE has gotten these types of entrances right, though, they have made for phenomenal television moments that have been replayed time and time again during recap shows and during segments that have been featured on the WWE Network.
10. John Cena WrestleMania 23 Entrance
The idea for this WWE vehicle entrance makes plenty of sense, on paper. John Cena, serving as the WWE Champion, drives around the streets of Detroit in a Ford Mustang before pulling into the stadium, crashing through the WrestleMania sign and emerging from the car. The reason this isn’t higher on the list is that Cena was already losing the support of crowds, especially the types of audiences that spend big money to attend a WrestleMania, and also the fact that it was hard to suspend disbelief that “Super Cena” was masterfully speeding around empty streets minutes before defending his championship.
9. Big Show Semi-Truck
Why type of vehicle would the Big Show use for such a masterful entrance? A big truck, of course. Big Show turns from babyface to heel to babyface to heel seemingly every few months at this point of his career, and thus fans are only going to care so much about his going after heel group The Authority even if he pulls a semi-truck onto the main stage of Raw. While it took the company much longer than it should have to get things right regarding the feud, the WWE finally listened to fans and pushed babyface Daniel Bryan, who is also featured in this video, to the top of the main event card.
8. Steve Austin ATV Entrance
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin had been relegated to an authority figure, such as general manager of Raw, and a performer who would hit the occasional “Stunner” on a victim when he began driving his ATV to the ring before matches and before segments. Some of the funnier moments of his portion of Austin’s career involve the “Rattlesnake” chasing WWE CEO Vince McMahon around an arena, and also Austin ruining Jack Swagger’s entrance at WrestleMania. Austin had plenty of memorable vehicle entrances during his WWE career, but this would probably have to be considered to be the tamest of them all.
7. Undertaker Motorcycle Entrance
Some wrestling fans see this era as the throw-away portion of the Undertaker’s legendary career, but they forget several things: The whole “Deadman” gimmick had more than run its course at the time, the character change that included ‘Taker riding a motorcycle down to the ring was something that he could pull off as well as anybody on the roster, and Undertaker also happened to have some memorable matches during this time. It was during this run when Undertaker first faced Triple H at a WrestleMania, and what was maybe the best Hell of a Cell in WWE history involved this version of the Undertaker taking on Brock Lesnar.
6. Steve Austin Pickup Truck
“Stone Cold” and The Rock were feuding over the WWF Intercontinental Championship when the Rock had his fellow Nation of Domination members follow him to the ring before this showdown. Austin naturally responded by driving his pickup truck down the center aisle to serve as an equalizer. After the Nation got the upper hand on Austin before the bell rung, the former heel who became the biggest draw in the history of the WWE used his truck as a makeshift tag-team member, crashing D-Lo Brown into the windshield in a move that began Austin’s comeback.
5. JBL Limo Entrance at WrestleMania 21
John Bradshaw Layfield was one of the more under-appreciated acts of his time, a throwback heel based on the fact that JBL had more money than fans and had no problem reminding everybody about it on a weekly basis. His WrestleMania 21 entrance was probably the best of the gimmick. It included a police escort from the outside of the arena toward the ring, and JBL, to top things off, had fake money rain down on the commoners who would never be as successful as he was. JBL may have lost the match on that night, but he won the hearts of many watching.
4. Eddie Guerrero Low Rider Entrance
Eddie Guerrero had two different “Latino Heat” runs in the WWE: One that saw him linked with Chyna, and the other that saw Guerrero rise all the way to the top of the card as the WWE Champion. It was during the glory days of the SmackDown brand when Guerrero would drive different lowriders to the ring, and the truth of the matter is that you could go back and pick your favorite of Guerrero’s vehicle entrances. Those of you who have fond memories of the “Los Guerreros” tag-team could even go with an entrance that also included Chavo Guerrero.
3. Kurt Angle Milk Truck
2001 was dark days for professional wrestling in the United States. World Championship Wrestling folded, and the WWF got just about everything wrong with “The Alliance” angle that should have made the company a boatload of money. One of the single bright spots of a feud that did not even last a year, due largely to the fact that the WCW/ECW wrestlers who were signed were buried as second-tier talent, involved Kurt Angle soaking members of that faction with milk. Listen to Jim Ross‘s commentary during this segment, as it is particularly excellent.
2. Steve Austin Zamboni
Know why pro wrestling is such a tremendous form of entertainment? A performer can drive a Zamboni – yes, a Zamboni – down to the ring to assault his boss and the man who signs his checks, leap over a group of police officers as he attempts to punch the life out of his boss, and we will all cheer in celebration of the moment. The Austin versus McMahon feud helped put the WWF ahead of WCW in the Monday Night Wars, a battle that the WWF ultimately won with ease, and it also created iconic scenes that earned the WWF mainstream media attention.
1. Steve Austin Beer Bath on The Corporation
Everything about this Raw segment puts it atop the list of WWE vehicle entrances. The Rock‘s response to hearing the “Stone Cold” theme is beautifully over-the-top. Austin and Rock are their superb selves on the mic. Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and the Rock all taking bumps inside of the ring due to the “beer bath” being delivered by Austin made for hilarious television. The WWE has been trying for roughly a decade and a half to recreate the feud involving an over babyface and evil authority figures, but there is just one problem. Neither The Rock nor Steve Austin are coming back in their primes.
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