Even if you don’t watch pro wrestling, if you haven’t heard the term ‘WrestleMania’ before, you probably live under a rock. WrestleMania is the single biggest pro wrestling event in the business, produced by the biggest pro wrestling organization on the planet, Vince McMahon’s WWE. The inaugural WrestleMania took place in 1985 and was a main evented by a tag team match – refereed by none other than Muhammad Ali - that featured Hulk Hogan and Mr. T facing off against Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Since the initial success, the WrestleMania brand has gone on to become the premier pay-per-view event for the WWE, who have marketed it as the pro wrestling equivalent of the Super Bowl.
This year marked the 30th incarnation of WrestleMania. The main event of Wrestlemania XXX was a 3-way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship featuring Randy Orton, Batista, and 3rd contender who turned out to be none other than the injured underdog Daniel Bryan. The final spot in the main event was decided the night of the event, in a singles match between WWE veteran Triple H and relative newcomer Bryan, with the winner advancing to the night’s main event. Had Triple H defeated Bryan, he would have added yet another WrestleMania main event appearance to his illustrious track record.
In fact, despite WWE having a fairly large turnover rate for the bulk of their roster, there are quite a few recurring names that pop up when you look at the event details of the 30-year history of WrestleMania. These are the real legends of pro wrestling, the men who have worked on the biggest stage of them all multiple times.
10 Randy Savage – 11 WrestleMania Appearances
9 John Cena – 12 WrestleMania Appearances
8 Hulk Hogan – 12 WrestleMania Appearances
7 Chris Jericho – 12 WrestleMania Appearances
6 The Big Show – 14 WrestleMania Appearances
5 Bret Hart – 14 WrestleMania Appearances
4 Kane – 16 WrestleMania Appearances
3 Shawn Michaels – 17 WrestleMania Appearances
2 Triple H – 18 WrestleMania Appearances
1 The Undertaker – 22 WrestleMania Appearances
Could it be anyone else? Before WrestleMania XXX ‘The Deadman’ was 21-0 at Wrestlemania, an unparalleled streak that no one in WWE history has come even remotely close to matching. That all came crashing down when he was beaten by Brock Lesnar for his first ever WrestleMania defeat. With the exception of WrestleMania X and 2000, the Undertaker has been at every incarnation of the annual event since WrestleMania VII in 1991. As the wins piled up year after year the WWE began marketing Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak, and every year a new challenger has popped up to claim they’re the one to finally stop ‘Taker on the big stage. For 23 years, one by one, they’ve all failed. Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Batista, Edge, Kane, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Big Show; the names of his opponents read like a whose who list of past, present and future WWE legends. This year's faceoff against the dangerous Brock Lesnar proved to be interesting as the two allegedly have real life disdain for each other. Fans were undoubtedly disappointed by the underwhelming conclusion of the greatest streak in sports entertainment, but that takes nothing away from the amazing accomplishments that this man has brought to the ring for over two decades.
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