Top 10 Moments from Wrestlemania XI-XX
It’s Wrestlemania week, WhatCulture hasn’t put enough top 10 WWE lists on the Internet, so hell – we have a job to do here. The ‘top 10 Wrestlemania moments’ column is back!
10. The Devil Himself (Wrestlemania XIX) – Okay, the ’20 years in the making’ street fight between Hulk Hogan and Mr. McMahon in 2003 was a brutal bloodbath worthy of the Granddaddy of Them All, but in terms of ‘moments,’ it doesn’t get any more memorable than the shot that would become synonymous with Mr. McMahon – you know the one:
Yeah, The Devil himself rising from the depths of Hell to vanquish Hulkamania and send it to an eternity in purgatory. Pure evil – sick, sadistic vengeance. I could go on and on, but you get the point. I loved this match – especially when ol’ Hugo got hit behind the Spanish announce table.
9. Lawrence Taylor defeats Bam Bam Bigelow (Wrestlemania XI) – I listed Hogan-Yokozuna from Wrestlemania IX on the first installment of this column, and I’m including this one for similar reasons. The match wasn’t all that great, but it’s just one of those “Wrestlemania moments.” It’s something you think about when you think about the celebrity involvement of Wrestlemania.
The silver lining – I’d consider Bigelow one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time. At least he can say he had the honor of headlining Wrestlemania, even if he did have to put over a football player.
8. The Austin Era has begun (Wrestlemania XIV) – Jim Ross’ iconic call immediately comes to mind as we see Stone Cold Steve Austin ascend to his rightful spot atop the WWE Attitude Era roster. As Austin raises the WWE Championship, while standing on the second rope at the turnbuckle, you just hear, “the Austin era has begun.”
Considering the fever pitch that this match generated, with the D-Generation X public workout before, Mike Tyson’s involvement, this was everything Wrestlemania is supposed to be about.
7. The Shooting Star Press botch (Wrestlemania XIX) – It’s 2017 – can you guys imagine Brock Lesnar attempting a Shooting Star Press today? It’s laughable! Yet, as a strapping young lad back in 2003, Lesnar went for it and came up short.
Perhaps more amazing than the gumption it took to even attempt this move is the fact that Lesnar got up and finished the match. Sure, he was concussed and it definitely looked like the lights were on but no one was home. But, to get up and deliver another F5 to Kurt Angle and win the WWE Championship without remembering who or where you even are is impressive.
6. Hell freezes over (Wrestlemania X-Seven) – Call me crazy, but I remember watching this as a teenager in 2001 thinking, “that’s it? That’s how they’re ending Wrestlemania? This isn’t big at all. This is an easy way to try and get a reaction without being creative.”
Stupid, right? But, in hindsight, it was a young Big Natural having a gut feeling that this thing just wouldn’t work. Now, looking back, I think, “HOLY SHIT THEY TURNED AUSTIN HEEL!?!?!” So, it’s weird…regardless of what I think, this is still one of the most discussed Wrestlemania moments of all time.
5. Benoit & Guerrero close the show (Wrestlemania XX) – Yeesh….tough one here, but I think you have to include because it was such an emotional moment at the time……before Benoit murdered his family.
It was two guys who had worked their asses off just to get to the WWE, much less holding both of the top championships to close the show. Not only that, but the matches were classics – Guerrero taking on Kurt Angle, and Benoit taking on Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat. Wrestlemania XX was pretty damn good.
4. Edge spears Jeff Hardy off a ladder (Wrestlemania X-Seven) – Shit, my knees hurt just watching this….I can’t even imagine feeling it. Like, seriously – I have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning because of all the years of backyard wrestling….and I damn sure didn’t jump off anything higher than a picnic table…
3. Icon vs. Icon (Wrestlemania X-8) – Yeah, so Hollywood Hogan had clearly lost a step at this point, but it doesn’t make the stare down between The Rock and him any less arousing (yeah, you know – arousing). Like Brandon brought up on Best Wrestlemania Ever, it speaks to the electricity of these two superstars that they could sell a match on personality and charisma alone.
2. Blood from a Stone (Wrestlemania 13) – Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart was one of the greatest wrestling matches of all time. Period. Austin passing out from blood loss and the double turn instantly created a legend.
Hell, they made a t-shirt with Austin’s bloody face on it! Can you think of any other moment that was blasted on t-shirts like this? Suplex City, maybe? That’s about it.
I don’t know that the Attitude Era was necessarily born out of this match, but it was a bit of a changing of the guard. It was the death nail for the New Generation era. When Hart, the traditional babyface, was booed and the anti-hero, Austin, was starting to gain traction, we all know the times were changing.
1. The Boyhood Dream Comes True (Wrestlemania XII) – The Iron Man Match – 60+ minutes of pure wrestling ability on display between Hart and Michaels. It had taken Michaels years to reach this point, and as a 10-year old kid, it was the first real cathartic payoff I experienced. Watching this match
It also helps its cause that this moment is played in every Wrestlemania hype package with Vince McMahon’s “the boyhood dream has come true for Shawn Michaels” laid over the background.
Stoney Keeley is the editor of the SoBros Network, Tennessee Titans Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot, Contributor to FanSided’s Bama Hammer, and covers the WWE for WrestlingNews.co. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley, @PFSpot, @WrestlingNewsCo, @Bama_Hammer
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