Memorable WrestleMania Moments from I-V
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Thursday, March 28, 2019
It’s WrestleMania season and in the days leading up to the big show, there’ll be content both on BarnBurner’s shows and right here on BarnBurner’s website. Since this is WWE’s biggest show and 35th annual event, it’s only fitting that we take a look at some of the most memorable moments from the past WrestleManias.
The first five WrestleMania events brought many iconic moments for wrestling fans and saw the WWE go through multiple transitions and experimenting with different formats. The first WrestleMania came at a time of HulkaMania running wild in the 1980s and helped the WWE, World Wrestling Federation at the time, garner mainstream attention and popularity around the world.
Here are some highlights from the first five-years of WrestleMania.
WrestleMania I: Inaugural Pro Wrestling Showcase
Much like any other annual event, the first WrestleMania was not the big stadium production that it is today, instead it was an idea from Vince McMahon to bring the then World Wrestling Federation into the mainstream by combining the star power of wrestlers like Andre The Giant, Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, and celebrities like Cyndi Lauper, Liberace, Muhammad Ali, and Mr.T, who competed in the main event. WrestleMania was also Vince McMahon's idea to compete with Jim Crockett Promotions' event Starrcade. The event was a success as the company drew 19, 121 fans at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and provided a blueprint for future WrestleMania events.
WrestleMania 2: Triple Main Event
WWE went in an interesting direction for the second annual WrestleMania. Instead of holding the event at one venue like the previous year, WWE decided to hold “The Premier Sporting Event of the Year!” in three different locations; Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York, Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois, and the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California, with each venue having a headliner.
Nassau Coliseum featured Don Muraco vs Paul Orndorff, “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs George “The Animal” Steele, Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs George Wells, and was headlined by the Boxing match between Mr.T and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who were involved in a big feud at the time.
Rosemont Horizon featured the WWF vs NFL battle royal that was won by Andre The Giant and the tag-team match between The British Bulldogs and The Dream Team for the Tag Team Championships.
Finally, WrestleMania 2 concluded at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, with Hulk Hogan successfully defending his WWF championship against King Kong Bundy in a steel-cage match. WWE hasn’t used this formula for any WrestleMania events that followed but did something similar with the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw, which took place at both the Manhattan Center in New York City and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
WrestleMania III: The Slam Heard Around The World
WrestleMania III was a monumental event for the company. WWE set an indoor attendance record at the Pontiac Silverdome at the time with 93, 173, a WrestleMania record that wouldn’t be broken until WrestleMania 32.
Although the event featured a legendary Intercontinental Championship match between Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and “Macho Man” Randy Savage, the event was mostly remembered for the main event between Hulk Hogan and Andre The Giant, that saw Hogan pick up the Giant and slamming him before ending the match with his signature leg-drop to retain his WWE championship.
WrestleMania V: “The Mega Powers Explode”
WresleMania V once again took place from the Atlantic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey and featured the WWF championship match between former Mega Powers teammates Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage.
Hogan and Savage had been involved in a great rivalry at the time and led to this main event match on WWE’s biggest show of the year. The main event was a highly entertaining match that was different from what fans were accustomed to seeing in Hulk Hogan’s matches. “Macho Man” put his abilities on full display, which made this match live up to the billing of a WrestleMania main event. Hogan kicking out of Savage’s elbow drop finisher and hulking up was also a highlight of the match because it showed not even his best move could put him away. Hogan would then hit “Macho Man” with the big boot and the leg-drop to become the new WWF World Champion.
Photo and Video Credit: WWE