Memorable WrestleMania Moments from VI - X
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, March 29, 2019
The stroll down memory lane continues as we look back at some of the most memorable moments from WrestleMania VI to WrestleMania X. The first five WrestleMania events took place in the 1980s during the height of HulkaMania but when the 1990s came and Hulk Hogan making a transition into Hollywood films, WWE needed to fill the void and WrestleMania VI – WrestleMania X did just that.
WrestleMania VI had a passing of the torch moment and by WrestleMania X, WWE had made the decision on who would be their guy. In the first half of the 1990’s, Ultimate Warrior and Bret “Hitman” Hart were the two stars that were put in the position as the WWE’s top star and had their fair share of memorable WrestleMania moments that are still to this very day being talked about by fans.
Here are some highlights from WrestleMania VI – WrestleMania X.
WrestleMania VI: The Ultimate Challenge
WrestleMania VI became the first WrestleMania to be held outside the United States as the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in Toronto, Canada hosted WWE’s biggest event. For the first time ever, WrestleMania was main evented by a champion vs champion match with WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior challenging WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan in what was known as “The Ultimate Challenge” because the winner would walk out of SkyDome with both championships.
Both men were two of the company’s top stars and both had been babyface during the entire buildup to the match, which was something different then the past five WrestleMania main events. The crowd was highly invested and seemed to be split on who they were cheering for throughout the match and overall match was much better than what many would’ve expected considering the styles of both wrestlers.
The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan clean after hitting him with his signature splash and the win was viewed as a passing of the torch moment from the veteran Hulk Hogan to the young 30-year-old star Ultimate Warrior.
WrestleMania VII: Career vs Career and The Streak Begins
The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was host to WrestleMania for the second time, the first being WrestleMania 2 in 1986. This event had plenty of storylines leading in such as the Hulk Hogan—Sgt.Slaughter feud that led to the company having securing concerns due to Slaughter portraying the character of an Iraqi sympathizer. Even though the WWF World Championship match between Hogan and Slaughter was the main storyline and main event, WrestleMania VII’s most memorable matches and moments came from the Retirement match between “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Ultimate Warrior and the match between The Undertaker and Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.
First, the match between Undertaker and Snuka is most remembered not by quality because it was a one-sided win for the Undertaker, but because it was the beginning of Undertaker’s legendary undefeated streak at WrestleMania, making Snuka the first wrestler on the list of names defeated.
Not enough good things can be said about the Retirement Match between Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Savage had been known for putting on great matches and bringing the best out of his opponents but with Ultimate Warrior, the two just had such a great chemistry with one another in the ring that they were able to tell a great story. Even with Warrior’s limitations in the ring, he was able to have arguably the best matches of his career with Savage both at WrestleMania and SummerSlam the following year. After watching this match again and considering the storyline and what followed, Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior would’ve been a more suitable main event at WrestleMania VII.
WrestleMania VIII: Nature Boy vs Macho Man
WrestleMania VIII took place at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana and was main event by Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice. Also on the event, Shawn Michaels defeated Tito Santana, The Undertaker continued his undefeated streak by defeating Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Roddy Piper to become the new WWF Intercontinental Champion, Big Boss Man, Jim Duggan, Virgil, and Sgt.Slaughter defeated The Mountie, Repo Man, and The Nasty Boys, Tatanka defeated Rick Martel, The Natural Disasters defeated Money Inc. to become the new WWF Tag Team Champions, and Owen Hart defeated Skinner.
The WWF Championship match between champion Ric Flair and “Macho Man” Randy Savage was a memorable highlight of this event. The two were known for their in-ring psychology and quality of work in their matches and put that on full display in this title match. Flair had made a name for himself in WCW and this was his first of many WrestleMania moments. Savage and Flair were given a proper amount of time to tell a great story in the ring and they delivered. The match ended with Savage becoming the new WWF World Champion.
Even though the WWF World Championship match was great, the event was still bitter-sweet because a match between Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan would’ve been a much more suitable title match and WrestleMania main event because both had been the biggest stars in their respective companies before Flair made the jump to WWE. The two would eventually wrestle each other in WCW and again in 2002 when they both returned to WWE.
WrestleMania IX: Hulkamania Runs Wild Again?
For the first time ever, WrestleMania was held in an outdoor venue as Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada hosted WrestleMania IX. The event wasn’t as well received compared to other WrestleManias but one moment that stuck out was the show ending with Hulk Hogan defeating Yokozuna to win the WWF World Championship.
During that time, it looked as though Hogan was slowly being phased out of WWE programming and Bret Hart was the company’s top guy and who was being relied on long-term. Yokozuna, who had won the 1993 Royal Rumble match, defeated Hart with help from Mr.Fuji to become the new WWF World Champion but his title reign would be short-lived. After the match, Mr.Fuji issued a challenge to Hogan, who was helping Bret Hart recover. Both the fans and Hart told Hogan to go for it an he did just that; Hogan went into the ring and defeated Yokozuna in 22-seconds to become the new champion and close WrestleMania for the fifth straight year.
WrestleMania X: Brother vs Brother, Ladder Match for All the Gold
For the first time since the inaugural WrestleMania, WWE brought their biggest event back to Madison Square Garden in New York City, where it all began. The event was much better than the previous year and helped usher in a new era for WWE as this was the first WrestleMania without Hulk Hogan, who left the WWE in 1993 to pursue other opportunities, before signing with WCW in June 1994. The event was build heavily around Bret “Hitman” Hart, who was involved in two different matches because both he and Lex Luger won the 1994 Royal Rumble match when their feet touched the floor at the same time.
This event had many memorable moments and started off strong with the brother vs brother match between Bret “Hitman” Hart and Owen Hart. The buildup for the match was great because it was centered around Owen being his older brother’s shadow and that he wanted to prove to the world that he was the best wrestler in the family. The two put on a great opening match that ended with Owen getting the upset win over Bret.
Another memorable match on the event was the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon for both WWF Intercontinental Championship belts. The reason that there were two titles was because Shawn Michaels didn’t acknowledge Razor Ramon’s title win because he didn’t defeat him to become the champion. As a result, the two were put into a ladder match to determine the undisputed Intercontinental Champion. This match is widely regarded as being one of the best matches in both their careers and was revolutionary in how they utilized the ladder into the actual match. The match ended with Razor Ramon pushing Michaels off the ladder, where his foot would get stuck between the ropes, before climbing the ladder and retrieving both title belts to win the match.
The event was main evented by Yokozuna and Bret Hart for the WWF Championship with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper serving as the special guest referee. Yokozuna had defeated Lex Luger earlier on in the night and now it was Bret Hart’s turn to get revenge from the previous year’s WrestleMania. The match concluded with Yokozuna slipping off the ropes while attempting to hit Bret with his signature Bonzai Drop, which allowed the Hitman to get the win and become the new WWF World Champion.
A memorable moment took place after the match as the babyface wrestlers came down to the ring to celebrate Bret Hart’s title win over Yokozuna and his brother Owen Hart looking on from outside the ring. This was a significant moment for WWE because it symbolized that Bret Hart was their guy to usher in a new era in WWE and that he’d be the face of the company now that Hogan was gone.
Photo and Video Credit: WWE and @gian_411