Any wrestling fan has the moments he or she will never forget. I’ve been fortunate to attend five Wrestlemanias. Based on those trips, here are the moments I witnessed that will be forever etched in my memory:
Wrestlemania 17 is regarded by many as the top Mania of all-time. While the matches were something else, I don’t rate it as my favorite. Maybe it was the crummy seats?
However, this moment certainly brought everyone to their feet.
To date, it’s one of the most impressive moves I’ve ever seen. Timing was everything — and it happened to be spot on.
Miracle on Bourbon Street
Some 18 years after the boyhood dream of Shawn Michaels became reality in Anaheim, his trainee Daniel Bryan defied the authority to win the world championship. This was something most people saw coming. However, we all suspended disbelief as this underdog story played out throughout the night.
I was also moved by the below picture snapped by photographer Steve Wright, Jr. Steve was there with credentials for our stations and shared pictures throughout the weekend for our websites. This picture of Bryan celebrating the win with cancer patient Conner Michalek was simply stunning.
The Streak Dies
This one we didn’t see coming. On the same night Daniel Bryan did the impossible, Brock Lesnar perhaps one-upped him — ending the landmark Wrestlemania winning streak of The Undertaker. I’ll never forget the feeling looking around the arena at other fans who shared the disbelief. One face summarized it all.
I remember walking out of the Superdome in near silence. Even though we had just celebrated an amazing ending with Bryan, all the talk outside the building was about the streak.
Best. Match. Ever.
The best match I’ve seen in person pitted Shawn Michaels against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 in Houston. For whatever reason, I didn’t go into the night thinking this could steal the show. Boy was I wrong. Over the course of the contest, the crowd continued to build and eventually reached a fever pitch for the finish.
The result was one of the greatest pieces on in-ring storytelling I’ve ever seen.
“I’m Sorry, I Love You.”
Most people at the stadium in Orlando knew what was going to happen. This would be the end of the historic career of Ric Flair. We got the performance we expected from Mr. Wrestlemania and a finish unlike anything I had seen before.
After Shawn Michaels whispered the words toward his childhood idol, I remember the crowd lip reading them off the screen and telling each other what was just said. The moment seemed to connect everyone. In those few seconds, we collectively turned into the child who grew up watching Ric Flair. It was over. There weren’t many dry eyes in the house.
As Shawn Michaels later said, it wasn’t a wrestling match — it was a love story.
You’ll see those memories encompass four Wrestlemanias. Which supershow I attended didn’t make the list? Wrestlemania 32 in Arlington, Texas. I really enjoyed the experience and atmosphere, but in my opinion, WM32 lacked that amazing, standout moment…
Will Wrestelmania 34 create a moment that can crack the list? Let’s hope so! We’ll find out in a few, short days!