We’re 72 hours away ladies and gents. The Grand Daddy of ’em all under the (cloudy?) Florida sun. Can’t wait. Sure, we’ve all had some issues with the buildup but there’s still nothing like Wrestlemania. Today we finish off our countdown of the top 24 ‘Mania moments. If you’re joining us in progress, click here for moments #24-21, here for #20-17, here for #16-13, here for #12-9 and here for #8-5.
I fully expect many people to disagree with these selections and welcome all arguments. Here we go…
#4: Icon vs. Icon
Wrestlemania X8 – Skydome, Toronto, ON
March 17, 2002
The Match: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock
The Moment: This match, and WM X8 for that matter, have a place near-and-dear to my heart because it was the only Wrestlemania I have ever attended. I have been to the World Cup of Hockey and Soccer, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NBA Finals and the NCAA Tournament and I have never heard a crowd as loud as when the Hulkster and the Brahma Bull stepped into the squared circle to face off for the first time.
#3: The Heartbreak Kid meets Kid Dynamite
Wrestlemania XIV – FleetCenter, Boston, MA
March 29, 1998
The Match: WWF Championship: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Shawn Michaels (c)
The Moment: Remember when Mike Tyson first appeared on WWE Raw in January 1998 in the midst of the whole Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon saga. How amazing was that? The baddest man on the planet going up against the toughest S.O.B in the WWF. Predictably, Kid Dynamite joined forces with Austin’s opponent at WM XIV, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, only to turn on “his friend” on the grandest stage of ‘em all. Gotta love Jim Ross’ call at the end of this one – somewhere Howard Cosell must have been smiling.
Wrestlemania – Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
March 31, 1985
The Match: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper w/ Cowboy Bob Orton vs. Hulk Hogan & Mr. T w/ “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
The Moment: The match that started it all. Not only was this the inaugural Wrestlemania Main Event featuring the likes of Hogan, Piper, Snuka and Mr. T but check out this impressive list of celebrity representatives at ringside:
Guest Ring Announcer: Billy Martin
Guest Time Keeper: Liberace
Guest Official: Muhammad Ali
Add the Rockettes and Cyndi Lauper (who appeared earlier in the night) and there will never, ever, be another Wrestlemania I.
#1: The Irresistible Force meets The Immovable Object
Wrestlemania III – Pontiac Silverdome, Detroit, MI
March 29, 1987
The Match: WWF Championship: Andre the Giant vs. Hulk Hogan (c)
The Moment: A battle which featured two of the biggest legends ever in front of, at the time, the largest audience in North American wrestling history. WWE returned to Detroit last year at the new-and-improved version of the Silverdome, Ford Field, dreaming of another moment quite like this one. Obviously, that didn’t happen and it probably will never happen. The slam heard ’round the world – it doesn’t get much better than that.