In the second of our three-part journey through WrestleMania history, we celebrate all the good, the bad, the crazy and things you may not have known from WrestleMania 12-22.
Click on the respective WrestleMania logo for results, images and interesting facts about that WrestleMania.
From one of the worst WrestleMania’s to one of the best, as Shawn Michaels and Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart went face-to-face in a thrilling 60 minute Ironman with the WWE Championship on the line, in what is regarded as one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history. Elsewhere, Goldust and Rowdy Roddy Piper met in a unique Hollywood Backlot Brawl, Ultimate Warrior made his return to the WWE for the first time in over three years and Diesel became victim number five in the Undertaker’s undefeated streak.
With Ted Turner’s WCW piling the pressure on WWE, the “heat” was on and WrestleMania 13 marked the beginning of a new Attitude in the WWE as Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret “The Hitman” Hart battled it out in a hard-hitting Submission match, one of WrestleMania’s greatest ever matches. Undertaker won the WWE Championship for the first time at the showcase of immortals in victory over Psycho Sid in the main event.
In the midst of the Monday Night Wars with WCW, WWE went all out for WrestleMania XIV and recruited heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson to serve as the guest enforcer as Stone Cold Steve Austin battled Shawn Michaels in the main event with the WWE Championship on the line. Undertaker faced his toughest WrestleMania battle in a fight against brother Kane, The Rock defended his Intercontinental Championship against Ken Shamrock and Triple H put his European title on the line against Owen Hart.
By the time WrestleMania XV came to Philadelphia, WWE was way ahead of WCW in the ratings battle of the Monday Night Wars and for the 15th installment of the showcase of immortals, The Rock defended his WWE Championship against Stone Cold in the first of three meetings between the two men at WrestleMania. Elsewhere, Undertaker and Big Boss Man went face-to-face inside the first Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania and Big Show made his WrestleMania debut against Mankind.
WrestleMania 2000 was a unique showcase of immortals in many ways, as Triple H put the WWE Championship on the line against The Rock, Big Show and Mick Foley in a Fatal 4 Way main event with a “McMahon in every corner”. Edge and Christian, The Hardy Boys and The Dudley Boys thrilled the Anaheim crowd in a breath-taking Triangle Ladder match and Kurt Angle lost both his Intercontinental and European titles without even being pinned.
At what is considered the greatest WrestleMania of all time, WrestleMania X-SEVEN witnessed a shocking heel turn by Stone Cold who aligned with long-time rival Vince McMahon as he defeated The Rock in the main event to capture the WWE Championship. 67,000 fans in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas also saw another thrilling Tables, Ladders and Chairs match between The Dudleys, The Hardys and Edge & Christian and much more.
In his first WrestleMania in nine years, Hulk Hogan returned to the grandest stage of them all for a ‘Icon vs Icon’ battle, as the Hulkster went face-to-face with The Rock in one of the most anticipated matches in WrestleMania history. It was also a first WrestleMania in ten years for ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair as he became the tenth victim in The Undertaker’s undefeated streak and Triple H left Toronto as the new Undisputed WWE Champion after beating Chris Jericho in the main event.
Over 54,000 fans sold out Seattle’s Safeco Field for WrestleMania XIX which produced a number of five-star matches, including Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Championship on his WrestleMania debut after defeating Kurt Angle in the main event. The Rock made it third time lucky against his greatest rival Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels returned to the WrestleMania stage for the first time in five years to battle Chris Jericho in the match of the night and Hulk Hogan looked to save his career in an hard-hitting Street Fight against the chairman, Vince McMahon.
WWE celebrated 20 years of the grand daddy of them all by returning to the venue where it all started, as Madison Square Garden hosted WrestleMania XX. Triple H put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit in the main event, while Kurt Angle looked to end the reign of WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero. WrestleMania XX also witnessed the return of the Deadman as Undertaker fought Kane once again at the showcase of immortals, while Goldberg and Brock Lesnar went face-to-face in a match remembered for all the wrong reasons. Elsewhere, John Cena toppled Big Show to win his first United States Championship, Trish Stratus turned her back on Chris Jericho in his defeat to Christian and Evolution battled Rock n’ Sock.
WrestleMania 21 went to Hollywood as the showcase of immortals headed to Los Angeles for the first time in 14 years. John Cena looked to secure his first WWE Championship against John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield, while Royal Rumble winner Batista also aimed to win his first World Heavyweight Championship in the main event against former Evolution teammate Triple H. The ‘Legend Killer’ Randy Orton looked to end Undertaker’s streak, while Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels slugged it out in a WrestleMania classic.
WrestleMania 22 went “Big Time” but it was the night of the biggest underdog as Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat to win the World Heavyweight Championship in tribute to his late friend Eddie Guerrero. Elsewhere, John Cena battled with Triple H in the main event with the WWE Championship on the line, Shawn Michaels looked to take down the boss Vince McMahon and Edge went to war with Mick Foley in a Hardcore match.
feature image: logos.wikia.com