6 WrestleMania matches with the biggest ramifications
The good, the bad, and the ugly. WrestleMania's most impactful matches and results
While it is impossible to tell the story of WrestleMania with just a couple of matches, there have been contests that have been critical to building the legacy. They have been instrumental to the success of the event as well as the time period in pro wrestling history.
The week-to-week WWE of today, and by proxy the entire business, are partially shaped by the impact of these matches and for better or worse are truly the Then, Now and Forever of the company.
#1 Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs Roddy Piper & Mr Wonderful
The first main event for the grand vision of Vince McMahon: to bring the biggest show in sports and entertainment nationwide.
In order to accomplish this, he needed a main event that would attract the masses, so he called on a variety of pop culture figures to mix in with his biggest characters of Hogan, Piper and others.
Billy Martin, manager of the New York Yankees as guest ring announcer, was for the fans in attendance. Ringside enforcer Muhammad Ali was also there to provide as close to a big fight feel as possible, even having Liberace and the Rockettes to ring the bell was intended to grow the allure of a wild entertainment show.
Add in the vital ingredients of 1980’s MTV stars Cyndi Lauper and Mr T, who had hosted Saturday Night Live with Hogan the night before to promote the show, and this hugely hyped, must-watch wrestling show had people all over the country filing into cinemas and other closed-circuit distribution venues to watch.
Also read: Top 10 WrestleMania performers of all time
While the closer of the show was not the most impressive showcase of wrestling, it sold the viewing public on the psychology and storytelling in the art form.
Hogan’s following increased, so that by the time he had slammed giants at back-to-back shows, and WrestleMania was immortalised, the company was a heading to the moon and the business never looked back.
Promoting a show across the country and internationally, setting up an extravaganza worthy of pay-per-view billing, and bringing pro wrestling as close as it had ever been to the mainstream.
WrestleMania would perform better and put on more memorable shows, but the catalyst that started it all remains one of the most significant.