WrestleMania is called the Grandest Stage Of Them All. But for many years, you would not know it from a visual standpoint. The initial few WrestleManias were all spectacles in their own right, but lacked the grand stage aspect of the show. As the years went past, WWE started to get more creative with their stages at WrestleMania. Shows moved from arenas to domes, automatically making WrestleMania a bigger deal. WrestleMania X-Seven, in particular, was a breakthrough for the company. But it wasn't until the next few years when it became a yearly fixture.
WWE started to hold WrestleMania in American football stadiums on a permanent basis in 2007, therefore completing the transition into quite literally, the Grandest Stage. There have been some extremely impressive stage designs at 'Mania since then. It is a mix of beauty and grandeur. And for many fans, the stage could make or break an entire WrestleMania. These elaborate platforms are a huge part of the magnitude and the pageantry of the Show of Shows that have made it larger than life.
So, with the spectacle of the showcase in mind, here are the eight greatest stages in the history of WrestleMania.
#8 WrestleMania 25
This stage was so simple but really effective in the process. The 25th edition, not anniversary, of WrestleMania, came to us from Reliant Stadium in Houston. It had probably one of the greatest logos in 'Mania history, a giant star. This star would form the core of the stage at WrestleMania 25. The ramp was also really nice, with lights throughout the entire length contributing to the visual greatness of the superstars' entrances. It was not overly extravagant, but this stage was certainly fitting for 25 years of WrestleMania and the absolute classic between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
#7 WrestleMania 29
This is by far the most prominent location-themed stage in WrestleMania history. All of New York's most famous structures were on display here. From the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline, WWE certainly rammed home the fact that they were in the New York-New Jersey area. One disadvantage though, is the lack of a video screen at the stage. That bumped this down a couple of places. Nevertheless, expect a similar and more improved version of this stage this year, as WrestleMania returns to MetLife Stadium.
#6 WrestleMania 34
Last year's WrestleMania was certainly a big one, with the stage only further exemplifying that. The font for 'WrestleMania' is a creative one and it fits the stage perfectly. WWE has been doing more and more themed shows for WrestleMania, ever since the event turned 30. The theme for this one, if you haven't figured it out yet, was Mardi Gras and the New Orleans carnival culture as a whole. The masquerade mask was a nice touch as well. This truly signified WrestleMania as the grandest stage, considering WWE doesn't do custom stages and pyro anymore. However, there have been bigger and better stages in 'Mania history, including one in this very building.
#5 WrestleMania 24
This stage is iconic, looking at size alone. The massive structure surely was a sight to see, particularly at night. It was only after the sun had set when we could truly appreciate the beauty of this stage, as the bright lights shone in the Citrus Bowl. The palm trees on either side were a really good touch, as the show was taking place in Orlando, Florida. The entire stadium looked great, creating a wonderful visual image. And while this not WWE's best effort at the Citrus Bowl, they must be commended for making it look so good at a time when the stadium was not in the best condition.
#4 WrestleMania 30
This WrestleMania is one of the most memorable ever for a couple of reasons. Daniel Bryan's big victory and the infamous end to the Undertaker's 21-0 winning streak. What a site for these heavy moments to take place. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome, take note Hogan, was a great venue for the 30th annual WrestleMania. Again, this stage was simple and effective because WWE just enlarged the logo, with the roman numerals coming out in 3D fashion. This showed us what larger than life truly was, with the massive 'WrestleMania' and the 'XXX' forming the gap for the entrance way. Sometimes, the show is bigger than the city they are in. WrestleMania 30 was one of them.
#3 WrestleMania 26
Automatically, this stage is one of the best ones in WrestleMania history because of how enormous it is. WWE went for a massive step pyramid, with the WrestleMania logo being displayed vertically right in the middle. The video screen on top is also pretty cool. We also saw the best use of the ring canopy used for an outdoors WrestleMania, as the support pillars did not obstruct the fans' view in any way. The pyramid was probably a way to celebrate the actual 25th anniversary of WrestleMania. Maybe it might have been a bit too much, but this was a cool background structure for Shawn Michaels's legendary retirement match. Let's just forget he ever wrestled again, deal? Deal.
#2 WrestleMania 27
This is another pretty simple design, but it is also stunning to another level. Sometimes, less is indeed more. WrestleMania 27 may have been a poor show and one of the worst 'Manias of all time, but this incredible set could do no wrong. Despite the weird spider-like structures ahead of the huge LED screen, it is a class above almost every other stage. The shiny floor and great colour scheme help too. However, the biggest reason why this stage is so beautiful is just one word. And that word was hanging in a curved way on top of everything in its signature font. WrestleMania. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. A stage like this absolutely deserved a better show.
#1 WrestleMania 33
We have seen some wonderful stages in WrestleMania history. But only one of them could take the cake. That is WrestleMania 33. This was the perfect stage. It did not have the height of WrestleMania 24 or 26, but the theme was prominent enough. Fans knew that they were at the Ultimate Thrill Ride. The rollercoaster in the background was slick, playing a perfect compliment to the huge Universal studios globe. This was over the top in the best possible way. Also, WWE structured this in a different way from the last one in the Citrus Bowl.
Instead of a straight ramp and a huge structure, they went for a much longer and elevated ramp to accommodate more fans around the stage. Wrestlers literally made their entrance from the top of the side of the stadium before walking down the longest ramp in 'Mania history. The custom interactivity on the ramp was also very good. The structure was particularly beautiful at night, but the daylight captures the mood better than others as well. WrestleMania 33 may be the most spectacular 'Mania of all time, from a purely aesthetic standpoint.