The Moments That Made Wrestlemania

Wrestlemania is an event known for some of the most breathtaking moments you will ever see. James Orrell discusses the Wrestlemania moments that made him a life long wrestling fan.
Written by James Orrell
I may be showing my age here, but I have been a wrestling fan for the past 34 years. That's right, my first experience with wrestling was the very first Wrestlemania back when I was just a little tike. Every year at Wrestlemania, even on the weaker cards, there are moments that leave people completely marking out. With Wrestlemania 34 this Sunday, I'm going to share some of the moments that made me just mark the fuck out.
*Note - These are in no particular order other than the final moment. That one has yet to be matched in my humble opinion*
The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boys vs Edge and Christian (TLC 2) - Wrestlemania X-Seven
This was the second TLC match and the third ladder match between these three teams. Honestly, I had no idea how they would have topped the first TLC match at the previous Summerslam. Well, they did so by having the third member of each team(Lita, Spike Dudley, and Rhyno) all appear and help create the kind of chaos that has yet to be equalled in a TLC match since. To me, this is still the ultimate multi team tag team match and my second favorite ladder match of all time
Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon (Ladder Match) Wrestlemania X
This is not only the single greatest ladder match I have ever seen, it is in the top five of my all time favorite matches. I was completely enthralled from start to finish. Having never seen a ladder match before, the level of violence and the insane stunts pulled by these men left my jaw on the floor. I love it even more now that I am old enough to understand what great storytelling is meant to be. This was the moment that Michaels began to earn his nickname Mr. Wrestlemania.
The Original - Wrestlemania
I had no idea what wrestling was at the time. My dad was a lifelong wrestling fan and he was incredibly excited for the event. So he sat me down to watch it for the first time, wanting to see my reaction. He was not disappointed. There was so much to love! I didn't fully understand the importance at the time, but I knew what I was watching was incredible. And it gave my dad and I something to bond over that we always would come back to. The fact it made me a Hulkamaniac doesn't hurt either.
Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker 2(Career vs The Streak) - Wrestlemania 26
This match, pure and simply, is story telling at it's finest. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker put on what is and likely will always be my favorite wrestling match. The emotion in this match was palpable. The action was everything you could want from these two legendary performers and then some. The finish and aftermath was simply breathtaking. The moment the ref's hand hit the mat for three I knew I had just seen something that will stick with me for the rest of my life. It was that damn good.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart(Submission Match) - Wrestlemania 12
Stone Cold was perhaps the biggest heel in WWE at this point and the Hitman one of it's greatest babyfaces. All of that changed in one amazing match that saw Hart unleash a visciousness that I never knew he had in him. Austin gave one of the gutsiest performances I have ever seen. In one fell swoop, these two legends performed the rarely seen and even more rarely well performed double turn. The finish of the match has been tied to Austin ever since. Bleeding profusely and screaming in pain, Austin passed out rather than tap out and Hart was declared the winner. This match was the ultimate star maker as it kicked off Austin's unprecedented run as the top babyface in all of WWE and one of the most popular wrestlers to ever step foot inside the squared circle.
Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker - Wrestlemania 30
Nobody saw this coming at the time. The silence in the arena spoke more than any words could. Lesnar conquered the Streak. The match itself was great but to actually see the Undertaker lose for the first time was a moment that truly stands out as a great Wrestlemania moment.
Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton vs Batista - Wrestlemania 30
This is the ultimate feel good conclusion to the most unlikely roads to Wrestlemania. Daniel Bryan was over with the fans to the point that they revolted. Best of all, it was organically done, rather than manufactured. People just fell in love with Bryan in a way I haven't seen since Austin. To see him go through HHH earlier in the night and then beat Orton and Batista to win the Undisputed WWE World Championship was one of the greatest moments in Wrestlemania history.
Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant - Wrestlemania 3
This is the moment that made Wrestlemania what it's become in my opinion. The bodyslam heard around the world, this match will always be one of my favorites. It wasn't about being a technical masterpiece(Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat earlier on this card is what you should see if that's what you are looking for). It was about telling a great story and seeing the impossible happen. Hogan was a household name at this point but it was this very bodyslam that sealed his legacy. It's perhaps the most defining moment in Wrestlemania history.
There are countless more moments that really made me mark out, but these are the ones that have truly stood out to me throught the past 34 years. Moments like this are why I love and always will love wrestling. I can't wait to see The Showcase of the Immortals this Sunday to see what they have in store for us. I guarantee there will be plenty more made this weekend.