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411’s WrestleMania’s Greatest Moments Report

April 6, 2018 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
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411’s WrestleMania’s Greatest Moments Report

-It’s WrestleMania week here on 411mania and also on the USA Network. Tonight USA aired a one hour special called “WrestleMania’s Greatest Moments” and apparently it is a Top 10 list that was voted on the by the fans. As some of you know, I am a fan of any kind of countdown show and they always offer up good conversation whether you agree or disagree with the list. Also it will be interesting to see if this ends up being a countdown of best matches, best moments or a combination of both. Let’s get to it.

-We are welcomed by our hosts, Jonathan Coachman and Charly Caruso. They let us know that the voting took place on the WWE App and WWE.com.

#10: Once in Lifetime: Cena thanks the WWE fans for voting for this match. WrestleMania XXVIII sees Cena vs Rock after a year of building to the match and it worked as it set the highest buyrate in WWE history. There are no talking heads for this countdown and instead we just get a highlight package. Rock pins Cena clean to set off his “worst year ever” and sets the stage for Twice in a Lifetime at Mania XXIX. For those curious I did review this show and had Cena/Rock I at ****.

#9: Triangle Ladder Match: WrestleMania 2000 sees 3 tag teams steal the show and set the template for what would become TLC. Edge and Christian, The Hardyz, and The Dudleyz tore the house down and built off the No Mercy Ladder match from 1999 and the Table Match from Jan 2000. Everyone involved took crazy bumps in what was the Mania debut for each person and at times I thought Jeff and Matt were going to die. Jeff debuts the Super Swanton from the top of the ladder to the floor and through a table which has been touched on in several ladder matches since. I had this pegged at ****1/2.

-Back from a commercial and Coach talks about WrestleMania I. They show a video package about the event and it brings a smile to my face as I grew up on this era and just watched this show a few weeks back. For those wondering, Hogan was included prominently in the package as you would expect.

-Coach talks about streaks and that leads to the next moment on the list.

#8: The Streak: They quickly cover The Streak and everyone Taker has gone through and that leads us to WrestleMania XXX. After a rather boring match that admittedly had a concussed Taker barely making it through, the most shocking moment in Mania history happens as Taker is pinned in the middle of the ring. This probably should have been higher on this list just for the historic and shock value. I mean the crowd reaction alone is like nothing we’ve ever seen. I gave this match **.

-Back to Charly and they have a picture of the fan in the “Just Say Yes” shirt with his reaction that went viral. She turns that into talking about the outpouring of passion from the fans.

-That leads to a package focusing on the attendance at the Manias over the years and yes, they are sticking to the 93,173 number for Mania III. I tend to believe it is closer to that number than the often thrown around 78,000 number that has been reported. What’s crazy is that 31 years later people are stilling going nuts arguing over an attendance number at a wrestling show.

-Hype video for Lesnar/Reigns and we take a commercial break.

#7 John and Nikki: WrestleMania 33 next on the list with the Cena/Bella vs Miz/Maryse mixed tag match that had a tremendous build (mainly from The Miz and Maryse). Sadly, the match sucked and was only there to set up Cena proposing to Nikki. The crowd was rather respectful and it made for a sweet moment but I will take Miss Elizabeth reuniting with Savage over this for my Mania love story moment. I haven’t reviewed this marathon show yet, so no rating.

#6 End of An Era: Man, there must have been a lot of young people voting for this list as Mania XXVIII pops up for the second time. HHH and Taker do battle inside Hell in a Cell with Shawn as the special ref to End an Era, which really hasn’t ended as HHH was Champion and in the Main Event only 4 years later and both are still main parts of Mania every year. No matter as the match was insanely awesome and delivered one of the best false finishes ever with the superkick/pedigree combo that nearly brought down the house. Some like to dump on this match but it was everything I love about wrestling and was great storytelling. I went ***** on it and stand by it. The video also reminded me how great the build was with Taker playing mind games and having Shawn and HHH taking shots at each other over HHH trying to prove he was better than Shawn. Man, Shawn was fantastic as the ref in this one.

-Back to Coach and Charly as they talk about Mania being the Showcase of Immortals. That leads to a package focusing on top matches that didn’t make the list: Flair/Michaels, Austin/Michaels, Hogan/Warrior (that’s a horrible omission), Hogan/Rock (ok, that’s it. This list is null and void if they couldn’t find a place to vote in that match. Stupid millennials!), Brock/Kurt, Shawn/Razor, TLC II, Shawn/Angle, Bret/Owen, Bret/Shawn. Man, they left off some of the best matches you will ever see.

-Coach leads up to moment 5 and says it is what made WrestleMania and is the first true WrestleMania moment. This has to be Hogan/Andre.

#5 Body Slam Heard ‘Round the World: You can make a case, and a strong one, that this should top the list of not only WrestleMania moments, but moments in wrestling history. The most iconic Mania of all time with the greatest setting ever with 2 of the biggest stars ever in a match the world was waiting to see. As I have mentioned, I watched this show live at my grandma’s house, but was too scared to watch Hogan/Andre because I was afraid of what would happen to my hero. This match wasn’t good, but it didn’t need to be. It delivered everything we wanted and the reaction was insane. Hogan drops Andre and then hits the most famous body slam in wrestling history. The leg drop finishes and the crowd goes bonkers. I get chills watching it to this day.

#4 Extreme Surprise: So Mania 33 is back again which is a joke as that show getting one moment on this list is bad enough, but two is nuts. With that said, The Hardys making their return was the highlight of the night and was a true WrestleMania moment. No way it is bigger than Hogan slamming Andre and the would even tell you that, but kids today and their voting. That match was rock solid and was either the best (or second best depending how you view AJ/Shane) match on the card.

-Commercial break.

-Back with our hosts and they throw to a package featuring all the celebrities and musical acts that have shown up to Mania over the years.

-Charly talks about the Women’s Revolution as I guess even this show has to keep harping on the history they make each and every week. They show highlights from Mania 33 where Charlotte wins the Women’s Title in a really strong match against Sasha and Becky. Kudos to the ladies as they had arguably the best match of the night.

#3 The Ultimate Underdog: Not sure if this should be Top 3, but I have no problem with it being on this list. WrestleMania XXX for the second time and this is the rise of Daniel Bryan as they combine the double match angle of Mania X and the triple threat underdog story from Mania XX to finally give the fans what they want: Daniel Bryan as Champion. The match with HHH is spectacular, ****1/2 and the Triple Threat with Evolution, is darn near as good at ****1/4. Tremendous night and again one of the times the WWE got everything right, even if they fell into it kicking and screaming.

#2 The Heist of the Century: Again, apparently nothing of note really happened in the first 27 years or so of WrestleMania. Seems we have been getting spoiled with all these great moments the last 5-7 years or so. Brock torturing Roman to the delight of the crowd is tremendous as is Brock telling Roman, “suplex city bitch.” The beating was so savage they nearly pulled off what they wanted with Reigns getting sympathy from the crowd, but Rollins does what many thought could happen at Mania one day and cashes in his briefcase and pins Reigns to steal Lesnar’s title. That’s not happening this year my friends.

-Rollins thanks everyone for voting for his moment and says it will be hard to top.

-Rousey/Angle vs McMahon/HHH hype video.

-Back from commercial and before getting to the top spot they cover some more moments that didn’t make the list: Shawn’s Mania XII entrance, New Day cereal entrance, Hogan’s Silverdome mistake and the Rock busting his balls, Savage/Liz reunion (which should be on this list), and Taker “retiring” are some of the moments covered.

#1 The Darkness vs. The Light: Hey, I was there in Houston for this one. It’s Mania XXV (or 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania as they stupidly called it) and I had the pleasure of watching this match between Shawn and Taker. Easily the greatest match I have ever seen live and an easy ***** match. I can’t quite explain the reaction from the crowd but when it needed I saw grown men hugging each other and acting like 6 year old kids again with they way they were jumping around and screaming. I will always have Savage/Steamboat as the best match I have ever watched, and Rock/Hogan as possibly my favorite match ever, but man, this match was something special.

-Coach and Charly wrap things up and will see us in New Orleans.

-I assume the fan voting was legit because eve the WWE wouldn’t be stupid enough to pick a list like this. There is so much wrong with this list that I don’t even know where to begin and frankly I’m shocked they somehow even got Hogan/Andre on there. Of the 10 moments, 7 of them occurred in the last 5 years which shows how screwed up things were. Savage/Steamboat being left off is criminal as is Hogan/Warrior, Bret/Austin (which was never touched on in any way) and the Savage/Liz reunion. I already discussed my feelings on Hogan/Rock getting shafted and really there is so much wrong, I just need to wrap this up and forget this show existed. It was a fun trip down memory lane and an easy show to watch. It’s just a shame so much of Mania’s history is lost on the current generation or maybe I am just getting old.

-Thanks for reading and remember to join me tomorrow night for live coverage of the Hall of Fame ceremony.