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Top 7 WWE WrestleMania Confrontations

March 13, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
John Cena WrestleMania 35 WWE Image Credit: WWE

There have been some pretty interesting rumors during the Road to WrestleMania 38. One of the most interesting involved the in-ring return of one of WWE’s greatest Superstars of all time. Stone Cold Steve Austin was said to be coming back for one more match, nearly twenty years after his last match. The idea of Austin wrestling again has popped up several times over the years, and while Austin has insisted that he’s happy not competing in the ring, one would understand a possible return because there would be some money to be made.

Austin will be returning at WrestleMania…but he won’t be taking part in a sanctioned wrestling match. He’ll be a guest on the Kevin Owens Show, presumably to defend the honor of his native Texas against the barbs & ridicule of the Texas-hating Owens. Yeah, it’s not the greatest reason for a feud of all time, but Austin will stun Owens, drink some beer and make everybody happy.

WrestleMania has seen a number of situations like this one over the years. Not every bit of physicality was part of a sanctioned match. Confrontations are a staple of WrestleManias past. Here are the most magnificent WrestleMania confrontations.

7. Mickey Rourke knocks out Chris Jericho (WrestleMania 25)

Mickey Rourke was experiencing a career renaissance in 2009 thanks to his portrayal of a washed-up sports entertainer in the movie entitled The Wrestler. Rourke was nominated for multiple awards due to his performance, and the movie got the pro wrestling business some attention to. Everybody wanted to find a way to capitalize off of it. WWE’s idea was to have Rourke come in for a match against Chris Jericho. A nice idea, but it fell through for multiple reasons.

Instead, Rourke appeared ringside at WrestleMania, where Jericho had a handicap match with three old-timers (Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper) that were meant to represent Rourke’s character in the movie. Jericho beat them, but ended the night flat on his back after Rourke knocked him out. Realistically, it was the best thing they could have done with Rourke, as his having a competent match might have even been beyond the powers of 2009 Chris Jericho.

6. The Doctor of Thuganomics attacks Elias (WrestleMania 35)

Remember Elias? He was a pretty entertaining character during the late 2010s that had a fair amount of actual music ability. I never would have classified him as a main event guy, but he was good to have in the middle of the card as someone that fans would pay attention to. Elias wasn’t booked to compete at WrestleMania 35, but he was booked for a musical performance. Which was just as good as far as Elias was concerned.

Unfortunately for Elias, he was not the only musical act to appear at this WrestleMania. John Cena was off doing movies at this point and wasn’t appearing full time with WWE, but he was able to show up at WrestleMania and drop a rap on the people. The Doctor of Thuganomics was back, and he had some words for Elias. He also had an Attitude Adjustment for Elias.

5. Rock & Ronda take down HHH & Stephanie (WrestleMania 31)

The then-future lords & masters of all things WWE were very pleased with themselves, and had every right to be. Triple H had scored a victory over Sting earlier in the evening, finally bringing the Monday Night War to a satisfying conclusion. There were over 76,000 people in Levi’s Stadium buying a lot of merchandise, it was a good night for WWE. However, Hunter & Stephanie’s gloating & taking credit for it all was interrupted by The Rock. After exchanging words, Stephanie slapped Rock and said he wouldn’t do anything about it because he would never hit a woman. Apparently Stephanie forgot about most of the year 2000.

Rock didn’t hit her, but he had a friend in the crowd that was willing to: Ronda Rousey! Ronda took Stephanie out while Rock took care of Triple H. This led to speculation that Rock & Ronda would team for an actual match against HHH & Stephanie for WrestleMania 32. That didn’t happen, but Rousey would end up competing against the Authority at WrestleMania 34 with Kurt Angle as her partner. It was an entertaining showdown that served as a good start to Ronda’s WWE in-ring career.

4. Andre the Giant chokes Bob Uecker (WrestleMania IV)

Bob Uecker was known as Mr. Baseball & even played the game back in the days before he became widely known as an announcer & frequent guest of Johnny Carson’s. Of course, Ueck would be the first to denigrate his athletic career, and by the time 1988 rolled around he wasn’t exactly a physical marvel. That didn’t stop Uecker from getting physically involved with Andre the Giant at WrestleMania IV.

Uecker was backstage conducting interviews, and was tasked with talking to Andre the Giant after Andre’s double-disqualification with Hulk Hogan. As it turned out, Andre was in a jovial mood, as he was pleased that Hogan wouldn’t be winning the WWF Championship Tournament that night, seemingly clearing the way for his friend Ted DiBiase to do so. As he laughed, Bob kindly asked the Giant to get his foot off of his shoulder. Andre became enraged and choked away at Mr. Baseball, who provided the proper facial expression while the Giant’s immense hands were around his throat.

The physical confrontation between Andre & Bob Uecker lasted just a few moments, and became one of the first WrestleMania Moments.

3. Piper’s Pit with Morton Downey Jr. & Brother Love (WrestleMania V)

After his retirement match at WrestleMania III, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper had been off in Hollywood making movies. It was a good time, but we all know that wrestling retirements don’t last forever. Honestly, lasting from WrestleMania III to WrestleMania V without appearing is a pretty impressive stretch that we should commend the Rowdy Scot for. Enough time had passed, and it was time for an in-ring edition of Piper’s Pit with some of the most controversial personalities of the time.

Brother Love was quite the heat-seeker back in his day. We know Bruce Prichard more these days for his podcasts and his status as one of the top Vince whisperers of all time. Back in the late 80s people just knew Brother Love for his annoying qualities on television and didn’t exactly love him. They were more than happy to see Piper put him in his place. Then there was Morton, who was hosting a popular talk show that paved the way for the likes of Jerry Springer, Maury Povich and all the “trash TV” folks that followed. We should probably blame him for these things instead of crediting him for them.

Not that it really matters for the purposes of this column. Here, we just note that Roddy put out Morton’s cigarrette with a fire extinguisher and it got a good pop. I will say that the segment did drag a bit and would have died a death with an actual wrestling crowd. Fortunately, it was Donald Trump’s wrestling crowd.

2. Kane meets Pete Rose (WrestleMania XIV)

I’ll admit my bias here. As a Cincinnati Reds fan that lives in an area of the country where most baseball fans are still demanding that Pete Rose be reinstated into the game, Rose’s appearance at WrestleMania probably meant a lot more to me than to most of you reading this. Many Reds fans still consider Rose their favorite player, which is some cool loyalty but also doesn’t speak well for the Reds that came after him.

Rose came out to serve as the ring announcer for Kane’s match with the Undertaker at WrestleMania XIV, and immediately launched into a standup comedy routine about Boston’s baseball team. It got a lot of heat at the time, and became completely dated humor once the Red Sox started winning championships on a regular basis. Also, the Patriots went on a bit of a run in the NFL, so people born during the 21st century have no idea why somebody would call Boston the city of losers.

Kane came down to give Rose a tombstone, which started a series of confrontations between the Attitude Era’s Big Red Machine & the leader of baseball’s Big Red Machine. Things never went too well for Pete on these occasions, but the series of confrontations between Pete Rose & Kane became a high point of WrestleManias. Pete never did get his revenge.

1. Piper’s Pit with Steve Austin & Carlito (WrestleMania 21)

The Rowdy Scot had been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame the night before WrestleMania, and promised that we hadn’t seen anything yet. I won’t denigrate Piper’s illustrious career by saying he was right about that, but he did have something big planned for WrestleMania 21. 2005 wasn’t the right time for “Rowdy” Roddy Piper & “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to have a wrestling match, but it was a great time to have Austin appear on Piper’s Pit.

As you’d expect, both men had some good smack to talk and the people loved it. A great way to follow Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels, as anybody that tried to have a regular wrestling match right after that would have been met with the rustling of people heading to the concession stands. Austin & Piper talking to the people kept them interested. Two of the biggest rebels & best talkers in WWE history? Yeah, that’s going to be entertaining whenever it happens.

Carlito also came down so he could talk some junk and take a Stunner. On one hand, these moments where young wrestlers get beat up by legends never has the effect the writers & some of the fans think it does. It doesn’t get the young guy over just because he got to stand in the same ring with some legends before they kicked his ass. Never has, never will. There’s no rub there. On the other hand, Carlito can tell his kids & grandkids that he got to work with Steve Austin & Roddy Piper. As long as they weren’t jerks backstage, I’m sure he’s pretty happy with that.

Thanks for reading! Hit me up on the Twitter or the comment section with any thoughts, concerns or baseball predictions. And yes, I left out a Hulk Hogan confrontation because I didn’t want to have to explain Eugene & Muhammad Hassan.

article topics :

WrestleMania, WWE, Steve Cook