Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / WrestleMania

Go To

Time. No beginning, no end. An infinite procession that humbles our mortality. But there are moments in life that transcend our fate, memories crafted by gods among men that defy time to forget them. These are the moments that echo through the ages, always heard, never to grow old. Born of will, christened with blood, they are testament to the strong, the mighty, the eminent, deities who defy their own mortality to forge an indelible imprint in the annals of time. Like the mythic gods of ancient Greece, they may thrill us, inspire us, at times makes us angry, but they will never let us forget them. Tonight, is their night, their battle, their moment of ultimate sacrifice. For this is their theater, their altar, their chance for divinity. Welcome to WrestleMania, the showcase of the immortals.

The Showcase of The Immortals. The Grandest Stage of Them All. The biggest Professional Wrestling show in the world.

It is, as Mr. McMahon would say, "The Greatest Sports Entertainment Spectacular of All Time".

WrestleMania is a professional wrestling pay-per-view event, produced annually between mid-March to early April. It was first produced in 1985, when Vince McMahon had an idea to hold a flagship pay-per-view show for his World Wrestling Federation to counter the Starrcade event held by rival Jim Crockett Promotions. This show - the very first WrestleMania - was heavily cross-promoted through MTV and other popular television outlets; the WWF's mainstream success from this point on hinged on the first WrestleMania being a success.

It turned out to be a huge success; from then on out, the WWF (now World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE) has held WrestleMania as an annual event, using the show to end major feuds and begin new ones. It is considered WWE's flagship event, and is the biggest show WWE (or any other wrestling promotion) puts on every year. In recent years, WrestleMania has become the annual Mecca of the wrestling world: since the event draws in fans from all over the world, many of the larger independent promotions hold shows in WrestleMania's host city in the days leading up to the shownote  in an attempt to expose fans to their product. WWE is not very appreciative of this, however, and has made moves in recent years to keep other wrestling shows out of the cities where WrestleMania takes place; it's rumored that part of the reason Phoenix, Arizona won the bid to host WrestleMania XXVI was because they agreed to prevent other wrestling promotions from holding shows in publicly-owned venues (both Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA managed to book shows in the area for the weekend of WrestleMania XXVI, however).


WrestleMania The Tropes Of The Immortal:

  • Accidental Athlete: More of a kayfabe example, but at WM 34, Braun Strowman was to face The Bar for the Raw Tag Team Championship... but he didn't have a partner. He went into the audience and picked out a 10-year-old boy named Nicholasnote  as his partner. Nicholas was tagged in early in the match, and had the presence of mind to immediately tag Strowman back in, who rampaged through both opponents to win the titles. (They would give up the titles on the following night's Raw because Nicholas still had to go to school.)
  • Annual Title: WrestleMania 2000 (aka WrestleMania 16).
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: At XX, Trish Stratus gave two of these to Chris Jericho, which allowed Christian to defeat him in their match and ushered in her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Advertisement:
  • Art Evolution: Compare WrestleMania I's lack of a stage to the small stages and mini rings of II through VIII, the outdoor setup of IX to the understated stages of X through XIV to the giant logo of XV, the double trons of 2000, the Trope Codifier of stages in X-Seven and X8 that introduced the LED Walls, the unconventional stages of XIX (baseball stadium), XX (combining old and new aspects in the 18,000+ Madison Square Garden), 21 (movie theatre-themed) and 22 (cityscape) to the return to 70-80,000+ football stadiums with 23 with sets with growing Serial Escalation leading up to WrestleMania XXX's colossal setup. WWE documented the evolution through 31 here.
  • Artifact Title: WWE shies away from even calling itself 'wrestling' these days, and the 'mania' part harkens back to Hulkamania. The name has been kept thanks to the Grandfather Clause.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: It's not uncommon for heels to win on the Grandest Stage of Them All, in hopes of averting Foregone Conclusion. Specific examples include:
  • Big "OMG!": This was Paul Heyman's reaction when Brock Lesnar broke The Undertaker's streak.
  • The Bus Came Back: If there's a star who's injured at the time, they'll sometimes make a one-off appearance at WrestleMania for the night.
  • Call-Back:
    • At WrestleMania XX, The Undertaker switches back to his deadman gimmick after spending the last three years as a Badass Biker. Taker would then reuse said Biker gimmick during his match with AJ Styles sixteen years later at WrestleMania 36.
    • At WrestleMania XXX, Cesaro won the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal by scoop-slamming Big Show over the top rope - much like Hulk Hogan scoop-slamming André to hit him with the Atomic Leg Drop back at WrestleMania III. Bonus points, Big Show was billed as André's son when he first debuted.
    • At WrestleMania XXX, Triple H made his entrance on a throne, dressed as a king, with several women flanking him. One of those women, Charlotte Flair, made the same entrance at WrestleMania 34, herself on the throne.
    • WrestleMania 36: Aside from The Undertaker example above, the Firefly Funhouse match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena made references to the latter's WWE career as well as the Monday Night Wars.
  • Cat Fight:
  • The Centerpiece Spectacular: Shawn Michaels's entrance at WrestleMania XII, where Shawn came to the ring on a zip line in an iconic WM moment, which came before a main event 60-minute Iron Man Match against Bret Hart, went into overtime when the time limit expired without a single fall being scored; Michaels eventually scored the winning pinfall to dethrone Bret as the WWF Champion.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Sometimes overlapping with Early-Bird Cameo below (but not always):
  • Costume Porn: WrestleMania gear tends to be more elaborate or eye-popping in favour of the event. Extra flamboyant accessories will often be donned for entrances.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: WM34 gives us The Undertaker defeating John Cena in under 3 minutes.
  • Dangerous Terrain: The Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) matches, which started with a Triangle Ladder match at WrestleMania 2000 between Edge & Christian (winners), the Hardy Boyz, and the Dudley Boyz. WrestleMania X-Seven had "TLC II" with the same teams; each team got a little help from a third party (Lita, Spike Dudley, and Rhyno, respectively), and there were several memorable moments, including the insane mid-air Spear that Edge delivered to a dangling-from-the-belts Jeff Hardy.
  • Dawn of an Era:
    • WrestleMania X is the post Hulkamania WrestleMania that features the rise of wrestlers like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Scott Hall.
    • WrestleMania 13 was the first event where wrestlers born in The '70s (Dwayne Johnson and Headbanger Mosh) competed at the show. It was also the event that saw the beginning of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's rise as a main event wrestler (which leads to the following entry).
    • WrestleMania XIV and XV saw the true rise of the Austin Era (and the Attitude Era in general), as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin won the WWF Championship at both shows.
      Jim Ross [at WrestleMania XIV]: The Austin era has begun!
    • WrestleMania XX was the first event where wrestlers born in The '80s (Randy Orton, Rene Dupree, Jackie Gayda, and Garrison Cade) competed at the show.
    • WrestleMania 21 saw the creation of the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, whose winner (in this case, Edge) is guaranteed a world title match before the next year's WrestleMania. Every year since, people look forward to the match to see just who's going to get a world title push. It's also the WrestleMania where both John Cena and Batista won their first World Championships (WWE and World Heavyweight respectively).
    • WrestleMania XXX saw Daniel Bryan's ascension to the top of the card after two brief title runs, and the end of The Streak.
    • WrestleMania 31 had both a wrestler younger than 'Mania itself (Seth Rollins) headline the show, and the first wrestler born in The '90s (Paige) competing at it.
    • WrestleMania 35 was the first ever with a women's match as the main event, with Becky Lynch winning a three-way match against Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair, claiming both titles. Kofi Kingston also became the first ever African born wrestler to win the WWE Championship.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The Royal Rumble winner got the main event match at WrestleMania, but starting from 2006, it's become common for them to sometimes be put as a co-main event.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • "The Streak" of The Undertaker was explicitly stated time and time again as having been a greater accomplishment than winning a world title and a guaranteed one-way ticket to the WWE Hall of Fame, and that if someone ever managed it, they'd be able to brag about it for the rest of their career. And then, at WrestleMania XXX, Brock Lesnar shockingly did end The Streak.
    • A lesser example came at WM34, when Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka after the latter had gone unbeaten through her entire WWE tenure, including her year-plus run in NXT.
  • Demoted to Extra: WrestleMania 29 was an example of several WWE wrestlers being left off the card in order to give more time for the three main events (John Cena vs. The Rock, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and CM Punk vs. The Undertaker). This also marked the first time in 16 years that there wasn't any sort of women's match, as the one that was supposed to take place was moved over to Raw.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: WrestleMania will sometimes use wrestlers from developmental as extras in some of the more elaborate entrances:
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • When discussing bad WrestleManias, 2 is given a mulligan despite some issues with the card, due to the still-experimental nature of the event at the time, as well as the gimmicky and one-time-only simulcast from three different venues, with closed circuit TV being used for folks at one location to watch the other two-thirds of the show.
    • The first WrestleMania has closing credits.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Generally the case for WrestleMania main events, usually involving a face wrestler finally achieving his dream in front of a grand stage:
    • Bret Hart winning the WWF Championship at WrestleMania X after losing his match against his brother Owen earlier in the night.
    • Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII, winning the WWF Championship after a long (and by "long" we mean over an hour long) match.
    • The Undertaker wins the WWF Championship at WrestleMania 13. While this was his second reign, this was his first in over five years and his first legitimate with a considerable lengthnote .
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin winning the WWF Championship at both WrestleMania XIV and XV, with the latter even having Austin literally standing over Vince McMahon.
    • Trish Stratus wins her fourth Women's Championship at WrestleMania XIX, tying her record with that of The Fabulous Moolah. Especially notable because she had been antagonized by Victoria and Jazz for months.
    • Chris Benoit at WrestleMania XX definitely qualifies. However, real-life events tainted this. John Cena also won his first ever championship (United States) in the opening match.
    • John Cena and Batista both winning world titles (the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship, respectively) at WrestleMania 21.
    • WrestleMania 22: Rey Mysterio, in honor of his dear friend Eddie Guerrero, surviving a triple threat match against Randy Orton and defending Champion Kurt Anglenote  and against all odds became "The Ultimate Underdog" to achieve the World Heavyweight Championship.
    • WrestleMania 28: Big Show finally breaks his non-Tag Team victory drought at this event since his debut by winning the Intercontinental Championship, making him a Grand Slam Champion in the process (and the first to achieve this feat at this event at that).
    • WrestleMania XXX: Daniel Bryan after slugging through all of 2013 and up to the beginning of 2014 against The Authority, Randy Orton and Batista, had to fight Triple H in a 25+ minute slobberknocker just to even get a chance to fight Orton and Batista and then had to survive everything thrown at him: the Authority, being taken through a table, sledgehammers, to the point that he had to be taken out on a stretcher—yet he still made Batista tap to the Yes! Lock and won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
    • WrestleMania 31: Daniel Bryan again, this time by winning the Intercontinental Championship and becoming a Grand Slam Champion.
    • WrestleMania 33: Naomi regains the SmackDown Women's Championship she was forced to relinquish due to injury, in front of her hometown crowd.
    • WrestleMania 34: Seth Rollins wins the Intercontinental Championship, making him a Grand Slam Champion. This win also made The Shield the first Power Stable in wrestling history to have all its members achieve this feat.
    • WrestleMania 35: Kofi Kingston, after eleven years of blood, sweat and tears, finally wins the WWE Championship, becoming a Grand Slam Champion.
    • WrestleMania 36: Braun Strowman finally wins the Universal Championship, his first World Title. Same goes for Drew McIntyre, who after getting fired, rehired and then crawling his way through the ranks, finally winning the WWE Championship and becoming a Triple Crown Champion in the process.
  • End of an Age:
    • WrestleMania X: The first Mania post-Hulkamania and the beginning of the New Generation.
    • WrestleMania X-Seven: The end of the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude Era.
    • WrestleMania X8 was the last Mania under the WWF banner.
    • WrestleMania XIX saw "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the face of the Attitude Era and WWE, work his final match.
    • WrestleMania XXIV saw Ric Flair work his final WWE match.
    • WrestleMania XXVI saw Shawn Michaels work his final match. He would return in a one-off match in 2018, but this is his official retirement as a wrestler.
    • The Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania XXVIII between Triple H and The Undertaker was billed as "The End of an Era", building on the fact that they are the last, largest wrestlers from the Attitude Era still actively competing, and acknowledging the possibility that they may both retire soon; 'Taker due to injuries and old age and Hunter due to his backstage responsibilities.
    • WrestleMania 29: In retrospect, this was the last Mania to feature John Cena in a World Title match or/and in the Main Event, which he's been in since WrestleMania 21. The event was also the final time WWE's version of the Big Gold Belt was defended, as well as the final Mania victory for The Undertaker with his streak intact.
    • At WrestleMania XXX, The Undertaker's Streak was finally broken, and it was referred to by the announce team as "truly the end of an era."
    • At WrestleMania 33, The Undertaker, after his second Mania loss to Roman Reigns, apparently retires. This turned out to be a 10-Minute Retirement, as he came back to squash John Cena at WM34.
    • WrestleMania 35 saw Kurt Angle and Batista work their final matches. It was also the first WrestleMania since 2000 with no involvement from The Undertaker.
    • At WrestleMania 36, The Undertaker defeated AJ Styles in a Boneyard match, which was later revealed to be Undertaker's final match.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Since WrestleMania is considered the final episode of that yearly chapter, one can expect some changes in previously heroic characters:
    • V: Rick Martel, who had recently returned after a several-month-long absence note  and reunited with old tag-team partner and longtime friend Tito Santana (they called themselves Strike Force) for a match against Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (aka the Brain Busters). The reunion didn't last, as after a mistimed move by Santana sent Martel sprawling to the mat, Martel threw up his arms in frustration and walked out on Santana, turning a competitive match into a Curb-Stomp Battle with Santana on the losing end. After the match, Martel explained that he was tired of having Santana ride his wave of success ("I'm sick and tired. Sick and tired of him. I was doing great as a singles wrestler, but Mr. Tito wants to ride my coattails some more").
    • 13: Bret Hart. Technically a double-turn. Austin as a heel that time was given more cheers and Hart decided to attack him after the match, solidifying himself as a heel. Backstage, Hart didn't feel comfortable about the idea due to his established babyface character, but did it for the love of the business.
    • XV: Triple H, leader of DX, turning on his own group to join The Corporation. Fans believe that this was the biggest impact on his career as it solidified himself out of Shawn Michaels' shadow.
    • 2000: Vince McMahon turning on The Rock to give Triple H a defending victory for the WWF title.
    • X-Seven: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin selling his soul to the devil Vince McMahon to win the WWF title. Despite being considered one of the best matches, fans never expected this to happen. Austin's heel turn didn't go so well and ended after Survivor Series. This also was the closing the Attitude Era that Austin was a part of for years.
    • XX: Trish Stratus turning to Christian instead of Chris Jericho.
    • 34: Shinsuke Nakamura giving AJ Styles a low blow after losing to him in the WWE Title match, and then proceeding to attack him.
  • Fanservice: When WWE had ties to Playboy, it was tradition for the Playboy covergirl to get a match at WrestleMania. These matches usually took on this form.
  • Finale Production Upgrade: Mania is THE biggest event of the calendar year in all of Professional Wrestling, let alone the WWE, so the company ramps up the production almost a year in advance. Giant, packed stadiums, the company showcasing the best they have to offer in addition to celebrity guests and all the fanfare... The event is not called "The Showcase of the Immortals" for nothing.
  • Gag Haircut:
    • Molly Holly put her hair on the line against Victoria's Women's Championship. When she lost, her head was shaved completely bald.
    • The Battle of the Billionaires at 23 pitted Umaga against Bobby Lashley as proxies for Vince and Donald Trump. Umaga lost and Vince had to have his head shaved.
  • Groin Attack:
  • Heel–Face Turn: Much like the Face–Heel Turn, WrestleMania has brought the best out in one-time fearsome, nefarious characters:
    • The first WrestleMania provided the impetus for "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff to turn good, after ally Bob Orton Jr. accidentally hit Orndorff in the head and caused him and Roddy Piper to lose their main-event match to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
    • III: Brutus Beefcake, who had been part of a successful tag team with Greg "the Hammer" Valentine (as the Dream Team), having been former Tag Team champions before hitting a slump by late 1986. With Beefcake becoming increasingly popular with fans despite being a heel, a storyline was devised where, on camera the two began spatting and newcomer Dino Bravo was starting to show more chemistry with Valentine. The straw that really broke the camel's back was during a televised match where a miscommunication led to "Adorable" Adrian Adonis cutting Beefcake's hair by mistake. While Beefcake helped Valentine defeat the The Rougeau Brothers at the pay-per-view, the team had an argument and Beefcake was left in the ring while Valentine and Bravo left with manager Jimmy Valiant. Beefcake was portrayed as sympathetic and solidified his status as a good guy when, later in the show, he returned to ringside for Adonis' match against Roddy Piper, allowing Piper to score the win by preventing Jimmy Hart from interfering; afterward, Beefcake gleefully cut Adonis' hair, per a pre-match stipulation. Beefcake earned the nickname "The Barber" and quickly became hugely popular with fans.
    • VI: André the Giant, in his last major pay-per-view match of his career, after he and tag team partner Haku had lost the Tag Team Championship back to Demolition (after Haku's superkick accidentally nailed Andre instead of Smash). Bobby Heenan was so upset at Andre that he (foolishly) slapped the big guy in the face ... and "the Brain" paid dearly (and so did Haku, who tried a sneak attack that Andre immediately stopped).
    • VII: Randy Savage, after losing his "retirement" match with the Ultimate Warrior, had a very emotional reunion with Miss Elizabeth; Liz stopped Savage's manager, the Sensational Sherri, from kicking and beating on him post-match. After that, he went from "Macho King" back to "Macho Man".
    • 13: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, as part of the double-turn with Bret Hart (see Face–Heel Turn above).
    • XIX: Kurt Angle acknowledges Brock Lesnar as a Worthy Opponent and hugs him afterwards. He was out for three months but was a face when he returned.
    • 34: MIA since the Ultimate Deletion, Bray Wyatt returns to help Matt Hardy win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
  • Heroic Resolve: The big match at WrestleMania 13 was the Submission Match between "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Bret Hart. Busted open, bleeding like crazy, and locked in Hart's signature Sharpshooter submission hold, Austin refused to tap out; instead, he passed out from the pain in a puddle of his own blood rather than submit to Hart. If King of the Ring 1996 was Austin's breakout moment, this was the moment that catapulted him into superstardom.
  • History Repeats: WrestleMania featured a lot of rematches. Sometimes thrice.
    • The Undertaker had the most rematches. So far, he fought and defeated Triple H three times, while Kane and Shawn Michaels both lost to him twice.
    • The very first WrestleMania trilogy is of course, The Rock vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin (while the former only won at their third encounter, it was the latter's last match in his career). The second was The Undertaker vs. Triple H (see above).
    • Both Trish Stratus and Jazz fought each other for the Women's Championship in a triple-threat match twice at this event (first with Lita at X8, then with Victoria the following year). The same can be said about Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair (first with Sasha Banks at 32, then with Ronda Rousey three years later)
    • Other wrestlers who fought in this event twice are; Hulk Hogan and André the Giant (III and IV), Bret Hart and Yokozuna (IX and X), the three-way rivalry of Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz, and The Dudley Boys (2000 and X-Seven), Goldberg and Brock Lesnar (XX and 33), Triple H and Batista (21 and 35), Sheamus and Daniel Bryan (XXVII and XXVIII), The Rock and John Cena (XXVIII and 29), and John Cena and Bray Wyatt (XXX and 36).
    • Some wrestlers who actually fought at this event twice but were also in a multi-opponent match involving someone else. Namely; Mick Foley and Big Show (competed one-on-one at XV before squaring off in a four-way with both Triple H and The Rock the following year), Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle (fought in a three-way with Chris Jericho at 2000 before competing one-on-one in the following year), John Cena and the Big Show (competed one-on-one at XX before squaring off in a three-way with Edge at XXV), John Cena and Triple H (competed in a one-on-one match at 22 before competing in a three-way with Randy Orton at XXIV), Triple H and Randy Orton (competed in a three-way with John Cena at WrestleMania XXIV before competing one-on-one the following year), John Cena and The Miz (competed one-on-one at XXVII before squaring off in a Mixed Tag Team match at 33), Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks (competed in a triple-threat at 32 with Becky Lynch before squaring off in a fatal-four way the following year with Bayley and Nia Jax), Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns (competed in an impromptu three-way at 31 after Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract before competing one-on-one without any distractions three years later), and Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins (competed in an impromptu three-way at 31 after Rollins cashed in his MITB contract before competing in a proper singles match four years later).
    • Champions have walked out of this event with two championship belts five times: Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental and WWF in VI), Triple H (Undisputed in X8), The Colons (Unified Tag Team in XXV), Daniel Bryan (WWE World Heavyweight in XXX), and Becky Lynch (Raw and SmackDown Women's in 35).
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin served as Special Guest Referee at this event thrice (XX, 23, and XXVII) while Mick Foley served twice (XV and X-Seven).
    • At WrestleMania XXIX, Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match at MetLife Stadium in which Triple H's career was on the line with a friend of Hunter's Lesnar had previously injured (Shawn Michaels) in Triple H's corner. At WrestleMania XXXV at the same stadium, Triple H defeated Batista in a No Holds Barred Match in which his career was once again on the line with a friend of Hunter's Batista had previously injured (Ric Flair) in Triple H's corner.
    • Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt twice in this event. One in 33 where he defeated him to win the WWE championship, and the second in 37 when Wyatt was "The Fiend".
  • Hoax Hogan: In WrestleMania 36, The Firefly Fun House match between Bray Wyatt and John Cena had a section when both were part of The '80s Saturday Night Main Event show with Wyatt in his Gym outfit mimicking and quoting Hulk Hogan in his Hulkster persona. Later in another section, they recreated WCW/nWo Monday Nitro where Wyatt became Eric Bischoff and now Cena appeared as Hogan in his Hollywood persona (including his "belt guitar" intro).
  • Important Haircut: The Undertaker cut off his hair in the build-up for 28, as he was preparing to fight Triple H in Hell In A Cell. He didn't unveil the hair until he was in the Cell.
  • Invincible Hero: The Undertaker's track record at WrestleMania is likely never to be topped: he was not defeated in his first 21 matches he wrestled at the event. (In an odd reversal, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels' match at WrestleMania XXV, which was perhaps 2009's Match of the Year, was 'Taker's first one-on-one victory over Michaels.) Of course, after WrestleMania XXX, Undertaker's record read 21–1, thanks to one Brock Lesnar. As of WrestleMania 36, Taker's record stands at 25–2.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
    • 30 was set in New Orleans, and most of the TV spots were Mardi Gras themed. However during the event itself this wasn't really played up—Bray Wyatt had a Mardi Gras themed entrance and Layla wore a carnival mask, but nothing else really.
    • 34, on the other hand, played this straight, with the entire stage modeled after a carnival mask.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: Every WrestleMania is billed as the best, most historic WrestleMania ever. Until next year, of course.
  • Just One Little Mistake: Attempting to give the fans a WrestleMania moment, Brock Lesnar attempted a Shooting Star Press (a diving backflip splash off the top rope) at WrestleMania XIX against Kurt Angle. He hadn't performed this dangerous maneuver since his time in WWE's feeder league OVW, placed Angle too far from the corner, and though he did in fact rotate perfectly for the press, Angle's distance resulted in Lesnar landing squarely on his head, almost breaking his own neck on Angle, but luckily he ended up with only a mild concussion note . Angle quickly led the dazed Lesnar into an improvised finish to the match. Ironically, going into the event it was Angle who had raised concern over getting injured as his well-known neck problems were flaring up, and it was believed that his insistence on performing at the event anyway could lead to the end of his career, when actually it was Lesnar who nearly ended breaking his neck at the event. On the bright side, it certainly did create a "WrestleMania moment" as the image of Brock suspended upside down in midair above Kurt, CLEARLY not going to complete the move, is one of the most iconic (and terrifying) images in the history of the event.
  • Mêlée à Trois: While title matches are usually contested in one-on-one matches, there are some that were contested in triple threat, fatal-four way, or even multiple opponent matches:
  • Numbered Sequels: Historically, most editions have used Roman numerals as part of their branding, although there have been exceptions, including 13, 2000 (16), the unusual X-Seven and X8, 21 through 23, 29, and every one since 31 (29 and every edition since 31 don't even have numbers in their logos anymore)
  • Once a Season: The Undertaker takes on a legend or main event superstar and wins, an honor perhaps greater that being World Champion multiple times. Until 2014, he had never lost at the event, defeating the likes of Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts, Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy, Diesel, Sycho Sid, Kane, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Ric Flair, Big Show and A-Train, Kane again, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Batista, Edge, Shawn Michaels (twice), Triple H again (twice), and CM Punk. And then WrestleMania XXX came... Fortunately he rebounded at the next two events, but wasn't so lucky come 2017. He then surprisingly came back in 2018 to squash John Cena. Returned two years later to send AJ Styles to his grave.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • The Ultimate Warrior defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to win the WWF Championship, seen as a "passing the torch" moment (even if it didn't fully work out).
    • WrestleMania XXX was full of this: Cesaro winning the André the Giant Battle Royal, Brock Lesnar ending The Undertaker's streak, and Daniel Bryan winning the main event. Unfortunately, Bray Wyatt didn't quite get Cena's torch.
    • Bray Wyatt invoked this during the buildup to his match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, saying that due to his loss last year, the latter can no longer be WWE's personification of fear. Taker definitely proved him wrong.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: WrestleMania 36 was split into two nights to lessen the people in the venue due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Red Baron: This event is christened as "The Grandest Stage of them All"; "The Show of Shows"; "The Showcase of the Immortals"; "The Biggest Show of the Year"; "The Greatest Spectacle of Sports Entertainment"; "The Granddaddy of them All".
  • Retired Badass:
    • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the guest referee of Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania XX. What should have been a dream matchup was ruined by Lesnar's surprise decision to quit WWE to try out for the NFL, and Goldberg seemed to think the whole match was a joke. The only cheering was for Austin, who delivered a Stunner to both Lesnar and Goldberg after the match.
    • Similarly, at WrestleMania XXVII Austin was guest ref for Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole. Cole spent close to 10 minutes beating on Lawler. To say that the crowd did not enjoy this would be an understatement. The end of the match then had the Raw general manager retroactively disqualify Lawler because Guest Referee Austin got involved in the match. Booker T and Josh Mathews also got Stunners without doing anything - likely just an excuse to get J.R. and King back together on commentary for the rest of the show.
  • Rivals Team Up: WrestleMania 2000 is the only WrestleMania to never have a true one-on-one singles match on its card. The main event featured four wrestlers, with a member of the McMahon family in each corner of a WWF Championship match: the champion, Triple H, had Stephanie McMahon in his corner; The Rock had Vince McMahon backing him; Big Show was backed by Shane McMahon; and surprise entrant Mick Foley, who had been "retired" the month prior in a Hell in a Cell Match by Triple H, had the backing of Linda McMahon. In the end, Vince turned on The Rock and allowed Triple H to win, letting Triple H retain the WWF Championship against staggering odds, and made history as the first heel to win at a WrestleMania main event.
  • Scenery Porn: Most of the stages from 1999 onwards invoked this. Beforehand, the Roman theme of WrestleMania IX is probably the most well-remembered part of the event.
  • Season Finale: WrestleMania serves as one for most storyline feuds in WWE every year. While some rivalries continue after the event (which for many years was the theme for Backlash), most rivalries in general end here and from then on, the company starts new ones. In the video games, the Career modes usually climax at a WrestleMania.
  • Sequel Hook: WrestleMania XXVII/XXVIII seemed to like this trope a lot:
    • The WrestleMania XXVII main event between The Miz and John Cena was a slow, boring match that lead to a double countout. The Rock came out and ordered the match to continue, but it ended again about 5 seconds later with The Rock hitting the Rock Bottom on Cena and Miz retaining. The Rock then gave Miz the People's Elbow so the night ended with a semi-retired wrestler standing over The Miz, WWE Champion, and Cena, WWE's currently most popular wrestler. It was nothing more than a Sequel Hook for the main event for WrestleMania XXVIII, Rock vs. Cena.
    • The Undertaker refused to let his Pyrrhic Victory over Triple H at XXVII be his lasting memory, thus demanding a second rematch at XXVIII.
    • World Heavyweight Championship contenders Sheamus and Daniel Bryan also had a match at XXVII that was demoted to DVD Bonus Content and led to a no-contest.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is the night before, and the inductees appear on stage all dressed to the nines.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Sable's feud with Tori leading into XV was based around Sable thinking she was better than her Loony Fan. Just when it looked like Tori was about to defeat Sable and become Women's Champion, Nicole Bass debuted and helped Sable win. The feud was ended there.
  • The Show Must Go On: WrestleMania 36 was initially scheduled to take place in the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The logo for the even is even similar to the logo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the local NFL team. But the 2019-2020 coronavirus outbreak put a stop to those plans, moving instead to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando. It will be the first WWE pay-per-view without a live audience.
  • Something Completely Different: Unlike all previous installments, 36 is the only WrestleMania to not be held in front of a live crowd due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Almost all the matches were pre-taped at the WWE Performance Center and the event was broadcast over the course of two nights (for the sake of the matches that were live) to limit exposure. To top it off, both nights each had a match that was filmed as vignettes in the vein of the Broken Universe and Lucha Underground: Night 1's main event was the Boneyard Match between The Undertaker and AJ Styles, while Night 2's co-main event was the Firefly Funhouse Match between the Fiend and John Cena.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • WrestleMania XXV had an example that affected two matches: the event should have seen the Colón Brothers defeating John Morrison and The Miz to become the first Unified Tag Team Champions. However, their victory was relegated to taking place before the actual card, to make room for a song performance by Kid Rock (worse, the concert was taken out of the DVD release of the event). And the following Divas' battle royal had several older past Divas returning such as Sunny, Molly Holly, Torrie Wilson and Victoria, but the Divas had no entrances for that match and came out dancing to Kid Rock, so no introductions for the past Divas.
    • The Royal Rumble winner should get a title shot at WrestleMania's main event, but John Cena has stolen this spot every year since 2006, except in 2009note  and ironically, 2008note . The same thing happened in 2017 and 2018, but with Roman Reigns instead of Cena taking the Main Event spot from the actual Winner (or in 2018's case, Winners).
    • Occasionally a non-title match will headline and/or close out the show. The most notable in recent years is the rematch between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker at XXVI (which would be Shawn's retirement match), and when John Cena faced The Rock for the first time at XXVIII.
  • Squash Match:
    • 1: This one started very early, as in the second match in WM history. King Kong Bundy defeated S.D. Jones in what was billed as nine secondsnote 
    • X-Seven: Chyna defeated Ivory for the Women's Championship in a mere two minutes.
    • 24: Kane squashed Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Championship in eleven seconds.
    • 28: Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship in eighteen seconds.
    • 32: The Rock defeated Erick Rowan in six seconds.
    • 34: John Cena got what he'd been after for weeks when The Undertaker came out and squashed him in less than 3 minutes.
    • 35: Samoa Joe defeated Rey Mysterio in one minute.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: WrestleMania 29 did not have the event number in the name. Mania XXX (30) had, but after that, the WWE stopped putting the event number in the name. Now calling it simply 'WrestleMania' every year. The move actually ended up working well for WWE in 2021 as the COVID-19 Pandemic forced them to change the venue of 37 from Los Angeles to Tampa. The old "WrestleMania Hollywood" logo for 37 was then repurposed for 39 when they announced that LA would be the host of that year.
  • Stunned Silence: The audience of WrestleMania XXX, when Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker's streak clean.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Team Total Divas vs Team BAD & Blonde tag match at 32 had the former team as the faces. Eva Marie was part of that team and was the lone heel, as is tradition with her.
  • Unexplained Recovery: WrestleMania XV featured The Undertaker defeating The Big Boss Man in a plodding, boring, forgettable Hell in a Cell match. After the match, Undertaker had The Brood (Gangrel/Edge/Christian, then members of the Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness) slip a noose down through the roof of the Cell so he could "hang" Boss Man. Big Boss Man suddenly showed up on Raw the next night as if nothing happened, and the whole thing was never mentioned again. Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness attire and entrance was probably the best part of the whole thing.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: With Mania being WWE's Season Finale, the Final Battle for various feuds often times culminate in this event.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: John Cena did this to Nikki Bella following their victory against The Miz and Maryse.
  • Wham Episode: Mania has certainly had its moments.
  • Wham Shot: At WrestleMania XXX, the graphics displaying the Undertaker's WrestleMania record of "21-1".
  • Where It All Began: The tagline for WrestleMania XX and its return to Madison Square Garden was "Where It All Begins Again."
  • Worked Shoot:
    • The boxing match between Butterbean and Bart Gunn was real, and thus an aversion, but easily the least entertaining and the most pointless match of WrestleMania XV. For a little context: earlier in the year, WWE staged the Brawl for All tournament, a set of legit shootfighting matches long thought to have been a way to reintroduce seriously legit tough guy "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Bart Gunn didn't get the memo and knocked Williams out in the quarterfinals, eventually winning the tournament. Several WWE performers have gone on to state that the match against Butterbean (a five-time World Toughman champion and the reigning IBA Superheavyweight boxing champion) was a punishment, as it transformed almost instantly from Unworked Shoot to Very Bad Shoot when Bart Gunn was knocked out two minutes in. That theory is bolstered by the fact that WWE released him not long after (and if some accounts are to be believed, right after Gunn returned to backstage). Luckily for him, Williams had a huge following as a legit tough guy in Japan, so Gunn was able to have a long run there. All in all, Roddy Piper and Mr. T worked a better boxing match at WrestleMania II, and that's saying something - that one was worked, however (video).
    • The match between Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX had elements of this - referee Chad Patton wasn't told the finish and was instead ordered to treat every pinfall as if it was the match finish and to count to three unless there was a kick-out. When he counted the three count that ended the Streak, Patton was so shocked that he forgot to call for the bell. It very well might have been that, at ringside at least, only Lesnar and Undertaker knew the finish; once Patton made the three-count, the announcers were stunned into silence, and even Paul Heyman, Lesnar's manager, had his jaw on the floor.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • When Undertaker was set to face Triple H at WrestleMania XXVII, they pretended that Triple H and 'Taker had never wrestled before. 'Taker said that he had "beaten 19 men" at WrestleMania, when he had faced Kane and Shawn Michaels twice. He had said "18 men have come..." on the promo the previous year, which was accurate up until the second time he faced Michaels, with his two matches against Kane being balanced by the fact that one of his matches was a two-on-one handicap.
    • When promoting a WrestleMania milestone, WWE forgets that the number of the WrestleMania doesn't actually indicate how many years it's been since the first one. WrestleMania XXV wasn't actually the 25th anniversary of the first WrestleMania, it was the 24th anniversary. If you wanted to mark the 25-year anniversary of the first WrestleMania, you had to wait until WrestleMania XXVI.
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: The thinking behind naming the 17th and 18th installments WrestleMania X-Seven and WrestleMania X-8.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: The summation of the RAW commentary team's reaction to the RAW Tag Team Title Match at WrestleMania 34, wherein the challenger Braun Strowman announced that his mystery partner would be a member of the WWE Universe (i.e. a fan from the crowd). Said reaction increased when Braun proceeded to choose a ten-year old kid (named Nicholas) as his partner, again when Braun actually tagged him in, and culminating the ultimate reactions of disbelief when they won the match.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: