WrestleMania 30 [VIDEOS]: Best WrestleMania moments from 6-10 [PHOTOS]
Over the years, WWE WrestleMania has been the marquee event for the WWE and it has provided some of the most memorable moments in the history of the company between title changes, classic matches and great storylines, the term" WrestleMania Moment" has emerged throughout the years to define the best moments at the WWE's cornerstone event.
Over the next few weeks leading up to WrestleMania XXX on April 6 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Sports World News will be taking a look back through past WrestleManias and determining the best moment from each one, starting with WrestleMania I at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1985 and finishing with 2013's installment of WrestleMania XXIX at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
This week, we explore the greatest WrestleMania moments from WrestleMania VI in 1990 through WrestleMania X in 1994.
WrestleMania VI honorable mention: Andre the Giant turns face:
One of the main matches on the undercard for WrestleMania VI was a Tag Team Championship bout pitting the title holders the Colossal Connection (Haku and Andre the Giant) against Ax and Smash of Demolition. With Andre's career winding down, it was time for the Giant to go out as a face for the first time since the buildup to his epic match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III. After Demolition regained the tag titles and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan slapped Andre around, the Giant knocked Heenan and his partner Haku around before riding off to a chorus of cheers from fans at the Toronto SkyDome.
WrestleMania VI moment: The Warrior defeats Hogan in The Ultimate Challenge:
In one of the most iconic and rare main events in WWE history--especially in 1990--two "good guys" went face-to-face as The Ultimate Warrior put up his Intercontinental Championship against Hulk Hogan and his WWE Heavyweight Championship in a winner-take-all match. Up to this point, the formula was simple. Build up a bad guy to go after Hogan, have Hogan go over at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship (at least as far as 2, III and V are concerned), but this time the WWE knew they had the potential for a huge main event after the Warrior and Hogan crossed paths in the 1990 Royal Rumble. In the end, the crowd was torn and while it wasn't the best match of all-time from a work-rate standpoint, the Warrior handed Hogan his first pinfall loss at WrestleMania in front of over 67,000 split fans at the SkyDome in Toronto.
WrestleMania VII honorable mention: Hogan ends a star-spangled WrestleMania by regaining the gold:
In typical WWE fashion, the company used the United States' struggle with Iraq as a storyline, turning former patriot Sgt. Slaughter into an Iraqi sympathizer and giving him instant heel heat. The WWE started the build towards their All-American WrestleMania by having Slaughter defeat The Ultimate Warrior for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble. Originally slated as an outdoor event, the pay-per-view was moved inside to the Los Angeles Sports Arena for disputed reasons that range from McMahon worrying about Slaughter's safety due to crazed fans to the WWE's ticket sales being slower than expected. In the main event, a bloody Hogan emerged the victor by defeating the Iraqi sympathizer and ending a very patriotic WrestleMania by capturing the title for the first time since he dropped it the year before.
WrestleMania VII moment: Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth have a tearful reunion:
I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention that The Undertaker's legendary undefeated WrestleMania streak jumpstarted here with is victory over Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka in a moment that almost made the list. The best match at WrestleMania VII was a career ending match between The Ultimate Warrior and "The Macho King" Randy Savage. After a great contest, The Warrior emerged victorious and Savage's evil manager Sensational Sherri turned on him. Savage, out of a career and manager, was helped out by Miss Elizabeth, who he joyfully reunited with at the end of the match; turning him face for the first time since he turned on Hulk Hogan prior to WrestleMania V. Savage would eventually be reinstated in WWE storylines.
WrestleMania VIII honorable mention: Bret "Hitman" Hart and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper steal the show:
One of the best matches on WrestleMania VIII at the Hoosier Dome in Indiana was a face vs. face match pitting Bret "Hitman" Hart against "Rowdy" Roddy Piper for the IC title. The two put on a great match, which included a nasty blade job from Hart that was taboo in the WWE in 1992, but Hart was able to escape punishment. The match involved a memorable segment with Piper trying to decide whether or not to be heelish and hit Hart with the ring bell. In the end, Hart won a classic match to capture the IC title and end the only title reign for Piper in the WWE until 2006.
WrestleMania VIII moment: Randy Savage wins his second WWE Championship:
The original plans for the main event at WrestleMania VIII called for Ric Flair to take on Hulk Hogan in a dream match, however the WWE ended up changing the plans and going with a forgettable Hogan vs. Sid Justice match, which closed the show with a disqualification but did feature the surprise return of The Ultimate Warrior. Savage and Flair, for their part, put on one of the better matches of the night despite the fact that the WWE Championship was dropped to the middle of the card. At the conclusion, Savage defeated a bloody Flair (who was caught blading on camera and received a fine by the WWE) to capture his second WWE Championship and avenge his manager Miss Elizabeth, whom Flair and his executive consultant Mr. Perfect had victimized in the storyline.
WrestleMania IX moment: Lex Luger and Mr. Perfect put on a solid match:
WrestleMania IX is one of the weirder WrestleManias and it is mostly panned by wrestling fans throughout the country and possibly world as the WWE went outdoors to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. The WWE made a couple of questionable booking decisions as three of the nine matches ended in either a count out or disqualification, the double Doink storyline was weird, The Undertaker won by something other than pinfall or submission for the first and only time at a WrestleMania, and the WWE Championship went from Bret Hart to Yokozuna to Hulk Hogan (in a 22-second match) in one night. There is no honorable mention for this event since it was pretty poor all around, but Lex Luger and Mr. Perfect had a solid match in the middle of all of the chaos, won by Luger.
WrestleMania X honorable mention: Bret Hart steals the show with Owen Hart to open the show, wins the WWE Championship to close the show:
For the very first time, the WWE had to navigate through WrestleMania without Hulk Hogan. Hogan, a staple of their first nine events, was off in WCW while Bret Hart was there to answer the call. "The Hitman" put on one of the best opening matches in the history of the WWE that night at Madison Square Garden with his brother Owen, who was up to the task on that evening as well. The two brothers stole the show as soon as it started, and Owen snuck away with a pinfall victory over his older brother. What made it even more interesting was the fact that Hart went on to defeat Yokozuna in the main event for the WWE Championship after Yoko successfully defeated Lex Luger earlier in the night. Hart was surrounded as all of the good guys came out of the locker room to hoist him up after the win, and Owen, believing he should be champion, menacingly looked on from the aisle way as the show came to a close.
WrestleMania X moment: Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon raise the bar in a ladder match:
One of the reasons WrestleMania X is viewed to this day as a success and one of the top tier 'Manias is because of the awesome opener between the Hart brothers and the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. With each man feuding over who is the real Intercontinental Champion, the WWE decided to have a ladder match for the "first time" at WrestleMania X. The two men put their bodies to the limit in a type of match that most fans had never seen before at 1994 and Ramon walked away the winner. The WWE took another step in proving that the company and its "new generation" could survive without Hulk Hogan, and perhaps more importantly that WrestleMania could survive without the Hulkster.
With ten WrestleManias in the books, the WWE was starting to look a lot different than it did in the early days of WrestleMania, but the company was set to experience some highs and lows in the next five years. Join us next time when we take a look back at WrestleManias XI-XV as the NFL takes over the WWE's grandest stage in the main event, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart become iron men, the darkside reigns over the WWE, the "Stone Cold' era begins and Attitude takes over the storylines.
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