Spring is here, which means WrestleMania can’t be far behind. Rumors continue to swirl about what Vince McMahon and company have planned for pro wrestling fans on WWE’s biggest night. But we won’t really know until next Sunday, March 29, when WrestleMania 31 rolls into Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
So while we anxiously look forward to WWE’s annual throw down, let’s look back once again at the first three decades of pro wrestling’s biggest event. Here are seven more things you didn’t know about WrestleMania.
1. WrestleMania IV stuffed its card with 16 matches, the most in a WrestleMania. Most of them were part of the 14-man tournament to find the Undisputed WWF Champion. Randy Savage, who won the title, wrestled in four matches himself. Two other matches of that WrestleMania were also for titles: Brutus Beefcake beat The Honky Tonk Man for the Intercontinental Championship; and Demolition beat Strike Force for the Tag Team Championship.
2. Yokozuna is the only wrestler to both win and lose the same championship title at the same WrestleMania. He squared off against champion Bret Hart for the WWF title at WrestleMania IX, winning when his manager Mr. Fuji blinded Hart by throwing salt in his eyes. Hulk Hogan came to the ring after the match to see if Hart was okay, where Fuji challenged him to face Yokozuna then and there. Hogan pinned Yokozuna when when Mr. Fuji blinded him with a handful of salt meant for Hogan.
3. A wrestler will sometimes go from bad guy to good guy and vice versa during their career. Over the years, WrestleMania has featured eight different face turns including Andre The Giant (6), Big Show (15) and Kane (15). The six heel turns have come from such notables as Curt Hennig (10), Bret Hart (13) and Triple H (15). Only Steve Austin (13, 17) and Trish Stratus (17, 20) have turned face and heel at WrestleMania.
4. Two different WrestleMania matches featured 30 wrestlers in the ring at once. The Tag Team Battle Royal at WrestleMania XIV brought together 15 tag teams for a chance to be the top tag team title contender. Legion of Doom 2000, comprised of Hawk and Animal, were the last team standing. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal squeezed 30 of the top wrestlers into the ring to fight it out. Cesaro emerged victorious when he body slammed The Big Show out of the ring.
5. WrestleMania has a long illustrious list of live musical performances. Bands that have ushered wrestlers to the ring with live versions of their theme songs include Salt-N-Pepa (“Whatta Man” for Lawrence Taylor), Ice-T (“Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” for The Godfather), Living Colour (“Cult of Personality” for CM Punk), Motorhead (“The Game” for Triple H), P.O.D. (“Booyaka 619” for Rey Mysterio) and Limp Bizkit (“Rollin'” for The Undertaker).
6. Triple H has lost 10 times at WrestleMania, giving him an event record of 8-10 in his 18 appearances. That’s the most losses in WrestleMania history. His latest came at WrestleMania 30 when Daniel Bryan defeated him in a WWE World Heavyweight Championship qualifying match.
7. WrestleMania has included 61 different types of matches to date. Many of them, of course, have been singles and tag team matches. But the event has also included multiple battle royals with as many as 30 participants. There have been ladder matches, mixed tag team matches and celebrity matches. The Hair vs. Hair format, in which the loser gets his head shaved, showed up in WrestleMania III, XX and 23. Heel vs. Heel only happened once, when the The Undertaker defeated Big Bossman WrestleMania XV.
Norm Elrod likes sports and other sanctioned forms of craziness.