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Celebrate 40 years of WrestleMania with our 5 favorite moments named and ranked

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

WrestleMania is WWE’s Super Bowl. Every year stadiums sell out and fans gather from across the globe to witness this fantastic celebration of Sports Entertainment. 

For wrestling fans, WrestleMania is one of the biggest spectacles in the world. For others wrestling can be like marmite, you either love it or you hate it.  For the Circular, we are devoted to the theatre of professional wrestling. 

WrestleMania 40 is just around the corner in Philadelphia April 6th – April 7th. Join us, as we celebrate 40 years with a countdown of our 5 Favorite WrestleMania moments. 

5.  Shawn Michaels Retires Ric Flair – WrestleMania XXIV

I’m sorry, I love you these are the 5 words Shawn Michaels whispered before he super-kicked 16-time world champion, Ric Flair.

The story leading into this match was that if Ric Flair lost one match he would have to retire. Ric Flair went the distance and remained undefeated for a few months until he came up against Mr WrestleMania himself Shawn Michaels. As the final moments of the match approached a disheveled Flair stood across the ring, Shawn looked hesitant before he whispered 5 words “I’m sorry, I love you.” And super kicked Ric Flair into retirement. 

4. Icon Vs Icon WrestleMania X18

This match was built as a dream match, A match wrestling fans worldwide thought they would never see until it happened. Hulk Hogan the most popular superstar of the 1980s challenges The Rock arguably the most popular of the Attitude Era, ICON vs ICON.

Many fans expected this match to be one for the ages, however, what they did not expect was the crowd elation that it got. Fans were enamored of the returning Hulk who hadn’t been seen in a WWE ring in over 9 years. The atmosphere was electric when Hogan began to come back after kicking out of a Rock bottom and a People’s elbow. Hogan and The Rock exchanged back and forth with the Toronto crowd glued to the action. When Hogan began to do his classic ‘Hulked Up’ for the first time since 1993 the fans were at fever pitch. One of the most memorable WrestleMania matches culminated with the great one The Rock hitting one more Rock Bottom and Peoples Elbow for the win.  

3. Hulk Hogan Body slams Andre The Giant – WrestleMania III

Coming in at 3 is WrestleMania 3 the Irresistible force vs the immovable object

Critics would suggest that this is the epiphany of WrestleMania moments. The clash put together the mega-popular Hulk Hogan against the 15-year undefeated veteran Andre the Giant, over 93,000 fans packed into the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan to see these two titans face off for the WWE Championship. Andre who stood over 7 feet tall was a force to be reckoned with and a massive threat to Hulk Hogans’s title. In a split second that would be played on highlight reels for generations, Hogan lifted the 500lbs giant with a Body Slam that can still be heard to this very day. The cheers were defining as Hogan delivered his infamous leg drop for the win.  Have a look at this incredible WrestleMania moment below.

2. Edge Spears Jeff Hardy off a 20-foot ladder TLC2 – WrestleMania X-Seven

For most wrestling fans WrestleMania X7 is considered the greatest WrestleMania of all time. It had it all the Hardcore mayhem Between Kane, Big Show, and Raven. The athletic prowess of a matchup between Chris Benoit and Olympic gold medallist Kurt Angle. The first WrestleMania collision of the wrestling Hall of Famours Undertaker and Triple H. The highly anticipated Main event of the two biggest wrestling stars ever The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWE championship. Even the show’s soundtrack My Way by Nu Metal group Limb Bizket is sure to hit some nostalgia feels for any Millennial WWE fan.

For all these fantastic moments we at the circular had to whittle it down to just one. The moment we picked was TLC2 (Tables Ladders and Chairs). This is a match not for the faint-hearted as it would be considered by many as one of the most dangerous matches in the history of wrestling.  Three of the best tag teams of all time challenged for the belts. The fan favorites The Hardy Boyz challenge the Champions the Dudleys against the Villainous duo of Edge and Christian. The teams would try to climb a ladder to win the tag team gold. With all the young superstars trying to go above and beyond to entertain the crowd one moment can be considered above the rest. Jeff Hardy the young daredevil helplessly hanging 20ft above the ring with only his fingertips clutching the belts. Awaiting Jeff Hardy was the future Rated R Superstar who was climbing the ladder opposite him. In a moment of pure chaos Edge launched himself from the ladder and caught Jeff mid-air as both men fell to the canvas below.

Brutal!

1. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart– Austin Refuses to Quit WrestleMania 13 

The importance of this WrestleMania cannot be underestimated, the complete show will not be remembered as one of the best but this moment we believe is the best in WrestleMania History. This moment catapulted Stone Cold to superstardom, and in many ways started the Attitude Era. The Attitude Era was a time in wrestling from 1997 to 2002 when the product changed, WWE was defeated in a rating war with its main competitor WCW. WWE television began to be more edgy with more extreme matches and shock value storylines. This was very popular with the younger demographic and ratings skyrocketed. This era launched wrestling into popular culture thus helping the company put their main rival out of business. 

Austin would come into this submission match as a villain.  Fans booed at the very sight of the Texas Rattlesnake for his nasty ways. Bret Hart entered this match as the fan favorite. Bret was approaching his 8th year as a WWE superstar and fans idolized the Canadian for all he had done for the business. However, by the end of this epic bout roles would be completely reversed. Hart showed a more ferocious side to his game that fans were not a custom too. The purpose of this match was to make your opponent submit by any means necessary and both men did not hold back. Bret began to become frustrated with Austin who refused to stay down. And in a moment of bedlam, Bret struck Austin in the head with a ring bell bloodying the Texan. As the match grew longer and the blood on Austins’ face continued to fall to the canvas, fans began to sympathize with Stone Cold as he refused to quit.  Bret would then grab Austin in his finishing maneuver the sharpshooter Austin would still not give up. The crowd in the Allstate arena is now fully behind Austin with blood pumping from the Rattlesnake’s head. The crowd started to chant Austin’s name to victory. But despite that Bret would keep the hold and would not relinquish his grasp Austin would then pass out from the severe pain he was under, and Bret would be crowned the winner. Stone Cold would gain massive plaudits from fans for not giving up and would go on to become the biggest star in professional wrestling. 

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