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The History of WrestleMania

WrestleMania is an annual professional wrestling event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), one of the biggest wrestling promotions in the world. The very first WrestleMania took place on March 31st, 1985, being the brainchild of WWE CEO Vince McMahon. The event took place in Madison Square Garden, and MSG would also come to host the 10th and 20th of editions of WrestleMania, the most of any venue. The event was wildly successful after featuring a main event of Roddy Piper & Mr. Wonderful vs superstars Hulk Hogan & Mr. T.

Since the first event, WrestleMania has become WWE's flagship event and the longest running wrestling event in professional wrestling history, becoming a global phenomenon in the process. Most WrestleMania events in the last two decades have taken place in large sports arenas in large cities. The most-attended events include WrestleMania III with 93,173 attendees and WrestleMania 32 with 101,763 attendees. The event has currently had 33 editions in the U.S. and 2 outside of the U.S., both being in Canada. Since moving to larger stadiums and creating a week long set of events ahead of the event itself, WrestleMania produces a boost in the local economy of the host city. From 2014 to 2017, Forbes named WrestleMania one of the world’s most valuable sports event brands. Likely due to its profitability, in the last decade especially, every year cities put in large bids for the chance to host the next WrestleMania.

Click here to see some of WrestleMania's greatest entrances!!


WrestleMania centers on the main event matches, which are mostly for the world titles like the WWE Championship and certain marquee matches that draw wide attention. However, there are some matches that occur at different points of the event that can completely steal the show. At WrestleMania XV (15), the main event featured superstars Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock vying for the WWF Championship. This was the first of three WrestleMania encounters the two would have against each other and helped to solidify their rivalry as one of the most prominent in WWE history.  At WrestleMania X-Seven (17), once again in the main event, Steve Austin defeated The Rock and regained the WWF Championship, as WrestleMania 17 was called the pinnacle of the 1990s wrestling boom. At WrestleMania XXV (25), Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had one of those matches that steal the show without being the main event and many call it “the greatest WrestleMania match of all time”. At WrestleMania XXVIII (28), the pay per view buyrate record was broken, likely due to the main event that featured The Rock vs John Cena in a "Once in a Lifetime" match that had been building for a year. At WrestleMania XXX (30) saw a triumphant underdog in Daniel Bryan win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat match vs Batista and Randy Orton. WrestleMania XXX also saw the end of The Undertaker's 21 year long undefeated streak at WrestleMania as he was defeated by Brock Lesnar, much to the shock of everyone. With its 35th edition WrestleMania took place in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, where it once again provided a stage for history to be set. For the first time ever, the main event of a WrestleMania was a women’s match, featuring Ronda Rousey vs Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair for both the Raw and Smackdown Women’s Championships.

Click here to see some highlights from WrestleMania 35!!

Celebrity Involvement

Since it’s beginning, WrestleMania has featured a who’s who of popular celebrities, whether it be performing, a backstage appearance, just attending the show or even stepping into the ring!  In the main event of the 1st WrestleMania, Liberace served as a timekeeper and Muhammad Ali was an official, all with Mr. T competing. In the years since the inaugural WrestleMania, popular stars such as NFL star Lawrence Taylor, Floyd Mayweather, Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Maria Menounos, and Shaquille O’Neal have all competed in matches. Stars like Mike Tyson, Rob Gronkowski and Donald Trump have been apart of some backstage action or were directly involved in in-ring action. Musicians the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, and many others have all performed renditions of The Star Spangled Banner or America The Beautiful to start the show. Meanwhile acts such as Motörhead, Run D.M.C, and Snoop Dogg have performed live during wrestler’s entrances.

WWE Hall of Fame

The WWE Hall of Fame is a non physical hall of fame honoring wrestlers and other wrestling personalities. Starting in 1993 with sole inductee Andre The Giant, the hall has gone on feature 204 total inductees as of 2019: 113 individual inductions, 15 group inductions, and four wrestlers have been inducted twice: Ric Flair, Bret Hart Booker T and Shawn Michaels have all been inducted individually and  as part of groups. There have also been 37 legacy inductees, which are usually posthumous honors to pioneers of the wrestling business. Finally there are 10 celebrity inductees including Snoop Dogg and Donald Trump as well as five Warrior Award recipients, an award given to those who have shown unwavering courage and perseverance. Since 2004, the Hall of Fame has become a staple as an event the night before WrestleMania and is fondly seen as a humbling and fun night honoring the legends of the business.


In 1994, WWF offered “Fan Fest” for the weekend of WrestleMania X, which allowed fans to step inside the ring, meet wrestlers and purchase exclusive merchandise. This event set the precedent for what would be known as WrestleMania Axxess. Billed as WWE’s ultimate fan fest, part of WrestleMania Week, includes meet and greets, memorabilia displays, live matches, photo ops and more.In the last decade, there has been a WrestleMania Superstore,said to feature the largest selection of WWE merchandise in one place with over 700 items for sale. Axxess is now a four day event similar to a large scale fan convention, that is held in the host cities of that year‘s WrestleMania.

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