Over the past 35 years, titans like Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Daniel Bryan, and Becky Lynch have all cemented their legacies with electrifying main event matches at WrestleMania. These headlining matches have helped usher in stars in the making while serving as swan songs to wrestlers hanging up their boots.
Since WrestleMania was first held in the famed Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985, wrestlers from every era have fought like hell to be one of the last night names called at WWE's flagship event. And with so many great match-ups, emotional victories, and upsetting losses over the years, the "Showcase Of The Immortals" has given fans some of the most iconic moments in WrestleMania history. Here are some of the most electrifying main event matches in the history of WrestleMania.
Hulk Hogan Vs. Andre The Giant - WrestleMania 3
Although this wasn't the first (or last) time Hulk Hogan took on Andre The Giant, their main event match from WrestleMania 3 is all anyone talks about more than 30 years after it first went down. Booked as the anchor to WWE's (then-WWF) biggest show (a disputed attendance record of 93,173) at the time in the Pontiac Silverdome, this historic championship match between former friends turned foes isn't the greatest technical wrestling match you'll see, but I'll be damned if it isn't one of the most spectacular the company has produced. It was even one of the focal points for the amazing 2018 HBO documentary on the French wrestler.
The Undertaker Vs. Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania 26
Wrestling fans are still anxiously awaiting the A&E wrestling documentary series on icons like Shawn Michaels. When the documentary finally sees the light of day, it'll hopefully include clips from the Heartbreak Kid's retirement match against The Undertaker from WrestleMania 26. Booked as a "Career Vs. The Streak" match (The Undertaker was still undefeated at WrestleMania), this headlining match from the 2010 event had a lot to live up to after the two battled one another the previous year. Not only did the match live up to the hype, it exceeded it, especially after the last few minutes where Michaels looked like an old dog waiting to be put down by a merciful Taker.
Ronda Rousey Vs. Charlotte Flair Vs. Becky Lynch - WrestleMania 35
Anyone who watched WrestleMania 35 will agree that the event ran way too long. Despite the overly bloated card and long runtime, barely anyone in the crowd left ahead of the main event triple threat match between Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey, Smackdown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair, and 2019 Women's Royal Rumble winner Becky Lynch. The first women's match to headline WrestleMania was well worth the wait as the three athletes put on one of the most exciting matches of the night and in recent memory. And even though the end of the match was a little wonky, seeing "The Man" lift both belts was amazing image.
Randy Orton Vs. Batista Vs. Daniel Bryan - WrestleMania 30
As far as I am concerned, there hasn't been a better angle leading into WrestleMania than Daniel Bryan's unlikely run from "B+ Player" to WWE World Heavyweight Champion, at least not since Stone Cold Steve Austin ushered in a new era in the late '90s. Bryan went to Hell and back in order to qualify for the main event triple threat against champion Randy Orton and Batista, but it was all worth it as the leader of the "Yes! Movement" went head to head with two of the most highly decorated wrestlers in the last 20 years. I still get chills each time I see Bryan tie up Batista in the "Yes! Lock" to gain a submission victory.
Shawn Michaels (With Mike Tyson) Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WrestleMania 14
One year after Stone Cold Steve Austin gave a career-making performance in a loss against Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Austin was ready to prove to the world that he was in charge when he challenged WWF Champion Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14. Leading up to the match, Michaels had teamed up with boxing legend Mike Tyson who would appear as a special guest enforcer for the main event match in Boston. With a combination of Michaels' D-Generation X stable at ringside and Tyson being an active part of the match, this main event contest had all of the ingredients for a historic title fight. And when Austin overcame the odds (and whooped the mess out of Michaels), the Texas Rattlesnake was in full control of the crowd and the WWF.
The Rock Vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin - WrestleMania 17
The Rock and Stone Cold Steven Austin had three of the most memorable matches at WrestleMania 15, 17, and 19. Sandwiched in the middle is the match between the Texas Rattlesnake and the People's Champion in the Houston Astrodome in 2001. Considered by some to be the unofficial end of the Attitude Era, this WWF Championship match consisted of some of the best back and forth wrestling before Austin turned on everyone and joined sides with his longtime nemesis Mr. McMahon in a vicious assault on The Rock with a steel chair. The event was one of the first to be held in a large stadium, and you can hear all 67,000 fans raining down boos on their former hero.
Brock Lesnar Vs. Roman Reigns Vs. Seth Rollins - WrestleMania 31
What was originally supposed to be a one-on-one match for the WWE Championship between the champ Brock Lesnar and challenger Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 31 became a triple threat (and much better match) after Money In The Bank Winner Seth Rollins cashed in his briefcase for a championship opportunity and worked his way into what would become a triple threat match. Rollins, who was in the middle of an impressive heel run, was showered in cheers from the crowd that could just not warm up to the idea of a Roman Reigns title run. The closing shot of Rollins standing at top of the ramp with the belt high above his head as fireworks shoot off is one that fans won't forget.
Randy Savage Vs. Hulk Hogan - WrestleMania 5
In the year leading up to WrestleMania 5, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan formed the Mega Powers tag team, a partnership that would end in a blowout and culminate at the Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall in April 1989. Bill as "The Mega Powers Explode," the match saw Hogan challenging his former friend and partner in a singles match for Savage's WWF Heavyweight Title. Everything from the back and forth promos leading up to the event to the amazing poster featuring the two wrestlers standing back to back all made this one of the greatest events in WWF's history.
The Rock Vs. John Cena - WrestleMania 28
It's hard to believe that The Rock and John Cena were given a year to build hype for their head-to-head match at WrestleMania 28 in Miami. Booked the night after the previous WrestleMania, these two superstars spent the next year trading jabs (both verbal and physical) before they brought the house down in South Florida. Though The Rock was a little rough around the edges in the early goings of the match, he pulled through and defeated Cena in a match that would lead to another encounter between the two the following year.
Those are just a few of the 35 main event matches that have closed out WrestleMania in the past. Which one is your favorite? Make sure to let everyone know in the poll down below. And let me know if I left off your favorite match.