80's Mania moments
We look back at some of the greatest moments from the early years of WrestleMania.
Last Updated: 21/03/13 12:20pm
The Grandaddy of Them All, The Grandest Stage of Them All, The Showcase of the Immortals...
Call it what you will, but for more than 25 years WrestleMania has been the place where legends are born and memories are made.
History will occur once again when WrestleMania XVIII comes to Sky Sports Box Office on Sunday April 1, but before the big one we've taken a look back at some of the greatest moments from years gone by.
We'll be looking back across the decades, as well as catching up with some of the current Superstars for their own memories.Here, we look at some of the greatest moments from the 1980's...
Liberace dances with the Rockettes - WrestleMania
The first-ever WrestleMania was not only jam packed with the biggest Superstars in WWE, it was also filled with some of the world's top celebrities. Among the stars on hand for the event were Liberace and the Rockettes. Liberace filled the roll of timekeeper for the nights' main event match, and in traditional Liberace style, he made a grand entrance. The glitzy piano-playing celebrity danced around the squared circle with the Rockettes in one of the most famous celebrity moments in WrestleMania history.
Andre throws the money he won in the Bodyslam Challenge against Big John Studd to the fans - WrestleMania
At WrestleMania, Andre the Giant took on his long-time nemesis Big John Studd in a $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge. After Andre slammed Studd, he was awarded with a bag filled with $15,000 cash. The always-generous Andre began throwing the money into the crowd, as the mere satisfaction of slamming his enemy was the only reward that he wanted. The devious Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who was Studd's manager, snuck into the ring and snatched away the bag of money before Andre could empty all of its contents.
Cyndi Lauper helps Wendi Richter win the Women's Championship - WrestleMania
WrestleMania was one of the highlights of the Rock N' Wrestling era. The recording industry's Cyndi Lauper, who is most well-known for her timeless song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, was a big fan of Wendi Richter and stood in her corner at WrestleMania. She even got involved in the match, and her interference helped lead Richter to a win over Leilani Kai. Lauper's involvement made her one of the most influential celebrities in WrestleMania history.
"Cowboy" Bob Orton accidentally hits "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff with his cast - WrestleMania
The main event of the first-ever WrestleMania was definitely one for the ages, as Hogan paired up with celebrity Mr. T to take on "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Piper and Orndorff had "Cowboy" Bob Orton in their corner and Hogan and Mr. T had "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka in theirs. In the end, Orton tried to nail Mr. T with his cast that was on his arm, but he accidentally hit Orndorff instead, allowing Hogan to pick up the pin and the win for his team.
William "Refrigerator" Perry pulls Big John Studd over the top rope in the WWE and NFL Battle Royal - WrestleMania 2
To answer the age old question of "Who's tougher, Superstars or football players?" a Battle Royal was signed for WrestleMania 2 that included Superstars from both WWE and the NFL. Among the NFL players involved was hometown favorite William "The Refrigerator" Perry, and he had his eye on Big John Studd. Studd ended up eliminating Perry, but Perry got the last laugh when he conned Studd into shaking his hand only to pull him out over the top rope leading to his elimination.
Ray Charles sings America the Beautiful - WrestleMania 2
Several celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, Reba McEntire and Boyz II Men have sung America the Beautiful over the years at WrestleMania, but perhaps no rendition was more memorable than that of the late, great Ray Charles. Charles certainly set the tone for what turned out to be a spectacular night at WrestleMania 2, a night that saw Hogan successfully defend the WWE Championship against King Kong Bundy in a Steel Cage Match in the main event of the evening.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper bodyslams Mr. T during their boxing match - WrestleMania 2
The main event of the first WrestleMania included both "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Mr. T, and they continued their rivalry into WrestleMania 2. This time, they tried to settle their differences in a boxing match. Piper jumped out to the advantage in the first round, but Mr. T came storming back and by the time the fourth round was coming to a close, Piper became frustrated and bodyslammed Mr. T earning himself a disqualification.
The Junkyard Dog leaves the ring wearing King Harley Race's cape - WrestleMania III
Junkyard Dog was one of the most popular Superstars in WWE history, and it certainly showed at WrestleMania III. His match against King Harley Race stipulated that the loser would have to bow down to the winner. During the match Bobby "The Brain" Heenan distracted JYD, allowing Race to hit his patented belly-to-belly suplex for the win. After a quick courtesy and bow, JYD attacked Race and stole his cape. After Race fled the ring, JYD marched around the ring sporting his purple cape and then exited to the locker room with a huge smile on his face waving to all of his fans.
The record-breaking crowd at the Pontiac Silverdome - WrestleMania III
Although the action inside the ring was obviously the focal point of WrestleMania III, it was impossible not to be blown away by the immense, record setting crowd on hand at the Pontiac Silverdome. The WWE fans broke the indoor attendance record as 93,173 people came from all over to watch Hogan take on the undefeated Andre the Giant at one of the most famous events in WWE history.
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Dino Bravo and Jimmy Valiant abandon Brutus Beefcake after The Dream Team's win over the Rougeau Brothers - WrestleMania III
Just one year prior to WrestleMania III, The Dream Team, Brutus Beefcake & Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, were the World Tag Team Champions. They lost the championship at WrestleMania 2 to the British Bulldogs and tensions among the group led by Luscious Johnny Valiant began to rise. In their WrestleMania III match against The Rougeau Brothers, it looked as though a miscue from Beefcake was going to lead to a loss for the Dream Team. Valiant distracted the referee, though, allowing Dino Bravo to take out The Rougeaus. Even though they ended up winning, Valentine, Valliant and Bravo exited for the locker room without Beefcake, leaving him stranded in the ring by himself, thus breaking up The Dream Team.
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Brutus Beefcake shave Adrian Adonis' head - WrestleMania III
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper's match against "Adorable" Adrian Adonis was being billed as Piper's retirement match. Although Piper made several comebacks over the years, at the time the WWE fans thought this would be the last time they would see the Rowdy Scott, so emotions were at an all-time high. Piper eventually put Adonis to sleep with his sleeperhold, and Brutus Beefcake, who had come down to help Piper during the match, also helped him shave the Adorable one's head. Not only did this seem to make a perfect ending for Piper's career, but it also marked the beginning of Beefcake's run as the "Barber."
Alice Cooper drapes Damian over Jimmy Hart - WrestleMania III
Alice Cooper was one of the more controversial rock n' roll acts of his time, and he brought that main stream notoriety with him to WWE at WrestleMania III when he seconded Jake "The Snake" Roberts in his match against Honky Tonk Man. Although Honky Tonk Man pulled off the upset, Cooper and Roberts got the last laugh as they draped Roberts' snake Damien all over Honky Tonk Man's manager, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart.
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat pins Randy "Macho Man" Savage - WrestleMania III
Not only was the Intercontinental Championship match between Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and Randy "Macho Man" Savage one of the best Intercontinental Championship matches of all time, it is widely regarded as one of the best matches of all time bar none. Savage had taken out Steamboat months prior to WrestleMania with a larynx injury caused by slamming the ring bell into his throat. Steamboat made a miraculous recovery in only a couple of months, allowing him to seek revenge at the Silverdome. Savage seemed to have everything going his way, but he couldn't put Steamboat away. He went for a bodyslam, but Steamboat held on and rolled him up for the pin and his only championship in WWE, as the record-breaking crowd erupted.
Hogan bodyslams Andre the Giant - WrestleMania III
Hogan defending his WWE Championship against the undefeated Andre the Giant was arguably the most anticipated match in sports-entertainment history. Former friends, Andre was tired of Hogan always getting the spotlight. The Eighth Wonder of the World was undefeated and felt it was finally his time to shine. Hogan accepted the challenge and the match occurred at WrestleMania III. After failing in his first attempt to slam the Giant early in the match, Hogan miraculously lifted Andre in the air and slammed him down to the canvas in one of the most memorable moments in WWE history.
Bad News Brown turns on Bret "Hit Man" Hart at the end of a Battle Royal - WrestleMania IV
WrestleMania IV kicked off with a 20-man Battle Royal. The Battle Royal came down to Bad News Brown, Bret "Hit Man" Hart and Junkyard Dog. Hart and Brown decided to form an alliance to take out JYD, and they succeeded. After JYD was gone, the two acted as if they would leave as co-winners, but Brown had other plans as he sabotaged Hart and tossed him out for the win. Following the match, Hart delivered his own beating to Brown and destroyed the winner's trophy.
Andre the Giant chokes Bob Uecker during an interview - WrestleMania IV
Bob Uecker's interviewing skills lent itself to one of the funniest moments in WrestleMania history, unless you're Bob Uecker that is. Uecker was interviewing Andre the Giant backstage, and Andre had his hand on Uecker's shoulders. Uecker quipped, "Get your foot off my shoulder," and Andre was none too pleased. He responded by wrapping his massive hands around Uecker's neck, shaking him to and fro.
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan comes to the ring wearing a dog-proof suit - WrestleMania IV
During the WrestleMania IV broadcast, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan received a mysterious package while he was providing commentary. The audience eventually found out what it was when he came down to the ring for his match with The Islanders against Koko B. Ware and The British Bulldogs wearing a dog-proof suit. Heenan was afraid that the Bulldogs' mascot Matilda would attack him, so he came prepared.
The Mega Powers Explode - WrestleMania V
WrestleMania V was a classic case of best friends turned into worst enemies. Hollywood Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage formed one of the most powerful partnerships in WWE history after WrestleMania IV, calling themselves the Mega Powers. All good things must come to an end, though, and this tandem was no exception. Savage became paranoid that Hogan was trying to steal his woman, Elizabeth, and it led to one of the biggest matches in WrestleMania history as the Mega Powers exploded at WrestleMania V. Although Savage more or less started the feud, Hogan ended it when he won the WWE Championship at Trump Plaza.
ZACK RYDER: I grew up watching WrestleMania and every year I would look forward to it. I went to WrestleMania X and WrestleMania XX as a fan. They were at Madison Square Garden in New York, so I had to go. I remember Shawn Michaels vs Razor Ramon, the ladder match from WrestleMania X. I was there and I loved it because it was probably the first ladder match the world ever saw on pay-per-view. If you go back and watch that match it's still as good as the TLC and the Money In The Bank matches they have now. The story they told was just amazing.