Every day from March 1 until WrestleMania 33 on April 2, Fightful will be bringing you the Countdown To WrestleMania 33. Each day, you will be getting a top 10 list or an event preview or statistics/figures from past ‘Mania events and everything in between.
In today’s column, we will be looking at the Top 10 Male Wrestlers In ‘Mania History. Simply put, much like the women we previously focused on, the male wrestlers have obviously played a huge role at the event as well.
#10: John Cena
John Cena made his ‘Mania debut at WrestleMania 20, defeating the Big Show to win the United States Title. A year later and ‘Mania 21, Cena would capture the WWE Title and for the next seven straight ‘Mania’s, he would be involved in a WWE Title Match. Cena would capture the WWE United States Title once more by defeating Rusev at ‘Mania 31. Cena would also join The Rock as the only wrestlers to headline two straight ‘Mania’s against the same opponent.
#9: Triple H
Triple H had an interesting start to his ‘Mania legacy, losing in under 2 minutes to the Ultimate Warrior at ‘Mania 12. Triple H would find more success as the years went only, including being the first heel wrestler to leave ‘Mania as the WWE Champion, which he accomplished at WrestleMania 2000. Triple H would also have a great trilogy of matches alongside The Undertaker, concluding with a Hell In A Cell Match that featured Shawn Michaels as the referee. Triple H also defended the honor of the WWE when he defeated WCW representative Sting at WrestleMania 31.
#8: The Rock
The Rock’s early years at ‘Mania were nothing to really write home about, outside of a few great matches with Steve Austin. Then came WrestleMania 18 and the legendary match with Hulk Hogan, which was essentially the Muhammad Ali versus Mike Tyson type fight for the wrestling fans. The Rock would also defeat Steve Austin in his retirement match at WrestleMania 19, winning one of three matches in the series. The Rock would also defeat John Cena at ‘Mania 28, which was his first singles match in almost a decade.
#7: Roddy Piper
The early days of WrestleMania were hit and miss at best, but a guaranteed hit every single time was Roddy Piper. Piper competed in the first ever ‘Mania main event, teaming with Paul Orndorff in a losing effort to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Piper also fought Adrian Adonis in what was supposed to be his retirement match at ‘Mania 3, but Piper would return just a few years later. Piper would also face Bret Hart in a WWE Intercontinental Title Match at ‘Mania 8, while also facing Goldust in a Hollywood Back Lot Brawl at WrestleMania 12.
#6: Andre The Giant
Although Andre The Giant’s health was on the decline when WrestleMania began, it didn’t stop the giant from having some memorable moments. Andre would win the first ever Battle Royal in ‘Mania history at WrestleMania 2, before facing Hulk Hogan for the WWE Title in one of the highest attended events ever (‘Mania 3). Andre would battle Hogan again at ‘Mania 4, then face Jake “The Snake” Roberts with “Big” John Studd as the referee at ‘Mania 5. Andre also competed at the first ‘Mania, defeating the aforementioned Studd in the first and only Bodyslam Challenge in the events history.
#5: Bret Hart
The Hitman made his ‘Mania debut all the way back at WrestleMania 2, where he participated in the first ever Battle Royal in the events history. Hart would find lots of success in ‘Mania primarily competing in tag team matches for the next several years. Then came ‘Mania 8 and the WWE Intercontinental Title win over the aforementioned Roddy Piper. Hart would win the WWE Title by defeating Yokozuna at ‘Mania 10, with his last victory at the event coming over Steve Austin at ‘Mania 13.
#4: Steve Austin
Steve Austin has had a lot of success at the event, even though he only participated in 7 ‘Mania’s in his WWE career. Austin would win the WWE Title multiple times at the event, with those title wins coming at ‘Mania 14, 15 and 17. Austin would also defeat Scott Hall at ‘Mania 18, which was the first time the NWO was seen at a WrestleMania event. Austin’s final in ring appearance at the show of shows came at ‘Mania 19, where he lost his retirement match to The Rock.
#3: Hulk Hogan
Nobody embodied the early days of WrestleMania like Hulk Hogan, as he competed in the main event in eight of the first nine. Hogan would defeat such legends as Andre The Giant, King Kong Bundy, Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter and Yokozuna. Hogan headlined one of the highest attended ‘Mania’s in history when he defeated Andre The Giant at ‘Mania 3. Hogan would return to the event for one more match at ‘Mania 19, where he defeated Vince McMahon in a Street Fight.
#2: Shawn Michaels
There is a reason that Shawn Michaels is referred to by a lot of wrestling fans as “Mr. WrestleMania” and over the last two plus decades, HBK would prove himself over and over again. HBK competed in one of the greatest matches in ‘Mania history against Razor Ramon at WrestleMania 10. HBK would capture the WWE Title for the first time in his career by defeating Bret Hart in a 60 Minute Ironman Match at ‘Mania 12. HBK would also have a classic series of matches with The Undertaker, including his retirement match at WrestleMania 26.
#1: The Undertaker
The Undertaker will be competing in his 25th ‘Mania by the time he steps into the ring with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33. ‘Taker had an undefeated streak at ‘Mania that got to 21-0 before suffering a defeat to Brock Lesnar at ‘Mania 30. The Undertaker has also captured the WWE Title multiple times at the event, with title winning victories coming over Edge, Psycho Sid and Batista. ‘Taker also had some classic over the years at ‘Mania with the founding members of Degeneration X in Triple H and Shawn Michaels.