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Mike Tyson Knocks out Shawn Michaels; Wrestle­Ma­ni­a’s Defin­ing Moments

As Mike Tyson swung a punch at Shawn Michaels after the WWE World Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship fight with Steve Austin in 1998, Wrestle­Ma­nia sealed its posi­tion as the sport’s most impor­tant annu­al event.

The Atti­tude Era was born at Wrestle­Ma­nia XIV as Stone Cold beat The Heart­break Kid with Tyson’s assis­tance, and the Grand­est Stage of Them All lived up to its billing.
Tyson floored Michaels after the wrestler threw a jab, and the birth of Austin’s years of dom­i­na­tion were trig­gered at the show­piece.
Wrestle­Ma­nia has been filled with defin­ing moments before and after the events at the 14th edi­tion of the mar­quee night, and fans expect to see his­to­ry made each and every year.
Here, we take a look at a num­ber of the most piv­otal moments from Wrestle­Ma­nia, and the impact they have had on the WWE’s over­all direc­tion.
Hulk Hogan Defeats Andre the Giant at Wrestle­Ma­nia III
At Wrestle­Ma­nia III, WWF own­er Vince McMa­hon found the per­fect main event as world cham­pi­on Hulk Hogan was chal­lenged by Andre the Giant.
The French­man was con­sid­ered the biggest man in the game and Hogan’s long­time friend, but he turned heel in the buildup to Wrestle­Ma­nia in 1987.
The event had a feel­ing of super­heroes clash­ing, and Hogan and Andre sold the sto­ry­line to per­fec­tion until the end of their his­toric bout in Michi­gan.
The Eighth Won­der of the World almost scored a pin­fall vic­to­ry ear­ly in the fight, when Hogan failed to bodys­lam his oppo­nent and fell under his oppo­nen­t’s weight.
How­ev­er, the cham­pi­on drew strength from the huge audi­ence at the Pon­ti­ac Sil­ver­dome and even­tu­al­ly beat Andre to retain the title.
Brock Lesnar Ends the Under­tak­er’s Streak in 2014

Brock Lesnar’s rela­tion­ship with wrestling fans has been mixed over the years, as the for­mer UFC heavy­weight cham­pi­on has flit­ted between his cho­sen sports.
The Beast returned to WWE in 2012 and was giv­en the hon­our of end­ing The Under­tak­er’s win­ning streak at Wrestle­Ma­nia XXX.
WWE had built up Under­tak­er’s record at the Show of Shows as a cor­ner­stone of its sto­ry­telling each year, with the vet­er­an win­ning 21 suc­ces­sive bouts at the mar­quee event.
How­ev­er, Lesnar shocked the world as he repeat­ed­ly deliv­ered the F5 to his oppo­nent, grab­bing the pin­fall to end The Dead­man’s sequence.
Lesnar con­tin­ues to be used spar­ing­ly by WWE, but he remains one of the com­pa­ny’s biggest Super­stars. The Under­tak­er, mean­while, has been chal­lenged by John Cena ahead of Wrestle­Ma­nia 34.
Ulti­mate War­rior Shocks the World by Pin­ning Hulk Hogan at Wrestle­Ma­nia VI

If you were a wrestling fan in 1990, you tru­ly believed nobody was going to beat Hulk Hogan for the WWE heavy­weight title.
At the sixth edi­tion of Wrestle­Ma­nia, how­ev­er, The Hulk­ster final­ly dropped his pre­cious cham­pi­onship to The Ulti­mate War­rior.
War­rior’s pop­u­lar­i­ty had steadi­ly grown after he won the inter­con­ti­nen­tal title, and both belts were on the line as the pair met at the Sky­Dome in Toron­to, Cana­da.
The fight appeared to be fol­low­ing the usu­al script, as Hogan kicked out of his oppo­nen­t’s favoured Goril­la Press and Run­ning Splash, but a twist was to fol­low.
War­rior avoid­ed Hogan’s leg drop as the world cham­pi­on attempt­ed to fin­ish the fight, and he pinned Hol­ly­wood after a quick splash off the ropes.
The moment rede­fined the direc­tion of WWF, but War­rior nev­er real­ly went on to ful­fil his poten­tial as a star attrac­tion for the com­pa­ny.
Seth Rollins Wins World Title After Cash­ing in Mon­ey in the Bank
Seth Rollins announced him­self as WWE’s pre­mier star in 2015 when he stole the World Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship dur­ing the main event of Wrestle­Ma­nia 31.
Brock Lesnar defend­ed his title against Roman Reigns in California—a fight which did­n’t catch the imag­i­na­tion of fans—but Rollins cashed in his Mon­ey in the Bank con­tract to trig­ger one of the great­est end­ings in Wrestle­Ma­nia his­to­ry.
After a bru­tal bat­tle, Lesnar and Reigns were there for the tak­ing, and The Archi­tect sprint­ed to the ring to claim the great­est moment of his career.
In a fran­tic finale involv­ing all three men, Rollins deliv­ered a curb stomp to Reigns, steal­ing the gold in poet­ic fash­ion as he became the face of the com­pa­ny.
Rollins was to suf­fer major injury dur­ing his lengthy run as cham­pi­on, and he is yet to regain the lofty sta­tus he achieved after pin­ning his Shield team­mate for the world title.
Daniel Bryan Steals the Show at Wrestle­Ma­nia 30

Wrestling fans love a sto­ry about an under­dog, but rarely does the lit­tle guy suc­ceed at the top in WWE.
Daniel Bryan had been the dar­ling of Ring of Hon­or and fea­tured in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and his lack of size promised he would only be an acces­so­ry in any cen­tral WWE sto­ry­line after rejoin­ing the com­pa­ny in 2009.
Bryan’s path was care­ful­ly craft­ed by Vince McMa­hon over sev­er­al years, but the organ­ic growth of the Yes Move­ment saw the wrestler rise from NXT hope­ful to the sum­mit of the indus­try.
WWE clear­ly had faith in Bryan from his ear­ly days, giv­ing him a run as a Mon­ey in the Bank con­tract hold­er, even­tu­al­ly lead­ing to win­ning the World Heavy­weight Cham­pi­onship against Big Show.
After his title run, though, Bryan found him­self involved in a pecu­liar anger-man­age­ment sto­ry­line with Kane, but the com­i­cal angle was to even­tu­al­ly give the wrestler new­found pop­u­lar­i­ty and sup­port.
Bryan end­ed up feud­ing with Triple H and The Author­i­ty, and it appeared he was being set up for a fall, with the beard­ed baby­face described as only a “B+ play­er” by Stephanie McMa­hon.
Wrestle­Ma­nia 30 was to be Bryan’s great­est moment as he beat Triple H in the open­ing match, earn­ing him a shot at the world title in the night’s main event.
Bryan defeat­ed Batista and Randy Orton in the epic clash, with the for­mer tap­ping out to the Yes Lock.

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