Corrigan’s Corner: 10 Greatest WrestleMania Traditions

Who is the only man to appear at every WrestleMania? Read on!

Now that the Super Bowl has passed us by, it’s time to heed Peyton’s advice and crack open a few Steveweisers for the road to WrestleMania. It’s the most exciting time of the year to be a wrasslin’ fan as everyone from co-workers to distant relatives to snubbed Oscar nominees insult the current product while offering Hulkamania memories from their youth.

When the big day arrives, there are matches and moments that we all anticipate. (Except for this year.) But there are also traditions associated with the spectacle that diehard fans can’t live without.

Here they are:

10. J.R.’s cuff links

Although it’s more jarring to see his broadcast partner in a tuxedo rather than mall kiosk shirts, it wouldn’t be the Granddaddy of Em All without Jim Ross referencing his snazzy pair of John Wayne’s cuff-links, a staple of his WrestleMania wardrobe.

9. Jesse Ventura’s pose

Can two years count as a tradition? Sure, and if you disagree, you must not have seen the hidden footage of all those years when Jesse “The Body” Ventura would step away from the broadcast table and wake up the crowd in between matches with a titillating pose down.

8. Roman numerals

Aside from WCW’s SuperBrawl and Clash of the Champions, no other wrasslin’ event has received the Roman numeral treatment. Reserved for kings, popes, World Wars, and the Super Bowl, Roman numerals create a perception of history and prestige. And the WrestleManias that don’t get the treatment stand out even more like WrestleMania X-Seven and WrestleMania 31.

7. Howard Finkel

As the man who invented the name of WWE’s premiere event, it’s fitting that the Hall of Fame announcer is the only person to have appeared onscreen at every WrestleMania.


6. America the Beautiful

From Aretha Franklin to Keri Hilson, from Ray Charles to John Legend, the greatest singers have lent their pipes to the soundtrack of WrestleMania. “America the Beautiful” is usually the opening sounds of the event, but Reba McEntire cranked out “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 1992 and Robert Goulet crooned “O Canada” for WrestleMania VI in Toronto.

5. Undertaker’s dive

Adapting his style over the past quarter century has allowed The Phenom to remain wrestling at a high level as he reaches his 50s. One of those changes was saving his amazing dive over the top rope (he’s close to 7 feet tall!) for one night a year–WrestleMania. However, the move has been shelved after The Deadman nearly paralyzed himself doing the dive at WrestleMania XXV when a cameraman (Deuce of Deuce & Domino fame) failed to catch him.

4. Pete Rose

Forget baseball, Charlie Hustle would have made an excellent manager in pro wrestling. His hilarious monologue running down Boston at WrestleMania XIV still cracks me up. (“How bout it?”) Of course, all good times come to an end as Kane silenced Rose with a tombstone.

A great moment fo sho, but nobody predicted it as an annual gag. Yet the all-time hit king sought revenge the following year, masquerading as the San Diego Chicken and attacking the Big Red Machine. Unfortunately, Kane butchered the bird.

AND THEN at WrestleMania 2000, the San Diego Chicken jumped Kane again, but that was simply a red herring as Rose attacked the Demon with a baseball bat. Rikishi, Kane’s partner for the night, aided the monster and gave WWE’s first celebrity Hall of Famer a stinkface.

Three strikes and Pete was out.

3. Rey Mysterio’s costumes

One of the most colorful superstars in WWE history, Rey Mysterio added a level of flare to WrestleMania by wearing some one-night-only costumes. The man of mystery had fans guessing which superhero he would emulate each year. The Flash, Daredevil, Captain America, and The Joker were visually stunning outfits that complemented Rey-Rey’s superhero stature.

2. The RAW After

Arguably more fun than the night before, the post-WrestleMania RAW has become a hot ticket and must-see television as the frenzied crowd of wrasslin’ tourists enjoy one last night of their dream vacation. It also means the beginning of a new chapter for WWE as new storylines develop and new stars emerge. Brock Lesnar’s return, Dolph Ziggler’s cash in, Paige’s debut…anything can happen.

1. The Streak

For 21 years, the only things guaranteed in life were death, taxes and the Undertaker ‘s hand being raised at WrestleMania. He had buried all who stood before him: legends (Jimmy Snuka, Jake Roberts), behemoths (Sid Vicious, Mark Henry), champions (Edge, Batista), D-X. WrestleMania became built upon who would challenge not just the World Heavyweight Champion, but also The Streak.

All things come to an end, though. On April 6, 2014, hell froze over as Brock Lesnar conquered The Streak, ending the greatest tradition in WrestleMania history, and to a larger extent, pro wrestling.

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