WrestleMania 33 – April 2, 2017
On this day in wrestling history, we saw one of the greatest returns at WrestleMania 33. Following their run in Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor, the Hardys made their long-awaited return to WWE. They entered the Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match to the shock of the crowd and walked out of Orlando as the new champions.
The show had a number of other memorable moments as well. Brock Lesnar and Goldberg had a tremendous car crash of a match, which saw Lesnar win the Universal Championship for the first time. Randy Orton won the WWE Championship in a horrible match with Bray Wyatt, and Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker in the main event.
Brock Lesnar Returns to WWE – April 2, 2012
The night after WrestleMania XXVIII was one of the better Raw after ‘Mania shows. The Rock announced his desire to become WWE Champion, CM Punk defended the WWE Championship against Mark Henry, and the biggest moment of them all… the debut of Tensai. What you thought I was going to say something else?
Joking aside, Brock Lesnar’s return to WWE was a monumental moment that would change the course of WWE’s future. Hot off his UFC career, Lesnar hit John Cena with an F-5 to close the show. The crowd was hot and excited for his return, only for Cena to beat him at Extreme Rules weeks later.
The Hardys Win The World Tag Team Championships – April 2, 2007
When Jeff Hardy returned to WWE in 2006 it was only a matter of time before the Hardys would be reunited. After a few matches in late 2006, the two brothers won the World Tag Team Championships on the Raw after WrestleMania 23.
John Cena and Shawn Michaels put the titles on the line in a tag team battle royale but Michaels grew frustrated and eliminated his partner from the match. It came down to the Hardys and Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch but in the end, it was the Hardys who raised the gold for the first time in six years.
WrestleMania 22 – April 2, 2006
WrestleMania 22 was a solid show that has been largely forgotten about since. There are a few moments that get replayed, such as Shawn Michaels dropping a massive elbow on Vince McMahon, Edge spearing Mick Foley through a flaming table, and Rey Mysterio winning the World Heavyweight Championship but on the whole, this show doesn’t stand out as much as other WrestleManias before or since.
AJ Styles Wins PWG Championship – April 2, 2005
While the image above may not be a great indication, AJ Styles managed to defeat Super Dragon to become PWG Champion for the first time on this day in 2005. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla was still in its infancy at the time but they still managed to bring in top talent. AJ Styles, of course, being one of the very best.
If you look at the lineage of the title, the former champions make up a whos who of independent wrestling. Styles more than helped with that legacy, becoming the fourth champion in the title’s history.
WrestleMania 2000 – April 2, 2000
WrestleMania 2000 is a very bizarre show. It is the only WrestleMania without a straight singles match in history and the WWF seemed interesting in doing more than necessary. The biggest moments on the show were Triple H winning the main event, marking the first time a heel had won the last match on WWF’s biggest event, and the famous Triangle Ladder Match.
The decision to include Big Show and Mick Foley in the main event was baffling, but even more baffling was the overuse of the McMahon family and the decision to have Triple H win. This was The Rock’s moment to be the top babyface of the WWF but they elected to disappoint their fans and have him win the next month.
The ladder match, on the other hand, was another story. Years after Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon stole the show at WrestleMania X, The Hardys, The Dudleys, and Edge and Christian did the same at WrestleMania 2000. Their ladder match was unlike anything wrestling fans had seen before but they would only top themselves as time went on.
WrestleMania XI – April 2, 1995
Yikes. WrestleMania XI stands as one of the worst WrestleManias ever and it came during the lowest point in wrestling history. WWF business was at an all-time low and this was the time they chose to have Diesel be WWF Champion and NFL star Lawrence Taylor main event WrestleMania. Bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.
What resulted was one of the worst WrestleManias in history. Diesel vs. Shawn Michaels was a decent match but the rest of the card was abysmal. Undertaker wrestled King Kong Bundy in a slow, lumbering match, Bret Hart had what he considered the worst match of his career with Bob Backlund, it was a mess.
Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin Cajun – April 2, 1989
While Clash of the Champion VI in New Orleans was a business debacle, the main event was one of the best matches of its era. The show was going head to head with WrestleMania V and the brain trust in charge of WCW thought they should hold the event in the Superdome despite New Orleans being in a recession. What resulted was a live attendance of 5,300 people in a 70,000 seat building. They also didn’t promote it on television due to fear that it would kill the house show business. WCW, everyone.
Once it got in the ring, Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat tore the house down. They wrestled a Best of Three Falls match that went 56 minutes with Steamboat retaining the World Heavyweight Championship. The match got a five star rating and served as the second in their trilogy of incredible matches.
WrestleMania V – April 2, 1989
While Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat were putting on a classic match on the other channel, WrestleMania V was another one of the worst shows in WrestleMania history. The Mega Powers collided in the main event. This stands as the one highlight of an otherwise miserable show.
WrestleMania V had a number of the worst wrestling matches in the history of the event. You can watch the main event for the historical significance but disregard the rest of the show.
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