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OO ROAD TO WRESTLEMANIA
Road to WrestleMania XX: A Compulsive 
Fan's Guide to the Granddaddy of 'Em All
Part Two of Four

by Rick Scaia
OnlineOnslaught.com

 

WM By the Numbers: Winners and Losers and More

Winners and Losers... 'Mania veterans and one-hit-wonders... main eventers and curtain jerkers....  title winners and consummate choke artists.....  taking an in-depth look inside the numbers is another fun way to consider the legacy of the "Granddaddy of 'em All."

  • Through the first 19 WrestleManias, 251 different competitors have wrestled at the fabled event.
     
    • Of these, 212 were male wrestlers; 19 were women; 5 were midgets; 7 were football players; 4 were managers/announcers; one was a boxer (Butterbean); one was an actor (Mr. T); and two are McMahons (Vince and Shane), who don't quite fit into any of the above categories.  
       
       
  • Last year's Class of WrestleMania XIX is one of the most anemic in history, in terms of numbers -- as it contained only 7 performers (6 men, 1 woman) -- but could end up being a remarkable one in terms of end value to the Federation.  At the top, Brock Lesnar is obviously the stand-out of the class; already a World Champ with perhaps as many as 20 years ahead of him, Lesnar debuted in a main event and has even bigger things awaiting him in the future...  Rey Mysterio also debuted and, though he may never be a genuine main event star, will always be an exciting, top-drawing part of any show he appears on in a Cruiserweight Capacity.  Either Charlie Haas or Shelton Benjamin (or even both of them) could end up being the next Kurt Angle, and have already established themselves as the "World's Greatest Tag Team."  Victoria, Rhyno, and Chavo Guerrero round out the class, with each possessing ample skill both as personalities and as in-ring performers to be valuable contributors to his or her own niche.  The Class of WM19, in fact, combined for an extremely unique distinction: they are the only class in WrestleMania History to ALL make their debuts in Title Matches.  All seven battled with gold on the line (3 won, 4 lost), underscoring just how much faith the company already had in them at this early juncture of their careers.
     
    • The Class of WrestleMania X-8 brought us a rather unique grouping of 11 first timers.  It may well go down as the Year of the Diva, as 4 women debuted (Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly, and Jazz); not only did they make up over a third of the Class of WM18, but these four made up very close to a quarter of all the women to ever compete at WM at the time of their induction.  Trish and Lita have also distinguished themselves as exceptionally popular contributors to the product outside of the standard second-class-citizen/eye-candy Diva role.  Of the seven men in the class, Booker T and Rob Van Dam stand out as tops; both have already held a ton of WWF/E gold, and more is certain to follow.  The rest reads like a Who's Who of Mid-Card Mediocrity (except for Dallas Page, who might well have had a successful WWE career after debuting at WM18, if not for a career ending injury).
    • The Class of WrestleMania X-7 also added 11 new additions to the Mania tradition.  In addition to being sparsely populated, the Class also seems to have limited potential for future greatness.  Five of the additions were past-prime participants in the "Gimmick Battle Royal," and two more were managers who participated in the Battle Royal.  William Regal and Raven were the only guys with any real upside in the entire Class (which also featured eye candy in the form of Ivory and a part-time-at-best worker in the form of Vince McMahon).  This Class, however, just might hold the record for most non-wrestling appearances at WM before finally popping their in-ring cherries:  Vince, Brother Love, Ivory, Jim Cornette, and Michaels Hayes all have multiple past non-wrestling appearances on their records (and Raven also appeared as Johnny Polo at WM10).
    • The Class of WrestleMania 2000 added 22 men and women to that tally.  That's the third largest class ever (inflated by multi-way matches and a hardcore battle royal), though it may well also go down in history as being the greatest "Rookie Class" ever at WrestleMania.  Take a look at some of these names:  Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, the Hardys, the Dudleys, Edge, Christian, Tazz, Chyna, and Eddie Guerrero.  All have ALREADY worn WWE gold, and more is to follow.
    • The Class of WM15 added just six men, one woman, and Shane McMahon to our list (a total of eight)...  of them, only Big Show, Test, and Val Venis seem to have significant upside potential.  Also of note:  after years on the WWF roster and missing out on WrestleMania, X-Pac finally busted through at WM15.
    • The Class of WM14 featured 18 rookies, though that number was seriously jacked up by a tag team battle royal that featured a ton of one-time-charlies.  Kane stands tall as the valedictorian of the Class of WM14.
    • The Rock and Mick Foley co-headlined a strong Class of WM13 that featured a total of 10 new workers.  Ken Shamrock and Faarooq also enjoyed WWF success after making WM debuts that year.
    • The Class of WM12 was also a very important one:  it featured 11 first appearances, with Steve Austin and Triple H leading the pack.  Sable (as HHH's valet) and Goldust also debuted that year.
    • Only six men were part of the Class of WM11.  And of them, Jeff Jarrett was probably the most valuable; honorable mention to Billy Gunn, who remains with the WWE to this day.
    • WM10 is often thought of as a transition year for the WWF, but the rookie class from that event was still only 10 performers (including one woman and one midget). Of them, only Kevin "Diesel" Nash really amounted to much (he was at WM10 as Shawn Michaels' bodyguard).
    • Yokozuna topped a list of 10 performers (including one woman) who made their first WrestleMania appearances at WM9.  The Class of WM9 also featured Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall and the Steiner Brothers (who have all enjoyed even greater success in WCW since their WM debuts).
    • Though he only spent a little over a year during that initial WWF run, Ric Flair is still the cream of the Class of WM8.  Comprised of just eight men, Flair overshadows even Sid Justice.
    • The Class of WM7 brought us 10 new additions to the WM tradition...  the Undertaker is the hands-down MVP of the batch.  Sgt. Slaughter and the Road Warriors also made WM debuts at this event, though both probably had their best days behind them at this point.
    • The six-member Class of WM6 may be the thinnest of all.  Of them, only Earthquake would remain in the WWF long enough to ever appear at another WrestleMania.  
    • On the other hand, the 14 men who comprise the Class of WM5 are an elite bunch.  Shawn Michaels probably stands atop the group, but it's worth noting that Owen Hart, the Big Bossman, and Curt Hennig all debuted at this 'Mania, and all went on to become WM Veterans (4 or more WM matches)!
    • The Class of WM4 numbered 17 (thanks in part to a Battle Royal that artificially inflated the tally with one-timers).  Ted DiBiase and the Ultimate Warrior share honors as the most important men to make their first WM appearance at #4.
    • There were no stand-outs in the Class of WM3... but among the 15 debuting stars, there were a number of men who'd go on to be valuable role players (and future champions) in the WWF for years to come, including the Honkytonk Man, Jacques "the Mountie" Rougeau, and Rick Martel. 
    • The 30-member Class of WM2 is another case of a battle royal inflating the total number of rookies with participants who never appeared at another WM.  But there is no denying the importance of this Class.  Both Bret Hart and Randy Savage debuted at WM2 and developed into multi-time main eventers in future years.  Jake Roberts and Davey Boy Smith never main evented at WM, but were great upper-mid-carders who also debuted here.
    • Obviously, each of the 27 performers who appeared at the original WM were rookies at that time.  This "class" included Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant, all of whom are undeniable icons in this business.
    • A final note:  the Class of WM20 will once again be a big one in terms of size (expected to feature 19 new faces in the ring, which will be the biggest in four years, and the fourth biggest ever).  And depending how the chips fall, it could also end up being a pretty good one in terms of break-out star power.  Leading the pack seem to be John Cena and Randy Orton, who both project out as future main eventers (one because fans already want him there, the other because the Fed seems determined to push him to the moon regardless of raging mediocrity).  A notch below might be Batista, who could develop into a Kane-caliber upper-card heel, or who might fizzle to nothingness.  Then there are the six tag team members: of them, La Resistance's Rene Dupree and both Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak seem to have some break-out potential, while Rob Conway strikes me as a role-player and both Basham Brothers seem (at present) too dependent on their tag team gimmick to have serious upside.  Rounding out the class are seven WM virgins in the Cruiserweight Open (by definition, CWs don't have a whole lot of future in WWE, and of the rookie bunch, only Tajiri has shown any signs of bucking that trend) and three of the four divas in the Evening Gown Match (Sable, remarkably, actually has two legitimate wrestling matches under her WM belt, something I don't ever expect out of these other three). 

     

  • Out of these 251 WM competitors, a full 43 are still actively wrestling for the WWE.  That means 17.1 percent of all WM-experienced workers are still with the company, up substantially from 15.6 percent (38 of 244) at the time of last year's Mania.  Additionally, there are 22 more performers who are technically still associated with the WWE, but who are not on the active roster (this includes a mixture of guys who would be wrestling actively, but who are injured or rehabbing in developmental territories -- including Edge, Mark Henry, and others -- as well as performers who are on the WWE payroll, but who do not wrestle full-time, if at all -- such as announcers, current road agents, the McMahons, and a few others in unique capacities).
     
    • The largest group of former WM participants -- a total of 93 men and women -- exist in a giant "Miscellaneous" category, meaning they are still working in some capacity in the wrestling business, just not for the WWE.  This includes some pretty big name wrestlers who are top players for NWA:TNA or other international touring groups, and also some guys at the other end of the spectrum, guys just trying to hang on to former glory by squeezing out a few last indie shows in podunk venues.
    • An additional 75 former Mania workers are thought to be officially retired and done with the business.  Of these 75, there are 15 that I'm not completely sure about (they might still be working indies, sporadically, but they could also be fully retired)...
    • Unfortunately, 18 former WM stars are deceased.  That number increased by three over the past year: Road Warrior Hawk, Crash Holly, and Hercules Hernandez have all passed away since the last WM.  Among them, they combined for 11 WrestleMania matches (including 4 wins against six losses, and a draw).  Though she never competed at a WM, and is not counted in any fashion in with these stats, Miss Elizabeth was a massive contributor to many WM moments, and her passing in the last year should not be forgotten, either.

  • Over the course of WrestleManias, 56 men have stood the test of time by wrestling in 4 or more WM matches, becoming "WM Veterans."  Last year at WM19, three men were added to this list:  the Big Show (after taking a year off, Show was part of a handicap match against the Undertaker) and Matt Hardy (making his singles debut after three consecutive years in tag matches) both did it fairly conventionally, in their fourth match in four separate WMs.  But Chris Benoit did it the hard way: Benoit took a year off due to injury to wrestle his fourth match in only 3 separate WMs (courtesy of a "EuroContinental" two-title-matches deal at WM16).
     
    • Of these 55 WM Veterans, 13 remain on the ACTIVE WWE roster (Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Christian, Kurt Angle, Billy Gunn, Faarooq, Bradshaw, Chris Benoit, Big Show, and Matt Hardy).  An additional four are under contract to the WWE but are not active (for our purposes, this year I have officially re-classified the Rock as a non-active member of the roster, with the same designation presently applied to the recently-returned Mick Foley; the other two men on this list are the semi-retired Steve Austin and home video executive Hillbilly Jim). 

  • "WM Ironmen" -- long-term WWE "franchise players" who have wrestled in at least 8 'Mania Matches to date -- number just ten.  These 10 men have truly established themselves as some of the WWE's signature stars:
    • Bret Hart -- 13 WM Matches (12 different WM appearances)
    • Hulk Hogan -- 12 (11)
    • Undertaker -- 11 (11)
    • Randy Savage -- 11 (9)
    • Shawn Michaels -- 10 (12)
    • Tito Santana -- 9 (9)
    • Jake Roberts -- 8 (8)
    • Ted DiBiase -- 8 (8)
    • Owen Hart -- 8 (8)
    • Triple H -- 8 (8)
    • After remaining static for 4 years, this list finally added a new member with last year's WM19, as Triple H wrestled his eighth WM match in 8 years.  The list should grow by another after WM20, as the Rock is poised to compete in his eighth Mania match.  Also, if Steve Austin ever unretires for one last match, he would join this list.  The next slew of guys with a shot to ever make this list are still all the way down at 5 WM matches on their resumes.

  • At the other end of the spectrum, you've the got WrestleMania One-Timers, who worked one match and then disappeared from the WM landscape...  there are presently 98 WM One-Timers, but that includes the entire Class of WM19 as well as a number of other still-active WWE roster members.  
     
    • In fact, a number of one-timers are already on the WM20 card and will be getting off this list:  Brock Lesnar, Rey Mysterio, Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, Victoria, Chavo Guerrero, Molly Holly, Rob Van Dam, Chuck Palumbo, and Sho Funaki.
    • In addition to those ten, there are eight other men and women who are on the WWE's active or injured-but-will-return rosters, and who could very easily make it off this list in the future.
    • It is, therefore, perhaps more fair to say that out of 98 WM One-Timers, only 80 of them seem doomed to endure that label for all eternity.  Or at least until they can get back to The Show.

  • The most consecutive WM in-ring/wrestling appearances were by Bret Hart, who wrestled in 12 straight WMs (WM2 through WM13). Hulk Hogan and Tito Santana (both 9), Shawn Michaels (8), Triple H (also 8, but his is active/current), the Rock (7), and Owen Hart, Brutus Beefcake, Andre the Giant, Jim Neidhart, Hercules, and Rick Martel (all 6), also had streaks worthy of note.

  • Currently, nobody is even close to toppling Bret Hart from the "Most Consecutive" spot... leading the pack is Triple H's aforementioned ACTIVE streak of eight straight Manias which will become nine this year).  
     
    • The Rock is right behind at seven straight WMs, going on eight.  But unlike HHH, the Rock's wrestling future seems cloudy.  It is well known his wrestling contract expires in 2005, and no one knows if Rocky will deign to return to the ring on his present special-ocassion basis or not.  If he doesn't he could max out at 8 (or possibly 9) consecutive Manias.
    • Kane, who would have been next on the depth chart behind the Rock, had his streak of five-going-on-six consecutive Manias snapped at last year's WM19.  Kane was relegated to a tag team match on Heat, which as you can see in our ground rules below does NOT count towards WM stats. 
    • That leaves a trio of stragglers -- all at four-going-on-five consecutive Manias -- lagging behind HHH and the Rock's active streaks:  Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and Matt Hardy.  And from the looks of things, you can scratch Matt off that list, as he is not scheduled to wrestle at WM20.

  • The Undertaker stands alone as the man with the most WrestleMania wins ever.  In eleven WM matches, the 'Taker has got an unprecedented eleven wins.  Hulk Hogan stands alone in second place, with eight WM wins.  Tied for third on the list are Bret Hart and Randy Savage (with 7 wins each).
     
    • HHH, with six wins and counting, is the only active WWE competitor even close to jumping up and making the top levels of this list.
    • In fact, Shawn Michaels (4 wins) is the only other active WWE competitor with more than two WM wins.  
    • To be fair, I'll note that the Rock does boast 4 WM wins from his semi-active role, and could even add to that tally.  The same could be said (but seems a bit less likely) for Steve Austin and his 5 WM wins.  But other than those two, there really are no current WWE-affiliated wrestlers with more than 2 WM wins, which strikes me as remarkable.

  • In addition to having the most wins, the Undertaker also boasts the best overall winning percentage with his eleven wins and zero losses (1.000). The other "WrestleMania Veterans" (4 or more matches) who have won more than two-thirds or their matches (.667 percentage) are:
     
    • Ultimate Warrior -- 4-1 (.800)
    • Earthquake -- 4-1 (.800), Quake would still be undefeated if not for participating in WM17's Gimmick Battle Royal
    • Triple H -- 6-2 (.750)
    • Scott "Razor Ramon" Hall -- 3-1 (.750)
    • Iron Sheik -- 3-1 (.750)
    • Ricky Steamboat -- 3-1 (.750)
    • Steve Austin -- 5-2 (.714)
    • Hulk Hogan -- 8-3-1 (.708) 
    • Owen Hart -- 5-2-1 (.688), including one loss as "the Blue Blazer"
    • Big Bossman -- 4-2 (.667) 

  • The most losses ever at WM belong to Tito Santana, who recorded a total of 8 losses (including a loss that took place at WM9, but did not air on PPV) in his career. Other notable losers include:
     
    • Shawn Michaels -- 6 losses (also good for the most losses among active WWE performers)
    • Bret Hart -- 6 losses
    • Jacques Rougeau -- 6 losses
    • Greg Valentine -- 5 losses
    • Goldust -- 5 losses 

  • The losingest record among WM vets (4 or more matches), however, belongs to three men who never scored WrestleMania wins in their careers: Goldust, Crush, and the Big Show all stand at a spotless .000 winning percentage...  Goldust holds the edge, however, as he counts five WM losses to his record, one more than either other man; Adams and Show only racked up 0-4 records (although Big Show boasts the losingest record among active WWE wrestlers, and seems poised to add to that winless streak this year). Other pathetic winning percentages (.250 or worse) among WrestleMania Veterans (4 or more matches):
     
    • Tito Santana -- 1-8 (.111)
    • Jacques Rougeau -- 1-6 (.143)
    • Faarooq -- 1-4 (.200)
    • Bradshaw -- 1-4 (.200)
    • Haku -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Hercules -- 1-4-1 (.250)
    • Dino Bravo -- 1-3 (.250)
    • King Kong Bundy -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Ko Ko B. Ware -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Curt Hennig -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Hillbilly Jim -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Chris Benoit -- 1-3 (.250)
    • Matt Hardy -- 1-3 (.250)

  • By a wide margin, Hulk Hogan has participated in the most WM main event matches, wrestling in 10 of them (and going 7-3, winning 3 WWF Titles in the process).  In fact, Hogan has only wrestled in two non-main event WM matches; at WM4, Hogan faced Andre the Giant in a mid-show WWF Title tourney match, and then at WM19 he wrestled Vince McMahon in a mid-show streetfight (though both were hyped as major selling points of the shows, neither counts as a Main Event by our ground rules).  The only other multiple main eventers:
     
    • The Rock -- 4 main events (with a 1-3 record)
    • Steve Austin -- 3 main events (a perfect 3-0)
    • Randy Savage -- 3 main events (2-1)
    • Bret Hart -- 3 main events (1-2)
    • Shawn Michaels -- 3 main events (1-2)
    • Yokozuna -- 3 main events (1-2)
    • Ted DiBiase -- 2 main events (1-1)
    • Sid -- 2 main events (0-2)
    • Triple H -- 2 main events (2-0)
    • The one-time-only main eventers include:  Roddy Piper, Mr. T, Paul Orndorff, King Kong Bundy, Andre the Giant, the Ultimate Warrior, Sgt. Slaughter, Ric Flair, Irwin R. Shyster, Lawrence Taylor, Bam Bam Bigelow, Diesel, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, the Big Show, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar.
    • Note:  For these numbers to work out, you've gotta use the same assumptions I did.  First, the final match of the show is ALWAYS considered the main event.  But at some WrestleManias, the WWF/E promoted cards that featured explicitly-defined Double Main Events, in which case BOTH matches do count towards these numbers.  There were clearly-marketed double main events at WM8, WM9, WM11, and WM18.  Additionally, WM9 wound up featuring a third match that must count as a Main Event: the final Yoko/Hogan match was unscheduled but took place last, which makes it a by-definition Main Event (joining the other two clearly-promoted Main Event matches, and meaning that both Hogan and Yoko got credit for wrestling in two main events on the same WM!)...
    • In each of the 15 WrestleManias not specifically exempted above, there was only a single main event match (by definition, the final match of the night).  That means that in 19 years of WM history, there have been a total of 24 Main Event matches contested by a total of 28 different men (10 of them competed in multiple main events).
    • At the present time, it is unclear how WWE will promote WM20.  There appear to be two potential RAW-brand main events, one possible SD-brand main event, and an additional possible "inter-promotional" main event.  In the absence of any specific hype/labeling (there has been none so far), we will again simply declare the final match of the night to be the main event when it comes time to update this document for next year.  [Alternatively, I may consider adopting a new heuristic for the Brand Extension Era, in which I automatically assign two main events to each WM: the final RAW match presented and the final SD! match presented could both count towards these stats in the future.  But that's a bridge I'll cross another time.] 

     

  • Hogan didn't only dominate in terms of main event appearances, he also dominated when gold was on the line; he wrestled in a total of 7 title matches (5 WWF Title matches, 1 WWF Title vs. IC Title match, and 1 WWF Tag Title Match), which is easily the most ever.  And Hogan ended up winning 5 or them, and and only losing 2.
     

  • By virtue of the WrestleMania 6 Title vs. Title main event, Hogan contended for all three primary titles (WWF, IC, Tag) under the WM spotlight, though most folks don't remember that Hogan could, conceivably, have walked out of that show with the IC strap.  Others notable in the quest for multiple titles include:
      
    • Bret Hart is the only other man to wrestle for all three "Original Recipe" WWF titles, en route to a remarkable second-best-ever total of five title matches at WM.  Every time he wrestled in a title match at a WM, the title changed hands. Hart was 2-3 in title matches, winning the IC Title once, losing the Tag Titles once, and going 1-2 with the WWF Title on the line.  
    • The brand-split era will severely complicate this record keeping in future years.  With the split of the "WWF/World" and Tag Titles so that one version exists with each brand, and with the the resurrection of both the InterContinental and United States Titles, there now appear to be two separate Three-Peats for wrestlers to chase; the problem is that the Original Recipe WWF Three-Peat is impossible to achieve on a single brand.  On RAW, you have the World Title (ostensibly the off-shoot of the old NWA/WCW Title), the World Tag Team Titles (which were actually renamed and ARE the original WWF Tag Titles), and the InterContinental Title (again, this one traces back to one of the original WWF belts).  On SD!, you have the WWE Title (which is the same WWF Title that appeared at the first 17 WrestleManias), but then two "Bearded Spock" titles (the US Title traces back to NWA/WCW, and the tag titles, though called the "WWE Tag Titles" are actually a new creation which have no legacy prior to 2002).  The "Original Recipe" Three-Peat would be winning the secondary RAW titles (tag and IC), the moving on to SD! to win the WWE Title.  Anything else is... well, I don't even know what you'd call it.  It's gonna be a problem in coming years, though.
    • As an example: Chris Benoit competed for the IC Title at WM17, and then for the (SD!-brand) WWE Tag Titles at WM19.  At WM20, he will wrestle for the World Title.  It raises the question: Is Benoit completing some form of a Three-peat on Sunday?  Or is he one title (the US Title) away from completing the "Bearded Spock" three-peat of alternative titles?  Or does that three-peat not even count, and Benoit's still two title matches at Mania (for the WWE Title and the World Tag Titles) away from completing a worthwhile three-peat? 
    • Four men are one RAW-brand World Tag Title match away from indisputably making this list in its proper Original Recipe fashion: Kurt Angle (who'd have to jump from SD!), and then Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, and the Rock (the first two are already on RAW full time, and Rocky seems to hang around there when he's on TV).  Any of the four could also cause serious headaches by competing for the SD!-brand WWE Tag Titles at a future Mania).  
    • Jericho also causes possible headaches another way: by virtue of wrestling in the only "Undisputed" Title match at a WM, he can lay claim to competing for both the WWE and World Titles.  That might make it possible for him to pull EITHER of the two three-peats a bit more easily than anyone else; he's already only World Tag Title Match at Mania away from the Original Recipe three-peat, but a trip toSD! and matches for that shows two second titles would complete the Bearded Spock three-peat. 
    • For the sake of completion, the only other looming "mix-and-match" headache appears to be the Big Show (fought for the WWF Title, will add the SD!-brand US Title at WM20, would only need a tag title match to complete a form of the three-peat).
    • And because I love you, I'm even going to rack the brain to determine any other men who competed for three different titles at WM, even if they were the class of tertiary/forgettable belts that abounded in the pre-split era WWF.  In addition to anyone listed above, you can credit: Christian (WWF Tag, Euro, Hardcore), Jericho (actually has four, if you add the Euro to the above mentioned titles), Brutus Beefcake (IC, WWF Tag, and the once-considered-semi-legit Million Dollar Belt), Benoit (in addition to ones listed above, also competed for Euro belt), and Kurt Angle (IC, Euro, WWE Title).
    • And a VERY special mention:  when she competes for the Women's Title at WM20, Molly Holly will become the only woman to compete for two different titles on the WM stage.  She's already the only female ever to fight for a (primarily-)men's championship at Mania, following a WM18 appearance in a giant, show-spanning 7-person Hardcore Title schmozz (Molly even held the title very briefly, though she was an eventual loser in the huge ordeal).  
       
       
  • Other very notable performances in title matches at WrestleMania:
      
    • Triple H is a perfect 4-0 with titles on the line at WM.  That includes three WWF/World title wins (he retained the WWF Title at WM16, won the "Undisputed" Title at WM18, and then defended the World Title at WM19), as well as one win in a Euro Title match (WM14).  That's a remarkable record in high-pressure matches, but a lot of fans believe HHH is finally in SERIOUS danger of taking a WM title match loss at WM20, as he defends the World Title in a Triple Threat match.
    • Stone Cold Steve Austin is a perfect 3-0 with gold on the line.  Remarkably, all three of those matches were main events for the WWF Title.  They are Austin's only title matches in his WM history; all for the Big Gold and all wins.
    • Ax and Smash of Demolition were also a perfect 3-0, albeit in WWF Tag Title matches.  Still a pretty remarkable achievement...
    • Randy Savage wrestled five title matches over his WM career, going 3-2.  He was 1-1 for the IC Title, and 2-1 in matches where the WWF Title was on the line. 
    • Yokozuna also went 3-2 in five title matches.  He split four WWF Title matches, and was victorious in his one Tag Title match.  Remarkably, Yoko came out of the gate fast, as his first five WM matches all had gold on the line (two WWF Title matches each at WM9 and WM10, then the tag match at WM11 before finally wrestling a non-title match at WM12).
    • The Rock also wrestled for a title in each of his first five WrestleManias; he started off hot, winning two straight IC Title matches, but then lost in three consecutive WWF Title matches, for a 2-3 record with gold on the line.  The Rock's streak of exclusively wrestling for gold ended at WM18 against Hulk Hogan.
    • Shawn Michaels rounds out the quintet who all wrestled in a second-best-ever five WM title matches (albeit not at the start of his WM career).  However, his record in those five key contests is an abysmal 1-4 (he lost both his IC matches out of the gate, then in three of the next four Manias competed for the WWF Title, sandwiching one win between two losses).
    • Chris Jericho fell just short of Yoko and the Rock's record-setting WM-career-starting streak when he faced Shawn Michaels with no gold on the line at WM19.  In three previous WM appearances, he wrestled four title matches: one for the Euro title (WM16), two for the IC belt (16 and 17), and one for the Undisputed Title (18).  Jericho was a tepid 2-2 in those matches.
    • Christian pulled a trick similar to Jericho's, and his streak even remains TECHNICALLY active.  In his first three WM appearances, Christian wrestled for the tag titles twice (WM16 and 17), and once apiece for the Hardcore and Euro titles (both at WM18).  That's also four WM-career-starting title matches in just three Manias, with a 2-2 record, just like Y2J.  When Christian didn't compete at all at WM19, his streak remained alive heading into WM20... where, quite ironically, the streak WILL end in a non-title match against none-other-than Chris Jericho.
    • Going into WM21, it'll be Matt Hardy who has a shot at going for five title matches to start his WM career.  He started out pulling an 0-3 in three WWF Tag Title matches before successfully defending the Cruiserweight Title at WM19.  At present, Matt is NOT scheduled to appear in any capacity in the ring at WM20, which means this streak will remain active heading into next year...
    • Owen Hart was 2-1-1 in four title matches, going an undefeated 2-0-1 in three tag title matches, and losing his one shot at the Euro Title.
    • Billy Gunn's three tag title matches and one shot at the Hardcore Title get him a spot on this list.  He is 2-2 with gold on the line.
    • To date, no one else has participated in more than three title matches at WM.  But...  can you believe this?  Out of 251 total WM competitors, 128 of them have wrestled in a title match!  I guess you can blame things like recent trends towards things like Hardcore Battle Royals and multi-way title matches for the fact that 51.0 percent of all performers who've made it to WM have wrestled with gold on the line...  though many of the WWE's secondary titles have been phased out, this number might remain ludicrously high as the Fed still has duplicate titles due to the roster split.

  • For your enjoyment and personal edification, I've put together a stripped down "Lite" version of my WM Records spreadsheet.  It's still over 300K, but it's at least manageable, now, and should still have most of the highlights that my expanded 800K version does.  If you've got MS Excel, and are interested in playing with and sorting the data in ways YOU'RE interested in, then just click here to download the file (doing a right click and a "Save As" may be best).  And hey, if you spot an inaccuracy, let me know...  I dig doing this stuff, but I'm not particularly well known for my attention to detail; data entry isn't the right job for me!

  • In calculating the above stats, I worked with the following assumptions:
     
    • In-arena dark matches and Free For All match which aired on a PPV channel prior to a WM telecast DO count towards these numbers...  they are technically "part of the show," in my opinion.  However, effective with WM15, Sunday Night Heat or matches which air on another channel besides the PPV channel DO NOT COUNT.
    • Matches under alternate identities all count towards ONE win/loss record
    • Participating in a Battle Royal and failing to win DOES count as a loss; all situations in which the hardcore title was defended under battle royal or "24/7" rules were judged as losses for all who competed, except for the lone person who walked out of the event with the title, who gets a win.
    • Effective with the Fourth Edition (2001), I'm no longer counting all matches in the WM4 WWF Title tourney as WWF Title matches...  that seemed to unfairly skewer some stats; so now, only the Savage/DiBiase final counts as a title match.  All stats/observations have been adjusted accordingly.
       

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