Wrestlemania is the biggest highlight in every wrestling fan’s calendar. This long-running event holds so many moments that we all cherish and will remember for as long as we live. So as we gear up for this year’s show of shows in Orlando, I’m looking at all of the various different aspects that make the biggest PPV in wrestling so special.
Each year at Wrestlemania, before every main event, every show-stealer, every title match, there’s a promo to get the audience at home and in the arena ready for what’s about to come. The key to a good video package is to remind you exactly why you should be excited for what you’re about to watch. Memories should come flooding back and expectations should be high, something which each of these entries did. Here are my Top 10 Wrestlemania Video Packages of all time.
10. Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair – Wrestlemania 24
Two friends. Two legends. Two of the greatest of all-time. One ultimatum. One match. One perfect video package.
9. John Cena vs Bray Wyatt – Wrestlemania 30
Never has a song more suited a video package in the history of Wrestlemania. Legacy by Eminem accompanies a montage of Bray’s haunting yet enticing words perfectly alongside the trademark Wyatt Family imagery. Without the soundtrack, this pre-match promo would be an honourable mention for sure, but the impeccable use of music shoots it into the top 10.
8. Chris Jericho vs Legends – Wrestlemania 25
With so many legends involved in this match, it was almost impossible to not create a stellar video package with the materials available. With career highlights from Ric Flair, Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and Ricky Steamboat, mixed with clips from the fantastic 2008 movie The Wrestler, world-class heel promos from Jericho, and a beautiful, roaring orchestral score throughout, this video package is possibly the most underrated in Wrestlemania history.
7. CM Punk vs The Undertaker – Wrestlemania 29
CM Punk was at his most devilish leading up to Wrestlemania 29. His obsession with breaking The Undertaker’s then intact legendary streak lead to some of the most controversial Raw moments of the last five years. Punk prayed on the unfortunate death of Paul Bearer and used it to his advantage in order to get a mental edge over the Deadman. All of these moments compiled with demonic imagery, awesome effects, and powerful music created one hell of a video package.
6. The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar – Wrestlemania 30
Whether you agree with the streak ending or not, you’ve got to admit the preceding promo before the most shocking moment in Wrestlemania history is awesome. We see a quick flash through Taker’s Wrestlemania victims before Paul Heyman sits in front of a camera, and educates the world on why his client will be the first to break the seemingly unbreakable, and as always with the advocate to the beast, it is astounding.
5. Stone Cold vs The Rock – Wrestlemania 17
Without doubt, the most famous and most memorable video package in wrestling has got to be from Wrestlemania 17. The Rock vs Stone Cold’s pre-match promo is still talked about regularly to this day – the history, the memories, the perfect choice of music, everything about these four minutes ensures that it will live in the memory of wrestling fans forever.
4. Daniel Bryan vs Triple H – Wrestlemania 30
Daniel Bryan’s rise to the top was a wonderful thing to witness. It was truly astounding to watch one of the most gifted wrestlers in the world finally get the push and the attention he deserved. Before his bout against Triple H, we were reminded of the WWE career of Daniel Bryan, and how far he had come since his days on the first season of NXT, as well as the amazingly structured rivalry with The Authority that led to this match. It really was the perfect way to start what would end up being the biggest night in Daniel Bryan’s career.
3. The Miz vs John Cena – Wrestlemania 27
Before the main event of Wrestlemania 27, one of the best video packages in history managed to instantly change the way many fans thought about Mr Mizanin. It showed the self-proclaimed Most Must-See WWE Champion of all Time stood at the helm of multiple television screens, showing the audience at home just how much he had evolved in a relatively short time. It made a lot of us realise that he may not have taken the hardest path to get there, but he was worthy of being a part of the main event scene nonetheless. I appreciate it any time WWE make the effort to do something different with their videos other than splicing together some footage from Raw and Smackdown, and this may be the greatest example of that they’ve ever done.
2. Wrestlemania 25 Opening Package
Every Wrestlemania opens with a beautiful package of some of the most memorable and historic moments in the show’s long history, but none can top the opening to Wrestlemania 25. To celebrate 25 years of Wrestlemania moments, some of the company’s biggest stars were interviewed about their favourite matches, victories, and what competing at the show of shows means to them. With so much history and personal memories in one short video, the opening to Wrestlemania 25 is the greatest of all time.
Sting vs Triple H – Wrestlemania 31 – Two legendary careers from two separate companies colliding in one epic compilation.
The Undertaker vs Kane – Wrestlemania 14 – An epic collision between two brothers deserved an epic video to promote it.
Stone cold vs Scott Hall – Wrestlemania 18 – This is one of the most underrated Wrestlemania video packages ever. The match itself wasn’t anything special, but this is certainly worth a watch.
John Cena vs The Rock – Wrestlemania 28 – With over one year of build-up footage to work with, of course this one was going to be good.
1. The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels – Wrestlemania 25 and 26
When you have two of the greatest Wrestlemania matches involving two of the greatest wrestlers of all time, it’s only appropriate to have two of the greatest video packages of all time to accompany them.
Before their legendary match at Wrestlemania 25, a promo aired that chronicled the Wrestlemania careers of the two men that were most associated with the show of shows – the holder of the streak against Mr Wrestlemania himself. This video package made you feel as though you were about to witness the most important match in WWE history, which was exactly what it was.
One year later, before the biggest rematch ever, we were shown how much the loss had affected Shawn Michaels, and how his overwhelming obsession with it absorbed his life. He went to devious lengths in order to get this rematch, and after one year of waiting and obsessing, it finally happened.
Wrestlemania is mainly about the matches, but without everything else that comes with them, it would be nothing. Sure, these video packages aren’t as important as the fights they promote, yet when they’re done right, they add another level of excitement and anticipation, and in the cases of every entry on this list, just like their accompanying matches, they will all be remembered for years to come.
What are your favourite Wrestlemania video packages? Let me know in a comment below or by tweeting me @hairywrestling.