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Arts & Entertainment

Get ready for the unexpected when WrestleMania hits town

FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2004

When World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania Revenge comes to the Arena on Saturday fans can expect the unexpected.

In the wake of the WrestleMania events that took place in March, the Revenge matches will see WrestleMania Triple Match victor and World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit defending his title, along with other beefed up, turnbuckle bouncing good guys and bad guys such as World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair and Batista, Intercontinental Champ Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Edge, Kane, and many more.

In its 20 years of existence, WrestleMania has a long list of unorthodox fighting formats, fiascos, upsets, celebrity appearances, and out-of-the-ring ambushes.

Here’s a quick retrospect of WrestleMania’s wildest and wackiest moments in its earliest incarnations, starting with the first WrestleMania is 1985 (back when WWE was still the World Wrestling Federation):

• WrestleMania I: In the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania tag team, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeat Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndoff. The late Andre the Giant bests Big John Studd in a $15,000 body slam match. King Kong Bundy whoops S.D. Jones in just 9 seconds, setting a record that stood for almost 10 years, until Diesel beats Bob Backlund to win the WWE Championship in just six seconds.

• WrestleMania II (1986): Hulk Hogan successfully defends his title against King Kong Bundy in a steel cage match. Twenty men, including NFL stars such as William “Refrigerator” Perry — compete in an over-the-top rope battle royal. Andre the Giant is the last man standing, eliminating Bret “The Hit Man” Hart. After resorting to illegal wrestling moves, Rowdy Roddy Piper is disqualified in a settle-the-score boxing match against Mr. T, who was favored to win because of his boxing experience in the movie “Rocky III.”

• WrestleMania III (1987): Andre the Giant nearly takes the World Championship title from former friend Hulk Hogan after a failed attempt by Hogan to body slam the 7-foot-4-inches tall, 520-pound Giant. Eventually, Hogan slams the Giant and wins the match.


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