Everyone loves a title change and even more so when it's at WrestleMania. Here, we take a look at the best five title changes that have happened at 'The Grandest Stage of them All'.
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No-one likes a champion to keep hold of a belt for longer than they deserve – yes that’s aimed at you Brock Lesnar. There is nothing better than being at WrestleMania and witnessing a title change, whether you like the wrestler or not it doesn’t matter. The noise and euphoria that is let out is something to behold.
Not all title changes are brilliant, I get that. But there is something magical at seeing a new champion crowned at a pay-per-view like WrestleMania. It is like the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup and World Series all rolled into one.
Here are the top five title changes that have happened at WrestleMania over the years:
5. Ricky Steamboat beats Randy Savage for the Intercontinental title – WrestleMania III
Even though this match took place at WrestleMania III in 1987, it is still listed as one of the best wrestling matches in the history of World Wrestling Entertainment. Both Savage and Steamboat put on a wrestling clinic with the Intercontinental title on the line at the Pontiac Silverdome. This fight was six months in the making as they played out a lengthy feud, it came to an end when Savage tried to scoop slam Steamboat, and the Dragon rolled him up in a small package for the victory and to become the new champion.
4. Hulk Hogan beats Yokozuna for the WWE Championship – WrestleMania IX
What is better than a title change? How about two title changes in a matter of minutes. WrestleMania IX took place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas with Bret Hart putting his WWE Championship on the line against Yokozuna. The Japanese giant defeated Hart for the belt when Mr Fuji threw salt in the eyes of the Hitman, allowing Yokozuna to pin him and become champion. This prompted fans favourite Hulk Hogan to come to ringside to help Hart. Fuji then berated Hogan by calling him a coward and urged him to faze Yokozuna for the title. When Hogan got in the ring, Fuji tried to throw salt in his eyes. He missed and got Yokozuna, this allowed Hogan to hit the leg drop and become the new champion. Two title changes in one match – you can’t beat that.
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin beat The Rock for the WWE Championship – WrestleMania X-Seven
Stone Cold Steve Austin beating The Rock to become the new WWE Champions wasn’t the shock here. It was how he became the champion. For years, Austin had been feuding with WWE chairman Vince McMahon in a rivalry that boiled on hatred. Well, McMahon shocked the world when he helped Austin by passing him a steel chair to hit The Rock with. Once he did that, he pinned The Rock and became the new champion. The two former enemies then shook hands in the middle of the ring.
2. John Cena beat the Big Show for the United States Championship – WrestleMania XX
This one is in here because of what it did for John Cena’s career. From the moment he stepped into a WWE ring, you knew that John Cene was going to be a superstar. The fans loved him (yes, they did back then) and they were delighted when he won his first ever singles title at WrestleMania XX. He took on the Big Show and was expected to lose because of the size difference. He hit Show with some brass knuckles he had hidden in his shorts to become the new champion.
1. Daniel Bryan beat Batista and Randy Orton to win the WWE heavyweight title – WrestleMania XXX
In the aftermath of this match, commentator Michael Cole labelled it “the miracle on Bourbon Street” as Daniel Bryan defeated the odds to become WWE champion at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans. The storyline for this one had Chief Operating Officer HHH making Bryan’s life a misery as he believed he didn’t have what it took to be the face of the WWE. This feud went on for a while and HHH offered Bryan a deal. If Bryan could beat HHH at WrestleMania XXX, then he would get his title shot against Batista and Randy Orton later in the evening. Bryan won after hitting HHH with a running knee. After the bout, HHH attacked Bryan and hit him with a steel chair to his arm. This was done to hopefully rule Bryan out of the title match. It didn’t work as Bryan was fit enough for the triple-threat match, He overcame all the odds by eventually making Batista tap out to the ‘Yes Lock’ and be crowned the new champion.