On The Grandest Stage of Them All: Golden Chances At WrestleMania

WrestleMania

WrestleMania is the pinnacle of WWE’s booking – for good and for bad – but it’s become the crown achievement for many who go through WWE’s doors during their career in having that WrestleMania moment. And there’s no greater achievement than competing for – and ultimately winning – a World Championship on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Since the very first WrestleMania in 1985, only 87 individual performers have had the chance to compete for a World title at WrestleMania (including the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Universal Championship, and respective Women’s titles), which is a small percentage considering the hundreds upon hundreds of wrestlers who have worked for the WWE in the past 35 years. Some have had multiple opportunities and come up short every time, while some have made the most of their opportunities and won every chance they get, and some have just mastered the art of defending every spring. Here’s a look at some interesting stats regarding the 87 people who have entered the ring at a WrestleMania over the past four decades in an effort to become (or remain) a World Champion in the WWE Universe.

Most Title Matches

Photo: WWE
  1. Triple H, 9
  2. John Cena, 8
  3. Hulk Hogan, 6
    Brock Lesnar, 6
  4. Charlotte Flair, 5
    Shawn Michaels, 5
  5. Trish Stratus, 4
    Becky Lynch, 4
    Randy Orton, 4
    Batista, 4
    Edge, 4
    The Rock, 4

“The King of Kings” Triple H leads the pack with nine title matches, but he’s also only behind The Undertaker (27) for appearances at WrestleMania with 23 (sporting a 10-13 Win/Loss Record). While he’s got nine title matches, he’s only defended the title successfully four times and only actually won the Big One at a WrestleMania once, when he defeated Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 18. Lots of stars followed up right behind the #5 slot, with names like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Bret “Hitman” Hart, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, and Naomi all clocking in with three title match opportunities on the Grandest Stage of Them All. With Taker being a part of 27 WrestleManias and only competing for the World title on three occasions, it shows just how much bigger his character was than any title ever could be to his career.

Most Title Victories

Photo: WWE
  1. John Cena, 4
  2. Hulk Hogan, 3
    Undertaker, 3
    “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, 3
  3. Brock Lesnar, 2
    Charlotte Flair, 2
    “Macho Man” Randy Savage, 2
    Seth Rollins, 2
  4. 21 tied with 1

No one dominated WrestleMania in the World title picture than John Cena. In 15 WrestleMania appearances, eight of them were for a World title, and four of his 16 World titles, he won at WrestleMania. He also defended the title on two occasions. The Undertaker and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (with 3 victories) and Seth Rollins (with 2 victories) made the most of their title opportunities on the Grand Stage, winning the title in as many opportunities as they received.

Most Title Defense

WrestleMania
Photo: WWE
  1. Triple H, 4
  2. John Cena, 2
    Hulk Hogan, 2
    Bayley, 2
  3. 20 tied with 1

While he never won a World title at WrestleMania, Triple H does lead the pack in regards to successfully defending a World title he’s walked in carrying, doing so on four occasions. He doubled the next most successful champions, John Cena, Hulk Hogan, and Bayley, who only have two. Bayley has done it twice now in the past four years (2017, 2020).

Best Championship Record (Winning/Defending) (Minimum 3 title matches)

Photo: WWE
  1. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, 3/3, 100%
    The Undertaker, 3/3, 100%
  2. Hulk Hogan, 5/6, 83.3%
  3. John Cena, 75%
  4. “Macho Man” Randy Savage, 2/3, 66.7%
  5. Charlotte Flair, 3/5, 60%

While Austin and Taker both the titles in every one of their three title shots at WrestleMania, more impressive is actually Hulk Hogan’s run of three title defenses and two victories in six WrestleMania title matches. The first nine WrestleManias were essentially vehicles to power Hulkamania for the next year, so it shouldn’t really be that surprising. Randy Savage also faired well, losing only to Hogan, while Charlotte Flair remains the leader for the women.

One Time’s The Charm

WrestleMania
Photo: WWE
  • Drew McIntyre, WWE, WrestleMania 36, def. Brock Lesnar, 2020
  • Braun Strowman, Universal, WrestleMania 36, def. Goldberg, 2020
  • Kofi Kingston, WWE, WrestleMania 35, def. Daniel Bryan, 2019
  • Sheamus, WHC, WrestleMania 28, def. Daniel Bryan, 2012
  • Rey Mysterio, WHC, WrestleMania 22, def. Kurt Angle & Randy Orton, 2006
  • Chris Benoit, WHC, WrestleMania 20, def. Triple H & Shawn Michaels, 2004
  • Chyna, Women’s, WrestleMania WrestleMania 17, def. Ivory, 2001
  • Ultimate Warrior, WWE, WrestleMania 6, def. Hulk Hogan, 1990
  • Wendi Richter, Women’s, WrestleMania, def. Leilani Kai, 1985

While 87 people have competed for a WWE World title of some kind at WrestleMania, 52 of them have only had one opportunity so far in their careers. And of those 52, only nine of them have made the most out of their one opportunity to actually win the big one. This past year saw two men cash in on their first opportunity, as Drew McIntyre and Braun Strowman both won their respective World titles (WWE and Universal respectively) at this year’s WrestleMania 36.

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