With the biggest show in professional wrestling coming very soon, memories of one of entertainments biggest yearly events come to mind. Longtime fans or those who love older wrestling event from days gone by may see things from past events that don’t seem to happen anymore. Here are 4 things that used to be part of the Wrestlemania experience but are no longer part of the experience.
They were only used twice at Wrestlemania, in 1987 and 1990, but they made an interesting visual to the shows of these gladiators being driven to the ring. Sure, they were just spruced up people-movers, the same you’d find in a warehouse or in the back of any large department store, but they worked. The small rings with these grapplers standing on them going down the entrance way to the ring for this event made things extra special. With bigger stage construction and presentation, including very high ramps to walk down, these carts literally don’t seem to have a place on the biggest stage anymore, but nothing got across just how big a stage it was with these part of wrestling history.
There was once a time where not every match on the show was given a big elaborate backstory. The idea was these guys would fight each other because they wanted to win. That was the story we were given back then and it was enough for us. That notion really disappeared at Wrestlemania 12 in 1996 and things changed. Now everything has to have some long drawn out storyline as to why these people are doing what they are hired and paid to do. While that works well for some matches and can generate a lot of interest in a show, sometimes it doesn’t and fails spectacularly. The biggest storyline flop had to be at the 18th show in Toronto and had Canadian native Edge facing off against former WCW champion Booker T. when Booker was jealous that Edge scored an advertising deal for Japanese Shampoo. The backstory was so bad that the fans at the show pointed out how bad it was.
Money in the Bank Ladder Match
It was a concept invented by wrestler Chris Jericho as a way to get he and other undercard performers onto the big show in 2005. Take 6, 8, or even more guys and put them against each other with a contract hanging above the ring and have to climb a ladder to get it. The winner gets a guaranteed World Title shot whenever they wanted. Not only did it add an incredible amount of excitement to the show, but it elevated the winner to the next level in the mind of the wrestling fans. The concept was eventually spun off into its own show and not used on the Wrestlemania shows anymore. Although the “Money in the Bank” match is still around, having it on the biggest show of the year really added something to the big card.
The former wrestler turned into match announcer helped call the moves on the first event in 1985 and was part of the show until 1993. Big “Gino” as he was called last appeared on the Wrestlemania 15 show in 1999 as he was very sick and would pass away a number of months later, but his soft voice and his exasperated straight man commentary with people like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Jesse “The Body” Ventura was a part of the Wrestlemania event fans remember with fondness. Although he is no longer with us, Gorilla’s commentary added a lot to those early events and is a part that is missing with multiple announcing teams of sometimes 3 or 4 people each covering the event.