From Daniel Bryan to John Cena, Every Championship Change in WrestleMania History

Published 04/05/2021, 9:15 AM EDT


From its inception, WrestleMania featured the World Title match as its main event. However, with time, the other titles such as Women’s title, Intercontinental and US title along with Tag Team titles also came to the front.

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Hence, many “WrestleMania moments” started happening during those title matches. Many won their first title at WrestleMania, and many defended it to the best of their abilities.

WWE Wrestling: WrestleMania 31: Roman Reigns in action vs Brock Lesnar during event at Levi’s Stadium.
Santa Clara, CA 3/29/2015
CREDIT: Jed Jacobsohn (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X159445 TK1 )

In its latest playlist, WWE looked back at such title changes/wins. Let’s take a look –

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#20. John Cena – WrestleMania XX

The very first video in the list looks back at John Cena‘s WrestleMania debut. He was facing the United States Champion Big Show for the title. He won his first title from Show on his WrestleMania debut.

Cena would go on to headline multiple Manias and became the company’s face for many years.

#19. The IICONICS – WrestleMania 35

The inaugural Women’s Tag Team champions Sasha Banks and Bayley decided to defend their titles across the brands. This eventually ended up in a fatal four-way match at WrestleMania 35.

WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix almost pinned Bayley to win the title following a ‘Glam slam’ from the top rope. But the IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) threw Phoenix off and eventually won the title.

#18. Kane – WrestleMania XXIV

Kane defeated then-ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero under 11 seconds to win the title. Kane got the opportunity to face Chavo as he won a number one contenders Battle Royale earlier in the night.

#17. Braun Strowman and Nicholas – WrestleMania 34

Who could forget Nicholas winning the Tag Team Title? Braun Strowman was in search of a tag team partner to face Sheamus and Cesaro for the RAW Tag Team titles.

Strowman picked out Nicholas, son of WWE referee John Cone, and won the title. Nicholas became the youngest champion in the history of WWE.

#16. Drew McIntyre – WrestleMania 36

At WrestleMania 36, Drew McIntyre won his first World title after defeating Brock Lesnar following a fourth claymore kick. It would be Lesnar’s last match in WWE.

#15 Edge and Christian – WrestleMania X-Seven

At WrestleMania 17, Edge and Christian won their first Tag Team titles following a gruesome Tables, Ladder and Chairs match with The Dudleyz and The Hardyz. 9 tables were broken during the match.

#14 Rob Gronkowski – WM 36

NFL superstar and WrestleMania 36 host Rob Gronkowski shocked the world as he performed a dive onto a pile of wrestlers. He then pinned friend and 24/7 champion Mojo Rawley to win the title. To date, Gronk remains the longest-reigning champion at 67 days.

#13. Naomi – WM 33

At Elimination Chamber, Naomi won the SmackDown Women’s Championship. However, she had to give it up due to a legitimate injury. Meanwhile, Alexa Bliss won the title from Becky Lynch.

Ahead of WrestleMania, Naomi returned and joined a ‘six-pack challenge’ to win back the title. She eventually made Bliss submit in the penultimate match of the night.

#12. Ultimate Warrior – WM VI

In the main event of WrestleMania 6, Intercontinental champion Warrior defeated the WWE (Then-WWF) champion, Hulk Hogan. It was Warrior’s first World title win in the company, and he held both the IC title and the World title briefly.

However, back then, WWF prohibited one wrestler from holding both titles. Hence, the Ultimate Warrior had to relinquish his IC title in favor of the WWF title.

#11. Roman Reigns – WM 32

It was the battle of the heavyweights as Roman Reigns faced off against former boss Triple H. His wife Stephanie McMahon accompanied him to the match. Throughout the match, Stephanie distracted the referee on multiple occasions, allowing Triple H to hit a low blow on Reigns.

Eventually, Reigns speared Stephanie. However, she handed Triple H a sledgehammer. Before he could use it (against referees warning), Reigns dodged and hit a spear to win the WWE title for the third time.

#10. Rey Mysterio – WM 25

For the 25th anniversary of WWE’s biggest event, the Intercontinental championship was on the line. The title featured at WrestleMania for the first time since WM 18.

The champion JBL eventually overpowered Rey Mysterio before the match. But once the match started, Mysterio quickly hit a 619 and won the title in under 20 seconds. This prompted JBL to “quit” WWE.

#9. Randy Savage – WM IV

It was the main event of the night for the vacant WWF title. Miss Elizabeth accompanied Savage while Andre the Giant came with Ted DiBiase. For most of the match, the ‘million dollar man’ was in control.

Eventually, Miss Elizabeth brought out Hulk Hogan from backstage to neutralize Andre. While the referee was distracted, Hogan hit DiBiase with a steel chair. Savage eventually got his first world title win following a Savage Elbow on DiBiase.

#8. Sheamus – WM XXVIII

It was a quick win for Sheamus. As Bryan was distracted following a “good luck kiss” from then-girlfriend AJ Lee, Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick and won the title under 10 seconds.

#7. Ricky Steamboat – WM III

Considered one of the greatest matches in WWE history, Steamboat defeated Randy Savage to win the IC title. Savage attempted to give Steamboat a scoop slam, but Steamboat reversed it into a quick pin and won the title.

This was the first time in WWE history that the title changed hands at WrestleMania.

#6. Daniel Bryan – WM 30

The match was the culmination of the ‘Yes movement.’ After years of being sidelined and being treated as the underdog, Bryan demanded a chance at the World title.

Earlier in the night, he earned the title shot as he defeated Triple H. He went into the match with Batista and Champion Randy Orton. Bryan won the match as he made Batista submit with the yes lock.

#5. Shawn Michaels – WM XII

The “Heartbreak Kid” won the WWF title from Bret Hart following a gruesome 60-minute Iron Man Match. Michales earned the title shot as he won the 1996 Royal Rumble.

In the match, the winner would be the man to win most falls over sixty minutes. Michaels defeated Hart 1-0 in sudden death overtime.

#4. Becky Lynch -WM 35

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Ronda Rousey already created history as they became the first women to headline WrestleMania. With both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships on the line, the stakes were the highest.

Following a piper’s pit on Lynch, Ronda attempted the pin. But Lynch pinned Rousey in turn and walked away from the stage with both the titles.

#3. ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin – WM XIV

With Mike Tyson as the special outside enforcer, Austin faced long-time enemy Shawn Michaels. In the eventful match, the referee was knocked out at the end as Austin turned the sweet chin music into a stunner.

Tyson came in for a quick three count and Austin became the new champion. Michaels tried to confront Tyson but was met with a knockout punch.

#2. Seth Rollins – WM 31

Seth Rollins had his WrestleMania moment as he cunningly cashed in his Money in the Bank. In the main event, Lesnar and Reigns faced off against each other.

Although Rollins targeted Lesnar first, he won the title following a curb stomp on former SHIELD brother Roman Reigns.

#1. Kofi Kingston – WM 35

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History was made when Kofi Kingston won his first WWE title at WrestleMania. The storylines leading up to the win truly enthralled the crowd as both the stadium and the locker room celebrated in harmony.

You can see the full list here. Let us know your thoughts on these moments in the comments below.

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DIVE DEEPER

From Bayley to John Cena- Major WWE Superstars Who Don’t Have a Match for WrestleMania 37

about 1 month ago

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Angana Roy

945 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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