For the WWE, the show must go on, no matter the circumstances.
In early 2020, Wrestlemania 36 seemed to be one of their biggest cards ever: Drew McIntyre would bring his comeback story to life with a headlining match against Brock Lesnar. Roman Reigns would go face to face with WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg. And the Undertaker would return to wrestle fan favorite AJ Styles, among many other bouts.
Yet like the rest of the world, March 2020 would force WWE to flip its script Wrestlemania Moments Of All Time,
scrapping its intended major arena venue in favor of their secluded Performance Center location and reshaping a number of bouts. Now in front of an audience of zero, on the fly.
Within hours of the new Wrestlemania 36, the company’s biggest star (and leukemia survivor). Roman Reigns, would drop out of the show, while big angles for The Undertaker. John Cena, and Rob Gronkowski were reworked outside of the ring entirely.
At the end of the day, the decisions would work out in the end Wrestlemania Moments Of All Time:
The Cena/Fiend match displayed WWE at their creative best while Roman Reigns’ absence would fuel a stellar heel turn that revitalized his career at Summerslam 2020. However, WWE’s first empty-room pay-per-view still has a haunting, awkward quality about it, especially considering most of the world was still quarantined during this time.
Where to Watch: You can watch this clip on Peacock.
But for a show that emphasizes every memorable match and sensational spectacle, Wrestlemania has hosted a treasure trove of unintentionally strange, uncomfortable. And cringey moments that live on in infamy. With Wrestlemania 38 right around the corner. I’ve tracked down more than 20 of those moments so you, too, can revel in some sports entertainment schadenfreude.
1. Brock Lesnar’s Shooting Star Botch (Wrestlemania 19)
Brock Lesnar nearly lands on his head after botching a Shooting Star Press.
When Brock Lesnar debuted in the WWE in the early ’00s. The future UFC star and multi-time WWE champion had the reputation of being an athlete unlike anything the company had scene. With the build of a super heavyweight and the agility of a cruiserweight. Lesnar would wow audiences during his days in developmental with his use of a Shooting Star Press. A standing backflip from the top rope that was risky but incredibly impressive.
By the time he was ready to make his Wrestlemania debut in a championship Wrestlemania Moments Of All Time
match with former Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle. Lesnar decided to break out the move for the first time in the big leagues, only for him to fail to execute the rotation and nearly land directly on his head and neck. Brock Lesnar narrowly avoided a broken neck — or worse. but this moment remains one of the scariest Wrestlemania fails of all time.
Where to Watch: You can watch this clip on WWE’s YouTube Channel (skip to 20:16).