Mount Rushmores of Wrestling is a series that breaks down the cream of the crop of professional wrestling in our quest to come to a consensus on the top four of any given category. In today’s edition we’re looking at the weirdest WrestleMania entrances.
John Cena – WrestleMania 22
Shan: John Cena has blessed us with many meme worthy mania entrances, but his first was WrestleMania 22 in Chicago. Long before Cena was the world’s favorite baby face, he was the Doctor of Thuganomics. He was a gangster and a thug, so naturally he decided to pay homage to Chicago’s history. It started with a car full of 1920’s gangsters driving towards the ring, brandishing guns while a jazzy tune played. Cena, however, was not in the car. The jazzy tune awkwardly transitioned to “The Time is Now”, he stepped out wearing a trench coat and fedora, hiding a gun under his coat. Cena tipped his fedora before tossing it into the crowd and pulled back his coat to reveal the gun as well as his cargo shorts and spinner belt. Then he shot into the air, and posed like a real gangster.
As Jake from Adventure Time put it, “sucking at something is the first step to being kinda good at something.” It’s almost endearing to watch this back today, it’s always great to see John Cena before he became a living meme. This entrance is so silly but sincerely trying to be cool, which is what I love about WWE.
Goldberg – WrestleMania 36
Jay: WrestleMania 36 will go down in history as the PandemicMania. It was recorded (yes, recorded) not from the grandiose setting of a stadium, but from the WWE Performance Center–where WWE’s developmental talent train–after the world shut down to figure out how to best combat COVID-19. The merits and the controversy of the event taking place so early into the pandemic have been debated ad nauseum but regardless, it happened. But despite the uncertainty, there was one constant – Goldberg’s entrance.
Goldberg has captivated arenas around the world since 1997 with his iconic entrance that involves a security guard knocking on his door telling him it’s time to wrestle, Goldberg shouting and kicking the door open, and then Goldberg marching to the ring while intermittently snarling. My jabs and jests aside, it’s awesome. Show me a wrestling fan that didn’t at least smile during his entrance in the Georgia Dome en route to winning the WCW Championship, his return in 2003 that saw him spear The Rock, or his big return in 2016 and I’ll show you a liar; unfortunately, the Performance Center is not the Georgia Dome. During his entrance at WM 36 notice how Goldberg absolutely fails to read the room regarding the pandemic situations and throws all social distance advisement to the wind as he marches down a hallway in a warehouse to defend the Universal Title.
Triple H – WrestleMania 31
Shan: It was really hard to do this without making it all about The Game. He’s had so many noteworthy WrestleMania moments that it would be hard to pick just one as his greatest. However, I can tell you his weirdest.
WrestleMania 31 took place in 2015, the same year Terminator: Genisys came out. Trips mania entrance was a tie in with the almost forgotten fifth installment of the Terminator franchise. A short video that was in what I can only call Terminator vision, showed what I can only assume is Triple H scanning the Earth for his opponent. The words “I’ve been waiting for you” appear on screen, and they cut to Levi’s Stadium now deemed an “extremely hostile environment.” While Trip’s robotic exoskeleton armor for lack of a better term, sick, the prerecorded cameo from Arnold Schwarzenegger felt a little awkward. Plus Sting didn’t even get to bring RoboCop, it wasn’t a fair fight. This entrance will always live on as a permanent that Terminator: Genisys was in fact, a movie and otherwise I definitely would have forgotten, for that it belongs on the Mt. Rushmore.
Big Show – WrestleMania 21
Jay: Big Show had a sumo-wrestling match at WrestleMania and came out dressed in a kimono. I would like to unpack that for you in regards to the “how’s” and “why’s” but there are moments and images in time that words simply fail. I could happily sit here and try to find some way to aggrandize this or embellish it for comedic effect, or even criticize it for committing the sin of cultural appropriation, but nothing I could ever write could best “Big Show had a sumo-wrestling match at WrestleMania and came out dressed in a kimono.” Enter scene. And yes, Big Show did do a little leg tease on the way down the ramp.
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