WWE has been facing some legitimate competition over the past decade. There have been several federations around the world that have been putting together some great wrestling. This has given the world some great options from the WWE product, and as much as these companies provide a great product there is one thing that WWE has on them. The production value of WWE will always surpass any other company. The monetary backing means that we can get some fantastic visuals for every show. WrestleMania Stages are usually the best of the year!…
This production value is what helps to make Wrestlemania the biggest show of the year. The stages that WWE can put together are usually fantastic and create anticipation for the big event. Now, of course, WWE is still WWE, and some of these stages can be a dud. They can disappoint fans and leave us all scratching our heads.
Let’s take a journey and examine some of the best and worst WrestleMania Stages!
Best: Wrestlemania 30
Coming to us from New Orleans, this Wrestlemania set was beautiful. It was hampered slightly by being held indoors, but WWE was still able to create something special.
The use of the XXX was a great idea to highlight the stage. The numbers have a great visual to them and WWE put their own New Orleans spin on the Roman numerals. It was also great to have the entrance directly underneath the middle X. It was a cool sight and one that hasn’t been used often.
Of course, we had the usual WWE video screens behind the numbers but they were able to use these to accentuate the numbers instead of upstaging them.
Worst: Wrestlemania 1 and 2
They may have been the first two in a storied history, but the entrances were still uninspired. It can be forgiven that Wrestlemania was still finding its place but there could have been an effort made.
Both ‘Mania’s had no entrance outside of a black curtain. There wasn’t any thought or effort to make it special. Wrestlemania was still in its infancy but there could have been something added to the entrance to set it apart from the rest… at least we got Roddy Piper walking through a sea of people.
Best: Wrestlemania 3 and 6
Both these Wrestlemania’s show what can be done without a large Stage. Being held in large stadiums WWE could have gone ahead with a large-scale stage but they stuck with a bland entrance.
What sets these apart from others is the iconic ring carts. Using these to bring wrestlers to the ring was fantastic and added a grandiose feeling to the night. It is a sight that gave us a big event feel and is one that has been used by WWE in various mediums for years.
Worst: Wrestlemania 18
It may have included one of the most iconic matches in Wrestlemania history, but good lord did the stage for the show suck…
To begin with, there was no mention of Wrestlemania on the stage. For the biggest show of the year, one would think that WWE would have the name sprawled everywhere… but it showed up on the screen on occasions. It was a misstep and one that created a forgettable stage. Then we have the stage itself. The stage looked more like a failed construction sight than a Wrestlemania. It was confusing to look at and didn’t elicit a big show reaction from most. It was a missed opportunity from WWE when it was still very, very popular.
Best: Wrestlemania 25
For the 24th anniversary of Wrestlemania (not the 25th), Wrestlemania proved that everything is bigger in Texas. It was bright, it was massive and it included a fantastic entrance on the stage. This was one of the best ‘Mania set-pieces. It had the feeling of a big show and it set itself apart from every other Wrestlemania.
Then there was the gigantic star above the stage. Coming from Texas it was a great idea to include one of the iconic symbols of the state. The massive size brought the eye immediately to the star and it was a symbol that added a sense of importance to the event.
WrestleMania Sets Pieces
Worst: Wrestlemania 14
The Austin and Attitude Era skyrocketed following this event. It was a cornerstone night for WWE and one would think this would warrant a great set-piece. Alas, we were given a lighting rig…
The circular steel structure surrounding the entrance ramp wasn’t creative. It was used for several PPVs leading up to Wrestlemania 14. This was a head-scratching move by the company. We can’t expect an elaborate set-piece from WWE but to recycle a stage that had been used for months before shouldn’t have happened.
Best: Wrestlemania 20
Going back to where it all began as a way for WWE to connect with their roots. Luckily, Vince and company put together a much better set-piece than the original. The New York skyline being used for the stage was a great way to use the locale.
WWE has always been a New York company and this was a great way to highlight that. The stage instantly connected the crowd with the Big Apple. This was also a great example of less is more. Wanting to fill Madison Square Garden, WWE used a smaller stage but was still able to achieve a unique view worthy of Wrestlemania.
Worst: Wrestlemania 11 and Wrestlemania 13
WWE was in the middle of the worst period in company history. WCW was fast approaching them in the ratings and they were on the hot seat. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to even try when it came to Wrestlemania 11 and 13.
There was no set-piece for the events and the entranceway was covered by a cheap-looking plastic cutout. There was no attempt to make the entrance look interesting or give us the feeling of a big event. It was even more surprising that this idea was used for two Wrestlemanias.
Best: Wrestlemania 9
Yes, it may be considered one of the worst ‘ Manias in history. Yes, the location was not the greatest. Also, yes the set piece for the show should be given way more love than it does. Coming from Las Vegas, WWE decided to go all-in with a Roman-themed event.
It was a great idea and one of the more creative ones that the company has had. The pillars throughout the stadium were a great look and the entrance was a perfect representation of The Roman Coliseum. WWE even went as far as to dress up the entire arena, something that they hadn’t done before. Having the announcers and staff dress in togas was another great addition and one that helped to make this a great Wrestlemania set-piece.
Worst: Wrestlemania 8
Wrestlemania is supposed to give us a big event feel. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of work and effort to present the world with a fantastic event. WWE had most of this correct for Wrestlemania 8, save the entranceway… Even good ol’ HBK couldn’t make this work. There were no set-pieces, no bells, and whistles. Outside of the massive crowd in Indianapolis, it was very underwhelming… The entrance stage was hilariously terrible. The multicolour flashing lights looked like something a child would put together. It resembled a sight that one would see on Superstars as opposed to the biggest show of the year.