When and where was the first Wrestlemania? Who participated and who won?
The main event of the first-ever WrestleMania pitted WWE Champion Hulk Hogan and Mr. T against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff
WrestleMania is an annual professional wrestling event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), one of the biggest wrestling promotions in the world.
The first WrestleMania happened on March 31st, 1985, as the brainchild of WWE CEO Vince McMahon. The event took place in Madison Square Garden, and MSG would also come to host the 10th and 20th editions of WrestleMania, the most of any venue. The event was wildly successful after featuring a main event of Roddy Piper & Mr. Wonderful vs. superstars Hulk Hogan & Mr. T.
Through the years, WrestleMania has become WWE’s flagship event and the longest-running wrestling event in professional wrestling history, becoming a global spectacle. Most WrestleMania events in the last two decades have occurred in large sports arenas in big urban cities. The most-attended events include WrestleMania III, with 93,173 attendees, and WrestleMania 32, with 101,763 attendees. The event has currently had 38 editions in the U.S. and two outside of the U.S., both in Canada. Since moving to larger stadiums and creating a week-long set of events ahead of the event itself, WrestleMania boosts the host city’s local economy. From 2014 to 2017, Forbes named WrestleMania one of the world’s most valuable sports event brands. Likely due to its profitability, in the last decade especially, cities put in giant bids for the chance to host the next WrestleMania every year.
WrestleMania I was the first professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE in 1985, which took place on March 31st. The attendance at the event was 19,121. In addition, over one million TV viewers saw the event, making it the largest wrestling event on pay-per-view in the United States.
The show included nine professional wrestling matches. Wendi Richter (accompanied by manager Cyndi Lauper) defeated Leilani Kai to win the WWF Women’s Championship. Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik defeated The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
The main event and last match of the night pitted Hulk Hogan, the reigning WWF World Heavyweight Champion, and Mr. T, accompanied by Jimmy Snuka, against “Women’sRowdy” Roddy Piper and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, accompanied by “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Professional boxer Muhammad Ali was the special guest referee (outside the ring), and New York Yankees manager Billy Martin was the guest ring announcer. At the same time, Liberace (accompanied by The Rockettes) was the guest timekeeper. Hogan pinned Paul Orndorf for the win. After being held in a “full Nelson” choke by Orndorf and awaiting Randy Piper’s air attack, Hogan maneuvered and put Orndorf underneath. He quickly reacted and pinned “Mr. Wonderful,” semi-unconscious of Piper bodyslamming him.
Wrestlemania undoubtedly became the most successful and longest-running professional wrestling event, contributing to WWE’s global commercial success through media, merchandise, and entertainment. It is touted as the most prominent company event of the year and one of the oldest.