One of the best things the WWE do, is making promo packages, and none are better than the ones made for the grandest stage of them all. We look through the best of the best for our WrestleMania week.
Promo packages are essential for almost every match happening at WrestleMania. Its the biggest show of the year and a lot of new eyes will be on the WWE. To make sure every match on the card matters, they need a re-cap of every feud for those who haven’t watched WWE television leading up to the show. Some might even be new fans who first got interested in wrestling after reading “Wrestling for Dummies”.
A good promo package also serves as a reminder for people who have been watching the WWE, and pumps them up right before the match. The combination of storytelling, exciting footage and good/fitting music can make you even more excited for a match, or possibly even make you interested in the match in the first place. Here are 10 WrestleMania promo packages that did just that:
Ric Flair vs HBK, WrestleMania XXIV
We’re starting off, ironically, with the ending of a great career. The promo package for this match basically confirmed what we all knew: Ric Flair was retiring at WrestleMania 24. It made sense for it to focus on Ric Flair’s legendary and illustrious career, but it also managed to hype up his last match ever, against Mr. WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels.
We all wish it was the actual last match of Ric Flair’s career, so let’s just forget his following TNA run and leave those memories alone. This match at WrestleMania 24 was the most fitting ending Ric Flair could ever hope for and we are all reminded why with this simple promo package. A re-cap of the best moments of his career, a reminder of why he was facing retirement and why this match was an important send-off.
HBK vs The Undertaker WrestleMania XXVI
Following up on their previous 10/10 bout at WrestleMania 25, the WWE booked a rematch and upped the stakes. In a brilliantly executed storyline, spanning over several months, you got to see Shawn Michaels’ obsession with beating The Undertaker. Seeing possibly the best superstar of all time – Mr. WrestleMania no less – being that hellbent on ending “The Streak”, made the streak itself feel even more important than ever. This was bigger than even the WWE Championship, featuring possibly the two biggest stars in WrestleMania history.
The promo package delivered, succinctly told us what had been going on and raised the stakes even more. The music was perfect, the most important parts of the story were covered and the ending with the two big legends standing face to face made everyone pay attention to the upcoming match. A masterclass in storytelling.
The Rock vs Hulk Hogan, WrestleMania X8
How do we feel about Hulk Hogan headlining WrestleMania X8, with The Rock? Pretty damn good if judging by this promo and if the WWE would have been smart enough to actually put it on last. This is one of the biggest matches in WrestleMania history, truly a once in a lifetime spectacle between two icons.
Once again, we see a tale between a big name from the past against the biggest star of the present. The promo rightly focuses on Hulk Hogan’s legacy and the desire to see him have one last legendary battle with another future Hall of Famer. Hogan worked as a heel, but the promo set everything up for him to be celebrated and loved as one of the faces of pro wrestling.
CM Punk vs The Undertaker, WrestleMania 29
Speaking of people who should have main evented, the next entry on this list is CM Punk and his quest to end the Undertaker’s streak. It became his consolation price for handing the main event spot at WrestleMania 29 to the twice in a lifetime matchup between The Rock and John Cena.
CM Punk still set out to steal the show however, which he did along with The Undertaker with a bit of an unusual “Streak Match” build up. Punk was a heel in every sense of the word, disrespecting the recently diseased Paul Bearer and doing everything he could to get into the mind of The Undertaker. It gave the WWE a lot of unique footage for their promo package. CM Punk never looked better as a detestable heel and it made sure this match ended up being the best on the card.
Triple H vs Randy Orton, WrestleMania XXV
Not all good promos have a good pay-off and the main event of WrestleMania 25 can certainly attest to that. Although the match itself ended up being a disappointment, the build up and promo package for it was anything but.
This was also heel Orton at his best, with his legitimate quest to exact revenge on Triple H and everything he loved. After winning the Royal Rumble, Orton wasn’t satisfied with just cementing his place in the main event of WrestleMania 25, but he wanted to destroy his opponent completely. His vindictive nature is expertly portrayed in this promo and it made for an intriguing match. It’s just a shame they had to send the crowd home “happy” by having HHH go over the much more deserving Orton.
The Miz “Hate Me Now”, WrestleMania XXVII
This match wasn’t even that highly anticipated, as it was a clear attempt to set up a feud between WrestleMania 27 host The Rock and the #1 contender John Cena. WrestleMania 27 is known as one of the worst ones, for good reason. It featured the God-awful Jerry Lawler vs heel Michael Cole 13 minute trainwreck, a match between “The Corre” and “The Apple(?)”, Snooki was involved and the WWE Champion and main eventer was The Miz, long before he was ready for that honor (something he is sadly paying for today).
You wouldn’t know it from this promo though, focused entirely on The Miz and his WWE career. The song “Hate me Now” by Nas is a perfect fit for The Miz and his character and helps this promo be one of the best of all time. The match was predictably forgettable and probably shouldn’t have been a main event match, but this promo would make you forget that fact real quick. It is a fantastic illustration of a heel succeeding despite all the doubters and critics like me.
Daniel Bryan “Monster”, WrestleMania XXX
Just like everything about The Miz and Daniel Bryan, the latter’s “Monster” promo is the total opposite of The Miz’ “Hate me Now” promo. This is the storybook tale of someone who should have been main eventing, but wasn’t supposed to. Where it is similar, is that it focuses on how the person got where he is today and his relationship with the crowd, albeit entirely different circumstances.
“Monster”, which is the title of the promo video and the song used, is also an apt description of what the “Yes Movement” felt like in the moment. It evolved into something the WWE couldn’t control anymore and it completely took over WrestleMania 30. The journey for Daniel Bryan to the main event of WrestleMania felt long and arduous at times, but ended up being completely worth it.
HHH vs Batista, WrestleMania 21
One of the underrated feuds, main eventing one of the most underrated WrestleManias of all time. WrestleMania 21 was the culmination of the year long+ story arc for “Evolution”, the group who dominated Monday Night RAW around that time. The build-up for Batista vs HHH was classic wrestling material based around the age old story of a student becoming the master.
The face turn Batista had after winning the Royal Rumble that year is of course heavily featured in this promo. It sets up this matchup to be a blood feud between a fed up Batista and an angry HHH. Unfortunately, like his main event match with fellow Evolution member Randy Orton, HHH failed to make the main event live up to the hype.
HBK vs Kurt Angle, WrestleMania 21
Something that did live up to the hype and even surpassed it at WrestleMania 21, was the match between Kurt Angle and Shawn Michaels. Build-ups and promo packages don’t always need to have intricate and long-arching storylines to hype up the match. This bout between two of the best in-ring competitors of all time showed us just that.
Kurt Angle simply had a point to prove against Shawn Michaels, as he was jealous of all the attention HBK got as the best wrestler in the world, after Kurt Angle’s Olympic Gold in 1996. Obviously, this is professional wrestling, not the kind of wrestling featured in the Olympics, which was evident at the crux of this feud when they both eliminated each other at the Royal Rumble. This was simply about who was the best pro wrestler, resulting in an easy to follow storyline leading to a fantastic match.
Stone Cold vs The Rock, WrestleMania X-Seven
This is the pinnacle of the defining feud between the two biggest superstars in wrestling at the apex of its popularity. This was Stone Cold Steve Austin at his best vs The Rock at his best and you don’t really need anything more than that. Even the Debra angle included wasn’t even necessary for this to be a good promo. It simply needed two of the biggest stars, a fitting song, some beer, a can of whoop-ass and a whole lot of stunners.
This was an unpredictable clash between two insanely popular superstars and anything that takes the focus away from that would do a disservice to the match. That make this promo compelling and one of the best WrestleMania promo packages of all time.