It’s Wrestlemania this weekend so that means that it’s time to look back over previous Wrestlemanias and judge them with our cold judgmental eyes. One aspect that often gets overlooked when talking about Wrestlemania is the video packages. The Video Production people in WWE are true unsung heroes. They crank out some crazy good promo video packages for superstars, matches, events, everything. But Wrestlemania is the Grandest Stage of Them All and that is where they do their best work.
Below are 10 of the greatest Wrestlemania video packages that they have ever produced. The criteria I used for this was that it can be packages that were aired at Wrestlemania or in the buildup to Wrestlemania. These are full of emotion and give you the goosebumps that get you psyched to see a match. Which really is their job at the end of the day, but damn are they good at it. This was a hard list to put together as there are some really good videos over the years but it was great to rewatch them all. I got all the nostalgia feelings. I also realised that there are a lot of more recent ones in here than older ones. The video production has really been stepped up in recent years and it shows.
I have put Youtube clips of all of the videos I am talking about below in varying quality (and hopefully they don’t get taken down) but they can all be found on the WWE Network in proper quality for only $9.99. Or free for your first month. Did you know you get Wrestlemania free if you are a new subscriber? Someone should really mention that on Raw or Smackdown.
Before I get into the main list, here are some promos that didn’t quite make the list or didn’t quite meet the criteria I set myself. While I focused on promos for individual Wrestlemania matches for the list, there were some other promos that were damn good that I had to include.
This isn’t really a normal video package but I loved the way it was done. They opened the show with this and basically gave a rundown of the entire card with some backstory to each in video form in the background while we had a live performance of a kickass song in Superstar by Saliva. Personally, I thought this was really well done as it’s unique. That coupled with the fact that this was the first Wrestlemania that I watched live (I wasn’t allowed to buy PPVs before this one 🙁 ) seals the deal on this being a great Wrestlemania moment (branding, gotta get that branding in).
Other Notable mentions here that almost made the cut. I had some hard choices to make. And these are so good too.
Now onto the list. these are my opinions and I know there are some other great ones but opinions are like assholes. Everyone’s got one. These are my absolute favorite ones so if you think differently, let us know on Facebook or Twitter. Love an auld debate, me.
I’m a sucker for a song fitting into a promo. You’ll notice this as the list goes on. To kick off the list, we have Taker’s first match after the streak was broken. The video package shows the glory of the streak and the devastation of when it was broken. We get all of Bray Wyatt’s creepiness along with an original track “Last Night I had a Real Bad Dream” by Jim Johnston feat. Shaman’s Harvest and they use some Johnny Cash quotes from “When The Man Comes Around” to show Taker’s part in the story. Bray built this entire feud on his own as Taker was not there during the buildup but this promo hides all that and makes you hyped for a match that really had no interest and wasn’t a great match.
Maybe I put this in because I felt that there wasn’t many older ones here. Maybe I put it in because it marks the beginning of the attitude era. I’m not sure. all I know is that I love it. The above promo isn’t the original promo, you can check that out on the Network (I couldn’t find it on Youtube) but it’s very similar. The above one is an edited one for a 2K video game. The original has a more upbeat voiceover but they both tell the same tale, a man at the breaking point ready to snap. This was Bret Hart at his most desperate and let you know that he was willing to do anything. Cue the double turn. Storytelling at it’s finest.
So this one might be a weird choice as it’s not your traditional promo about a match. For this match, they gave both Miz and Cena little mini career retrospective promo videos before their entrances. Cena’s also included a live choir but it still wasn’t as good as Miz’s which I included below. Set to Nas’s “Hate Me Now”, the quick 2 minute video shows Miz watching clips of his rise from reality TV Star to WWE Champ. It’s great and adds to the egotistical Miz character.
This promo is from a month out from Mania, Shawn Michaels hadn’t even been added to the match as a ref yet. This was the promo after the match was confirmed but I prefer this to the final promo. The use of the “Shawn was always better than you line” with a slow fade into “The Memory Remains” by Metallica is just fantastic. When the song kicks in, it gives me goosebumps every time.
This is probably the best example of fitting a promo to a piece of music. This is absolutely amazingly done by the video production team. Nearly every drum beat in Eminem’s “Legacy” matches a camera cut. The 2 different parts of the song match Bray and John to a tee too. Bray with Eminem’s part and Cena with Polina’s part. To whoever put this package together, I say, kudos. A masterpiece. (Bray should have won)
Another great editing masterclass by the WWE video production team here. Lots of backstory, the Takeover invasion, and the fantastic shots switching between suited and non suited HHH where he’s going from creator to destroyer. This all breaks into Metallica’s “Am I Savage?” which matches the video perfectly too.
The last 2 entries were about fantastic editing in promos. The next few are all emotion, with some good editing too. As I mentioned earlier, Mania 18 was the first one I watched live. The returning Hulk Hogan against the people’s champ The Rock. The crowd were nuts. The buildup to this was fantastic. No need for endorsed music here. Just atmospheric music all the way, timed well too. I’ll always remember the music swell as Hogan makes that face on the ramp. Some things just stick in your mind. I love it.
This promo is the Daniel Bryan underdog story personified. “Monster” by Imagine Dragons is the perfect soundtrack to the emergence of the bearded one. The promo shows his beginnings in WWE all the way to having a Wrestlemania centered around him all because of fan support. A story like this will never happen again and watching this again is all the more fitting considering we get to see D-Bry’s big return to the ring this Sunday. YES!! YES!!! By god, YES!!!
Rock, Austin, Limp Bizkit, Wrestlemania 17. Need I say more. The best Wrestlemania and one of the best matches in Wrestlemania history. The promo for the match to Limp Bizkit’s “My Way” got us all hyped for it. Limp Bizkit have a lot of detractors but “WWE’s favorite band” do some damn good song that fit to some damn good promos. A lot of people would put this at number 1 and it is very close for me but one just about tops it for me.
And now the best promo that WWE has ever produced. This version is from the night after Elimination Chamber in the buildup to Mania but I prefer it. It’s ends fantastically on that “Not for Me” line with the music dropping out. Goosebumps every single time. It’s just so good. Placebo’s fantastic cover of “Running up that Hill” is the ideal song to describe Shawn’s persistence to get that match against Taker at Mania. It’s all he wants. He keeps running up that hill to get there. That song will now be stuck in my head all week and I love it. I can’t hear it without thinking of this promo and the talking over it. It pisses my wife off no end cause she loves Placebo but can’t listen to this song anymore because of me saying the lines over it. But it’s grand. It’s still the best Wrestlemania video package of all time.
So there we have it. My countdown of the best Wrestlemania video packages of all time. I would like to give a shoutout to the video packages they used to do at the end of Wrestlemania recapping the whole night to the theme for the show. Those were great. Bring them back please.
Originally posted 6 Apr 2018. Edited on 4 Apr 2019 to update pictures and video links.
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