A few months ago, I tried to find the oldest episode of Raw in which everyone in the card was still living. This turned into a depressing endeavor as the oldest episode ended up being less than ten years ago.
Despite the unpleasant results I tried to find the oldest WrestleMania that has an entire card that is still living. Mania has been around longer than Raw, but there’s only one a year. Plus, with names like Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, and the Ultimate Warrior, I already know the first decade or so is out. There is no way this will be as depressing. Right?
(In the Raw article I disqualified episodes with montages that included anyone who had died. This is impossible for Mania since every montage has André within five seconds.)
The main card is the best place to start. In 2002, WrestleMania X8 was held and featured the following card:
- Rob Van Dam defeated William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental
- Diamond Dallas Page defeated Christian to retain the WWF European Championship (9:16)
- Maven vs. Goldust for the WWF Hardcore Championship ended in a no contest when Spike Dudley pinned Maven to win the championship (3:16)
- The battle for the Hardcore Championship continued backstage as The Hurricane pinned Spike Dudley to win the championship.
- Kurt Angle defeated Kane (16:14)
- The Undertaker defeated Ric Flair (28:20)
- Edge defeated Booker T (9:45)
- The battle for the Hardcore Championship continued backstage as Mighty Molly pinned The Hurricane to win the championship.
- Steve Austin defeated Scott Hall (with Kevin Nash) (15:26)
- Billy and Chuck defeated the APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq), the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) in a Four Corners Elimination Match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. (22:16)
- The battle for the Hardcore Championship continued backstage as Christian pinned Mighty Molly to win the championship.
- The Rock defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan. (26:57)
- Jazz defeated Lita and Trish Stratus in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWF Women’s Championship. (6:16)
- The battle for the Hardcore Championship finished as Maven pinned Christian to regain the championship.
- Triple H defeated Chris Jericho (w/ Stephanie McMahon) to win the WWF Undisputed Championship. (29:34)
Not only is the entire card still alive, some will be competing in featured matches at this year’s Mania. (Not necessarily a good thing.) If we include the Sunday Night Heat pre show match, however, Mania X8 is out due to a match featuring “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig. If you prefer to just count the main show, then we still have to move on since Drowning Pool performed at the event. Lead vocalist Dave Williams was found dead months later.
It would actually be another eight years before WrestleMania XXVI had a main card in which everyone is still living. The pre show featured a 26 man battle royal and surprisingly everyone in the match is still alive. Michael Cole, Matt Striker, and Jerry Lawler called the event and still are all involved in pro wrestling today.
- Dark Match: Yoshi Tatsu won a 26-man Battle Royal by last eliminating Zack Ryder. (The other participants were: Carlito, Caylen Croft, Chris Masters, David Hart Smith, Finlay, Goldust, The Great Khali, Hornswoggle, Jimmy Wang Yang, JTG, Kung Fu Naki, Luke Gallows, Mark Henry, Mike Knox, Primo, Santino Marella, Shad Gaspard, Slam Master J, Trent Baretta, Tyler Reks, Tyson Kidd, Vance Archer, Vladimir Kozlov, and William Regal)
- ShoMiz (Big Show & The Miz) defeated John Morrison & R-Truth to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships (6.28)
- Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase in a Triple Threat Match (12.41)
- Jack Swagger defeated Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match (17.01)
- Triple H defeated Sheamus (14.34)
- Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk (8.20)
- Bret Hart defeated Mr. McMahon by submission in a No Holds Barred Lumberjack match (15.09)
- Chris Jericho defeated Edge to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (15.45)
- Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero defeated Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix in a 10-Diva tag team match (4.20)
- John Cena defeated Batista by submission to win the WWE Championship (21.30)
- The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels in a No Disqualification, No Count-out, Streak vs. Career Match
The 2010 edition of WrestleMania seemed to be the oldest in which the entire card was still living until the Hall of Fame inductees were brought out. The HOF is problematic since it honors legends of the sport’s past, and wrestlers are not known for the long life spans to begin with. Mad Dog Vachon was inducted into the HOF in 2010 and died in 2013.
WrestleMania XXVII is a close one. The entire card including the pre show lumberjack match and 23 man battle royal are still alive, as are the commentating team and celebrities that appeared. The Legion of Doom were inducted into the HOF, but Hawk passed away in 2003. Brad Armstrong — who would die the following year — inducted his father “Bullet” Bob Armstrong into the HOF, but did not appear on the Mania stage the next night. WrestleMania XXVII, just seven short years ago and three years after the oldest “All Alive” Raw, is the oldest Mania in which everyone on the show is still alive.
- Dark Match: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan ended in a no contest in a Lumberjack match for the WWE United States Championship (5:18)
- Dark Match: The Great Khali won a 23-man Battle royal (8:46)
- The battle royal featured all the lumberjacks and participants from the opening match: Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Curt Hawkins, Daniel Bryan, David Hart Smith, Drew McIntyre, Evan Bourne, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Johnny Curtis, JTG, Mark Henry, Primo, R-Truth, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, The Great Khali, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks, William Regail, Yoshi Tatsu, and Zack Ryder
- Edge (w/ Christian) defeated Alberto Del Rio (w/ Brodus Clay & Ricardo Rodriguez) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (11:20)
- Cody Rhodes defeated Rey Mysterio (12:01)
- Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, Big Show and Kane defeated Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater and Ezekiel Jackson in a 8-Man Tag Team Match (1:35)
- Randy Orton defeated CM Punk (14:47)
- Michael Cole (w/ Jack Swagger) defeated Jerry Lawler by disqualification (with “Stone Cold” Steve Austinas Special guest referee) (13:45)
- The Undertaker defeated Triple H in a No Holds Barred Match (29:30)
- Trish Stratus, John Morrison & Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi defeated Dolph Ziggler & Team Lay-Cool (Michelle McCool & Layla) (w/ Vickie Guerrero) (3:17)
- The Miz (w/ Alex Riley) defeated John Cena to retain the WWE Championship (15:10)
Each year, WrestleMania is guaranteed to provide great moments. Many of past memories will be shown in a great video package. It can be depressing looking back at WrestleMania, but it is also a reminder of why it truly is the Showcase of the Immortals.