WrestleMania 39 was a genuine once-in-a-lifetime event.
It was the first promoted under the regime Paul 'Triple H' Levesque and thus the first not under Vince McMahon's, though he certainly had his say. It marked a natural finale for plentiful stories that have been given months, years even to play out across WWE programming. Its second night played out amidst heavy speculation that a sale to Endeavour was mere hours from being declared, thus connecting it with Dana White's UFC. It felt like an honest changing of the guard in the sports entertainment behemoth, one that would set the wheels in motion for the months ahead.
That didn't fully happen - but Christ, was it a stunning show.
No pro wrestling event is an irreproachable product. Not even All Elite Wrestling, the purported destination for pro wrestling, has a clean record of unblemished live events; its latest pay-per-view, Revolution, made for a delectable viewing experience, but even it came with a weak Wardlow vs. Samoa Joe collision. Many of the 'Mania verdicts were undesirable, some of them outright condemned, however, the beats between the bell told a different tale, one which WWE prides itself upon.
It left its onlookers earnestly sports entertained...
20. Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon - the same man who'd been ostracised from WWE in January 2022 for booking the men's Royal Rumble match around himself, audibly and noisily voicing his discontent when his schemes were pushed back, and acting unprofessionally towards his fellow backstage producers - made a legitimately shocking return to WWE at WrestleMania 39, wrestling a spontaneous match vs. 'Mania host The Miz.
Well, sort of.
The once-affirmed 'Best in the World' wrestled for less than a minute after Snoop Dogg introduced him, tearing his quadriceps when he landed stiffly while leapfrogging his former SmackDown Tag Team titles-winning partner. Footage later emerged of McMahon being aided to the back, his return now a notorious afterthought from WrestleMania 39, and his already-discredited legacy chagrined and mocked alongside his father's own Royal Rumble 2005 gaffe.