David slays Goliath, Mario saves the Princess, Superman holds off annihilation once more. If ever a squared circle spectacular were to have a storybook ending, it would have to come at WrestleMania, the most boldly-circled day on the wrestling calendar. And it's true - through three-and-a-half decades of Manias come and gone, the sheer majority of the events have concluded with the designated hero beating the bad guy and/or obtaining long-elusive spoils. Predictable? Sure. Welcome anyway? Usually.
But that hasn't always been the case. For the high volume of WrestleManias that have ended via Hulk Hogan's routine pose-a-thon, or a triumphant John Cena standing tall underneath bursts of pyro, there have been occasions where the finishing sequence was something completely out of left field. And on some of those occasions, that jarring dose of implanted reality was welcome (emphasis on "some").
You may concur that more than five WrestleMania endings qualify as shocking developments, but these, for my money, are the five that came as the biggest surprises.
5. The Architect Cashes In (WrestleMania 31)
Has it been five years already? Five whole years since the Santa Clara was divided - half wanting Roman Reigns to lose, and other half wanting he and WWE champion Brock Lesnar to both just no-show?
A year had passed since vociferous fan sentiment willed Daniel Bryan into WWE's plans. Didn't seem like it was going to work this time, but there *was* an amendment to the scripted plan - it just didn't show itself until the 59th minute of the eleventh hour.
As Reigns and Lesnar sold their respective beatings, Seth Rollins' music hit, and the brief-case toting villain flew down the ramp, an "Option C" that people could really get behind.