Ah, WrestleMania. The night where wrestling fans can forget about all their troubles in weeks and months gone by, and are able to enjoy the biggest event of the year in all it's glory. Sure, it's not always perfect, but more often than not we get at least one or two matches that leave us open mouthed, thinking to ourselves - how is that even possible?
Many of those bouts tend to come in the opening stages of the evening, as the WWE likes to get the crowd hyped up heading into what is usually a marathon of wrestling. Because of the length, it's so important for the opening match to set a certain tempo that resonates throughout all of the contests that follow it.
Sometimes these matches succeed and sometimes they don't, but more often than not they're probably better than your average Raw or SmackDown Live contest. That's not us being harsh, either - it's just the truth. Everyone is going to have their opinions and thoughts on which is the greatest of them all, but in order to narrow the playing field we thought we'd just look into the last 15 editions of the showcase of the immortals.
There's still some bad stuff on here, but once you wade through all of that and get to the other side it becomes a lot more enjoyable. Stick with this list, because you may just uncover some wrestling gems that you actually never knew existed.
With that being said, this first entry isn't one of them.
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15 ShowMiz vs. John Morrison & R-Truth - WrestleMania XXVI
Yup, ShowMiz was actually a thing and they were given the honour of warming the crowd up at the University of Phoenix Stadium against John Morrison and R-Truth. Can you see how those two things don't correlate? The match only lasted about three and a half minutes so it wasn't long enough to warrant a riot or boring chants, but it just didn't really need to be there.
The titles were never in danger because Morrison and Truth just felt like they were thrown together for the sake of it. That's not always a bad thing as it's worked for a number of tag teams in the past, but they weren't the most charismatic duo during their tag team tenure.
Bizarrely enough, twelve months on from this The Miz would finish himself in the main event of WrestleMania XXVII. Funny how life works.
14 Big Show & Kane vs. Carlito & Chris Masters - WrestleMania 22
Another relatively dull tag team match involving Big Show now, but at least this one was during his time with Kane which was actually alot of fun at times. The two monsters dominated during their time as World Tag Team Champions, and the WWE had been doing a good job of building up the supposed friendship of Carlito & Chris Masters.
There was obviously only one way this was going to end as the veterans winning is always a good way to kick off a show. There was actually a great deal of potential in Carlito and Masters as singles guys too, but unfortunately after their initial pushes WWE seemed to lose hope in their characters. Oh well, they'll always have Chicago.
13 Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus - WrestleMania XXVIII
The only reason this isn't ranked 15th is because it actually helped to spur Daniel Bryan on to becoming the biggest babyface in the company. At the time, however, it seemed as if WWE were sticking the biggest middle finger possible up to members of the WWE Universe who were desperate to witness what would've likely been an entertaining clash between the Yes Man and Sheamus.
No matter which way you look at it, 18 seconds is not an acceptable match length on the biggest stage of them all. It didn't make the World Heavyweight Championship look great whatsoever, and there was a very realistic possibility that the fans were going to hijack the rest of the show by chanting "Daniel Bryan" non-stop. Thankfully, the next two years more than made up for it.
12 Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio - WrestleMania XXVII
Looking back, this match certainly gets a pass as it turned out to be the last one of Edge's illustrious career. His feud with Alberto Del Rio was decent in the weeks leading up to Atlanta, but fans just didn't really seem to connect with it as a main event level bout. It didn't help that the WWE decided to put the World Heavyweight Championship match on first, either.
It felt like they had a point to prove and whilst they had a more than acceptable match, it just didn't really reach that next level that people were expecting. Many fans thought that Del Rio should've walked away with the belt, but we don't think that would've been as big of an issue if he'd have been a little more entertaining throughout.
11 JBL vs. Finlay - WrestleMania XXIV
It may be a little bit odd to see these two names rank above two World Title matches, but hear us out. JBL vs Finlay was a feud that had an actual build behind it, which is more than can be said for alot of WrestleMania matches these days. Plus, the whole story behind JBL backing Vince McMahon in the fight against Finlay and Hornswoggle was actually quite entertaining at times.
Of course nobody was expecting much for the actual match in Orlando, but once it was given a Belfast Brawl stipulation people were a tad more optimistic - and right so. The two men battered each other with everything they could find, in a bout that did well to get the fans so invested. JBL ultimately came out on top, but that didn't tarnish what was a pleasant surprise at the Citrus Bowl.
10 The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show - WrestleMania 29
Perspective is a funny thing, and looking back The Shield were never going to lose their first WrestleMania match together as a group. However, back when it actually happened alot of people were extremely worried that Orton, Sheamus & Big Show would inflict defeat on the trio for the sake of a misplaced "heartwarming" moment.
Thankfully smarter heads prevailed, and instead we got one of Big Show's oh so many heel turns. It made sense within the story as he only really joined forces with Orton and Sheamus to try and defeat The Shield, so after that went out of the window why wouldn't he revert back to his prior persona? Either way, it was an entertaining enough bout.
9 Money in the Bank Ladder Match - WrestleMania XXV
Money in the Bank is an extremely fun concept, but over the years we've been subjected to a few editions of the match that didn't really live up to the hype. It's understandable when you consider how many times it's been done, but at this point eight people just felt like too many. If it was the first eight-man version of the match it would've been a bit more acceptable, but it wasn't.
CM Punk winning for the second year running was a nice moment for his fans, but ultimately it came off as "really? again?" to those who didn't really appreciate how his first run with the briefcase was booked. There was a couple fun spots here and there, but a combination of botches and not much intrigue is what leaves this down in 9th.
8 Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio - WrestleMania XIX
Remember when we said there would be a couple of gems in here? This is one of them. Rey Mysterio hadn't been in the WWE all too long but since arriving, he'd quickly become one of the most popular superstars in the entire company. As such he was highly tipped to win the Cruiserweight Championship here, but Matt Hardy had other plans.
The two men only went about five minutes in this one, but good god it was alot of fun to watch. They pulled off a number of fascinating sequences and counters that genuinely got the crowd even more invested in the match. It was as if they had a chip on their shoulder and wanted to prove a point to the guys and girls in the back, which they were more than able to accomplish.
7 Big Show vs. John Cena - WrestleMania XX
Alot of people will say that John Cena's breakout Mania moment came against JBL at WrestleMania 21 when he won the WWE Championship. Whilst that may be considered true in some aspects, the reality is that it actually happened during his United States Championship clash with Big Show at WrestleMania 20.
Why? The finish. It was a perfectly acceptable match up until that point with the fans being firmly behind the rise of Cena. Then, the Doctor of Thuganomics was able to lift Show up onto his shoulders and deliver an Attitude Adjustment that blew the roof off of Madison Square Garden. If you make a list of Cena's top 10 all-time moments, this should definitely be included.
6 William Regal vs. Rob Van Dam - WrestleMania X8
Take two of the most underrated talents in the company, put them on first and have them fight for the Intercontinental Championship. That's a pretty great formula, and it's one that WWE should utilise more in the present day. RVD and Regal put on an entertaining match that didn't even break six minutes, and yet it was one of the highlights of the entire show.
Their two styles meshed together brilliantly as Regal attempted to neutralize the high flying exploits of the ever-popular Rob Van Dam. As should always be the case it was the babyface RVD that picked up the victory, ensuring that the Toronto crowd were happy going into what was in truth a fairly underwhelming show all in all.
5 Money in the Bank Ladder Match - WrestleMania 23
Alot of the same things that we said about the WM25 edition of MITB can also be attributed to this one, however the star power and fascinating spots involved in this one made it ten times more enjoyable. With a line-up including CM Punk, Randy Orton, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Edge - you couldn't really go wrong here.
There were some interesting elements used throughout the contest, including yet another death defying moment between Jeff Hardy and Edge. With the eventual winner being Mr Kennedy it certainly made some headlines, with alot of fans expecting Kennedy to become the next top breakout star in the WWE. Oh how wrong they were.
4 WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match - WrestleMania 32
The build up to this match was completely bizarre with Vince deciding to throw in random acts such as Sin Cara, Zack Ryder and Stardust into the mix. A lot of people were expecting this to be a decent enough sequel to WM31's IC ladder match, and what we were actually presented with was one of the more entertaining versions of this concept in recent times.
Nobody was entirely sure who would walk away with the belt, with a lot of fans being desperate to see Kevin Owens retain the championship at the biggest event of the year. Oddly enough it was Zack Ryder of all people who came out on top, in what proved to be one of the biggest crowd popping moments of the night in Dallas.
3 Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero - WrestleMania 21
You just can't go wrong when you put Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero in the ring together. It's a proven formula that was worked to perfection so many times over the years, and it happened once again at WrestleMania 21 with the real life friends putting on one hell of a show in Los Angeles.
But yet, it was still a step down from their Halloween Havoc clash a few years prior. That's not to say this wasn't good either, it's just that the bar has always been set so extremely high when it comes to these guys that even one of their worst matches would still be better than 90% of what we see on a weekly basis. Still, it was incredible to see.
2 WWE Intercontinental Title Ladder Match - WrestleMania 31
Multiply the intensity and emotion of the aforementioned WM32 ladder match by two, and you've got your number two entry here. The setting, the competitors and the timing of pretty much everything in this contest felt perfect, with every single guy putting their heart and body on the line in order to try and claim the Intercontinental Championship.
Not too many people were expecting Barrett to retain his belt which made sense, and when Daniel Bryan was squaring off with Dolph Ziggler atop the ladder everyone inside Levi's Stadium was on their feet. The two men waged war for the right to be called champion, with Bryan once again left standing tall on the grandest stage of them all. Magical.
1 Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan - WrestleMania X
It just had to be, didn't it. Triple H tormented Daniel Bryan for the better part of eight months in the lead up to WrestleMania XXX, and for a long time it seemed as if Bryan wouldn't make it anywhere near the top of the card in New Orleans. Thankfully the power of the Yes Movement was too strong to ignore, and we were presented with this phenomenal match to kick off the evening's festivities.
The Game wrestled the perfect style opposite Bryan, proving that he could still pull a great performance out of the bag if given the right opponent to work with. It was a breathless first match and with the winner heading to the main event to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, there was a great deal of tension in the air.
But as all know - the fairytale came true that night at the Superdome.
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