By RJ Marceau
As some of you know my first WrestleMania as a fan was at WrestleMania X8. Over the years, even though the show as a whole might not have been amazing some of these shows had great opening contests.
I pitched it to Graham recently that I think the Divas match should open the show at WrestleMania 32, which would get the crowd hot for the show. With 13 years to choose from here are the 5 best opening matches since I have become a fan.
5. WrestleMania XIX: Rey Mysterio vs. Matt Hardy ©
Rey Mysterio debuted in 2002 and had an amazing feud going into 2003 with Matt Hardy. This was the first Rey Mysterio match at WrestleMania and he didn’t disappoint. These two kicked off a good show and both men had good performances. In the end, Matt Hardy’s V1 follower Shannon Moore helped him defeat Mysterio. Hardy retained his Cruiserweight championship but Mysterio was able to win the belt twice in 2003.
4. WrestleMania 23: Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Mr. Kennedy def. CM Punk, Edge, Randy Orton, Finlay, Matt Hardy, King Booker and Jeff Hardy)
There were two MITB ladder matches that kicked off a WrestleMania and for me I picked the match with the best spots. WrestleMania 23 is a blur with a mixture of 22 but how could you forget Jeff Hardy jumping off a 20 ft ladder through Edge on the ladder set up on the barricade.
The Kenton Bomb from the ladder on Hornswoggle was a great spot as well. Mr. Kennedy won the bout but he lost the briefcase to Edge. Kennedy wasn’t the best worker in WWE but to take his briefcase away was stupid. Why have him win to take it away? The match was very entertaining and comes in at #4.
3. WrestleMania 21: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero
When was the last time tag team champions faced each other in a one on one match? I couldn’t tell you but this match set up the feud of the year in 2005. Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio had amazing chemistry and this feud lasted until SummerSlam. Rey had never lost to Eddie in the WWE and they told this story perfectly. Rey and Eddie contested a great match with Rey picking up the win on a hurricanrana. This match kicked off an amazing feud and is a must watch.
2. WrestleMania 31: 7-man Ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship (Daniel Bryan def. Bad News Barrett ©, Dolph Ziggler, Stardust, Dean Ambrose, R Truth and Luke Harper)
The build to this match was lackluster to say the least but this match was very entertaining. Going into the match the only two realistic winners were Bryan and Ambrose. Once Harper threw Ambrose through a ladder I knew Bryan would win but it was still very entertaining.
Even though it seemed like a cluster going in these men made the best out of the situation with Daniel Bryan winning the Intercontinental Championship. As we know he had to relinquish his title due to injury but it was still great to see him win.
1. WrestleMania XXX: Daniel Bryan vs. HHH
Out of all these matches this contest could have main evented the show and people wouldn’t have complained. The story between Daniel Bryan and The Authority was amazing. This match set up the main event and was amazing. Live at the show I was afraid HHH would win especially when HHH hit the Pedigree.
Luckily the WWE went all in on the Yes Movement and Daniel Bryan won. I just watched the match back today and the video package is one of if not the best of all time. Looking back at it now it’s sad that WrestleMania XXX was all about D-Bry who unfortunately recently retired due to concussions but this show was the night of his life. I miss Daniel Bryan and if you want to relive his career watch this match and the main event from WrestleMania XXX.
SEE ALSO: "RJ's Two Cents - Daniel Bryan's Impact on WWE"
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