WrestleMania 30 2014 [VIDEO]: Top 5 best and worst opening matches in WrestleMania history

Mike Smollins
By Mike Smollins @MikeSmollins
on Mar 31, 2014 04:27 PM EDT
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Bret Hart
The Intercontinental Championship was never placed on a grander stage at SummerSlam than when two family members waged war over it in the main event. Hometown hero The British Bulldog battled his brother-in-law, Bret Hart, in the final match of the evening at Wembley Stadium in London England in front of thousands of his fellow countrymen. This is easily one of the best matches in SummerSlam history and Davey Boy scored the victory after reversing a sunset flip by "The Hitman" into a rollup to capture the coveted gold.

Honorable Mentions: Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect (1991); The Rock vs. Triple H (Ladder Match, 1998).

Looking Ahead: The Miz will defend the IC Title against Apollo Crews this Sunday. (Photo : Facebook)

WrestleMania turns 30 this Sunday as WWE presents its biggest show of the year live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, and while it is unknown which match will open up the show, the opening match sets the table for the entire night and is one of the more important matches on the card.

WrestleMania has provided some of the best and most memorable opening matches in history and on most occasions, a good curtain-jerking contest leads to a memorable card. While that is true, not every opening match in the history of the show has been a gem and some have even gone terribly.

We'll take a look at the Top 5 worst opening matches and the Top 5 best opening matches in WrestleMania history, starting with the Top 5 worst and ending with the best.

We'll start with No. 5 being the fifth worst eventually leading our way to the No. 1 worst WrestleMania opening match of all-time.

Worst WrestleMania opening matches:


5) WrestleMania XI: The Allied Powers (Lex Luger & The British Bulldog) vs. The Blu Brothers (Jacob & Eli):

After Lex Luger's monster push evaporated in mid-1994, he was basically counting down the days until his WWE contract expired so that he could jump ship to WCW. Luger lost his motivation and his standing in the company, leading to the WWE pairing him with Davey Boy Smith in a random tag team comprised of two floundering mid-carders. The Blu brothers were new to the WWE and the match was slapped together at WrestleMania XI (1995) in what was a very boring and non-energetic match. Luger and Bulldog got the victory, and Luger eventually left the WWE in August of that year while Bulldog would pair up with Owen Hart and go on to resurrect his career.

4) WrestleMania I: Tito Santana vs. The Executioner:

The first WrestleMania  (1985) was historic, however the opening match was one to forget. Tito Santana took on the masked Executioner, whose identity was "unknown," though in reality he was Buddy Rose. Santana won the match in just under five minutes, but it was mostly a nothing match.

3) WrestleMania 2: "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff vs. "The Rock" Don Muraco:

WrestleMania 2  (1986) was a mostly boring installment of the franchise and it got off to a bad start in a match that was just an omen of things to come. Orndorff went from main eventing the first WrestleMania to opening things up in the New York portion of the second event at the Nassau Coliseum. The match lasted just four minutes but it wasn't four exciting minutes, and the double countout ending was a lame way to start off the biggest show of the year.

2) WrestleMania XXVIII: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan for the World Heavyweight Championship:

The WWE opted to start the 28th installment of WrestleMania (2012) off with a World Heavyweight Championship match. It seemed as though it would be an exciting way to start things off with Sheamus going after Bryan's gold, however the entrances ended up being longer than the match as Sheamus nailed Bryan with a Brogue Kick and got the pinfall victory to win the title in just 18 seconds. It was the biggest event of the year and one of the company's biggest titles was on the line, and yet it was over in the blink of an eye.

1) WrestleMania 2000: The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan def. The Godfather and D'Lo Brown:

The WWE opened up the controversial WrestleMania 2000 pay-per-view with an odd tag match pitting these two teams against each other. In a sign of things to come, the heels went over the faces in surprising fashion during a relatively boring match with no heat as Boss Man and Buchanan stood tall, killing the crowd before things even got underway in what has to be the worst WrestleMania opening match in history.

Best WrestleMania opening matches:

Like with the worst, we'll work our way from 5-to-1 with one being the best opener in history of the event.

5) WrestleMania XX: John Cena vs. The Big Show for the United States Championship:

It's hard to believe, but a decade ago John Cena had 100 percent of the fan's support. Cena took that newfound popularity with him as he opened up the festivities at Madison Square Garden for WrestleMania XX (2004) in New York City in a U.S. title match with The Big Show. Cena got the win and launched his career in a match that put Cena on the map and got the WWE's fans into the show from the get-go.

4) WrestleMania XIX: Matt Hardy vs. Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Championship:

In the under rated WrestleMania XIX (2003), Rey Mysterio made his WrestleMania debut in a losing effort to Matt Hardy during his awesome Version 1 phase. The match was a bit short but had an excellent pace to it, keeping the crowd in it throughout. The outside involvement from Matt Moore made it even better as it didn't detract from the match too much. Hardy ended up getting the win with the assist of hanging onto the ropes, kicking off a memorable 'Mania with a great opening clash.

3) WrestleMania XXV: CM Punk wins his second consecutive Money in the Bank ladder match:

CM Punk won his second consecutive Money in the Bank ladder match to get things started at WrestleMania XXV (2009) in a memorable match for an otherwise off WrestleMania. Punk defeated Kane, Mark Henry, MVP, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Finlay and Christian in a memorable spot-fest match.

2) WrestleMania 21: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio:

In what ultimately proved to be Eddie Guerrero's final WrestleMania at WrestleMania 21 (2005) due to his untimely death in November, he took on his real-life close friend Rey Mysterio who he was also Tag Team Champions with. The two put on a great back-and-forth battle that got the crowd into the festivities and set the pace for an excellent WrestleMania. In the end, Mysterio picked up the victory over his close friend in a great match.

1) WrestleMania X: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart:

It was brother vs. brother at WrestleMania X (1994) in Madison Square Garden as Bret and Owen Hart put on the best opening match in WrestleMania history and arguably the best opener in the history of the entire WWE. Owen and Bret told a great story and went back-and-forth for over 20 minutes in the first WrestleMania that didn't feature Hulk Hogan. The WWE needed a big WrestleMania and they got it thanks in large part to this match. Owen got the win with a surprise victory roll to pick up a huge win and elevate himself to a main event level wrestler. Bret eventually won the WWE Championship from Yokozuna in the main event, setting up a great storyline where Owen pinned his brother earlier in the night and believed he should be champion.

WrestleMania has had some great opening matches in its history and some terrible ones. It will be interesting to see where the opening contest of WrestleMania XXX holds up in WrestleMania lore when the biggest show of the year hits the airwaves live form the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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