It is important to open any card on the right foot and you would think that would go double for WrestleMania, but less than half of the shows actually start off strong. There are those few matches, though, that absolutely hit the nail on the head, and in the first list of our WrestleMania Season we will look at the best of those.
5. Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Zack Ryder vs Stardust vs Sin Cara vs The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match) - WrestleMania 32
This one holds a special place in my heart as I was at this show, and while a large portion of the card was underwhelming this, along with the Women's Title match, were great fun. The crowd was in full swing and absolutely nobody expected Zack Ryder to win. The crazy ladder match is a tried and tested WrestleMania opener and it usually pays off. It's a shame that the rest of this card didn't fulfill the promise set out by this match.
4. CM Punk vs Christian vs Finlay vs Kane vs Kofi Kingston vs Mark Henry vs MVP vs Shelton Benjamin (Money In The Bank Ladder Match) - WrestleMania 25
As I just said, starting a show with a crazy ladder match is a great idea, that is why it has been done on WrestleMania a ton of times. Even though Money In The Bank has become the fifth major PPV for WWE I miss the days when it was a special part of Mania. The line up to this match is all over the place. It has the typically athletic participants but it also features Mark Henry. As is customary, Benjamin steals the show here. It's a spotfest but there is a time and a place for it, and that is in the Mania opener.
3. Mr Kennedy vs CM Punk vs Edge vs Finlay vs Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy vs King Booker vs Randy Orton (Money In The Bank Ladder Match) - WrestleMania 23
Sometimes the greatness of a match isn't determined by the person who won it, and that is perfectly embodied by this match. It is one of the best MITB matches but it has what is probably the worst ever holder of the briefcase. The line up to this match is superb, mixing wrestlers who were experienced in ladder matches with up and coming talent that had already established itself. And Finlay. I promise that the remaining two matches aren't ladder matches.
2. Daniel Bryan vs Triple H - WrestleMania XXX
WrestleMania XXX is very fondly remembered, despite not having the best of midcards, and it is because of the performances of Daniel Bryan bookending the show. Not that this was a one man show, as HHH is an exceptional heel here, providing Bryan with a perfect foil for his underdog comebacks. This match manages to simultaneously be an excellent wrestling match and a wonderful piece of storytelling. WrestleMania XXX was the peak of the Daniel Bryan storyline and without this match it wouldn't have felt nearly as special.
1. Bret Hart vs Owen Hart - WrestleMania X
Not only is this the best opening match to a WrestleMania, it may well be the best opening match to any show. Much like the previous entry Bret Hart both opens and closes this show. This is the very definition of a technical masterclass, but there is a wonderfully told story of sibling rivalry thrown into the mix, with Owen finally getting the best of his more established older brother. Both men expertly wear each other down and the selling is exceptional. This, in turn, plays into the finish. It is outstanding wrestling from two of its best proponents and it is more than deserving of its place on this list.