A beginning is important but an ending matters more.

    It’s the difference between enjoying a show and hating it. It can make a bad show good or a good show terrible. Today, we’re looking back at the times where Vince and his creative team got it right – the top five WrestleMania closing images.

    1. WrestleMania 1 – The Beginning

    Right; this might be a weird one for readers however, it’s here due to the importance of the show itself. Vince McMahon put all his wrestling eggs in one basket and it paid off in a way that I don’t even think Vince himself could have predicted. The first WrestleMania was an unequivocal success that was a mix of wrestling superstars and mainstream icons. Cyndi Lauper, Muhammad Ali and others ensured that wrestling catapulted itself into the mainstream in a way no-one expected. So what was the closing shot of the first ‘Showcase of the Immortals’? It, obviously, involved Hulk Hogan posing with Mr. T after defeating ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff and ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Of course; with hindsight, I don’t think many want to see Hogan celebrating anything anymore but, for the time, it made complete sense to have the face of the company win in the main event of, what would become, WWE’s staple show.

    2. WrestleMania 20 – The Wolverine and Papi celebrate

    Another moment tinged in sadness but for very different reasons; WrestleMania 20 (or XX if you want to get serious about this) ended with the crowning of two wrestlers who were underappreciated for far too long. On the same night – Eddie Guerrero successfully defended his WWE Title against Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit defeated both Triple H and Shawn Michaels for the World Heavyweight Title in the main event. After said match, Guerrero rushed out and celebrated with Benoit in the ring as confetti poured and the two men received the adulation they both deserved. However; despite this being my own personal favourite ‘Mania moment (behind number one on this list), due to the circumstances surrounding the Benoit tragedy, this moment has almost been erased from history. However, in the context of the time; what a moment.

    3. WrestleMania 31 – The Heist of the Century

    A more recent moment in WrestleMania history and one that was genuinely historic; Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the grandest stage of them all. The build to Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar was lukewarm, to say the least; the go-home edition of RAW closed with both men playing tug-of-war with the big belt as if they were a pair of toddlers who were told to share a toy. However; the match itself made up for that as a hard-hitting, intense affair. The fans had, almost entirely, resigned themselves to a Roman Reigns win before Seth Rollins, a heel at the time but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the crowd reaction, rushed down – hit the curb stomp on Reigns and won the big one. It marked the first ever occasion of a MITB holder cashing in at WrestleMania which is…quite surprising honestly but it’s a very cool accolade for the Architect to hold.

    4. WrestleMania X-Seven – ‘Shaking hands with the devil himself’

    The penultimate point on our list and we go to the best WrestleMania of all time – X-Seven. Easily the most consistent and perfect Mania to date; it ended with a moment fans at the time, and in general, never believed they would see. In the run-up to The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship, Steve Austin uttered the words ‘I need to beat you Rock – and I’ll do anything to do it’. And indeed he did. In the closing moments, Austin turned heel by aligning himself with Vince McMahon in order to win the title. It may come as a surprise that the best WrestleMania isn’t topping this list, however- the ending caused a large contrast in opinion. Fans were not ready to boo the rattlesnake; at all. So as a result- Austin’s heel run wasn’t that successful in comparison to the rest of his tenure in the company. But still – one of the most iconic moments in the show’s history.

    5. WrestleMania XXX – Miracle on Bourbon Street


    As Michael Cole screamed those words into his microphone, fans in attendance and around the world were absolutely losing their minds as Daniel Bryan had done the impossible. Stuck it to the authority, defeated three-quarters of Evolution in one night and finally climbed to the top of the mountain within WWE. From Summerslam 2013 when Bryan was screwed out of the championship all the way to April 6th, 2014; Daniel Bryan and the Yes! Movement campaigned, screamed, ‘Yes’ed, booed and hijacked WWE programming until they got what they want. That’s why I feel this is so important. It’s one of the few times you can physically see when the WWE Universe made their voices heard above all else. With Daniel Bryan rumoured to be facing Sheamus, for the third year in a row, and then going on, in reality, to have the biggest night of his career is a fantastic moment.

    Additionally, due to how Bryan is currently operating as a heel and doing so perfectly; it showcases how incredible the man truly is. Five years on; he will be booed out the building as Kofi Kingston tries to emulate Bryan himself and become the new people’s champion. Bryan standing on that table at Mania 30 in New Orleans is easily the best WrestleMania closing shot ever.