Mount Rushmores of Wrestling is a series that breaks down the cream of the crop of professional wrestling in our quest to come to a consensus on the top four of any given category. In today’s edition we’re looking at the best WrestleMania entrances.
Triple H – WrestleMania 30
JJ: This is a list of the top 4 greatest WrestleMania entrances of all time and if we were to then rank this list 1 to 4, this entrance would undoubtedly stand atop the pile for me. WrestleMania 30 is special for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it was host to the greatest WrestleMania story of all time, in which fans got to witness the ultimate underdog Daniel Bryan complete his journey to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. But standing in Bryan’s way of that goal was the cerebral assassin, Triple H.
When The King of King’s made his entrance at WM 30 it sure as hell felt like we were watching royalty, and in terms of professional wrestling, Triple H is about as close as you get. Queue epic viking themed opera music, smoke machines, and witness as The King of Kings comes into view decked out in a red satin robe, resplendent golden armor and crown, while seated atop a golden skull adorned throne. Accompanying Triple H were three future stars of the women’s division: Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, and Charlotte Flair, all of whom were still in developmental at the time. The three warrior women assisted with the removal of The Game’s armor and as he pulled off his skull crown mask, the music hit it’s final epic note and the lights went out. When the lights came back up Motorhead came along with them and The Game marched himself to the ring to play his part in one of the greatest wrestling stories in the history of the business.
Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania 12
Jason: This was the first “Big” entrance I can remember as a kid, and as a Smark, would’ve been my sure sign that HBK was going over. Even though this was before Shawn Michaels was born again, this entrance sees Mr. WrestleMania descend from the heavens on a wire through the crowd in a spectacle unheard of at that point in WrestleMania history. I think they could’ve milked the fakeout with Shawn’s mentor, Jose Lothario, a little more. Maybe had Shawn’s descent timed to the solo portion of his theme song, but still. As a kid I was in such awe of the zipline entrance, so much so that when I eventually tried a zipline for the first time (last year I may add) I actually said “Hands off the merchandise!” before my descent. I then had to explain the whole thing to my wife, who was very understanding about the whole thing. The boyhood dream indeed.
The Undertaker – WrestleMania 29
JJ: The Undertaker vs. CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 is special for a few reasons: the biggest of course being that it was hands down the best match of the night, had the best story going in the company on The Road to WrestleMania™, and the entrances for both combatants were top tier; though one was a bit better than the other. The Undertaker and CM Punk’s feud got really personal, especially when Punk taunted The Undertaker with the urn of the late great Paul Bearer and wiped the ashes from said urn all over himself (wrestling rules). So when Taker came out that night, he meant business, and from the first moment you saw him, you absolutely knew Punk was in for one hell of a fight.
As with all of his entrances, before you can see The Undertaker you have to listen to the gong, thunder, and funeral tunes. This time around the expected smoke proceeding Taker was there, but the Dead Man wasn’t the first person, or thing, you saw. No, instead rising up out of the smoke were grasping hands, just a few at first but then more and more reached up out of the river Styx, grasping for anything to pull them out of the underworld. Then suddenly a huge robe figure appears as if from nowhere and that’s when you see him in all his glory, The Undertaker. Everything after this was pretty standard and epic — as far as Undertaker entrances go — but the first 30 seconds or so of his entrance were so god damn creative and unique. Truly one for the record books.
Rusev – WrestleMania 31
Jason: Speaking of spectacle, they REALLY ran out the red carpet for Rusev’s WrestleMania debut. The Bulgarian Brute, who was playing a Russian sympathizer at the time (despite his actual homeland being literally on the other side of the Black Sea), had his beautiful wife march his United States title to the ring to the Russian National Anthem, with a proper military color guard accompanying her and a rather respectful presentation of the Russian flag (not something international fans should be used to). As the anthem swells toward its final beat, canons begin firing red, white and blue smoke, and out rolls Rusev on the entrance ramp, waving the russian flag on a friggin tank! Once he gets to the ring, his real music starts and he performs his traditional Sambo forms. It’s genuinely incredible and awe inspiring, and not just because of the rumors of what Rusev and wife Lana did on that tank when the cameras were off. If I were a Russian fan, I would be endlessly proud watching this entrance. Even knowing the performer isn’t actually Russian, this is how you showcase national pride. Ostentatious? Sure, but awesome? Absolutely.
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