WWE Wrestlemania XXVII: The 10 Greatest Wrestlemania Debuts
You only get one chance to make a first impression. The following men made the most out of that opportunity on the biggest stage imaginable.
Alberto Del Rio, as well as a few others, has/have a great opportunity to hit a home run in their first at bat of the big show this year.
Before we look forward to this year's debuts, let us look towards the past at the greatest WrestleMania debuts of all-time.
Honorable Mention: Yokozuna-Wrestlemania IX
Only a handful of men have made their WrestleMania debuts in the main event. Yokozuna, having run through the competition in his first months with the company, is on that list.
Yoko defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF Championship and would be near the top of the list if it wasn't for what happened immediately after his match with the excellence of execution.
Because of those events, Yokozuna is on the outside looking in.
Honorable Mention II: Triple H
What? No sense of humor? Okay, let's move on to the actual list.
10. Rob Van Dam-WrestleMania 18
The Whole F'n Show made his debut at WrestleMania challenging William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. The two men had the responsibility to get the show off to a hot start and delivered just that.
Van Dam was only a couple months into his WWF reign and was insanely popular at the time. Van Dam made the best out of his debut and walked away with the I-C Title.
9. Mr. Kennedy-WrestleMania 23
So much potential, so many missed opportunities, so much failure. Those words pretty much sum up the WWE career of Mr. Kennedy.
Mr. Kennedy won the Money in the Bank briefcase in a thrilling match at WrestleMania 23. It seemed Kennedy was destined to cash in the briefcase at the following year's Wrestlemania.
For many reasons, that never happened. What Kennedy did accomplish at WrestleMania 23, however, can never be taken away.
8. Kane-WrestleMania 14
Kane debuted at the 14th WrestleMania against his brother and to this day, he never looked more dominant that he was on that night.
Kane lost the match, of course, but it took The Undertaker three tombstones to put away his 'little' brother and even that was barely enough.
Kane also interrupted Pete Rose's promo and choke-slammed the should-be Hall of Famer.
7. Jeff Hardy (and Matt)-Wrestlemania 2000
The Hardy Boys as well as Edge and Christian became overnight stars at No Mercy a couple months prior. Still, what all six men did at WrestleMania 2000 took them all to a brand-new level.
The men bruised and battered each other, shortening each other's career and stealing the show. The Dudley's are excluded from the list even though they did play a huge part in the match.
I feel that what the performers accomplished after their debut is also very important in determining how great said debut was.
Matt went on to have solid success as a singles wrestler, while little brother Jeff went on to become WWE Champion as well as the holder of the big gold belt (and that weird purple one in TNA).
6. John Cena-WrestleMania 20
WrestleMania 20, as well as The Big Show, was/were a huge stepping stone for John Cena. He opened the show by electrifying the crowd and capturing the United States Championship.
It would the first of many title wins by the former Doctor of Thuganomics.
Not only has Cena had one of the greatest career's ever but he also has one of the most successful WrestleMania records ever at 6-1, with a possible seventh win coming this year.
5. Edge and Christian-WrestleMania 2000
Edge and Christian rank above the Hardy Boys for the simple fact that they won the match.
The singles career of Team Awesome mirror those of The Hardy's as well, with Christian enjoying a solid singles career while partner Edge is a multi-time World Champion.
4. Randy Orton-WrestleMania XX
Orton is ahead of Cena because of how Orton was being showcased at the time. Orton was treated as the star of his team and looked like a million bucks.
Orton delivered in everything from his pre-match promo to everything else as soon as he stepped through the curtain.
Orton stood out among both Flair and Batista and proved he could hang with legends such as Mick Foley and The Rock.
Much like Cena, whose career has almost run parallel to young Randall, Orton's career is shaping up to be one of the greatest ever.
3. Diesel-WrestleMania XI
Many may debate that Diesel made his debut at WrestleMania X when he escorted HBK to the ring, but since he did not wrestle, I do not believe it counts.
Diesel made his debut at WrestleMania as WWF Champion, defending against former friend Shawn Michaels.
Diesel became, at the time, only the third WWF Champion to successfully defend his title at the event.
Not only that, but he also got to celebrate his win with both Pamela Anderson and Jenny McCarthy...not too bad.
2. The Undertaker-Wrestlemania VII
The match itself was nothing special but there is no denying how important this match was for the company (even though they had no idea how important it was at the time).
Snuka was the first victim of The Undertaker's legendary streak so that in itself elevates the match into legendary status.
Snuka was sacrificed to the Undertaker and made the big man look like a beast. This is the match that started it all for the Deadman.
Who would have ever thought the streak would become what it has become?
1. Brock Lesnar-WrestleMania 19
I rank Lesnar's debut ahead of Taker's not so much for the long-term effects, but rather because of where the match was and how much better the match was than Taker's.
The match was the last match at WrestleMania XIX and Lesnar won the WWE Championship, putting the exclamation point on his amazing rookie year.
Of course, Brock is the definition of too much, too soon as far as pushing young talent goes. He was given everything and pretty much threw it all away as he left the company just a year later.
However, on that night, it seemed that he was the future of the company as he had the most impressive WrestleMania debut of all-time.
Your Favorite? This Year?
Who do you think has the best WrestleMania debut ever?
What wrestler (if any) do you think will make their mark, join this list and have an impressive debut this year at WrestleMania XXVII?