The X-Factor: My WrestleMania stories - Part 4
Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 04/03/2018 at 07:29 PM

When it comes to business in general, there’s one fact that stands out above all: numbers don’t lie. That was very apparent between 2011-2013.

WrestleMania XXVI (2010) had a buyrate of 885,000. The next year, it jumped up to 1,059,000. That’s a jump of 19.6% Why? Could be because of The Rock being the host and all. I mean, XXVI featured the second take of probably the greatest match at WrestleMania, and it dropped 8.4% from 2009.

How did “Once in a Lifetime” do? The highest buyrate of all time at 1,217,000 buys. Granted, the next year saw it drop to 1,048,000, but it’s still the 6th most bought WWE PPV of all time. It was also the first to reach a $10 million gate and made $72 million overall.

What else did ‘Mania’s 27-29 have in common? John Cena was headlining.

People bitch about the part-timers, but it’s easy when it’s not your investment, your company, and your money. The high and mighty attitude is played out.

WrestleMania XXVII
Yep, this will never make any top 10 lists.

The challenge was made with no words spoken. There was no gold at stake, but The Undertaker and Triple H were fighting for a title: "The Last Outlaw."

My favorite spot has to be the spinebuster Undertaker took through the Spanish announce table. There was a chokeslam, a Pedigree, the Last Ride, the Tombstone, all near-falls. Triple H delivered a DDT onto a chair, two more Pedigrees, a ton of chair shots – including to the head – and even a Tombstone. Kick-out!! Finally, ‘Taker ended it with Hell’s Gate.

We didn’t need to hear Triple H – in yet another display of insecurity – outright say that he was the only one worthy of being ‘Taker’s WrestleMania opponent. There was someone else being eyed to face the Dead Man.

Oh, what could’ve been?

There were promo videos showing an old brick shed in a rainy night, someone wearing a trench coat, and the numbers 2.21.11. Take a look at those middle three numbers. How prophetic they would be.

This caused rampant speculation that Sting was about to finally lose the title of “The most famous wrestler never to compete in WWE”. Pretty sure the Undertaker was the backup plan for those vignettes.

It’s not like people couldn’t see why he got cold feet given the Invasion. Not even dangling a Hall of Fame induction was enough. It was at the Georgia Dome too.

If he had any idea what was gonna happen at Victory Road the next month, he probably would’ve signed.

Yeah, Cena vs. Miz in the closing match failed to deliver, and The Rock screwed Cena to set up his big money match with him the next year.

Even when he was the Corporate Champion, The Rock was nobody’s bitch. Sadly, the more recent incarnation – The Authority – made everybody their bitch. As good as he is now, The Miz just didn’t have a commanding presence then.

WrestleMania XXVIII
I wonder, given his distaste for The Rock, did Triple H pitch a Hell in a Cell match as a way to take some heat away from Cena vs. Rock? It’s only a theory, but it fits.

It was the end of something that began in 2009, when Shawn Michaels – also the special guest referee here – challenged The Undertaker and put on one of the finest matches of all time. It would end inside Hell in a Cell, the match that defined the three men involved.

There were question marks all over this war. Would Shawn end the Streak to repay ‘Taker for ending his career, or would he jealously stop his best friend from doing what he couldn’t do?

The story that was told by all three men was the stuff of legends. You will see it all here. ‘Taker took so much that there were bruises all over his back. It left me breathless.

However, not even that would take away from what came at the end of the show.

In my own Mt. Rushmore of pro wrestling, both John Cena and Dwayne would be there.

It was worth the wait. Cena doesn’t get the credit he deserves. The Rock looked gassed partway through the contest and Cena had to pick up some slack.

WrestleMania 29
Ok, maybe they didn’t need to repeat “Once in a Lifetime”, but come on. It netted them their highest buyrate of all time. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Rock vs. Cena II was slightly below in quality, and the former had to work through an injury.

It would’ve been better had CM Punk been in the closing match in some way, but did he have to be so deluded about all this? Anyone else would give their left arm to face the Undertaker at a WrestleMania! It was the best match on the card. Punk should’ve had it better but it wouldn’t have killed him to be happy with what he had.

It was the last ‘Mania to be held as a traditional PPV.

Nobody had any idea just how interesting the next few years would be.

Don’t mess with the X.

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