The X-Factor: WrestleMania (2010-2013)-Casting a shadow

Why did they cast such importance on the part-timers? 

The last two Smackdowns in Glendale were sell-outs, and they respectively featured John Cena and The Rock. Now, the higher quality of the shows could explain the lack of tarps on the upper sections, or it could be another reason.

The buy rate of WrestleMania 25 was 960,000 and XXVI had a buyrate of 885,000. That’s an 7.81% drop from the previous year and the main event was, well you know what. The next year, it jumped up to 1,059,000. That’s a jump of 19.6%.

“Once in a Lifetime” did the highest buyrate of all time at 1,217,000 buys. The next year saw it drop to 1,048,000. It’s still the 6th most bought WrestleMania of all time before the streaming move.

Look at the ‘13 Royal Rumble. A 15.5% rise from the 2012 edition and it was headlined by The Rock.

The man casts a pretty big shadow, so much that he’s more or less overshadowed his cousin on the road to Philly.

The nostalgia is real. Tell me there’s no TV show from your teenage years you don’t wanna see revived.

WrestleMania XXVI

The Undertaker refused Michaels’ challenge for a rematch at XXVI. Obsession can drive a man crazy. ‘Taker was the World Heavyweight Champion and Shawn failed win a title shot. Michaels snuck into the Elimination Chamber and cost ‘Taker the World title.

Featuring the best pre-match video ever, HBK and ‘Taker gave us another classic.

HBK was unwilling to stay down, even slapping him in the face. The Dead Man had to add some extra force to his Tombstone, and that was all she wrote. 

WrestleMania XXVII

Yep, this will never make any top 10 lists.

The challenge was made with no words spoken. The haters often mock the “pointing at the sign” trope, and yet it was used to great effect.

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.

Oh, what could’ve been?

Those promos, that old cabin in a rainy night, some dude with a trench coat, and the numbers 2.21.11. Check out those middle three numbers. Prophetic, right?

If a situation could suck more, I’d love to see it. At Victory Road ‘11 Jeff Hardy caused TNA and himself a buttload of embarrassment, and it rubbed off on Sting as well. When the fans said it was bullshit, his response was, “I agree”. 

The Stinger could’ve been in the ring with the Undertaker, inducted into the HOF, and in front of his fans in Atlanta.

WrestleMania XXVIII

It was the end of something that began in 2009, when Shawn Michaels challenged The Undertaker and put on one of the finest matches of all time. It would end with the match that defined all three men involved.

There were question marks all over this war. Would Shawn end the Streak as payback or would he stop his best friend from doing what he couldn’t do? 

Triple H knew what he was doing, and that was to take some of the heat off the main event. Did he?

In the Mt. Rushmore of pro wrestling, both John Cena and Dwayne are there, alongside Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.

It was worth the wait. It was treated with the pageantry it deserved. The match really should’ve been 10 minutes shorter.

WrestleMania 29

Ok, so they didn’t need to repeat “Once in a Lifetime”, but come on. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a saying.

Their first bout felt like it was dragging it’s feet. Cena vs. Rock II felt a bit tighter than their 2012 match. Respect for The Rock for carrying on after being injured.

Anyone remember the recent Kickoff show in Vegas? Punk calling out the fans for their lack of support? He wasn’t wrong in hindsight but getting an Undertaker match at the Showcase of the Immortals is no consolation prize. Anyone else would give their left arm to face the Undertaker and they had the best contest that night. 

Final thoughts

You know how you’re watching WrestleMania and they advertise the next one? For a moment you think, “what are we gonna see”? In 2019, nobody in their wildest dreams imagined the next WrestleMania would be pre-taped, much less held with zero fans. A year before the Houston Astrodome, the thought of Stone Cold Steve Austin selling his soul for the WWF title was unthinkable.

When you were sitting on the couch watching WrestleMania 29, you must’ve believed the Undertaker’s streak would never end.

We were not ready.

Don’t mess with the X.