You compete for years, train for months, and get a throwaway spot (or none at all) at WrestleMania. Here’s 7 stars who deserved more at WWE’s biggest show.
Laser Time has a history of talking about wrestling, from our first rasslin-focused LT just over five years ago (Laser Time Wrestlin’ Buddies) up to our current monthly WWE 2K17 streams on YouTube, our weekly Laser Time Fantasy Fight, as well as the Patreon-exclusive pair of mpnthly WWE match commentaries and Cheap Popcast full-length podcast episodes. While we’ve got a fair share of fans hanging around LT studios, one event brings us all together with an even bigger crowd of fans; WrestleMania.
As WWE’s biggest show of the year, it behooves the match-makers to pull out all of the big guns; celebrities and Hall of Fame legends make sense in that lapsed fans may not pay attention to the current crowd of wrestlers, but for current fans, it sucks to see year-round performers get the shaft when it comes to performing at WrestleMania.
While there are performers who deserve better every year, we’ve singled out six instances of stars who probably should have shined in bigger matches who were relegated to the year’s most meaningless match, or worse yet, kept of WWE’s biggest show altogether (and not for reasons like suspensions or injury… we’ve got a list of WrestleMania injuries for you to peruse for the latter). Sorry y’all got screwed at ‘Mania, but hopefully your placement on this list makes up somewhat.
7 – Booker T: WrestleMania 21
If you win at WrestleMania and nobody is there to see it, did you really win? Okay, granted there were thousands on hand to watch WrestleMania 21’s pre-show Smackdown vs Raw battle royal (and it’s available on the show’s DVD as well as certain online sources), but the five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time, five-time World Champion deserved more than winning a meaningless curtain-jerking match. Just two years removed from his biggest-ever WrestleMania match (a championship bout against Triple H), Booker T was competing with WWE’s misfit toys, including Simon Dean, Luther Reigns, and Mark Jindrak. Granted, Booker T did win the match, but with such sad competition and off the Pay-Per-View, it was a waste of this Hall of Famer’s talents.
6 – John Cena: WrestleMania 19
It’s pretty rare that a WWE star earns a spot at WrestleMania their first year on the roster; wrestlers like The Miz, Zack Ryder, and Dolph Ziggler toiled for years before earning a proper main-card WrestleMania match. However, John Cena’s first in WWE in June of 2002 included a barn-burner of a match against Kurt Angle and shaking The Undertaker’s hand. By October, he had found the rapping gimmick that would bring him to upper-card status. Unfortunately, plans for Cena to have a WrestleMania rap battle fell through, so Cena mocked cardboard cut outs of Jay-Z and Fabolous during Sunday Night Heat ahead of the show itself.
5 – Cesaro: WrestleMania 29
Above you can watch Cesaro train for WrestleMania 29. At that point he was the WWE United States Champion and as evidenced above, every big the freakishly strong competitor he is today. Unfortunately, that training was for naught, as Cesaro was one of many stars who didn’t make it onto the New Jersey-set WrestleMania. If it’s any consolation, the sparse WrestleMania card also omitted the entire women’s roster as well as other big names like Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, and Damien Sandow (the latter two having their match cancelled due to time constraints).
Daniel Bryan’s history of sad shows and WrestleMania 33’s biggest snubs await you on the next page!