WrestleMania Season Has the WWE Partying Like It's 1999
The WWE has brought in so many part-time superstars and free agents for another WrestleMania campaign, if one stood them next to the New York Jets, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Recent months have featured the debuts of current homegrown talent like Big E. Langston, Bo Dallas, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. But the Attitude Era stars of yesteryear are once again needed to bail the WWE out of another half-hearted campaign to mass produce star power.
When looking at the big draws of WrestleMania weekend, one will be hard-pressed to find anything having to do with today's WWE. In fact, with the Hall of Fame induction of Bruno Sammartino, and a WrestleMania main event featuring The Rock, it seems every WWE era will be celebrated.
Except this one.
The Rock is the current WWE champion. He is expected to headline WrestleMania 29 alongside John Cena for a second installment of their record-breaking main event last year.
And while Rocky has been met with trickle-down resentment—from a locker room that failed to make the best of a nine-month head start—he has almost single-handedly restored the WrestleMania brand.
Always remember, the last WrestleMania not to feature The Rock was also the last time WrestleMania failed to draw more than one million buys.
The queen of the Attitude Era received a well-deserved induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. The announcement was made on the Jan. 28 episode of Raw. Should she appear on the actual show, it will be Stratus' second WrestleMania in three years.
Brock Lesnar is 1A to The Rock's 1. Like Rock, Lesnar made himself into an even bigger box-office draw upon leaving the WWE. Like it did with Rock, the WWE couldn't help but swallow its ego and tap into Lesnar's lucrative brand name.
Lesnar will likely take on Triple H in a rematch of their SummerSlam main event after attacking Vince McMahon, Triple H's father-in-law.
Triple H has competed in 15 of the past 16 WrestleManias. Despite chopping his trademark locks, Triple H is fully expected to return for his 16th career WrestleMania with a match against Brock Lesnar.
While Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar may not be making the most of Brock Lesnar's blockbuster appeal (Undertaker, anyone?), Triple H always seems to over-perform at WrestleMania.
His past two Mania outings against The Undertaker have been nothing short of classics.
Mick Foley will be an inductee in arguably the most loaded Hall of Fame class in history. The former WWE champion and best-selling author was the first person announced as an inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Long Island native's presence in Madison Square Garden will only help ticket sales for the Hall of Fame ceremonies, if any are still available.
Chris Jericho shocked the world with his return to the WWE at last month's Royal Rumble. Jericho has since remained with the company and figures to be a main player in the WrestleMania picture.
Dolph Ziggler would be the most logical opponent due to their ongoing feud, but Ryback has also been discussed internally, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
The Undertaker is annually one of the biggest draws of WrestleMania, namely because of his famed streak.
The streak currently stands at 20-0, and with WrestleMania 30 taking place next year, there is reportedly an outside chance that The Undertaker may miss WrestleMania 29.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Bob Backlund never quite got out of Bruno Sammartino's shadow, but he still had a WWE Hall of Fame-caliber career.
A wrestling machine and cardio freak, Bob Backlund held the WWF title for a combined reign of over 3,600 reigns.
Backlund captured the WWF Championship during the lean era, accomplishing the rare feat of winning WWE titles in separate eras just as The Rock has done.
Bruno Sammartino made a career out of headlining at Madison Square Garden. He now gets to do so once more as the marquee member of the most prestigious WWE Hall of Fame class in history.
Sammartino's prolonged rift with the WWE ended this past Monday on RAW when the former top star was announced as a 2013 Hall of Fame inductee.
For many within the WWE, Sammartino's induction is a symbol of mending old wounds. For many WWE fans, it will be an introduction to a professional wrestling icon.