5 Huge WrestleMania Matches That Almost Happened but Didn't
Plan changes in the wrestling industry are extremely erratic.
Sometimes, things go exactly as scheduled, and other times, the end result doesn't resemble the original idea at all.
This year's WrestleMania is a perfect example of that.
Back in January, the matches planned for this year's mega event included The Rock vs. John Cena, CM Punk vs. The Undertaker, Randy Orton vs. Sheamus and Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar.
Three of the matches eventuated while the one transformed completely.
This is typical. Changes are constant, as WrestleMania is such a frantic time for the WWE.
Here is a look at five huge matches that were rumored to be planned at some point but, for one reason or another, didn't end up happening.
Note: As mentioned, most of the matches listed here were heavily rumored with nothing officially announced.
Sting vs. Kurt Angle, WrestleMania X8
You may remember heavy speculation that Sting would compete in his first WWE match at WrestleMania XXVII.
Things, unfortunately, didn't pan out, which made it the second time that Sting almost wrestled at WrestleMania.
According to former WWE creative team member David Lagana, The Icon was in talks with WWE to perform at WrestleMania X8.
These talks were serious enough that creative lined up a feud between Sting and Kurt Angle, hoping to get a classic 'Mania match out of the two talented wrestlers.
Unfortunately, Sting decided that he didn't want to work WWE's hectic schedule, and plans fell apart.
Austin vs. Hogan, WrestleMania X8
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan is perhaps the most famous match to never happen.
The Texas Rattlesnake was the greatest hero of the Attitude Era, and Hogan's popularity has been credited as the foundation of wrestling's explosion into pop culture.
When the NWO made its way to WWE, many immediately assumed that Hogan vs. Austin would headline WrestleMania X8.
As we know, The Hulkster would end up going one-on-one with The Great One.
There's much speculation over why the match with Austin didn't happen.
Some have said that neither man would agree to putting the other over and that Austin was still bitter about Hogan's politicking in WCW.
Austin himself has claimed, "I don't think I just ever wanted to wrestle the guy, I guess," but we may never know if there was more to it than that.
Rock vs. Hogan was fantastic, but there are still many fans who see it as an alternative to a true dream match.
Triple H vs. Randy Orton, WrestleMania 21
Many fans will remember Randy Orton's failed babyface turn back in 2004.
He became a fan favorite after he was kicked out of Evolution and feuded with Triple H for several months.
The problem was that Orton was never able to overcome "The Cerebral Assassin" and wasn't embraced by the fans because of it.
He would ultimately turn heel in time for a WrestleMania 21 match with The Undertaker.
According to WrestleZone.com, original plans were much different and would have seen Orton and Triple H's feud culminate at WrestleMania 21, likely leading to a win for "The Legend Killer."
Unfortunately for Orton, Batista was chosen over him.
According to the above report, some felt that a Batista vs. Triple H match would be more marketable.
It seems that those people won out in the end, though we would eventually get Orton vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 25.
John Cena vs. Triple H II, WrestleMania 23
Before Triple H had back-to-back encounters with The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVII and XXVIII, he almost did the same with "The Doctor of Thuganomics" five years prior.
"The King of Kings" headlined WrestleMania 22 with John Cena, and the two were originally booked to do it all over again the following year.
Unfortunately, Triple H suffered a serious quadriceps injury, and their match was derailed.
The Game's DX comrade, Shawn Michaels, would ultimately challenge John Cena for the gold at WrestleMania 23.
Of course, their WrestleMania history had not yet ended, as both stars were involved in a Triple Threat match at the 24th anniversary of the event.
The two would eventually have their rematch at Night of Champions in 2008, where Triple H retained his WWE championship by pinning Cena.
John Cena vs. Randy Orton, WrestleMania XXVII
It's shocking that Randy Orton vs. John Cena hasn't headlined a WrestleMania yet, as they were WWE's two top stars for a long time.
A match between "The Viper" and "The Cenation Leader" almost happened two years ago at WrestleMania XXVII, but it was not to be.
According to F4Wonline.com (via pwmania.com), two huge matches originally scheduled for that year's Showcase of Immortals were The Undertaker vs. Wade Barrett and John Cena vs. Randy Orton.
Thinking back, both matches were set up during the autumn of 2010.
It was Wade Barrett and Nexus who helped Kane bury The Undertaker alive at Bragging Rights, and Cena was a key player in Barrett's feud with Orton.
It's hard to tell what would have gotten in the way of these plans; perhaps Vince McMahon thought that The Miz would be more appropriate given The Rock's involvement.
Either way, the fans lost out because we were given a vastly inferior main event in place of this.
Follow Daniel on Twitter for more wrestling ramblings @dvanboom