The only assured victor at WrestleMania 29 is WWE itself. This year's event is on a path to bring in an inordinate amount of money.
Say what you will about the in-ring product but Vince McMahon and WWE have crafted WrestleMania into a money-making machine.
Pro wrestling's biggest annual event only seems to grow in stature. A look at the financial numbers for the last three WrestleMania events show a steady upward climb.
WrestleMania 27 outdid WrestleMania 26 in terms of pay-per-view buys. Last year surpassed them both.
The folks ordering WrestleMania went from 885,000 to 1,059,000 to 1,217,000, respectively.
WrestleMania's decision to abandon "smaller" venues like Madison Square Garden in favor of America's mega-sized stadiums has seen attendance numbers climb.
This has also led to WWE's take at the door ballooning in recent years.
MetLife Stadium holds 82,500 fans as opposed to the 78,363 fans WWE packed into Sun Life Stadium for WrestleMania 28. That difference in crowd size will equal more money. That's the simple equation WWE has leaned on in recent years.
Each year serves as the standard to beat the next year. Each year, the event grows.
WrestleMania 29 has enough star power to keep this upward trend going.
The Tail End of an Era
The WrestleMania card that's been put together so far will draw in casual fans.
When WWE is counting their money after the event, their Scrooge McDuck-like money stacks will muffle all the criticism the company has received about relying on part-time stars and about having a part-timer hold the WWE title.
The Rock and Brock Lesnar increase interest in the product.
Their participation should have all those previously mentioned numbers swell yet again. Rock's movie career and Lesnar's UFC stint made their respective names more valuable and WWE clearly recognizes that.
Mock The Rock vs. John Cena for being Twice in a Lifetime all you like; it's the most marketable matchup WWE can produce right now. There are few times the company can pit such immense stars against each other because those kinds of stars are a rare breed.
Add to that the fact that there is no guarantee that either Triple H or Undertaker will participate in future WrestleMania events beyond this year. Fans undecided about purchasing WrestleMania will be swayed by not wanting to miss the possible swan song for either man.
For Undertaker specifically, his streak is the easiest match to sell each year.
The power and prestige of his WrestleMania record increases in importance every year. As unlikely as it may seem that CM Punk can actually do what no man has been able to do—in defeating Undertaker at WrestleMania—fans will no doubt tune to find out what happens.
Undetaker's continued defense of his now 20-0 record is enough to boost WrestleMania's pay-per-view buys as much as any championship match.
The Biggest For Now
WrestleMania establishes itself as a bigger and bigger cultural event each year.
WWE's ability to hone the show's grandeur, to place the biggest names available on this stage will lead to the company breaking its own financial records each year.
WrestleMania 29 is powered by huge names but also by the celebrity of the event itself. The quality of the wrestling and the entertainment doesn't necessarily improve, but more people come to know and love The Showcase of the Immortals each year that it's produced.
The staggering numbers the event is sure to bring in this year will surpassed at some point as well.
Eventually, WrestleMania will head to Cowboys Stadium and demolish every attendance record in WWE history. That event is sure to bring in more money than any other WrestleMania.
WWE will not rest long after the confetti falls on that night to begin its search for an even bigger payday.