WrestleMania 29: Latest News and Rumors Surrounding WWE's Big PPV

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2013

WrestleMania 29: Latest News and Rumors Surrounding WWE's Big PPV

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    The countdown to WrestleMania 29 has officially begun, and it's time to break down the latest news and rumors surrounding the WWE's marquee show.

    Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

    When: Sunday, April 7 at 7 p.m. ET

    Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)

    Live Stream: WWE.com

    Some of the biggest names in the sport’s history will be making appearances on this year’s WrestleMania card, and the genuine excitement over the magnitude of this show and its main events has fans ready for the action.

    Coming into Sunday's pay-per-view, there are some questions about how the secondary storylines have been booked—or the lack of build altogether.

    But the excitement around several well-built main events has most fans forgiving the WWE.

    At this time of the year, the company is doing its best to sell itself to the casual fan. So hardcore fans must realize that much of the content isn't geared toward them.

    Despite that hard truth, the huge names on this card should appease any true wrestling fan.

Weather at MetLife Stadium for WrestleMania

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    Despite the fact that this year’s WrestleMania is being held in the open-air MetLife Stadium outside New York City in early April—a time of the year notorious for rain on the East Coast—WWE officials are reportedly not worried about the weather.

    UPDATE: Sunday, April 7, 3:50 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

    Sunday has arrived, and just hours ahead of WrestleMania 29, Weather.com is reporting that the climate should be ideal for an April evening in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The temperature will be in the mid-to-lover 50s throughout the night, and there is no rain excepted.

    Vince McMahon has won his game of chicken with Mother Nature.

    ---End of update---

    UPDATE: Wednesday, April 3, 10:12 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

    While there were some concerns about the weather at MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s WrestleMania, the forecast from New York 1’s weather team is a beautiful partly-sunny day with a high of 60 degrees and a partly-cloudy evening with a low of 43 degrees.

    No precipitation is expected during the event. Somewhere, Vince McMahon is smiling.

    ---End of update---

    UPDATE: Monday, April 1, 12:12 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

    The first local seven-day forecasts are starting to come in with the weather outlook for Sunday’s WrestleMania 29 in East Rutherford, and New York 1’s weather team is forecasting a partly-cloudy day (53 degrees) and a partly-cloudy, crisp evening (40 degrees) with no rain expected.

    This is great news for the WWE, especially considering that the company’s biggest event is being held in an open-air stadium and rain would put a huge damper on the festivities.

    Keep it here for more weather updates as the event approaches.

    ---End of update---

    According to Wrestling Inc.:

    Within WWE, there seems to be no major concern about the weather for WrestleMania 29. Forecasts for April 7th aren't available yet but the average high is 59 degrees and the average low is 37 degrees. The record high is 78 degrees and the record low is 17 degrees. For what it's worth, The Old Farmer's Almanac currently predicts "sunny, pleasant" weather for the week of April 1st through the 7th.

    As much as all the signs point to a rain-free evening for the WWE, Mother Nature has the ability to throw the ultimate swerve into the company’s plans.

    As the date continues to get closer, officials should have a much clearer picture about how the weather will be for WrestleMania.

    However, the possibility of rain during the biggest show of the year has fans and WWE officials nervous. The Big Show told Sports Illustrated that the temperature is really all he is worried about during WrestleMania:

    So the only thing that I'm a little concerned about is the weather. Because, you know, I'm not wearing much. I'm wearing Spandex. It's gonna be a little chilly out there.

    During an interview with KISS-FM in New York, Kane also weighed in on the weather situation when asked about the possibility of snow at WrestleMania:

    Who knows what's going to happen, right? This may be the first Wrestlemania that they bring the snowplows out. This is going to be really interesting.

    The situation around the weather will be extremely touchy over the next week. But as long as Mother Nature cooperates, WrestleMania 29 should go off without a snag.

    Keep it here for all weather updates around MetLife Stadium for Sunday’s marquee show.

Vince McMahon Provides Early Look at Set

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    After teasing a big reveal, Vince McMahon delivered it on Friday night. The WWE chairman provided fans an early look at the WrestleMania 29 setup inside MetLife Stadium on YouTube. As you'd expect, it features a largely New York theme (see video).

    Some of the main attractions that were recreated to become part of the set are the Statue of Liberty, which sits atop the canopy that covers the ring, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge and the iconic Empire State Building.

    All told, it appears to be a pretty intricate set with a lot different components that should add to the unique atmosphere that always comes along with WrestleMania. Now McMahon just has to hope the action inside the ring lives up to the growing expectations for the year's biggest show.

Reported Mid-Card Idea Scrapped

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    As it stands heading into WrestleMania 29, Wade Barrett will defend his Intercontinental Championship against The Miz on the pre-show and fellow mid-card title holder Antonio Cesaro isn't scheduled to put his United States title on the line, although a match could always get added.

    Nick Paglino of WrestleZone.com reports the original idea pitched by the WWE creative team was to have a 8-man double-ladder match for both championships. One superstar could have emerged as a dual champion or they could have been grabbed separately.

    Interestingly, the report states the plan was ultimately struck down by Vince McMahon because he's not high on the current United States title holder, which isn't good news for Cesaro. Still, it's an intriguing match concept that could have generated some additional buzz.

Main Event Spoiler

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    The WWE as a company has to start looking ahead for future booking, but sometimes those plans get reportedly leaked and they spoil the entire main event of WrestleMania 29.

    According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), WWE officials have discussed Cena winning the WWE Championship at WrestleMania and beginning a program with Ryback for the title immediately:

    WWE officials have discussed having Ryback feud with John Cena for the WWE Title after WrestleMania 29. WWE planted the seeds for the feud when Cena eliminated Ryback to win the Royal Rumble this year.

    This would be another huge opportunity for Ryback. Despite getting the rub of working with a bona fide star like Cena, the problem is that Ryback would likely lose in this program once again.

    The WrestleMania rookie has lost five-straight PPVs, and even if he gets the win over Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29, the fact that he will not beat Cena diminishes his accomplishments.

    Ryback should be dominating with a secondary title instead of losing in the main event.

Potential Match Addition

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    WrestleMania is the biggest wrestling event of the year. So the WWE attempts to showcase as many different superstars as possible, which helps explain matches like the eight-person tag team encounter already set for the main show.

    Nick Paglino of WrestleZone.com reports that one idea being considered to feature more of the roster is a lumberjack match on the pre-show. It would allow for one more matchup and also given plenty of wrestlers a chance to surround the ring to make a limited impact.

    Despite the high number of scheduled matches, there are still plenty of superstars waiting (and hoping) for a WrestleMania assignment. This would be a good way to get them involved without having to make multiple minor additions to the card.

Heel Turns Coming?

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    There have been more than a few conspiracy theories about WrestleMania 29 during the build to the event, but as the show continues to draw near, the rumors of heel turns has the WWE Universe salivating over which stars could have major character changes.

    According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), that the fans should expect a few serious swerves Sunday:

    It's said that we can expect several surprises for WrestleMania 29 since a number of turns have been talked about, particularly faces to heel.

    While the biggest name thrown around for a possible heel turn Sunday is John Cena—that will not happen—the most likely turn has to be Randy Orton.

    A heel turn would be the much needed spark to Orton's character that it needs, and the change could start the feud between Sheamus and RKO that fans have wanted for months.

    No matter who ends up turning, these rumors have undoubtedly added intrigue to show.

What Happened to the U.S. Title Match?

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    United States champion Antonio Cesaro was receiving a massive push coming into Elimination Chamber, but has fallen off the map in terms of booking since and doesn’t even have a match at WrestleMania 29.

    According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), it wasn’t something Cesaro did that had his program cancelled, it was an injury to his scheduled opponent:

    At one point, WWE officials were considering Sin Cara vs. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro for WrestleMania 29, which is why Cesaro hasn't had much direction. Cara has been cleared to wrestle after missing a few weeks with a concussion.

    There is a good chance that if the WWE is looking for a buffer match or they have extra time, Cesaro and a cleared Sin Cara would be added to the card. If everything goes according to plan, though, the U.S. champ will not have a WrestleMania match.

    After the success Cesaro had since coming up to the main roster, the WWE should find a way to get him on the card one way or another; Even if that means the YouTube Pre-Show.  

Rumored Times for Each WrestleMania Match

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    According to F4Wonline.com (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the WWE has already laid out the times that will be allotted to each match on Sunday’s WrestleMania 29 card.

    There aren’t too many shockers on here, as the main events and title matches all get 15 minutes or more, but it is the consistency of times across the board that has this card looking like it could have a very nice pace.

    With a four-hour pay-per-view like WrestleMania 29, it is imperative to keep the fans interested throughout, and a pace like the one the company has scheduled below would make it a success.

    * Chris Jericho vs. Fandango has been given 10 minutes

    * Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston has been given 12 to 15 minutes

    * Ryback vs. Mark Henry has been given 12 minutes

    * The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus has been given 15 minutes

    * CM Punk vs. The Undertaker has been given 20 minutes

    * Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio has been given 15 minutes

    * Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar has been given 20 to 30 minutes

    * The Rock vs. John Cena has been given 25 to 30 minutes

    * A Diddy musical performance has been given 8 minutes

    * The WWE Hall of Famers coming out to wave to fans has been given 7 minutes

    * The show opener and National Anthem has been given 7 minutes

    * Other assorted segments throughout the show have been given 10 minutes

Another Championship Being Defended at WrestleMania?

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    Despite not having a Divas Championship match scheduled for WrestleMania 29, the WWE is reportedly considering a way to add the title defense to the card without adding another bout.

    The company teased the hatred between AJ and defending champion Kaitlyn last week, and now there is talk that the WWE will add both women to the tag team championship match already on the card, according to F4WOnline (h/t Wrestling Inc.):

    There was talk this past week of adding AJ Lee and Kaitlyn to the WWE Tag Team Title match at WrestleMania 29 and putting all titles on the line. If they go with the change, it would be AJ, Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston vs. Kaitlyn, Kane and Daniel Bryan.

    There was little excitement outside the hardcore wrestling fans for this tag team championship bout, so the addition of two women could give this match more mainstream appeal.

    If this Divas Championship addition does come to fruition, it takes all predictability out this matchup and anything could happen Sunday. This change would add major intrigue to this match.

The YouTube Pre Show

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    The WWE has gone all-in on the YouTube Pre Show idea since its inception, but this year’s WrestleMania 29 version will be the longest of all time (h/t WWE.com).

    Not only will the PPV be an hour longer (starts at 7 p.m. ET), the one-hour long pre show kicks off at 6 p.m. ET and will now feature The Miz vs. Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship, as announced on Monday’s Raw.

    While five hours of wrestling is a lot to deal with on a Sunday night, this is WrestleMania season and the fans will be into the action.

    Add in the fact that the IC title is on the line with two of the more underrated stars in the WWE involved, and this could be the most prestigious match ever on the YouTube Pre Show.

    The fans will be part of history!

Rumors and News Surrounding Triple H and Brock Lesnar

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    The hype around the rematch between Triple H and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29 is through the roof, and the news and rumors surrounding the bout are flying.

    UPDATE: Tuesday, April 2, 10:12 p.m. ET by Donald Wood

    As announced Monday on Raw, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels will be in the corner of Triple H when he faces off against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29.

    Michaels was involved in the duo’s feud leading into SummerSlam and received a broken arm from Lesnar for his trouble.

    With Triple H’s career on the line and the No Holds Barred stipulation added to the match, there is no question that Mr. WrestleMania will play a role in Sunday’s outcome.

    ---End of update---

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the match’s No Holds Barred stipulation was not chosen for the event until days prior to the actual announcement on Raw.:

    Several stipulations including Hell In a Cell were being considered. One idea discussed would have Shawn Michaels be in Triple H's corner to counteract Paul Heyman being there.

    The match is set for now, and Paul Heyman will be in the corner of Lesnar, according to reports (h/t Wrestling Inc.).

    However, Triple H may have backup of his own in the form of his wife, Stephanie McMahon:

    A WWE source notes that it was not a coincidence that WWE released the video of Stephanie McMahon boxing earlier this week. Stephanie most likely will be involved in the WrestleMania 29 match between Brock Lesnar and Triple H, to even the odds against Paul Heyman.

    It would be great to see Stephanie back in action supporting her husband during his victory, and it would be genuinely amazing to see the boss’s daughter beat down Paul Heyman outside the ring during the match as well.

Full WrestleMania 29 Card

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    While there is no question that the midcard could have been built with more care, the fact that superstars like The Rock, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, John Cena, Triple H and CM Punk are all on the same card is a huge coup for the WWE.

    This is one of the deepest lineups for a WrestleMania card in the history of the event, but there will be matches that hardcore fans have seen before or frankly don’t care about.

    However, as long as the WWE paces the four-hour show properly, and has a good blend of the main events and secondary matches, there is no doubt this will be a great show.

    According to WWE.com:

    • WWE Champion The Rock vs. John Cena.
    • The Undertaker vs. CM Punk.
    • Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (No Holds Barred Match; If Lesnar wins, Triple H must retire).
    • World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger.
    • Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show vs. The Shield.
    • Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett vs. The Miz.
    • Ryback vs. Mark Henry.
    • WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston.
    • Chris Jericho vs. Fandango.
    • Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Scholars and The Bella Twins.

Fandango’s Big Chance

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    As if the fact that Fandango will be making his WWE debut at WrestleMania 29 against Chris Jericho wasn’t enough to convince people that this is an intriguing match, there are now reports that it is Vince McMahon backing the former NXT champion so hard.

    According to PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the plan from McMahon is to use Jericho’s talent to help get Fandango over with the crowd:

    Fandango is getting a spot on WrestleMania 29 because the character is Vince McMahon's new pet project. Vince is said to be a big fan of the gimmick and the arrogance that comes with it. The idea at WrestleMania 29 is for Chris Jericho to make the Fandango character stronger. Vince is really behind the success of Fandango.

    While most smart wrestling fans saw this very clearly from the first time Fandango and Y2J interacted, this report should be enough to convince the rest of the WWE Universe that still isn’t onboard with this match that it’s the best for the company’s future.

    Fans complain about fresh faces not getting the big moments they deserve, and McMahon is serving up the opportunity of a lifetime to one of the WWE most promising prospects.

Trouble in Ryback vs. Mark Henry Paradise?

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    While the match didn’t have a long build like many had hoped, the WrestleMania match between Ryback and Mark Henry has actually piqued the majority of the fans’ interest. With two of the biggest and baddest stars in the company, something has to give.

    According to PWInsider (h/t Wrestling Inc.), despite the hype around this match, there is a concern about how the live crowd will react to Henry vs. Ryback:

    Internal and fan reports from this weekend's WWE live event matches between WrestleMania 29 competitors Ryback and Mark Henry were not good. There is concern about how the match will come off on pay-per-view next Sunday.

    There is always a chance that these two behemoths have a terrible match at WrestleMania, but the fact that the duo has been practicing at the live shows proves both Henry and Ryback want this to be a great midcard bout.

    Henry has been around for a long time, and it is that experience that will help the veteran and the WrestleMania rookie through one of the biggest matches of each man’s career. Despite the negative review, by the time WrestleMania arrives, the pair should be ready to steal the show.

    Expect Ryback to use his Shellshock finisher on Henry to get the win.

WrestleMania Pay-Per-View Price

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    The WWE is a business first and foremost, and they will make a guaranteed killing off the event this year because the price to purchase the WrestleMania 29 pay-per-view has gone up significantly.

    WrestleMania now costs $59.95 for standard definition and $69.95 for HD.

    According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), the WWE is expecting to have the most successful show in the company’s history:

    Even if WrestleMania 29 doesn't match the record-setting 2007 event or come even with WrestleMania 28, it will most likely set a new mark with overall pay-per-view revenue. WWE has increased the price of WrestleMania by $5 so it will be $59.95 for standard definition and $69.95 for HD this year. If the price increase doesn't turn buyers away, it will lead to $3 million in extra revenue, based on 1.2 million worldwide buys, not including the increase in viewers who have moved to HD. Based on changes in annual trends, viewers moving to HD could add another $900,000 in profit.

    As much as we all love the WWE, the fact that it now costs $70 to watch one of the biggest events of the years is flat-out too expensive.

    This show will undoubtedly get plenty of buys, but the current price may scare enough fans away this year that the WWE will see the error of its ways and revert back to a cheaper price.

WrestleMania Aftermath

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    There are serious questions about how the WWE will be booking Sunday's show and the subsequent television programming with the possibility of big names taking off after WrestleMania.

    According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc.), instead of The Rock and Brock Lesnar disappearing after the company’s biggest show of the year, the duo of part-time stars will stay around and compete at the Extreme Rules PPV in May.

    This focus on two of the biggest draws in the sport will also reportedly divert attention away from the fact that CM Punk will be taking time off after WrestleMania, per the Wrestling Observer.

    The report is that there is a belief backstage that he is working hurt.

    But the rigors of being the company’s top star for over a year could be the reasoning behind a few weeks off television for Punk.

    If this scenario comes to fruition, it will be a great sign for the WWE and the advancements the company has made in the treatment of their athletes.

    Instead of working the top draws in the company non-stop all year, the usage of part-time stars to afford full-time wrestlers a chance to rest is a wise move for the long-term betterment of the WWE.

    For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW.)