WWE WrestleMania XXIX: The Top 5 Superstars Not on This Year's Card
With WrestleMania XXIX just five days away, the card has been completed and there are a number of very talented Superstars who will not be partaking in this year's event.
Whether they are champions, fan favorites or Superstars ready to return from injury, these five men are all deserving of a spot on the biggest show of the year and, for whatever reason, will not get their opportunity to shine in 2013.
These are the top five Superstars not on this year's WrestleMania card. Perhaps 2014 and the 30th annual WrestleMania will be more kind to them.
5. Zack Ryder
The self-proclaimed Internet champion had a horrible past year after a 2011 that showed such great promise. Rather than capitalizing on his popularity and rewarding him for getting over on his own, despite a creative team that could not have cared about him less, the powers that be seemingly went out of their way to book him as an idiotic, incompetent loser.
Not appearing on the WrestleMania card this year is no surprise for the former United States Champion. His career has been on a downturn over the last 12 months and, despite being one of the top merchandise sellers in the company, he has been relegated to the role of jobber with management seemingly content keeping him there.
No matter how over he is.
One of the most decorated stars in World Wrestling Entertainment history, Christian has reportedly been cleared to return to action since prior to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Yet, with WWE's attempt to get as much star power on the card as possible each and every year, they have decided not to bring him back in time for the "Showcase of the Immortals."
This will be the second consecutive WrestleMania the former World heavyweight champion misses. Last year, he was scheduled to be a part of Team Johnny in a big tag team extravaganza. But an ankle injury that has plagued him for the better part of two years had not properly healed and he was taken off of the card late in the process.
Expect "Captain Charisma" to return shortly after WrestleMania. For a Superstar who has accomplished as much as he has, however, having to watch from the locker room while his peers do what he has done so many times in the past has to be disheartening.
At the 2011 Survivor Series, R-Truth teamed with The Miz to face The Rock and John Cena in the night's main event. Throughout most of the summer of 2012, he and Kofi Kingston reigned as tag team champions. He even challenged for the US title late in the year, yet here he is without a WrestleMania match.
The truth, bad pun aside, is that an injury suffered in December during a match with Antonio Cesaro at TLC eliminated any chance he had at earning a spot on the WrestleMania card. He was absent during a crucial period of time early in the year, in which WWE's creative team began to construct the card.
It did appear, at one time, as though Truth may team with former partner Kingston to meet Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow), but those plans were dropped and the company opted to go in a different direction.
2. Kofi Kingston
One of the most popular babyfaces in the sport, Kofi spent the second half of 2012 as the Intercontinental champion. When he lost the title to Wade Barrett, however, he began a downward spiral that had kept him off the WrestleMania card for the first time in his career.
Kingston may be able to benefit from an hour-long pre-show that could still see him compete in front of the live audience. Wade Barrett vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship has already been announced for the show but, with added time, there should be a spot for an additional match.
It is still disappointing that someone as talented as Kofi, who has done as much for the company as he has and accomplished as much as he has, is being left off of the most important show of the year.
Perhaps his rumored heel turn (from the Wrestling Observer via WrestleZone.com) will result in renewed interest from the creative team and a spot high on the card for next year.
1. Antonio Cesaro
The United States champion has shared the ring with the likes of John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback and Sheamus this past year but, despite holding the title since last August, he finds himself without a match on the biggest show of the year.
The former Ring of Honor standout will have to watch from backstage while many of the men he was good enough to work with on WWE TV star on the pay-per-view broadcast.
Luckily for him, like Kofi Kingston, Cesaro may benefit from an extended, hour-long pre-show that may very well allow him to perform in front of the live crowd in East Rutherford, N.J.
If that is not the case, he will have to continue to work hard, improve and hope that next year's show is kinder to him.