WrestleMania 29: Latest News, Card Preview, Updates and More
As we approach WWE's biggest night of the year, news, rumors and announcements regarding WrestleMania 29 are plentiful.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is coming together. WWE has announced both a musical act and a social media ambassador for the event. Many of the feuds for night’s matches have been amped up.
Analyzing backstage rumblings, a leaked photo and the latest turns of the WrestleMania 29 storylines, let's dig into the news and updates about the upcoming Show of Shows.
Hall of Fame Inductors
Six new inductees will enter the WWE Hall of Fame on the night before WrestleMania. The folks chosen to induct them are quite an interesting group themselves.
WWE.com announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger will induct the longest-reigning WWE champ in history, Bruno Sammartino.
While it seemed that Lita would be the ideal candidate to induct Trish Stratus, she found someone else. Stratus revealed the surprising selection on Twitter.
That might make the second McMahon involved in the ceremony. Vince McMahon would be in an intriguing choice for inducting Donald Trump.
It won't be a name from that past who inducts Bob Backlund. It won't be his former tag partner Pedro Morales or his former enemy Bret Hart, it will instead be host of Extra, Maria Menounos. WWE.com made the announcement on March 28.
Mick Foley took to YouTube to announce who would induct him. Foley's choice was his longtime friend and a man he battled many times in the ring, Terry Funk.
Photo of WrestleMania Set
A leaked photo (h/t Wrestling Subtitles) has revealed at least partially what the WrestleMania 29 set will look like.
WWE has a history of building elaborate and stunning sets of its biggest event of the year. It appears that the company will play up the New York angle by erecting a mock Empire State Building.
The rest of the set will be a surprise, but this sneak peek leads one to think that the WrestleMania 29 set is going to be impressive. As John Cena battles The Rock and as Undertaker fends off CM Punk, the backdrop may be just as stunning as the action itself.
Vince McMahon Joins Twitter, Teases Announcement
Less than 24 hours after Vince McMahon joined Twitter, the boss had over 78,000 followers. In his first tweet he teased a big announcement for Friday night. One has to assume it pertains to WrestleMania.
Perhaps McMahon will be in Triple H's corner come Sunday. Maybe he has stipulations to add elsewhere. Either way, McMahon will certainly have a number of eyes watching for his second tweet.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry Concerns
One of the most intriguing undercard matches features two of WWE's biggest powerhouses, Mark Henry and Ryback. Behemoth battles behemoth in what should end up being an exciting display of power and intensity.
WWE officials, though, may be concerned about how the match will fare.
PWInsider (via WrestlingInc.com) reported that "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."
No one is expecting a 30-minute technical display. With good booking, Henry and Ryback can tell a story of two alpha males battling for supremacy.
Diddy Set to Perform
WrestleMania 28 featured a performance by Sean 'Diddy' Combs' protégé Machine Gun Kelly. This year, Diddy himself will rock the WrestleMania stage.
He told WWE.com, "WrestleMania is one of the biggest spectacles in the world and I'm looking forward to performing in front of millions on April 7."
Combs is from New York and is a much bigger name than Kelly, so it's clear why WWE chose to have him perform. The rapper, producer and music mogul will also co-host the Superstars for Sandy Relief party with Vince McMahon.
Social Media Ambassador Announced
Stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias will serve as WrestleMania 29's Social Media Ambassador.
That means fans who peruse Twitter and other social media outlets while The Showcase of The Immortals is happening will get to read Iglesias' take on the action. He's a funny guy that should come armed to the event with a stockpile of good jokes.
Judging by some of his recent tweets, he's already in the WrestleMania spirit.
— GABRIEL IGLESIAS (@fluffyguy) April 2, 2013
Shawn Michaels to Be in Triple H’s Corner
When Triple H battles Brock Lesnar in their No Holds Barred match, The Game will have his best friend in his corner. Shawn Michaels announced on the April 1 episode of Raw that he be at ringside to support Triple H.
He told Triple H, "You had better kick Brock Lesnar's ass."
Michaels was a compelling addition to the Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and Undertaker last year and he could be a vital part of the story here again. Lesnar (kayfabe) broke Michaels' arm before SummerSlam 2012. That and the fact that there will be no disqualifications opens the door for the inclusion of some Sweet Chin Music.
Wade Barrett vs. Miz Moved to Pre-Show
The Miz has officially gone from headlining a WrestleMania to being a part of its pre-show. His match against Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental title has been slid down to the hour-long pre-show.
WWE.com provided the exclusive announcement.
Barrett and Miz have been embroiled in a feud as of late. Miz scored a non-title submission victory over Barrett to secure this match. Miz, who held the Intercontinental title until October of last year, gets a chance to regain the belt. He just won't have as many eyes on him trying to do so were he and Barrett still a part of the main show.
Fans can watch those two go at it again on Facebook, WWE.com, YouTube or the WWE App which Michael Cole will be happy to show you how to use.
The newly-named team, Tons of Funk, along with the Funkadactyls, take on Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bella Twins. This looks to be a filler match that should be highlighted by a few moments of comedy.
The Shield makes its WrestleMania debut against the trio of Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show.
This could very well be the best match of the night. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have produced extremely entertaining matches each time they have been in the ring. Expect more of the same. Many fans are curious if this will be the moment Orton returns to his heel ways.
Chris Jericho battles Fandango in the latter's first WrestleMania match.
According to PWInsider (via WrestlingInc.com) Vince McMahon is extremely high on the Fandango character. Marc Middleton writes, "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." That certainly sounds like Jericho will be losing for the sake of Fandango's momentum.
Team Hell No defend their tag team titles against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Big E has yet to make his official WWE in-ring debut, so add him to the list of newcomers to the big event. Will he and Ziggler be the ones to strip the belts from Daniel Bryan and Kane?
They do have a loose cannon and x-factor in their corner in the form of AJ Lee.
The Main Events
Undertaker attempts to go 21-0 at WrestleMania when he battles CM Punk.
There has been some concern about the two men's health. Undertaker is 48 years old and he is clearly slowing down physically. Punk may not be 100 percent healthy either. Wrestling Observer (via CagesideSeats.org) reported that Punk was pulled from "all house shows until WrestleMania for a variety of reasons including being physically banged up."
The emotional power of their story should override any physical limitations though.
On the April 1 episode of Raw, Punk took his disrespecting act to a new low. After sneak-attacking Undertaker on the entrance ramp, Punk dumped out the contents of the urn onto The Deadman's prone body.
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H, as previously mentioned, gets the bonus of Shawn Michael's involvement. He and Paul Heyman play significant roles in the outcome. Triple H's career is on the line.
Alberto Del Rio defends his World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger.
Their feud has grown increasingly personal in recent weeks. Swagger broke Ricardo Rodriguez's ankle. Swagger and Coulter attacked Del Rio on Monday with Rodriguez's crutches. Del Rio shared the physical impact of those blows on his Twitter account.
John Cena and The Rock reprise their main event match from last year. This time, the WWE title is on the line. Many fans are expecting Cena to redeem himself and become champ once again.
WWE can either go that predictable route or find a way to surprise its captive audience.