WrestleMania is always a special event, and simply making it on the card is an accomplishment, even for Superstars who've been around for awhile. In the end, however, some big names are forced to go under on the biggest wrestling stage of them all.
Not all losses are created equal, of course. But the booking of John Cena after last year's main-event loss to The Rock until this year's Royal Rumble shows that even the top Superstars can suffer a lull following a defeat at WrestleMania.
With that in mind, let's examine three notable stars who are likely to come out on the losing end of their 'Mania matches and break down how it could impact them moving forward. All of them will play a crucial role in the success of the show, even in defeat.
Rock and Cena did a nice job over the last few weeks making up for lost time before WrestleMania. Rocky's busy schedule outside of the WWE made it tough to build up momentum, but the segment with legends was strong, and both delivered solid finishing promos.
All told, it's extremely difficult to imagine a scenario where Cena would go under in two straight 'Mania main events to a part-time Superstar. He's still the face of the company, and it needs to start booking him as such again after a down year.
Rock is scheduled to appear at Extreme Rules, meaning he won't fade into the background right away. The loss and appearance at the next pay-per-view will likely be to set up a grudge match with Cena at one of the other big PPVs or next year's WrestleMania. He should remain a top draw despite the loss.
On the surface, Punk seems like the perfect person to end the streak. He's a top-tier superstar who's in his prime and would benefit greatly from beating Undertaker at WrestleMania. It's the type of victory that could move him past Cena as the No. 1 guy in the WWE.
Which of these stars will have the best 'Mania showing?
Despite those potentially high stakes, seeing "21-0" flash on the big screen at MetLife Stadium is what fans should expect. The streak transcends just about everything else right now, and the buzz it creates every year is something the WWE probably doesn't want to sacrifice quite yet.
For Punk, it would represent the fourth straight major loss. Two to The Rock, one to Cena and one to the Undertaker. It will be important for him to get a big push after the 'Mania hype dies down before all the momentum from his 434-day title reign is gone.
While other returning Superstars are thrust immediately into the main-event scene, Jericho has been forced into mid-card feuds during his recent comebacks. He continues to help produce high-quality storylines, but many of them result in losses.
His WrestleMania encounter with Fandango will likely fall in the same category. It's clear by putting the wrestler formerly known as Johnny Curtis right into a feud with Jericho that the WWE has high hopes for the new gimmick. A 'Mania win would be an ideal start.
Unfortunately, the defeat would only further Jericho's growing reputation as a high-profile jobber. Hopefully he gets a chance at another serious push moving forward because he's still one of the most complete Superstars at the creative team's disposal when he's not working on other projects.