There were countless reports and rumors leading up to WrestleMania centered mostly around the three marquee matches on the card: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight, Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell, and Triple H vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Many of the rumors had one of the returning legends (Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock) getting involved in at least one of these matches.
As it turned out, there was no outside interference in any of the three, with the minor exception of Stephanie McMahon aiding her husband during the main event. Bray Wyatt and his family were heavily rumored to run in during the Lesnar-Ambrose match, but WWE pulled those plans when The Rock requested to work with Wyatt and company. Both The Rock and Shawn Michaels were rumored to appear as special guest referees for the Triple H-Reigns match, but those plans too were scrapped. A number of different legends and superstars were thought to aid Shane in his quest to defeat the Undertaker and take over control of Monday Night RAW.
According to a report from Daily Wrestling News, Vince McMahon made the final decision to book the top three matches without any interference whatsoever. Vince specifically wanted Reigns to win the championship without help (even from the Rock), presumably in the event that there was a chance they could still make him a top babyface moving forward.
The report states that Shawn Michaels got in such good physical shape in the event he was slotted to be the referee in that main event. But Shawn stated that he was called six weeks prior to WrestleMania with the plans for he, Foley, and Austin to do the run-in on the League of Nations. Michaels ended up getting in great shape regardless of the role, but primarily because he was told both Austin and Foley would be in their wrestling gear too.
It might not have been Vince’s call when it came to The Rock getting involved in the main event. First, we heard The Rock wanted to work with Bray Wyatt. But also, The Rock’s business and management team advised him not to be involved with Roman Reigns because of the potential heat it would bring them. Reigns was booed mercilessly in Dallas (and each city thereafter), and The Rock’s team didn’t want any unnecessary negative publicity. The Great One was a week away from hosting the MTV Movie Awards and is currently promoting the filming of his next movie, Baywatch.
Despite their familial connection (The Rock and Roman Reigns are cousins), the two were kept apart with Vince wanting his new champion to come out of it clean and for The Rock’s business team to maintain positive vibes for their client from his fans. The Rock made out great. He got to use a flamethrower, announce a new attendance record, match wits with Bray Wyatt, pin Erick Rowan in Wrestlemania’s quickest match ever, and get help from John Cena. Now he’s back to Hollywood while WWE tries to figure out if Reigns is a good guy, bad guy or the guy.
At WrestleMania 31, we were teased with the idea of a Triple H and Stephanie vs. The Rock and Ronda Rousey tag-team match which never materialized. This year, we got interaction between up-and-comer Bray Wyatt and The Great One, but a full-fledged match was never in the cards. Do either of those have a chance of happening next year at WrestleMania 33, or would you rather see The Rock square off with Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, or Roman Reigns? Sound off in the comments section below.
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