WrestleMania 27 was largely met with mixed reviews in the immediate aftermath, with its success diminishing in the five years since the event. As is often the case with any wrestling card, let alone a WrestleMania, one decision had a domino effect on the rest of the lineup and the superstars involved. WrestleMania 27 will mostly be remembered for the classic between the Undertaker and Triple H, Edge’s final match, or The Rock’s involvement in the main event between John Cena and The Miz.
The Miz won’t remember his championship bout with Cena because he simply can’t remember it. He suffered a legitimate concussion when his head hit the concrete floor outside the ring, and to this day, cannot recall anything from, easily, the biggest match of his career, or anything immediately following it. Many fans would like to forget that Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler had a match at all.
The Miz’s title reign and main event spot at a WrestleMania was puzzling to most at the time. CM Punk felt slighted that he never main-evented a WrestleMania, and the argument certainly could have been made that 27, 28, 29, and 30 were his best opportunities (Punk quit the WWE two months prior to WrestleMania 30). His program, and subsequent match with Randy Orton, was solid, but he’s been extremely vocal about the fact that he felt he deserved the main event spot ahead of The Miz on multiple occasions.
Of course, The Miz retained his championship as recapped by WWE.com, thanks to an intervening Rock, but as it turns out, the main event between The Miz and Cena was not Vince McMahon’s intention to headline WrestleMania 27 inside the Georgia Dome, let alone CM Punk.
According to a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed that Vince had two other matches in mind to close out WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta. As noted, the Undertaker took on Triple H in a near-30 minute match, and followed it up with another classic the following year inside Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels playing the role of special guest referee.
The prior year, the Deadman headlined a WrestleMania for the last time (likely until he officially closes out his career) when he faced off with HBK in the Streak vs. Career match, widely considered one of the greatest of all time. But if Vince had his wish, the Undertaker would have been in the main event at WrestleMania 27 as well.
It was McMahon’s hope that the Undertaker would have battled Brock Lesnar in 2011, but because Lesnar was still contractually obligated to the UFC, Dana White would not let him compete for the WWE at that time. Of course, Lesnar would return to the WWE a year later, confronting John Cena on the RAW following WrestleMania 28. Lesnar and the Undertaker have gone on to engage in many memorable battles since Brock’s return, most notably at WrestleMania 30 when The Beast conquered the Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak.
However, when White turned down Vince’s request to use Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 27, McMahon’s backup plan was to court Dana White himself to the WWE, which would have pitted Dana vs. Vince in the main event of the biggest show of that year. It was a move that somewhat mimicked Eric Bischoff’s challenge to Vince years earlier during the Monday Night Wars. Dana, of course, declined.
The UFC and WWE’s relationship has improved in the years following. Vince allowed Brock to compete at UFC 200, Ronda Rousey made a memorable cameo alongside The Rock at WrestleMania 31, and numerous reports have suggested that a talent share, albeit infrequent, may continue.
It’s always interesting to reshape a WrestleMania card, in hindsight, as original plans come to fruition. Who would Triple H had faced if Dana allowed Brock to return to the WWE and face the Undertaker? Would The Miz still have been champion? Would The Rock have waited a year before returning himself? And what would have happened if Dana White and Vince McMahon actually got in a ring together?
[Featured Image By WWE]