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Monday, February 21, 2011

WrestleMania's Main Events Needed Freshening Up, And Here's Proof

A year ago, it would have been impossible to predict that The Miz and Mexican lucha star Dos Caras Jr. (Alberto Del Rio) would be competing in the two world title matches at WrestleMania.

For sure, the involvement of the two relatively fresh faces in the top matches at WrestleMania XXVII is a testament to the youth movement that has been in full swing in WWE for more than a year now.

And a quick glimpse at the history of the wrestlers who have competed in WrestleMania shows how unique it is to feature two such relative newcomers:

. Del Rio has worked his way to a WrestleMania world title match after only seven months as a member of WWE’s main roster. You’d have to go back 18 years to find another wrestler who headlined WrestleMania less than a year into a televised WWE run. Yokozuna won—and lost—the WWE title in the main event of WrestleMania IX in 1993 after debuting on television five months earlier.

. The Miz headlines WrestleMania in his fifth year as a member of WWE's main roster. The last wrestler with five years WWE experience or less to compete in a WrestleMania world title match: Batista, who six years ago participated in the main event of WrestleMania 21 in his third year on WWE television.

. This will not only be Del Rio’s first WrestleMania world title match, but his first WrestleMania match altogether. The last person to make his WrestleMania debut in a world title match: Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XIX in 2003.

. There have been 27 slots for participants in world title matches in WrestleMania since 2005. Those slots have been filled by just 13 men.

. From WrestleMania I to WrestleMania X, all world title matches included at least one first-time WrestleMania headliner. The first WrestleMania to feature exclusively repeat Mania headliners was XII, when Bret Hart, who headlined Manias IX and X, took on Shawn Michaels, who headlined WrestlerMania XI.

. Since 2009, WrestleMania’s world title matches have only involved wrestlers who participated in past WrestleMania world title matches. (John Cena, Triple-H, Randy Orton, The Big Show, Batista, Chris Jericho and Edge)

. The Miz and Alberto Del Rio are both competing in their first WrestleMania world title matches. The last first-time WrestleMania world title match participant was Edge, who headlined WrestleMania XXIV against the Undertaker, a decade after debuting in 1998.

. The last WrestleMania world title match to feature exclusively first-time headliners was John Cena vs. John Bradshaw Layfield at WrestleMania 21.

. If The Miz vs. John Cena closes out WrestleMania XXVII, The Miz, who defended the tag team championship in last year’s Mania opener, will be only the second person in history to compete in the first match at WrestleMania one year, and the last match at WrestleMania the next. The only other wrestler with that distinction is Chris Jericho, who wrestled William Regal in the opening match of WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001, and wrestled Triple-H in the final match of WrestleMania X-8.

. This will be John Cena’s seventh consecutive WrestleMania world title match—a record. He also moves ahead of Hulk Hogan in total WrestleMania world title matches. Hogan had six. Triple-H holds the record for the most WrestleMania world title matches, with eight.

-Al Castle
Pro Wrestling Illustrated Senior Writer

2 comments:

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

Great stuff, Al!

You are to pro wrestling what the Elias Sports Bureau is to MLB.

Stu Saks

Anonymous said...

Keep up the AWESOME work, AL. ALso, keep blogs coming.