The star power for what some are calling the biggest WrestleMania ever just took mega hits this past week. According to a new report, two stars rumored to be headlining WrestleMania will not be doing so inside of the ring.
[adinserter block=”1″]Dave Meltzer broke the news in his latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that both UFC champion Ronda Rousey and former WWE champion the Rock will not be wrestling on WrestleMania. After months of rumors, Meltzer’s report takes two people who were expected to have one or two big matches out of the ring, weakening an already depleted card.
Not that Seth Rollins is anywhere near the level of star that Rousey and Rock are, the news does come on the same week that Rollins injured his knee. Rollins’ injury takes him out of WrestleMania barring a miracle comeback, which I am not completely shutting the door on. Stone Cold Steve Austin, another rumored headliner is also not wrestling as some hoped in Dallas.
Meltzer reports that WWE creative were told this week that Rock and Rousey were not available for matches in Dallas. Meltzer confirms that the company had hoped to book Rock and Rousey in the ring, which makes sense coming off of last Mania’s angle. What doesn’t make sense is that the WWE started teasing a WrestleMania 32 match with Rock and Triple H last year without ironing out the details to get the match done.
Rousey will be filming a movie in Indonesia during Mania. Rousey is also under contract to the UFC and UFC president Dana White has been adamant about not wanting Rousey to wrestle. Rousey continues to hype WWE in interviews and tease a match down the line, but that match probably won’t happen until her UFC contract expires or she re-negotiates a new one with an amendment allowing her to wrestle for the WWE (or anyone).
Dwayne Johnson’s situation is a little more complicated according to the report. Johnson’s situation gets messy due to an insurance issue. This goes back to Johnson’s last wrestling match at WrestleMania 29 against John Cena where Johnson was severely injured and his upcoming movie had to be delayed. Meltzer does report that Johnson has no commitments preventing him from being at WrestleMania (unlike Rousey who has to get clearance from UFC) and expects Johnson to be at the event.
[adinserter block=”2″]Meltzer does offer a glimmer of hope. Meltzer speculates that should Johnson settle whatever insurance issue there is, he could wrestle on the event. At the same time, it would appear that the company is moving forward with the expectation that he will not be in the ring. This would also mean that there is very little chance of Rock wrestling moving forward.
Without Rock, Rousey, or even Steve Austin the company is going to have a hard time putting a card together that satisfies booking a stadium the size of AT&T Stadium. That said, there have been plenty of bad Super Bowl matchups that still did great business. It would appear that the company is counting on the event being the draw, like a Super Bowl or World Series.
I am sure the event will draw well, but the lack of star-power in the ring will really hurt its place in history.