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Top 10 WrestleMania XXX Matches That Would Draw the Most Money

Wrestling
Top 10 WrestleMania XXX Matches That Would Draw the Most Money

Professional wrestling was launched to unprecedented heights when Vince McMahon created WrestleMania back in 1985. This year, the sports-entertainment extravaganza reaches its 30th instalment from the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The WWE will obviously be trying to pull out all the stops to make it the biggest WrestleMania of all time. The event has drawn over 1 million pay-per-view buys in each of the last three years. Appearances by The Rock, including two main events against John Cena pushed that buy rate past the million mark. The company has shown they are willing to bring back big names for the big event, even if they are not on the full-time roster. With WrestleMania XXX just two-and-a-half months away, who knows who WWE may have in mind?

Remember, this WrestleMania will be available on the WWE Network, set to launch on February 24, but it will only be available in the United States. Fans from around the world will still have to order the pay-per-view and many in the US won’t subscribe to the network right away. This could be the last WrestleMania where the majority of WWE’s viewers will be watching it through PPV. They want to make this one count. Names have already popped up as possible WrestleMania participants, but nothing’s ever set in stone. Here are 10 match possibilities that would undoubtedly have people forking over money to watch WrestleMania XXX.

10. The Rock vs Brock Lesnar

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You put together one of the biggest draws in UFC history and the highest-grossing Hollywood star of 2013 and you’re bound to get some eyes glued to the set. The Rock and Brock Lesnar are both physically capable, even as the Rock is in his 40’s and Lesnar in his mid-30’s. These two have faced off before, back at SummerSlam 2002 when Lesnar defeated the Rock for the undisputed WWE championship. That victory helped launch Lesnar to superstardom.

Since that night, Lesnar went on to be one of WWE’s top stars until his departure in 2004. He then went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship and returned to the WWE in 2012.

The Rock would not hold that title for 10 years, as he only wrestled a few more marquee matches before retiring as a full-time competitor in 2004. The Rock came back in 2011, making occasional appearances and defeated CM Punk at the Royal Rumble last year to win back the WWE championship. The Rock is a movie star first at this point in his life and that will probably prevent this match from coming to fruition this year. The Rock is a bonafide star in Hollywood and that’s his priority now. This match can’t be ruled out for future WrestleManias, though.

9. Brock Lesnar vs the Undertaker

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The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar have already done battle before, which prevents this matchup from being higher on the list. Lesnar and the Undertaker feuded on and off from 2002 to late 2003. They faced each other several times, including a Hell in a Cell match at No Mercy 2002. It seems like a lifetime ago and I’m sure there would be an appetite from the WWE fans to see the two behemoths collide one more time.

The Undertaker has been WWE’s most loyal wrestler for the last 20 years. He’s highly regarded by all and had a reputation for being the leader of the locker room. Lesnar meanwhile, has had a mixed reputation amongst his peers. He left WWE just two years into his tenure, despite being pushed to the mountain in those two years.

This is a potentially great storyline where Undertaker could be defending WWE’s honour in taking down the former UFC champion at WrestleMania. It also provides some doubt as to whether the Undertaker could overcome the beast. Remember, the Undertaker never beat Lesnar in a PPV bout throughout their entire feud.

The two even teased something at UFC 121, following Lesnar’s title defence over Shane Carwin. The match can definitely sell again.

8. Brock Lesnar vs Stone Cold Steve Austin

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Stone Cold Steve Austin and Brock Lesnar were once scheduled to go head to head… In a King of the Ring qualifying match on Monday Night Raw.  Stone Cold was booked to lose to Lesnar in a match with no buildup, no storyline and no pay-per-view payday to earn.

Austin walked out on the company and didn’t return for eight months, in February 2003. While one can debate whether or not Austin handled things professionally, I can certainly echo his feelings that it would be moronic to waste an Austin vs Lesnar showdown in a match with no storyline, on free TV. This is a WrestleMania-worthy match and if Austin were to come back, him vs Lesnar would make a fine choice.

They can build an interesting story, with Lesnar accusing Austin of ducking him back in 2002. He could say he outgrew the wrestling business, while Austin could never be as big of a star outside the world of sports entertainment. Austin could respond saying this was all he wanted to do, and that he will always go down as a bigger legend than Lesnar. This match could only take place at a WrestleMania. Time is running out, though. If WWE could somehow string this match together, they’d have a moneymaker on their hands.

7. Sting vs The Undertaker

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Just as the WWE didn’t have any employee as loyal to the business as the Undertaker, the same could be said for Sting with WCW. Sting has had several chances to jump ship to WWE, but he never has. The reasons have ranged from him being weary of the way the WWE used former WCW stars, to him just not feeling too comfortable working with Vince McMahon.

However, any professional wrestler’s dream is to work at WrestleMania. Sting is 54 years old and he now wrestles occasionally for TNA, working under short-term contracts. WWE has a negotiating window to sign Sting for WrestleMania. Thus far, they have been unable to reach an agreement with the icon, but perhaps the spectacle of WrestleMania XXX, not to mention the big payday, would be too much for Sting to pass up. Obviously, he doesn’t have many matches left in him. What better way for him to go out on top than to wrestle just once, at WrestleMania.

If WWE were to sign him, there’s only one opponent for him; the Phenom. Sure, the two are well past their prime, but I’m banking on the fact that it’s two legends in the business that have always drawn parallels to each other.

6. The Undertaker vs The Rock

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What other superstar can say they have defeated the faces of three different generations? The Rock defeated the most popular star of the 80s, Hulk Hogan, the most popular star of the 90s, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the most popular star of the last decade, John Cena, all at WrestleMania. It’s a feat that may never again be duplicated.

The Undertaker has had many amazing victories at WrestleMania. Unfortunately for him, he was the victim of being placed in many matches that were beneath him. He deserved better than facing Giant Gonzalez, an aging King Kong Bundy, or being placed in a match against Albert and Big Show with little buildup. He has defeated many legends at the big event, including Jake ‘the Snake’ Roberts, Triple H, Ric Flair, Kane and Shawn Michaels. However, he hasn’t faced any of those three guys the Rock defeated. Undertaker should get one of them, and the Rock would be a fine choice.

Many fans will be of the persuasion that the Rock and Undertaker should only come back to face a wrestler on the full-time roster, but no one can deny that this match would draw viewers and dollars.

5. John Cena vs the Undertaker

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The Undertaker is 21-0 at WrestleMania. Him coming back to defend that streak year after year is a draw by itself. What truly makes the annual appearances of the Undertaker worth it, is there has to be a legitimate belief that the streak could possibly end. Undertaker has to be facing a threat, otherwise people won’t be too nervous about the Undertaker suffering his first loss at WrestleMania.

John Cena arguably would be the biggest threat the Undertaker would ever have had to deal with, and that possibility would be what could sell the match. Cena has won so many marquee matches in his career. He’s defeated the likes of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista and The Rock at WrestleMania. Not too many superstars can say that. It also seems that whenever WWE has the chance to crown Cena with a new achievement, they don’t hesitate to do it. Well, perhaps no stat would be more impressive than Cena being ‘the 1’ as in, 21-1. The drama surrounding this match would be extraordinary with Cena’s loyal young following cheering him on to end the most impressive streak in the history of pro wrestling, while the older fans would be praying for the Undertaker not to lose his streak to Super Cena.

4. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs CM Punk

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While this match could arguably be number one, this list is strictly based on box office appeal. While I am a huge CM Punk fan, I’m not sure he has the stardom that others on this list have. However, this match must be included because while CM Punk and Stone Cold Steve Austin‘s characters are very much different, there are also many similarities.

Both have stood up to authority, being the ‘rebel’ of their era. Stone Cold feuded with Vince McMahon for years, and now CM Punk has also feuded with McMahon, as well as Triple H, the on-screen C.O.O. of the WWE. Austin and Punk have frequently expressed their desire to face each other if Austin were to come back for one last WrestleMania main event.

Austin hasn’t wrestled in 11 years, losing his last match to the Rock at WrestleMania 19. Austin went out in a great way, putting over his best rival on the biggest stage. If he were to come back, this is the match Austin would most likely want. He himself is a huge CM Punk fan, and the match that would help Punk’s career the most is a win over the Texas Rattlesnake.

Imagine the straight-edge CM Punk going up against the beer-swilling, foul mouthed S.O.B. Wrestling fans of all ages would want this one. However, time is running out for this match to happen at WrestleMania XXX. Maybe it’d be easier to convince Austin to come out of retirement when WrestleMania XXXII heads to AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The proud Texan he is, maybe Stone Cold would be willing to come back if he were to headline a WrestleMania at home in Texas.

3. The Rock vs Shawn Michaels

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The fact that the Rock and Shawn Michaels never squared off in a one-on-one match, despite working in the WWE at the same time, is a crime to wrestling fans. This is one that fans have been dreaming about for over a decade. The most electrifying man in sports entertainment against the Showstopper. Two of the greatest performers in the history of the business. How could this match not sell?

Michaels took four years off due to a back injury, just as the Rock was ascending to new heights in the WWE. This match would’ve been even better 10 years ago when both men were briefly on the roster in 2003. However, it could still be great today.

While Shawn Michaels said he would never wrestle again following his loss to the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI, retirements in pro wrestling rarely stick. Maybe HBK could get that itch once again. If you want to do good business, there’s no better match for Michaels than a showdown with the Rock.

2. John Cena vs Hulk Hogan

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Hulk Hogan is 60 years old, but he could still draw. Hogan has said that he’s agreed to work at WrestleMania, but it’s doubtful he’ll headline the event against John Cena. I’m sure he’ll be working with Cena in some capacity, but Cena vs Hogan is what would interest fans the most.

Both are the faces of their generations. Both are/were role-models to children all around the world. While this match would be a far cry from a wrestling clinic, the showmanship and connection with the audience from both men would be the only chance to keep the crowd entertained. This match would also have a short shelf life, likely between 12-15 minutes. I couldn’t see Hogan doing anything more. Cena would have to win this battle, as he’s 36 and Hogan’s 60.

Both men dominated their eras, winning endless pay-per-view battles. Both had outspoken rivals, Hogan with Piper, and Cena with Punk. Both persevered through their eras. Neither will be mistaken for ring technicians, but they always appealed to their audience.

A good arc in this story/feud would be Cena arguing that he never turned on his fans whereas Hogan did (Hogan turned heel in WCW in the 90s, forming the nWo). Hogan could fight back that even at 60 years old, no one has forgotten him and he’s still the biggest star of all time. Either way, if Hogan has one more match in him, this is the one that should happen.

1. Stone Cold vs John Cena

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I wrestled with this choice a lot. Ultimately, I feel Cena vs Austin would draw more than Cena vs Hogan due to Stone Cold having a stronger pulse on today’s viewers than Hulk Hogan. Hogan also is in much worse physical shape than Austin, so I could see more of a struggle as to who would win this match.

My ultimate dream match/moneymaking match would be Hulk Hogan vs Stone Cold, but the reality is, Hogan is 60 with a bad back and Austin is 49 with a history of neck injuries. Also, Hogan hasn’t wrestled in the WWE in 10 years, and neither has Austin. Taking two guys who haven’t wrestled at a WrestleMania in over 10 years and expecting them to create magic probably isn’t a good idea. Also, the current generation of fans probably doesn’t know enough about these two men to really get behind a possible storyline here. Sadly, I think the window has closed on this match.

Now, why would Cena be a logical choice? Well, if Austin can’t face Hulk Hogan, how about facing the modern day Hogan? Austin and Cena are polar opposites, yet they have each defined their own generation. While Austin defined his generation, the Attitude Era, as edgy, reckless, raunchy and controversial television, Cena has defined this era as family friendly, preaching values for children to follow. Both men have also sold an exorbitant amount of merchandise. Any crowd 15 years ago was loaded with Austin 3:16 shirts, while crowds today are full of Cenation shirts.

It’s hard to find the storyline that would sell this match, but really this match sells itself. Both are the faces of their generations, and both fan bases would fill up the live crowd and create huge numbers in pay-per-view buys. The bottom line is, this match would likely surpass any of the previous WrestleMania buy rates.

This list is debatable, but the important factor to consider is which matches would do the best business. There also has to be some possibility that these matches could happen. Ultimately I believe these are the 10 moneymakers that WWE would absolutely love to do, and would also have people pumping their money into the WWE machine. Let’s see what they can string together for WrestleMania XXX on April 6 in New Orleans.

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