Although WrestleMania has had a large share of celebrities, glitz, and glamour since its inception in 1985, the prime importance should always be the matches. It is said that many of those matches are still decided upon well in advance of the event. Such planning goes a long way in building the anticipation and the stories themselves. This year, WWE has several intriguing superstars and situations to position for "the grandaddy of 'em all."
Off the top, the one that interests me the least is the inclusion of The Rock. Although I was an "early adopter" of Rocky fandom dating back to his Nation of Domination days, placing him at the center of attention isn't where I would go. Needless to say, I'm likely in the minority on this one. Many are looking forward to seeing just where Dwayne Johnson takes The Rock from upcoming episodes of Raw, to the Rumble, and further into the big event. Will CM Punk's long standing WWE Championship reign come to an end thanks to the part-time wrestler, full-time actor? Will John Cena get his win back? Or how about that other guy? The one that has about one match a year? The Undertaker. How would "The Streak" fare against "The Great One?"
If we have to witness another 'Mania with The Rock, my choice would be a one-night-only return from a retired superstar in a match that, due to personal politics, never occurred. It is said that Shawn Michaels and The Rock have cleared up their differences, making it the perfect time, and the perfect event, to have a never-before-seen blockbuster.
My gut feeling is that a non-wrestler will actually have the biggest impact in the coming months. Not only is the site of Mania, the NYC/NJ area, his home, but he is involved with several major players. The man? Paul Heyman. Between his current involvement with Punk, unanswered questions regarding Brock Lesnar, and any number of possibilities with The Shield, it's anyone's guess as to who will be in a "dangerous" alliance with Heyman come WrestleMania.
A heavily rumored name that is very much in the realm of possibility is Mick Foley. The man who brought Cactus Jack, Dude Love, and Mankind to the wrestling world is deserving and also has his own ties to MSG and the NYC area, himself being a native. Being back in the WWE's good graces doesn't hurt the cause, either.
And yes...we cannot forget the controversial "Celebrity Wing." Last year, a celebrity who had perhaps the biggest impact on the growth of the WWF/WWE made her first appearance in a wrestling ring in over twenty-five years. That lady is Cyndi Lauper. Her contributions to the company have been long overlooked. Being a hometown girl in the arena she appeared with WWF the most in, it's a no-brainer.
I often look down upon the current scene both privately and publicly, but I'd be a liar if I said that I wasn't excited for the next few months. I have a feeling that many memories will be made surrounding WrestleMania, and I don't see how next year's 30th year of the event will be able to top the excitement of XXIX. I think we all need to show the world that the northeast is the home of WrestleMania. Can we do it...?