|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Bones" by Young Guns
"Letters from the Sky" by Civil Twilight
|Date||April 7, 2013|
|City||East Rutherford, New Jersey|
WrestleMania 29 (billed in print ads as WrestleMania NY/NJ) was the 29th annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE, held on April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It drew 80,676 fans, which became the second highest attended event in the history of WWE after WrestleMania III.
The show featured three main events. The first was CM Punk versus The Undertaker, concluding a storyline revolving around Paul Bearer's death and The Undertaker's 20–0 WrestleMania winning streak. The penultimate match was Triple H versus Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match; if Triple H lost, he would have had to retire. The promotional final match was John Cena challenging WWE Champion The Rock, also seeking to avenge his loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII.
This was the fifth WrestleMania in the New York metropolitan area; WrestleMania I, X, and XX were held at Madison Square Garden, and a portion of WrestleMania 2 was held at Nassau Coliseum. It was the third WrestleMania held in the state of New Jersey after WrestleMania IV and V, both of which were held at Trump Plaza/Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Tickets went on sale on November 10, 2012, during which WWE set a first-day sales record of 52,029 tickets, beating the WrestleMania X8 record of 51,620 tickets. Partly due to increased ticket prices, WWE also set a first-day revenue record of more than $10 million, which topped WrestleMania XXVIII's previous record of $6.3 million. For the first time, WrestleMania 29 was streamed on mobile devices via the WWE app and on Xbox Live.
WrestleMania's set featured replicas of several New York City landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building at the top of the entrance ramp, and the Statue of Liberty on a podium above the ring. The ring aprons featured the WrestleMania logo on the Empire State Building; the ropes and ring posts were white. Sean "Diddy" Combs performed a medley of tracks during the event, and Living Colour performed "Cult of Personality" as CM Punk made his way to the ring.
WrestleMania 29 featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
On January 27, John Cena won the 2013 Royal Rumble match, making him the fourth multiple Rumble winner, and earning himself either a WWE Championship or World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 29. The next night on the January 28 edition of Raw, Cena announced that he would challenge the reigning WWE Champion. At the Elimination Chamber event on February 17, The Rock successfully defended the WWE Championship against CM Punk. The next night on Raw, Punk challenged Cena for his spot in the main event, and Cena accepted. Cena won the match on February 25, setting up a rematch of his "Once in a Lifetime" match from the previous year against Rock. Cena blamed Rock for all of the things that happened to him in 2012, such as being beat up by Brock Lesnar, losing to John Laurinaitis, failing to cash in his Money in the Bank, losing to CM Punk multiple times and losing to Dolph Ziggler. He told Rock he would gain redemption by beating him.
On the February 25, 2013 episode of Raw, Triple H returned, brawling with a returning Brock Lesnar, who was about to attack Vince McMahon for a second time, thus reigniting their feud from last year. During the brawl, Lesnar's head was busted open and required 18 stitches. The following week, Triple H set out a challenge to Lesnar at WrestleMania. On the March 11 episode of Raw, after Lesnar attacked Triple H's former D-Generation X members, the New Age Outlaws, Lesnar's manager, Paul Heyman, said that Lesnar accepted Triple H's challenge, but only if Heyman could add stipulations, to be revealed after Triple H signed the contract. Triple H signed the contract, therefore, he accepted the conditions, then Heyman revealed that the bout would be No Holds Barred and that if Triple H lost the match, he must retire from WWE. On the final Raw before WrestleMania, Shawn Michaels returned to announce he would be in Triple H's corner for the match to support him.
On the March 4 episode of Raw, which celebrated "Old School Raw", The Undertaker made his return to WWE by opening up the show, signaling any challenger to face him and try to end his undefeated WrestleMania streak at the event. CM Punk, Randy Orton, Big Show, and Sheamus all declared they wanted to face The Undertaker, prompting Raw's Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero to set a Fatal Four-Way match among the four later that night. CM Punk won the match by pinning Orton, earning him the match against The Undertaker. The following night, Undertaker and Kane's former manager Paul Bearer died of respiratory problems. The next week on Raw, Punk interrupted Paul Bearer's tribute segment to boast that he would break Undertaker's streak, which prompted Undertaker's brother Kane to attack Punk, although Punk escaped. Later that night, Kane defeated Punk in a No Disqualification Match, before Undertaker came to the stage to perform his signature taunt with Kane to honor Bearer. Punk interrupted once again by hitting Kane with The Undertaker's urn, which prompted Undertaker to chase him away, and Punk escaped with the urn. On the March 18 episode of Raw, The Undertaker came to the ring to tell Punk he had one chance to return Undertaker's property, but was interrupted by Punk on the TitanTron, who further boasted about being the one to "snap the streak" while nonchalantly tossing the urn in the air. Disguised as a druid, Punk further assaulted Undertaker on Raw and constantly beat him with the urn. Punk then boldly opened the urn and emptied its contents over a fallen Undertaker, thus igniting their feud.
Also at Elimination Chamber, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio successfully retained his championship against Big Show. Returning superstars Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho, and Mark Henry earned spots in the six-man Elimination Chamber match, along with Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton to become the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Swagger won the event, and challenged Del Rio for the title at WrestleMania. Throughout the weeks, Swagger and his new manager, Zeb Colter, repeatedly stressed about the ignorance of America and allowing illegal immigrants in, and promised that they would bring a new era of "Jack Swagger's America". They also repeatedly attacked Del Rio, and Swagger broke Del Rio's ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez's ankle.
On the March 15 episode of SmackDown, The Shield challenged Randy Orton and Sheamus to a six-man tag team match at WrestleMania 29. Orton and Sheamus accepted, then recruited Ryback as their third man. Later that night, The Shield interfered in Ryback's match with Mark Henry and delivered a triple powerbomb to Ryback before he was given three World's Strongest Slams by Henry. The following Monday on Raw, Vickie Guerrero pulled Ryback from the six-man tag team match and put him in a singles match with Henry. After winning a match on the March 18 episode of Raw, Sheamus and Orton were about to be assaulted by The Shield, but then Big Show - who had also been brutalized by The Shield - stepped into the ring, causing The Shield to retreat, and on SmackDown that week, Sheamus, Orton and Big Show were teamed together by Booker T to test their teamwork in a six-man tag match against 3MB, in which they were victorious. Following the match, The Shield came to the ring to confront the victors before retreating once again.
Also on the March 18 episode of Raw, Dolph Ziggler won a match against Kofi Kingston with outside help from Big E Langston. This caused Team Hell No, who both had been attacked by Langston during past matches with Ziggler, to challenge them at WrestleMania. Ziggler's girlfriend, AJ Lee, said they would accept the match only if Team Hell No put their Tag Team Championship on the line, to which they agreed.
A minor rivalry between Chris Jericho and newcomer Fandango developed prior to Wrestlemania. Fandango made numerous appearances throughout the WWE, but he never competed in matches because announcers and other superstars repeatedly mispronounced his name or did not say it with the right kind of "feel" he liked. The feud with Jericho began on the March 22 episode of SmackDown when Jericho made fun of Fandango's name. This caused Fandango to interfere with Jericho's match with Jack Swagger (and assault him after). He again attacked Jericho on the March 25 episode of Raw after Jericho's win against Dolph Ziggler. Jericho had just been attacked by Big E Langston before Fandango came to the ring. This caused Jericho to ask Vickie Guerrero to set up a match between him and Fandango at WrestleMania.
Another rivalry that escalated was between The Miz and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett. Miz and Barrett had been trading jabs back and forth about which of them was the better actor, as Miz had starred in The Marine 3: Homefront, and Barrett had a minor role in the film Dead Man Down. After defending his title in a triple threat match against Miz and Chris Jericho on the March 18 episode of Raw, Barrett continued the feud with Miz after he shoved him on Main Event on March 20, which caused Miz to retaliate. On the March 25 episode of Raw, Miz won against Barrett in a non-title match via submission, thus earning him a championship match against Barrett and a chance for his second Intercontinental Championship. The match took place in the pre-show before WrestleMania.
Another minor rivalry heading into WrestleMania was between Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay & Tensai) and Team Rhodes Scholars. This also extended to their female companions, The Funkadactyls (Cameron & Naomi) and The Bella Twins. On the March 11 episode of Raw, the Bella Twins returned to WWE and appeared to begin a relationship with Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. On the March 15 episode of SmackDown, the Bellas attacked The Funkadactyls backstage. In the following weeks, all of the teams faced off in a series of tag team matches, most of which included ringside altercations involving the accompanying team members. WWE.com later announced that they would square off in an eight-person mixed tag team match at WrestleMania. However, due to time constraints, the match did not take place on the pay-per-view, but on the next night's Raw. Tons of Funk and The Funkadactyls won the match, which was joined in progress.
The pre-show had a panel discussion, which discussed and predicted the matches that were going to take place later in the event. The discussion consisted of Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston, Dusty Rhodes, and Scott Stanford. Later in the pre-show, Snooki, The Miz, and Wade Barret talked backstage. The pre-show match was announced by Matt Striker and Josh Mathews, which was for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Wade Barrett, the champion defended against The Miz. The match went back and forth between the two superstars. Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Barrett moved and went for the Bull Hammer. Miz moved and knocked Barrett to the ground and locked in the Figure Four Leg lock, shades of Ric Flair, and Barrett tapped out, giving Miz his second Intercontinental championship in his career.
|Commentators||John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Josh Mathews (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Matt Striker (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Carlos Cabrera (Spanish)|
|Marcelo Rodriguez (Spanish)|
|Interviewers||Tony Dawson (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Renee Young (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Ring announcers||Justin Roberts|
|Howard Finkel (WWE Hall of Fame)|
|Tony Chimel (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Panel Discussion||Scott Stanford|
WrestleMania began with The Shield (in their WrestleMania debut) taking on Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton in a six-man tag team match. Sheamus and Roman Reigns started the match. Big Show ripped off Ambrose's vest and chopped his chest. Sheamus also removed Seth Rollins's vest. When The Shield went for their trademark Triple Powerbomb, Big Show speared all of them. When Sheamus tried to tag Big Show, Orton tagged himself in causing Big Show to become frustrated. As Orton tried to hit Ambrose with an RKO, Rollins came off the top rope and Orton caught him with an RKO in mid-air. Reigns speared Orton and Ambrose pinned him. After the match, Big Show knocked out both Sheamus and Orton with the WMD.
Next, Mark Henry faced Ryback. Henry knocked Ryback out of the ring a few times. Ryback knocked Henry down with a Meat Hook Clothesline, then tried to Shell Shock Henry, who grabbed the ropes. Henry crashed down on Ryback, driving his face into the mat and knocking him out, then pinned him. Afterward, Ryback gave Henry a spinebuster and a Shell Shock.
Team Hell No then defended the Tag Team Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. Ziggler mocked Daniel Bryan by kissing AJ Lee, like Bryan did before his loss at WrestleMania XXVIII. Bryan flew out of the ring onto Ziggler, while Kane and Langston fought inside. Later, as Langston distracted Kane, Ziggler hit him with the Zig-Zag, but couldn't get the pinfall. While AJ distracted the referee, Langston threw Ziggler his Money In The Bank briefcase. Ziggler tried to hit Kane with it, but he ducked and nailed the Chokeslam, before tagging in Bryan to hit a top-rope headbutt for the pin.
Fandango made his in-ring debut against Chris Jericho, who started off by punishing Fandango. Jericho hit a Codebreaker early in the match. Fandango caught Jericho with a roundhouse kick, then a diving leg drop from the top rope. When he tried for another, Jericho moved, then attempted a Lionsault, but Fandango got his knees up. When Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, Fandango quickly rolled him up for the pin.
Next was the World Heavyweight Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and challenger Jack Swagger. Del Rio Irish whipped Swagger into the barricade. Swagger later nailed the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio kicked out. Swagger then executed his gutwrench power bomb but Del Rio kicked out again. Swagger worked Del Rio's leg, then tried the Patriot Lock a few times, but Del Rio didn't submit. Finally, Del Rio locked in the Cross Armbreaker and Swagger tapped out.
Main event matches
In the first match of the triple main event, The Undertaker defended his 20–0 WrestleMania winning streak against CM Punk. Punk first tried to intimidate Undertaker, finally slapping him. Undertaker retaliated with a chokeslam attempt, but Punk countered it with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head. Undertaker hit Punk with a big boot off the ropes and threw him outside, where they brawled. Undertaker cleared the Spanish announce table and hit Punk with a guillotine legdrop on the ring apron. Back in the ring, Undertaker attempted his signature move, Old School, but was pulled off the rope. Punk then stole the move and used it against Undertaker. Undertaker attempted a big boot to the corner, but was caught on the top rope when Punk moved. Punk hit a flying double axe handle and then attempted to steal Old School again, but was thrown from the ring. Undertaker then ran the ropes in attempt to perform his signature over-the-top-rope suicide dive but Paul Heyman stepped onto the apron in his way. Undertaker then attempted to chokeslam Heyman but Punk saved his manager by connecting with a springboard clothesline on Undertaker for a near-fall. Punk then hit Undertaker with a running high knee in the corner and short-arm clothesline followed by a diving elbow drop for another count of two. He then attempted a GTS, but Undertaker countered with a chokeslam, for a two-count, then Snake Eyes. Punk retaliated with a heel kick and threw Undertaker to the outside. Undertaker tried to Last Ride Punk through the table he'd cleared, but Punk countered and kicked him the back of the head. He laid Undertaker on the table, climbed the turnbuckle, and hit another flying elbow drop onto the announce table. The referee began counting Undertaker out as Punk made it back into the ring, but Undertaker made it back into the ring with one second to spare. As Punk attempted to pick him up from the mat, Undertaker suddenly locked in the Hell's Gate. Punk countered into a bridging pin for another near-fall. He then secured the Anaconda Vice, but Undertaker powered through to his feet and tried another chokeslam, which Punk reversed into the GTS but Undertaker immediately rebounded off the ropes and nailed Punk with the Tombstone for a dramatic near-fall. Back on their feet, the two traded blows, and the referee was knocked down in the chaos. Punk hit the high knee again, but Undertaker took advantage of the position by attempting Last Ride. While Punk was on Undertaker's shoulders, Heyman handed him the urn, which he struck on the back of Undertaker's head. Punk then mocked Undertaker's traditional pinning style for another two-count. Punk and Undertaker proceeded to trade near-finishers, with the Undertaker's Tombstone finally winning out, securing his victory and improving his streak to 21 wins. He reclaimed the urn and walked backstage, pausing on the ramp to raise his fist.
The second main event match was the No Holds Barred match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar with the added stipulation that, if Triple H lost, he would have to retire. Triple H and Lesnar quickly spilled to the floor of MetLife Stadium, pummeling each other with anything and everything within arm’s reach. Triple H sent Lesnar crashing into the ringside barricade and then Lesnar drove Triple H’s sternum into the announcers’ table in return. After a big brawl, both in and outside of the ring, which included HBK getting an F5 from Lesnar and Paul Heyman receiving Sweet Chin Music, Triple H stole Brock Lesnar's submission move, the Kimura lock, and locked it on Lesnar for a extended amount of time. In the end, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Lesnar onto the steel steps and got him down for the three count.
The final match was the main event between John Cena and defending WWE Champion The Rock. After the bell had rang and the match had begun, Cena struck first before The Rock seized control of the contest and halted Cena’s momentum by sending him scrambling outside the ring to regroup within the bout’s opening moments. The match went on while The Rock had control by hitting Cena with blows and punches. John Cena then locked The Rock into a STF, but The Rock powered out of the hold. The Rock then hit Cena with a Rock Bottom but only for a two count. John Cena then hit The Rock with an AA, but only got a 2 count. The Rock soon hit John Cena with a People's Elbow for another 2 count. John Cena soon tried to hit a second AA, but The Rock countered into a second Rock Bottom for a 2 count yet again. A frustrated Rock nearly fell into the same trap John Cena did the year before when he taunted Cena with Cena's own "You Can't See Me" taunt before going for a second People's Elbow, however John Cena caught The Rock and hit him with a second AA for another 2 count. The Rock soon went for a third Rock Bottom, but Cena gave a huge highlight when he countered and hit The Rock with a Rock Bottom instead. John Cena then tried to sucker The Rock into a third AA by faking a People's Elbow, the same mistake that cost Cena the match the year before. However, when Cena went for the third AA, The Rock countered into a third Rock Bottom for another 2 count. Afterwards, both John Cena and The Rock went for an AA and a Rock Bottom respectively. This continued until The Rock hit John Cena with a DDT. However, instead of covering Cena, Rock instead went for a fourth Rock Bottom. However, John Cena countered with a third AA, which allowed John Cena to pin The Rock and win the match.
The Rock suffered legitimate torn muscles and tendons around his pelvis from the match, leaving it unknown when or if he will invoke his rematch clause for the WWE Championship.
On the Raw after WrestleMania, Cena put his championship on the line against anyone. Mark Henry answered the challenge, which turned into a number one contender match. Cena won via countout, and was then assaulted by Henry, who held the championship belt over his head. Ryback then came to seemingly save Cena - making Henry retreat and helping Cena to his feet - but then attacked Cena and held the belt over his head as well. Prior to the April 22nd 2013 episode of Raw on WWE.com, it was announced that Cena would defend the WWE Championship against Ryback. On the May 6 episode of Raw, it was announced that it would be a Last Man Standing match. The match ended in a no contest after Ryback rammed Cena through the entrance stage. The night after, Ryback came out with an ambulance and challenged Cena at WWE Payback in an ambulance match. Cena accepted and made the match a three stages of hell match, in which Cena won.
Wade Barrett invoked his rematch clause on Raw and defeated Miz, reclaiming the Intercontinental Championship for his third reign. In reality, this was done so Miz could take time off to film the movie Christmas Bounty. It was announced that Barrett would put the title on the line in a triple threat match at WWE Payback, against The Miz and Fandango. Fandango was injured and replaced by Paul Heyman's newest client, Curtis Axel. Axel won the championship.
Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger had one more match to end their feud, but it turned into a 2-on-1 handicap match with Del Rio facing Swagger and Zeb Colter. Del Rio won, but had his leg injured by Swagger. Dolph Ziggler took this opportunity to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, and - despite Del Rio putting up a fight - pinned Del Rio to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. Ziggler was soon concussed and put out of action. He still held the title, and Del Rio and Swagger feuded over the number one contendership. At Extreme Rules, Del Rio won an "I Quit" match for the number one contendership. Del Rio defeated Ziggler at WWE Payback to win the World Heavyweight Championship for a second time, ending Ziggler's reign at 69 days. During the match a double turn occurred, Del Rio turned heel attacking Ziggler's head taking advantage of his concussion, and Ziggler turned face showing a "never-say-die" attitude.
Brock Lesnar returned to Raw on April 15, to challenge Triple H (who had suffered second degree burns to his torso and arms during his WrestleMania ring entrance when the stage sprayed dry ice on him) to a Steel Cage Match at Extreme Rules. A week later, Triple H came out to the surprise of Paul Heyman to accept the challenge and gave Heyman a Pedigree. Lesnar won the rematch at Extreme Rules. Paul Heyman came out the next night to reveal his newest client Curtis Axel. Triple H interrupted and issued a challenge to Axel before slapping him. Later on that night, Triple H suffered a concussion during the match. The match ended as a no contest, but the victory went to Axel. Triple H returned on the June 3rd edition of Raw, attempting to fight Axel, but was forbidden by his wife Stephanie McMahon, and his father-in-law Vince McMahon. He returned to the ring on June 10 edition of Raw to fight Axel. During the match, Vince took the ringbell and stopped the match after Triple H tried to restart it.
On the April 15 episode of Raw, CM Punk came out to talk about his match with The Undertaker and his historic WWE championship reign. Punk gave Heyman the microphone, hugged him and walked out of the arena. He left TV until defeating Chris Jericho at WWE Payback. Punk then dropped Heyman as his manager, causing Heyman to turn on Punk and Punk becoming a face again.
The Undertaker came out the next night to pay tribute to Paul Bearer, but was interrupted by The Shield who tried to attack The Undertaker until Team Hell No made the save. The Undertaker wrestled his first match in three years on Raw, teaming up with Team Hell No in a losing effort against the Shield. He then wrestled his first match on SmackDown in a winning effort against Dean Ambrose of The Shield. Afterward, The Shield attacked The Undertaker and powerbombed him through the announce table.
Jericho continued his feud with Fandango, with each man attacking the other after matches. Jericho defeated Fandango in a rematch at Extreme Rules.
WrestleMania 29 received generally mixed critical reception. Matt Kodner of The A.V. Club gave the show a letter grade of B. He generally criticized the event as "too much of the same, with nary a sense of fun to the matches." He claimed the main event between John Cena and The Rock was "all too similar, and the match never popped." He named The Undertaker vs. CM Punk "match of the night". "Though it came nearly an hour before the night was over, their match was the clear climax, and the only true triumph of WrestleMania XXIX [sic]" he said. Kodner claimed P. Diddy gave a "spectacularly phoned-in performance," claiming, "I'll take last year's funky army of dancing mommas as led by Brodus Clay over Diddy any day of the week." He praised the announcers for doing a "fine job" but said JBL stole the show during the advertisement for Power Slammers action figures. He also praised Fandango's understated entrance, but criticized the technical problems on the live stream that caused many watching through WWE.com to miss the opening match.
Rob McNichol of The Sun scored WrestleMania 29 a 6/10, calling CM Punk vs. The Undertaker match of the night by a wide margin and saying it was "a masterclass in timing, emotion and expression." He criticized The Rock for struggling to keep pace with full-time WWE wrestler John Cena and said the match was similar to their WrestleMania XXVIII match. He called the event "a show without any real spark."
WrestleMania XXIX garnered 1,048,000 PPV buys, 205,000 fewer than the previous year's event. The event set a new record for the highest grossing live event in WWE history, grossing $72 million.
|Pre-show||The Miz defeated Wade Barrett (c) by submission||Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship||04:06|
|1||The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus, and The Big Show||Six-man tag team match||10:35|
|2||Mark Henry defeated Ryback||Singles match||08:02|
|3||Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston (with AJ Lee)||Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||06:16|
|4||Fandango defeated Chris Jericho||Singles match||09:17|
|5||Alberto Del Rio (c) (with Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) by submission||Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship||10:28|
|6||The Undertaker defeated CM Punk (with Paul Heyman)||Singles match||23:07|
|7||Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) defeated Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman)||No Holds Barred match; had Triple H lost, he would have had to retire.||23:58|
|8||John Cena defeated The Rock (c)||Singles match for the WWE Championship||24:32|
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
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