|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. It took place on April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Nine professional wrestling matches were contested at the event, with one being shown on the Pre-Show.
In the main event, John Cena defeated The Rock to win his record eleventh WWE Championship, as well as avenging his loss to The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII. It also included The Undertaker defeating CM Punk, concluding a storyline revolving around Paul Bearer's death and The Undertaker's WrestleMania winning streak. In the penultimate match, Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match; had Triple H lost, he would have retired. Also, Alberto Del Rio retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger in the title's final defense at WrestleMania, as it was eventually unified with the WWE Championship in December 2013. Due to that, this was the last WrestleMania to feature two world titles until WrestleMania 33 in 2017.
WrestleMania 29 was a commercial success; it drew 80,676 fans, which became the third highest attended event in the history of WWE after WrestleMania 32 and WrestleMania III, and it became the highest grossing live event in WWE history, grossing $72 million. Critical reception was generally positive; while the main event was criticized for being similar to previous year's WrestleMania, the bout between CM Punk and The Undertaker was considered "match of the night".
WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having first been held in 1985. It is the longest-running professional wrestling event in history and is held annually between mid-March to mid-April. It was the first of WWE's original four pay-per-views, which includes Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four". It has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. It was the last WrestleMania to feature the World Heavyweight Championship, as the title was unified with the WWE Championship at December's TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs event, with the latter being renamed to WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
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 Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The event was the fifth WrestleMania to be held outdoors (after IX, XXIV, XXVI, and XXVIII), but the first to be held outdoors in a cold-weather city. To combat this, WWE added a heater that was hanging above the ring. Additionally, six electric furnaces were plumbed underneath the ring and vented into the ring posts to supply warm air.
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 was streamed on mobile devices via the WWE app and on Xbox Live.
WrestleMania's set included replicas of several New York City landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building on top of the entrance ramp, the Statue of Liberty on a podium above the ring. There are three official theme songs for the event, "Coming Home" by Diddy – Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey, "Bones" by Young Guns and "Letters from the Sky" by Civil Twilight. WrestleMania set a new world record of 80,676 fans at MetLife Stadium and is the third-highest attended Wrestling event in history after WrestleMania III and WrestleMania 32
The professional wrestling matches at WrestleMania 29 featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, WWE. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
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 he would challenge the reigning WWE Champion. At the Elimination Chamber event on February 17, The Rock successfully defended the WWE Championship against the previous champion 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 sending his life into a downward spiral, citing events such as being attacked by Brock Lesnar on the post-WrestleMania Raw, Big Show turning heel on him, being embarrassed by John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit, failing to cash in his Money in the Bank, losing to CM Punk multiple times and losing to Dolph Ziggler at TLC. He told Rock he would gain redemption by beating him at WrestleMania.
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 February 25, 2013 episode of Raw, Triple H returned, brawling with a returning Brock Lesnar, who was about to attack Vince McMahon for the 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 the 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 announced that 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.
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.
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 wrestlers 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. According to Jericho, the original plan was Jericho vs. Ryback, but Vince McMahon changed his rival.
The other rivalry that had 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 on the WrestleMania XXIX Pre-Show.
|English Commentators||Michael Cole|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield|
|Josh Mathews (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Matt Striker (Wrestlemania Pre-show)|
|Spanish Commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Interviewers||Renee Young (WrestleMania Pre-show)|
|Tony Dawson (WrestleMania Pre-show)|
|Ring announcers||Lilian Garcia|
|Howard Finkel (WWE Hall of Fame)|
|Tony Chimel (WrestleMania Pre-show)|
|Pre-show Panel||Scott Stanford|
During the WrestleMania XXIX Pre-Show, a panel consisting of Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston, Dusty Rhodes and Scott Stanford discussed the event's matches. Later in the pre-show, Snooki spoke backstage to The Miz and Wade Barrett. Their Intercontinental Championship match, commentated by Matt Striker and Josh Mathews, went back and forth between both wrestlers. 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 Leglock, shades of Ric Flair, and Barrett submitted, giving Miz his second Intercontinental championship in his career.
In the opening match, The Shield (in their WrestleMania debut) faced Sheamus, Big Show, and Randy Orton in a 6-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 on Sheamus, Big Show speared all of them at the same time. When Sheamus tried to tag Big Show, Orton tagged himself in, frustrating Big Show. Rollins came off the top rope but Orton performed an RKO on Rollins. Reigns performed a spear on Orton and Ambrose pinned him. After the match, Big Show knocked out both Sheamus and Orton.
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 perform a Shell Shock on 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.
After that, Team Hell No defended the WWE Tag Team Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Ziggler mocked Daniel Bryan by kissing AJ Lee, as Bryan did before his loss at WrestleMania XXVIII. Bryan flew out of the ring onto Ziggler, while Kane and Big E fought inside. Later, as Big E distracted Kane, Ziggler executed the Zig-Zag, but Kane kicked out at two. While AJ distracted the referee, Big E 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 execute a top-rope headbutt for the pin.
In the fourth match, Fandango, in his in-ring debut, faced Chris Jericho, who began by punishing Fandango. Jericho delivered a Codebreaker early in the match. Fandango executed a roundhouse kick, then a diving leg drop on Jericho for a near-fall. When he went for another, Jericho moved, then went for a Lionsault, but Fandango got his knees up. As Jericho attempted for the Walls of Jericho, Fandango quickly rolled him up for the pin.
Next, Alberto Del Rio defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger. Del Rio Irish whipped Swagger into the barricade. Swagger later executed the Swagger Bomb, but Del Rio kicked out. Swagger then executed his gut-wrench powerbomb 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. In the end, Del Rio locked in the Cross Armbreaker and Swagger submitted.
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 delivered a big boot to Punk and threw him outside, where they brawled. Undertaker cleared the Spanish broadcasting table and executed a guillotine leg drop on the ring apron on Punk. 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 executed 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 an 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 performed a running high knee in the corner and short-arm clothesline followed by a diving elbow drop on Undertaker for another count of two. He then attempted a Go To Sleep, 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 executed another diving elbow drop onto the broadcasting 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 attempted 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 Go To Sleep 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.
In the second main event match, Triple H faced Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match with Triple H's career at stake. 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 broadcasting table in return. After a big brawl, both in and outside of the ring, which included Shawn Michaels 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 an 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 securing his career and keeping his in-ring skills intact.
In the main event, The Rock defended the WWE Championship against John Cena. After the bell rang, Cena struck first before The Rock seized control of the match 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 striking Cena with blows and punches. Cena then locked The Rock into a Crossface, but The Rock countered into a pin for a 2-count. Cena then locked The Rock in an STF, but The Rock powered out. The Rock then executed a Rock Bottom on Cena but only for a 2-count. Cena then performed an AA on The Rock, but only got a 2-count. The Rock soon delivered a People's Elbow on Cena for another 2-count. Cena soon went for 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 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, Cena caught The Rock and delivered a second AA for another near-fall. The Rock soon went for a third Rock Bottom, but Cena countered and executed a Rock Bottom instead for a near fall. Cena then tried to sucker The Rock into a third AA by faking a People's Elbow attempt, the same mistake that cost Cena the match the last year. However, when Cena went for the third AA, The Rock countered into a third Rock Bottom for another 2-count. Afterward, both John Cena and The Rock went for an AA and a Rock Bottom respectively. This continued until The Rock delivered a DDT on Cena. But instead of pinning Cena, Rock instead went for a fourth Rock Bottom and Cena countered with a third AA to win the match and the title. After the match, Rock and Cena shook hands and hugged each other and Rock praised Cena as the new WWE Champion, and raised his hand on the top of the stage.
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 by count-out, and was then assaulted by Henry. Ryback then came to seemingly save Cena – making Henry retreat and helping Cena to his feet – but then attacked Cena. Prior to the April 22 episode of Raw, Cena was scheduled to defend the WWE Championship against Ryback. On the May 6 episode of Raw, the match was made 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 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 The Miz, reclaiming the Intercontinental Championship for his third reign. In reality, this was done so The Miz could take time off to film the movie Christmas Bounty. Barrett was set to put the title on the line at Payback in a triple threat match 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 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 ring bell 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 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 broadcasting table. CM Punk would become the final victim of The Undertaker's Undefeated WrestleMania Streak as at WrestleMania XXX The Undertaker would lose at the hands of Brock Lesnar, ending the streak at 21-1.
WrestleMania 29 received generally positive reactions. 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 John "Bradshaw" Layfield 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.
Canadian Online Explorer's professional wrestling section gave the entire event a rating of 8 out of 10. The six-man tag team match received a 7 out of 10, the World Heavyweight Championship match received a 5 out of 10 and the CM Punk-Undertaker match received a perfect score of 10 out of 10. The Triple H-Brock Lesnar match received a 7 out of 10, the same rating as the main event.
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.
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