This weekend’s WrestleMania will be special in many different ways. First WWE event with fans in over a year, first “socially-distanced” WrestleMania, first WrestleMania to feature two African Americans, women no less, in the main event, etc.
But it’s also the first WrestleMania since 1994 without WWE’s usual heavyweights: there’s no John Cena, there’s no Brock Lesnar, there’s no Triple H, and there’s no Undertaker. All these four men are synonymous with WrestleMania but you have to go back to WrestleMania 10 to find a WrestleMania without any of these individuals.
Every WrestleMania after 10 featured at least one of the mentioned Superstars. The Undertaker has 27 appearances, Triple H follows with 23, John Cena has 15, and Brock Lesnar has 10 and for the past decade or so, they have been a constant on the Mania card.
The Undertaker missed WrestleMania 35 but returned for the Boneyard cinematic match at WrestleMania 36 in what ended up being his last WWE match against AJ Styles. He has since retired from in-ring competition.
Triple H missed WrestleMania 36, breaking a record of consecutive WrestleManias that dated back since 2007 and was his only second miss in 25 years. This year, The Game turned down a match against AJ Styles, citing lack of time to get in Mania shape.
John Cena has always found a way to be involved at WrestleMania, but stuck in Canada filming The Peacemaker series for HBO Max and not helped by travel restrictions and quarantine, the 16-time champ will be absent for this one. He missed WrestleMania 35 but returned for a weird “match” against The Fiend last year.
And Brock Lesnar has been present at every WrestleMania since he returned to the promotion in 2012. He often went in as the champion but after last year’s defeat to Drew McIntyre, Lesnar’s contract ran out and we haven’t seen him on WWE television ever since.