[WWE] Tons of Backstage Wrestlemania Info


– The original Wrestlemania main event plan was for HHH to win, but that got changed at the last minute. Rey Mysterio was not originally going to be in the triple-threat at Mania, but was added to the match, as he’s now seen as a legitimate draw on top. The HHH/Cena match was cut about five minutes from the original plan, and Smackdown three-way about 10 minutes, due to stuff earlier in the show running long. As for the Undertaker match, he was initially going to face both Henry and Khali, but Taker had that changed.

– Vickie Guerrero as of February was scared of losing her home, and word pre-Mania was she was looking to sell it. Vince is paying her Eddie’s downside salary plus merchandise, etc. Foley’s article on WWE.com actually made a difference with the over-the-top Eddie-related booking toned down quite a bit leading into Mania, and announcers told only to reference Guerrero if the crowd chanted his name, etc. In other Guerrero news, there was a situation we previously reported where someone dropped the ball internally at WWE and travel arrangements weren’t made for Eddie’s family until the last minute. This led to Chavo Sr. getting into an altercation with Johnny Ace — who took the blame publicly, with this often being part of his job — at the hotel where the wrestlers were staying, getting kicked out of the hotel, and having to check in elsewhere. He apologized and was forgiven for his behavior (and interestingly enough, apologized to Verne Gagne for acting out at a Cauliflower Alley Club meeting drunkenly a while back). WWE paid for all hotels and flights for the Guerreros who attended the Hall of Fame ceremony.

– Two days before Mania, Vince changed endings to the main matches five times, and those in creative were said to have been close to losing their minds leading up to Mania due to all of the pressure to deliver. Vince was also pushing for them to come up with a full card for NEXT year’s Mania, which will have to sell 55,000+ tickets. They are also talking about moving the Hall of Fame to Joe Louis Arena, although that may end up being a bit too ambitious. After a rough schedule leading into Mania, Vince was said to be “beaming” at the post-party, happy with his match and the event overall.

– During the build-up to his Mania match with Benoit, JBL had a broken hand in the storylines. In fact, he had a non-cancerous cyst removed, which led to surgery and thus the angle was written around it.

– Some more Mania notes: Limo service at Mania was cut down, since last year’s bill was $115,000; Boogeyman walked around the hotel with a black mask over his head to “stay in gimmick;” Eminem was at the Hall of Fame, sitting next to Regal and Animal; Blackjack Mulligan was bussed from Tampa to Chicago and back; Shelton Benjamin won the pre-Mania videogame challenge for the fourth straight year; Noble, Dupree and London went to the 3/30 ROH show; Steve McMichael was denied a press pass to Mania; CM Punk had some heat in Chicago due to his relationship with Maria; Johnny Fairplay was at the Wrestlemania party trying to sell people on bringing him in to manage The Miz.

Credit: Wrestling Observer newsletter (click here for subscription information)

Matthew Michaels is editor emeritus of Pulse Wrestling, and has been since the site launched.