To be in the main event of WrestleMania means you have the ability to make people love or hate you. For seven of the first eight years, that spot belonged to Hulk Hogan and whomever his opponent was. It was clear that he was the moneymaker. There has and may never again be someone to close the show on such a consistent basis. Even John Cena had some years where he may have been in a championship match, but he did not close the show.
The WWE talent pool is been the best it has been in years. The WWE have been raiding the independent circuiting and recruiting some of the best talent in the world. A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have been the latest additions to the WWE family and along with them comes along a huge global following. Prior to Styles and Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor were the big names that signed and really set the standard for NXT. While the NXT Takeover Pay-Per-Views have been popular, it every Superstar’s dream to main event WrestleMania.
The truth is, some Superstars just don’t have the “it-factor.” There are some Superstars who are popular among the WWE Universe but when the spotlight is on them, the ratings do not reflect. When the ratings do not reflect, can they really be trusted to fill a stadium with over 70,000 fans? Here are the top 15 WWE Superstars who will NEVER main event WrestleMania.
Kane has been on the WWE roster under his current gimmick since 1997. He has wrestled at every WrestleMania since XIV with the exception of XIX. Even though he has been one of the mainstays on the roster, Kane has never been in the main event. He has been in high profile matches with his brother The Undertaker…twice. But with a few more years left in his career, it is almost safe to say that the possibility of Kane main eventing WrestleMania is out the window.
14 Mark Henry
Mark Henry has been on the WWE roster longer than anyone besides Triple H and The Undertaker. Henry’s best year was 2011 when he finally broke the glass ceiling to become the World Heavyweight Champion. Henry lost the title at the final Pay-Per-View of the year; TLC and he never regained the championship. Even if he did, there was no way he would have main evented a WrestleMania that had been planned a year in advance as the upcoming 'Mania would feature Rock/Cena.
Neville is a very hard worker and one of the most popular Superstars in the WWE. He is known as the "Man That Gravity Forgot." But can the "Man That Gravity Forgot" really bring money to the company? The last high flyer who had the potential to be in the main event of WrestleMania was Jeff Hardy and Neville’s popularity is not on the level of Hardy’s. Neville will certainly have some WrestleMania moments, but he will never close the show.
Rusev was once one of the most dominating guys on the roster. He did not lose his first match to pinfall until he lost to John Cena at WrestleMania 31. After losing that match, he lost his entire mystique and then he lost Lana. Seeing him without Lana quite frankly made him boring. Eventually they reunited, but Rusev has yet to recapture that mystique he once had early on in his WWE run. Lana or not, Rusev is not putting 70,000 plus butts in seats.
11 Wade Barrett
"I’m Afraid I’ve Got Some Bad News!" Since Wade Barrett has ditched that line, he has not received the same crowd pop. Even though he is heel, he has always been a cool heel. But with his injuries, Barrett’s chances at a big push into the WWE Championship picture have been limited. With recent news of Barrett leaving WWE in the coming months, his last chance to main even WrestleMania would be this April, and there is absolutely no way WWE is going to rearrange their scheduled main event of Triple H and Roman Reigns to include Wade Barrett.
Kalisto showed the world that he could be taken seriously as a singles competitor when he shocked the WWE Universe and beat Ryback to advance in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament. He later won the United States Championship from Alberto Del Rio, further proving his worth as a singles Superstar. While many people see him as this generation’s Rey Mysterio, Kalisto like Mysterio will never close the show at WrestleMania.
9 Kofi Kingston
The New Day is the hottest stable in professional wrestling right now. Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston have found ways to keep everyone entertained week to week. Kingston, the veteran of the group is doing some of the best work of his career. However, the possibility of him winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, let alone main eventing WrestleMania is closed. Kingston will continue to entertain throughout the remainder of his WWE career just not at that level.
8 Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas constantly preaches positivity by telling everyone that all they have to do it BO-Lieve. While he went undefeated for awhile, once he lost, his undefeated streak was very forgetful. He has been trying to convince everyone that he is a winner, but no one believes him. And surely they will not pay for him to main event the biggest show of the year. Dallas in the main even of WrestleMania has little to no money-making potential and as a result will never happen.
7 Heath Slater
Since departing from The Nexus and The Corre, Heath Slater has yet to really find his way to being a serious player on the main roster. He later took the lead with The Social Outcasts, but quite frankly they are all jobbers. And if Slater is in the main event of WrestleMania, then one will have to believe the WWE is in serious trouble. The company is too smart for that and Heath Slater closing out the big show is something they will never consider.
6 Erick Rowan
Erick Rowan is member of The Wyatt Family and despite his size, he will always be in the shadows of Bray Wyatt. He is not captivating and does not sell merchandise. The sheep mask is one thing but honestly, would you buy a Erick Rowan jumpsuit? The main event men need to help with sales, its simply part of the product. With that being said, Erick Rowan will never main event WrestleMania!
"The Big Guy" as he likes to call himself is a former WWE Intercontinental Champion. It was one of the worst reigns in the history of the title. Ryback was once one of the top babyfaces in the company. However, after his heel turn, people were not interested in him any longer. Even to the point that there were not many boos. When he made his debut, it took him months before he could shed away the "Goldberg" chants. Now with his new ring attire, he has opened up the airwaves for them to do it again. Ryback will be lucky if he ever gets to wear the WWE World Heavyweight Championship around his wait, let alone main event WrestleMania.
4 Stardust/Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes entered the WWE with a world of potential. He went from Dashing Cody Rhodes to Stardust and a few other changes in between. Rhodes has the ability to take anything and turn it into gold. But his time has passed. When he became Stardust while teaming with his brother Goldust, it was cool, but that was the moment that fans knew his chances in the main event ended. Pending a dramatic change, Rhodes will never be a WWE World Heavyweight Champion. When it comes to filling a stadium, his name will be towards the bottom of the list.
3 Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel had a new attitude when he was paired with Paul Heyman in 2013. He is one of the most gifted wrestlers in the company. After all, his dad is Mr Perfect. However, Axel lacks the charisma of his father. When Perfect entered the building, whether face or heel, he commanded attention. When Axel won the WWE Intercontinental Championship, fans believed that this was the right direction for his character. However, once he and Heyman parted ways, that was it. Now as a member of the Social Outcasts, it is becoming more clear that Curtis Axel will never main event WrestleMania.
2 Bray Wyatt
The man who many people compare Bray Wyatt’s character to is someone who main evented WrestleMania by circumstance: Mankind/Mick Foley. Foley main evented WrestleMania 2000, a night that should have been headlined by The Rock and Triple H. Both men were carrying the torch while Stone Cold Steve Austin was hurt. While Bray Wyatt has WWE World Heavyweight Champion written all over him, saying that he will main event the biggest show of the year is a stretch. His character is great and he is great on the microphone, but with stars such as Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Brock Lesnar, Wyatt seems to be a tad bit behind them when it comes to selling WrestleMania to millions of advertisers.
1 Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler says he loves to "steal the show." But he will not be doing that in the main event of the biggest show of the year. Ziggler has yet to really find a way to connect with the crowd. Sure, the fans cheer for him when he comes out, but he does not captivate the audience the way Daniel Bryan or even Jeff Hardy once did. Injuries ended his last World Title run prematurely and he has not been able to reach such heights again. Not to mention every week he enters the arena as a poor man’s Shawn Michaels. Now Ziggler may have another shot to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but he will never main event WrestleMania.