WrestleMania 31 was one of the best WWE pay-per-views in the last few years, but it wasn’t simply because of the in-ring performers. The event saw numerous former wrestlers make their returns, helping to create WrestleMania moments that will be remembered for a long time.
It had been speculated that The Rock might make an appearance, considering he’d been a major part of WrestleMania in the last four years. Less than 24 hours after hosting “Saturday Night Live,” the Hollywood A-Lister managed to play a significant role at the PPV.
As Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were cutting a promo on the fans, The Rock’s music hit, garnering one of the biggest pops of the night. The Great One eventually invited UFC champ Ronda Rousey into the ring, tossing both members of The Authority out.
Earlier in the night, Triple H defeated Sting in a match that featured several returns. Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac ran to the ring, hoping to help the COO. That didn’t last long, as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall stormed down the ramp, looking to help their former WCW brethren. With the members of D-Generation X and the NWO fighting at ringside, Shawn Michaels appeared in the ring, delivering Sweet Chin Music to Sting. Triple H later went on to win the match.
All of the D-Generation X and NWO members have made sporadic WWE appearances in the last year. Hogan appeared on the March 23 edition of Monday Night Raw, and Nash was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on the night before WrestleMania 31. But Hogan, Nash and Hall haven’t taken bumps in their recent appearances like they did on Sunday. The run-in was nothing new for The New Age Outlaws, who wrestled as recently as the 2015 Royal Rumble.
It’s safe to say that the NWO won’t be getting in the ring any time soon, and the members of D-Generation X aren’t likely to have any upcoming WWE matches. But The Rock’s return might only fuel the rumors that he’ll have a match at WrestleMania 32.
With WWE looking to sell more than 100,000 tickets at WrestleMania in 2016, they’ll likely add as much star power to the event as possible. There’s been speculation that The Rock will face Lesnar at WrestleMania 32, and The Rock hasn’t ruled out that possibility. However, the WrestleMania 31 segment involving Rousey, as well as the encounter between The Rock and Triple H the last time the movie star appeared on WWE TV, has planted the seeds for a potential match between the two rivals.
The one return that many had expected did not come to fruition. WWE has been teasing Sheamus’ return from injury with video packages, but he did not appear at WrestleMania 31. The Undertaker had a scheduled match with Bray Wyatt, but it was his first time on WWE TV in a year.
Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Ric Flair, Bret Hart and Ron Simmons did not appear in the ring, but they congratulated Daniel Bryan on winning the Intercontinental Championship in a backstage segment.