5 WWE Wrestlers Who Headlined ‘Big 4’ PPV’s But Never Had A Singles Match At WrestleMania

There are certain tangible milestones a WWE Superstar can hit like winning titles or winning an annual match like a Money in the Bank ladder match. There other accomplishments that are bit fuzzier—ones that not everyone keeps tabs on or that aren’t as easy to notice, but that nonetheless are noteworthy once someone draws attention to them.

Main eventing a PLE is one such milestone, and all the more so main eventing a Big Four event, given the longstanding tradition and name recognition around such shows as the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, or Survivor Series. Moreover, having a singles match at all at WrestleMania is a resume-worthy item, as opposed to getting lost in the shuffle of a battle royal, a ladder match with an six-man-plus field, or ten-person tag team bout.

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Interestingly, there are those talents who were big enough names to main event a Big Four PLE while never getting a singles spotlight at WrestleMania.

Wade Barrett

Wade Barrett had a huge impact on WWE in 2010, leading The Nexus into a spotlight angle over the summer and still dominated much of Raw programming into the fall. Indeed Barrett was the front man for The Nexus’s seven-on-seven main event at SummerSlam 2010, including being the last man eliminated by no lesser opponent than John Cena. From there, Barrett had a one-on-one Big Four PLE main event at Survivor Series, where he challenged Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.

For all these successes—not to mention garnering multiple other pushes during his tenure—Barrett never got a singles match at WrestleMania. He came into WrestleMania 31 as the Intercontinental Championship but lost his title to Daniel Bryan in a seven-man ladder match. Otherwise, Barrett appeared as part of an eight-man tag team, leading The Corre into battle at WrestleMania 27. His closest call was probably at WrestleMania 29 where he had a singles match with The Miz, but was relegated to the pre-show.

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Brian Lee

The name Brian Lee may not ring too many bells with WWE fans, but he had a very respectable career in major indie promotions in the 1990s, not to mention two noteworthy stints with WWE. Lee portrayed the character of Chainz—a part of Crush’s Disciples of Apocalypse faction during the Attitude Era. More important to his resume, though, he played a faux Undertaker, backed by Ted Dibiase to work a one-on-one SummerSlam main event against the real Undertaker in 1994.

The choice for Undertaker vs. Undertaker to main event over Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart in a steel cage world title match hasn’t aged very well. Nonetheless, the bout was a spectacle and marked an auspicious return for The Dead Man in an era when he was in the early stages of his WrestleMania undefeated streak. As for Lee, his only WrestleMania match would come at WrestleMania 15, quietly teaming with Bradshaw as one of fifteen tag teams in the opening battle royal.

Zeus

Zeus had a brief, memorable run with WWE. He only worked three televised matches, but two out of three were PLE main events, and one of those PLEs was SummerSlam. At that show, the actor teamed with Randy Savage to oppose Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake.

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Despite some accounts that Zeus was actually considered to headline WrestleMania 6 against Hogan, cooler heads prevailed and the character didn’t stick around past the promotion of the No Holds Barred movie. His last match was at the PLE by the same name, teaming with Savage again for one more losing effort against Hogan and Beefcake.

Ludvig Borga

WWE featured Ludvig Borga as a monster heel character in 1993, focusing on his Finnish background. Between his strong push and the emphasis on Lex Luger as the patriotic top babyface, the writing was on the wall that Luger would take the WWE Championship off Yokozuna, and Borga would be one of his top challengers in the months to follow.

Plans changed. Though Borga was the last heel standing for this team in the main event of Survivor Series 1993, that performance was less a sign of things to come than the beginning of the end. Luger’s momentum stalled out and he never was crowned champion in WWE. Meanwhile, Borga got injured in early 1994. That, combined with shifting creative and a purported bad attitude backstage meant he never did end up working a WrestleMania match.

R-Truth

R-Truth has become an institution in WWE. Amidst his early tag team work, his upper mid-card babyface run, and his most recent stretch as a comedic character, he also had a noteworthy run as a paranoid heel opposite John Cena.

Truth actually main evented two Big Four PLEs as part of a seven-man team fighting The Nexus at SummerSlam 2010 and again in a tag team with The Miz against Cena and The Rock at Survivor Series 2011. Truth never really felt like a main event fixture, but for his length of tenure and the respect fans and peers have for him, it is a surprise that he never got a singles match at WrestleMania. To Truth’s credit, he has worked five ‘Mania matches to date, but they were two battle royals, a seven-man ladder match, and a twelve-man tag team bout. (Incidentally, he’s lined up for a twelve-man ladder match this year.) The match for which he drew the brightest spotlight saw him team with John Morrison to challenge ShoMiz for the tag titles at WrestleMania 26.

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