It's not every year, but it's not unusual for WrestleMania to have a theme: WrestleMania 23 was "All Grown Up," In 2005, WrestleMania went "Hollywood," and WrestleMania 14 was "X-Raided" as we entered the Attitude Era. These themes usually go with a cute series of vignettes or something to signal a shift in presentation, but rarely do they influence the actual matches. WrestleMania 29's matches, however, seem to have a theme of their own: redemption.
We heard John Cena talk about it Monday night on Raw, he insists that since losing to The Rock, he's had the worst year of his life. We can argue the merits of that since he continued to be the focal point of the company, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, Michael Jordan was still the face of basketball even if he didn't win a championship that year, but the notion is that losing to The Rock has prevented him from cementing his legacy as the greatest WWE Superstar in history. The Rock doesn't really have anything to prove against Cena, he beat him decisively last year and ended the 434-day title reign of the guy who had Cena's number, but Cena needs it. If Cena doesn't win this time, that's it, he's done it all, except this, it becomes a massive asterisk on the career that defined the last decade.
CM Punk is looking for redemption for losing the WWE Championship after a historic reign. He (rightfully) believes was screwed out of the title on two occasions by the current champion, who only won after some serious shenanigans in their current matches. But since John Cena put the kibosh on him getting into the main event of WrestleMania, he'll do you one better and end your "precious streak." Sure, winning the WWE Title match at WrestleMania can make you a legend, but ending The Undertaker's streak? That makes you a god. WrestleMania is "The Showcase of the Immortals," and if CM Punk can accomplish the impossible, his legendary title reign would only be a footnote on his already impressive record.
Triple H's quest for redemption goes all the way back to July of 2011 when he was named the COO of WWE and his complete failure to properly run Monday Night Raw. His leadership (or lack thereof) caused the show to devolve to utter chaos, allowing for the installation of John Laurinaitis as General Manager, who gave into the ridiculous demands of the certifiable Brock Lesnar. Lesnar's been seen sporadically in the last year, but when he makes an appearance, someone gets hurt and every drop of this blood is on Triple H's hands. He could not keep this beast contained in April of 2012 and when he tried to get rid of him the old fashioned way at SummerSlam, he got his arm broken. It's no secret Triple H's career as a wrestler is in its twilight and his career as an executive got off on the wrong foot, so in order to end one chapter of his legacy and properly begin the next, he has to slay this dragon once and for all.
Not every Superstar will get his redemption come April 7, but these are the biggest names in the industry in some of the biggest matches of their careers on the biggest stage in all of wrestling. Streaks may end, careers may end, legacies may end, but each match is bound by a common thread, and before a single punch is even thrown, it's something we can say we've never seen before.