The Undertaker’s Spot At WrestleMania 40 Was Reportedly Intended To Be Stone Cold Steve Austin

The main event of WrestleMania 40 promised to be a fever dream of run-ins and legendary returns when Cody Rhodes squared off against Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns under Bloodline rules, which meant there were no rules.

The match lived up to the hype, with Jimmy and Jey Uso flying off the ramp through a table, Solo Sikoa taking out Rhodes before John Cena made his valiant return, and The Rock walking down the ramp like Thanos, Mama Rhodes belt en tow and all. There was even a Seth Rollins cameo in Shield gear, which ended up being an important detail as the match came to an end.

When it came time to take things home, fans were caught off guard when The Undertaker’s bell rang out, the lights went out, and he chokeslammed Rock. That’s because over the last month, subtle hints gave WWE fans hope that Stone Cold Steve Austin’s glass would break, he’d hit the ring, and land a stunner on Rock for good time’s sake.

It started with Austin appearing on a loading truck:

And continued on the day of WrestleMania, when Triple H happened to tweet out a hype video at exactly 3:16.

After the event, reports from the Wrestling Observer noted Austin was originally intended to appear at the end of the match, but The Undertaker eventually took that spot.

Despite Austin’s exclusion, that didn’t stop Rhodes from finishing his story, winning the WWE Championship, ending Reigns’ historic run, and seeing his theme song climb to the top of the charts.