Everybody wants to go to WrestleMania, but only a select few do. So says WWE, at least, but more often than not these days, WrestleMania is the one show a year that includes nearly everyone on the roster. With entire divisions (tag team, women’s, cruiserweight) sometimes crammed into a single match, it’s hard to imagine any WWE Superstar being left off WrestleMania year after year, but it happens. Just look at Primo Colón, who has been relegated to the pre-show six times since his 2008 debut with the company and is a long-shot for this year’s Mania.
Some wrestlers, like Bruno Sammartino, took decades to make it to Mania only because the event didn’t exist until 1985. Others, like Mick Foley or Steve Blackman, served as one-off enhancement talents long before becoming Superstars and making it to the big dance.
But the wrestlers on this list debuted as contracted or feature talents in WWE, only for WrestleMania after WrestleMania to pass them by. Some jumped to other promotions, others languished in obscurity, and an unlucky few lost their spots on the biggest show of the year due to time constraints, but they all took long detours on their Road to WrestleMania.