WrestleMania XXVIII was the 28th annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on April 1, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. It is the highest grossing PPV event in professional wrestling history.
There were eight matches on the event's card and one pre-show match that was streamed on YouTube. The main event, in which The Rock defeated John Cena, was advertised a year in advance. The match, and its yearlong buildup, was broadcast on NBC and later sent to DVD and Blu-Ray, collected under the title of The Rock vs John Cena: Once in a Lifetime. The match was later included in WWE Best PPV Matches of 2012 as the Most Anticipated WrestleMania Match of All Time. Despite the "Once in a Lifetime" tagline, the two would wrestle each other again at WrestleMania 29 for the WWE Championship, with Cena emerging victorious.
WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having first been held in 1985—in April 2011, the promotion ceased going by its full name of World Wrestling Entertainment, with "WWE" becoming an orphaned initialism. It is the longest-running professional wrestling event in history and is held annually between mid-March to mid-April. It was the first of WWE's original four pay-per-views, which includes Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, dubbed the "Big Four". It has been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. It was the first WrestleMania to occur following the end of the first brand extension in August 2011.
The city of Miami Gardens was one of the two major contenders to host WrestleMania XXVII along with Atlanta; in February 2010, Atlanta was awarded the right to host the event. According to the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, WWE management felt that Miami's planning for the event would have been too hectic with many other sporting events held in the area around the same time of the planning, such as Super Bowl XLIV. However, the Miami area was reportedly considered for the next event due to its international ties, facilities, airports and experience of hosting previous major events.
Bidding documents were sent to seventeen cities in consideration for hosting a WrestleMania event between 2012 and 2014, with fourteen replying in interest. Other cities under consideration for WrestleMania XXVIII included Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Toronto, Detroit, Tampa, Vancouver, St. Louis, Jacksonville, Orlando and Houston. The city of Dallas also showed interest but had to withdraw from bidding for the next two years due to hosting events such as the NCAA Final Four.
Miami was revealed as the site of WrestleMania on February 9, 2011, by The Miami Herald and at a WWE press conference at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. WrestleMania XXVIII was the second Wrestlemania event that was hosted in the state of Florida, the fourth open-air event, and the third event to be held entirely outdoors. For hosting the event, WWE received a $250,000 cash incentive from the Miami-Dade Sports Commission raised through grants and sponsorships. Along with WrestleMania XXVIII, a series of events grouped as "WrestleMania Week" was held in the week preceding the event including WrestleMania's annual WrestleMania Axxess fan convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at the American Airlines Arena, the finals of the WrestleMania Reading Challenge, and a Celebrity Pro-Am Golf tournament.
|The Undertaker defeated Triple H|
|Randy Orton defeated The Miz|
|CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho|
|The Rock defeated John Cena|