Welcome one and all to the halfway point to what WWE hopes to be the biggest WrestleMania of all time, WrestleMania 32. Whether you believe the 93,173 attendance record from WrestleMania III is legit or if you believe it was closer to 78,000 as has been reported, (I’m one that sways toward it being a legit record) make no mistake about it, WWE wants to break 93,173 with no questions whatsoever.
To do that, WWE has to pull out all the stops. Ratings for RAW are in the tank, Smackdown is a lame duck show and nobody is being pushed besides John Cena. YAWN. Couple that with the rumors that are making the rounds lately (I’ll mention a couple as we go along), and it’s hard to find a card that will get fans genuinely excited and accomplish the attendance goal.
When it comes right down to it though, I think WWE is going to pull out all the matches they need to ensure genuine excitement and ticket sales for WrestleMania. As dumb as some of their decisions have been lately, they’re not that stupid to set up this WrestleMania to fail. So with that said, let me remind you of the nine month edition in July, which you can review here to see what I’ve changed or kept the same. The only rule I gave myself again is sticking to the nine matches that WrestleMania 31 had to keep me at least somewhat realistic.
Pre Show Match: Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I’ll just copy and paste what I wrote in July. The less said the better. As John always says, I’m sure Mark Henry will be a threat in this like he is at every Royal Rumble.
Pre Show Match: WWE Tag Team Title Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Primetime Players vs. The Usos
I really wanted to find a new match to put in here, but really when it comes right down to it, we all know that the Tag Titles are always going to get the short end of the stick. My hope is that by the time January rolls around and I do my three month preview, there will be serious rumblings of The Hardys coming into WWE and that would change everything. Until then though, I remove The Hype Bros for the Dudley Bros and leave this match here. Sorry Zack.
Eight Woman Tag Match: The Bellas, Natalya, & Paige vs. The Four Horsewomen (Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks & Bayley)
I know it’s bad I don’t have a title match for the divas and for Charlotte who I fully expect to still be champion by this point, but do you know the only way you get out of this awful three stable storyline? You bring The Four Horsewomen together. Sasha Banks is the cream of the crop out of anyone, and yet she’s stuck in purgatory with Naomi and Tamina. Talk about having an anchor tied down to you. If Kevin Owens can have a Main Event match at Takeover Brooklyn and a great match at Summerslam the next night against Cesaro, Bayley can do the same at WrestleMania weekend. She should be up to the main roster already anyway. You bring Bayley up, have The Four Horsewomen unite and take over the entire division, doing things their way. Then you have the other divas realize they have to stop this force somehow. You can have group matches, single matches, and still make the title mean something because even as a group, The Four Horsewomen wants to prove they’re the best of the bunch.
Randy Orton & Sting vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper
I can only assume that Orton is going to transition to a feud with the Wyatt Family after Hell in A Cell and whatever happens with Reigns and Wyatt. I could see Braun Strowman being in the Battle Royal and winning that to keep him strong and keeping him out of this match. Sting is likely going to work one more match, but putting him in a tag match saves him quite a bit of work and will also lend to a really cool team and a much deserved moment for Sting when he and Orton win this match.
United States Title Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Neville vs. Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Rusev vs. Wade Barrett vs. Stardust
I may be naïve (or dumb depending on how you want to look at it) but I’m going to buy into the possibility that this Total Diva farce of Ziggler going after Nikki Bella will lead to an angle with Cena. Cena has to drop the belt for good at some point, so why not to Ziggler? With that said, the point of this match being here is that there will be a Ladder Match for this title, but the participants could be a mix of a lot of different possibilities. I could see The Miz in here, I could see the third member of The New Day whether it’s Kofi or Xavier being in this match as well.
Intercontinental Title Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn
I did it! I’m quite proud of myself too. As we’ll see later in the column, I eliminated a match from my previous attempt in July and that opens up a spot for a match well deserving of the WrestleMania spotlight. Owens should absolutely hold on to the IC Title for a long time. Zayn by estimates should be back by the Royal Rumble. Have Owens clean house in the Rumble and when he’s waiting for the next participant all by himself in the ring, have Zayn’s music hit and go from there. This is the rivalry that will never die and the next great chapter should be written at WrestleMania. Make this match No Holds Barred just for fun too.
Triple Threat WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose
If you read Canton’s Corner from last weekend, you saw that John and I both agreed this is a match we want to see and frankly needs to happen. There are rumors that HHH is a possibility for Seth at WrestleMania, but that leaves Reigns and Ambrose without really anything to do. Ambrose and Jericho’s feud, if it happens, should conclude by this point. I’m going to change my initial plan of how they should get to this match and have Ambrose and Reigns go the Bret/Lex route and eliminate each other at the same time at the end of The Royal Rumble and then the next night on Raw, decide themselves that it needs to be a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania, bringing all their history with Seth full circle.
The Undertaker vs. John Cena
The hot name for Taker’s opponent at WrestleMania right now is Braun Strowman. I’m sorry, but that will be the biggest letdown possibly ever for an Undertaker WrestleMania match. Certainly it would be the biggest letdown since WrestleMania 19 when Nathan Jones couldn’t learn to wrestle in time. As I said at the beginning, WWE has to bring out the big guns and the highest drawing matches possible for this show and this is one of the two biggest matchups WWE can offer. It’s fresh, it’s iconic, and it will bring a great crowd reaction. WWE likes to ignore the boos that Cena gets by calling him a “polarizing superstar”. But sometimes those boos should be played off of and used for a storyline. This is one of those situations. No one is going to boo Undertaker in this match and Cena can see those heel tendencies that fans clamor for so much. Maybe have Cena say that he needs to be the one that puts Taker down for good and it’s “Taker’s time”. I think this would be a really fun match and a perfect way to send Taker off into the sunset in his last WrestleMania match.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock
Sorry Hunter, no match for you this year at WrestleMania. Focus on NXT instead. With Ronda Rousey being a no go for WrestleMania anymore, I just don’t see the appeal in a Rock vs. HHH singles match. Brock vs. Rock is literally the biggest match WWE can sign right now. If you think about the national attention (i.e. ESPN) that Brock single handedly brought for SummerSlam, you can double and maybe even triple that when you put him against The Rock. EVERYONE from the sports world and from the entertainment world will cover this match. The Rock is the biggest movie draw right now by a long shot and Brock is clearly the biggest draw from a sports perspective for the company. His matches are treated like legit affairs, not a predetermined match. The Rock will be just shy of 44 years of agae at WrestleMania, but he is at peak conditioning all year round. I say he can handle a physical match with Lesnar, even after tearing his abductor in his match against Cena at WrestleMania 29. This too will feel like a fresh matchup as they haven’t met since Summerslam 2002 where Rock quietly left after losing the Undisputed Title to Brock. Brock can play off that fact 13 years later and it still means something.
Unlike three months ago, I feel everyone that deserves to be accounted for, was accounted for. All the matches mean something too.
Samoa Joe joined Triple H as being left off this time from my previous predictions, and that’s more so the fact that I think his angle with Finn Balor will conclude at the Takeover show the weekend of WrestleMania and then from there we’ll see if either man goes to the main roster. Maybe one of them will be the big debut on the Raw the night after.
I’m still sticking to the fact that Stone Cold Steve Austin and Daniel Bryan will not be wrestling. Until I actually see Daniel in a ring again, I can’t predict him to be wrestling.
If Sting ends up being officially done wrestling after Night of Champions, I’ll stick to him going into the Hall of Fame. If he has one more match in him, I bet they hold off on him. I’ll stick to The Freebirds, JBL & Christian as being solid choices for inductions.
Do you love or hate my predictions thus far? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter what you think and any changes you’d make. Until next time, remember that if you have a broken ankle just stomp really hard and it’ll magically heal.