Now that WrestleMania 32 is in the books, it’s time to start looking ahead to next year’s WrestleMania. WWE WrestleMania 33 is twelve months away and a lot can change, but it’s never too early to start making some predictions for next year’s big event.
In taking a look back at my WrestleMania 29, 30 predictions, 31 picks , and 32 picks a year out, I actually hit a few of them on the head for 29, missed every single prediction I made for 30, hit on Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar at 31 and completely missed on my picks last year. In other words there is no exact science for this stuff and with the way that the WWE changes booking frequently, it is impossible to get a handle on it although the future can be clear in some years.
Predicting WrestleMania one year out is almost as difficult as filling out your March Madness brackets at any time of the year. Take a look at this year’s WrestleMania 32 lineup a year ago and you can see exactly how much these things change. Brock Lesnar was in the main-event, The Undertaker was wrestling a meaningless match, Rusev was high on the card, and AJ Styles nor Shane McMahon weren’t even in the company. That is how much things can change over a year.
Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar- Maybe it is wishful thinking on my part but I can’t think of any other matches that make as much sense as this one for Brock. Brock is being paid a lot of money and the WWE cannot afford to book him in another showcase match. They need to monetize their investment and Samoa Joe is the guy to do it. Sure the hardcore fans will love it, but built up properly, you can get casuals buying into this one as well. There are a lot of rumors supporting Joe moving to the main roster, let’s hope they keep him strong and give him a Mania showdown with Brock.
AJ Styles vs. Nakamura – As said earlier, a lot can happen in a year. One thing I can almost guarantee is that Nakamura will be on the main roster by Mania. Putting Nakamura and Styles together is a no-brainer. They have had classic matches in New Japan and seem to bring out the best of one another. I don’t see either booked strong enough over a year to be in a high position by next spring. The rivalry being renewed on the biggest stage in pro wrestling is a natural.
The Rock vs. Triple H – The WWE were confident that Rock was going to wrestle in Dallas, Texas. He did but it wasn’t what they wanted. Insurance issues prevented him from getting clearance to do a match. Both parties have a full year now to get those issues straightened out. This is the match the company has wanted for what seems like two years now. It’s an easy match for the Rock and while nothing about it excites me, it’s sure to grab a lot of attention and maybe some old fans from the Attitude Era that checked out years ago.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker – This match was scheduled to take place at 32 but was dropped when Cena suffered an injury. Vince McMahon was rumored to have been crushed that the match was off. There are rumors that Undertaker has wrestled his last Mania match but most don’t believe that to be true. Other than Roman Reigns, Undertaker makes the most sense for Cena. If Undertaker really is looking for one last match to have before riding off into the sunset, tipping the cap to Cena is probably the way to do it.
Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns – Predicting where these three guys will fall on the roster next year is almost impossible. Reigns and Ambrose have been all over the place and while Rollins has been steady at the top, times have changed. If I were looking ahead, a match between these three with something on the line makes the most sense. These guys still have a rabid following as a group and together, they are much better than they are apart. Other than some kind of a Triple Threat Match between each other, I can’t figure out how else they’d fall into place on the card.
The Wyatts, Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Rusev, and Finn Balor are odd men out. Like the Shield, it’s incredibly tough to predict where any of those guys will be slotted in a year. I’d have to think that Owens and Balor are in good places, but booking those kinds of guys tends to be so volatile for some reason. Cesaro is another one who should be on the main card but was been used so inconsistently before his injury that it’s impossible to predict.