Injuries couldn’t come at a worse time for Vince McMahon and company as they attempt to achieve the largest WWE crowd ever at WrestleMania 32 in North Texas this coming April. With John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Cesaro, Paige, Sasha Banks, and Rusev all sidelined with injuries, the creative team has their hands full trying to put together a card that is missing some of their top stars on the main roster. Luckily there is still plenty of star power to put together a solid event that will draw the attendance necessary to achieve the largest crowd ever. Here is my attempt at putting together a card worthy of a record-breaking crowd.
Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo and Big Cass are more than prepared for the main roster. They’ve been relevant in NXT since the beginning of the WWE Network and have developed an amazing chemistry with the crowd. Meanwhile, on the main roster, no tag team duo can hang with the charisma of the New Day. Not the Usos, not the Lucha Dragons, not the Dudley Boyz, not the Ascension, not any of the stables. The New Day is firmly entrenched as the kings atop the Tag Team division’s throne. This is the perfect opportunity to bring up Enzo and Big Cass. The NXT duo were overdue for a tag title reign at Full Sail but somehow it never happened despite them being more over than all other tag teams on the program. A match between them on the program’s biggest stage would generate huge fan interest as they are the most over tag teams on the roster. This storyline could develop on the RAW after Fastlane as the New Day could knock off another tag team at Fastlane and enter RAW the following night without any main card challengers left. Enter Enzo, Big Cass, and Carmella and you’ve got yourself the perfect rivalry heading into Mania and the ultimate opportunity to put over Colin and Enzo. Result: Colin Cassady and Enzo Amore defeat New Day
Intercontinental Championship, Ladder Match: Dean Ambrose vs. Neville
There are plenty of matches that pit face vs. face and generate plenty of crowd reaction (Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena at Summerslam 2013 as a key example). Under the motivation of a championship belt, there are no needs to develop a significant storyline so creative could get away with the lack of a heel. Ambrose wants to defend the belt, Neville wants his first main card belt, problem solved. The anticipation of seeing two of the company’s best in-ring competitors in a ladder match for the belt that has been made famous by ladder matches would certainly help sell tickets for the Grandaddy of them all in North Texas this April. This would also be a huge springboard for both men moving forward as Neville is ready for a title run and Ambrose could leave the mid-card and remain the main event scene a bit more consistently. Result: Neville defeats Ambrose in a potential show stealer.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt vs Triple H: With no Randy Orton, Cena or Rollins, you’re left with just Roman Reigns as the only main event card member of the full-time roster who is available for Mania. Triple H and Brock Lesnar will certainly return for the event as they normally would in a part-time role. This is where we encounter a problem.
We’ve already had Lesnar vs. Triple H. Reigns vs Lesnar is intriguing given that they never had a clean finish at WM31; however, the concept of a rematch is somewhat dull given that you had a rematch only four years ago in Cena vs Rock II. Not to mention the result would be so obvious that Reigns would defeat Lesnar in a put-over moment. Triple H vs Roman has potential but not if it is for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H holding the belt would be so underwhelming heading into Mania and the result is too predictable here as well. A triple threat match between them is intriguing but it would be three years in a row that Mania ends in a triple threat match if you include Rollins’ cash in last year. Not to mention, you have three brawlers who wrestle in similar fashion and the match itself could suffer from a lack of entertainment. So what then to do with these three mega stars who are all capable of main eventing WM32? Throw in Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt has been captivating audiences since his 2013 arrival. He has went from a stable leader, to a singles competitor, back to a stable leader. During this run he has succeeded in maintaining his relevancy despite an 0-2 WrestleMania record. He will not be any stronger than he is now given the current presence of the Wyatt Family with Harper, Rowan and newly added Braun Strowman. Sure, with all these new stables (New Day, League of Nations, Social Outcasts) and the possibility of a new set of stables (Bullet/Balor club, a new Authority potentially) there are plenty of feuds for Wyatt without having to involve him in the main event scene. But with the roster depleted the way it is, and knowing Reigns is your new franchise guy to replace Cena, you need a new heel not named Sheamus for Reigns to compete with. Wyatt is the next man up in that category (and then Owens down the road). Lesnar and Triple H will return to a part time schedule so you can’t use them as heels. This storyline could build in a unique way with the title being on the line in the rumble. Wyatt could eliminate Lesnar which could enrage Lesnar and cause Lesnar to cancel Wyatt out of the match. Triple H could also be a surprise entrant in the Rumble and set up some screwy finish where neither him nor Reigns win the title. At Fastlane you have Lesnar vs. Wyatt and Reigns vs. Triple H to determine who will face off in the Rumble. End those two matches with more screwy finishes and Vince McMahon shows up and makes the main event a fatal four way for the title. This way fans have no predictable outcome and you can give Wyatt the ultimate put-over by having him defeat Lesnar, Triple H, and Reigns all in one night. Then you allow Wyatt to feud with Reigns for the upcoming months and this gives you options for the future. Result: Wyatt stuns the WWE Universe by knocking off Roman, Triple H and Lesnar all in one match and is the heel to replace Rollins.
United States Championship: Kalisto vs. Tyler Breeze
Kalisto, as much as he won’t accept it, is the new Rey Mysterio. This is fine for Trips as he has sought a new Hispanic superstar to gain relevance in the company. He is an exceptional technical wrestler and will do fine without Sin Cara. Breeze is an NXT veteran who deserves some spotlight in the mid-card. What better way to give these two young up-and-comers a chance at WrestleMania than by having them face each other for some gold. Kalisto deserves a lengthy run to give the title relevance again in the way that Cena had made the belt relevant. A key Breeze victory could come later on after Mania. Result: Kalisto defeats Breeze in a solid match
Divas Championship: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (assuming Sasha Banks is healthy, if not, Becky Lynch): This is the moment Sasha is meant for. She has been underused on the main roster despite having legendary matches in NXT. Vince knows her potential and pitting her against Flair’s pride and joy on the biggest stage would be great for not only both of these Divas, but for the Divas division in general as they could easily steal the show given their exceptional wrestling talent and Sasha could go over in the process. However, Sasha is rumored to be injured. Becky Lynch should be next in line as she is due for a title run given she didn’t get one in NXT. Luckily she is talented enough and her character has grown plenty in the feud she had with Banks and the current feud she has with Charlotte. Either Lynch or Banks defeating Charlotte is a win-win as the Divas title gained relevance with Nikki and AJ’s long reigns. Result: Sasha or Becky defeats Charlotte
No Holds Barred: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens: This is my favorite feud ever. Yes, ever. I have seen Hart vs. Michaels, Austin vs. Rock, and many others. I love Owens vs. Zayn. It’s such a powerful storyline given their previous friendship and how their characters feed off each other. Zayn being a lovable underdog and Owens being a brutal backstabber makes for great in-ring chemistry as well. The results of their two matches were even better. Zayn wanting revenge so bad and failing twice make the reunion of their feud such an engaging storyline. What better venue to bring their feud back to prominence than the grandest stage of them all? Zayn’s match with Cena on RAW several months ago showed Vince that Sami is ready for the main roster. Owens has already shown his roster presence since defeating Cena clean last year. They’re both ready for a spotlight match at Mania and I’m sure they’ll deliver. Zayn defeats Owens and gets payback for his losses in NXT.
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
I think the Battle Royal isn’t the worst platform to give a star a push. The right mindset has been there with Cesaro at WM30 and Mizdow (I know he didn’t win) at WM31. The consistency just didn’t exist for them after their success which creative really needs to fix. But if creative can fix that consistency issue, then this battle royal can remain relevant for future Mania’s. My ideal scenario would see Stardust get eliminated, re-enter as Cody Rhodes, and win the battle royal.
Undertaker and Kane retirement ceremony
I love everything Undertaker and Kane have given this industry. But it’s one thing to have a veteran return for a PPV match and it’s another thing to have a veteran return multiple times to be a staple of your key PPV’s like Mania and Summerslam. The spotlight needs to be on the company’s youth more and not on superstars well past their prime. Give these men what they deserve, a proper ceremony where they are acknowledged by the fans and the locker room and the legends who have been a part of this company. Let Kane stay around as an NXT trainer if he needs employment. Let Undertaker know they will survive without his sporadic appearances throughout the year. Let us move on and enjoy what talent we have on the current roster like we did with the New Generation, the Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggresion.