The 32nd WrestleMania week is here and the annual extravaganza is just days away from taking over AT&T Stadium. While injuries have prevented the WWE from delivering an optimal lineup, this year’s card does have several potential show-stealers sprinkled in the lineup.
It’s tough to get excited about this year’s WrestleMania. Even last year’s lineup while on paper not impressive, still offered fresh matches and dream scenarios such as Sting vs. Triple H in an ode to the Monday Night Wars. There are no dream scenarios this year and few fresh marquee matches on the bill, yet maybe the low expectations will work in the company’s favor when all is said and done.
As usual, I’ll hit the top matches and take a look at where I think things will go on Sunday as WrestleMania sets a new attendance record and takes center stage in Dallas, Texas.
Roman Reigns vs. Triple H for the WWE world championship
This match and feud has been in the making for a while. There were rumors going back two years that Reigns’ first big win would be over Triple H at SummerSlam in 2014. That didn’t happen and for a variety of reasons, mainly injuries, the WWE got lucky and had this one in its back pocket. Like it or not, this is the match we’re getting with some likely rematches down the road to boot.
This feud has been a complete roller coaster going from real exciting at the Survivor Series to some very dull moments on RAW. The verdict is in and the jury of the fans have voted against Roman Reigns, creating an awkward stage on Sunday night. I can’t even say that Hunter has done his best to get the fans on Roman’s side as Hunter has been acting like a quasi-babyface throughout this feud. The booking has been strange to say the very least.
As for the match, I hope Hunter learned from his mistake at 25 against Randy Orton. After what happened on RAW, these guys just need to come out and have a wild brawl. Unfortunately that isn’t Hunter’s style which could backfire in a hurry on these guys. Quite frankly I am more intrigued by the crowd and how the reaction will be in this polarizing environment.
I am going to go out on a limb here and predict a heel turn for Roman Reigns. I think somehow or another Reigns goes heel whether that is here or later (more on that). There were unconfirmed reports that booing was piped into Reigns’ SmackDown appearance last week which was a tip off. Regardless, I think the trigger is finally pulled for the long Reigns title reign and he gets the win over Hunter in Dallas.
Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker…RAW Control vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania
At this point I think it is fair to say that there is more excitement about this match than any other. I’ll give the WWE a ton of credit. If you told me a few months ago that Shane McMahon was wrestling the Undertaker at Mania, I would have laughed and predicted doom. I would have been dead wrong. The fans are loving Shane O’Mac to the point where is truly the most over face in the company. Think about that one for a second. Whether it was by design or desperation, this storyline is working better than I ever would have thought.
The big takeaway for me over the last few weeks is that the Undertaker is blatantly much better than Shane. Nobody is booking this thing like we’re expecting Shane to beat Taker in a fair fight. Taker has more or less man-handled Shane with the exception of this past Monday. I have to believe that the same psychology plays out on Sunday in their match.
So what in the world happens here? I can’t see Shane outright beating Undertaker and yet it would be a bit of a buzzkill to have Taker just beat Shane. This is the WWE and Vince McMahon loves a good swerve. I think that this match ends with Roman Reigns helping Shane defeat Undertaker to win the match. Vince, Shane, and Roman then hug and show unity to close the show. The story here is that Vince and Shane did this to take the company away from Hunter and Stephanie which leads into a feud I am not looking forward to and yes, Roman Reigns becoming the corporate champion backed by the ruthless aggression duo of Vince and Shane.
Other than that I’ve got nothing else that makes any sense. As for Undertaker not wrestling again at WrestleMania with the loss, this is a company that never upholds stipulations so I wouldn’t worry too much about that one.
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this match. Brock will continue with another high-profile squash match on the Network. The one thing I will say is that this match could be a ton of fun or it could get corny real quick. I hope it’s more on the fun side and I hope Dean gets some offense to keep the match going for a little while. Yet in the end I see Brock winning this one in under 10 minutes, cashing one of the easiest WrestleMania paydays of his career.
Other show notes and predictions: I think AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho has potential to be a show-stealer, although it’s been a long time since Jericho has lived up to the hype in my opinion. I can’t imagine anyone but Sami Zayn leaving Mania as I-C champion although Miz wouldn’t surprise me. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see cameos by Cesaro and Seth Rollins. Dave Meltzer has been hinting about something big going down in the New Day vs. League of Nations match. Steve Austin, Rock, and Shawn Michaels will be there, but it looks like it will be a bunch of vignettes or meaningless promos unfortunately for them.
Full WWE WrestleMania 32 matches and card…
Triple H vs. Roman Reigns for the World Heavyweight Championship
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon in aHell In a Cell (If McMahon wins, he will control Monday Night Raw and Taker will not fight at WrestleMania again)
Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks for the Divas Championship Triple Threat
Chris Jericho vs. A.J. Styles
Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, The Miz, Stardust, Sin Cara, Zack Ryder for the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match
Kalisto vs. Ryback for the United States Championship
League of Nations vs. New Day Handicap Match (4 vs. 3)
WrestleMania 32 Preshow Match Card
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Usos
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Participants TBA)
Natalya, Paige, Brie, Alicia, Eva vs. Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Summer, Emma