WWE is five months away from WrestleMania 32, and it’s one of the most fascinating real-life stories in wrestling history. I’m always intrigued by the business aspects of wrestling — how WWE beat WCW in the Monday Night War, how close Vince McMahon came to bankruptcy for the first WrestleMania, the WWE Network’s success or failure — and the idea of WWE having to sell 100,000 tickets in the midst of a depleted roster and the worst ratings in two decades is a story I can’t get enough of.
So, how will WWE do it? It’s possible that WrestleMania is such an institution that tickets will sell out before the card is announced. However, the company still needs compelling stories and matches to get them over the hump from 70,000 to that magical six-figure number they’re trying to get in Dallas.
The amazing part of this all is that there are so many injuries, it’s almost impossible to tell what the card will be. So, every month up until WrestleMania, I’ll try to pinpoint the card as it shapes up. So, here we are, four months away and me about to look like an idiot by predicting the card when WWE doesn’t even know the matches.
Big Ticket Options
Undertaker vs. John Cena – Let’s face it, this is the big ticket match WWE has probably holding for this event. Undertaker is a crossover legend and John Cena is John Cena. This match would have been huge if Undertaker still had his streak, but it’s still the biggest story WWE has left. The match might not be great, but the prospect of a Cena heel turn and Undertaker’s last match can really turn into a big deal. Add in the fact that there’s already speculation that this is the main-event and this is the only match I’m confident about.
The Brock Lesnar Conundrum
Here’s the problem with Brock Lesnar: He’s booked too strongly and there isn’t anyone on the roster with enough credibility to challenge him. People seem to be leaning towards a Brock vs. Roman Reigns rematch, but I don’t think that’s happening because A) the first match set such a crazy bar for brutality, and, most importantly, B) neither guy can take that loss. Brock losing to Reigns would only make people hate the former Shield member more and Brock winning would only further derail Roman’s forced ascension to the top. The only way this match happens is if Roman comes in as the heel and he can cheat to win. I’d thought Cesaro had a shot, but he’s injured. So, that leaves us with Brock possibly winning the Royal Rumble and taking on Sheamus for the title. I know we don’t want Sheamus to hold the belt for the next few months, but the idea of Brock kicking the sh*t out of him might entice fans to want to see it.
Here’s my wildcard for Brock: Big E. HEAR ME OUT. New Day is the hottest act in WWE, and if they can develop a mean streak between now and ‘Mania, them taking Brock out of the Rumble and really being ruthless could get people invested in that feud. That would require making Big E into a credible monster with the promise of New Day interfering. This match could make Big E and have him look like a credible champ going into the rest of 2016. But for now, that’s a pipe dream.
So, as it stands, I’m penciling Brock vs. Sheamus for WrestleMania.
What To Do With Roman?
Roman Reigns is another big wild card. WWE is pushing him to be the next Cena, and he seems like he’s ready to make that move. He’s been having great matches and his promos have gotten better. It just takes fans a while to change their tone on a guy once they have their minds made up. Remember, they chanted Woo Woo Woo for, like, a year after Zack Ryder was cool. WWE can get the belt on Roman between now and WrestleMania, but he sort of needs a major coronation. I think they may be heading to a Roman vs. Dean Ambrose blood feud that takes them to a Shield triple threat in 2016. Let these guys go and see what happens…
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn – WWE is going to need to pull up some NXT guys to fill out this card, and Owens vs. Zayn makes sense. The crowd is moderately familiar with Zayn and the WrestleMania crowd would go crazy for him. Put the IC belt on the line and let these two steal the show.
New Day vs. Wyatts – If my dream match of Big E vs. Brock Lesnar doesn’t happen, this is the match that makes a ton of sense. I just hope Vince doesn’t go with some angle of Xavier Woods getting Sister Abigail pregnant or something. But these guys can tear it up and it could be the feud that gets Bray back on track.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte – This is a home run. I think WWE is keeping Sasha cool because they’re holding her for this match. Give them 20 minutes and they can make history with the best women’s match in WrestleMania history.
There’s still Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, The Dudleyz, Rusev and more people who have matches that they have to make us care about.
So, that’s where we are. Let’s see how things develop by this time in December.