It is the the most anticipated weekend of the professional wrestling calendar as the superstars of the WWE head to Dallas, Texas for the 32nd edition of Wrestlemania.
There is no doubt that this year’s card has suffered due the amount of superstars who have been hit with injury. John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton all would have been in high profile matches at the WWE’s biggest show of the year, not to mention of course the heartbreaking retirement of Daniel Bryan, who just two years ago won the World Heavyweight and WWE Championship’s in one of the greatest “Wrestlemania moments” of all time.
Plans have been chopped and changed on almost a weekly basis leading up to Sunday’s spectacular with many fans voicing their concerns. A friend of mine last week described the build up to this year’s Wrestlemania as “tame” and is an observation that I agree with. The “Road to Wrestlemania” is supposed to be the most exciting time of the year, however this year’s build has seemed to fall wide of the mark. Concerns aside, the WWE have managed to come up with quite an impressive card baring in mind the issues.
The Undertaker vs Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell)
If the son of Vince wins at Wrestlemania he will take control of Monday Night Raw and Sunday will be the last time The Undertaker will perform on the grandest stage of them all. When Shane returned to Raw after 7 years away it was met with a huge pop. I for one was thrilled as it was a huge surpirse. In a day in age when almost every secret or big return is leaked online it was one of the most exciting moments from the PG era, that was until it was announced that he will be facing The Deadman at the show that he has dominated.
Over the years, ‘Taker has faced some of the biggest names in the business. Brock Lesnar (who ended the famous streak), Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Ric Flair and CM Punk to name a few have all gone up against ‘Taker have all been great matches, but Shane McMahon who is at most a glorified spot monkey?! I was no impressed and had emotional investment in this match up until last Monday night. Shane put the ‘Taker through a table a table much to the excitment of everyone.
With both men ageing there is a concern that neither men would be able to work to a solid pace. Whist this still to me remains a concern, there is no doubt that the match will deliver. Rumors emerged over the weekend of a “huge stunt” being planned and rehearsed. Given Shane’s history of jumping off things from silly heights at big shows ,expect something outrageous.
It could be the hardest match to predict in terms of the winner with so much being at stake. Watching The Deadman take his final bow at Wrestlemania in his home state of Texas with the crowd on their feet at the end showing their appreciation for someone who will be in the hall of fame sooner rather than later would be a great closing to the show of shows.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho
Quite possibly the match I am looking forward to the most. When it was announced that AJ Styles would finally be signing with WWE after wrestling for near enough every other promotion under the sun, fans started to list in their minds possible opponents for The Phenomenal One to face. Chris Jericho is at the top of that list.
Styles and Jericho are two of the best technical wrestlers, not in the world right now but of all time. Some believe that no wrestler has truly made it until they have a match at Wrestlemania. I can see where those people are coming from in a way but still a statement that I do not agree with.
Styles has had classic matches all over the world and has been doing so over the span of an 18 year career. We are only in April and Styles has already had a match of the year candidate when he went to toe-to-toe with NXT’s newest sensation, Shinsuke Nakamura back at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in January.
Jericho is soley used by WWE to enhance other talent and is a role that Y2J relishes. Although we have already seen this match 3 times already, Sunday’s edition will be some moment for Styles as he steps out in front of 100,000 fans. Finally we get the chance to see Styles on the big stage where he deserves to be. It will be a clinic is technical wrestling and storytelling, fingers crossed that they are given a good amount of time.
Triple H (c) v Roman Reigns – WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Please, please, please do not put this match on last. You could call me a tradionalist because I believe that the title should always close the show, however this year, it simply cannot happen. Especially if Roman Reign’s wins or doesn’t hurt heel. If Regin’s goes over Triple H and closes the show holding aloft the title I don’t even want to consider the crowd’s reaction.
For the second straight year Reigns is in the main event of Wrestlemania and is a guy that has been shoved down the throats of the fans for a couple of years and it simply isn’t working and fans are sick of it. He was booed out the building after winning the Royal Rumble in 2015, the WWE even sent out his cousin, The Rock, who isn’t actually his cousin to hold his hand in the middle of ring to try and get him over and then they even booed the The Rock, The Rock!
We do not want or accept Roman Reigns as being the poster boy. The “make Roman look strong” line was made famous by CM Punk on Colt Cabana’s podcast and has stuck since. Hitting home just how much the higher ups in WWE want Reign’s to be accepted. Having the WWE force Reign’s any further down our throats will lead to alcohol poisoning if you chose to join in with this fan’s game.
New Pre-Drinking game: Take a shot of vodka every time Roman Reigns is made to look really strong (Do not play if you wan to make it out)
— Sam Stride (@SamStride93) February 24, 2015
Triple H is the heel. He should be booed. Whenever Triple H has beaten down Reigns he has been cheered and treated like a god by the fans. People actually want Reigns to be legit hurt! Which whilst yes is unfair but I share the same frustrations as the fans, at the end of the day I am a fan myself. To say that 98% of the crowd at AT&T Stadium will be firmly behind Triple H.
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) – No Holds Barred Street Fight
If I had to chose one word to describe this match I would chose violent. Brock Lesnar has became a feature of Wrestlemania, I would argue working with Lesnar at the biggest show of the year is level in terms of prestige as working a program with The Undertaker. Dean Ambrose and the 1 in 22 and 1 are two guys that are willing to put their bodies in the line. The Lunatic Fringe has worked these types of matches before back in his CZW days. As you can see, Ambrose is legit crazy.
Ambrose has been on the cusp of the main event picture for a number of months now and has even had a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight title. Working with Lesnar and putting in a great performance on Sunday could see him cement his place at the top of the card for years to come. Unlike his “brother” Reigns, Ambrose is over and in my eyes more deserving of a title shot at ‘Mania than Reigns. Fans cannot wait to see what he and Lesnar have up their sleeve.
This will steal the show… https://t.co/PnMfYQztEw
— Lewis Isley (@LewisIsley) April 1, 2016
The Unstable One has been gathering his weapons for Sunday over recent weeks on Raw and has even picked up a chainsaw in his travels. Ambrose can gather has many weapons as he like. The fact of the matter is is that Brock Lesnar is a beast. He is a former NCAA champion, former WWE champion, former IWGP champion a former UFC champion, oh, he also ended The Undertaker’s streak at Wrestlemania 30. This will be a match for the ages. Expect brutality and carnage. I recommend watching this one behind a pillow. It will get nasty.
The New Day vs The League of Nations
The New Day are easily the most entertaining tag team in the WWE right now. However that will count for nothing with The League of Nations that consists of Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio have the numbers advantage. This match will have comedy value if nothing else with there being no real story heading into Sunday.
Having the Tag Team Championship not up for grabs in this match does seem a little bit strange and would make the match seem actually important. The New Day’s entrance though will be something to behold. Xavier Woods said in an interview that the team have something special lined up for the big show which I suspect will have the crowd in fits of laugher as they have the crowd in the palm of their hands before their match has even begun.
— Xavier Woods (@XavierWoodsPhD) April 1, 2016
This could be the last time we see Wade Barrett at Wrestlemania with there being strong speculation that Barrett will not be signing a new contract when his current deal expires. With New Day being the most over team with the crowd and the League of Nations really starting to find their feet and building chemistry, this match will be an entertaining filler.
Charlotte (c) w/ Ric Flair vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch – Triple Threat Match – WWE Divas Championship
Women’s wrestling has finally after years seen a overhaul with the ladies of NXT being at the forefront. The likes of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch have been tearing the house down every time they stepped into the ring in developmental. The trio have made women’s wrestling cool again will put it all on the line on Sunday in a match that I cannot wait to see.
This is a match that has the potential to perhaps be one of the best on the card. Two years ago or so, the divas division was a complete mess, matches would last no longer than 5 minutes at a push, it was seen as as toilet break for the fans, quite frankly no one cared. These three ladies have torn up the rule booke and are some of the best talent on the roster. Many more female performers are itching to be called up from NXT to the main roster. This video taken on Thursday shows just how much even being on the show means to Sasha Banks. It is the realization of a dream for The Boss.
These aren’t models. The three women in this match are wrestlers that want to steal the show. It has been a dream for all three competitors to perform at Wrestlemania. They have had classic matches on NXT and now have the chance to stamp their authority on the main roster. It says a lot when the other divas match on the card is a complete throw away and has been bumped to the pre-show.
Many are backing Sasha Banks to win the title from her former friend Charlotte, if this is the case then I guarantee there will not be a dry eye in the house. Who would bet against Bayley making her debut on the main roster on Raw the following night after losing her NXT Women’s Championship to Asuka last night and joining the 4 Horsewomen of NXT?
Kevin Owens (c) vs Sami Zayn vs Zack Ryder vs Dolph Ziggler vs Sin Cara vs The Miz vs Stardust – Ladder Match – Intercontinental Championship
A multi-man ladder match at Wrestlemania in recent years has became somewhat of a tradition. I am under the impression that a championship as prestigous as the IC title should not be defended in a multi-man match that seems to have been thrown together. The title simply deserves more. Whilst ladder matches are exciting, some of the participants in this match aren’t worthy of a spot in the match.
Kevin Owens heads into the match making his wrestemania debut and will one day be the top heel in the company. He made his debut on the main roster by answering John Cena’s and open challenge and put on one hell of a performance showing why he is one of the best wrestlers in the world. I for one would to have loved to have seen a singles match between Owens and Sami Zayn at ‘Mania, the pair have fueded all over the world across a number of different promotions outside of WWE, including over the NXT Championship last year. Zayn comes into the match on the back of a classic encounter with Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT Takover Dallas last night.
— Kevin Owens (@FightOwensFight) March 30, 2016
As for Zack Ryder, Long Island Iced Z is only in the match because of an unfortuante injury to Neville that occured in a match with Chris Jericho on Raw. Ryder, who is a former United States Champion stock has fallen a great deal in recent years, a fall which has been him form an incredibly annoying tag-team with Rojo Rawley, The Hype Bros. Sigh.
The Miz is a solid worker but championship material? No. Stardust deserves a whole lot more and will hopefully one day be a big star in the company, he himself has held the IC title on 2 occasions. Dolph Ziggler. Solid worker who has held the World Heavyweight Championship and the IC title a number of times but seems to always be stuck in the midcard. Sin Cara? Let’s just hope he doesn’t hurt himself or anyone else.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal – 20-man Battle Royal
— Dolph Ziggler (@HEELZiggler) April 1, 2016
If Cesaro doesn’t make a return and win it then who actually cares? Please come back soon.
What do you think of the card? What matches are you excited for? What are your predictions? Leave them in the comments below.