April 2, 2016 by Joey Keogh
Wrestlemania weekend is upon us yet again and, with NXT stealing the show last night at Takeover: Dallas, the biggest event of the WWE calendar year has even more to live up to than usual. Although we’re all, collectively, trying to remain cautiously optimistic there is an elephant in the room. And that elephant is Roman Reigns. Therefore, even if the rest of the night goes off without a hitch (doubtful), we know, deep down, that Wrestlemania 32 is probably going to end on a bum note. And that bum belongs to Roman Reigns. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what this five-hour(!) extravaganza has in store for us tomorrow:
United States Championship: Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback
I get mad whenever Ryback is anywhere aside from catering, which is where he belongs, with a spoon in hand, dishing out noodles to dudes who can actually wrestle. Kalisto really might die during this match, you know. Or, worse, Ryback might win. Lord help us all.
Predicted winner: Kalisto (unless there are tables involved in which case he might be DOA)
The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz
So, all three of the Kickoff matches are garbage, then? I have no issue with the Dudleyz, they know what they’re doing and they’re fun to watch/listen to, but the only way I’m going to care about them being involved in a match with the dumb, high school jocks of the WWE is if they’re putting them through about fifty tables in a row until they pass out/get their necks broken/both.
Predicted winners: The Dudley Boyz
5-On-5 Divas Tag Team Match: Eva Marie, Brie Bella, Natalya, Alicia Fox and Paige vs. Summer Rae, Emma, Naomi, Lana, and Tamina Snuka
This match makes me very, very angry because it robs the Divas triple threat of some of its well-earned weightiness. We don’t need this match, nor do the women involved. It is an insult to those of the bunch who are decent competitors (all, er, two of them) and gives too much attention to bimbos like Eva Marie who should go back to their hostessing jobs in Vegas and stop taking time away from actual athletes.
Predicted winners: The E! Network
4-on-3 Handicap Match: The New Day vs. The League of Nations
The New Day are my favourite thing about the WWE right now, and if there’s any justice in the world they will open Wrestlemania 32 and kick things off in reliably raucous style. The fact they’ve been lumbered with a match opposite The League Of Nations speaks more to the complete dearth of decent tag teams on the main roster, than their actual worth as a team. If Barrett is really leaving, it’ll be good to see him get his moment in the spotlight here, while Sheamo is always good fun, especially in full-on heel mode, and, let’s face it, it’s going to be hard to hate this match anyway with The New Day involved in it.
Predicted winners: The New Day
No Holds Barred Street Fight: Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar
This is my most anticipated of the night, along with the triple threat. I know Trips doesn’t run the show (yet), but if he did, these two would be main eventing. This match has had the best build-up of any on the card, and both competitors have been absolutely killing it over the past few months to sell it to us. With Ambrose taking on Foley’s bat and Funk’s chainsaw, in very literal passing-the-torch moments, we can rest assured this No Holds Barred bout is going to get pretty rough. And who better than Ambrose, who once sanded his own face, and Lesnar, who Suplexed Cena sixteen times in a row, to put on that kind of show for us? If this can’t be last, let’s hope it’s the penultimate match of the night so we can go out on a kind-of high. Either way, Ambrose is a star, Lesnar is the ideal opponent for him and this is the beginning of something really great.
Predicted winner: Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Sami Zayn vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust
Zayn just lost at Takeover: Dallas, so I suspect that his big moment is going to come at Wrestlemania instead, to prepare him for a permanent move up to the main roster where he will, hopefully, continue his feud with ex-BFF Kevin Owens. No disrespect to anyone else in this match (though fuck you, Miz and Ziggler – time to go home now, boys, because neither of you belong on this card) but the big seller here is Zayn/Owens. By right, they should’ve got to go one-on-one but I guess there’s no harm in adding a few other stragglers to the fray, along with a ladder or two, for some fun collateral damage. Provided the focus is on the NXT recruits and some gnarly ladder spots, this could be a fun match. But it won’t be anything more than that, for better or for worse.
Predicted winner: Sami Zayn
AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho
Although we’ve already seen these two duke it out a few times over at this stage, I’m not exactly dreading their Wrestlemania match. Styles is eager to show off, and this is his perfect opportunity to do so, while Jericho is the ideal sparring partner for him because not only is he brilliant at putting guys over, but his heel persona allows the fans to root for Styles even harder. This should be a fun, energetic and entertaining bout. A way to pass the time that doesn’t involve the fucking Miz.
Predicted winner: AJ Styles
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
JobberMania is in full force for the Battle Royal this year. The line-up for this one is loaded with lower- and mid-carders – it’s pretty much the bench-warmer segment of ‘Mania – and it’s kind of hard to care about the outcome given the win did nothing for the victor last year, or the year before that. And speaking of same, Cesaro is rumoured to be making a shock reappearance during this bout. Maybe that’ll liven things up a bit. Otherwise, the gold guy is probably going to go to Kane, playa.
Predicted winner: Kane (unless Cesaro shows up unexpectedly, making it a two-fer)
Hell in a Cell Match for control of Monday Night Raw (Undertaker’s last WrestleMania if he loses): Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
There’s a lot riding on this one, which makes it kind of hard to call. On the one hand, it’s difficult to believe this is Taker’s last match. On the other, are we really supposed to buy RAW being handed over to Shane O Mac, and that he’s going to be sticking around for a while? The Deadman is really and truly on his last legs at this stage, so expect this to be the Sting/Trips match of last year, but with a different old dude being carried, while a young-ish fellow makes everything look better by jumping off shit. It’s hard to care. It’s really, really hard to care.
Predicted winner: Shane Mc Mahon
Triple Threat Divas Title Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
My most anticipated of the night, along with the Ambrose/Lesnar match, is this dream booking which sees three of the coolest and most powerful women on the current roster face off against each other for the title. Now, if only we could get good ol’ Vinnie to give in and change the title to the fucking women’s title instead of that other thing that implies one does glamour modelling on the side, we’d be set. I want these ladies to get at least twenty minutes to show off what they can do. I want the crowd to be hyped for them. I want to feel proud and entertained and engaged all at once. And, for the first time in a very long time, I truly believe all of that is going to happen tomorrow night. Whoever wins, we win, too.
Predicted winner: Becky Lynch (but they all deserve it)
World Heavyweight Champion Match: Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns
As much as I want Ambrose/Lesnar to be the penultimate match of the night, wouldn’t it be amazing if the women were in that slot, just like they were at NXT last night? A girl can dream. Anyway, this match is garbage. This match makes me mad. This match is an insult to those of us who tune in week to week, hoping to be surprised or to have our good faith rewarded. This match makes me not want to watch WWE anymore and, if Reigns wins, there will be hell to pay from anyone who cares about this sport, this company, these performers. It’s not fair to have Reigns headlining this shit when Punk never got a shot, when Bray Wyatt can’t get a push, when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have to share their spotlight with The Miz and Dolph Ziggler. It’s not right and we should not stand for when the inevitable happens. Even if Trips spends twenty minutes beating him bloody with a goddamn sledgehammer, it still won’t be good enough. And we should not stand for it. This is the exact antithesis to Bryan winning. It’s a slap in the face, it’s basically a big ‘fuck you’ to all of us as fans and paying customers. The best we can hope for is interference, from Rollins, Cena, fucking anyone. Anyone but Reigns. Don’t let us down, wrestling gods. Don’t let him win this shit.
Predicted winner: DQ thanks to John Cena, Seth Rollins, Triple H or anyone else who can get in Reigns’s way
Wrestlemania 32 LIVE on the WWE Network, Sunday April 3rd @ 7E / 4P