WrestleMania is referred to as The Showcase of the Immortals, where the biggest names in professional wrestling are pitted against each other on The Grandest Stage of Them All. This year, unfortunately, a multitude of injuries are putting a huge damper on how epic things can be, and a lot of major stars are missing out on the action.
John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and others who could have made massive impacts on this card are nowhere to be found, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still people who will impress or look strong by the end of the night. Even if this card were filled with the D-squad, there would still be people that stood out as the top performers who helped give their careers a boost going forward.
With WrestleMania 32’s card set the way it is, who are those top stars that will shine the brightest? Let’s take a look…
Like it or not, it’s almost a certainty that Roman Reigns is going to be walking out of WrestleMania as the WWE World Heavyweight champion. While a good portion of the audience might not support him and there’s a risk that the crowd will erupt in boos when he pins Triple H, that doesn’t seem to be stopping WWE from going along with this plan for him to win that title back and carry it for at least a little while.
Call it stubbornness to listen to the audience or persistence in the hopes that the WWE Universe will come around and start cheering the guy, but whatever the reasoning, Reigns is the top of the food chain. The story of this feud has gone on for months with the only logical outcome being his victory, and there aren’t any random factors that should come into play like the Money in the Bank briefcase this time around.
Whether you love him or hate him, the filter WWE is going to put on the situation is that he is without a doubt the top star of WrestleMania and that you should love it.
While The Undertaker can certainly win this match, particularly with his career on the line (possibly—Vince didn’t specifically say that), the match revolves around whether or not Shane McMahon will win. The entire purpose of this happening isn’t to see The Undertaker defeat Shane, nor any kind of bitter feud for The Phenom to sink his teeth in. We’re not interested in him getting vengeance for an attack or going up against an insurmountable foe, as he’s essentially the heel this time around.
Despite how Shane is outmatched and there are plenty of problems to come about from The Undertaker losing, it does seem like the end result is going to be Shane coming out on top. How this happens is all up in the air, as it could be due to interference or The Deadman willingly losing after Vince gets in the way, just to screw the boss over, or a multitude of other ways. In the end, Shane is who will carry the momentum going forward.
Even if Dean Ambrose loses his match against Brock Lesnar, he’s going to be the star of that segment. Brock wins all the time, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him beat Ambrose, but it’s special to see The Lunatic Fringe take the fight to The Beast.
Ambrose has had a track record for over a year of being put in high profile matches and coming up short, yet the audience doesn’t falter in maintaining support for him. It’s arguable that he’s the most over babyface in the company right now above all the rest, so a loss for him against someone like Lesnar isn’t going to tarnish that image whatsoever. On the contrary, he’ll be praised for putting on a great performance and giving it his all.
Then again, if he wins, that cements this even more. A victory over Lesnar at WrestleMania is exactly what a guy like Ambrose needs to propel him into the stratosphere where he could win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later on in the year and nobody would bat an eye—assuming in the meantime, WWE doesn’t book him the wrong way to undo all the good a win here would do.
This may even be the best match of the night, and nobody looks bad having that honor attached to their name.
When the Intercontinental Championship participants were announced, I gave a breakdown of how I thought they ranked, and spoiler alert: Sami Zayn is who I think will be leaving with the belt.
It’s very easy to imagine a scenario where Kevin Owens retains rather than a new champion being crowned, but I don’t think anybody but those two have a chance to win, and since WrestleMania leans towards the faces winning, that puts Zayn on this list.
Winning the Intercontinental Championship is a major deal, particularly for an NXT star who hasn’t had a proper footing on the main roster yet. If he does indeed win, I expect to see him being treated as the next Daniel Bryan for the fans to get behind as the lovable goofy underdog. Even if that doesn’t work out to be as successful as how Bryan was able to catch on, Zayn stands a chance to make big waves by winning this ladder match.
I love Becky Lynch, but I can’t imagine her taking the spotlight over Sasha Banks in the Divas Championship match. I was even surprised that a triple threat was implemented in the first place, since Becky had had her matches with Charlotte and couldn’t get the job done. A few weeks back, I assumed the direction would be either a Fatal 4-Way with these three and Paige, or just a singles match with Sasha.
That being said, Becky’s inclusion doesn’t change the ultimate outcome. Sasha has the audience’s blessing to take that next step as the champion and I think WWE won’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Charlotte’s had her time with the title—and she’ll win it back in the future, too, no doubt—but it would be a mistake to keep it on her. This match means much more than the other divas match, which could end up being cut for time constraints if necessary, while this will crown the new head of the division, The Boss.
Andre the Giant winner
The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things, as no title shots are on the line or anything of the sort, but that doesn’t exclude it from being a possible launching point for someone to course-correct their career if necessary. This year, two names stand out to me as people who could be standing tall amidst the 19 other wrestlers, and their careers couldn’t be in different positions.