The United States Championship will be on the line in the Wrestlemania kickoff show in a one-on-one match up. I would have liked to see the tradition of having the United States Championship Open continue no matter the champion. Unforuntately for Kalisto his championship reign has not been better featured on WWE programming. Also I don’t know what Ryback did to deserve a one-on-one match as he has really lost his appeal since his temporary main event showcase in 2013. Kalisto proved what he can do in a ladder match so it would have made more sense for this to be the multi-man ladder match for the title. I hope WWE makes an effort to get behind Kalisto as I think he can be one of their top good guys with fans. Look for him to retain.
Total Divas is certainly a top project in WWE as it has impacted the card by making a multi-women match a priority. It’s good for Lana and her teammates as they’ll get to be on the big show. Unfortunately for wrestlers like Paige and Natalya, they are more associated with being reality TV stars then the women changing female athletics. Another match on the kickoff which I probably won’t see and Total Divas being the priority indicates which team will most likely win.
WINNER: TEAM TOTAL DIVAS
I would have loved to see both these teams featured in a Tag Team Championship Gauntlet match. They could resume their hatred while meeting in the Gauntlet Match. This is just a throwaway tag team match that is relegated to the kickoff show with two quality tag teams. The Dudleys have done great business since returning to the WWE by giving younger teams the proverbial “rub”. Look for the Usos to avenge that unprovoked assault weeks ago.
WINNER: THE USOS
I like the effort to make sure all the superstars get on the card but this Battle Royal is full of guys who have had no storylines and are barely on RAW. Nonetheless, Battle Royals are a fun spectacle and this one will be no different, perhaps even with a few surprise entrants. I liked the idea I heard on a podcast of Mark Henry winning this in his home state before he retires. They’ve done nothing with the winners and so why not give him the chance to stand victorious before 80, 000 fans.
WINNER: MARK HENRY
I was totally under the assumption that the tag titles were on the line in this match as the odds were against the New Day. The New Day has had the League of Nations number over the last few weeks. I don’t see what the League of Nations gets from a win, especially if the titles aren’t on the line. I would prefer that the League of Nations lose again and turn on one another to disband this unsuccessful faction. I am looking forward to seeing the live crowd’s reaction to the New Day. The New Day can hold most arenas in the palm of their hands so I anticipate a remarkable reception and a Wrestlemania moment for the New Day as 80,000 fans dance and chant “NEW DAY ROCKS! NEW DAY ROCKS! NEW DAY ROCKS”
WINNER: THE NEW DAY
In making early predictions for the Wrestlemania 32 card I was hoping there would be an Intercontinental Championship match with Kevin Owens versus Sami Zayn. The rivalry of these two certainly fits for Wrestlemania where all scores come to be settled. I believed Ryder, Ziggler, the Miz, and Sin Cara would all be in the Battle Royal and that Stardust would be no more and we’d see the return of Cody Rhodes. I’m happy these guys are getting a main card match but I wish WWE would not wait until the last minute to make guys on their roster feel bigger than they are. Prior to NXT Takeover I thought Sami Zayn was winning this match but after seeing how good Zayn is I think these two major losses could play in his favour. I think if you build sympathy for Zayn he can pick up more and more fans who just want to see him win the big match in a one-on-one contest. Look for Owens to retain in his first Wrestlemania.
WINNER: KEVIN OWENS
We saw two nights ago Shinsuke Nakamura in a WWE ring in NXT. Now we will see AJ Styles at Wrestlemania. If you soak that in for a moment and think what it means to these athletes you can almost ignore the story leading to the match on this night. I was not clamoring for a 4th match between Styles and Jericho, but whatever it takes to give Styles his first Wrestlemania match. Last year we had Rollins and Orton have a tremendous match with a mediocre build and so I expect the same. I anticipate we’ll see some real emotion as Styles comes out to one of the largest crowds he has ever performed in front of and truly experiences the phenomenon known as Wrestlemania.
WINNER: AJ STYLES
This is my pick for match of the night candidate. I don’t want to go in with such high expectations that I don’t appreciate the match regardless. I like that Becky has stepped up her game and risen to greater prominence in the women’s division. Charlotte has found her niche as a villainous, arrogant, entitled champion and is getting better each time she’s out there. Sasha Banks’ tenure in NXT proved she has all the gifts to succeed in the WWE but still hasn’t come anywhere near that since her arrival on the main roster. Sasha has been strong with victories and has yet to be pinned but I believe Wrestlemania will be her crowning moment and she will move forward in 2016 as a dominant female champion and will be the face of the new era of women’s wrestling.
WINNER: SASHA BANKS
Any Brock Lesnar match is an instant draw and attraction and must see on a WWE card, especially at Wrestlemania. It’s nice to see Lesnar square off against a full-time performer. Dean Ambrose has proven he deserves more than a spot in a Battle Royal or a ladder match or fighting for a title on the pre-show. In a straight up fight, there is no doubt in my mind the Lesnar will destroy Ambrose 9/10 times, however you add a Street Fight stipulation to that 10% chance and I think Ambrose can come out on top in this one. WWE needs their new stars moving forward and a victory over the One in 22-1 should prove to be an immense accomplishment moving forward for Ambrose.
WINNER: DEAN AMBROSE
I was away when Shane McMahon returned and by chance I looked at my phone and saw Shane returned to WWE to face Undertaker at Wrestlemania. At first I thought it was one of those wrestling fansites trolling but then I saw it was from a reputable source. At first I was disappointed I missed such a big return. After seeing that this match was for real, I was disappointed this was the direction they were going. As I told some friends, it was as though we were playing a video game and the first player picked the best guy (Undertaker) because it was a Hell in a Cell match and the second guy picked Shane to see him fly off the Cell.
Control of RAW is still a draw for fans as they’d love to see Shane more prominently featured on their TV. The in-ring confrontations and promos have ranged from absurd to magnificent. I think this will be a fun match with a lot of brutality and insane “bumps” being taken by Shane. I hope Shane doesn’t fly off the roof of the cell, but I wouldn’t put it past him. There are many talents rumoured to break in the cell from the past, present and future. Will we see the Balor Club? John Cena? Goldberg? Regardless of who shows up I cannot go against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
WINNER: THE UNDERTAKER
I don’t have a problem with Roman Reigns like many wrestling fans today. I think he is a future main eventer but I do think he was given a lot more than his development warranted. Reigns has never made a strong case for wanting the WWE Championship, he seemingly was just given the opportunity to fight for it. We never heard Reigns talk about how he dreamed of being champion and so I think that was the instant disconnect. Fans saw other guys who fought and clawed just to make it to WWE and so fans saw right through Reigns and saw other guys wanting to be champion but getting no chance. Now Reigns a former champion has never spoken of how he lost what was dear to him. He simply knows he’s going to the main event as if he deserves to which are logical reasons as to why fans have turned on this guy. I believe if Reigns is this smug with no passion like he’s been depicted that this makes Reigns a tremendous villain and so I hope that is the direction they go coming out of this main event.
WINNER: ROMAN REIGNS