Wrestlemania 32 Preview
It’s Wrestlemania 32 this weekend, and while we unashamedly love our pro wrestling – so keep abreast of everything on a weekly basis – we understand many Joes up and down the country either a) don’t have the time or b) aren’t as sad as we are. With that said, Wrestlemania is the Super Bowl of wrestling which means casual fans tune in just this once a year.
First thing you should know is WWE is riddled with injuries. That means no John Cena, Seth Rollins, Sting, Randy Orton, Cesaro or the newly retired Daniel Bryan. But The Rock and Stone Cold are due to appear and there’s a load of great matches. So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about them at this year’s Showcase of the Immortals!
Triple H v Roman Reigns – WWE Championship
For the second year running, WWE fans are being asked to cheer for a man against their will in the main event of the biggest night in the business’ calendar. The thing with Roman Reigns is there’s nothing to especially hate about the man, there’s just nothing to particularly like either. That’s a problem when you’re selling something that relies heavily on good vs evil. Triple H will bring his usual immaculate in-ring performance and the story to the main event has been told well enough (authority vs rebel worker), but still does anyone really care? We all know Reigns will win. But then again we all knew that last year too…
Match Prediction: Roman Reigns
Shane McMahon v The Undertaker – Hell in a Cell
For a whole load of reasons, this match makes absolutely no sense at all. But alternatively, it also represents everything brilliant and special about wrestling. Shane McMahon (the boss’ real life son) completely unexpectedly returned a month or so ago claiming he wants to run Raw, the company’s flagship weekly show. Vince McMahon (said boss), being the wily dog he is, said “sure, but only if you beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania in Hell in a Cell!” The Undertaker is by all accounts old for a wrestler and Shane isn’t any spring chicken himself having not wrestled in almost a decade. So while this could be rubbish, it’s also one of the most anticipated matches in years thanks to The Undertaker’s almost God-like status at the company and the fact that Shane McMahon has been known to do some rather bonkers stuff in the name of our entertainment. The stakes are also high thanks to the promise of Shane on our screens on a weekly basis and the small issue this could well be the last Wrestlemania we see the Dead Man. Add in ‘ten tonnes of steel’ and we’ve literally no idea what’ll happen – and you can’t say that about many matches in the WWE.
Match Prediction: Who knows?! Just enjoy.
Dean Ambrose v Brock Lesnar – Street Fight
This one should also be a corker. Dean Ambrose is easily the most natural face (a word given to a ‘good guy’) the WWE have had in years. But the company’s incessant attempts to not-so-subtlety thrust Roman Reigns into that category has without doubt held the ‘lunatic fringe’ back. Well, this match against the most legitimate wrestler of all time, Brock Lesnar, could maketh the man. Essentially, Lesnar is a wrecking ball who doesn’t care how much he hurts people and Ambrose is a mad man who doesn’t care how much he’s hurt – perfect for a Street Fight! The interesting thing will be who wins – Lesnar hasn’t lost legitimately in yonks but the WWE almost need Ambrose to win to push his stock and ultimately career. We can’t wait!
Match Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Charlotte v Becky Lynch v Sasha Banks – Diva’s Championship
To understand the importance of this Diva’s Title match, you need to understand the history of the role of women in wrestling. Remember when Stacy Keibler and Torrie Wilson used to roll around in their bras and panties and the King yelped, “Puppies!”? Well, that doesn’t happen anymore. A combination of factors has meant women’s wrestling in the WWE is at an all-time quality high, and one of these factors is the emergence of the three women in this match, collectively known as ¾ of the ‘Four Horsewomen’. Ric Flair’s daughter, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks are all incredibly talented and this has the potential to be one for the ages. Whatever happens, this match really does mean something – hopefully the dropping of the name ‘Diva’…
Match Prediction: Charlotte
6 Man Ladder Match – Intercontinental Championship
While we wish this match was simply Kevin Owens v Sami Zayn, two wrestlers who have history which spans years and the breadth of the globe, this does have the potential to set Wrestlemania alight. Current champ Owens is going places in WWE and rarely has a forgettable match. And with the introduction of five other willing bodies to be thrown off the top of ladders, we reckon you could see some carnage.
Match Prediction: Kevin Owens
AJ Styles v Chris Jericho
This one will be for the wrestling purists. It was long overdue when AJ Styles signed with the WWE at the start of the year. Styles is famed for his high-octane offence and big match performances which had given him the reputation as one of the best wrestlers on the planet. Despite this, many thought the WWE would never be able to persuade him to join, so we can’t wait to see him make his Wrestlemania debut against a veteran like Jericho!
Match Prediction: AJ Styles
New Day v League of Nations
While the New Day are probably one of our favourite things about wrestling at the moment, their opponents, the League of Nations (Sheamus, Rusev, King Barrett and Alberto Del Rio), are probably our least. They seriously lack chemistry and are symptomatic of Vince McMahon’s obsession with making everyone who’s not American a bit of a knobber. You’ll still get some good gags and top notch gyrating from New Day, though.
Match Prediction: New Day
Team Lana v Team Brie
The only interest in this match, and it is of some significance, is the in-ring wrestling debut of long-time Rusev sidekick, Lana. She’s been on our screens for a good couple of years now and does promo work better than maybe any female around. But she’s yet to perform in the ring apart from a couple of face slams to Brie Bella. The main story pits Lana against Brie (Daniel Bryan’s real life wife) with some other women thrown into the mix to make up the numbers and probably to take some focus off Lana’s technical ability. We’re not holding our breath but it’ll be interesting to see how Lana’s debut goes.
Match Prediction: Team Lana
Kalisto v Ryback – US Championship
It what has been billed as a David v Goliath storyline with a couple of quick minute promos on Smackdown, there’s little expectation here. Kalisto is a high-fling talent but it’ll be hard to put on a show with Ryback offering little in the way of interest, barring a snarl and some brand new swanky pants. He’ll still win, mind.
Match Prediction: Ryback
Usos v Dudley Boyz
The main crux of the storyline here is the Dudleyz feel they’re not getting the respect they deserve – FWIW, we agree! This potentially OK match has been dropped to the pre-show thanks to some token storytelling on Raw and the Usos having about as much charisma as a grape.
Match Prediction: Dudley Boyz
Andre the Giant Battle Royal
This Royal Rumble Lite will be your toilet break.
Match Prediction: Big Show