For over three decades, the mecca of pro wrestling has been WrestleMania. It is shown on pay per view, and most recently the WWE Network, in a total of 175 countries. Dozens of those countries are also represented in the attendance of the event as well. The mainstream appeal is enormous as media juggernauts such as ESPN give the event a lot of coverage. There is no doubt that it is a must-see event for not only hardcore fans, but the casual fan as well. It’s just like the Super Bowl for the WWE.
There is always a heavy emphasis for the WWE to knock this show out of the park, but 2016 is going to be different. WrestleMania 32 is going to be held at Cowboys Stadium near Dallas, Texas. There are over 100,000 seats that the WWE has to fill in one of the most iconic new stadiums in the country.
History plays a huge role in WrestleMania week with the various events that are held throughout the week, including the WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony. Texas has a rich history for professional wrestling with promotions such as World Class Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions. Mid-South Wrestling also had a foothold in Texas as the headquarters were located in Oklahoma.
To make this WrestleMania one to remember, there are a dozen things that the WWE needs to do.
12. A Fabulous Freebird / New Day Standoff
The New Day has been the greatest thing going in the WWE currently. They have not only produced great matches in the ring, but have been entertaining outside of the ring. From their “New Day Rocks!” clap to Xavier introducing the trombone, everything they have done has been pure gold.
The talent and entertainment value that The New Day provides has paid great dividends as they are currently in the middle of their second reign as WWE Tag Team Champions. They are currently in a feud with the returning Dudley’s, however there is one cameo that needs to happen at WrestleMania during a backstage segment.
With WrestleMania being in Dallas, many speculate that the Fabulous Freebirds will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame. There are many comparisons with The New Day to the Freebirds with their flamboyance and heel tactics. A standoff between these two teams would be complete gold.
11. Bo Finally Joins His Brother In The Wyatt Family
When there was speculation of an addition to the Wyatt Family not long ago, the rumor was Bray’s real-life brother Bo Dallas would be the one to join. It made sense since Bo is just a glorified jobber today with no story line.
Instead of Bo, it was former Strongman champion Braun Stroman who joined the family that is feuding with Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Randy Orton. It was one of those rare debuts where Stroman really didn’t graduate from a run on NXT as he was previously a Rosebud for Adam Rose.
While there is not an educated guess as to who Wyatt will feud with at WrestleMania, adding his real life brother would bring a whole new dynamic to the Wyatt Family. People are definitely clamoring for the real-life brothers to team-up, and to do it at WrestleMania would make the addition even more meaningful.
10. Debut Samoa Joe To Take On Rusev
After Triple H hired the group collectively known as The Leaders Of The New School (Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami, Kevin Owens, Neville, and Finn Balor), he hit another home run by being able to sign Samoa Joe after he decided to leave Impact Wrestling. Joe made his debut on NXT this past May, and has definitely impressed.
Joe is definitely not a newbie to the business as he made his professional wrestling debut in 1999. He made a huge mark in Impact Wrestling over his 10-year run, including five X-Division Championships and one World Heavyweight Championship.
Joe is ready to be on the main roster, but keeping him off until WrestleMania Season would make his debut more effective. What better opponent to have the Samoan Submission Machine face first than the Bulgarian Brute Rusev. It would be a collision of two big agile entities that is fit for the stage of WrestleMania.
9. The Return Of The Hardy’s To Take On The Dudley’s
This past August, the Dudley Boyz made a very surprising return to the WWE 10 years after they last were a part of the company. It wasn’t just a part-time deal either, they are working a full schedule right now.
One of the pieces that defined the Attitude Era was the invention of the TLC Match between the Dudley’s, Edge & Christian, and The Hardy Boyz. There are so many moments from this feud that pro wrestling fans will remember forever such as Edge giving Jeff the Spear from the top of a ladder.
While both Edge and Christian are retired, Matt and Jeff Hardy are still going strong in Impact Wrestling. Jeff’s broken leg should be fully healed soon, and the WWE should go after these real-life brothers to re-kindle a feud from 15 years ago. The WWE Universe would absolutely go wild at a return of the Hardy’s.
8. Resume The Kevin Owens / Sami Zayn Feud
Whether it be friends or enemies, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have been up and down the globe in professional wrestling. When Kevin Owens was officially signed to NXT, you knew these guys would eventually meet, and it didn’t take long.
Owens made his debut at the December 11th NXT Takeover show last year where Sami Zayn finally captured the NXT Championship by defeating Adrian Neville. Owens came out to congratulate Zayn, and as the two were walking up the ramp, Owens attacked him and gave him a powerbomb on the apron.
Zayn has been injured for months, but he should be ready at the beginning of the year. A perfect return for Zayn would be at the Royal Rumble to cost Owens the match. This can set up a lengthy feud that culminates at WrestleMania. Hopefully this will be the first of many WrestleMania feuds between the two.
7. Have the NXT Men’s And Women’s Titles Defended
Many consider NXT the best show the WWE has going today. Even as it was gaining steam with the dawn of the WWE Network, it was largely ignored on Raw and Smackdown for the longest time. As any regular WWE viewer knows by now, NXT cannot be ignored.
With the dawn of the Takeover specials on the WWE Network, NXT has provided us with a lot of great title matches for both the men and the women. Bayley and Sasha Banks impressed so much that they are the going to be the main event of this week’s Takeover special.
There is no doubt that NXT is big right now. They sold out the Barclay’s Center with Takeover the night before SummerSlam. Now is the time to have the two biggest titles on NXT defended on the biggest stage of them all.
6. The Bullet Club Invades WWE With A Special Debut
The Bullet Club is a faction that was formed in New Japan Pro Wrestling by Prince Devitt (now Finn Balor) in May of 2013. The group mainly consisted of non-Japanese wrestlers to wreck havoc on the company. Many consider this faction the best since the nWo.
Since Finn Balor is now in the WWE, former Impact Wrestling star A.J. Styles took over leadership of the Bullet Club, and they have continued the strong momentum that they had under the leadership of Balor.
Bringing the Bullet Club to invade the WWE would be an epic event. There are three members in particular that should be in the WWE in A.J. Styles and The Young Bucks. Whether they are with or against Balor, this would make for a great story line.
5. A Shield Triple Threat For the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
We go from one great stable in professional wrestling to another. The Shield were only together for about a year and a half, but the impact that Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns made was quick and sudden. Capitalizing on the popularity, there is a DVD chronicling the rise and fall of the group.
All three wrestlers have proven that they have main event talent, and while Seth Rollins is the current holder of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, both Reigns and Ambrose have had their chances at the title since going solo.
The best course of action would be to have Reigns and Rollins fight for the title at the Rumble to some sort of no contest while Dean Ambrose wins the Royal Rumble match itself. This sets up a triple threat match for the title that the WWE Universe has been clamoring for on this big stage.
4. HBK Vs Daniel Bryan (Teacher vs. Student)
For those who know Daniel Bryan’s story, they know that he was trained at Shawn Michaels‘ Texas Wrestling Academy around the turn of the millennium.
Two years ago at the Hell In A Cell pay per view, Bryan took on Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. HBK hit Bryan with the Superkick after Daniel attacked Triple H, which cost Bryan the match. HBK tried to apologize on Raw the next day, but was put in the Yes! Lock.
After that night, there was no follow-up on this confrontation. With WrestleMania being in HBK’s home state of Texas, now would be a good time for a feud to begin. It is one of those dream matches that can only be held at WrestleMania.
3. Steve Austin As The Host Of WrestleMania, But…
All things are bigger in Texas, including WrestleMania. There is only one man that is fitting to be the host of this WrestleMania, and that is Stone Cold Steve Austin. His mere appearance as the host will get over 100,000 inside Cowboys Stadium to scream at the top of their lungs for a pop that will be long remembered.
WrestleMania 30 had an epic opening when the host Hulk Hogan came out, followed by The Rock and Austin to everyone’s surprise. Another similar opening would be great with fellow Texans like Shawn Michaels, Sting, and The Undertaker.
While there is a joyous celebration in the ring, out comes Paul Heyman to add fuel to the fire…
2. Austin Comes Out Of Retirement For One More Match
It all started on the Stone Cold Podcast with Paul Heyman this past June. The conversation turned to Austin coming out of retirement to face Lesnar at WrestleMania in Dallas. This conversation definitely lit a fire in Austin as the old Stone Cold seemed to come back with the promo he cut.
Austin has said all along that he is not returning to the ring at WrestleMania. Paul Heyman is no stranger at getting under someone’s skin, and he can taunt Austin by saying that he has always been afraid to face Lesnar, which is a reference from 2002 when Austin wouldn’t put over Lesnar and he left the company.
Finally Heyman annoys Austin enough to where he drops a Stunner on Paul to kickstart a return we have been waiting well over a decade to happen. As long as Austin’s health allows for it, this would be a monumental match.
1. The Icon vs. The Phenom
When WWE and WCW were competing against each other, there were two enigmas from each company that all pro wrestling fans would hope to see clash someday. When Sting finally left Impact Wrestling in January 2014 to sign with the WWE, a match against The Undertaker had to happen.
Both men are from Texas, and a lot of people would assume this would be the retirement match for both guys. Word is that The Undertaker plans on wrestling beyond WrestleMania, while Sting’s future could be in doubt due to a serious injury at Night Of Champions against Seth Rollins.
Due to those circumstances, this may have to be the year to get the match done and set up well in advance so we can get as many promos from each guy as we can. The darkness that each character brings will bring a great journey ending in a WrestleMania match.