If Wrestlemania is the end of the wrestling year, the culmination of 12 months worth of programming, then the Raw after Mania is the season premiere. It gives us just a hint of what’s to come, keeping in mind that Wrestlemania 32 is a year away, and things are always subject to change. With that in mind, here are my Wrestlemania 32 predictions, and how we get there from here. Some of these matches may happen before we get to Mania, depending on how quickly storylines move and how many matches Mania will have.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Roman Reigns (champion) vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins.
The Shield triple threat match is inevitable. Before the Rumble, I thought it should have been at this year’s Wrestlemania. Since that didn’t happen, I’m pushing it back to next year. I’m predicting Rollins holding the belt until sometime this fall. He’ll beat Orton over the next few months, then escape from a returning Lesnar via DQ or countout. The slimy heel character can only be on top for so long though before he needs to get his comeuppance. And that comeuppance will almost certainly come from Roman Reigns.
Despite losing at Wrestlemania, Reigns is still going to be a featured player. He still has all the tools that made management (and the crowd) like him in the first place. He needs some rehabilitation certainly, and being the guy to beat Cena for the US title would be a great way to do it. If Reigns can avoid giving any awful promos, move away from the Shield gimmick, and maybe add a few more movez to his repertoire, the crowd will chose him over Cena. It will give him a secondary belt to run with, keep him out of the main event, and a clean win over Cena is still rare and valuable. After dropping the US belt, he can run amok for a month and take the big title from Rollins going into Survivor Series/Royal Rumble.
The guy furthest from this match right now is Dean Ambrose, but you can see little things recently that show him being promoted. He was the highlight of the ladder match, and his match against John Cena on Raw was very good. Even better is the crowd reaction he gets every time his engine-revving entrance music starts. If Dean is given quality time to impress in the ring and on the mike, and kept away from stupid crap like exploding TV’s, he’ll be sitting pretty when we get to the Road to Wrestlemania.
With Reigns as champion, the Royal Rumble will be Seth Rollin’s time to shine. After that, maybe we get a replay of this year, with Rollins and Ambrose fighting over the Wrestlemania spot, leading to the triple threat.
Undertaker vs. Sting
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to see this match after their respective matches at this year’s Mania. But unless one of them can’t (or won’t) get in the ring, smart money is on this match happening. Wrestlemania will be in Texas, Undertaker’s home, and probably be Taker’s retirement match. If they want Taker’s last match to be a great one, they’ll put him against Bryan. If they want spectacle, it will be against Sting.
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
Bray Wyatt is going to quickly run out of main-eventers to lose to at Wrestlemania. HHH will probably be involved in something heelish, maybe with the Rock, and there’s not a lot of other big established names. Randy Orton is never doing anything important, so let’s throw these two together. Their personalities, if not their ring styles, should mesh very well together.
Intercontinental Title Match: Cesaro (c) vs. Sami Zayn
With Bryan as the current IC champ, title matches are pretty much guaranteed to be good matches. A guy like Wade Barret or Kofi Kingston is fine, but the IC title should be held by a guy who is better then “fine”. Cesaro should be champion sooner then later, and if the World Title scene is going to be filled with the likes of Roman Reigns, the IC spot is perfect for Cesaro. Hopefully he can stay partnered with Tyson Kidd as he gets a title run, as that team is highly entertaining.
Enter Sami Zayn. I expect several NXT guys to get the call up to the main roster this year, and none are more ready then Zayn. Zayn will become the best babyface on the roster the moment he debuts. Sami and Cesaro showed off what they are capable of to a larger audience when they had a few matches in NXT. Give them 15 minutes at Wrestlemania and they will have the show-stealing classic that this year’s event lacked.
These are just a few of the potential matches for next year’s Mania, but I don’t need another 2000 word post on here so quickly after my last one. So these four matches will suffice for now. There’s a lot of guys to still consider, like Brock Lesnar, Rusev, Cena and/or Bryan. I imagine we’ll get at least one more Cena/Bryan match sometime this year, and Lesnar will wreck faces, but there’s a lot still up in the air. Despite being a year away, I feel like these four matches are definitely on the table.