Coming strong out of the Royal Rumble

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The Royal Rumble has come and gone and now the Road to Wrestlemania 32 is in full swing. Questions arise after WWE COO Triple H’s victory in the Royal Rumble match. Is it a slam dunk that Roman Reigns will face The Game on the show of shows in the main event for the WWE World Heavyweight Title? What’s next for the newly debuted AJ Styles? What direction will WWE go with in the Wyatt Family/Brock Lesnar saga? Who will face the Undertaker? What will be the Rock’s role at Wrestlemania?

All questions that will be answered in the next sixty seven days as the main event of Fastlane was announced this Monday on Raw. Reigns, Lesnar and “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose will compete in a triple threat match with the winner earning a spot in the main event of Wrestlemania against Triple H.

With that being said here is my early predictions for the Grandest stage of them all in Arlington, Texas:

Main Event WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H vs Roman Reigns

triplsThe two have been destined for a match since TLC when Reigns attacked “the cerebral assassin” following his loss against Sheamus. Whether or not this is the match that the fans truly want remains to be seen but this is what Vince McMahon has wanted all along in his quest to push Reigns as the new face of the WWE. The match itself will be quality considering Triple H has been one of the WWE’s best performers and ring generals for the past two decades and Reigns has shown the ability to perform in big match situations. (i.e last year’s main event against Brock Lesnar)

Seeing Triple H come in at number 30 in the Royal Rumble match and win the belt for the 14th time was hilarious for myself as the “Triple H buries everyone” narrative was followed with him holding the belt high as the show went off the air. He followed up with a promo that was reminiscent of his days as a champion with Evolution. Many people are upset by this but that is what is so fantastic about it. Triple H whether fans give him credit or not is one of the best heels of all time and this chain of events has conveyed that statement. Him “trolling” the fans and winning the belt is the best thing to get him “heel heat” and force fans to root for the babyface Roman Reigns.

The obvious road is that in the triple threat at Fastlane Lesnar will see interference from the members of the Wyatt Family and Ambrose will take the fall as Reigns will be the winner. The best way to promote this match is to make sure the two competitors don’t interact with any physicality in the same manner as Batista and Triple H 11 years ago heading into Wrestlemania 21.

The match risks the “smark” reaction of the crowd cheering Triple H and booing Reigns or just booing both competitors entirely but ultimately Roman should close out the show victorious and holding the Title for a 3rd time to launch the WWE in the next year as the backbone of the company.

Brock Lesnar vs Bray Wyatt

wyattThe WWE launched this feud with the Wyatts attacking Lesnar on the episode of Raw before the Royal Rumble and solidified it when the Wyatt’s worked together to eliminate “the Beast Incarnate” during the Royal Rumble match. The question is will the WWE go forward with a one on one contest against Bray Wyatt or throw Lesnar into a handicap against the Wyatt Family.

My guess would be the former as Wrestlemania has historically been a show with one on one contest and the quality of match would be better this way with the two facing off with interference from Wyatts “brothers”. The match is fresh and Wyatt will get a high-profile singles match at Wrestlemania while Lesnar will get to be showcased as the monster he is in what will amount to a physical and fun match. The wildcard is “the black sheep” of the Wyatt family Braun Strowman. The rookie has been built up over the last six months as the dominant member of the group and recently eliminated the Big show single handily in the Royal Rumble match. their are rumors that he may have a match up with the Undertaker but for me I don’t see this happening as Strowman is still quite “green” and not quite ready for a match of this magnitude which leads me to the next match.

Undertaker vs The Rock

dwayne takerThe Undertaker hasn’t been seen on camera in the WWE since his 25th anniversary celebration at Survivor Series in a tag team win against the Wyatts. Taker was originally slated to face off against everyone’s favorite internet meme and his name is JOHN CENA!!!! Well that all ended with Cena’s shoulder injury so if WWE wants to do “the Deadman” justice in what may be his last match ever the most logical step would be to put him in a match with as big of a star as possible. Enter Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“The Great One” made his glorious return to the WWE last Monday on Raw immediately interacting with the likes of the Miz, Lana, Rusev and the Big Show n a tracking shot backstage segment ala Charlie Day in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. He eventually made his way to the ring to participate in a great back and forth dialogue with the New Day to help put over Wrestlemania and his cousin’s the Usos.

No questions were answered on Monday about the Rock’s involvement at Wrestlemania 32 but my money will be for him to eventually face off with The Undertaker for the first time in 14 years and the first time at a Wrestlemania. The streak may be over but the Undertaker will always be a draw. this match, while narratively not making sense yet, still is as the authority says “best for business.”

Divas’ Championship Triple Threat: Charlotte vs Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks

NXT-4-HorsewomenIf you are a regular viewer of NXT then you know the chemistry and potential these ladies have in the ring together. Charlotte and Becky have been feuding for a few months now and Sasha just returned following Charlotte and Becky’s championship match at the Royal Rumble from a reported MCL injury to interject herself in the feud. This match is a slam dunk for the WWE and something fresh at the show of show’s. No more will women’s wrestling be considered “bathroom breaks” this is the real deal.

Charlotte, the ultimate athlete with the blood of one of the greatest wrestlers of all time running through her veins. Becky Lynch the likable technical specialist who has gained a bigger following as she has gone along. And Sasha Banks the scrappy all around performer who may be the best women’s wrestler on the planet right now. the dynamic is there. The ultimate capstone in “the diva’s revolution” would be for these women to steal the show at Wrestlemania. Give them enough time and that is exactly what they can do.

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho

AJ-Styles-vs-Chris-Jericho-25-January-2016-WWE-MONDAY-NIGHT-RAW-HDAfter an 18 year career, “the phenomenal one” at long last made his WWE debut in the Royal rumble match to a thunderous and well deserved pop. He was eliminated by Kevin Owens after 28 minutes in the match and followed that up with a fantastic back and forth match with Chris Jericho on Raw that is a match up on paper that could main event any Wrestlemania. The match was followed by a disgruntled handshake between the two where Jericho pulled Styles in as the two competitors faced off nose to nose in the ultimate symbol of wrestling that means I respect you but I’m gonna get you later. The WWE in 2 for 2 thus far in the booking of AJ Styles.

Despite the fact that Owens eliminated Styles, I believe this feud has enough legs to carry through Wrestlemania. Jericho could possibly turn heel, the veteran has come back the past few years to put over new talent and it would be just what Styles needs to kick off his WWE career.

Intercontinental Championship: 6-man Ladder Match

WWE had a match like this last year at Wrestlemania 31 with Daniel Bryan winning the intercontinental strap and it was a glorious car wreck with bodies and mayhem everywhere. For years the Money in the Bank Ladder match was a favorite mainstay of Wrestlemania that in spirit has brought back and I believe this is the best way to get a couple of mid carders on the show and showcase them in the best way. I would expect the League of Nations members to be involved along with the current champion Dean Ambrose and also Kevin Owens.

Maybe they can throw in some NXT talent or Tyler Breeze (perhaps a returing Cesaro). Dolph Ziggler will probably be in this match, he deserves to be showcased in a high profile one on one match that has alluded him for his entire WWE career but this is the most obvious course given WWE’s history off booking him. Overall, this will be just as fun and exciting as last years’s match was.

WWE World Tag Team Championship: New Day vs Usos vs R-Truth & Goldust vs The Dudleys

The New Day is probably the best act going for the WWE at this present time. They are never not entertaining and have carried the tag team division even with return of the Dudleys. At wrestlemania it makes sense to put as many tag team’s as possible against the champions as WWE tries to get all of its performers on the show to reward them for a year of hard work.

Right now the tag team division is only made up of three true tag teams with the Usos, the New Day and the Dudleys. R-Truth and Goldust had a backstage segment last Monday on Raw that was reminiscent of the Goldust and Booker T tag team in 2002 that was highly entertaining, teasing the team up of these two veterans and carried that “strange bedfellows” tag team trope. the potential for these two teaming and interacting with New day is super enticing and will be fun to follow for the next few weeks. Maybe throw in a surprise tag team from NXT and this will be a solid opening match for the card.

Pre show: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

This has become a tradition at Wrestlemania that WWE established in 2014 for Wrestlemania 30 that pays tribute to Andre the Giant and is another way to get as much talent on the card as possible.

The first one was brilliant having Cesaro win and begin a massive push the WWE booking ultimately botched. Last year, The Big Show won which basically was his birth right being the Andre the Giant of this generation. It also saw Damien Mizdow turn on the Miz in one of the more memorable moments of last year. Expect some fun eliminations, some NXT talent and a winner that will stick in the mid card.

Pre show: Team Bad vs Team Bella vs Natalya & Paige

Also another filler match to get talent on the Wrestlemania card. Paige deserves better than this but her recent booking has shown that she is on the back burner for now. Tag team matches like this will take up a few minutes and as I said before at least it will get these ladies on the Wrestlemania card.

Possible Legend/Celebrity Segements

Wrestlemania was built on the combination of wrestling and outside celebrities. The theme for Wrestlemania is a Flo Rida song so we’ll have six more weeks of winter!!

But in all seriousness he will probably have a performance or interaction with some legends as has become another tradition at Wrestlemania. Last year there was a great promo with the Authority, the Rock and Ronda Rousey but don’t expect something like this for this year.

Overall this card looks to be real balanced and solid. If WWE wants to fill up “Jerry World” with 100,000 fans then they need to reach high and hopefully a card such as this will provide a bunch of Wrestlemania moments. The next 9 weeks should fun. As Hall of Famer Jerry Lawler once said: “It’s Wrestlemania Baby”!!

Written by Tony Callens

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