It's the lifelong dream of every single wrestler to one day make it to the main event of WrestleMania. It's the ultimate vindication of a life spent pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into the ring all the while just hoping that one day you can make your living doing it. To be put in the same position as the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, The Rock, Steve Austin, and so many more has to be one of the biggest honors that can be bestowed upon anyone on the roster. While we know who'll be in the main event of this years edition, let's take a look at the guys that have the highest chance to reach that pedestal sometime in the next five years.
For this article, we're going to look at 15 guys that have never main evented a Mania before, hence why guys like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins aren't included, but have a chance to make it in the next few years. There are guys that may seem like it's impossible for them to reach that level, but five years is a long time for them to work on whatever their current deficiencies are and make their way to the top. Currently the WWE has a tremendous amount of talent on the roster from top to bottom so it's certainly possible that there are people who have been left off for one reason or another but still have a reasonable shot at closing the granddaddy of them all. There are guys like Neville, Kalisto, and Samoa Joe who if everything breaks right for them could find themselves in this position but it doesn't seem likely.
These are the guys that have the best chance to end WrestleMania either as the monster villain who has finally been vanquished by a hero or the baby face that has finally overcome all the odds to be able to hold their hands up high as the cameras fade to black. These are the wrestlers that are most likely to get a valuable story that they can tell leading up to the biggest show in WWE and are most likely to be able to translate that story into the ring sending the fans home happy. There are all types of wrestlers on the list, but don't be surprised when you see any of them pointing towards the big WrestleMania sign anytime in the next five years.
15 Braun Strowman
I know how crazy this sounds, but remember that we're looking at the potential of main events from WrestleMania 33-37 and while Strowman has a mile to go in the ring, he has the potential to get there. With his size and power, Bruan would make a great giant foe for the next conquering baby face to take down on the grandest stage of them all to really solidify their spot on the card. Strowman is capable of playing the Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III role, either just like Andre where he targets the world champion as an unstoppable force or even as the reigning champion defending against the likes of Seth Rollins or some other smaller competitor that can be put over with their heart and determination by putting down the giant.
14 Dolph Ziggler
I was tempted to not include Dolph on this list because if he hasn't done it by now, then when is he? I still feel like Ziggler is capable of getting a big push considering that even with him just floundering around the mid card for what feels like an eternity he still has support from the audience and is occasionally thrown into the main event scene opposing The Authority. While the powers that be are clearly wary of getting behind him full time, they've shown glimpses of strapping the rocket to Ziggler's back and sending him to the moon, so it's certainly a possibility. It's not the most ridiculous thing to imagine Dolph staying on the bad side of The Authority and getting placed into a Royal Rumble at the number one position only to pull a Shawn Michaels by going the distance and winning the crowd over in the process.
Whether you want to believe it or not, The Big Guy has a solid shot at being in the closing match of WrestleMania before you know it. While he's gone through multiple character transformations and risen up and down the card like he was on a roller coaster ride, Ryback has shown enough potential in the ring and on the mic to be given the ball and asked to run with it. When he's not talking about The Secret and spilling his guts out about how much he loves the audience, Ryback can be a wildly entertaining character who can go from bullying helpless employees backstage to beating the crap out of whoever gets put in front of him in the ring. Ryback is best suited to do what Sheamus was trying to be when he first came back with the mohawk and beard, a guy who looks past anyone smaller than him and wants to destroy all the "indy darlings" scattered around the WWE. All the little guys need to be on the lookout, because here comes The Big Guy.
12 Cody Rhodes
We can all agree that the Stardust character was never going to put Cody Rhodes in the position that his legacy and body of work should have him in by this point in time. It feels like a character that they gave him to kill time while teaming up with his half brother Goldust and now they're left with nothing for him to do. Before his transformation to The Cosmic One, Rhodes had shown flashes of brilliance with his ability to adapt to whatever character was handed to him and making the most out of every situation. His dashing gimmick was a classic throwback to the likes of The Narcissist Lex Luger and The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, then when he put on the mask to hid his "disfigured" face, where he became a much darker, more vicious version of himself and they both worked. Now they've gotten too complicated with Rhodes. He has the look and the in ring ability to be pushed to the top naturally, which he was so close to achieving after splitting with Damien Sandow when he had the audience fully behind him. Rhodes has all the potential in the world and is still young enough to achieve everything he dreams of, as long as the people in power backstage can believe in him.
The Swiss Superman was picking up momentum faster than just about anyone else on the roster before his untimely shoulder injury that's kept him out of action for months. While he was teaming with Tyson Kidd, they would consistently tear the house down and steal the show away from the main events, then after Kidd suffered his own injury, Cesaro just kept on doing what he was doing which was proving he is truly one of the best wrestlers on the planet. Even before then Cesaro seemed to be at the cusp of getting a main event push after winning the inaugural Andre The Giant Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX but the creative team managed to butcher that by not turning him face even though the crowd was behind him 100 percent. While he's not the most natural performer on the microphone, it seems like during this day and age that people are caring less and less about that aspect and instead focus more on what someone is capable of doing in the ring and there is no one better in between the ropes than Cesaro.
10 Apollo Crews
It's hard to find a more naturally likable guy than Apollo Crews, whether you're looking at NXT or even the main roster. He's got the look and the otherworldly athleticism that can separate him from all the other top guys that are waiting in the wings down in Florida and give him opportunities that others will be willing to kill for. While he is on a bit of a downswing at the moment, going from challenging Finn Balor for the NXT Title to going one on one against Elias Sampson at the upcoming Takeover event in Dallas, Crews has more than enough talent to make up for it and get back towards the top of NXT. Apollo may be struggling with the NXT audience a bit, but that isn't too much of a concern since being able to get over in front of 400 smarks doesn't translate to being popular once you get to the main roster. Crews will be everything the WWE wanted Titus O'Neil to be but with the ability to actually back it up in the ring. Expect him to get a big push while WWE focuses on his good guy shtick outside the ring, as Crews slowly but surely rides to the top of the card.
The fall Rusev has taken from being in one of the biggest matches on the card at WrestleMania 31, defending his US Title against John Cena, to where he is now is certainly alarming but The Bulgarian Brute just has too much going for him to keep him down forever. The best thing about Rusev is that it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes him so entertaining, as he's just so good at everything from storytelling in the ring to his facial expressions and even his mic work has been steadily improving throughout time. Rusev is great as the bullying foreign heel who will come out and talk smack and then smack you straight in the face for trying to get in his way, which is exactly what he was doing before being put in the unfortunate feud against Cena. Considering that he suffered through that feud as well as the God awful storyline between himself and Ziggler and still found himself with a decently prominent spot on this year's Mania card, it's safe to assume that when he's given an actual story that allows him to flourish, Rusev will find his way back to the top of the mountain before long.
8 Sami Zayn
It's encouraging that Sami's official main roster debut was his answer to John Cena's open challenge for the United States Title, then when he recovered him the shoulder injury he suffered that night, he was brought back and immediately thrown into a feud for the Intercontinental Title. After biding him time for so long down in NXT, where Zayn would consistently put on performances that fans still talk about to this day, it's good to see that the people in charge of the main show think so highly of the former El Generico. While there have been quite a few recent examples of stars that were hugely over in NXT only to flop on the main roster, that's unlikely to be a problem for Sami Zayn who has such a natural connection to the crowd and is so instantly likable that fans will basically have no choice but to get in his corner. As we saw with Daniel Bryan, if you can match crowd support with incredible ability in the ring, you can find yourself in the main event of Mania no matter if you fit the mold of a superstar or not.
7 AJ Styles
The only thing that keeps The Phenominal One from being as high as number one on this list is his age, as if we're just talking about what stars can do in the ring he certainly deserves to be right up there. From TNA to Ring of Honor to New Japan, Styles has proved again and again that he deserves to be a headliner at every single show that he's booked on and has so far shown the same thing since stepping foot in the WWE. While his feud with Jericho has been a highly entertaining way to get Styles familiarized with the style and the audience, the feud should have ended at Fastlane with AJ going on to bigger and better things. Hopefully after the two tear the house down at WrestleMania this year, Styles can continue to pick up momentum and support from the fans on his way to an even higher spot on next year's card.
6 Big E
For the better part of the past year, the most entertaining act going in the WWE has been New Day. Going from the most standard babyface trio you could imagine to the most ridiculous heels who weren't afraid to go out and do whatever they wanted, New Day have got themselves over more so than just about any star the WWE has to offer and their bright spot has been Big E. Before he teamed up with his brethren, Big E was floundering around the mid card without a character and without a chance to shine. Now that he's been given time on the microphone and allowed to turn his character up to 11, Big E has shown that he has what it takes to make it to the top. His build, his presence, his comedy, his facial expressions, his ability in the ring, everything that Big E does just exudes entertainment value and it's only a matter of time before he starts getting pushed above his teammates towards world title contention.
5 Finn Balor
There's no Superstar on the WWE roster that has main event written all over them like Finn Balor. When you talk about the "it" factor that's impossible to describe but is the separating force between being a midcarder for life and being a world champion, Balor has it. Everything he does from his entrance to the stories he's capable of telling in the ring leave fans on the edge of their seats waiting to see what he does next, which is exactly what you want from your biggest star. Finn is capable of doing whatever it is that's asked for him and with his time on the NXT roster surely coming to an end sooner rather than later, it won't take Balor very long to find himself in a cushy spot on the main roster. Whether he has his "Balor Club" friends with him is the only question about it.
4 Shinsuke Nakamura
This may seem a little premature considering Shinsuke Nakamura has yet to even make his official WWE debut, but if you've seen any of his previous matches then you can't deny that he is destined for big things here in America. His showmanship is through the roof and Nakamura is more than capable of keeping up with anyone that gets put in the ring with him, which will be on full display in his first match up against Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover: Dallas. With it being more than likely Zayn's final NXT match, Nakamura will be able to pick up a strong victory in what is surely going to be one of the best matches of the entire weekend and should be able to carry that momentum over into his full time run with the company. Chances are Shinsuke won't be in the developmental territory for long and will be looking to make a major impact on the main roster as soon as possible.
3 Bray Wyatt
With proper booking, it's entirely possible that Bray Wyatt could have main evented a WrestleMania already, but as we all know Bray's booking recently has been anything but proper. Wyatt's been put into good positions at previous Manias, going one on one against John Cena and The Undertaker at the previous two editions, but has never picked up the big victory that can push him into the main event scene. It seems as if Bray has never even won a feud, seemingly picking up his most recent win back when he was Husky Harris. It's a shame too because Bray has everything you could want in a main event heel, especially when he has the full force of his "family" behind him. The Wyatt Family could be the most destructive force in wrestling if only they were allowed to ever look like it when the bell rings. Wyatt could be a great heel champion who hides behind his monstrous family until an unfazed babyface steps up to knock them off the mountain, it's just too bad that we've seen that same situation without the title in play far too many times already.
2 Dean Ambrose
According to Paul Heyman, Dean Ambrose is in the main event of this year's Mania since he'll be going one on one against Brock Lesnar, but we all know that isn't really the case. It won't be long for The Lunatic Fringe until he's officially in the main event though. With the way he's been picking up fan support, it could be as early as next year to be honest. Ever since The Shield went their separate ways, it seemed as if Ambrose was always the forgotten man, the one that was left on the sidelines or used to get over his former brothers. That isn't the case now to be certain, as Ambrose is taking the bull by the horns and forcing everyone to take notice of him, leading to higher and higher profile feuds that have put him up against the likes of Triple H and the aforementioned Brock Lesnar. Whether he wins or loses his upcoming match, expect big things for Dean Ambrose sooner rather than later.
1 Kevin Owens
When you look at everything that goes into being a WWE superstar, from working the crowd to portraying your character to the in ring aspect, there's no one better right now than Kevin Owens. Ever since he debuted at NXT and laid a vicious beating on newly crowned champ Sami Zayn, Owens has been out to prove that he's the best and deserves to be the number one guy in the company. While he doesn't have the best physique in wrestling, he more than makes up for it with everything he can do inside and outside the ring. Owens is playing his role to perfection yet somehow finds ways to keep getting better and better with each passing week. If he can keep things rolling the way they have been for him recently, there's no doubt that Kevin Owens will be main eventing a WrestleMania.
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