In the WWE documentary, the Making of WrestleMania, Hall of Famer Edge describes the biggest show of the year in the best way possible when he says “WrestleMania is like our Christmas.” For fans and wrestlers alike, WrestleMania, and WrestleMania season is indeed our Christmas. It is when every single storyline gets kicked up a notch. Every wrestler gets even more amped up than they ever were, all for the chance to not only perform on the grandest stage, but show every single member of the WWE Universe just what they’re made of.
Fans and wrestlers alike all know that once the Royal Rumble hits (and sometimes even before), it’s time to let your wrestling freak flag fly and hop onto the mythical Road to WrestleMania. Every single fan tries their best to book the big event–from the matches to the order of matches to where storylines should go afterwards, every facet of the big show is dissected by fans long before the show even begins, each and every single member of the WWE Universe having the highest of hopes that the “right” people walk out victorious.
But WrestleMania has gotten so much bigger than just a four hour megashow. In 2016, when the WWE descends upon the Lone Star State, there will be a fun filled week of WWE–themed events and parties; all culminating with four days of non – stop action, beginning with NXT on Friday night, the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday, of course ‘Mania on Sunday, and for the past few years, Raw the night after has become almost as big a happening as Mania itself and serves as a great capper to the biggest week in the entire wrestling year. What should happen during WrestleMania week? Here are 15 things that need to happen to make WrestleMania 32, and its surrounding events truly memorable.
15. NXT Takeover: Remember the Alamodome
Thanks to the success of NXT prior to the big show last year on Friday night, it stands to reason the next generation will get the chance to shine again during Mania weekend. The brand has already proved their merit, selling out Brooklyn, and they’re about rock Great Britain. During Mania week, it’s time to go bigger in the Lone Star state and have a Takeover event Friday night, live from the Alamadome for the entire WWE Network to see. Wishful mark booking, but if Triple H can start courting A.J. Styles now, perhaps he and Samoa Joe can once again tear down the house, only this time on the grandest stage.
14. A Universe, One Hundred Thousand Strong
It’s been spoken about for some time now that Vince McMahon wants to break the attendance record. The WWE Universe will surely help him achieve that goal and Dallas should be the place where that happens. One hundred thousand or more screaming members of the WWE Universe should be converging on AT&T Stadium for WrestleMania making it one of the biggest sporting events in history, not to mention the biggest WWE event ever. WWE loves to use the footage of the grand sweeping shot of 93,000-plus at the Pontiac Silverdome, if WWE can full up Jerryland, that shots is about to get a companion piece–the sea of humanity in Dallas.
13. The Deadman’s Last Match
Nothing has been confirmed but at this point, most fans know that the man behind the Undertaker isn’t getting any younger. Combine that with the fact that he is a Texas native and you have the makings of what could be an emotional final match for the legend. If Dallas does indeed see hear the Funeral dirge of the Deadman one last time, it will be a fitting end to the career of the best pure striker in the history of the WWE. If the Phenom rises one final time, he should also join Ric Flair, as the only two superstars to be inducted into the Hall of Fame while still being and active competitor.
12. Texas–Sized Wacky Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men
If you haven’t fallen for the infectiously fun Bayley and her efforts in the ring, you might want to check yourself for a pulse. But at WrestleMania you’ll hopefully have a chance. No matter the match, the current reigning and defending NXT Women’s Champion is deserving of a grand WrestleMania debut; complete with her patent wacky inflatable arm flailing tube men. But inside Jerryland, the four tube men that fill Full Sail University could become an army, with tube men all over the arena. Entrances are crucial to WrestleMania’s grandeur and Bayley’s entrance, if done right, would make for a big time WrestleMania moment.
11. Jim Ross Calls The Deadman’s Last Match
No offense to Michael Cole, but the guys just not a wrestling commentator. Yes, he is the current voice of the company and keeps the whole three–ring circus together, constantly pointing fans in all sorts of social media directions while bringing the focus back to the ring as well. But no fan wants to hear that nonsense during the Undertaker’s last ride. Combined with his stint as Mean Marc, Jim Ross has been calling Deadman matches for almost 15 years. If it is the Last Outlaw’s final match, then he deserves an actual wrestling commentator presiding over the proceedings, not someone who spends most of the PPV trying to rein JBL and Jerry Lawler in.
10. An Enjoyable Halftime Show
It’s called the Super Bowl of wrestling and over the course of 32 years, WrestleMania has earned the moniker with a week of events, celebrities running all over the place and even a half time show adorning the event. Unfortunately, this is where the show lacks the most punch. While the sucky groups that play are the perfect time for a bathroom break, acts like P. Diddy and Kid Ink just don’t cut the mustard. WWE fans might not even want music in the middle of the biggest show of the year, but if you’re going to give it to the fans, at least give the fans something to cheer for.
9. Every Title on the Line on the Main Show
There has been an increased focus on all of the company titles in recent years, but Night of Champions shouldn’t be the only time that every belt is showcased on a PPV, that’s what WrestleMania should be for as well. You have a four hour show and you can’t have all five of your championships on the main stage? That increased focus would be a lot easier for the fans to get behind if you tell them that each belt matter enough to be on the main stage. It has been over a decade since every title was defended at WrestleMania, it’s about time for that to change.
8. A Stone Cold Cameo
The Texas Rattlesnake, he might of missed WrestleMania 31 but Austin himself would be in his own words, madder than a hornet if he missed the party this time around. The biggest crowd in WWE history needs the biggest star in WWE history. At Axess, the WWE could reveal a Stone Cold statue. WrestleMania is always the time the WWE brings out their biggest guns and there is no one who was bigger than Stone Cold Steve Austin. Obviously the toughest S.O.B ever isn’t going to be wrestling but the Bionic Redneck should be able to play host to the biggest beer bash and BBQ Texas has ever seen.
7. Sting Victorious
How could the near 60 year old WCW stalwart stand tall and defeat the near 50 year old WWE stalwart? He can’t, which is why he didn’t. Many old school fans were left scratching their heads at the fact HHH was hooked to go over Sting at ‘Mania 31 but take a moment to think about it and it was sound booking. Since losing is now out of the way, Sting can actually win a match in the company. Who he faces should be someone of consequence, but at the same time someone who won’t suffer from the loss either. The storyline would need to be hammered out but John Cena is the only guy who fits that bill.
6. The Fabulous Freebirds in the Hall of Fame
If you’ve watched Legend of Wrestling, then you know that not being in Hall of Fame really sticks in the craw of Michael P.S. Hayes. Who could blame him either, he along with Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts, and later Jimmy Jam Garvin set the territories ablaze and the Freebirds vs. the Von Erichs was as close to a modern day Hatfields and McCoys as you’ll ever see. Outside of the ring, Hayes has become one of Vince’s most trusted associates so it stands to reason that the only reason the Fabulous Freebirds are not in the Hall is because Vince was waiting until the show came back to where the Birds made the most impact. It will be one of the biggest oversights in wrestling history if we don’t hear Badstreet USA during the Hall of Fame ceremony.
5. The Demon’s Entrance
The current NXT champion has taken the WWE by the storm. Besides Finn Balor’s wrestling ability, his entrance is one of the most exciting things about the entire WWE product currently. It stands to reason that the Demon will either be on the main roster by WrestleMania, or the NXT title will also be showcased on the grand stage. Just imagine one hundred thousand fans reaching for the heavens alongside Balor, not to mention some WrestleMania-sized body paint adorning the demon as he slithers to the ring to the sound of his theme song being played by an orchestra, who are all decked out in similar Demon paint.
4. Charlotte vs. Bayley vs. Sasha for the Divas Title
Sadly, the Divas revolution has been nothing more than a few extra girls caterwauling with one another, instead of putting on quality match of the year candidates like the ladies do in NXT. It’s high time either Vince embraces that these ladies can put on 5 star matches every night or give the reigns of the division over to Triple H since the heir apparent knows exactly what to do with the division. One giant leap would be having a triple threat match adorn the big show, featuring Charlotte, Bailey, and Sasha Banks. Let three of the best wrestlers in the company showcase what they’ve got in a true curtain sell out, match of the night contest.
3. Rock and Ronda vs. HHH and Stephanie
For all the jaw jacking and for all the time spent destroying each other in the ring, it’s astounding to think that HHH and the Rock have never faced off in a one–on–one contest at WrestleMania. Their feud was one of the great rivalries of the Attitude Era and again picked up steam at last year’s show when Mrs. Helmsley and Rowdy Ronda Rousey joined the fray. Hopefully Dana White allows his prize fighter to step into the ring at WrestleMania, because this mixed tag team match is already fueled with such emotion that the pop of 100,000 when Ronda takes out Steph as the Rock nails the People’s Elbow on the game would be the most electrifying moment on the whole show.
2. Young Lions Shine
It’s no secret that Vince McMahon more or less has hedged all of his bets on a certain superstar from West Newbury, Massachusetts. To some fans, that has been all well and good for a very long time, but it’s time for the Chairman to face facts, John-boy might be experiencing one of the best years in his career, but he is also getting a little long in the tooth. Even if he wasn’t, we need a lot of viable guys all vying for the top spot. Which means between now and Mania, Vince needs to start minting all of the “Millenials” that he seems to think are too soft to grab the brass ring. Hopefully, the Raw after Mania, fans will celebrate the dawn of the youth movement.
1. The Shield Finally Collide
In keeping with what hopefully will be a new youth movement, the main event of WrestleMania 32 needs to be the long awaiting three way explosion of the Shield. Since their arrival, Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins have captivated the WWE universe like no other group. Their breakup broke hearts and minted three top stars. Rollins, of course is the top heel of the company, while Reigns is the chosen one trying to prove his mettle with the fans. Ambrose is the scrappy psychopath that the fans can’t help but root for. Since day one, it has been a matter of time before the three collide–what better time than in front of the largest crowd in WWE history, WrestleMania 32.
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