WrestleMania 32 is expected to be one of the most important events in WWE history as the company tries to set a new attendance record. Every WrestleMania is treated like “the biggest show of all time” as it hopes to top the last but there’s extra emphasis on that mindset in the upcoming year as WrestleMania 32 will take place in Dallas at AT&T Stadium which holds a capacity of over 100,000 fans. The current WWE attendance record is 93,173 dating all the way back at WrestleMania 3. With the event bigger than ever, there is no doubt WWE will attempt to load up the card in hopes of breaking the record.
With more significance on making the show an even larger attraction, it means less spots will be available for the everyday talent on the WWE roster. Given how much WWE has used part time talent at the last few WrestleMania shows and with the way WWE has booked over the last year, Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker is almost certain to take place and Triple H vs. The Rock is also a safe bet. You can add Sting to the mix of legends likely having a big match on the show. There are also the top stars of today that are locks to be on the card like John Cena, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton and others.
Counting on all those guys to be slotted in, it means less matches featuring current acts that many would expect to have a spot on the show. Like the last year, there will likely be a battle royal on the pre-show that will consist of most of the names on the list but let’s be honest – no wrestler wants to be in that match come WrestleMania season. It doesn’t count the same as it’s just a nice way to get everyone a chance to perform but for all intents and purposes, it’s not a part of the actual WrestleMania main card. These are twenty stars that will likely be left off the WrestleMania 32 main card due to other stars returning, their stock going down or just bad luck.
20. Los Matadores
Over the last few WrestleMania shows, Los Matadores have been on the tag team match pre-show. With a bigger interest in the tag team division lately, the tag title match may move onto the main card at WrestleMania 32 but don’t expect Los Matadores to be a part of it again. Ahead on the pecking order are New Day, The Dudleys Boys, The Usos and Prime Time Players. Unless they are repackaged or split up with one getting a push, there’s a chance Los Matadores may be released from WWE by the time WrestleMania comes around. They’re only significantly used in multi-team matches on the big PPVs and now there’s no need for them there.
19. Becky Lynch
One of the core members of the “Divas Revolution” and an extremely talented wrestler, Becky Lynch is already starting to get lost in the shuffle. Charlotte and Sasha Banks are growing their fan bases and standing out while Lynch looks like the sidekick of her PCB faction with Paige and Charlotte. Given how ineffective the Divas tag match was on WrestleMania 31 and SummerSlam 2015 each, WWE is bound to go with a singles match for the Divas Championship on WrestleMania 32 and there’s no shot Lynch will be one of the competitors. Perhaps there will be a Divas battle royal on the pre-show to get everyone involved like they do with the men.
18. Hideo Itami
Speaking of battle royals, Hideo Itami made his WrestleMania debut last year in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal as a representative for NXT. Many wondered if this would get him to the main roster before Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn and the other NXT top acts at the time. An injury and the popularity of the others rising quickly has Itami last in the rankings the “NXT 4” right now as he’s healing a bad shoulder. While he’s slated to return before the end of the year, Itami will likely spend another year or so in NXT before getting called up to the main roster, let alone be showcased at WrestleMania .
17. Damien Sandow
A perennial favorite of the diehard fans, especially around WrestleMania 31 earlier this year, many had high hopes for a potential Damien Sandow push. The guy is charismatic with a lot of talent that could be used right now but he’s sitting on the sideline. Between cosplaying as Randy Savage and being used mostly on Superstars, Sandow has done nothing since turning on The Miz and likely will continue to do so until WrestleMania 32. Even if he finds a way to get over again, the company definitely doesn’t have the faith in him enough to see a realistic scenario in which he’s on the big ‘Mania show.
16. Sin Cara
Similar to Los Matadores, Sin Cara may get bumped off the show due to the tag team division growing stronger. As mentioned earlier, there are four top established tag team acts on the roster all above The Lucha Dragons. It won’t be long before the tag team experiment ends and WWE tries to use Kalisto as a singles star in hopes of building his stock to become a top seller of mask merchandise similar to Rey Mysterio. That leaves Sin Cara all alone and quite frankly, without Kalisto teaming with him, there’s little to no value left for him on the main roster.
15. Sami Zayn
Debuting on WWE Raw in a big match scenario vs. John Cena during the United States Championship Open Challenge, Sami Zayn was the biggest star on NXT just earlier this year and looked like a sure main roster addition that would make it to the WrestleMania 32 card. Similar to Hideo Itami, Zayn suffered a serious shoulder injury in the aforementioned match vs. Cena and is out for the remainder of the year. A surprise return at Royal Rumble wouldn’t make too much sense considering Zayn was never actually on the main roster, so he has very little chance of having any role at WrestleMania.
14. Mark Henry
The aging veteran has thrown out some hints that he’s planning to retire after WrestleMania 32, which is conveniently in his home state of Texas, but if Mark Henry is hoping to have a singles match, he’s likely in for disappointment. Sparingly used on television, Henry has been more of a credible enhancement talent used to put over new acts, so the chances of him being built back up into a performer significant enough to get a showcased match at WrestleMania are quite slimmer than The World’s Strongest Man’s large waist. With the feel good moment available, maybe Henry will win the Andre Memorial pre-show Battle Royal but he’s not getting on the main card.
13. King Barrett
Already forgotten about shortly after winning the King of the Ring, it’s sadly normal for Wade/Bad News/King Barrett to be lost in the shuffle come WrestleMania time. Unless there’s a multi-man ladder match for one of the midcard titles, they likely won’t go that route two years in a row, it’s hard to imagine Barrett finding a place on the main card. The biggest PPV match Barrett has been in over the last year or two was at SummerSlam with Stardust vs. Neville and Stephen Amell and he was thrown in at the last minute because he wasn’t doing anything and they needed someone. Lightning won’t strike again.
Neville is another star that needs to hope for a multi-man ladder match if he wants a chance at getting on the main card at WrestleMania 32. One of the most fun and entertaining wrestlers to watch perform in the ring, Neville has secured a spot on the main roster but it’s in the Stardust/Barrett/Cesaro range of respected talents that will be on every other PPV in a smaller role. Come WrestleMania season, the legends and time needed for big matches and storylines erases those second tier names away from relevancy until April. Unless he has an Intercontinental title win and it becomes successful, Neville is likely bound to the pre-card.
11. Luke Harper
The Wyatt Family reuniting has helped Luke Harper more than anyone, as he was losing steam ever since the faction split. Adding Braun Strowman has given the group a new dynamic, but at WrestleMania the company will likely put the spotlight on Bray Wyatt in a singles match. So far in his career of WrestleMania matches, Wyatt has faced John Cena and The Undertaker. It’s easy to forget that given how Wyatt can sometimes get lost in the shuffled, but he’s had the two biggest opponents possible at the last two WrestleMania shows. Harper’s presence will likely be accompanying Wyatt to the ring for his match vs. Sting or someone else important, but in a secondary role.
The Undertaker acting somewhat like a heel with his attacks on Brock Lesnar, as well as Lesnar attacking Kane, has put out some speculation that perhaps ‘Taker and Kane will reunite as The Brothers of Destruction to take on Lesnar and a partner at WrestleMania 32. It’s hard to see that happening considering the money match that’s on the table with Undertaker vs. Lesnar, especially after how SummerSlam ended with a controversial and indecisive finish. Adding Kane to the mix would be an out of the box decision and he’s likely going to end up in the battle royal as one of the big men that is hard to eliminate.
Whether you refer to him as Stardust or Cody Rhodes, he looked like one of the promising stars on the rise just a few years ago but has never been able to find his groove or get the push behind him to become a star. Currently stuck in lower midcard purgatory, Stardust’s only chance at a WrestleMania match would be facing ‘Arrow’ actor Stephen Amell in a singles bout but with Amell already getting the tag team victory, there’s not much more to tap into.
8. Finn Balor
Clearly the biggest star in NXT right now, Finn Balor looks like a “can’t miss” superstar whenever he is called up to the main roster. Fans already buy his merchandise and he gets good reactions when appearing in dark matches at the larger Raw or SmackDown tapings. The problem is the NXT brand is growing larger than anyone expected with the former developmental promotion selling out 13,000+ at Barclays Center just this August. Balor is the face of the promotion and he likely will be used on NXT for a bit longer until the next batch of prospects develop into stars that can sell tickets and draw money for the brand like he does.
Many had high hopes for a Cesaro push after his stellar matches with John Cena during the summer and impressive work feuding with Kevin Owens. Unfortunately, Cesaro is already losing steam after falling to Owens in both of their big matches as well as recently getting knocked out by Big Show. The manner in which Big Show was walking to the back and randomly punched Cesaro because he was standing at ringside showed Cesaro in a poor light that told the story on his position in WWE. Unless something or someone changes before WrestleMania 32, it will take a lot for Cesaro to have a match other than battle royal duty.
WrestleMania 31 saw Paige and AJ Lee battle The Bella Twins with the four biggest female wrestling stars in the company at the time having a match together. It didn’t connect as even with a decent storyline and match length, it felt lackluster because the Divas Championship wasn’t on the line. With the Divas Revolution off to a weak start, WWE is going to need a great singles match at WrestleMania for the movement to create the change they’re hoping for. The best bet would be Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks on the big show to give a surefire great match and satisfy the fans which leaves many Divas, like Paige, out of the loop.
5. Big Show
The World’s Largest Athlete and future Hall of Famer is almost sure to be in the Andre Memorial Battle Royal to defend the trophy he won last year. Big Show is the model WWE employee as he steps into the occasional main event when they need someone, is a consistent credible midcarder and seems to gladly take his spot in the Battle Royal come WrestleMania season. An athlete with the resume like Big Show’s could easily complain about not getting spotlighted better on WrestleMania like CM Punk, but he always does his job.. which will be the likely repeat winner of the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy.
4. Dolph Ziggler
Just a few years ago, fans were chanting for Dolph Ziggler to win the World Championship in a match he wasn’t even in at WrestleMania 29 when holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. Now, in 2015, Ziggler has lost most of his momentum and is just another guy on the roster. Currently fading in a weak storyline with Rusev, Ziggler has been gradually declining as a fan favorite as others debut and he gets used in lesser scenarios. The chances of Ziggler rebounding in time for a WrestleMania singles match, and WWE selecting to use him in one of the rare open spots, don’t seem likely.
Despite doing a solid job with the Intercontinental Championship and bouncing back very well after failures in his original push, Ryback is one of the bigger full time stars likely to miss WrestleMania 32’s main card. There’s almost no chance Ryback will hold the Intercontinental title until April and he’s likely going to lose it to Kevin Owens at some point in the next few months. Without the belt, The Big Guy is likely to fall down the depth chart and by the time WrestleMania comes around, his realistic ceiling is winning the pre-show Andre Memorial (are you seeing the theme, here?).
2. The Bella Twins
As mentioned with Paige, the way things are shaping up with the Divas Revolution tends to give Charlotte and Sasha Banks the big Divas match at WrestleMania 32. The two NXT standouts likely will be loved by the diehard fans that travel to WrestleMania, they have excellent chemistry and it’s almost a lock they’ll give a great match. That hurts Nikki and Brie Bella, as the two have had a stranglehold on top of the Divas division for the last year or two. While both hold high political power in WWE due to merchandise sales, promotional work and who they’re dating, it’s definitely likely they’ll have to lose out on the Divas main card match unless it’s a triple threat or fatal four way.
1. Daniel Bryan
This is a story based on injury and bad luck rather than Daniel Bryan’s star falling or the company not seeing him as worthy of a match. Ever since his latest concussion related injuries, Bryan has been on the shelf but claims he went to a very renowned doctor that cleared him to wrestle. WWE has denied his wishes and are not allowing him to wrestle while having him do things like judge Tough Enough or do promotional work. It is clear WWE doesn’t trust Bryan’s health or they would have brought him back already. Nothing can really change as Bryan believes he’s healthy and WWE thinks he’s a risk. Unless they have a complete change of heart or desperately need him, Bryan will likely be kept out of WrestleMania 32.
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