Editors' Choice: 8 predictions for WrestleMania 32
The tears have dried, the circus has left Santa Clara, the scarecrows have wandered back to their fields, and the confetti that marked Seth Rollins’ triumph at WrestleMania 31 is now eternalized asphalt paving the road to WrestleMania 32. With The Show of Shows sinking its horns into the futuristic cathedral of AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, the 32nd Showcase of the Immortals has the potential to be — per Texas rules — bigger than ever before. And, like any self-respecting members of the WWE Universe, we’re getting way ahead of ourselves in thinking what might lie ahead. Here are eight predictions from the editors of WWE.com about what WrestleMania Moments we might be talking about one year from now.
Mr. McMahon will battle Jerry Jones in Battle of the Billionaires 2
If you want to watch a brawl of behemoths at next year’s Showcase of the Immortals, follow the money.
When WrestleMania 32 opens on April 3, 2016, it will do so in a Dallas venue that’s nicknamed “Jerry’s World” — a moniker for the state-of-the-art stadium of billionaire mogul Jerry Jones’ beloved Cowboys. NFL fans know all too well that Jones will stop at nothing to defend his football team’s home turf, especially if the WWE Universe curries favor with Cowboys Nation.
Meanwhile, Mr. McMahon may still feel sore about a previous WrestleMania appearance being “ruined” by another wealthy magnate named Donald Trump. If Jones follows Trump’s lead by claiming Tony Romo would be best for WWE’s business, the WWE Chairman won’t take kindly to it.
AT&T Stadium in Dallas is big enough to host a WrestleMania attendance record-setting crowd, but is it a grand enough stage for a fight between the WWE Chairman and the NFL’s most outspoken owner? Only one way to find out: Bring on the Battle of the Billionaires, Part Two. — MATTHEW ARTUS
An NXT Diva will defend the WWE Divas Championship
Following some recent shake-ups within the Divas division, it seems as though just about anyone on the roster — including Paige, Natalya and Naomi — could be next to claim the butterfly-emblazoned prize. But what if the Divas Title’s next dance on The Grandest Stage of Them All is with a female competitor who’s yet to officially debut on Raw or SmackDown? With so many worthy Divas dominating in NXT, including Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Bayley and current NXT Women’s Champion Sasha Banks, we could be seeing a fresh, new face make a big statement on the main roster next year, going on to defend the crown jewel of WWE’s Divas division when WrestleMania takes over Texas. — JAMES WORTMAN
WWE Network: NXT Divas clash in Fatal 4-Way classic
Ronda Rousey will compete inside a WWE ring
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and the Ronda Rousey-WWE rumor mill is burning up. At WrestleMania 31, we watched with bated breath as the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion stepped inside a WWE ring for the first time, and confronted The Authority alongside The Rock. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey looked right at home standing in the center of the ring, with her appearance helping create an electric WrestleMania Moment. Now let’s see how the mixed martial arts fighter fares in an official WWE match.
WWE Network: Rousey joins forces with The Rock
When and where the master of the Armbar would make her in-ring debut is up for debate, but let’s be honest: All that matters is that we get to see the “Queen of the Octagon” competing inside the squared circle. As for Rousey’s potential opponent, we’ll state the obvious: Facing Stephanie McMahon would be a match made in WWE heaven. — SCOTT TAYLOR
Kalisto will win The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Remember these words: Next year, the WWE Universe will witness the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy being passed from The World’s Largest Athlete to one of the squared circle’s smallest.
People may scoff at the possibility of the up-and-coming Kalisto triumphing in such a chaotic free-for-all. Yet there’s already a precedent of smaller Superstars overcoming the odds in these types of matches. If there wasn’t, Hornswoggle would never have won a Cruiserweight Title in 2007, not to mention his voice in an "All I Want for Christmas" Battle Royal on SmackDown in 2011, and Daniel Bryan would have never defeated Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista in one night to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 30.
Much like The Master of the 619, Kalisto possesses an infinite amount of innovative speed and agility, showcasing an arsenal of lightning-quick maneuvers that are perfect for handling attackers from all sides. And though “The King of Flight” is just beginning to prove himself outside of NXT, the talented grappler is hell-bent on conquering the competition while demonstrating the time-honored art of lucha libre. Look for him to do just that in the coming year, honing his skills in both tag team and singles competition. Then, on The Grandest Stage of Them All, he will finally be ready to take his career to new heights. – MICHAEL BURDICK
The former Shield members will battle in a Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
When they arrived at WrestleMania 29, they were brothers. At WrestleMania 32, they’ll be bitter rivals battling for WWE’s top prize.
With his WrestleMania Moment stolen, Roman Reigns will hunt down Seth Rollins and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with all his might over the next 12 months. Yet, fight as Reigns may, Rollins will use The Authority to remain champion and keep him oppressed. Until Royal Rumble, that is, when Reigns defies the odds and becomes the first Superstar since “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to win the titular match in back-to-back years, forcing Rollins to settle things once and for all at The Show of Shows.
WWE Network: The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family
But what about Dean Ambrose? The Lunatic Fringe is beginning to crack over his failures to win championships and keep Rollins from cashing in. Instead of letting it break him, though, he’ll use it to put on one of the grittiest performance in Money in the Bank history, winning the coveted contract this year. To torment Rollins, Ambrose will tease him with cash-ins for months. Once Reigns wins the Royal Rumble Match, The Lunatic Fringe will take the opportunity to prove to his former brethren that they shouldn’t treat him as an afterthought.
Ambrose announces in advance that he will cash in his contract at WrestleMania 32, setting The Grandest Stage of Them All for a battle fans have been salivating to see since the brothers became rivals. Believe that. — MICHAEL MURPHY
‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin will compete in one more match
If ever there’s a stage grand enough to convince WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to don the black trunks and skull-laden vest one more time, it will be WrestleMania 32. The Texas Rattlesnake hasn’t competed since losing to The Rock in the main event of WrestleMania XIX, and although “Stone Cold” has brushed aside rumors that he’ll step out of retirement, next year’s WrestleMania might just have the right ingredients to bring about the unthinkable.
Austin’s exit from active competition always carried with it a feeling of abruptness, as if the WWE Universe and “Stone Cold” himself were both denied the chance at a proper farewell. With WrestleMania 32 happening in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium, could Austin — a proud son of the Lone Star State — be lured away from the Broken Skull Ranch for one last hurrah, possibly to rekindle his ‘Mania rivalry with The Rock or fight in a long-awaited clash against Brock Lesnar? Add in the fact that next year’s WrestleMania could very well boast the largest attendance in WWE history, and the opportunity for the WWE Universe to rally behind a “Stone Cold” sendoff sounds almost too perfect to pass up. — JOHN CLAPP
The Tag Team Championships will be defended in a one-night-only tournament
Few competitions can be as thrilling as a one-night tournament. From epic King of the Rings to Survivor Series 1998’s Deadly Games, brackets lead to classic showdowns, unexpected matchups and a wealth of action.
Lately, that’s been the calling card of the WWE Tag Team Title picture. WWE’s tag division is in the midst of a renaissance. It started in 2012 with Team Hell No’s unlikely dominance, continued in 2013 with The Shield’s dominance, and prospered in 2014 with The Usos’ ascent. It’s thriving with Cesaro & Tyson Kidd joining the fray in 2015. Fact.
Former NXT Tag Team Champions like The Ascension and The Lucha Dragons have now joined the hunt for the titles, too. Veteran teams like The New Day, Los Matadores and the reunited Prime Time Players have even adopted new attitudes to vie for the tag title gold.
With the WWE Tag Team Title picture as competitive as ever, WrestleMania is due for its first tourney in 28 years. — JEFF LABOON
Sting vs. The Undertaker
OK, we’ll admit it: Seeing DX vs. The nWo was awesome. Like, childhood dream-fulfilled awesome. And watching Sting finally set foot at WrestleMania, where he always belonged, felt like fulfillment for fans who thought we’d never see it happen. But The Monday Night War, The Attitude Era, hell, the ‘90s wrestling boom itself isn’t over, can’t be over, until we get Sting vs. The Undertaker.
Now that The Phenom has gotten his groove back at the big dance with a win over Bray Wyatt, dream matches that seemed doomed to limbo after the obliteration of The Streak are now in play. And now that Sting has shown he belongs at WrestleMania, the sky’s the limit on who he might go toe-to-toe with. We’ve always been curious. Sting’s gone on the record about wanting the match. And the WWE Universe definitely still wants it. There are no more roadblocks, no more excuses, nothing left to hold them back. Let The Vigilante and The Last Outlaw loose on each other, and once and for all, may the best man win. — ANTHONY BENIGNO