Wrestlemania 32 was one of the most disappointing shows in the chronology of the event. For months, the WWE appeared to be heading in a certain direction. Then, inexplicably, in March, the entire rumored card was blown up. But, give them the benefit of the doubt.
Some of the WWE’s biggest stars were injured. What was supposed to be the biggest Wrestlemania of all time was restricted by a limited roster – no Seth Rollins, no John Cena, no Sting. This meant we didn’t get to see John Cena vs. Undertaker, Seth Rollins vs. Triple H, or Sting vs. Bray Wyatt. The Rock’s availability was up in the air for a while, so they couldn’t promote a match featuring The People’s Champ. So, yeah – the WWE was in a bit of a pinch.
That doesn’t excuse the show, though. Enough talent was available to make the show a classic. And, hey – that’s what I’m here to do today: re-book Wrestlemania 32. Let’s go!
1. Tables Match: The Usos vs. The Dudleys – I had no problem with this rivalry getting a slot on the Wrestlemania card. But, it should’ve been the blow-off tables match that we saw on Raw shortly after. Give the crowd (err….the 5% of it that was actually around for the first pre-show match) something exciting right off the bat: someone going through a table.
2. Team Total Divas vs. Team B.A.D. and Blonde – No issue with this match whatsoever. It was an appropriate way to get all of WWE’s female talent on the show, and provided a nice moment for Brie Bella.
3. United States Championship Ladder match: Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback vs. The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Stardust vs. Zack Ryder vs. Sin Cara – The first major difference on the card – this match should have “headlined” the pre-show. Really, there was already a fine story in place for the Intercontinental Championship. There wasn’t one for the United States Championship. So, why not make this the annual multi-man Ladder Match? Ryder still could have won. No big deal.
4. Tag Team Championship: New Day (c) vs. League of Nations (Alberto Del Rio & Sheamus) – New Day was in the midst of their record title reign. Why not give them the honor of opening the main show? Also, have them take on two credible superstars in Del Rio and Sheamus. Put the straps on the line, New Day win, the entire League of Nations jumps in to beat down New Day…and the segment ends as it did in real life. The legends come out to slap around the League of Nations.
5. Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles – Again, no problem with this match being on the card. It was the blow-off to a feud that produced quality matches. I still wish they would’ve nailed that Code Breaker, though. It definitely puts a bit of a damper on an otherwise good match.
6. Brock Lesnar vs. Bray Wyatt – Lesnar very clearly did not want to bump all over Texas with Dean Ambrose. That match was one of the most disappointing Wrestlemania matches in recent memory. With Lesnar, the narrative has to be about story now. At one point, it looked like we were actually going to get this match. But, things changed, and Wyatt was left off the card completely.
7. Intercontinental Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn – The match these two had at Battleground was a top ten showing on the year. There’s no reason that match could not have happened at Wrestlemania for Owens’ Intercontinental Championship. If that Battleground match happens in Dallas, it automatically becomes one of the classics. But, for some reason, these two had to be lumped in to the multi-man Ladder Match.
8. Women’s Championship: Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks – This match stays put. It was the best match on the card. And, it also marked the official dawning of a new era in women’s wrestling. No longer termed “divas,” these three fought for the newly introduced Women’s Championship. I’m totally fine with that – no changes here.
9. Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal – For what it was, this match was fine. The surprise of Baron Corbin winning it certainly helped. But, I wouldn’t put it in between the two biggest matches of the night. Push it up a little bit and have it cleanse the palette, and get fans ready for the home stretch.
10. Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns – What is different about this match happening in 2017 compared to 2016? Everything being done right now could have been done last year. Set it up at the Royal Rumble and all. Instead, we settled for an overly produced Hell in a Cell Match that ran entirely too long. The return of Shane McMahon certainly created buzz for the show. But, in hindsight, this match looks like even more of a panic move.
11. The Rock vs. Rusev – Picture this: The Rock makes his return to the WWE, same promo, same bit, and everything. Instead of The Wyatt Family, The League of Nations comes out, angry after being embarrassed earlier in the night. Attempting to restore their reputation, they pick a fight with The Rock. Del Rio & Sheamus have already wrestled, King Barrett was a glorified manager, plus Rusev had history with The Rock dating back to a Raw appearance where The Rock insinuated “relations” with Lana.
So, have Rusev step up to put The Rock over. Rusev loses, the League of Nations gangs up on The Rock, and here comes John Cena to the rescue. What does Rusev lose in this segment that he hasn’t already lost due to WWE’s awful booking of him?
12. WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose – The match that headlined Roadblock (Beginning of the Line? The one from March 2016) absolutely should have been the main event of Wrestlemania 32. Largely underrated, it was Wrestling 101. Plus, the crowd would’ve gone home happy with Ambrose getting his first WWE Championship and his Wrestlemania moment in the process.