September 21, 2018

WrestleMania 32 Preview

WrestleMania 32 is this Sunday and is shaping up to be one of the best of all time. The card really has something for everyone, from kids to new fans to casual fans to the hardcore smarks. It’s so stacked that the feud of Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy doesn’t even get a match. That’s been one of the more compelling and entertaining feuds in a while. Matt IS in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal but so far no Bray.  Though, of course, the lights can go out and all that jazz.

Whatis nice is the fact that WrestleMania indoors again. The outdoor venues are great as far as pyro and entrances, but it really takes away from the event. The Demon King and Nakamura entrances only work in the dark. Bobby Roode too. And that’s the best part about him. It’s going to be hours of great wrestling so let’s take a brief look. Plan your bathroom breaks accordingly.

Cena vs Taker

Long tease on this, but we know it’s going to happen. Cena is going to have to carry this match. Sorry, Taker is done. CM Punk should have been his last opponent. What’s the point of him in Mania after the streak was broken by Lesnar? I loved the Undertaker growing up, but now you are running out the Undertaker just because he’s the Undertaker. Eventually you have to move on from this, but Vince can’t do it. This will be the last match of the card, although it really should be Styles vs Nakamura. Taker will win and John boy will have another existential crisis after losing a match.  I would LOVE to see the heel turn from Cena, but he’s too popular with kids and the merch he sells.

Lesnar vs Reigns

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I totally expected that Braaaaaaaaauuuuuuuunnn would be in this. I’m shocked he isn’t. That being said, Reigns has been approaching Cena territory in being really good, and the smarks are too smarky to realize it. This match should be physical, with plenty of drama. Those thinking that Heyman turns on Lesnar would be awesome, but I don’t think Roman needs it. He’s as bad on the mic as Cena is in the ring. And that’s a good thing. Reigns wins.

Styles vs Nakamura

Wrestle Kingdom rematch. OH HELL YEAH. We got a tease last year in the MITB ladder match when they grabbed the ladder and looked at each other through it. It finally will pay off with a match at Mania. This is all Triple H’s doing, and it’s going to be great. I honestly don’t care who wins or who loses. I just think the match will be fantastic. I’m not sure Nakamura is ready for a title run yet, but I don’t mind him with the belt. It would feel a lot like Bray winning it, though, where I think he’s such an enigma that it’s hard to book him as a champ. Not that he isn’t champion material its just he’s…weird.  AJ has been amazing since coming to the WWE. If anyone should hold a title longer than CM Punk, it’s Styles.  He is the best in the game and one of the best all time. The match I can’t wait to see. Styles wins.

Charlotte vs Asuka

Two of the best wrestlers in the WWE are taking the women’s division even higher. The days of the Divas are done (except that reality show). Is Asuka finally going to lose? I say not quite yet, but Charlotte isn’t a bad one to do it. Just don’t make it where she loses her streak after Carmella cashes in the briefcase. Asuka needs to lose that streak cleanly.  They’ve built it up too nicely.  Then again, this is the WWE, and they have done worse things. This match could and maybe should end the night, but it won’t.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax

This will be hard to schedule because the women’s title match from Smackdown is going to overshadow this a ton. Alexa has reached Miz-like mic skills recently. I think she wins in a very Mizian way with something cheap, but that’s the only way she can. Both deserve their mania shot. And I do like what they are doing with Mickie James. Alexa finds a sneaky way to win but Nia snaps after the match and takes her out. I expect this to be a quick one.

Rousey / Angel vs Stephers and Trips

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Umm…ok.  At least Rousey won’t have the microphone. I don’t expect to see a whole lot from her or Slapanie McMahon, but I’m hoping that it goes over well. Steph can flat out sell (must be a McMahon thing). She’s going to put Ronda over.  Trips and Angle are just there to keep things moving and will be solid at worst.  This would have been a lot more fun with the Rock. This match is all about the fact that Ronda Rousey is in the WWE. She seems committed to being a good wrestler, but she needs a lot of work. She could have used NXT, but you don’t sign Ronda freaking Rousey and send her to NXT. In fact, working with Angle and Trips is good booking and will help her in the long run.

Miz vs Balor vs Rollins

Nobody is better on the mic right now than the Miz. This is legit the best he’s ever been. Miz is absolutely loved by the smarks and rightly so. Dude has Maryse so he wins already.

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That being said, Balor and Rollins and Miz have had a nice feud. This is a triple threat that makes sense and has for a while. I’m hoping that Balor wins, but I expect the Miz to retain. This should be a great technical match. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Miztourage lose Bo Dallas, who could follow his brother Bray. The crowd will pop huge for the Miz. He will have the Raw after Mania crowd in the palm of his hand on Monday night.

Orton vs Roode vs Mahal vs Rusev

Randy Boring / Wellness Violations vs “My Entrance is the Best Thing About Me” vs “Flash in the Pan Steroid Boy” vs “I’m Over Because of Two Words Sung by a Guy Who is Not Me.”  Ok, that’s not fair to Rusev Day because Rusev Day is hilarious. This will be a bathroom break match for me. Orton’s never done it for me. Ever. Mahal is a joke. His best moment is Paul Heyman making fun of his name before he faced Brock Lesnar. Roode is so good but seems to be getting held back some. Maybe a heel turn would be nice. He killed it in NXT but has been “meh” on the main roster. Rusev has never been hotter. Somehow the Rusev Day has gotten him over faster than a trombone named Francseca. Orton is the safe money because Vince and Trips can’t get enough of him, but I’m hoping that Rusev wins. Roode could use the boost, but Rusev would be best for business.

Cesaro / Sheamus vs Braun and TBD

So…who is the mystery partner going to be?  I think they could make him go it alone because…he’s a beas. Why not? I’d love to see someone like Wade Barrett make a return. Either way, Braun is not here to win a tag team title, so this might be a one and done partnership.  Maybe it’s Y2J?  Either way, this is a match where the Ford Truck guys win but Braun destroys everyone to further the narrative of him as a beast and his next feud vs Brock or Roman. He’s going to be champ this time next year.  It would be a great swerve to see someone like Baron Corbin enter the match. He already wrestled in the battle royal and nobody would expect it. However, we already have 2 heels on the other side. Perhaps Big Show comes back. He hasn’t been seen in months but looked in phenomenal shape when he left. Or Mark Henry? We brought this up in the podcast last night. Henry is going to the Hall of Fame, and we love the retirement matches at Mania. Dude has earned it. I’d love to see Mark Henry, and that would make sense on a number of fronts.

Usos vs New Day vs Bludgeon Bros

Usos vs New Day at pay-per-views has been epic. Every match has delivered. I was fine with them doing their thing again. Solid match at WORST and tears down the house at the best. But the WWE is invested in those Wyatt Family castaways, the Bludgeon Bros. Both guys needed something, and it seems to work though its really gimmicky. It’s a bit over the top for me, but both guys can flat out wrestle. Not sure they are title worthy. And I’m not sure they make this match better. They just seem kinda…there. Usos win. Again.

Bryan / Shane vs Owens / Zayn

Of course, Shane has to get a Mania match because every McMahon has to have a Mania match. This would be a great match to have be a tornado tag team match instead of the traditional tag team match. Owens vs Zayn are not going to get fired, but I love KO playing it up on social media like he was. The WWE had teased that Bryan was going to screw over Shane, and I think they make that finally happen. Having the two guys that run Smackdown at odds is decent for the story line. Man, it’s going be great to see DB back in the ring.

Hopefully Bryan gets a majority of the time in the ring.  Owens and Zayn win, but then turn on each other after the match and give us a great match for Summer Slam.

Alexander vs Ali

Cruiserweights have lost all of their big names. The crusierweight thing just hasn’t worked because they have no stars. I think this will be a great match that nobody will remember. Alexander will win and should be the guy the WWE invests as the face of the crusierweights. And I have spent too much time on the crusierweights.

Andre the Giant Battle Royal

We should have had a match between Bray and Broken Matt, but instead we’ll get Bray costing Matt the match. Bray will show up looking like swamp thing or something of that nature. I think Ziggler will be the last man in the match and win it, though Tye Dillinger would be a great surprise. I wish they wouldn’t have quit on Baron Corbin. It’s weird he got buried while Orton gets promoted.  Don’t give it to a loser like Mojo Rawley again. Some of the guys have actually used this to propel themselves up the card in the future. I’m hoping they do the same with this. We’ve been waiting a decade for Ziggler to get his shot.  Is this the time?

Women’s Battle Royal

Sasha wins this match, and then loses her next one!  Oh wait, there is no title on the line. Becky makes the most sense for this and will win. She’s got the chops on the mic and in the ring to compete with anyone. That’s the safe money. I feel like this match should have been moved to a different PPV. It’s a complete afterthought, even though there is some great talent here. Then again, it is a really good payday for all the wrestlers. Battle Royals are easy work, and that’s ok for women that have earned an easy night and paycheck.

J.T. Nutt 27 Articles
Staff Writer

JT "the" Nutt graduated from UNI in 2006 and worked at WHO-TV for a few years including Soundoff. JT then spent the past five years covering UNI most recently for On Press Row. He works as a cameraman for the Iowa Wild, Iowa Energy, and Iowa Barnstormers. JT loves the Cubs, UNI, Avalanche, Chargers, beer, hockey, the WWE, and cat memes.

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