At this point, you could build a pretty good WrestleMania card using only the wrestlers who won’t be able to participate due to injury. Unfortunately, WWE is stuck trying to cobble together a card with what’s left, and while it’s not a complete disaster yet, things are looking less rosy for an event where WWE is trying to pack 100,000 fans inside the largest venue they’ve ever held a Pay Per View in. What possible main event matches are left that could suitably be presented to justify such a momentous occasion? Sure, The Rock’s going to be there, but he’s filming roughly seventeen movies and five TV shows, and at least one of those are going to object if he puts himself in a situation where he could get hurt. With that said, we’ve combed through what’s left after the injury bug basically lopped off the entire main event scene, and here’s some potential ideas for matches that WWE could still put on in Dallas!
10. Kalisto vs Neville
With his partner among those injured, the time is right to let Kalisto spread his wings as a single for a little while. This match doesn’t really need a reason beyond “two fast-paced high flyers put on one hell of an opening match”, but if you wanted, you could sew the seeds in Neville’s tentative alliance with The Miz. Perhaps Neville begins to see things Miz’s way and turns to the darker side, or maybe Miz simply sets up this match for Neville to “prove himself” on a big stage. The possibilities are there, but the real point is having a potential show-stealing undercard opener, similarly to what WWE tried with an Eddie Guerrero-Rey Mysterio match at WrestleMania while they were Tag Team Champions together. Sometimes you just need a flashy match to open the show, and both Superstars here are more than capable of that.
9. Stardust vs Stephen Amell
We predicted this one the first time, and given the drop in star power that’s happened since, we’re going to stick with our prediction for this rematch to happen at WrestleMania. It’s a harmless publicity stunt for WWE, it gives one of their most entertaining characters something to do, and Amell showed at SummerSlam that he can hold up his end well enough that the match won’t be a total disgrace. Plus, they can do early promotion for the upcoming Ninja Turtles movie, which features both Amell and Sheamus. Heck, find someone else to tag with Amell and have Sheamus and Stardust tag for some reason, the more the merrier! As long as they can free Amell up from his other job, there’s almost no downside to WWE going ahead and doing this one more time.
8. Alberto Del Rio vs Dean Ambrose
Unification match? Maybe, and it wouldn’t be the worst idea as a minor draw for the show, but it also might not be necessary, as WWE could always just pull out a “Champion vs Champion” match with no titles on the line. Honestly, this is the best fit we could come up with for two wrestlers who almost certainly have to be on the card, are probably too important to just stick in something like the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but don’t currently seem to be set up with any pressing feuds that will carry into WrestleMania. It’s slightly ridiculous that we can’t figure out more for both the United States and Intercontinental Champions to do at WrestleMania right now, but really, isn’t that part of the problem WWE’s been having with their mid-card? Maybe a unification match really does make sense, so the writers won’t have to come up with two separate mid-card title feuds all the time.
7. Charlotte vs Paige vs Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch
In the first round of predictions, we just wanted a singles match between Charlotte and Sasha, but it’s pretty much apparent that we’re barrelling towards a multi-woman match, as Charlotte has pretty much pissed off both her former teammates, and Sasha Banks needs to be included because she’s awesome, but should remain a heel, which would probably negate a one-on-one feud with Charlotte at this point. Plus, three of the four women involved here already showed they can have a pretty incredible Fatal Four-Way together, and Paige can almost certainly keep up. In a perfect world, Bayley would probably get her ticket to the main roster in time for WrestleMania, but she’s still NXT Women’s Champion and the next big opportunity for her to drop the belt isn’t until just before Mania. We think it’s more likely that Charlotte retains in this Fatal Four-Way while Bayley loses her belt in preparation for a post-Mania promotion and feud. At least, that’s what it looks like in our dreams.
6. The New Day vs Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
Enzo and Big Cass should have been on the main roster long before now, and we must reiterate that The New Day is out of opponents. They’ve beaten The Dudley Boyz and Lucha Dragons repeatedly, and frankly, we don’t want to see them facing The Usos when they could be taking on The Realest Guys in the Room instead. The promos alone will make this worthwhile, as New Day has been drastically in need of someone they can go toe-to-toe with on the mic in their feuds, and few would fit the bill as well as these two loudmouths. This match-up would be all sorts of wacky fun and decent wrestling, and could really get the crowd excited as either an opener or something to get the energy back midway though a very long show, or as a palate cleanser after a particularly brutal match.
5. Balor Club vs The Wyatt Family
Balor Club, of course, would consist of Finn Balor and the trio of wrestlers just signed from New Japan who he used to run with before he signed with WWE (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows). Originally, we had a very different vision for this feud, which would result in a one-on-one match between Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt. But now that WWE is bringing Finn’s buddies into the fold, there’s no reason not to just get everyone involved. The build-up can involve the Family trying to intimidate the members of Balor Club (NJPW owns the Bullet Club trademark, fortunately, Finn already has a new shirt to cover for that) with their supernatural ability to appear and disappear, only for Finn to unleash The Demon at WrestleMania to even the odds. You might even be able to hold off on debuting Balor until the event, while having Styles, Gallows, and Anderson seem outnumbered (but able to hold their own) up to that point. The most important part, however, is that they make sure that it’s dark when Balor makes his entrance. No more broad daylight entrances for acts that are supposed to be spooky.
4. The Undertaker vs Chris Jericho
With Cena out, if the Undertaker is dead-set (hah!) on wrestling a match in his home state of Texas and not just accepting a Hall of Fame induction and retiring, which seems to be the case, we’re in a situation where we’re pretty much going to have to find a body to take the loss. But with it incredibly unlikely that Taker’s going to do the job, we can’t just toss him someone who might actually be useful in the future. So, we need a wrestler who’s safe enough to work with the aging Dead Man, credible enough to make the match-up interesting, and bulletproof enough that it won’t matter if he loses. That literally sounds like Chris Jericho’s job description these days, and conveniently, he just made a return! The fact that these two Legends have never faced each other at WrestleMania is a nice touch, and while nothing will replace Cena-Taker (or the similarly “scrapped due to injury” Sting-Taker) in terms of drawing power, at least this has the potential to be a good match that fans will be somewhat interested in.
3. Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
Hey, it’s the only other potential match from our post-SummerSlam edition that might actually survive the tide of injuries! Although Owens no longer has a title for the two to fight over, with the stakes of the Royal Rumble even higher, a shocking Zayn appearance in that match which costs Owens a chance at winning the WWE World Heavyweight title would just make their life-long feud even hotter. Zayn’s apparently good to go, and his appearances on Breaking Ground flat out stated that he should probably be on the main roster instead of dropping back into developmental. With the injury situation in WWE as bad as it is, there’s no real excuse not to go with this. There’s lots of footage of Owens beating the crap out of Zayn in NXT for fans who don’t know that they’ve been tied together since their independent careers began, a ready-made story with Owens already claiming that he was the reason behind Sami’s shoulder injury, and with Owens rounding back into form as a stone cold killer, perpetual feisty underdog Zayn is, as always, the perfect foil.
2. Roman Reigns vs Triple H
We can probably see the Royal Rumble screwjob coming at this point, and this match is definitely inevitable in some form. The real question is, does Roman Reigns go over the whole roster and stay WWE World Heavyweight Champion going into WrestleMania, does Triple H’s interference give the belt to another active wrestler, or will Triple H just enter the Rumble match and win it all himself? In any event, this grudge match almost has to be a Mania match at this point, with Triple H putting Reigns over once and for all on the biggest stage, similar to what was supposed to happen last year (only with a different opponent, obviously). It’s a feud that probably doesn’t need the WWE World Heavyweight title on the line, but looking at all our other options, who else could even credibly hold the belt at this point, and also have a decent challenger worthy of a Mania main event, while these two fight each other? At this point, if Triple H is wrestling at WrestleMania (and it’s likely that he will be), he pretty much has to fight Reigns, because he really doesn’t have any other options.
1. Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle
This would be the ultimate in WWE panic moves, but it’s still not outside the realm of possibilities. Kurt Angle’s contract with TNA is expiring, and he’s publicly announced his “retirement tour”. Angle’s said he wants to take a break from wrestling, but he also has been making noise about an inevitable WWE Hall of Fame induction. While it would be a terrible idea for WWE to bring Angle back full time, a Legends contract with a WrestleMania one-off payday against one of his greatest opponents wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. The two could probably still have a great match together, and it’s got enough name value that it could conceivably be a headlining match, something WWE is now desperate to find. At this point, for WWE it’s probably either something like this, or just finding a warm body for Brock to smash into paste on the undercard, which seems like a huge waste.