ULTIMATE INSIGHT: Three Marquee Matches WrestleMania Needs
By Ian Patrick Gagnon
This year’s Showcase of the Immortals is shaping up to be one of the most unique in history. WWE has the opportunity to pack over 100,000 asses in the seats of AT&T Stadium on April 3rd, while simultaneously shattering the record of 93,173 that attended WrestleMania 3 at the Pontiac Silverdome on March 29, 1987. They could potentially make this one of the greatest WrestleMania’s in history, but they clearly face an uphill battle. This may be the most prolific string of injuries that the company has ever seen. How do you book a spectacular show with so much star power out of action? Now add terrible booking, corny gimmicks and elementary storylines into the fray and you have the unique set of ingredients on the table for crafting WrestleMania 32.
Regardless of all this, I still believe WWE has the tools and the talent necessary to make this year’s grand stage feel larger than life! First, I ask myself the question “what makes a great WrestleMania?”, and I’ve realized that there is one constant that has made every great one, “Marquee Matches.” When I say “marquee match”, I’m talking about matches people just can’t miss. History will tell you that every great WrestleMania was built around these very matches. WrestleMania 3 had the mega main event of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant, and a classic matchup for the intercontinental Championship between “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Arguably the greatest WrestleMania of all time. Period. WrestleMania X-Seven saw Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock in a No DQ rematch for the strap. Then there was the triangle TLC match for the tag titles between The Hardy Boyz, Edge & Christian and The Dudley Boyz. Not to mention, Vince vs. Shane in a rivalry that had all fans captivated. Many pundits will argue that this is the greatest of all time. Even WrestleMania XXX is deemed the best ever by many, again following the same format, built around Daniel Bryan’s impossible and unlikely journey to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, having to beat Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton all in one evening. Brock Lesnar’s undying will to end The Undertaker and his streak. The WWE will have to cement these “marquee matches” into the foundation of WrestleMania 32 to make it historic and amazing, and also break the all-time attendance record for the show. Here are the three matches I believe WrestleMania 32 needs and why…
The first one is a no-brainer, Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker in a rematch from last year’s show. However, this year’s contest needs to be conducted inside Hell in a Cell or under Last Man Standing rules, and this is why— People will love to see this rematch if you give them a reason to HAVE TO SEE IT! A boring, one on one regular old rematch just won’t cut it! It’s obvious Bray Wyatt is one of the best talents on the roster today. He has every tool necessary to be great, but for him to be truly great and reach his potential, The Undertaker HAS to put him over! I mean let’s face it, The Undertaker is at the end of his career, and if he’s really as unselfish as his reputation has garnered him to be, then he will do what is right and pave the way for a future talent like Bray to take his place on the roster. WWE has clearly pushed Wyatt as sort of the new school dark character, much like they did with The Undertaker when he broke into the company in 1990. The only way for Bray Wyatt to take his character to new heights and legitimize it is by handily beating The Undertaker at WrestleMania in a proverbial passing of the wrestling torch, and this needs to be done in a way to make it believable. I believe this can only be achieved by The Undertaker either losing in his infamous Hell in A Cell match, or in a knockdown, drag out Last Man Standing war! WWE needs to make fans sad that The Undertaker is “dead”, and afraid of what Bray Wyatt is capable of. End of story!
The second match that needs to be on this card is Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose. This is a classic “David vs. Goliath” type match that people will really want to see! Given the proper, creative storyline and buildup from now to WrestleMania, this will be a feud people can seriously become enthralled with and invested in, MUST SEE! The WWE has already laid the ground work for this to be an interesting and unique rivalry. Brock is a seemingly untouchable freak of nature, and it’s totally believable when he is hell bent on destroying an opposition. Ambrose, on the other hand is like the one guy with all the heart in the world that you could beat into a bloody pulp and he will just keep coming, and coming, and coming…. Fans are quickly getting behind him because of his over the top, on the edge persona that’s like watching a man constantly on the brink of pure insanity, while riding a tightrope of lunacy! Both of these characters are so believable and intense, it’s like they were made to fight each other. Just like the great Gorilla Monsoon used to say, “the irresistible force meeting the immovable object!” This matchup gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!
The third and final piece to this puzzle of how to book this year’s “marquee matches” is Triple H vs. Roman Reigns for the belt. This is an easy match to make that they’ve already been subtly building over a few months. This can be spiced up as a No DQ match with Vince as the special guest referee. Again, this would be a must see! Reigns was starting to get over as the anti-authority bad ass much like Stone Cold Steve Austin did in the late 90’s. The real question is will the WWE put him in the right him in the right situations to potentially take it as high, if not higher than Stone Cold Steve Austin did? Reigns definitely has the talent to be the rebel that everybody loves, and WWE needs a real renegade to rival The Authority. We already know HHH and Roman can wow the crowd in a match, as Extreme Rules and Payback 2014 showed us— And if you haven’t already seen them, go back and watch the two six-man tag matches between The Shield and Evolution from these two events. Classic storytelling built these matches and great psychology drove them. This was one of the few times in recent memory that something the WWE was doing actually felt special again.
The consistency is not there anymore, and it’s unacceptable. If the WWE is going to turn this downward spiral they’ve found themselves in on its head, I believe these are the three matches they NEED to make. This is how they will get the most out of the talent!!!
Just remember, this is only my opinion!
— Ian Patrick Gagnon