clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

WrestleMania 32: The full rundown and why you should care

New, comments

Start with the fact that it's WrestleMania. Things only get better from there.

Ever since the Dallas Cowboys announced the construction of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Vince McMahon has wanted to have a WrestleMania there. On Sunday, he'll finally get his wish. In front of between 80,000 and 100,000 rabid wrestling fans, WWE will hold WrestleMania 32, poised to be the biggest pro wrestling event of all time.

Imagine if the Super Bowl was on Christmas Day. That's what WrestleMania means every year to wrestling fans. WWE always delivers, even when the card may seem uninspiring on paper. The event consistently transcends expectation. It doesn't have to make sense. It's WrestleMania.

There are 11 announced matches and promised appearances from legends The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and others. The whole shebang will start in the late afternoon and go well into the night. I don't think I could be more excited about it.

The Kickoff Show for WrestleMania 32 begins at 5 p.m. ET and the main card starts at 7 p.m. ET. If you sign up for WWE Network, you get the month of April free, which means you get WrestleMania 32 free. You can cancel at any time. There's literally no reason for you not to watch.

Now that you're definitely going to watch, here are all the reasons that you should be unreasonably excited about WrestleMania 32.

Kickoff Show WWE United States Championship Match: Kalisto (c) vs. Ryback

What am I looking at here? Kalisto should, by all rights, be this generation's Rey Mysterio Jr. He certainly has everything it takes. They're even the same size! He's in his second reign as United States champ, but he really hasn't had a breakout moment yet.

Ryback, resident big muscle guy, is through screwing around. He's started wearing all black, he's not getting the crowd to chant "FEED ME MORE" anymore. He's just showing up, manhandling people, cleaning their clock and leaving. He's sick of not being on the top of the company and he's coming to rip Kalisto's head off.

Why you should care: This is going to be a great big strong dude tossing a tiny, flippy man all over the ring. Kalisto does some stuff you've probably never seen a wrestler do before and he's getting a chance to do that stuff in front of close to 100,000 people.


Kickoff Show Match: The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz

What am I looking at here? The Usos are the real-life twin sons of WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi. They've run afoul of wrestling legends the Dudley Boyz, who are so sick and tired of the fans that they've even stopped putting people through tables. It's the ultimate insult to us, the fans.

Why you should care: Someone's going through a table! Likely the Dudley Boyz, but never rule out NOT the Dudley Boyz when tables are involved. This will be fun if you haven't seen the Dudleys in a while, because they're just the same as you remember. Heck, they may even be a little faster.

Kickoff Show 10-Diva Tag Team Match: Total Divas (Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Paige, Natalya & Eva Marie) vs. B.A.D. and Blonde (Lana, Naomi, Tamina, Summer Rae & Emma)

What am I looking at here? Lana, the Ravishing Russian, started picking a fight with Brie Bella, telling her that she sucks and also is bad. Which is pretty tough talk, considering Lana hasn't actually been in a match yet. Her smack talk got to Brie, who started rounding up her friends. In response, Lana started assembling a team of her OWN. And ... well, here we are.

Why you should care: With 10 participants, everyone should get a chance to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, so this could be a really fun sprint. It's also a great reminder of the depth of the Divas division right now. You've got 10 talented women in there ... and there's still a triple threat for the Divas Championship later featuring the best of the best.

Hey, maybe there was something to this Divas Revolution after all.

The 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

What am I looking at here? The late, great Andre the Giant was particularly proficient at winning battles royal over his career, so a battle royal in his honor has become a new WrestleMania tradition.

Twenty wrestlers will climb into the ring together and the only way to be eliminated is to be thrown over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. It's going to be wild.

So far, the confirmed entrants in the battle royal are Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Adam Rose, Kane, Big Show, Tyler Breeze, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Konnor, Viktor, Goldust and R-Truth.

Why you should care: Okay, first of all, battles royal totally rule. Second, the Andre the Giant trophy (or "The Dré," if you prefer) is totally sweet and the winner gets to put their name on it. This should get WrestleMania started on a fantastic note and the first two iterations of this match were great (particularly the inaugural one). Bodies flying around, goofy stuff happening all over the place ... if you can't appreciate that, why are you reading this article?

(Please keep reading this article.)

The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The League of Nations (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Rusev & King Barrett)

What am I looking at here? The New Day are just three guys who wear light-up unicorn horns, play the trombone and eat Booty-O's cereal. You know, just normal dudes. The League of Nations is a nefarious cadre of international jerkweeds. I think we all know how this one is going to end.

Why you should care: There are a few reasons why this will be entertaining. Number one, the New Day have threatened/promised to ride actual unicorns to the ring, so their WrestleMania entrance will hopefully be one for the ages. (If you know anything about WrestleMania entrances, this is really saying something.)

Number two, there are rumblings that -- since this is a four-on-three handicap match -- there will be a special surprise to balance things out for the New Day. No word on what this might entail. Maybe The Rock? Maybe some other beloved figure or surprise return? There's no way of knowing! That's what's exciting!

And number three, the New Day are just plain entertaining. Well, until the past couple weeks they have been. They'll probably be extra entertaining, on account of this is WrestleMania.

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

What am I looking at here? Chris Jericho, you know. He's a near household name and he's been around forever. He's done it all and accomplished it all. Now he's cranky that there are new people showing up to try to make their name off of the good graces of Chris Jericho.

One of those new people is AJ Styles, who for over a decade was synonymous with rival promotion TNA. He spent the past year traveling the world and being voted the best wrestler of 2015. Now he's in WWE and WWE audiences are LOVING him.

Why you should care: If you haven't seen AJ Styles before, you're going to love him, too. If you have seen him, you probably love him at least a little. He has a style and a dynamic that feel new and fresh for WWE and this is his first WrestleMania ever, so you know he's going to kick it into another gear.

Sure, this may be a dream match that we've already seen before (this is actually the second go-round of this feud, but they were both good guys last time), but it's still a dream match, dang it. Can't we just have fun anymore?

WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz vs. Sin Cara vs. Stardust vs. Zack Ryder

What am I looking at here? Kevin Owens is a jerk. He's a great, big, prizefighter jerk. He just wants to punch people in the face, make money and go home to his wife and kids, who are the only people in the world he cares about. Everyone hates Kevin Owens. Everyone. It's a bipartisan sort of thing.

In recent weeks, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler have both been making claims to having earned an Intercontinental title match at WrestleMania. To compound that, Kevin Owens' ETERNAL LIFELONG BLOOD RIVAL, Sami Zayn, showed up from NXT and demanded a shot at the title for himself. Last week on RAW, Owens said there would be a Triple Threat Match and the winner would get a shot at his title at WrestleMania.

Then, to further infuriate everyone who already hated him, the Triple Threat Match Owens put together was between three entirely different guys -- guys who presumably Owens would rather face at WrestleMania. All hell broke loose and as punishment for flying too close to the sun, Stephanie McMahon ordered that Owens would have to defend his title against ALL of them ... in a ladder match. See, because Stephanie counts as "everyone." Because everyone hates Kevin Owens.

Why you should care: Seven-person ladder match. Eternal blood rivals. I ... come on, people. Not everything is a hard sell.

WWE Divas Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch

What am I looking at here? Charlotte is the literal, actual daughter of Ric Flair. The Nature Boy himself will be in her corner for this match. Charlotte won the title fair and square, but has since learned perhaps a few too many things from her daddy and is setting out to become the new dirtiest player in the game. She's also turned her back on two of her best friends, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

Sasha Banks is the Boss. She's been known to roll up to a big match in an Escalade with her entire entourage in tow. She's the baddest women in pro wrestling right now and she runs this place. Everyone else just hasn't caught on yet.

Becky Lynch is an Irish "lass kicker" who can't stop making puns and dressing like a steampunk Beetlejuice. She's maybe the most wonderful, precious nerd in all of pro wrestling. Oh, also, she'll rip your entire arm off and beat you to death with it. So there's that.

Why you should care: These three women are three-quarters of the already legendary "Four Horsewomen" of NXT and are credited with helping bring legitimacy back to women's wrestling. They're getting a showcase match at the biggest event of the year and Sasha Banks, at least, has designs on stealing the whole damn show.

At the very least, there's probably no way this doesn't instantly become the greatest women's match in WrestleMania history by a country mile. At best, it might end up being the match of the night. And there will be tears. Tears of joy and of pride and of accomplishment. And they'll be coming right out of your face.

No Holds Barred Street Fight: Brock Lesnar vs. Dean Ambrose

What am I looking at here? Brock Lesnar is an enchanted Jimmy John's sandwich that was granted sentience and grew up in the wilds of Minnesota punching wolves and getting a bad attitude about vegetables. Dean Ambrose is a crazy guy who kinda-sorta loves having the mess beat out of him.

Ambrose believes that he can beat Lesnar because he's crazy enough to take whatever Brock can dish out. Lesnar believes he can beat Ambrose because HE IS BROCK LESNAR. He can beat anybody.

In recent weeks, hardcore wrestling icons have shown up to give Ambrose pep talks and bestow upon him gifts of mayhem, carnage and possible disfiguration. The street fight setting levels the playing field a bit in Ambrose's favor, but he still has an uphill climb. Because Brock Lesnar is every Shadow of the Colossus monster put together, but way scarier.

Why you should care: Mick Foley gave Dean a barbed wire bat. Terry Funk gave Dean an actual, working chainsaw. DEAN AMBROSE IS IN POSSESSION OF A CHAINSAW AND IT WOULD BE LEGAL TO USE THE CHAINSAW ON BROCK LESNAR UNDER THESE RULES.

This might be a bloodbath. This might be a train wreck. Either way, it's going to be something you won't want to tear your eyes away from for an instant. And of course that creepy hillbilly Bray Wyatt and his clan of cultists are always watching, always waiting, always lurking in the background ...

Hell in a Cell Match: Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon

What am I looking at here? The Undertaker is the same undead mortician Satanic cultist American badass biker MMA cowboy you've grown to know and love for the past 25 years. Shane McMahon is the son of Vince McMahon and he's back, baby! Shane, in case you didn't know, has a reputation for doing the absolute craziest things that a millionaire and partial heir to a billion-dollar company has zero right to volunteer for.

Here, look:

Yeah, that. Anyway, Shane is back and he wants control of WWE RAW. He has some leverage over Vince McMahon, possibly in the form of secrets. Secrets most foul. If he can somehow win his match against the Undertaker in Hell in a Cell, he gets his wish. The Authority leaves RAW forever and falls under Shane's control.

If Shane wins, however -- if he can beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, something only Brock Lesnar has been able to do -- the Undertaker will never be able to compete at a WrestleMania again.

Stakes are high.

Why you should care: Watch that video up there again. This is going to be an absolute bloodbath. This is also going to be a spectacle that will hearken back to the very best, overbooked matches of the Attitude Era. Expect foul play. Expect run-ins. Expect Shane to fall off the top of the dang cage. Anything can happen in this match. Anything probably will happen. This is going to be a match that happens to you. Just turn off your brain for half an hour and let it do its thing.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match: Triple H (c) vs. Roman Reigns

What am I looking at here? Triple H, the leader of the Authority, hand-picked his golden boy last year. It was Seth Rollins. When Rollins got injured, Triple H offered that spot to Roman Reigns, but Reigns spurned him. Ever since, Triple H has been determined to make Reigns' life a living hell.

And dammit, if no one else can get the job done, he'll do it himself. He -- along with Vince and Stephanie McMahon -- screwed over Reigns at the Royal Rumble and took his title. Now Triple H is determined to keep it.

Why you should care: Try as WWE and Reigns might, the fans just refuse to get behind him. So there's that extra little bit of resentment driving him -- as if being screwed over by the Authority time and again for months on end wasn't enough.

Reigns might turn in another performance for the ages, like he did in the main event of last year's WrestleMania, and finally get the crowd behind him. Triple H might reach into his bag of tricks and screw Reigns over yet again. There might be some surprise returns, like from Reigns' cousin The Rock, or even from Rollins. Or they might just let Reigns be the bad guy everyone wants him to be.

Regardless, it's going to be interesting. It's ALL going to be interesting. It's going to be five or six hours of wrestling and it's going to be wonderful. Get on board now so you can tell everyone on Monday that you KNEW this was going to be a great WrestleMania. You just knew it.

You won't be wrong.

* * *

Championship Belts: Passionate fans tell us about their cool replicas

Be sure to subscribe to SB Nation's YouTube channel for highlight videos, features, analysis and more