by Frank Lucci
Injuries have been the biggest story of WWE this past year, with the company suffering so many setbacks they might have inducted the Godfather into the Hall of Fame in hopes he turns back into Papa Shango and reverses whatever curse the company has over them.
It’s no doubt that with the exception of last-minute star power from yesteryear, WrestleMania 32 lost some luster. Considering the state of the active roster, many fans wonder what the biggest show of the year would have looked like with the WWE at full strength.
Spaceman Frank is here to do one better and fantasy book ‘Mania 32 with only injured WWE and NXT wrestlers.
Here are the rules:
- Only wrestlers who are confirmed or rumored to be injured at the time of this writing (March 31, 2016) will be included in the card with two exceptions: The Undertaker (because it would not be WrestleMania without him) and Titus O’Neil (because he is suspended through WrestleMania for bullshit reasons).
- No Daniel Bryan because his injury forced him into retirement, however Sting is still eligible due to the fact that he had refused to say he is calling it a career at the time of this writing.
- Champions will be the same as WrestleMania 31 (because they are all on the inactive list) with the obvious exception of Daniel Bryan as Intercontinental Champion. To recap: that means Seth Rollins is WWE World Heavyweight Champion, John Cena is United States Champion, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd are Tag Team Champions, and Nikki Bella is Divas Champion.
Kickoff Pre-show Match: Hideo Itami vs. Neville
After his showing at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, Itami jumps to the main roster and finds a niche among NXT fans and those who appreciate his hard-hitting style. Neville follows suit after a series of vignettes (instead of just one roughly 45 minutes before his debut).
The two smaller yet talented superstars manage to avoid a clash for some time, until the two begin a friendly rivalry after a confrontation during the Royal Rumble. They warm up the crowd with their fast-paced styles until Neville hits the Red Arrow to pick up the victory. Itami then attacks Neville and begins an epic post-Mania rivalry.
Titus O’Neil vs. Randy Orton
Orton bounces around in his generic babyface role until he snaps and becomes his slightly less generic heel role. Meanwhile, “Big Deal” Titus O’Neil has gradually won over the WWE Universe due to being an all around nice guy, legit athlete, 2015 Celebrity Dad of the Year and having a fiery comeback that rivals Hulk Hogan (I may be a big Titus fan).
O’neil finally gets a big singles push against The Viper when he eliminates him from the Royal Rumble. This causes Orton to snap, injuring O’neil’s tag team partner Darren Young and several attempts to make Titus look like a terrible family man.
With his status as Celebrity Dad of the Year hanging in the balance, O’neil brings it to Orton until the voices in Orton’s head tell him to DQ himself by hitting the mega-dad with a steel chair; setting up a hardcore rematch between the two at Payback and finally the first-ever “Celebrity Dad of the Year Award on a Pole” match at Extreme Rules.
Cesaro and Tyson Kidd (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio and William Regal (Tag Team Championship Match)
The “Brass Ring Club” (as dubbed by fans of Kidd and Cesaro) are the highly talented tag team with a bone to pick with The Authority. Cesaro is still resentful over Vince Mcmahon’s harsh assessment of him on Stone Cold’s podcast while Kidd is angry he had to claw his way back to the main roster from NXT.
They wage war with WWE management until Triple H brings in some ringers to stop the duo. Those ringers turn out to be Del Rio (who may or may not be hurt, but since he is not working live shows I’m including him here) and NXT commissioner William Regal (who recently had neck surgery and for storyline purposes comes back for one last shot at glory). The League of Nations cannot beat the Swiss-Canadian connection, who eventually convince the League to join them as the much more diplomatically efficient United Nations.
Nikki Bella (C) vs. Dana Brooke (Divas Championship Match)
Nikki Bella, the longest reigning Divas champ of all time runs through the roster searching for a worthy adversary. Eventually one of her rivals, Emma, brings in her protege’ Dana Brooke to try and take on Nikki.
Brooke claims to be a younger, fitter and most importantly prettier Diva, but falls victim to twin magic at Fastlane. Brooke demands a rematch between the two with a special stipulation: to avoid the Bellas potentially cheating again, the two Total Divas meet inside a steel cage. To further the drama and cross pollination with the Total Divas reality show, Rosa Mendes (who is out with maternity leave) is the special guest referee.
Brooke uses her strength to throw Nikki around, but Brie climbs the cage to dive on Dana. This being Brie, she accidentally takes down Mendes and Nikki instead. Brooke sprints out the cage door to win the belt, giving Nikki an excuse for a rematch (due to Brooke winning the title via the lamest way possible).
John Cena (C) vs. Luke Harper (United States Championship match)
Cena dominates everyone during his reign as US champ because America.
After weeks of seeing every up and coming Superstar lose the US Open Challenge, fans are ready for something new. Harper steps up to the plate with Bray Wyatt giving his blessing for his disciple to take on his former rival.
The two have an epic match, with Harper showing why Cena himself calls him the most underutilized wrestler on the roster. While Harper doesn’t walk away with gold, he does turn face through a hearty American-sized handshake from Cena. This leads to a feud with Wyatt for Harper and more open challenges for Cena.
Bray Wyatt (C) vs. Sting (Intercontinental Championship Match)
Wyatt wins the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber after Daniel Bryan is forced to give it up in a match rather than the depressing way things happened in real life. Bray uses the Wyatt Family to help him keep the title as he cuts promos promising to hold the belt indefinitely to deprive the WWE Universe of one of it’s most sacred prizes.
The vicious gang attacks draw the ire of Sting, who goes old-school on the family by descending from the rafters to beat them down with a baseball bat. This leads to weeks of spooky guy videos from the two with no actual encounters between Sting and Wyatt.hisAt WrestleMania Bray and Sting fight for the gold and also to avoid being known as the guy who always loses his feuds. Sting looks to have everything locked up, but Wyatt reverses a Stinger Splash into a Ura-Nage slam and gets the win. Sting decides to hang up with boots as an active competitor and instead becomes Commissioner of the WWE to continue to fight injustice.
Seth Rollins (C) vs. The Undertaker (WWE World Heavyweight Championship match – if The Undertaker loses he must retire)
Rollins is the slimy champ you can’t help but respect in the ring.
With The Authority backing him he beats each and every challenger one way or another. He feels invincible until Undertaker wins the Royal Rumble. Rollins’ usual tricks to injure his opponents fail due to Taker’s veteran instincts (and, you know, magic). However, at Fastlane Rollins wins a match that lets him choose the stipulation for his WrestleMania dance with the Deadman. He decides that the main event of WrestleMania will be Title vs. Career, with ‘Taker being forced to retire if he loses.
In front of tens of thousands of fellow Texans Undertaker pushes Rollins to his crossfit limits, but Rollins wins in the end with a ridiculous Pedigree/Curbstomp combo. WrestleMania ends with the massive crowd cheering Taker and the roster lining the entrance ramp to show their respect to the Deadman. The last shot is Vince Mcmahon holding up Undertaker’s arm as pyro goes off behind them.