Mike Rebooks The Road to WWE WrestleMania XXXII – Part Six – WrestleMania XXXII
By Michael Fitzgerald on 14th June 2023
Happy Wednesday Everyone!
We’re continuing my current rebooking arc this week, as we go from Survivor Series 2015 all the way up to WrestleMania XXXII.
Last week we booked Roadblock 2016, and I’ll post the results after the break line for those who would like to be easily caught up to where we are in this six part arc. You can also read the full article in my archives should you wish to.
Well, here we are, we’ve finally made it to WrestleMania XXXII. Over the past six weeks I’ve been rebooking every major WWE event from Survivor Series 2015 onwards in an effort to come up with an entertaining alternative reality to what WWE gave us in real life. Now we reach the final test, as I see if my version of Mania XXXII is actually any good. For all I know you’ll hate it, but you can’t always win them all can you?
Still though, I’ve worked on this quite I bit so hopefully all that work will pay off and we’ll get a good show out of it!
You can view the real card for the event by clicking below;
Results from WWE Roadblock 2016
Winners are in BOLD
Winner Gets a US Title shot
The Miz Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Cody Rhodes
10 Minutes. Clean pin on Miz
The League of Nations (Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio) Vs WWE Tag Champs The New Day (Big E Langston, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) and WWE US Champ AJ Styles
15 Minutes. Barrett pins Woods following a Sheamus cheap shot
The Wyatt Family says they want the Tag Titles post-match
Brock Lesnar Vs Kane
5 Minutes. Clean pin
WWE Intercontinental Title Open Challenge For Anyone EXCEPT Sami Zayn
Champ: Kevin Owens Vs Lance Storm
10 Minutes. Clean pin
Sami Zayn attacks Kevin Owens post-match
WWE Women’s Champ Charlotte Flair, Emma and Dana Brooke Vs Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Nattie Neidhart
10 Minutes. Nattie taps out Brooke
Champ: Roman Reigns Vs Chris Jericho
20 Minutes. Clean pin
Brock Lesnar attacks Chris Jericho post-match
WrestleMania Title Shot on the line
Triple H Vs Dean Ambrose
20 Minutes. Clean pin
Okay, now that I’ve reminded you of the results of the previous show, let’s move on to WrestleMania XXXII!
WWE Intercontinental Title
Champ: Kevin Owens Vs Sami Zayn
This feud dates back many years, with both Owens and Zayns being allies and rivals on the independent scene, with that connection spilling over into NXT when they were both part of that brand. The issue never really got settled due to Zayn getting injured and Owens moving to the main roster, but Zayn showed up in the Royal Rumble Match and flung Owens from the ring in order to heat things up again between the two wrestlers.
Owens decided that he didn’t want to face Zayn, and The Authority indulged his behaviour by stating that Zayn wouldn’t be receiving a Title shot anytime soon. Owens decided to rub it in for both Zayn and the fans by holding Open Challenges for the belt, with anyone from inside or outside WWE able to challenge him except for Zayn. Following a successful defence over Lance Storm at Roadblock 2016, Zayn ran down to the ring and laid Owens out with a big Helluva Kick, something he’d done at the previous big event as well. By doing so, Zayn antagonised Owens enough that Owens finally decided that he wanted to face him, with the match being signed for WrestleMania XXXII.
Both of these wrestlers work well together, and the crowd should be amped due to the backstory and the fact that this is the opening match of the show, so the result will hopefully be a heated and exciting back and forth contest. Owens will be on the back foot to start but will eventually cut Zayn off and work some heat. The turning point will be Owens deciding to try and take the fight to the floor so that he can injure Zayn and get him finally out of his hair, but Zayn will counter this and fight back, leading to a back and forth closing stretch where both wrestlers will have a chance to win. Zayn will eventually manage to counter an Owens Powerbomb attempt into a rana, with the resulting pinning hold being enough to claim the three count and the Title. Zayn will celebrate with his new Title whilst Owens fumes, with Zayn getting a measure of revenge but the door being left open for further matches between the two in the post-Mania season.
Emma, Dana Brooke, Tamina and Naomi Vs Nattie Neidhart, Brie Bella, Alicia Fox and Paige
This feud started with Emma and Brooke jumping over from NXT and targeting the stars of WWE’s Total Divas show, thus allowing us to have some much-sought-after (apparently) Corporate Synergy™. Neidhart managed to get a victory over Brooke back at Roadblock 2016, but Emma is the ringleader of the anti-Total Divas contingent, and by coaxing Total Divas star Naomi over to the other side of the divide, Emma will have no desire to back down on her goal of getting over at the other women’s expense. Thus an 8 Woman Tag will be booked for WrestleMania XXXII, with Neidhart, Bella, Fox and Paige all bonding together in order to stop Emma and her cronies from trying to take them out.
The match itself will see the heat on Bella until it’s time for Neidhart (in essence the defacto leader of the Total Divas troupe) getting the hot tag, leading to things breaking down. Everyone in the match can get a chance to hit a big move of some kind in the closing stages until Emma and Neidhart are the last two left in the ring whilst everyone else is either down or fighting outside the ring. Emma will look to get a tainted win over Neidhart, but the referee will spot Emma’s feet on the ropes during a pin attempt, and the ensuing argument will lead to Neidhart taking Emma out with a spinning clothesline before locking in The Sharpshooter so that the Total Divas team can get the win and we can play clips of it on the reality show.
WWE United States Title
Champ: AJ Styles Vs Cody Rhodes
Rhodes attempted to win the WWE Title back in December at Starrcade 2015 and unfortunately came up short, but since then he has been picking up wins on the major shows, with his latest back at Roadblock 2016 earning him a shot at AJ Styles here. Both Styles and Rhodes are babyfaces here, with the focus on the build being that Rhodes wants to pick up some gold in order to honour his family name, especially as WrestleMania XXXII is taking place in Texas. This is the match where I’ve probably had the most internal debate as to what direction I should go with it, and I’m still not entirely convinced that what I’m doing is correct, but I’ll just write it and then you can decide.
As this will be a Face Vs Face encounter, both wrestlers will begin the bout by wrestling respectfully, with neither looking to claim victory via any other means than their own skill. However, as the match progresses, the intensity will gradually increase, with Styles slipping into the subtle Heel role when the stubborn Rhodes refuses to taste defeat. At one stage Rhodes will find himself trapped in Styles’ punishing Calf Slicer submission hold, with seemingly no escape. Goldust will come down to ringside to cheer his brother on, and with Goldust’s encouragement, Rhodes will manage to drag himself to the ropes for the break.
Styles will be displeased at Goldust’s presence, but Goldust will hold his hands up as if to say that he’s just here to support his brother and that he has no intention of physically getting involved. This momentary distraction will allow Rhodes to lock Styles in a submission move of his own, which Styles will ferociously fight. It will look like Styles is about to tap, at which point two bald headed men will jump the barricade and start teeing off on Goldust, who had been cheering his brother on to a possible victory prior to that.
The two men will eventually be revealed as former allies of AJ Styles in New Japan, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Both men will leap onto the apron and distract the referee, just as Styles taps the mat. Rhodes will have to release the hold and grab the referee’s attention, at which point he will notice Anderson and Gallows causing a ruckus and will punch out both of them. Whilst the referee gets between Rhodes and the would-be-invaders, Styles will gather his bearings and will see a chance to get into the position for the Phenomenal Forearm. Rhodes will turn around and find the move waiting for him, leading to Styles picking up the three count.
Post-match Styles will notice his former allies at ringside and will wonder why they were there, with the suggestion being that their appearance wasn’t something Styles himself was expecting. Once the reality of the situation dawns on him, Styles will chew out his two former friends for showing up and tainting his victory, leading to him storming down the aisle way whilst they try to placate him by reminding him that he is still Champion thanks to them. Rhodes and Goldust will pull themselves back to their feet and will glare at Styles, Anderson and Gallows, with the suggestion very much being that this particular issue has not been settled.
So yeah, this one will probably be controversial because Gallows and Anderson seem to be detested online for reasons I’m not personally aware of (I think they’re fine as heavies for a smaller wrestler like Styles or Kenny Omega). I was going to either turn one of the wrestlers in this match outright or tease one for down the line, and I ended up going with the latter. We can now milk the story for a bit longer and either go with Styles turning to join up with his buddies or have him reject them, possibly leading to them joining up with someone else like Finn Balor or something.
WWE Tag Team Titles
Champs: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E. Langston) Vs The League of Nations (Wade Barrett, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev) Vs The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) w/ Braun Strowman
The New Day turned babyface back in the winter of 2015, when they backed up Dean Ambrose in his feud with The Authority. The reason for the turn was that New Day felt that The Authority had been favouring The League of Nations over them. One trademark Stephanie McMahon verbal evisceration later, and The New Day decided to rebel and stand up to the bosses. The Authority quickly tried to make New Day pay for their insolence, booking them in a series of matches with The League with the intention of The League taking the Tag Titles away from The New Day, only for The New Day to manage to hold on to their belts.
Back at Roadblock 2016, The League managed to pick up the win over The New Day in an 8 Man Tag, which seemingly put them into the #1 contender status once again, but an unexpected appearance by The Wyatt Family led to the contender status being muddied. The Authority, spying a good chance to finally get the belts off of The New Day, decided to book a 3 Vs 3 Vs 3 match for WrestleMania XXXII, with one fall being enough to crown the winner and the Champions of the Tag Team Division. The League and The Wyatt’s are both powerful adversaries, meaning that The New Day’s reign might have finally hit a brick wall.
For the match itself we’ll work it Tornado Style, if only because it gets around the “why would you tag out in this kind of match” debate that normally rears its head when you do multi-team bouts like this. It will also allow wrestlers with slightly less in the tank to roll outside and sell for a bit whilst stuff is going on inside the ring. With the match essentially being No DQ, Strowman will be able to help his Family throughout the bout, leading to a moment where The New Day and The League will have to put their animosity to one side in order to take out the “Black Sheep” of the family. Eventually Rowan will fall victim to The Midnight Hour and the Champs will once again manage to retain, although they’ll be certainly worse off physically for the experience.
WWE Women’s Title
Champ: Charlotte Flair Vs Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch
Flair was originally aligned with Becky Lynch as part of the PCB faction with Paige, but eventually Paige turned on the group and Flair defeated her at Survivor Series 2015 in order to retain her newly renamed Women’s Title. Flair and Lynch remained allies and the two tagged up to defeat Banks and Naomi back at Starrcade 2015. However, Flair was jealous of Lynch’s continued success and popularity, leading to her turning on her partner and then successfully defending the belt against Lynch at Royal Rumble 2016 via some classic Flair styled cheating.
Banks was the next challenger on the docket for Flair, and the two did battle at Fastlane 2016, with Flair again picking up the victory via nefarious means. Lynch came after Flair following that bout, but it was clear that Banks and Lynch are not friends and both of them are cheated challengers looking for another shot at Flair. Flair made the mistake of annoying The Authority by demanding to know which of Banks and Lynch would face her at WrestleMania XXXII, so eventually it was decided that both wrestlers would get the shot, thus putting Flair’s belt in its greatest amount or jeopardy yet.
The match will see all three wrestlers going at it with one another, with Banks paying tribute to WWE Legend Eddy Guerrero with a Frog Splash onto Lynch at one stage, only for Flair to break up the pin at the last moment and fling Banks to the floor, before pouncing with the Natural Selection. Amazingly, Lynch will kick out of the pin fall attempt, leading to Flair heading outside to bring the Title belt into the ring, with designs of clonking Lynch with it. Lynch will manage to avoid this though and will lock Flair in the Dis-Arm-Her, only for Banks to apply the Bank Statement at the same time!
Flair will quite reasonably cry uncle, but the referee will point out that both Banks and Lynch can’t win, so the bout will continue. Banks and Lynch will go at it, leading to Flair knocking Lynch out of the ring and then pinning Banks with a grab of the ropes, only for Banks to still kick out and then catch Flair in the Bank Statement again. Lynch will try to drag herself back into the ring in time to save, but she won’t be able to make it and Flair will tap out to give Banks the Title at WrestleMania XXXII, leading to Banks celebrating with Snoop Dogg whilst fireworks fill the sky.
No Holds Barred
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman Vs Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho finished as the Runner-Up in the Royal Rumble Match to Dean Ambrose, after managing to first eliminate Brock Lesnar in a shocking moment. Jericho pointed to the elimination of Lesnar as evidence of his candidacy for a Title shot at Roman Reigns’ WWE Title, leading to Reigns and Jericho facing one another at Roadblock 2016 for the belt. Reigns ended up getting the victory there, although Jericho ran him close, and Jericho took a moment to take in a reaction from the Canadian crowd. However, Jericho was then assaulted by a fuming Brock Lesnar, still sore over his Rumble elimination and furious that Jericho would reference it. Jericho took a severe beating but wasn’t going to let something like that stand, leading to a challenge being put in for WrestleMania XXXII.
Jericho is unlikely to want to do some of the crazier hardcore stuff that Dean Ambrose wanted to, so Lesnar will probably be more on board to get involved with whatever ideas Jericho has here. The match will open up with Jericho getting sent to Suplex City™ by the monstrous Beast Incarnate, but Jericho will persevere and will eventually manage to use some weaponry, such as a chair, to put Lesnar on the back foot, leading to some near falls. Jericho will have Lesnar in the Walls of Jericho at one stage, but Lesnar will power out and then go for the metal ring steps. Jericho will clock the steps with the chair, causing them to fall on top of Lesnar, and will make the cover for a nail biting two count as Lesnar just manages to kick out from under the combined weight of Jericho and the steps. Jericho will keep coming with the chair, but after Lesnar avoids a wild swing he will heave Jericho up into the F-5 and deliver it for the three count following a fractious battle.
As I mentioned in an earlier chapter, I would have been happy to go with Bray Wyatt as Brock’s opponent for this one, as Brock could run through all of the Wyatt Family and it would have possibly been some entertaining carnage, but I sincerely doubt Lesnar would have agreed to work with Wyatt, so I went with Jericho as the opponent instead. Jericho is a fresh opponent for Brock and he’ll be able to work a safe enough match that means Brock can still do his UFC stuff later in the year. Jericho isn’t going to be hurt from a loss to Brock and it gives Brock a win over someone the fans will see as a star, meaning it will be easy to plug Brock into the Title picture when he comes back from the Mark Hunt fight.
Andre The Giant Battle Royal
Lots of people
We’ll shove everyone who isn’t already on the card into this one, with possibly a few NXT folk chucked in there as well. Storyline maintenance will see Maryse returning to distract Dolph Ziggler so that Miz can fling Ziggler from the ring, and we can do the final singles bout between the two at the next pay per view. As for a winner, I decided quite early on to just have Mark Henry win. He’s big, so it’s believable that he could out muscle everyone else to win, he’s generally well-liked by the fans and WrestleMania XXXII is taking place in his home state of Texas, so it’s a nice nod to the host city by having a Texan picking up the win. Henry and someone like Big Show can do the collision of the titans at the end, with Henry eventually getting the better of things to send Big Show careening over the top to the floor.
Triple H and Sheamus w/ Stephanie McMahon Vs The Undertaker and Shane McMahon
Yes, sorry folks, but Shane O Mac is going to be part of WrestleMania XXXII. Whether you like him or not, Shane coming back for that Mania generated quite a bit of interest and he’s a name that’s over with a considerable chunk of the fan base, so if the option is there for me to bring him back then I’m going to do it, even if I personally am hardly Shane’s biggest fan. The storyline to see him comeback will be that The Authority of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have been evil bosses for years and the fans are just plain sick of it, so Shane comes back to play the role of the “good” McMahon to oppose them. Seeing a chance to make some money, Vince McMahon will allow chaos to reign by pitting Triple H and a partner of his choosing against Shane and a partner of his choosing for WrestleMania XXXII, with the winner getting to be WWE’s matchmaker.
Triple H will select Sheamus, seeing as Sheamus has been a loyal hired goon for Tri since this arc began and he’s a decent wrestler who should hopefully be able to carry his end of things in a big match setting like this. Shane will end up selecting Undertaker, although Taker isn’t really going to give Shane much of a choice seeing as he’s still angry at Triple H for costing him the WWE Title back at Fastlane 2016. Hopefully we’ve got enough good wrestlers in there that the match will deliver from an in-ring perspective, and there’s enough star power to the general WWE fan base that this bout should generate some interest.
The match itself really only has one logical direction, and that’s the Heel team of Triple H and Sheamus cutting off the ring and giving Shane an almighty battering whilst Taker waits on the apron for the hot tag until it’s time to run wild. Eventually Taker can get the tag, at which point things can breakdown into more of a brawl, with the idea being that the referee is letting it go so as not to anger his future boss, whoever that ends up being.
Shane can do the elbow through the table onto someone, Taker can do his WrestleMania dive if he’s still capable of doing so, Stephanie can take her yearly Mania bump, Triple H can indulge in some sledgehammer antics, and they can just generally smoke and mirror the heck out of this one in order to make it watchable. Eventually Shane will be out like a light in the ring following a Triple H beating, but Triple H will demand to hit his move on the limp younger McMahon, which will give Taker a chance to give Triple H a Choke Slam and Tombstone before draping Shane’s limp carcass onto Triple H for the three count.
Undertaker gets his revenge, The Authority is out of power and the fans hopefully get a fun wacky spectacle to enjoy!
Champ: Roman Reigns Vs Dean Ambrose
This one all started way back at Survivor Series 2015, where Roman Reigns sold out to The Authority in exchange for winning the Title over Ambrose. Since that event, The Authority has done its best to try and keep Ambrose out of the Title picture. First they tried to prevent him from entering the Royal Rumble match, and when that didn’t work they tried stacking the deck in the Rumble itself to try and ensure that Ambrose didn’t win. Ambrose still managed to come out the victor in the match, so The Authority’s next step was to force him to defend his WrestleMania XXXII Title shot against a selection of handpicked opponents, with Ambrose eventually overcoming all of these obstacles to secure his shot at revenge.
Reigns went on a very impressive run following his initial Title win, defeating the likes of Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, The Undertaker and Chris Jericho at major events, with most of those victories coming clean in the middle. In the build-up we’ll try and keep the two from touching as much as we can until Reigns does the big beat down on the go-home Raw, leading to Ambrose cutting a passionate promo on Smackdown about how he’s been fighting for this Title shot for nearly 6 months and that he won’t miss his opportunity to claim the belt, as well as gain revenge.
The match itself will build slowly, with Reigns trying to keep Ambrose contained and within reach, thus preventing Ambrose from really kicking loose and tearing into his former brother now turned hated enemy. However, as the bout progresses Ambrose will make a big comeback and will turn the momentum in his favour, leading to a dramatic trading of big moves and pin attempts in the closing stages of the bout. Reigns will prep for a big Spear, but Ambrose will counter it mid-move into a DDT before following up with a Spear of his own and then dishing out some Dirty Deeds to Reigns in the middle of the ring for the clean pin fall victory.
Fireworks will fill the sky as Ambrose finally gets to celebrate with the belt, this chapter of his career capped off with a memorable moment. However, winning the belt was one thing, now the hard work truly begins as Ambrose tries to hold on to his treasured new prize, especially as Reigns will dearly want to get it back.
My original plan for this when I first conceived the arc was that we’d end with Ambrose as the Champ, whilst Bray Wyatt would have a win over Brock Lesnar (Oy, stop snickering at the back of the room) and then we’d do Ambrose Vs The Wyatt Family for a bit as his first post-Roman feud until Brock could return from his UFC excursion, get revenge on Wyatt, and then come after Ambrose for the belt. However, when I realised that getting Brock Lesnar to agree to work with Bray Wyatt was going to stretch the realms of fantasy a tad too much, I decided to do the whole Jericho thing instead whilst The Wyatt’s got into the Tag Title mix.
Thus we’ll have to maybe stretch out Ambrose and Reigns’ feud a tad bit longer until we have another challenger ready for Ambrose once the feud comes to an end. What with Maryse back, we should finish of the Miz/Ziggler feud with Miz getting the win and then we can build him up a bit more until we can use him as a challenger for a bit until Brock gets back. At that stage I’m hoping Brock will put Ambrose over at SummerSlam, provided he doesn’t throw a strop over it.
Owens and Zayn still has some juice in it as a program, as does Styles/Good Brothers/Rhodes’, so we can keep those stories going for a bit longer. Eventually Styles is going to need to choose a side of the fence, at which point we can finish that particular story thread off and move elsewhere with everyone.
For the Women’s Division, Charlotte is going to want some rematches and then we can bring up Bayley to the main roster and fit her into the mix, along with some of the other NXT women like Alexa Bliss.
If it were up to me, we wouldn’t be doing a brand split, but if Vince McMahon demands it then I would argue for the WWE, Women’s and Tag Champs to float between both shows whilst assigning the IC Title to one show and the US Title to the other one. That might be enough belts, but we could always look at giving the Raw brand an extra belt due to them having an extra hour to fill. We could bring back the Cruiserweight belt and actually try to get those guys over, or we could bring something like the European or TV Title back.
I hope you all enjoyed this arc and found the payoffs to be suitably satisfying. I actually enjoyed writing this and put quite a bit of work into it. I’m not sure if I’ll do an arc again for a while now, but if you have any suggestions for one then I can always give it a go.
Take care until next time