Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

WrestleMania 32 was the thirty-second annual WrestleMania professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place on April 3, 2016, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nine matches were contested on the event's main card, while three matches were contested on the pre-show.

Three matches were highly promoted. In the main event, Roman Reigns defeated Triple H to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The other two big matches saw The Undertaker beating Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell match, and Brock Lesnar beating Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight. Also, The Rock set a new record for the shortest match in WrestleMania history by defeating Erick Rowan in an impromptu match in six seconds.

This WrestleMania was notable for several reasons such as Baron Corbin winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in his main roster debut, Shane McMahon's first professional wrestling match in seven years, The Rock's first WWE match in three years, the return of John Cena following shoulder surgery, the reactivation of the WWE Women's Championship in place of the WWE Divas Championship, with Charlotte being crowned champion.

WWE claimed that the event was the highest attended WWE event with 101,763 in attendance. Also, WWE reported the event grossing $17.3 million for WWE's highest grossing live event.



WrestleMania is considered WWE's flagship event, having been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment.

Tickets went on sale on November 6, 2015, with individual tickets costing $18 to $1,180 through Ticketmaster. From October 13, 2015, travel packages with accommodation ranging from $575 to $6,625 per person were sold. New subscribers to the WWE Network could watch the event at no additional cost.

The event was the third WrestleMania to be held in the state of Texas, after 2001 and 2009, and the first to take place in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex area. Five official theme songs were confirmed for the event, they were "My House" by Flo Rida, "Hello Friday" by Flo Rida featuring Jason Derulo, "Hail to the King" by Avenged Sevenfold, "Sympathy for the Devil" by Motörhead and "Oh No" by Goodbye June. On March 21, it was announced that Fifth Harmony would perform "America the Beautiful" to kickoff WrestleMania. In December 2015, WWE announced that The Rock would appear at WrestleMania 32.

Forbes speculated that WrestleMania 32 could break the WWE attendance record of 93,173 set at WrestleMania III at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. This record stood as the highest attendance for any indoor event until the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, also held at AT&T Stadium, drew 108,713. Forbes' prediction proved to be correct; 101,763 people attended the event.

WWE has been hobbled by real-life injuries to the wrestlers on its roster, rendering them unable to wrestle at WrestleMania 32. The injured list includes John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Cesaro, Neville and Luke Harper. Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan, Sting, Nikki Bella and Tyson Kidd suffered neck injuries, with Kidd barely avoiding paralysis or death and Bryan and Sting both retiring from wrestling. David Shoemaker, writing for ESPN, described that "it seems as if the talent left off the match lineup could sell more tickets than the one currently on it." Shoemaker also theorized possible reasons for injuries being firstly "WWE's grueling schedule", and secondly "the travel, the exhaustion, the lack of an offseason".

In March 2016, CNET wrote that WrestleMania 32 will feature the "culmination" of "the biggest story in WWE", which is "establishing Roman Reigns as the top babyface, the protagonist who will be the face of the company for - if WWE has its way - the next decade." "For the past two years, WWE has been moving heaven and earth" in an attempt to get Reigns to the "level of recognition" of "names like Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock and John Cena", but "its toughest opponent" is the "wrestling audience" which started a "fan rebellion" in opposition to WWE's support of Reigns, with fans preferring Dean Ambrose instead. To combat this trend, WWE has taken measures including muting booing crowds and piping in canned cheers during Reigns' appearances in 2016. The A.V. Club commented that "WWE has a serious Roman Reigns problem", due to "basically nobody wanting to see Roman Reigns in the main event" of WrestleMania.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that WrestleMania 32 has broken the WWE's record for most tickets sold with at least 84,000 tickets sold.


WrestleMania 32 featured professional wrestling matches that involved wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds or storylines that played out on WWE television. Wrestlers portrayed heroes or villains as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. The storylines leading into WrestleMania 32 were not received well by critics. Jason Powell of Pro Wrestling Dot Net lamented that "the build to WrestleMania has been a creative mess", and that WWE's injury-hit roster does not excuse "sloppy booking or storylines with massive holes and logic gaps." Jeff Hamlin of the Wrestling Observer criticized, "There is no momentum for WrestleMania at all. The event sells itself purely on its brand name." Ben Tucker of Pro Wrestling Torch wrote, "Not since WrestleMania 13 has WWE's Super Bowl come together in such a bizarre fashion, with WWE making some of the most head-scratching decisions I've seen in ages." Kyle Fowle of The A.V. Club declared that WWE's "ship is headed straight for the rocks", and in particular "the World Heavyweight Championship feud is a disaster".

At Survivor Series, Roman Reigns won the tournament for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns had earlier refused offers by Triple H to join The Authority, which would have automatically placed him in the tournament finals, but Reigns fought in the whole tournament and after his victory, he speared Triple H, who was trying to congratulate him. Sheamus then cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and captured Reigns' title. Triple H gave Reigns a title rematch at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, which Reigns lost due to interference. Post-match, a chair-wielding Reigns attacked Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev, and then also Triple H, who came out to stop Reigns' rampage. The following night on the December 14 episode of Raw, WWE chairman Vince McMahon arranged a Title vs. Career match between Reigns and Sheamus, which Reigns won to regain the title. After Reigns won yet another title rematch against Sheamus, it was decreed by McMahon that Reigns had to defend his title in the 30-man annual Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble event. At the event, Triple H returned as the #30 entrant and eliminated Reigns en route to winning the title. After evaluating each wrestler's performance on the January 25 Raw, The Authority set up the main event of Fastlane, which saw Reigns beating Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar in a Triple Threat match to receive a WrestleMania title shot against Triple H. On the February 22 episode of Raw, Triple H attacked Reigns during the latter's match against Sheamus and beat a bloodied Reigns before delivering a Pedigree onto the steel steps. With Reigns absent due to a storyline injury, Triple H accepted Ambrose's title challenge and defeated Ambrose to retain the title at WWE Roadblock on March 12. The next night on Raw, after Triple H beat Dolph Ziggler, a returning Reigns assaulted not only Triple H, but also referees and security staff. The next week, Reigns conducted another attack, this time while Triple H was picking his wife up from work. The final Raw before WrestleMania ended with Triple H and Reigns being separated by other wrestlers after brawling.

On the night on Raw, after Fastlane, Vince McMahon presented the inaugural "Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence" Award to his daughter Stephanie McMahon. As Stephanie was about to do the acceptance speech about the award given to her, Shane McMahon returned to WWE for the first time since 2009, to confront his father and sister in regards to the company's status. Vince and Shane discussed the status of Raw and how it was getting run down. Vince then made a deal with Shane that he would gain control of Raw if he could win a match of his choosing. After Shane accepted, Vince named The Undertaker as his opponent and made the match a Hell in a Cell match. The following week, Undertaker returned to Raw and said that Shane's blood would be on Vince's hands, not his. On the March 14 episode of Raw, Shane questioned The Undertaker's loyalty to Vince and insulted him for being one of Vince's "puppets" and also his "bitch". In the subsequent brawl, Undertaker chokeslammed Shane and then tried to attack Vince but the latter got away. At that point, it was unexplained why Undertaker would wrestle in a Hell in a Cell match to help Vince against Shane. The following week, Vince stated that if The Undertaker does not win, it would be his last WrestleMania. Undertaker and Shane then confronted each other on the last Raw before WrestleMania and brawled, which ended with Shane putting Undertaker through a broadcast table with a Leap of Faith, but Undertaker quickly recovered and taunted Shane.

At Fastlane, during the triple threat match, Brock Lesnar had Roman Reigns locked in with the kimura lock submission hold, and at last minute, Dean Ambrose brake the hold of Lesnar with a steel chair; this would incapacitated Lesnar long enough for Reigns to beat Ambrose. On the next day, before Raw aired, Lesnar attacked Ambrose as he arrived at the arena and Ambrose was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. On Raw, Paul Heyman issued a challenge to anyone on the roster to face Lesnar at WrestleMania. Ambrose returned in the ambulance to challenge Lesnar to a No Holds Barred Street Fight; which Heyman accepts it on his behave of Lesnar. On the March 14 episode of Raw, hardcore legend Mick Foley gave Ambrose his signature barbed wire baseball bat The following week on Raw, another hardcore legend, Terry Funk, gave Ambrose a chainsaw. On the March 24th edition of SmackDown, Lesnar challenged Ambrose to a fight, but instead The Wyatt Family entered. When The Wyatt Family was about to attack Lesnar, Ambrose came with a kendo stick and all five men brawled. The brawl ended with Lesnar giving an F-5 to Ambrose. On the following Raw, while Heyman cut an in-ring promo on Lesnar, Ambrose came down to the ring and put several weapons inside his trolley before leaving.

After defeating Becky Lynch controversially at Royal Rumble to retain her WWE Divas Championship, Charlotte was ambushed by the returning Sasha Banks. At Fastlane, Charlotte retained the Divas Championship against Brie Bella, while Lynch and Banks defeated Team B.A.D. (Naomi and Tamina) in a Tag team match. The following night after Lynch and Banks' match on Raw, Charlotte informed them that one of the two would face her at WrestleMania for the title. On the February 29 episode of Raw, Lynch and Banks faced each other in a No. 1 Contender's match, but the match ended in a double pin. A rematch on the following episode of SmackDown ended in a no contest when Charlotte attacked both Lynch and Banks. Subsequently, Charlotte was scheduled to defend her title against both Lynch and Banks in a Triple Threat match at WrestleMania. On the WrestleMania 32 Kickoff pre-show, WWE Hall of Famer Lita announced that the Divas Championship would be retired and that the winner of the Triple Threat match will be crowned the first-ever WWE Women's Champion.

On the March 17 episode of SmackDown, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose and Bo Dallas announced their participation in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. On the March 21 episode of Raw, last year's winner Big Show and Kane were added to the match, followed by Tyler Breeze on the March 25 episode of SmackDown. and Darren Young, Damien Sandow, Fandango, Goldust, Jack Swagger, Konnor, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Viktor on the following episode of Raw.

On the February 8 episode of Raw, after defeating The New Day and Mark Henry in a tag team tables match, The Dudley Boyz turned heel and betrayed their teammates The Usos. Explaining that they did not come back to WWE to be a "nostalgia act" and reminding the fans that they are "the baddest tag team on the planet", The Dudley Boyz abandoned using their trademark tables. In the following weeks, The Usos saved wrestlers from post-match beatdowns by The Dudley Boyz, setting up a tag team match between the two teams for the event. The match was later moved to the WrestleMania 32 Kickoff pre-show.

At Fastlane, during the 'Cutting Edge Peep Show, WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day showed signs of a face turn by mocking The League of Nations. Over the next few weeks, as The New Day continued to mock The League of Nations in backstage segments. At the Roadblock, The New Day retained the titles against League of Nations members Sheamus and King Barrett. The New Day then defeated fellow League of Nations members Alberto Del Rio and Rusev the following night on Raw to retain the titles, causing The League of Nations to attack The New Day during the post-match and turning The New Day face leading to a six-man tag team match between Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev and The New Day at WrestleMania.

After walking out on Big Show and Kane during their tag team rematch against The Wyatt Family causing them to lose on February 22 episode of Raw, Ryback became more aggressive by beating his opponents in squash matches. On March 14 episode of Raw, after defeating Sin Cara that night, Ryback challenged United States Champion Kalisto to a match for the United States Championship at WrestleMania, which Kalisto accepted two days later in an interview with Michael Cole. The match was later moved to the WrestleMania 32 Kickoff pre-show.

After weeks of feuding between each other, On the March 21 episode of Raw, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Sami Zayn all confronted WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens and challenged him for the title. Owens agreed to talk to The Authority about setting up a #1 contender Triple Threat match for a shot at his title, but the match instead included Zack Ryder, Sin Cara, and Stardust, causing Miz, Ziggler and Zayn to all interfere in the match. Stephanie McMahon then set up a Ladder match for the title at WrestleMania, with Owens defending the title against all six competitors.

After AJ Styles defeated Chris Jericho at Fastlane, the two shook hands in respect and formed a tag team known as Y2AJ and dominated the tag team division by defeating champions The New Day in two consecutive matches, leading to Y2AJ challenging them to a match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Y2AJ failed to win the title against The New Day on March 7 episode of Raw after Jericho was pinned by Big E. After the match, Jericho attacked Styles with three Codebreakers and shoved their Y2AJ shirt down his mouth, turning heel in the process. Jericho stated that he is tired of the fans chanting for Styles and not him. On March 21 episode of Raw, during Jericho's match with Fandango, Styles distracted Jericho by chanting "Y2Jackass" at him, but Jericho won his match despite the distraction. Styles then challenged Jericho to a match at WrestleMania which Jericho refused stating he would rather sit with the crowd at WrestleMania rather than face him. On March 28 episode of Raw, during Jericho's match with Zack Ryder, Styles once again distracted Jericho by chanting "Y2Jackass" with the crowd while at ringside, this time causing Jericho to lose to Ryder by roll-up. Angered by this humiliation, Jericho accepted Styles's challenge but warned him that WrestleMania 32 would be his first and last WrestleMania.

On the March 14 episode of Raw, Lana allied with Team B.A.D. (Naomi and Tamina) by helping them defeat Brie Bella and Alicia Fox. Lana then attacked Paige after the latter's victory over Summer Rae two days later on Main Event. On the following episode of Main Event, during a match between Paige and Naomi, Rae and Emma attacked Fox and Natalya (in Paige's corner at ringside), allowing Naomi to win. On the March 28 episode of Raw, Emma (accompanied by Naomi, Tamina, Lana and Rae) defeated Paige (accompanied by Brie, Fox and Natalya). Following the match, Eva Marie allied with Brie, Paige, Fox and Natalya. Subsequently, a 10-Diva tag team match between the two teams was scheduled for the WrestleMania 32 Kickoff pre-show.


WWE claimed that they broke the all-time WrestleMania attendance record (from WrestleMania III) by reporting 101,763 fans inside the AT&T Stadium. This made WrestleMania 32 the largest event in WWE history in terms of attendance,. as well as the third most attended show in professional wrestling history, after World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) Collision in Korea Day 1 and Day 2 PPV shows in 1995.

WrestleMania 32 received mixed to negative reviews from critics, who criticized the event for its length and questionable booking decisions.

Troy L. Smith of wrote that "WrestleMania 32 was a night that defied low expectations, thanks in large part a ton of WWE nostalgia", however added that "some of that early goodwill was squandered by odd booking decisions". Smith felt that the main event was "extremely boring -- one of the worst main events ever at WrestleMania", with the ending saw "WWE found itself stuck in a moment it couldn't get out of with more boos than cheers." Ultimately, Smith concluded that "WrestleMania 32 proves Zack Ryder (or anyone) is better than Roman Reigns".

Paul Tamburro of CraveOnline wrote that the show was characterized by "inexplicable booking decisions that actively undermined all storyline progression", adding that "WWE routinely swerved its fans with finishes to matches that were less exciting than what had been expected". He decried the main event as a "dull, slow-paced match" and described Reigns' babyface push as "absurd" and "an embarrassing failed experiment for the company", with "the crowd still being given no reason to feel anything for the guy outside of sheer ambivalence or venomous hatred". Tamburro was also critical of the Shane McMahon-Undertaker match, which he described as "thoroughly pointless", and of the booking of Dean Ambrose, writing that "him losing to Lesnar in such a disappointing manner puts a big dent in his value". He had further criticism for the company's over-reliance on past stars, writing that "while the implementation of these big names was a lot of fun, it still happened to the detriment of talent currently on the roster". In contrast, Tamburro praised the Women's Championship match, calling it "triumphant", and described Zack Ryder's unexpected win as "the feel-good moment of the show".

James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch described the event as a "weird show". He rated the main event match 1.5 stars out of 5, questioning why "anyone wanted to sit through this long of a main event" and criticizing "the egos of the McMahon Family" for booking the match. Caldwell went on to describe Reigns as "a pet project that would be laughed out of this spot in any other era". Caldwell chose not to rate the Hell in a Cell match, describing it as a "weird deal" with "Shane McMahon, a non-wrestler against Undertaker in one of Taker’s last WrestleMania matches". The women's title match was rated 3 stars, "strong" other than the finish, which puzzled Caldwell when apparently "Mania isn't a big enough event to pay off Flair's repeated interference with the face(s) conquering".

Nolan Howell of the Canadian Online Explorer described the show as "absurdly bizarre. Strange booking decisions and nothing seemed to be resolved at all, aside from the impromptu Shane vs. Undertaker story which could have been tied up any time". Howell wrote that while "the match quality was fine", the show was "spectacle without a lot of substance". He described the second half of the show as a "train wreck creatively", adding that "WWE just can't do anything right really". Howell described the Women's Championship match as the match of the night, and for the main event commented on the "most predictable" boos for Roman Reigns, with the crowd microphones "suspiciously" going largely silent several times during and after the main event.

Dave Scherer of Pro Wrestling Insider commented on responses that WrestleMania 32 was "great", countering that "unless you are putting the framework in place for the future, you will reach a point where most of your assets are gone and you will be in a barren place." This was referencing that "the finishes and character development (or lack thereof)" resulting in stars of the past generation (Austin, Foley, Michaels, Jericho, Rock) shining at the expense of wrestlers of the current generation (Styles, the New Day, the League of Nations and the Wyatt Family). Scherer also criticized Vince McMahon for ignoring the "clear edict" from fans against Roman Reigns as world champion.

Scott Keith of Sporting News wrote that Wrestlemania 32 "ended up being a five-hour slog (seven hours with pregame show) and one of the worst WrestleManias when all was said and done". He wrote that "Roman Reigns showed once again that he's not the guy to be the top star despite Triple H's best efforts to get a 'classic' match out of him, and the Shane-Undertaker match ended up being a 30-minute snoozefest instead of the chaotic mess that everyone wanted". Keith praised the women's title match and Zack Ryder for having his "Wrestlemania moment".


On the first Raw after WrestleMania, Vince McMahon returned to confront the crowd before being interrupted by Shane McMahon. Shane, who received adoration from the live audience, offered a handshake to his father following his loss the previous night, and departed. Vince, gaining sympathy for his son following this gesture, granted Shane control of Raw for the evening. Shane granted Apollo Crews his main roster debut, where he defeated Tyler Breeze. The night also saw the main roster debut of Baron Corbin, who faced Dolph Ziggler. The match ended in a draw due to a double countout after Corbin sent Ziggler into the live crowd. He proceeded to deliver the End of Days to Ziggler, following a hellacious beatdown.

The New Day defended their WWE Tag Team Championship against Sheamus and King Barrett of The League of Nations. The New Day retained the titles after Big E gained the pinfall over Barrett. Angered by the loss, the group turned on Barrett, labelling him the group's "weakest link". Following the attack, the group was attacked by The Wyatt Family.

Despite winning his first WWE Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania, and his first singles title win since 2011, Zack Ryder lost the title to The Miz after an argument between Ryder's father, and Miz's wife, Maryse. The argument served as a distraction to Ryder, allowing Miz to hit him with the Skull-Crushing Finale, and win the title for a fifth time.

A ceremony to welcome the newly introduced WWE Women's Championship followed, with every female wrestler present inside the ring. After appearing to congratulate Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch following their match at WrestleMania, Charlotte bragged and was self-congratulatory due to her success the night before. Feeling disrespected, the rest of the women's roster filed out of the ring and left the ceremony, with Natalya staying behind. After saying Charlotte needed a "lesson in humility", Charlotte dismissed Natalya's claims, and said that " a Flair is always better than a Hart". Natalya then attacked Charlotte, before she was saved by Ric Flair.

A rematch of their encounter at WrestleMania between The Usos and The Dudley Boyz commenced, with The Dudley Boyz winning the reverse fixture. Soon after, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady appeared, confronting the The Dudley Boyz, who had left following an altercation.

After winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H the previous night, Roman Reigns issued an open challenge to anyone in the locker room for a shot at the title. After Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn all voiced their interest at a potential title shot, Shane announced a Fatal 4-Way match between Jericho, Styles, Owens and Zayn to determine the #1 contender for Reigns' title. During a backstage interview, Zayn was attacked by Owens, rendering him unable to compete in the match. The match was still, however, billed as a Fatal-4-Way, and Zayn was replaced with a returning Cesaro. Styles won the match, pinning Jericho after a Styles Clash.

Match Preview[]

Kalisto vs. Ryback Preview
10 Divas Tag Match Preview
The Usos vs. The Dudley Boyz Preview
Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship Preview
AJ Styles v Chris Jericho Preview
The New Day v The League of Nations Preview
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar Preview
Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks Preview
The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon Preview
André the Giant 20 man memorial Battle royal Preview
Triple H vs. Roman Reigns Preview


Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal Eliminations[]

Eliminated Eliminated by
Fandango Big Show
Damien Sandow Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal Everyone
Big Show Everyone
Viktor DDP
DDP Konnor
Konnor Goldust & R-Truth
Tatanka Baron Corbin
Jack Swagger Kane
R-Truth Heath Slater & Adam Rose
Goldust Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel Kane
Adam Rose Baron Corbin
Heath Slater Mark Henry
Tyler Breeze Mark Henry
Mark Henry Darren Young & Kane
Bo Dallas Kane
Darren Young Kane
Kane Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin WINNER

Other on-screen talent[]

Pre-show Panel
Ring announcer

See also[]

DVD release[]

External links[]

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Triple H v Roman ReignsDean Ambrose v Brock LesnarThe Undertaker v Shane McMahonCharlotte v Becky Lynch v Sasha BanksThe Usos vs. The Dudley BoyzAndre The Giant Memorial Battle RoyalThe New Day v The League of NationsKalisto vs. RybackIntercontinental Championship Ladder Match10 Divas Tag MatchAJ Styles v Chris Jericho