7. Kurt Angle
I understand that Kurt Angle might have retired at WrestleMania 35 last year, but the former Olympian deserves better than a throwaway match with Baron Corbin.
After giving everything to this business for 20 years, Kurt Angle deserves to go out the way he wants to, with a match against John Cena.
As previously mentioned in this piece, John Cena made his debut way back in 2002 against Kurt Angle. It seems quite poetic that Kurt Angle’s final match would also be against the 16-time World Champion.
The build to the match doesn’t even have to have Cena and Angle appear on Raw/SmackDown every week. Kurt Angle could just interrupt Cena’s promo on SmackDown later this month, challenging him to a proper retirement match.
People wouldn’t care that this is the second time in two years that Kurt Angle would be having a retirement match at WrestleMania. The idea of seeing Angle and Cena back in the ring together is certainly mouth-watering prospect.
At WrestleMania 31 in 2015, John Cena challenged for the United States Championship in a match with the previously undefeated Rusev. Many people thought that this would be Rusev’s crowning moment by defeating John Cena. However, it was the leader of the Cenation that picked up the win.
WWE could right this wrong (sort of) by having John Cena go one-on-one the United States Champion at this year’s WrestleMania, Andrade.
Andrade is reportedly someone that Raw’s Executive Director Paul Heyman sees a lot of potential in, and he probably isn’t wrong. Andrade is one of the company’s best in-ring workers and his partnership with Zelina Vega makes perfect sense.
Some of Cena’s best work of his career came with his United States Championship open challenges and having him in the title picture certainly elevates the prestige of the belt.
Cena could challenge Andrade to a match at WrestleMania, saying he wants to get back in the US title picture. Andrade could, and certainly should, then beat John Cena, really putting him over as one of WWE’s top heels.
5. Braun Strowman
If John Cena doesn’t challenge Andrade for the United States Championship, perhaps he should challenge Braun Strowman for the Intercontinental Championship over on SmackDown.
During his return on 02/28, John Cena could talk about all he has achieved in WWE; winning multiple world titles, main eventing Manias, but say before he steps away from the ring he needs to do the thing he has never been able to do, win the IC title.
The feud not only elevates the Intercontinental Championship, but also gives Braun something meaningful to do at WrestleMania.
At Mania 34, Strowman won the tag team titles with a ten-year-old boy. The following year, he had a feud with the hosts of SNL. The “Monster Among Men” deserves a meaningful feud to sink his teeth into, and he could certainly have that with John Cena.
4. Johnny Gargano
The NXT women’s division is set to be represented by either Rhea Ripley or Bianca Belair at WrestleMania in an NXT Women’s Championship match against Charlotte Flair. However, it doesn’t seem like a male NXT star will be wrestling on the show.
There is no one that epitomises WWE in the 21st century more than John Cena, so perhaps WWE should have Mr. WWE go up against Mr. NXT in the form of Johnny Gargano.
While Charlotte Flair’s appearance at Full Sail last week didn’t help NXT in the ratings, a feud between Gargano and Cena that could play out on both Raw/SmackDown and NXT could certainly help defeat AEW in the ratings.
Gargano could interrupt Cena’s promo on the 02/28 episode of SmackDown, issuing a challenge to the face of WWE for WrestleMania. The match would not only be good, but so would the feud.
In all honesty, this is something I can’t really see WWE doing for WrestleMania 36, but perhaps is something that they should certainly consider.