The 8 WWE Stars Who Could Realistically Headline WrestleMania 37
Although WrestleMania 37 is still a ways off, now is normally the time that WWE begins to plant the seeds for what the loaded lineup at The Show of Shows will consist of.
It's important to note that anything can change in the next six or so months, with injuries, returns and departures almost guaranteed to affect proceedings. If recent years have been any indication, WWE doesn't seem to settle on plans for its biggest pay-per-view of the year until right before it's about to happen.
The majority of the SmackDown and Raw rosters are healthy and active. Several Superstars are flourishing, and thus it isn't difficult to predict who has the best chance of taking part in WrestleMania's marquee matches next spring.
On Raw, the same few faces have dominated the main event scene for the better part of 2020, namely Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton. Meanwhile, SmackDown has done an excellent job of keep things fresh toward the top of the card and keeping fans guessing as to who will be contending for the Universal Championship next.
Although this list will largely feature stars from Raw and SmackDown, it's entirely possible WWE brings John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg or someone else of their ilk back into the fold and chooses to spotlight them instead. It's been a common occurrence at 'Mania over the years, but the upcoming installment should have a heavy emphasis on the future.
These are the eight athletes who could headline The Grandest Stage of Them All on March 28, 2021.
At this time one year ago, Drew McIntyre wasn't even on WWE programming because of an injury. Prior to that, he was meandering in the midcard with no real direction.
His stock skyrocketed, however, once he won the men's Royal Rumble match in shocking fashion in January and was immediately positioned as a threat to then-WWE champion Brock Lesnar. After steamrolling through the entire Raw roster, he went on to beat The Beast in the main event of WrestleMania 37 to become the WWE champion.
He's had nothing short of a sensational run since then, overcoming all challengers and remaining undefeated in one-on-one action. If he can defeat Randy Orton (again) at Clash of Champions on Sept. 27, it's safe to say he'll hold on to the gold through the remainder of the year.
The only issue with McIntyre's championship reign is that, aside from Orton and potentially Keith Lee, there aren't any obvious candidates from the Raw roster to take the title from him. With that in mind, WWE may opt to keep the belt on him until it can find someone suitable to dethrone him—and that could well be at WrestleMania 37.
Even if not, McIntyre has booked like such a star this year that it wouldn't out of the question for him to drop the title at some point and chase the champion heading into WrestleMania, leading to him headlining for the second straight year.
As long as he's up against a proper opponent, McIntyre main-eventing 'Mania again is a possibility.
Randy Orton has been hot on the heels of WWE champion Drew McIntyre for months—and for good reason. There can be little doubt that he has been the best heel in WWE in 2020.
The Apex Predator was a major part of the build to WrestleMania 36 in his riveting rivalry with the returning Edge. Although he fell short of victory, he rebounded by winning a highly anticipated rematch at Backlash before laying out a long list of legends in the weeks that followed.
His next opportunity at McIntyre's WWE title will come at Clash of Champions on Sunday in an Ambulance match. Considering he lost to him at SummerSlam, that might be the night he finally regains the gold and reclaims his spot at Raw's top dog.
That would seemingly set up Edge as his opponent for WrestleMania 37, as the former friends are tied with one win apiece. That's assuming the Rated-R Superstar will be cleared to compete and that WWE is still interested in blowing off their heated rivalry.
Edge isn't the only option for Orton to face at WrestleMania. Lee owns a victory over The Viper, and he has yet to avenge that loss by pinfall, so that's another bout that could be booked with the WWE Championship on the line.
Orton hasn't headlined WrestleMania since 2014, when he faced Batista and Daniel Bryan in a Triple Threat match. Next year would be as good of a time as any for him to return to the headline slot at 'Mania regardless of whether he walks out with a title.
Roman Reigns is no stranger to the main event of WrestleMania, having headlined every installment from 2015 through 2018 and winning two of those four marquee matches.
After competing against Drew McIntyre in the middle of The Show of Shows in 2019, he was primed to return to top of the card at WrestleMania 36 by challenging Goldberg for the Universal Championship. Of course, the pandemic caused Reigns to miss the event and lose his spot to Braun Strowman.
Reigns only recently returned at SummerSlam and got the entire world buzzing when he aligned with Paul Heyman on the subsequent SmackDown. Two days later, he confirmed his heel status when he won back the Universal Championship in controversial fashion.
His heel run is off to a strong start. Jey Uso will be his first of many challengers, and beyond battling his cousin, there is a laundry list of Superstars from SmackDown for him to work with. That includes everyone from Bray Wyatt and Strowman to Big E and Matt Riddle. Daniel Bryan will be back at some point, and even Otis is an option given he's Mr. Money in the Bank.
Fans may have been tired of seeing WWE shine the spotlight on Reigns during the Road to WrestleMania in the past. But now that he's changed his character, the possibilities are endless, and it's totally logical—if not ideal—for it to happen again next year.
Assuming Big E's recent singles success isn't temporary and that WWE doesn't plan on putting him back with Kofi Kingston or Xavier Woods in the tag team division, he's destined to compete for a top title at WrestleMania 37 if he can stay the course.
Once his New Day brethren went down with injuries, Big E re-entered the singles ranks with Kingston's blessing and has made the most of his time on his own. He's already racked up victories over the likes of The Miz and John Morrison, as well as Sheamus on two occasions.
It's difficult to tell how much of a success the Big E experiment has been without any fans in attendance, but the positive feedback from fans online indicates that it's working.
In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest Big E as a potential winner of next year's men's Royal Rumble match. It feels like him clashing with Roman Reigns is inevitable, but that bout would be best saved for WrestleMania 37.
The story can be similar to when Kofi Kingston attempted to win his first WWE Championship from the antagonistic Daniel Bryan at 2019's Show of Shows. Either way, Big E's organic rise to superstardom should culminate in a high-profile win at WrestleMania next year, arguably in the main event.
For nearly two years, Keith Lee dominated the NXT scene and became one of the most beloved stars on the brand. After starting the year by winning the NXT North American Championship, he worked his way up to NXT Championship contention and captured that title in July.
His was riding a massive wave of momentum heading into his anticipated Raw debut the night after SummerSlam, and although his questionable attire and altered entrance music hindered his arrival, he was still able to go toe-to-toe with Randy Orton.
Lee followed that up by defeating Orton cleanly at the Payback pay-per-view at the end of August. That sent the message that WWE has big plans for him on the red brand and that his potential is limitless.
The past few weeks on Raw haven't been anything extraordinary, as both of his bouts with Orton and Drew McIntyre haven't had formal finishes, but it's worth mentioning that he has yet to be pinned on the main roster. That increases his chances of challenging for the WWE title come WrestleMania season.
Orton would be a logical opponent for him considering he owns a victory over him, and McIntyre would make sense as well given their history and recent chemistry. He could well win the men's Royal Rumble and make his way over to SmackDown to go up against Roman Reigns instead.
Regardless of where he sets his sights, Lee would the perfect person to position prominently on next year's WrestleMania card.
It's easy to forget that Edge remains on the Raw roster seeing as how he's been out since June's Backlash pay-per-view because he tore his triceps in his match against Randy Orton. He teased in a video that aired on Raw the next night that he has unfinished business with Orton, but it becomes a question of whether WWE wants to go down that road again upon his return.
As excellent as Edge vs. Orton was this year, it's time for The Rated-R Superstar to start facing fresh faces such as Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee. Any one of those matches could be for the WWE Championship, though Orton holding the gold by then is the most likely scenario.
Edge toppling his archrival to win his first WWE title in a decade would make for a great story, but that would result in McIntyre and Lee being relegated to the undercard at WrestleMania. Another 'Mania moment for Edge shouldn't come at the expense of the talent of tomorrow.
Whether it's against Orton or someone else, Edge competing in the WrestleMania main event would be a fitting culmination of an incredible journey for him. The WWE Championship wouldn't have to be up for grabs, but it would be a nice bonus.
Don't count out Edge as a potential headliner for WrestleMania 37, as he's done some of his strongest work since returning in January, and the best could be yet to come.
At one point in time, it wasn't uncommon for fans to label Bayley as the least relevant of The Four Horsewomen because of how uneventful her first few years on WWE's main roster were. She never reached her potential as a babyface because of several start-and-stop pushes.
That changed once she went heel in late 2019 and gradually found her footing in the role. Her matches and mic work have improved drastically since, and now she's almost a year into her record-setting reign as SmackDown women's champion.
She and Sasha Banks have been two of the biggest MVPs of WWE's empty-arena era because of their work as a tag team. Now that Bayley has betrayed Banks, nothing is stopping her from continuing to thrive and rule the SmackDown women's division with an iron fist.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey became the first women to headline WrestleMania in 2019, but Bayley vs. Banks may prove to be even more exciting. That's why WWE should hold off on having them fight until April, as it could feasibly be built up as the biggest bout on the card.
Bayley walking into WrestleMania with the title after the career year she's had would be well deserved. It's going to be a massive deal when she loses it, and much like with Rousey at WrestleMania 35, it should happen when it matters most: in the main event of WrestleMania.
The only way Bayley headlines WrestleMania 37 is if Sasha Banks is her opponent. As it stands, no other match makes as much sense to close out the event than that.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch, the other half of The Four Horsewomen, main-evented WrestleMania in 2019. Now it's time for Banks and Bayley to shine, not to mention that it would be less about making history and more about stealing the show.
The tension between the former friends has been brewing for years, though no one could have expected the roles to be what are. Bayley has become a better heel than anyone could have ever imagined, while Banks works well as the sympathetic babyface and sold her recent beating from Bayley masterfully.
It isn't often that Banks gets the main event spotlight, but it's long overdue—and WrestleMania 37 is when it should come to fruition. That would give her and Bayley enough time to tell their story without it being blown off prematurely and ensure that it's featured as prominently as it should be.
There's no better story than Banks losing in her first few WrestleMania matches, only to reign supreme in the main event of next year's installment against her greatest rival. The story writes itself.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.