Predicting Which WWE Superstar Will Be the Next Mr. WrestleManiaMarch 15, 2021
Predicting Which WWE Superstar Will Be the Next Mr. WrestleMania
WrestleMania is a truly special event. It's a show that creates stars and solidifies them and an event where a great performance can truly change a wrestler's career.
However, while many have competed on The Grandest Stage of Them All, only a few can claim to have made an indelible mark.
These are the stars whose names have become synonymous with the event. Some of the greats include the workhorses like Bret Hart and Triple H or main eventers such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan and John Cena.
There are some who have truly gone above and beyond, though, and their work has earned them special recognition.
The Undertaker ran through all competition on his way to a record 21 straight wins at The Show of Shows, and Shawn Michaels has been labelled "Mr. WrestleMania" because his stellar work was only improved when he stepped up to compete at the marquee pay-per-view.
No one has quite stepped up to these mantles since, but the next generation of talent could well seize the moment. These are the young stars, typically under the age of 30, who can change the business.
Who could be the workhorse that keeps the ship going at WrestleMania? Who will be the next major star to main-event The Show of Shows every year? Who could challenge The Streak? Which stars come off as the next Miss and Mr. WrestleMania?
Workhorse: Pete Dunne
Given his level of success and copious number of matches, it may be shocking to many to discover Pete Dunne is still only 27 years old. While his NXT UK rival, Tyler Bate, was heralded as the young phenom, The Bruiserweight has done so much more since the two joined the brand.
It seems only right that Dunne should take the next step to WrestleMania sooner rather than later. He is a special talent with a wealth of knowledge. He can compete against just about anyone and make them look better on the way out.
The workhorse role at The Show of Shows has been held by many of the best. Bret Hart was arguably the first to show what a reliable talent can do every time on such a stage. Triple H has competed at the event 23 times, losing more than anyone else but also making a lasting mark with his performances.
Dunne has the perfect blend of talent and reliability that will get him a featured match at WrestleMania every year once he arrives on Raw or SmackDown.
WWE has moved Dunne from the one man carrying NXT UK to being a top performer in NXT already. He just had a fantastic match with Finn Balor at NXT TakeOver: Vengeance Day, an event at which he has often outshone his peers.
This feels like the closest to a certainty of every competitor on this list. By the time AJ Styles retires—arguably the current workhorse of WrestleMania—The Bruiserweight will be ready to fill his shoes.
WrestleMania's Main Event: Not on the Roster Yet
We all know the immediate future of WrestleMania's main event scenes. Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre, Daniel Bryan, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch (when she returns) and Sasha Banks are the present, while Brock Lesnar, John Cena, The Rock and others could come back and instantly main-event again.
The question is who can step up. Which star on the current roster is ready to become a mainstay at the top of the card? WrestleMania is only main-evented by the best in the world. These Superstars are not only talented but also feature attractions in WWE.
It's difficult to predict who on the current roster is a lasting main event talent without fans in attendance. Bianca Belair is on the rise and likely to main-event WrestleMania one day, but is she popular enough to be that kind of star for the next decade?
Many of WWE's top names right now are over 30 years old, and the company is unlikely to suddenly pull the trigger with them. Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn might get a world title reign or two before they retire, but they're unlikely to get a meteoric push that puts them over Reigns.
It would be irresponsible to call anyone not with WWE as its next big talent. But there isn't a single young star on the company's immense talent roster who feels like the one who will outshine The Tribal Chief at the very top.
The world of professional wrestling is constantly moving, though. Especially at a tumultuous time when All Elite Wrestling is growing and building a young roster, WWE might actually look toward its rival and try to snatch MJF or Jungle Boy. It's even more likely the biggest star of the next generation just started training.
The future is always bright, but we can never truly predict who will be the next name to impact the industry.
The Streak: Dominik Mysterio
Dominik Mysterio made his in-ring debut at SummerSlam in August 2020 but has never competed at The Show of Shows. He will turn 24 less than a week before WrestleMania 37, though, and he has been treated as a top young star since his arrival.
Undertaker won his first match at WrestleMania on his 26th birthday. From there, he would go on to win 21 more in a row at the event. That kind of longevity in wrestling was unheard of. Even now, as the age of the average wrestler in WWE has increased, that level of consistency is rare.
WWE does not have that many names around the right age to win at WrestleMania on 21 consecutive occasions. The right wrestlers would have been young, built to be a top star that cannot miss 'Mania, and protected enough to win repeatedly at the event.
Dominik has the right setup to be the first young star to make a run at The Deadman's undefeated streak. He is a third-generation wrestler with a unique style that blends the speed of his father, Rey, with a lanky frame that allows him to take more punishment.
His father has been wrestling for nearly 32 years. He knows how to stay healthy and remain a great performer. The two are likely to work as a tag team at this year's WrestleMania and perhaps a couple more Show of Shows beyond that.
This ultimately is the least likely call as it would require long-term planning by WWE. The company rarely thinks that far ahead with booking, but Mysterio is in the ideal position to make a run, even if he should never actually defeat The Streak.
Mrs. WrestleMania: Rhea Ripley
Rhea Ripley is the rare blend of youth, star power and talent. She is one of WWE's youngest competitors and was 23 years old when she competed at WrestleMania 36, which sets up her to claim a title no woman has really held yet.
The only female wrestler right now who can claim the title of "Miss WrestleMania" is Charlotte Flair. She has competed against the best every year at the event and always seems to bring her best to the occasion.
The Queen turns 35 five days before WrestleMania 37 starts and has plenty of time to add to her legacy, but the question is whether anyone can take her mantle. Her opponent last year comes off as the talent with the best odds.
Ripley's main competition at this point comes from Bianca Belair and Io Shirai, but The Nightmare already has one great match at The Showcase of the Immortals under her belt and is much younger than either rival. Toni Storm has an outside chance, but she has often been a step behind her fellow Antipodean.
The women's division has been largely underrepresented at WrestleMania, even today when WWE is treating it better. But it still needs women competing at the highest level possible to prove the division deserves even more recognition.
Ripley will be able to change the perception of women in WWE all over again, working with a unique crop of top talent in the present and future of WWE.
Given the quality of her matches at any time of the year, Ripley can be the one woman everyone talks about as Miss WrestleMania.
Mr. WrestleMania: Adam Cole
The responsibility of Mr. WrestleMania is to compete at the highest level every time you compete on The Grandest Stage of Them All. The circumstances may not always have been ideal, but Shawn Michaels made the most of every match.
It is not as much about longevity as it is sustained greatness for a lengthy period that counts. Even current greats like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins cannot boast the level of success HBK had late in his time in the ring to turn a great career into something iconic.
Arguably, AJ Styles has gotten the closest, and he came to WWE late. His arc in the company could be followed by other talent currently in All Elite Wrestling, New Japan Pro-Wrestling or even Impact Wrestling such as "Hangman" Adam Page, Rey Fenix, Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr., Ace Austin or Chris Bey.
However, there is one name on the WWE roster that feels most like an heir apparent to Shawn Michaels, one who has yet to make it onto the main roster but could have the perfect spotlight when he does: Adam Cole.
Unlike fellow NXT mainstays Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, Cole has not been adamant about staying on the black-and-gold brand. His recent break-up with Undisputed Era could also indicate a move is on the horizon.
While his size would never allow him to be the absolute top star in WWE, he has the ability to make any opponent look good, notably Pat McAfee in his first match for NXT.
Cole has been training under HBK recently and is clearly well-liked by Triple H.
And if The Game begins to take over WWE more and more in the coming years, the former NXT champion could make his presence felt by becoming the next Mr. WrestleMania.