WrestleMania is often credited with being the season finale of WWE. A place for storylines to culminate, new champions to be crowned, and a fresh start to begin the following day.
It is therefore also a period where new names will receive a push, at least for a short while. In the past few years, perennial mid-card stalwarts such as Darren Young and Dolph Ziggler have been positioned as championship contenders in the weeks following WrestleMania, despite them doing absolutely nothing of note in the we]eks that preceded ‘The Show of Shows’. Jinder Mahal is perhaps the best example of this, of course, going from just another goober on the roster at the time of WrestleMania 33 to being WWE Champion the following month.
Considering the size of WWE’s roster as of this year’s WrestleMania, not everybody can receive a substantial push. These names will often be found in the traditional WrestleMania Battle Royals or simply not on the ‘Mania card at all. Post-WrestleMania, however, they could easily be viable title contenders by the time WrestleMania Backlash roles around on 8 May.
This feature won’t account for your typical WWE push recipients, such as Roman Reigns and Charlotte Flair. Additionally, neither Cody Rhodes nor Gable Steveson, will be mentioned, given their expected pushes moving forward. As for these names? Don’t look past Vince McMahon giving them the rub imminently…
Veer Mahaan has been coming to WWE since the 25 October edition of Raw. By the time he finally arrives on the post-‘Mania Raw, it will have been 161 days since his first vignette aired. He’s essentially become an inadvertent running joke without even appearing. Nonetheless, there is indeed hype for his reemergence on to the WWE roster, with his last match – excluding various Main Event outings, where he remains undefeated – airing on the 27 September Raw broadcast.
Given that he’s received the vignette treatment for so long, you’d hope that WWE has huge plans for the former Indus Sher member. He’s a formidable athlete who could do exponentially well as far as WWE’s expansion into the Indian market is concerned. With his six-foot-four, 253-pounds frame, and a legitimate sporting background through playing baseball, cricket, and javelin, his booking is as simple as destroying random goobers week after week before moving into a more serious program. How could Vince McMahon possibly decline?
There appeared to be big plans ahead for Xia Li when she joined the main roster as part of the 2021 Draft. She’d shown great promise towards the end of her NXT tenure, emphatically defeating Mercedes Martinez at NXT TakeOver: In Your House last June, so when she joined the SmackDown roster in October, ‘The Protector’ was expected to flourish. She officially debuted on the blue brand by saving Naomi from Natalya, Shayna Baszler, and WWE authority figure Sonya Deville, so expectations remained high.
Li has wrestled just one televised main roster match, though, defeating Natalya on the 25 February SmackDown episode. Of the eligible entrants, only she and Alexa Bliss didn’t enter the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble match, but it’s Xia’s omission that was particularly interesting. Post-WrestleMania, WWE must rethink their strategy with Xia Li. She could be a credible asset to the blue brand’s women’s division if given the opportunity to prove it; the aftermath of ‘Mania is the best possible time to begin this journey.
WWE seemingly forgets they have Mansoor on their roster half the time, carelessly leaving him in catering unless they have a Saudi Arabia show around the corner. The 26-year-old could be in the prime of his career if he was actually utilised by Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant. There was, of course, a period in 2021 where he was used regularly on Raw, embarking on a rivalry vs. Mustafa Ali that concluded with a Mansoor victory at the 2021 Crown Jewel pay-per-view.
He recently returned to the ring after a three-month absence, as he entered the annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal during WrestleMania SmackDown. With rumours that WWE will be returning to Saudi Arabia in September for the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs event, it may be a tad too early for the biannual Mansoor push to begin, unless the company has a different plan in mind him this year. A months-long storyline culminating in him capturing the Intercontinental Championship in his home country could go down tremendously well.
So long as they change his name from T-BAR, there are endless possibilities for the former Donovan Dijak to succeed on the main roster. Post-RETRIBUTION, he and MACE seemed to be set for a push as they assaulted Drew McIntyre, apparently joining forces with then-WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. This, ultimately, wasn’t the case, as T-BAR remains a perennial jobber to this day, losing to everyone from Omos to Tommaso Ciampa.
WWE needs only look at the reception he received in NXT. As Dominik Dijakovic, his NXT North American Championship challenge vs. Keith Lee in February 2020 still stands up today as an underrated and often-forgotten TakeOver outing. Dijakovic wrestled extremely well against Lee, as he did throughout his entire time on the black-and-gold brand, with the match setting a new standard for superheavyweights. Much like Veer Mahaan, a single glance at T-BAR should make Vince McMahon lose his mind at this potential United States Champion.
The Raw – and in recent years, the SmackDown, too – following WrestleMania is known for its shocks and surprises; this has traditionally included a callup or two from NXT to either the red or blue brand, with the likes of Paige, The Revival, Rusev, and Shinsuke Nakamura joining the main roster after WrestleMania. Following WrestleMania 38, this is expected to continue, with Bron Breakker heavily expected to join either the red or blue brand following ‘Mania.
Unquestionably the most shocking result from NXT Stand And Deliver saw Breakker unsuccessful in reclaiming the NXT Championship from Dolph Ziggler, albeit due to the involvement of Robert Roode. In losing to ‘The Showoff’, Breakker’s transition to the main roster is now all but confirmed, with an inevitable push coming his way. With Scott and Rick Steiner being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday evening, there couldn’t be a better time for Breakker to jump ship to continue the family legacy.
Bron Breakker likely won’t be the only NXT Superstar departing the former black-and-gold brand following WrestleMania 38, as LA Knight will also seemingly be joining the ex-NXT Champion on either the Raw or SmackDown roster. At the end of January, Knight was said by the Wrestling Observer to be joining the main roster immediately after ‘Mania, with a loss to Imperium’s GUNTHER at NXT Stand And Deliver seemingly sending LA out of NXT.
Whether or not he survives and flourishes on the main roster is a different story. As Eli Drake, he was a considerably great headline act in IMPACT Wrestling, serving as their World Champion for a number of months, so he has the experience to thrive in a main event scenario. At 39-years-old, he’s hardly the youngest WWE Superstar, but he may be the perfect age for a WWE push; he has the look, the charisma, and can move in the ring with the best of them. There seems to be no ceiling for LA Knight in WWE.
The story of Elias has been intriguing to live through over the past few months. ‘The Drifter’, who last wrestled on the 19 July Raw broadcast against Jaxson Ryker in a Symphony of Destruction match, with a series of vignettes over the following few weeks seeing Elias destroy all things, well, Elias. You’d assume this would be done to begin the transition into a new character for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, but he’s yet to resurface on WWE programming, despite having new Randy Savage-esque gear made.
Fightful Select reported this on 14 March, also noting that a name change was pitched and new vignettes were filmed, so a post-WrestleMania resurgence for him would make sense. Elias has proven to be a valuable asset to WWE over the years, with his guitar-playing abilities elevating his career to a whole new level. Regardless of his character trajectory upon returning, Elias should be in line for a push and eventual mid-card title run.
Technically, Madcap Moss’ push began months before WrestleMania season was even upon us. He’s been aligned with Happy Corbin, who’s constantly been in WWE’s good books, for the past few months, and then won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, where he last dumped out the current United States Champion, Finn Balor. WWE is clearly fond of the former Riddick Moss, who seemed doomed and release-bound prior to the Corbin association.
The pairing can’t last forever, though. WWE will inevitably break up Corbin and Moss before long, but this doesn’t mean they should forget about Moss. He’s more than proven himself throughout his time as Happy Corbin’s second that he’s deserving of a lengthy singles run. If he doesn’t do as well on his own, then that’s fine; it’s all about trusting the process sometimes. WWE needs some top-tier upper-mid-carders on the SmackDown side, though, a role that Moss would fit perfectly.
If you recall the introduction to this feature, WWE has previously taken the time to push the likes of Darren Young and Jinder Mahal post-WrestleMania. Although it wasn’t on the same level, Breezango were also pushed at the same time as Mahal. They’re not afraid to take risks post-‘Mania in other words, so a Commander Azeez push is always possible, though it would likely come at the expense of his pairing with Apollo Crews. That’s where the push could start, though, with Azeez betraying the former Uhaa Nation.
In a way, there could be something in Commander Azeez. He’s survived in every role he’s been given, whether that be as the tiresome Babatunde or as Raw Underground’s monster Dabba-Kato. As Azeez, he’s done well, even debuting the character during WrestleMania 37 as he aided Crews in becoming the Intercontinental Champion. Now on the Raw roster, Azeez could easily prosper into a top WWE Superstar in a land of other giants through matches vs. Bobby Lashley and Omos.
After being one of the top stars throughout the dreary ThunderDome era, Bayley sadly suffered a torn ACL while training for the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. The announcement came with the news that ‘The Role Model’ would be out of action for nine months, which, coincidentally, would mean she’s clear to return by this month. It’s therefore intriguing that Bayley, as well as Asuka, was then spotted in Dallas ahead of WrestleMania, as was reported by PWInsider’s Mike Johnson.
Bayley’s return should be expected imminently. She’s been sorely missed, with her absence being excruciatingly noticeable with a distinct lack of charisma in SmackDown’s women’s division. Having gone undrafted in the 2021 Draft, the former SmackDown Women’s Champion remains a free agent, although restarting her program with Bianca Belair, who she was due to face again prior to getting injured, would be an ideal way to slot Bayley back into the picture.
WWE WrestleMania 38 can be replayed right now on the WWE Network – and via Peacock in the United States – right now.