Now that we are fully on the Road to WrestleMania and the Dallas skyline is just over the horizon, we are seeing more and more matches added to WWE’s big two-day event. On top of all the marquee matches like the third showdown between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar (which is being booked as “The Biggest Match in WrestleMania History”) and other championship bouts, the show’s midcard attractions are being announced left and right.
Joining the likes of Edge vs. AJ Styles and The Miz teaming up with Logan Paul to taken on the Mysterio family is former NFL punter and current SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee, who was granted a match at WrestleMania 2022 by Vince McMahon during an interview on his popular YouTube show. His opponent remains a mystery for the time being, but I do have some potentials who would be pretty sweet.
When it was announced on Twitter that Vince McMahon would be appearing on the Pat McAfee Show in early March 2022, it seemed like this was the beginning of a feud between the WWE Chairman and the vocal SmackDown commentator and occasional in-ring performer. And, while a match was announced, Mr. McMahon was not confirmed to be his opponent.
Despite this, I would love to see McMahon lace up his boots for his fifth match at the Showcase of the Immortals. It would be a great way to put McAfee over that would definitely put a lot of eyes on WrestleMania, regardless of which day it takes place.
Another option, and probably one that makes more sense for a number of reasons, is Austin Theory, who has been building up a great deal of momentum in WWE as of late. With an impressive showing at Royal Rumble 2022 and being one of the final two competitors in the WWE Championship match at Elimination Chamber, Theory could keep that upward trend going with a high-profile match against Pat McAfee at WrestleMania 38. And, with all the interactions he has been having with Vince McMahon as of late, Theory could be a good stand-in for the WWE Chairman.
Before he transitioned into a commentator role and became one of the biggest voices in WWE, Corey Graves had a brief stint as an in-ring performer in NXT, which was cut short due to serious injuries nearly a decade ago. It looked like Graves would never be able to wrestle again, but he was cleared for in-ring action in January 2022. This, combined with comments the Monday Night Raw analyst made on Twitter about “happily” beating Pat McAfee at WrestleMania, makes it fairly likely we could see the two commentators meet face-to-face at the biggest show of the year.
I would like to see Pat McAfee and fellow commentator Michael Cole meet at WrestleMania, but not because they would put on a five-star classic; that’s just not happening. However, the two have a history in WWE, especially with Cole trying (in vain) to get McAfee kicked off the WrestleMania 35 broadcast because he wore shorts, according to the IndyStar (opens in new tab). McAfee even brought up Cole and the situation in his interview with Vince McMahon, to which the WWE boss called Cole a “horrible human being.” To see McAfee finally get his revenge would be pretty sweet and make for a great WrestleMania moment.
There are a lot of options for Kevin Owens in terms of WrestleMania opponents this year, especially with outlets like WrestlingInc reporting on a possible one-on-one with a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin in the heart of Texas. But, if that doesn’t work out, and Owens’ current partnership with Seth Rollins doesn’t explode just yet, then having him face-off against Pat McAfee would be great. I mean, McAfee’s first two matches were against Adam Cole and other wrestlers who followed a similar path as Owens (Ring of Honor, PWG, etc.), so their in-ring styles would mesh. Also, the promos leading up to the match would be top-notch, especially if you got Owens on The Pat McAfee Show.
I should preface this by addressing the fact that there has been no confirmation of a John Cena return in any way. With that out of the way, I would absolutely love to see the Peacemaker star have his first match since being defeated by Roman Reigns at SummerSlam 2021 being against Pat McAfee at WrestleMania 38. Cena has never had a technical style of wrestling, and so it wouldn’t be all that difficult for McAfee to keep up with him in the ring.
With the former Indianapolis Colt being one of the biggest things going in WWE, getting the rub from the 16-time world champion could take him to the next level and create an iconic WrestleMania moment in the process. And, again, it would be ridiculous to see the two trade insults with a mic.
In January 2022, Cody Rhodes shocked the wrestling world when the AEW co-founder announced he was stepping away from the wrestling promotion just a few years after it got off the ground. As you can imagine, everyone and their mother began to guess where Rhodes would land next, with the most likely place being WWE. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility, considering he got his start there over a decade ago and is one of the most recognizable stars with plenty of iconic moments before his run ended in 2016.
A high-profile match against Pat McAfee could be the perfect way to bring Rhodes back into the fold at WWE that would serve as a great stepping stone for both competitors. Rhodes has experience with non-wrestlers like Stephen Amell from his initial time with the company, so he could both protect McAfee and highlight his strengths.
Expect to hear a whole lot more about Pat McAfee, his opponent, and all the other WWE superstars appearing at "Showcase of the Immortals" as we get closer to WrestleMania 38. If you want to watch the two-night event on April 2 and 3, you'll probably want to sign up for a Peacock Premium subscription.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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