This is a guest post by Matt Kaplowitz of The Fight Nerd.
With WrestleMania less than two weeks away, fans are curious just as much about who walks out with the titles, as much as they are with what is going to happen after the biggest event of the year.
WWE SmackDown commentator and new host of "Inside MMA" on AXS TV, Mauro Ranallo, gave us some time to talk about current events in combat sports, but the conversation eventually turned towards pro wrestling and what he is most excited to see at WrestleMania 32.
"I'm really looking forward to, even though they already had three classic matches and then a short-lived tag team, but AJ Styles and Chris Jericho have a great chemistry. I think they can definitely deliver one for the ages."
Ranallo believes that Roman and Triple H will "tear the house down", and that Ambrose and Lesnar will be intense and just as insane as the Lunatic Fringe himself, but there is one bout could truly steal the show.
"The one match that is getting the majority of the headlines and attention is the one involving Shane McMahon... Shane, who I remember from early on, he took some incredible bumps and was an amazing performer for a guy who really was not a trained sports entertainer, but he is going to face the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match, and it's going to be interesting to see what they have in store for the WWE universe at Wrestlemania. I have a feeling it's going to be hard hitting, violent, bloody, but I'm really interested in seeing how it all unfolds."
When asked about Shinsuke Nakamura and his future after Wrestlemania, Ranallo was very optimistic about the King of Strong Style. "He has the most chance of any, he has the best opportunity at being the native Japanese star, the puroresu symbol of NJPW to make an impact in WWE, and he will do that in NXT against Sami Zayn."
"A guy who not only is charismatic who has fashioned himself after Michael Jackson and Freddy Mercury with his sports entertainment entrances, but here is a mixed martial artist who has trained in martial arts, who can brawl, who can be a technical wrestler- this guy can literally do everything when it comes to the sports entertainment genre. And I believe, NXT and Triple H and company have done a tremendous job of putting on some of the best matches in the entire industry and with the talent that they have secured, some of the biggest names in the international circuit with Shinskuke Nakamura being the biggest in that regard, the youngest IWGP champ and someone who was a bona fide superstar in japan. Now at 35, obviously this is the opportunity.
"A lot of people thought we would never see him in NXT or WWE for that matter, and selfishly I want him to be on the main roster so I can call his matches on Smackdown. But I look forward to being in the building - this will be the first time in fact despite working with NJPW on AXS TV that he and I will be in the same building - I cant wait to meet him and tell him how I enjoyed calling his matches, and how much I look forward to seeing him battle Sami Zayn... And who knows? Maybe we might see Nakamura dominate NXT for awhile before he even moves up to WWE, but I can't wait to be there and watch his match with Sami Zayn and seeing the reaction, because while I think everyone will be familiar with him already, it will be cool to see what he does in an NXT ring."
Mauro also believes that the NXT Takeover show during WM weekend "could very well give Wrestlemania a run for its money', and I am quick to agree with that sentiment (as I am sure many of the readers of this site will also be).
If you want to listen to the full interview with Mauro, where we also discuss the long term future of Ronda Rousey, predict what will happen at UFC 197 when Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier meet once again, and talk about whether or not Bellator MMA can become a superpower in the fight world, head to this link here.
Mauro Ranallo will begin his hosting duties of "Inside MMA" on AXS TV on Friday, March 25th, alongside Bas Rutten.