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5 WrestleMania-caliber matches that WWE gave away on a 'B' PPV

Mike Chin
Top 5 / Top 10
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WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year, but sometimes big matches happen elsewhere.
WrestleMania is the biggest show of the year, but sometimes big matches happen elsewhere.

WrestleMania is, without a doubt, the biggest show on the WWE calendar. For thirty-three years and counting, it has been a showcase event featuring dream matches and the blow-off to big-time rivalries.

While it’s the biggest show and one that tradition would suggest that WWE would save the biggest matches for, there have been those times when the company has gone in a different creative direction. Sometimes, first-time dream collisions happen at smaller PPVs or a major rivalry reaches its climax before WrestleMania.

Sometimes WWE devalues a match. Sometimes the authorities try to see a storyline through to a logical conclusion without stretching things to WrestleMania. A fear of injuries, politics, or the larger creative direction of the company takes hold which makes it unwilling to wait for booking it.

There are a number of cases in recent years when a match that was expected to headline WrestleMania, happened at an otherwise forgettable PPV. This article takes a look at five such instances.

#5 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

The Shield exloded not at 'Mania, but at Battleground.
The Shield exploded not at WrestleMania, but at Battleground.

The Shield was a truly special stable in the history of WWE. They debuted as a trio of unproven rookies with no established name to help push them. From there, a combination of their booking and the degree to which they delivered in the ring put them over as completely credible triumvirate which, particularly as a team, held its own and more often than not defeated big name stars.

When The Shield split up, it was little surprise that all three alumni would become top level stars in WWE. Sure enough, Seth Rollins got pushed as a heel and was the first to capture the WWE Championship. Roman Reigns went on to become the first Shield alum to garner a WrestleMania main event and the first multi-time world champion. Finally, Dean Ambrose turned towards Money in the Bank to win a world title of his own.

While one-on-one matches happened between different permutations of the former Shield members, fans generally assumed WWE would hold off on an eventual Triple Threat collision until a fitting stage presented itself—probably a WrestleMania.

However, the match wound up going down at Battleground 2016 with the WWE Championship on the line. The match fits organically with the stories WWE was telling at the time, particularly considering that Ambrose was breaking off to head off a separate brand from his former running buddies. Still, it felt like an anticlimax to get these dream explosion on a B PPV.

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