We are exactly two weeks away from WWE’s biggest PPV event of the year, Wrestlemania. With a special start time at 7E/4P, Wrestlemania 34 is shaping up to be a spectacular event. Last year’s event was poorly received, mostly because of the main event in which Roman Reigns became the second man to beat The Undertaker. This year, WWE is hoping to make it up to the fans by having great matches like AJ Styles vs Nakamura, Charlotte Flair vs Asuka, and having Ronda Rousey make her in-rnig debut. Many more matches have been announced and rumors have been circulating the web about potential returns, debuts, and possible last-minute matches being added. Here’s all you need to know about the upcoming ‘Showcase of the Immortals”.
Matches and Predictions
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal – A tradition that started at Wrestlemania 30, male wrestlers from RAW and Smackdown compete in in over-the-top-rope battle royal, with the winner receiving a trophy. This battle royal is meant to honor Andre the Giant, who paved the way for many future generations of wrestlers. Cesaro, Big Show, Baron Corbing, and Mojo Rawley are the winners of the previous 4 battle royals.
Predictions: Not really sure who would be in this match. They usually announce which superstars are in these matches once the match takes place. However, with Big Cass set to make a return after being out due to injury since August, if he makes a return at Mania this year, he’s my pick.
Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal – Previously named “The Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal” superstars from the female divisions of RAW, Smackdown, and NXT will compete in an over-the-top-rope battle royal. Last superstar to be in the ring is the winner. The WWE changed the name of the battle royal after several accounts were brought up of Moolah’s shady past, including monopolizing many female wrestlers in North America. The majority of the female superstars who have not been given singles match or tag team match will most likely be a part of this match.
Prediction: Too early to tell how many superstars will participate in this match. However, I would want someone from NXT (which is WWE’s developmental facility) to win. The women in that division are extremely talented, beyond ready for a push to the main shows.
Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali (Cruiserweight Championship Match) – Previous Cruiserweight champion Enzo Amore was fired from the WWE back in December last year. He had been dealing with court battles for accusations of rape but had kept them quite from the WWE. The company found out and released Enzo. Since then, the cruiserweight wrestlers have competed in a tournament to see which two superstars would face off for the title at Wrestlemania. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali were the two finalists.
Predictions: In all honesty, I don’t follow the cruiserweight division. Even when it was around in the 90’s and early 2000’s, it never captured my attention. However, a lot of talk around the internet says that Alexander is set to get a huge push this year, so my pick for this match is Cedric.
Finn Bálor vs The Miz vs Seth Rollins (Intercontinental Championship Match) – For the past three months there had been rumors going around that Miz was set to take on Braun Strowman at Wrestlemania. There were also rumors of Miz getting a huge push in 2018. Maybe him losing his title to either Finn or Seth would guarantee that push. But all of these did end up just being rumors. This match got started with the Elimination Chamber PPV that took place last month. These three superstars were in that elimination chamber match but lost. Both Rollins and Bálor were looking for their Wrestlemania match and thus this match was booked. A win for either Seth or Finn would be great, especially since neither of them were given great storylines in 2017.
Predictions: I really do want Bálor to one day be either WWE Champion or be a two-time Universal Champion. The company seems to not think that he could carry that momentum. One way he could prove them wrong is by winning this match and having a phenomenal reign as Intercontinental champ. Yes, my choice for this match is Finn.
Cesaro & Sheamus vs Braun Strowman & TBD (Raw Tag Team Championship Match)
Earlier this month, General Manager Kurt Angle held a Tag Team battle royal to determine who would have Cesaro and Sheamus for the Raw Tag Team titles at Wrestlemania. However, the last person to enter that battle royal was Braun Strowman. He went in that match without a tag team partner and won. Strowman was told that he needs to find a tag team partner if he wants to be part of the match. Honestly, I’d love to see a 2 on 1 handicap match. I know that Braun is fully capable of handling this on his own. But chances are that won’t happen and the company will assign him a partner.
Predictions: Braun had a feud after the elimination chamber match with Elias. It would make sense that WWE would pair them up together since they won’t go for the handicap match. But regardless of who they chose, Braun Strowman will walk out being a Tag Team Champion.
Bobby Roode vs Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal (U.S. Championship Match) – This is one of the matches that a lot of people, including myself, aren’t really interested in. If Orton wasn’t in this match, it would probably be one of the pre-show matches. The feud lacks energy and the factor that would make it interesting to begin with. It would have been better if Orton had won the U.S. Title at Wrestlemania but he’s going in the PPV as champion.
Prediction: I don’t know what WWE would gain from this match. But my prediction for this match is that Jinder will win it. His run as WWE Champion did not work for the company, which isn’t too much of a shocker. It would make sense for Jinder to rebuild his momentum by winning the title. I do however believe that he should stay far, FAR away from being either the WWE or Universal champion.
Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax (RAW Women’s Championship Match) – The world thought that Asuka would challenge Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Title after her win at the Royal Rumble. But challenging Charlotte seemed like a far better option for her. This does mean that Alexa needed an opponent. Nia Jax, who is her real life best friend, was given the opportunity to challenge Bliss for the title. WWE went with their typical “let’s have a woman wrestler bully someone for their weight” storyline. This makes the match weird to watch, especially since WWE is supposed to be all about anti-bullying. Guess the writers couldn’t think of anything better.
Predictions: Unfortunately, this will be one of those matches that most people don’t care for. Nia was a last minute opponent for Bliss. They rushed this story line, causing people to lose interest. However, I do think that Alexa will walk out of Wrestlemania as the champion. Despite the recent rumors of how Alexa got to the top, she’s proven herself worthy of delivering great promos and excellent matches.
Asuka vs Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship Match)– This will go down as one of the greatest matches of all time. The “genetically superior” superstar Charlotte and “the empress of tomorrow” Asuka will deliver an amazing match. Asuka is coming in hot having won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble and having an undefeated streak that’s lasted over 2 years. Charlotte has been champion for a few months now and was rumored to be face off against Rousey at Wrestlemania. Asuka made it official that she wanted to challenge Charlotte at Wrestlemania. No love or hate determines the story for this match. It’s all about the title and an undefeated streak.
Predictions: According to WrestlingNews.com, it’s been rumored that Asuka will defeat Charlotte and walk out as champion. From there she is supposed to have a year-long reign, which will result in a match between Asuka and Rousey at next year’s Wrestlemania. Now, if this is the case, I think Rousey is a great opponent for Asuka but it does suck that fans will have to wait a year to see that match. However, this could just be all talk. Regardless, I’m rooting for Asuka to win this match.
John Cena vs The Undertaker – This match has been rumored to happened for the past three years. There were also rumors that either Cena or Sting were supposed to have ended Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak. Either way, this is a dream Wrestlemania match. Both superstars have wrestled against each other in the past but never at Mania. For the past few weeks, Cena has been calling out The Undertaker, hoping he would answer his plea for a match. The company doesn’t seem to want a Wrestlemania without John Cena, which makes sense. Undertaker left a mysterious message when he came out during RAW’s 25th anniversary show, which indicated that he would come back for another fight. It makes sense that the company would wait until the last episode of RAW to announce this match. Two icons facing off at the grandest stage of them all will be a great treat for many new and old school wrestling fans.
Prediction: For those of you who may not have seen Undertaker’s segment last January, it seemed like he was struggling to get inside the ring. Many speculated whether or not this match really would happen. He still seems to be in shape but during his fight with Roman Reigns last year, it seemed like he struggled a few times. I’m rooting for Taker to win this match. I couldn’t think of a better final match than this and maybe we’ll be able to see Cena have a heel turn.
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship Match) – At Wrestlemania 33, Brock Lesnar defeated Goldberg and became the Universal champion. Many fans were happy to see Goldberg leave and have Lesnar be champion once again. However, those same people, and many more fans, grew tired of seeing Lesnar having few matches throughout the year and somehow still walk out with the title. These feelings inspired WWE to develop a storyline for Roman Reigns in which he complained about Lesnar being a “part time champ”. He’s not wrong, but WWE was smart to use this as a way for more people to root for Reigns and get people to like him. They’ve been desperately pushing him to be the face of the company but many fans don’t approve. They will still make him the face of the company but don’t want to lose fans over this, which is why they developed this arc. Reigns won the elimination chamber match, which gave him the opportunity to challenge Lesnar for this title.
Prediction: Lesnar has resigned his UFC contract and is scheduled to return. This means that Lesnar and the WWE will once again part ways, meaning that Roman Reigns will win the match and become the Universal champion. Even if he had not resigned his contract, Lesnar would have lost the match to Reigns. Having Lesnar be the champion for over a year and only wrestle 5 matches during that time is bad for business. But yes, Reigns will walk out as champion and is supposed to have a long reign as champion.
Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs Stephanie McMahon and Triple H – This match was teased way back during Wrestlemania 31. However, during that segment it was The Rock and Rousey confronting Triple H and Stephanie. Fans wanted them to team up but it never happened. During Survivor Series last year, Triple H and Kurt Angle had a falling out and it was teased that they would have a match in the future but those plans fell through as well. However, with Ronda Rousey signing on to WWE was a great way to combine these two storylines and create the perfect match. Kurt Angle has proved that he still has what it takes to get inside the ring. Rousey has been training hard these past few months for her in-ring debut, which she has documented on her Instagram. Fans are eagerly waiting to see how this match will turn out.
Prediction: I’m rooting for Rousey and Angle to walk out victorious. It wouldn’t make sense for me to sign someone as huge and important as Rousey and have her lose her first match. Plus, if she is supposed to challenge Asuka next year, these kind of matches are important for her to win.
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match) – AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have wrestled against each other before. The match took place at Wrestle Kingdom 10, which is a New Japan Pro Wrestling event. I highly encourage you all to watch this match, or at least the highlights, which are available on YouTube. After their match, Styles signed with WWE and a year later Nakamura went to WWE as well. They are often categorized as some of the best wrestlers in the world and very popular amongst wrestling fans. Many thought this match would never happen, which after Nakamura won they Royal Rumble this year and challenged AJ Styles, fans rejoiced. Styles successfully defended his WWE title at Fastlane, which meant their match at Mania was official. However, Styles recently suffered an injury during a house show earlier this week but came back tonight at another house show. Hopefully his injury doesn’t get worse and he is able to compete what he calls “the phenomenal match”.
Prediction: Let’s be honest here. The real winners of this match are the fans who get to watch this. Ha-ha. I don’t really have a favorite for this match. It will be phenomenal. However, it does make sense for AJ Styles to come out on top. He needs a more lengthy reign as champion and redemption for losing to Nakamura already.
Other Rumors and Speculations For Matches
Several other big names and tag teams are schedule to have matches, or at least make experiences. For the past few weeks, Bayley and Sasha Banks have been going back and forth trying to fix their on-screen friendship. This could result in either wrestler having a heel turn and facing each other.
The Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Usos, were viciously attacked by The Bludgeon Brothers a few weeks ago during a main event. This could lead to a match at Mania for the titles. The Usos also deserve this, since for the past 7 Wrestlemanias they’ve either been sidelined or put in the pre-show matches.
On Tuesday, Twitter blew up with the news that Daniel Bryan had been medically cleared to return to action. He was forced to retire two years ago after several doctors in both the WWE and outside specialists said that his head and neck injuries would get worse if he continued to wrestle. However, he wanted to get back to the ring and it was rumored that he would return to the independent circuit once his contract with WWE was up. Like many fans, I was excited to hear about his return but was also worried, since a previous case like this had already occurred a few years ago with another superstar. I just hope he steps away from doing dives and dangerous moves. With his return, it’s likely that they’ll have him team up with Shane McMahon to face off against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, having developed a rivalry for the past few months that culminated two weeks ago when Owens and Zayn attacked Shane and Bryan.
This year’s Wrestlemania will be remember for a long time. This is one of the few times I’m actually looking forward to seeing Wrestlemania. Last time I was this excited was when I went to Wrestlemania 31 and I was very disappointed with the outcomes. Trust me, this is one Wrestlemania you won’t want to miss.