I’m sure by now you’ve seen about a million blogs, articles and podcast hosts list their WrestleMania 34 predictions. For the most part, you can usually tell how the show is going to go based on the Vegas betting odds and looking ahead at which Superstars are scheduled for work outside of the wrestling ring, etc.
I try to avoid those unless I don’t have much invested in the pay-per-view, and WrestleMania would qualify as one of those special occasions where I’m doing everything within my power to avoid any potential spoilers. So here it goes. This is my wish list of what I hope and think should happen at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.
WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)
There are a lot of different angles they can take with the first ever Women’s Battle Royal. I can think of three or four deserving women that will be in this match that should be getting a strong push in the coming months. The first wrestler that comes to mind is Becky Lynch. Not only is Becky the Queen of Puns, she was also the first ever SmackDown Women’s Champion. After her title run, she hasn’t been involved in a major storyline despite being one of the brand’s best talents. Sure she beat up James Ellsworth but I don’t know of anyone on the roster, man or woman, who couldn’t do that. I have two favorites to win the match despite my bias and love for Becky Lynch. My first guess is Sonya Deville. She has an MMA background/gimmick and would be the perfect talent to match up with Ronda Rousey while you let her get her feet set in the WWE landscape. With the anticipation of Rousey joining the WWE for many years and now it finally happening, they can’t afford to go either extreme on her. If they schedule her with a bunch of squash matches against lesser talent, she’ll get booed for being handed an easy path to stardom. If you immediately insert her into the title picture, she becomes the Roman Reigns (who I am a huge fan of, by the way) of the Women’s Division. Having Sonya win the Battle Royal will make her strong, put her in the spotlight, and be a perfect rival for Ronda Rousey as they build towards SummerSlam. My second pick/prediction is a little out there but it makes sense if you look back on how WWE operates. At last night’s NXT Takeover, Ember Moon lost her title. That’s how they typically send off their NXT talent when they know they’re being called up to the main roster. She may get thrown into the Battle Royal as a late edition. If not, I still expect we’ll see her on either Raw or SmackDown this week. With a potential roster shakeup being rumored, I could see her being put on the same brand as Asuka so they can continue to work together.
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)
Last year we got to witness Gronk come out to help his buddy Mojo Rawley win the Battle Royal, which didn’t result in much of a push. The previous winners of this match haven’t really gotten the push you’d expect and I don’t anticipate this year will be any different. I’m not sure who wins this and truth be told, I don’t really care. I’d just like to see some surprises and maybe a celebrity appearance or two. With it being on the Kickoff Show, I don’t think we’ll see any triumphant returns from people who have been rumored (Hulk Hogan comes to mind), so I hope we get a nostalgic winner like Kane rather than an “up and comer” who never receives the push they deserve after winning this match.
Cruiserweight Championship – Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (Kickoff Show)
Don’t know, don’t care. This will be a great opportunity for me to take a bathroom break and reload on pigs in a blanket and Mountain Dew (and a few Snickers, of course)
Raw Tag Team Championship – The Bar (c) vs. Braun Strowman & TBD
This match has the biggest unknowns outside of whether or not Undertaker will show up (spoiler: he will). Braun Strowman inserted himself into the Raw Tag Team Championship picture a few weeks ago despite not having a tag partner. I’m not sure why the WWE is forcing him to find a partner unless they have some grand return planned. They have been building Braun Strowman as an indestructible force that has bullied his way through the Raw roster, so it would only make sense if he showed up without a tag partner and stole the belts from The Bar. How awesome would it be with Braun Strowman walking around backstage and down the ramp with two tag team titles draped over his shoulders? If the WWE doesn’t do this, they’re missing a huge opportunity in my opinion. My prediction is they will have Big Cass (or Colin Cassady, whatever they decide to call him) show up as his partner. After that, I don’t know which angle they’ll take. It would be awesome if they had the team of Cass and Strowman win the titles and then have Strowman kicking Cass off the team and keeping the belts to himself. I could also see them having Strowman lose the match due to something Cass does as his partner. Either way, I have a feeling Big Cass will come back during this match and open a feud with Braun Strowman. Vince loves massive wrestlers, and this puts two of the biggest guys in the company against one another for the foreseeable future.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
If the Bludgeon Brothers don’t win this match, I don’t know what the WWE is doing. The only way I can see them not having the Bludgeon Brothers winning is if they decide to let the Uso’s retain and the main focus being The New Day finally splitting up. Big E is good enough to be in the championship conversation and Xavier Woods would be an asset for the Cruiserweights if they decide to try to put them back into the mix on a weekly basis. Kofi Kingston is getting a little long in the tooth, but I would like to see him get another shot at the US Championship or Intercontinental Championship. With the possible brand shakeup coming as well, they may use this as an opportunity to keep The New Day a team, but split between brands simply for merchandising purposes. People forget The New Day is one of their top earners in merchandise sales, and Vince has a football league to support…
United States Championship – Randy Orton (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev
With WrestleMania falling on Rusev Day this year, I think it’s clear what angle they will take. They let Randy Orton complete the grand slam of titles at Fastlane and I don’t think they’ll put the title back on Bobby Roode so quickly. Jinder, while an incredible heel, just spent more time than he deserved with the WWE Championship belt than he deserved so that leaves one man to walk out of WrestleMania with the United States Championship in my opinion. The Handsome One. The Bulgarian Brute. The one and only.. Rusev. Happy Rusev Day, everyone.
Intercontinental Championship – The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
This is one of the matches I’m looking forward to the most. Finn Balor was the first Universal Champion but had to give up the belt after an injury he sustained while securing the belt. The Miz is likely going away from TV for a while after the birth of his first child and I have a feeling Seth Rollins is being saved for a Shield storyline once Dean Ambrose returns from an injury that required surgery. Even though it’s not the Universal Championship like he deserves, I think Finn Balor finally gets awarded for all of his great work with the Intercontinental Championship. I’m not sure who I’d like him to feud with, but I look forward to him being a title holder nonetheless.
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
YES! YES! YES! I can’t believe this is actually happening, but Daniel Bryan’s return to in-ring action is finally taking place. Other than Rousey and other surprise returns *cough* Undertaker *cough*, this might be the most anticipated moment of the night. New Orleans was the site of WrestleMania XXX, the night that Daniel Bryan beat Triple H in order to qualify for the triple threat main event where he would beat Batista and Randy Orton to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It seems all too fitting that Daniel’s return is at the same place that possibly the biggest moment in his career took place. I don’t think this is going to be a normal match and I anticipate something is going to happen that will lead to Daniel Bryan not wanting to work with Shane McMahon anymore, allowing him to become a single competitor and full time wrestler rather than having other duties on SmackDown Live. Will that take something like Shane McMahon turning on him or ruining his moment? I’m not sure, but I have a feeling somehow Daniel Bryan has the last laugh no matter what Shane has planned, ending Kevin Owens’ career on SmackDown Live with a pin fall, just to have KO show up on Raw tomorrow night.
Raw Women’s Championship – Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax
I love Alexa Bliss as champion, and I hate to have it happen but I don’t see any way that they don’t give the title to Nia Jax tonight. They have been playing the bullying, body shaming angle for a while now and it wouldn’t fit their m.o. to have Alexa win after verbally tearing down Nia Jax on a weekly basis. I think they will have Nia Jax win the Raw Women’s Championship which will allow some flexibility for Alexa Bliss and the upcoming brand shakeup. Both women are deserving of the title, it’s just my selfish bias thinking Alexa deserves it more.
SmackDown Women’s Championship – Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka
Will this be the night that Asuka’s undefeated streak comes to an end? She has never been beat since coming to America, first in the NXT and now the WWE. The last time WrestleMania was in New Orleans, Brock Lesnar shocked the world and ended the Undertaker’s streak. I’ve gone back and forth on this match and I honestly have no idea what to expect. On one hand, I think Charlotte is their money maker and with her skill, look, and family name, it just makes sense for her to be the face of the Women’s Division and retain the title. On the other hand, do they want Asuka’s streak to end? I think they’d be better off keeping the streak going to help the momentum the women have started in the wrestling world over the past year or two. For that reason alone, I am picking Asuka to continue her undefeated streak and win the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship from Charlotte.
Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H
This match will likely end the run of Kurt Angle based on the history of previous Raw GMs. It’s pretty typical that the GMs get about a year in that role and then step aside for another former superstar to return to the WWE world. I don’t think that will play into this match’s storyline at all, unless maybe he “accidentally” hits Stephanie with the Angle Slam or does something to Triple H that causes Stephanie harm. Both are scenarios I could see happening and it’s no secret that Stephanie doesn’t mind taking a bump. She’s gone through a table and taken a spear from Roman Reigns in back to back WrestleManias, so its not crazy to think something will happen between her and Kurt Angle that leads to his dismissal on tomorrow night’s Monday Night Raw. They wouldn’t bring Ronda into a major match at WrestleMania without putting her over, so its safe to say the match will end with Rousey putting Stephanie into an armbar. Bonus prediction: this is where The Rock makes an appearance.
WWE Championship – AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the dream match that so many fans have been waiting for. Two studs with history in Japan have finally come together on the biggest stage of them all. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura have the potential to put on one of the greatest matches of all time if AJ is fully healthy despite his recent injury rumors. I don’t see them giving the title to Shinksuke, because I think they have better plans for the King of Strong Style. Remember when I predicted earlier that Finn Balor would win the Intercontinental Championship? You know who would be perfect for a rivalry surrounding the IC Title? You remember that whole brand shakeup I keep mentioning? That’s right folks, I’m calling my shot now. Shinsuke will lose this match for no other reason than to have him able to be moved to Monday Night Raw where he’ll be able to challenge Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship in Dream Match 2.0 at SummerSlam. Sign. Me. Up.
Universal Championship – Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
If you made it this far, congratulations. It’s a long, loaded card and I appreciate you reading this far into my WrestleMania Wishlist. This is where things start to get a little crazy and my prediction of what will happen goes off the rails. We’ve been teased a Cena vs. Undertaker match for a while now, and I don’t think it happens. At least not this year.
There have been only two people in the history of WrestleMania that have beaten The Deadman: Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Last year when the Undertaker was defeated by Roman Reigns it appear that it was the end of his career. He showed up to Raw 25 and cut an awkward promo that still has the wrestling world confused, but he couldn’t be bothered to show up to confront Cena for the past month-plus as Cena cut promo after promo tearing him down and calling him out. I don’t think the Undertaker wants anything to do with John Cena, and it has nothing to do with Cena’s in-ring capabilities. Undertaker wants revenge.
This is a bold prediction and I don’t know if it will happen before, during, or after the match, but I have a feeling the Undertaker will make his presence felt during this title match for a few different reasons. There are two scenarios that will play out if the match goes as planned and only Reigns and Lesnar are involved. The first option is Roman Reigns wins, gets booed because it’s the “cool thing to do” based on Reddit’s mob mentality, and fans get what they expected: Reigns the champ and Lesnar out the door and straight into the UFC. If Brock Lesnar wins clean, then the WWE has a situation on their hands that they hate, which is a talent leaving the company as Champion (see: Montreal Screwjob).
The best option for the WWE, in my opinion is to have the Undertaker show up and ruin this match for both Reigns and Lesnar, the only two men that have ever beat him at WrestleMania. This way they can have the match play out with either guy winning and it doesn’t really matter. If Lesnar wins, he doesn’t do it looking strong doing so, which will allow them to take the belt off of him at Monday Night Raw or an upcoming pay-per-view. If Roman wins, it comes with the inadvertent help of Undertaker and the Reigns victory will be overshadowed by the return of The Deadman. At some point, they will have to put the championship back on John Cena to break the record but I don’t know how they will do it.
Was Cena in on it the whole time, knowing he wouldn’t actually get to face the Undertaker at WrestleMania, but helped with the red herring that allowed Taker to show up unexpected in the title match? If so, that would be a genius angle and the WWE should hire me immediately because I thought of it first na-na-nana boo boo. If that’s the case, I would expect Cena to win his record breaking 17th championship off of whoever comes out of this match on top. This would play perfectly into SummerSlam if Reigns comes out on top. If Lesnar wins, I don’t know how or when they’d have Cena break the record since it’s not something they’d likely do at a lesser PPV. My final prediction on this match is Roman Reigns wins with some interference involving Cena and the Undertaker.
I’d like to thank everyone for checking out my WrestleMania 34 Wish List. If you have any thoughts, ideas or theories you’d like to share, you can find me on Twitter (@BennyMacBlog) and in the comments below. Happy WrestleMania and Rusev Day, everyone.Follow @BennyMacBlog