WWE WRESTLEMANIA 34 [Preview]: When it ‘Reigns’, it…
…pours. Well folks, here we are, 3-years in the making and we finally have Brock v. Roman in the main event of WrestleMania. Yeah, yeah, I know that we already had it, but Seth kind of ruined that one with his Money In the Bank cash-in. So we won’t count that one, sort of how the WWE has made zero mention of that match whatsoever in the build up to this one. And what a build up it’s been! Week after week, we’ve seen Roman whining and crying about the treatment that Lesnar gets and how he’s just a part time guy and how Roman should have the title because, you know, he’s THE guy. And of course, Brock has gotten the better of him at every turn. Roman Reigns has been beaten, battered and bruised throughout this build by the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal champion, the human wrecking machine, the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
PREDICTION: Roman has come a long way on the microphone, even though most of what he’s been spewing has been written for him. We’ll let that slide since Brock has manhandled Reigns week after week, beating him down in handcuffs, and an F5 on the steel steps for good measure. Unfortunately in the land of Vince’s WWE, we all know that that means… Roman kicks out of the F5 and after five or six Superman Punches, spears “The Beast Incarnate” right back to the UFC and walks out of New Orleans your new Universal Champion. Hope you’re excited for RAW.
The main event we deserve, and should in many people’s opinions go on last if WWE doesn’t want a chorus of boos closing out this years WrestleMania. This is the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 rematch just over 2-years in the making, which garnered 4.75 stars from Uncle Dave. And with months of teasing this bout there is no doubt that AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura will be a high octane match that pulls out moves beyond the usual WWE watered down standard. But hey, if AJ can have great matches with Cena…
PREDICTION: Hopefully they are given the 25+ minutes to tell an amazing story for this one. And although last time Nakamura claimed victory, successfully defending his IWGP Intercontinental Championship, I can’t help but feel that this time he will do the same.
“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey finally makes her presence felt in the WWE ring, by interjecting herself into a match at Mania. Yay? I knew something was wrong the second I saw her point at the sign fifty times. And then the way she belly-to-bellied Trips into the table on RAW looked very amateur, which has me worried about how she’ll look when the actual match starts. But, regardless of all the horrible build-up, HHH and Kurt Angle in the ring again should prove to be fun enough.
PREDICTION: I’m sure Ronda is working tirelessly to become more of a performer, and the gang should put on a decent 2.5 Bible-worthy match. I see Kurt getting the pin over H. The only way The Authority gets the win, is if someone interrupts and becomes Rousey’s rival for the long haul.
News broke on March 21st that Daniel Bryan had been cleared to wrestle again after almost 3-years of being told he would never wrestle again. That evening, he fired Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for their actions against Shane O’ Mac the previous week. Infuriated by DB, SamiKO beat the Smackdown GM down within an inch of his life. The following week Daniel came out and announced this match and stipulation. Owens and Zayn have been quiet since this announcement — aside from reverting back to their “bingo hall” monikers on Twitter, Kevin Steen and El Generico.
PREDICTION: With Shane having “injuries”/injuries(?), nobody knows what’s truly going to happen by the time Mania arrives on Sunday. And I hope Daniel gets to put on a show that gives the fans what they have been missing for years. Otherwise, something big is on the horizon; either a debut, heel turn, face turn — something that gets Kevin and Sami their jobs back.
It’s a shame that the WWE couldn’t build up towards a single pay-per-view match between Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte or Becky Lynch the way they’ve built towards this Jax/Bliss match. The story of former best friends building towards a confrontation has been handled well. On the one hand, I know WWE; this company has done a piss-poor job of giving anyone with heat their WrestleMania moment.
PREDICTION: On the other hand, this is WWE and they love anyone who is tall. Nia Jax is tall, so she’ll probably win this.. but I’m only about 55/45 sure.
This match is honestly not one I am looking forward to. Rusev is the hottest thing in the company outside of Daniel Bryan or Cena and even dwarfs Lesnar’s crowd response lately and he deserves a singles match. Despite being the current champ, Randy Orton just doesn’t interest me in the least in a feud for a belt he’s so beyond. Bobby Roode didn’t set the world on fire as U.S. champ, or as a babyface in general. The Jinder Mahal experiment was the furthest thing from a success.
PREDICTION: The only way this match will be worthwhile is for it to truly be Rusev Day.
Cena rolls down to the grandest of all stages WrestleMania, you know, rappin’ “I’m the the Hustle that has the Muscle.. U can’t C-me”… And.. *DONG* the bells toll. Taker appears in the mist of shadows of the WWE Universe, strolls to the stage and offers a pointed finger challenge. Throat-Slash, Benoit-style. Choke slam to the mat. 1.. 2.. 3/4. Kickout. As The Undertaker — not the American Bad Ass Biker Because Kid Rock Is There Performing Taker, mind you — rolls over Cena, lifts for the Tombstone, which is then reversed to an AA(!!) and covers for the pin. 1.. 2.. 7/8 to the shoulder up. Both crawl up to a “Mania Moment” standstill of Superman vs. DEADMAN. Face-off…
PREDICTION: Both The Undertaker and John Cena grapple for a strong style shoot-out, and the inevitable happens IF YOU SMELLLLLL… what The Rock is Cookin’! Rock Bottom to Taker. “The Great One” once again overshadows Cena’s U can’t C me for the Mania moment of the year!
Granted, women’s matches haven’t been the best on WWE TV lately — although Asuka does have her share of funyons this year with both Sasha and Bayley. While things are a little harder on the SmackDown side of things for current babyface champ, Charlotte, she’s had a couple of rocks with Natalya that should keep her sharp. I also don’t think the daughter of the “Nature Boy” wants to let her pops down in what has the potential to be the best SD Live match at Mania (not involving AJ Styles). I just hope that, with 14 fuckin’ matches, they give the Queen and Empress the time that in-ring royalty deserves.
PREDICTION: This one’s all about streaks. Asuka has that winning streak that should probably just end so we don’t have to hear Michael Cole repeatedly mention it in every mixed tag match the RAW superstar is involved in. Which brings up another good point. If Asuka is a “RAW” superstar — and wins the title — does she automatically become “superstar shook up” onto the Tuesday night brand? Either way, I don’t see both AJ and Charlotte losing, with Reigns and Nia clear winners on the RAW side of things. And since Shinsuke won the Rumble (and I see AJ moving to Mondays), I think things remain the same in the Queen City. WHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
There are a lot of factors in the IC Championship match at this year’s Wrestlemania: 1.) The fact that no one has successfully retained the title at Mania since Chris Jericho back in 2001, 2.) How strong Seth Rollins has been since his fucking amazing gauntlet match performance on RAW a few weeks ago (that doesn’t bode well for The Miz), 3. Finn Balor‘s recent run since reconnecting with The Club has also been pretty solid, and yet is also starting to feel leveled off. He’ll put on an incredible match but I don’t see the popularity of the Balor Club being enough to give him the win at his first WrestleMania — not against a man who has always left the event with a belt and a Champion who’s damn close to setting a new title reign record.
PREDICTION: There’s one way I see Rollins not winning to allow The Miz more time and that brings me to my bat shit crazy prediction for the finish… This feud still has more to give. And so to keep it going, I’m hoping there will be outside interference by a returning Samoa Joe or a surprise debut/call-up resulting in the Miz retaining. Either way, this will likely be one of the top 2 matches of the night.
Well, The Usos‘ revamp has worn thin (on me, at least). They’ve held the titles for long enough, and not only that, but it doesn’t help that when you really look at them, they still have the same moves from their color vomit days. Yet worse of all? Their recent trend of repeating “LOCKDOWN” at least 5 times per promo. Enter the Bludgeon Brothers and the rightful champs: The New Day. The former Wyatt Family BB’s will destroy both teams early on -again- forcing the Usos and New Day to band together. They’ll then proceed to put on yet another amazing showing against each other while Harper & Rowan take a break/recover.
PREDICTION: At the end, the pace will get hectic with the New Day coming out on top and pinning the Usos, setting up a rivalry against the Brothers of Bludgeoning for the next SD PPV. Or they’ll give the Usos a pity win because of the whole “first WM” thing. We’ll see.
We already found out who Braun’s tag team partner is! And personally I can’t wait to see the gigantic Brothers take on the Bar. OK, joke aside, I wish it was still just BRAUN vs. W’ARR DA BARR!!! for the Tag titles. As of late, WWE seems obsessed with the word “historic”, so a monster like Strowman winning the titles by himself at the biggest show of the year sounds pretty damn historic to me. A missed opportunity, but there are two scenarios: 1.) A joke partner that Stro can boss around. I usually detest when the titles go to joke tag teams (hi, Santino and Kozlov); aside from Kane and Bryan, joke teams are just insulting, gimmicky, and/or stupid (and hello to you, 2Cool). Braun can so believably take on more than one opponent that he could actually make this set-up work. Not only that, he has the personality and mic abilities to pull off comedy. 2.) Braun in a “Brothers of Destruction” team.. No, not Brain Strowman, dammit. This will be overkill. With how Braun has been portrayed–and how over he is–does he need another guy that isn’t at his level as a powerhouse, or nearly as over?
PREDICTION: Without knowing his partner, there’s one thing I know for sure: at some point, Braun‘s leg or shoulder will be targeted.. HARD, allowing for the Bar to show off, demonstrate why they’ve been the champs for so long and that they won’t go quietly into the night. But go they will.. and we’ll see new tag champs crowned at Wrestlemania. Well, belted.
Out of the 2500 hours of wrestling, this is the match I’ve been hyped for the most. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to watch RAW or Smackdown (calm down, I fast-forward through the Hulu edit), but I always watch 205 Live. Ever since Vince stepped back and [redacted] was unceremoniously fired, it’s been arguably the best WWE show (now if only the dead AF crowds would recognize that) and Cedric and Mustafa are two of the most talented guys in the company. It hurts so much knowing that the Heart vs. Soul match will probably be relegated to the preshow because it’s going to be fire and no less than 4.25 Bibles.
PREDICTION: Cedric is the obviously choice as he should’ve been holding the Prince Memorial Championship forever ago. But I’m going with Mustafa Ali here—his character has been built up more, he’s been doing great promo work and killing it on the tweets. I love Cedric, but his mic skills aren’t there yet and he doesn’t have Veda Scott to be his voice anymore. That said, I’ll be happy with whoever wins. At least until they get attacked by a returning Neville.
On “The biggest stage in all of sports entertainment in the world”, WWE’s WrestleMania 34 from New Orleans, LA, we have more multi-person matches than a New Japan show, and as of this writing– 14, ahem, FOURTEEN matches on this card. Two of those matches? Battle Royale’s with cheese. One for the Men, and one for THE WOMEN’S REVOLUTION!
The Andre Battle Royale is a pre-show filler match filled with the guys who had no “Road to Wrestlemania”… In fact, John Cena should of just entered this match instead of losing match after match, on both brands and then wasting our time with terrible promos calling out the Undertaker. So what’s the point of this match? The Revival? Dumped here. Slater & Rhino? Dumped here. Mojo, Corbin, (both past winners)? Here with no fanfare. Rusev just escaped this match. Matt Flippin’ Hardy, fresh off main eventing RAW, is stuck in this match. I’m sure there will be a one-time call up from NXT, maybe a legend, a celebrity too. It’s a seatfiller match.
PREDICTION: The Winner ? Uh… What happened? I was refilling my drink…
As for THE WOMEN’s REVOLUTION… you know, the first-ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal, we have all the women (minus the 4 who are actually on the card, plus the new shiny toy in the box Ronda Louse–ahem– Rousey) as well as a handful of women from NXT and maybe elsewhere to help fill that ring. Sasha Banks, Bayley, Naomi & Becky Lynch also dumped into this match. I choose to ignore the controversy surrounding the naming of this match, only to not to take away the already diminshed focus and attention this match is going to have to begin with.
PREDICTION: The winner? Uh, Bayley? Dakota Kai? Lars Sullivan in a wig? I don’t know… I was, again, refilling my drink. Viva The Revolution!