IT’S TIME! WELCOME TO, WRESTLEMANIA 34(thread)!!!*
*with NXT Takeover: New Orleans and Hall of Fame (and ROH SuperCard) chat allowed
Now that the weekly TV is out the way, here’s the thread for the biggest weekend of wrestling of the year.
If you’re a newbie looking for a quick friendly guide (other than my thread obviously) then check out How2Wrestling’s Wrestlemania 34 Primer, it’s a good catchup of what’s going on and what to expect:
Here’s the rough schedule:
WRESTLEMANIA 34 PRE-SHOW! (Sunday, 10 pm UK time)
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Big ol’ hoss fight innit. Confirmed participants:
Dash Wilder, Scott Dawson, Baron “big banter breakfast” Corbin, Mojo Rawley, Tye Dillinger, Matt Hardy, Dolph Ziggler (lol), Fandango, Tyler Breeze, Goldust, Heath Slater, Rhyno, Zack Ryder and apparently still employed by WWE, Primo Colon.
Prediction: None of those names are particularly inspiring, they teased at Matt Hardy winning it at the weekend, but I wonder if they’re gonna bring big NXT boy Lars Sullivan up for it, or a returning Big Show perhaps? If Samoa Joe is fit then great, buuuut this is a bit of a jobber award so maybe don’t want it on him? Fuck it, no one will watch it anyway
Women’s Battle Royal
After making history (™) at this year’s Royal Rumble, the women are back for… a battle royal! Thank fuck they listened and dropped “Fabulous Moolah” out of the name anyway. Participants (so far):
Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Liv Morgan, Naomi, Natalya, Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan, Bayley, Lana, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Mickie James, Carmella
Prediction: This is mostly just a vehicle in the continuing Sasha/Bayley feud, which I’m kinda surprised wasn’t deemed worthy of a singles match (oh wait that’s right neither of them are that over from shite booking). This has more potential than the men’s to be fair, a lot of potential winners here… could also see Kairi Sane making another appearance seeing as she doesn’t have an NXT match, might even win it!
Cruiserweight Classic Final and Championship match
Cedric Alexander vs Mustafa Ali
This tournament has looked pretty great in the bits and pieces I’ve seen and as a result, 205Live apparently is worth watching… buuut it’s still far more content than I can handle, and it’s proved by being on the main event. Still, both these guys are pretty great and it’s kinda cool it will be a p.o.c/face champion whatever happens.
Prediction: Cedric Alexander
MAIN CARD: (Midnight UK Time)
WWE Universal Championship Match
Brock Lesnar © vs Roman Reigns
I don’t think this will actually be half bad (if I’m still awake for it). They had a decent match at 31 until of course Seth Rollins came and made it infinitely better. Hayman (who I assume has been writing this storyline) has done a good job of building this one up, to the point that people were finally booing Lesnar and cheering Reigns by the end of RAW. Unlikely this will be completely replicated at Mania, but there’s at least a chance that Reigns won’t be completely booed out the building
Prediction: Lesnar apparently can’t go to UFC immediately due to needing to serve his previous failed drug test but let’s be honest, there’s only one possible outcome here and it’s the BIG DAWG standing tall at the end of the 3rd Wrestlemania in a row
WWE Championship Match
AJ Styles © vs Shinsuke Nakamura
Here’s the real main event for us smarks, amirite? No, but, I’d be very, very surprised if this isn’t the match of the night. Their match at Wrestle Kingdom 10 three years ago was absolutely amazing, and while it won’t quite be as “strong style” it should be a very impressive affair, to say the least from the company’s best two current athletes.
Prediction: Actually kind of hard to call because the build for this has been so bad. The momentum is certainly with Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke (a.k.a @bugduv), but like Asuka, are they really going to crown two Japanese champions of major titles in one night? Quite a big deal if they pull the trigger with it. I’m expecting a heel turn from AJ after this by the way.
Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz © vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor
This should be good fun, Seth and Finn had a pretty amazing match on Raw the other night…just to prove they can? Meanwhile Miz is at peak popularity given the birth of his first child last week and just generally being a great heel. Can see the booking from a mile-off, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good fun.
Prediction: You know… I could see Miz retaining given he’s so over just now and he’s very close to breaking the cumulative record (about 25 days). Then again, if he wins it back once more he’ll equal Jericho, and obviously two more to break the record so either way Miz is on pace to become legit the “greatest IC champ of all time”. I’m pretty sure Seth and Finn will cancel each other out and Miz will pick up the scraps, but both have had good showings lately, so who knows.
US Title Fatal Four-Way
Randy Orton © (lol) vs Bobby ROOOOOOOOOODE vs Jinder Mahal vs Rusev
Happy Rusev Day everyone! I was pretty certain they were gonna put the belt on Jinder so he can be foreign heel US champion, but Rusev being added has given me some hope that not only might he win, but it will at least be marginally more watchable.
Prediction: That said, still probably a bit of a nothing match, literally only there for Roode’s entrance and Rusev being a king boy, otherwise, they’ll probably keep it on Randy or give it to Jinder. Don’t care.
Smackdown Women’s Title
Charlotte Flair © vs Asuka
This has the potential to steal the show, rather like the triple threat from (an admittedly pretty terrible Mania) 2 years ago. Charlotte just keeps getting better, it’s quite incredible to watch. This booking makes total sense because Asuka is kayfabe the only other woman even close to Charlotte right now and these two should be allowed to go at it in an all-out war. It’s also “title vs streak” which is what they should have done last year with Charlotte, but whatever.
Prediction: I mean, it has to be Asuka right? Charlotte’s been champion for a while now but I think they’ll want to book Asuka like Lesnar (except she actually turns up, lol)/continue her NXT run. I think she keeps the belt for a full year, and is finally dethroned at next Mania… probably by Charlotte as things stand.
Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss © vs Nia Jax
Oof, this build, however… awkward! I’m ok with the story they are telling largely because I know Bliss and Jax are real life best pals, but it’s been pretty tough to watch in places. There’s definitely a positive message/story in there involving Jax overcoming bullying and fat-shaming but this hasn’t quite been it.
Prediction: I mean, imagine if after all that Jax doesn’t win! I think she probably has to, but Bliss is just so good at what she does I don’t think she’ll be away from the title long.
Raw Tag Team Title Match
The BAR Cesaro & Sheamo © vs Braun Strowman and ???
A lot of intrigue over how they’re going to book this from, will it just be Braun? will he have Elias on his side? will he have some jobber (like Curt Hawkins?) will he have a returning star like Rey Mysterio? Who knows, and they seem to have done well to keep it under wraps (careful with spoilers lads) BUT whatever, it’s a match involving Braun and the boys, all of whom are great, so this should be a big dumb fun match.
Prediction: BRAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN! Personally I think it will be Elias but who knows
Smackdown Tag Team Titles Triple Threat!
The Usos © vs The New Day vs The Bludgeon Brothers (LOL)
The Bludgeon Brothers. sigh. Wrestling eh? Let’s just ignore that they are there (hopefully by proxy of the triple threat tag rules) and pay attention to the feud of the year between The Usos and The New Day, which hilariously after a half-hearted attempt to let some other teams in, has just returned to these two great teams. New Day are wearing Black Panther inspired gear btw.
Prediction: Probably New Day? Depends on how serious they really are on putting the titles on (lol) The Bludgeon Brothers. The Usos have been amazing but probably time to switch the titles now for le pop.
Complete fantasy tag-team nonsense match #1
Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
NON-WRESTLING FANS, OVER HERE! WE GOT A LEGIT FIGHTING CELEBRITY, LOOK!
So Ronda can’t act or sell for shit, but hopefully she won’t have to do much of that, as her and Angle kick the shit out of Tri and Steph. Annual Wrestlemania tongue in cheek bollocks but also gaining attention match. It will be fine for what it is, or a total disaster! Let’s watch.
Prediction: Put the Big Man’s house on Angle & Rousey here.
Complete fantasy tag-team nonsense match #2
Daniel Bryan (YES!) & Shane McMahon (eh) vs Kevin Owens (Yep!) & Sami Zayn (Yep!)
The build to this has been horrendous, but fuck it. DANIEL BRYAN IS COMPETING IN AN ACTUAL WWE MATCH AGAIN. Shane who has been “cleared” from his weird injury/illness will most likely just wait for his big spot (and maybe kill himself in the process?) and that’s just fine, because Bryan (who presumably need to wear off the ring rust a little) will work great with Owens and Zayn, two guys he’s worked with most of his career. This should be fun mostly just for the sheer excitement of seeing Bryan live in action again.
Prediction: The stipulation here is if Owens and Zayn win, they are re-hired to Smackdown. It’s difficult to read too much into this, because they can show up on Raw the night after if they lose, but I feel there might be a surprise here as a result of Shane doing something stupid and costing them the match. Bryan will get his heat back by kicking Shane afterwards or something.
Ok and that’s your card!
…BUT WAIT SEVERED, WHAT OF “LARGE EVENT” JOHN CENA?
Well, we’ll just see won’t we.