Jay's Ways - WWE WrestleMania XXXIV Preview Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/07/2018 at 10:46 PM
“I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.
That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemania was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.
Thank you for the great stuff.”
- Jay's Ways reader
WWE WrestleMania XXXIV Preview
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
For those keeping score, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal winners include Cesaro, Big Show, Baron Corbin, and Mojo Rawley. For those keeping score, none of those four did much after the victory. For those keeping score, WWE has (again) given not many flips about this match despite a ridiculous rumor earlier in the year about a certain "big name" entering. Usual guessing equals news brilliance there. As an official prediction, I will go with Baron Corbin. He can brag about being the first ever two time winner and gain some kind of momentum again after his failed Money in the Bank cash in last year and United States Championship loss. As a REAL prediction though, somebody like Samoa Joe or even Jeff Hardy works for me. Get the Kickoff Show buzzing early...
WINNER: Baron Corbin or surprise entrant
WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal
Regardless of what the battle royal is called, I am just reminded of the cluster from WrestleMania 25. Obviously a different era with different talent but still. The Women's Royal Rumble from January was awesome. However, I do not have the same high hopes come Sunday. Three names come to mind as potential winners. Becky Lynch from Smackdown LIVE, Bayley from Raw, and her friend/enemy Sasha Banks. There is always the chance of a shocking participant...eliminating that possibility I am expecting Sasha and Bayley to implode at some point. Plus, I want to see a TON of focus on Becky Lynch. It is high time she actually does something noteworthy. To have those three fight again will be fun to see. Despite my better judgment, I will go with Sasha using dirty tactics to best Bayley and win the battle royal. Those two deserved a one on one spotlight, so them as the final two is the next best thing.
WINNER: Sasha Banks
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali
A few confessions from yours truly. First, I have only seen two episodes of 205 Live since the show started. I just don't have the time or interest. Even with this reboot. Secondly, since the beginning of the tournament, I had Cedric Alexander pegged as the ultimate victor. Made the most sense for the brand, and he is very talented. Thirdly, I am 100% okay with this being on the Kickoff Show and thought it would land there from the onset. Anybody thinking otherwise hasn't been paying attention. With all of that being said, Mustafa Ali's promos have made me a believer. I am changing my two month pick a few days before the event. Ali has the story behind him, and it would be such a cool moment. With seven hours, I hope these two get plenty of time. I was live in Orlando last year for Neville vs. Austin Aries and am well aware of the cruiserweights' potential.
WINNER: Mustafa Ali
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers
Honestly don't really care. The Usos should get their WrestleMania spotlight...but The Bludgeon Brothers shouldn't be defeated. That is where The New Day can actually be useful. Take the pinfall loss. That isn't just paranoia...
WINNER: The Usos
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bar vs. Braun Strowman & A Partner TBD
Originally, I thought Samoa Joe would be the ideal tag team partner for Braun Strowman. They can win the belts or instantly turn on each other. Either scenario is fine. Then I took that back. No longer think it is Joe. Nor do I put any stock into Curt Hawkins or Elias. Waste of time and no intrigue. Then I thought "Oh no! It is going to be James Ellsworth, is it???" Braun has been showing a more comedic side as of late. Even that may be too much though. Please no. Then I thought Bobby Lashley to form some kind of power duo. That feels like a RAW after WM Moment though. THEN I thought it just might be Bray Wyatt under a kinda/sorta new persona after his "deletion." Really though, that would be underwhelming and fall flat. Then I thought it didn't matter. The Bar were just going to retain anyways. This is just a spot for Braun to get on the show, do a couple of huge moves and then set up his Smackdown LIVE move in a few weeks to be a top star for the blue brand. Then I though...alright, enough of that. You know who I think the tag partner is going to be? Somebody completely out of left field. A Rob Van Dam or a Rey Mysterio - something like that. WWE has something up their sleeve here. It won't just be Kane or Big Show. There is something happening here...
WINNER: Braun Strowman (maybe via DQ)
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax
There are a lot of unpredictable matches on this card. I am fully expecting to be wrong on a bunch of bouts come Sunday, and that is fine. I love the fact that the biggest event of the year is difficult to predict. This is one where I feel very confident though. Alexa Bliss is losing and losing handily. I am not going to say it lasts less than a minute like I did for Sheamus/Daniel Bryan in 2012, but it may be close. Nia Jax will squash her like a bug and become the new RAW Women's Champion. Here is where the twist occurs though. Even though Carmells holds the SMACKDOWN LIVE MITB briefcase, I say she cashes in afterwards. Why not? Keep her far away from Asuka/Charlotte. Seriously, I do not even want a tease of her getting involved with that show stealer. Ship her over to the red brand and create a little chaos. If not here, the Superstar Shakeup?
WINNER: Alexa Bliss loses
Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens (If Owens & Zayn win, they’re back on Smackdown)
I'm actually fairly intrigued by the idea of Shane McMahon turning on Daniel Bryan and making his life a live h e double hockey sticks on the blue brand for the summer. Another blah McMahon vs. Face feud, but it is Bryan. Fans love that kind of thing, as we saw from 2013 and 2014, it will be amazing. That is the shocking outcome. The easy and simple outcome is Bryan and Shane are on the same page and send Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn packing back to Raw. That is what I will predict but am open to anything. I'm not THAT caught up in the "Bryan must win his comeback!" sentiment. Remember there is no offseason. The story does not just end at Mania. It always keeps going. New Orleans will treat this like YestleMania II!!! I'm ready.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka
Asuka will win. I have to keep telling myself that because that has to be the endgame here. She was dominant in NXT and has been dominant on Raw. I love the fact that she is facing Charlotte. That is the best possible match for the division and could easily not be out of place in the main event. My expectations for this dream match are sky high, maybe even more than AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. Anything less than an all-time great will be disappointing. Charlotte is as good as anybody to end Asuka's streak and would make sense to keep the titles on the correct brands...but no, Asuka is the pick. We can figure out the titles and brands afterward. Asuka and Charlotte have a classic with the streak continuing. She will have to lose at some point but not yet. Won the NXT Women's Title WM32 Weekend, wins the SD Live Women's Title at WM34.
WWE United States Championship Match: Champion Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev
Jinder Mahal isn't winning. Unless it comes with a heel turn, Bobby Roode isn't winning. Rusev being added late to be the eventual winners is an interesting thought but wishful thinking. My money is on Randy Orton, He had to deal with quite a lot of garbage for the past 12 months. It is hard to even remember he won the Royal Rumble in 2017 and captured the WWE Championship 12 months ago. Mr. RKO has probably earned this victory. Let Roode get super frustrated and snap in the coming weeks. Jinder feels like a RAW guy soon, and Rusev was only put in this thing to shut up the fans and HOPEFULLY prevent an annoying chant taking over the entire freakin' weekend.
WINNER: Randy Orton
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Champion The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor
Three predictions. First, I want to see The Demon at WrestleMania. That gimmick should only be used in special cases. This definitely applies. Second, I believe two of these men may be headed to Smackdown LIVE in the upcoming Superstar Shakeup. Miz should have never left the blue brand last year and with Bryan now back in the ring, it only makes sense for him to head back. Then you can move Rollins OR Balor to be at the top of the card as a good guy. That means losing the IC Championship for Miz though, sadly. Thirdly, I hope we get some kind of classic triple threat. Something that will stand the test of time and treat the championship with respect. Who wins in the end? Not a clue. I am actually pulling for The Miz but fully suspect a loss...we'll see.
WINNER: The Miz
WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Speaking of classics! This card is so stacked it is unbelievable how many potential show stealers there are or how many matches could go on last. Styles vs. Nakamura for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 34 is something I predicted last April, so clearly I'm happy this is a reality. Nakamura won the Rumble. Styles has the gold. While my gut tells me Styles will retain and retain, the other part of me knows history. History is that Nakamura debuted WM Weekend in 2016, was called up post WM Weekend in 2017 and is not destined to be WWE Champion WM Weekend in 2018. That is long-term planning and something not done by coincidence. The company is well aware of his talent and what he means to the bottom line. Forget about the few losses on his record. Seriously. The dude lost a few times in 2017, and the world was something coming to an end or something. Good grief. It is embarrassing what the supposed "smart" fans are like sometimes. Styles can lose here, rest up for a few weeks and be back for a rematch next month. How the Superstar Shakeup alters his future is anybody's guess. Until then, we will have a new WWE Championship in New Orleans on April 8th, 2018. Knee. To. Face.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura
John Cena vs. Undertaker
I am not even sure this match is officially happening. They could easily pull a King of the Ring 2001 scenario where just a confrontation is advertised, not a match. WWE has NEVER promoted John Cena vs. The Undertaker for Mania. Never. Even in all the promotional material and leaked stuff, there is nothing listed. I think what we will get is John Cena sitting ringside having a blast for the first two hours or so. Maybe an interview or something...then the GONG SOUNDS! He immediately hops in the ring, and the showdown is on. Whether the bells rings or not? Eh, I mean we could get another year long build story line for WrestleMania 35. This bout certainly would be worthy of it. My gut instinct is we get the match on Sunday though. Very strange way to build the feud - looks to have worked to WWE's credit. Fans are 100% invested in what happens. Will it actually take place? Do we get a staredown? Will WWE announce it beforehand? What Undertaker are we getting? Does Cena really just go as a fan? Lots of questions. I give kudos to the company for thinking outside of the box. The Mania show is already loaded with star power; they can afford to take a risk here and be fine. As for the winner, logic and common sense tells you Cena will beat Taker. He is younger, has the big Hollywood crossover appeal in 2018 and is surely going to be around more in the future. CLEARLY Cena will be victorious after weeks of calling out The DeadMan, right? Screw it. I'm going with The Undertaker. One last ride.
WINNER: The Undertaker
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
This is it. I have written multiple columns about Ronda Rousey (on other websites) in the past month. Everything has led to New Orleans, where make no mistake folks - SHE is selling this pay-per-view event to the world. Ultimately, I do NOT believe this tag team 'special attraction' bout closes the show, but it would not shock me if it did. I also wouldn't argue against that decision either way. Kurt Angle and Triple H are background players in this entire scenario. A bit surprising but the right call in the end. Stephanie McMahon is the perfect heel for fans to root against and wanting to see her arm broken in half is the exact payoff WrestleMania delivers. HHH returning to the ring after a few months is cool and all, as is Kurt Angle back in a WM bout. Those are nice stories in and of itself, which makes Ronda Rousey that much bigger of a deal. I am not expecting a mat technical classic nor should anybody else. We know what this spectacle is, so take it as that and enjoy the ride. Don't wait for the bell to ring and demand flawless wrestling. Sorry, you have the rest of the card for that. This is welcoming Rousey to WWE and FINALLY seeing Steph get her comeuppances. Let's get rowdy!
WINNER: Ronda Rousey tears off Stephanie McMahon's arm, shoves it down her throat as she screams for her husband Triple H tapping out to Kurt Angle
WWE Universal Championship Match: Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Brock Lesnar, staying or going, is losing on Sunday night. Roman Reigns, for all intents and purposes is already The Big Dog in the entire business. However, that will be re-established at WrestleMania. The man has actually never held the Universal Title and is due for a long championship reign on top - something he has never had. Like 2015, this will be hard hitting and much deserving of the main event spotlight. Lesnar will likely bleed within the first few minutes, Reigns will take a beating, plenty of F-5 moves will be hit, and Spears will be aplenty! In the end though, Roman will reign. That is the story being told here and is the right way to send The Beast packing for awhile. He may be back (Paul Heyman too) but for now, a split from WWE will do everybody some good. Biggest event of the year folks! Doesn't get much better than this...