The X-Factor: WrestleMania 34 preview Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 04/08/2018 at 04:00 AM
ďTime. No beginning, no end. An infinite procession that humbles our mortality. But there are moments in life that transcend our fate, memories crafted by gods among men that defy time to forget them. These are the moments that echo through the ages, always heard, never to grow old. Born of will, christened with blood, they are testament to the strong, the mighty, the eminent, deities who defy their own mortality to forge an indelible imprint in the annals of time. Like the mythic gods of ancient Greece, they may thrill us, inspire us, at times makes us angry, but they will never let us forget them. Tonight, is their night, their battle, their moment of ultimate sacrifice. For this is their theater, their altar, their chance for divinity. Welcome to WrestleMania, the showcase of the immortals.Ē
Those were Freddie Blassieís words in the opening video for WrestleMania XV. Thatís why, every year when I watch ĎMania matches in the two months before the event, I start with it.
Here we are again.
Itís returned to the Silverdome. Oh sorry, I meant Superdome. Itís the building where the Streak died, where the YES movement triumphed, etc.
We got a stacked card, so letís get into it, shall we?
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal With ďWokenĒ Matt in this one, thereís also that chance a renewed Bray Wyatt will return. Of course, thatís what the next Raw is for.
Given just how in the spotlight heís been, Iím inclined to pick Elias. Thereís another match he could be penciled in for, but weíll see.
Winner: Matt Hardy
2nd pick: Elias
3rd pick: Goldust
WrestleMania Womenís Battle Royal The second ďget everyone on the cardĒ match.
Now, it does suck that Sasha and Bayley arenít getting their singles match in New Orleans, but letís say they did. With 13 matches officially made Ė with a potential 14th Ė thereís no way it could shine.
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali Itís hard for me to care. I just canít.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Raw Tag Team Championships
Braun Strowman and TBA vs. The Bar (C) How much more does Sheamus even have? Can he actually keep wrestling? He has spinal stenosis.
People can say that Strowman doesnít need gold, but theyíve also been begging for him to take the red belt from Brock Lesnar. Right.
It would be poetic for Elias to be Braunís partner. The Bar started out as enemies and became the greatest thing on Rawís tag team scene. Not like heís got anything better to do unless The Rock shows up.
Samoa Joe has never had a ĎMania match. I would give him the spot. Otherwise, you think theyíll really ask James Ellsworth to do it?
Winners: Braun Strowman and Mystery partner (?)
SD Tag Team Championships
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day vs. The Usos (C) Unbelievable that it took 8 years for the Usos to make it to the main card.
As entertaining as Woods, Kingston and Big E are, they donít need the belts. Perhaps Jimmy and Jey should retain.
Winners: The Usos
Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz (C) One of them pulled off the greatest MITB cash-in of all time. The other is the first Universal Champion. The third restored prestige to the title not seen in years.
Heís a new dad, so would anyone actually bet on him to win?
With Miz playing the heel to perfection, expect him and the Miztourage to stack the deck against Rollins and Balor until the ref finally gets rid of them, if he can. A Triple Threat means anything goes.
Thing is, while Rollins and Balor should both win, itís an issue of whether they should. Mike Mizanin is within an eyelash of beating Pedro Morales for most days with the title. Tough call.
Winner: The Miz
United States Championship
Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev vs. Bobby Roode vs. Randy Orton (C) They only added Rusev because he was ready to quit. Would they take it a step further and have him actually leave the Superdome with the title he lost to John Cena three years ago?
The favorite is currently Mahal, but Iím gonna go ahead and take a hell of a chance on this one.
Raw Womenís Championship
Nia Jax vs. Alexa Bliss (C) Not gonna lie. This match should be on the pre-show. I have nothing against either woman but the womenís battle royal Ė being the first Ė should be on the main card.
Iím thinking that Nia gets the feel good win on this one.
Winner: Nia Jax
SD Womenís Championship
Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair (C) Would they actually dare to end Asukaís undefeated streak? The bigger question is this: would they dare piss off the fans even worse by having Carmella cash-in and win it?
Eventually you have to lose. Itís how you do it that matters above all. This match could potentially steal the whole damn show. Triple H is high on womenís wrestling but you know Vince. Heís never cared about what the fans want, not normally anyway.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn The match that spiked ticket sales.
Shane was nominally the babyface, but his actions told a different story. While Owens and Zayn acted like the villains many times, you could see just how unfair the situation was. It was similar to Danielís conflict with the Authority so he was living vicariously through the best friends. When Shane decided he was done for now, Owens and Zayn re-established themselves as the true-blue assholes by beating Shane-O-Mac.
Their careers are on the line, so you know whatís coming. Thereís no way Bryan is turning heel. Come on. The fans would reject that outright, and when WWE does something with him his fans donít like, theyíll hear about it.
Winners: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon Itís been a dream for Ronda to be in a WWE ring, but it could very well turn into a nightmare. I donít just mean her being untested. Sheís debuting at WrestleMania. Imagine living up to that kind of pressure. Iím also worried about the men of course. They're both nearly 50 years old.
It would be the biggest dick move if the Authority won this. Worse yet, if Ronda actually turned and joined them. I do not want the Authority back. EVER!! Itís just rumors, but let it stop there.
My dream scenario would be this: Stephanie approached Owens & Zayn and heaps praise on them for beating up her brother. This gets Vince angry at her and throws in a stipulation into the match that spells bad news for the power couple.
Please, PLEASE give us ďRowdyĒ Ronda putting Stephanie in the armbar. I donít care what hold it is as long as she taps.
Winners: Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles (C) The match that the hardcores have been waiting for. The one that AJ deserves.
I fear that with a stacked card, the booking here could suffer. Still, AJ is the best wrestler theyíve got. Those two made magic happen in Japan and they could do so again. I still think that Shinsuke winning the Rumble was just Vinceís way of throwing them a bone. If they steal the show, it might be enough to show him that the King of Strong Style has what it takes.
Iíll say the truth. I would prefer AJ Styles to win. Nakamura hasnít exactly looked like a main-eventer. Would the fans truly take him seriously with the title?
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (C) Iíve waited three years for this. There will be no cash-in, no time constraints, and no changing the course.
Unless, Brock Lesnar opted to extend his contract and we didn't hear about it.
Reigns proved all the haters wrong in Santa Clara three years ago. Itís not him Iím concerned with. Many of us remember how Brock's first run ended 14 years ago. The man phoned it in, plain and simple. I fear that with his time in WWE over and a return to the Octagon looming, he just wonít give a shit. He just doesnít respect the business enough.
Letís hope the Beast himself hasnít forgotten and he wonít want to bow out in such ignominious fashion. Heís not the biggest problem however. Itís the New Orleans crowd.
Much like another polarizing figure, Reigns has shown that he can work a great match in the ring. Itís a matter of whether he can do it and earn the peopleís respect all at the same time. Thereís also the issue of Lesnar being painted as the asshole who only gives a damn about the money.
Itís time people.
Winner: Roman Reigns
John Cena vs. The Undertaker You canít say they canít surprise us anymore. If those two are having a match in the Superdome, theyíve done a great job keeping it a secret.
Itís the very building where the numbers ď21-1Ē were displayed at WrestleMania XXX. ĎTaker should hit the ring Ė as the American Bad Ass Ė and declare that heís there to redeem himself for the loss. John Cena gets up from his seat Ė if heís serious about watching as a fan Ė and says his usual spiel. Then he takes off his shirt, the bell rings, and itís on.
Thereís rumors that they will face off to set up for WrestleMania 35 instead. Yeah, the one year buildup was done already. Not sure thatís the route they need to take.
What about Undertakerís health? We have no idea what his physical state is. I also fear they donít really care if the match is good or not and theyíre just doing this to get it out of the way.
Mark Calaway is among the last of his kind. His old-school mentality suggests he will do the job here if itís really the end. We wonít wait long to know.
Winner: John Cena
Man, I donít know what I was thinking covering every match. These columns are hard to write.