@Scotty_Ballgame’s WrestleMania 34 Predictions

8 Apr

Wrestlemania_34_Logo

I haven’t done one of my pro wrestling (err, should I say sports entertainment?) prediction pieces in a while. Today is the Super Bowl of Wrestling though and it needed to be done. This weekend in The Big Easy is the greatest weekend for a wrestling fan. My son and I were lucky enough to venture to Orlando last year and it’s an amazing experience! Believe me, my plans are already in place for next year when WrestleMania and all of the fixins’ returns to the NY/NJ area. I’m not going to go through what happened on last night’s NXT TakeOver (as I haven’t seen all of it yet as I write this, and I know many others haven’t either), so I will focus on this evening’s 34th installment of Mania. I was 14 when WrestleMania happened on March 31, 1985 in Madison Square Garden. That one event changed pro wrestling forever and just look where things are today.  Let’s get to the matches!

Cruiserweight Championship (Tournament Finals): Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (KICKOFF SHOW)
The Cruiserweight tournament happened exclusively on 205 Live (on the WWE Network) and I can honestly say I don’t watch that show often. Why? Probably because I’m saturated with at least 6 other hours of WWE programming every week with Monday Night RAW, Smackdown Live on Tuesdays, and NXT on the Network whenever I get around to viewing it. 205 Live just hasn’t reeled me in yet. But… this will be an awesome match. Just like last year’s Austin Aries vs. Neville match that opened that show in Orlando. It could certainly go either way. Both of these guys are high-flying and technical experts. The unique thing here is that they’re both babyfaces (good guys) so I can’t just say the ‘face will win. Ali has been on a hot streak lately but my gut feels Alexander finally gets his big singles win in WWE. Winner: Cedric Alexander

5th Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal (KICKOFF SHOW)
This is always a fun match. Heck, do you remember that Gronk interfered in last year’s event and helped Mojo Rawley win the thing? Big Show, Cesaro and Baron Corbin have won this big battle royal event in recent years as well. They don’t announce all of the names entered ahead of time as there are usually some surprises. My son Josh thinks NXT’s Lars Sullivan will be Braun Strowman’s mystery partner tonight (more on that match later). I have a feeling he’ll show up in tonight’s Andre Battle Royal. He won’t win though. NXT’s Killian Dane had a nice main roster cup of coffee in last year’s match and performed well, but they didn’t give him the win either. THE guy who’s been killing it on the mic and in the ring for the last several months is Elias (Who wants to Walk With Elias?) He’s already told us we’re going to see the performance of a lifetime tonight. Maybe he’s not talking about his guitar playing. Winner: Elias

First-Ever WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal (KICKOFF SHOW)
This is all about continuing the Sasha Banks/Bayley feud/storyline. They should have had a singles match at Mania so maybe they’re holding that off until an upcoming pay-per-view. I just can’t see it being held off for another 3 or 4 months until SummerSlam. I like several of the women slated to be in this match, especially Absolution stars Mandy Rose (who doesn’t?) and Sonya Deville. Like in the men’s battle royal expect a couple surprises, either NXT call-ups or returning legends. I would really like to see The Iconic Duo (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce) who haven’t been on NXT TV for quite some time. This is one match I’m not really sure of where they’re going with the outcome, but I have a feeling they’re going to give Bayley that big WrestleMania moment so all of her hugger fans can be happy. Winner: Bayley

United States Championship Fatal 4-Way match: Randy Orton (Champion) vs. Booby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev
If it weren’t for Orton this match would probably be on the Kickoff Show. Orton’s been a main eventer for years so he’s not going to be on any Kickoff Show.  Aside from the Women’s Battle Royal, this is one of the only other matches that I don’t really have a clear outcome prediction. What I’d love to see them do, and I’m going to lean that way here, is put over the most over entity in this match – Rusev Day. Yes, everyday is Rusev Day and the crowd absolutely loves this gimmick with which Rusev and his cohort Aiden English have been running with. It’s stupid, but it’s fun. So, your new United States Champion, the Bulgarian Brute! Winner: Rusev

RAW Tag Team Championship match: Cesaro & Sheamus (Champions) vs. Braun Strowman and a partner of his choosing
I love Cesaro and Sheamus. They don’t just set the bar, they are The Bar! What a great ride they’ve been on since Mick Foley put the two of them together following their best-of-seven series a couple years ago. Strowman is one of the most popular acts going right now and gets a huge pop every week. There’s so much speculation on who his partner will be. He’s said he wouldn’t have one and would take care of The Bar on his own, but management is forcing him to have a partner, which is only fair, right? It’s for the TAG TEAM titles. There’s really only one wrestler that fits in here. It’s a guy who’s been ready to come back from injury for a little while and I think they’ve just been saving him for Mania. I thought they were having him show up as a surprise during last year’s Rollins-Triple H match, but that didn’t happen. It’s Samoa Joe. No doubt in my mind. But do they win the titles? I have a sneaking suspicion they want to keep Strowman on the singles route, and that’s where Joe belongs too. Somehow, some way, champs retain. Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus

RAW Women’s Championship match: Alexa Bliss (Champion) vs. Nia Jax
This has been a fun storyline over the last several months, with Nia and Alexa’s friendship the main focus. They did the heel backstab angle which sent Jax off on a rampage and she’s looking for revenge in this big grudge match. Bliss entered last year’s Smackdown Women’s Championship match as champ and came out on the losing end when Naomi won in her hometown Orlando. I think the same thing’s going to happen here as she enters WrestleMania as champion and leaves on the losing side. It’s a big crowning moment for Nia Jax tonight. Winner and new champion: Nia Jax

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat match: The Usos (Champions) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers
I am so happy The Usos are finally on the big stage. It’s really unbelievable that they’ve been on the Kickoff Show for the past several years and I think this is actually their first match on the main WrestleMania card. Bludgeon Bros. Harper & Rowan have been wreaking havoc on SD Live since they debuted in their current gimmick. It’s pretty cool too. Usos and New Day have both taken some pretty good beat downs from them along the road to Mania. Something that I’m not thinking of is going to happen in this match. I can see the Usos and New Day teaming up to keep Harper and Rowan at bay, but maybe there’s a fourth team that makes their presence felt. Remember, there are no disqualifications in a Triple Threat match. Let’s go with a tremendous title retention here. Winners and still champs: The Usos

Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat match: The Miz (Champion) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Bálor
The Miz is on a roll. He’s one of the best on the mic. He’s a brand new dad! Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, the Warrior Award winner at Friday night’s Hall of Fame ceremonies, roasted The Miz and got one of the biggest pops of the night. Bálor is just plain good and he’s always cheered. I’m not just a big fan of Bálor Club gimmick. If he, Anderson and Gallows were really a team/faction that stuck together after a brief teaming a few months ago I might feel differently. The one constant here is Rollins. He’s constantly awesome. His performance in the Elimination Chamber was very good, and then his one-hour plus outing in RAW’s Six Pack Challenge last month opened my eyes again. He deserves gold. His crowning achievement was cashing in Money In The Bank and winning the title back at WrestleMania 31. I think tonight he wins the prestigious IC Title and follows in the footsteps of some of the greatest Intercontinental champions of all time – Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Honky Tonk Man, Owen Hart, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and so many others. Winner and new champ: Seth Rollins

Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
This one should be fun.  Owens and Zayn are “fired” and fighting for their jobs in WWE. Bryan is returning from a 3-year hiatus after finally being cleared by all doctors. McMahon is that big stage guy who leaps off TitanTrons and cages and goes coast to coast in the ring. Since Shane is actually coming off some serious medical conditions and procedures, I can’t see him risking his livelihood and future well being with another crazy spot tonight. It will be awesome to the the entire Superdome chanting “Yes, Yes, Yes” with Bryan. This is the scene of his biggest moment ever – winning the championship at Mania 30 four years ago. But this is not the night for the faces. Something’s going to happen and Owens/Zayn will win their jobs back. Winners: Owens/Zayn

SmackDown Women’s Championship match
For me, this is the match of the night. This could steal the show. Question is, do they give them enough time to do so. I know, that’s what most people are saying about the SmackDown WWE title match. Charlotte is the best women’s wrestler in the business today. Period. Asuka has been on this “undefeated” run (if you don’t count NXT live events in Florida from a couple years ago) since she came to WWE. She and Miz winning the Facebook Live Mixed Match Challenge vs. Roode and Charlotte was a perfect build to this match too. I’m really torn on my decision and the outcome of this match, primarily because I’m so jacked up to witness it. Thing is they’ve taken the title off Charlotte several times already, only to have her win it back, and I think that’s what’s going to happen here. Asuka continues the streak and dethrones the Queen. Charlotte will win it back at the next PPV or by SummerSlam. Winner and new champ: Asuka

Mixed Tag Team Match: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey (#TeamRousey) vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon (#TeamMcMahon)
This is easy. The heels (Owens/Zayn) win that other big tag team match so the faces have to win this one. Plus it’s Rousey’s big in-ring debut for WWE. The seeds of this one were planted 3 years ago at Mania 31 when she put Steph in that arm bar whilst The Rock was by her side at that event. Triple H and Angle will carry this match in the ring, and I expect to see some impressive things from Mrs. Triple H too. I just have no idea what Rousey’s going to bring to the table performance-wise, and they have enough other talent in this one to mask what she does. Just please keep Ronda off the mic. Thank you. Winners: #TeamRousey

WWE Championship match: AJ Styles (Champion) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The Dream Match! This should be one of the best wrestling matches on tonight’s card. It’s a match much of Busted Open Nation is looking forward to. But it’s not the first time these two special athletes have faced off. They did back at Wrestle Kingdom 10 for New Japan Pro Wrestling in the Tokyo Dome. If you want to, check that match out here:

It will be a great match. It will be the most technical wrestling match tonight. They should get a half hour block of time for this one, with ring entrances, so maybe a 22-24 minute match. With my prediction of Asuka winning the SmackDown Women’s Title, I can’t see WWE putting over two Japanese stars with big title wins on the same major card. Plus it’s very apparent that Nakamura isn’t as big a hit with the WWE Universe as maybe they’d have hoped for. He was awesome in NXT. I just don’t think he’s awesome on the WWE main roster. Winner and still champ: AJ Styles

Universal Championship match:
How many people “hate” Roman Reigns? There’s been a lot of “hate” over the last couple years for Reigns because he’s been “shoved down our throats” and pushed to the hilt, in what some might argue was a quick, meteoric rise to the top. He was not cheered last year when he defeated Undertaker and seemingly sent the Dead Man into retirement. I don’t hate Reigns and he’s actually growing on me, and now, I am going to be a big Roman Reigns fan. I used to love Brock Lesnar. I still think he’s fun to watch and I know he’s a beast and a great performer in the ring. But he does not respect the business. He’s a bounty hunter and all about the paycheck. And now it seems as if he’s walking away from WWE again to return to the Octagon. That’s all I’m going to say about that. FU Dana White! I have two Lesnar shirts, both of which I think I might go live on Twitter or Periscope and burn them in effigy. Tonight won’t be Reigns’ first championship win but it might be the sweetest. Too bad it’s not going to close out the show. Winner and new champion: Roman Reigns

Does it happen? I believe it has to.
John Cena vs. The Undertaker
Cena doesn’t have a match at WrestleMania. He’s called out Undertaker several times over the last few weeks. No response from the Dead Man. Cena’s going to Mania as a fan and will be sitting in the front row drinking beer and eating popcorn, right? How can Kid Rock be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend and not perform live tonight? He’s going to perform the WrestleMania theme song but how can he not go into “American Bad Ass?” And when he does that, how can Mark Calaway (either the Undertaker or American Bad Ass character) not come out? The Superdome roof will be blown off. You’ll be able to cut the electricity with a knife. How and what does he say to Cena? How and what happens in the match? I really have no idea although what I do know – it’s going to be so much fun to just sit back and enjoy the spectacle. I thought the storyline should have been Taker accepting Cena’s challenge a few weeks ago but with the stipulation that it be Career vs. Career, a Retirement match if you will. If they did that, wouldn’t Cena have to win because it should be Taker’s final match. Now since there is no stipulation (well there’s actually no match yet), this can be Taker, or American Bad Ass, riding off into the sunset with a victory. Cena will do the job and put Mr. Calaway over one more time. Definitely the way it should be, and I see this as the match that closes the show. Anyone else agree with me on this one? Winner: Undertaker/American Bad Ass

So let’s keep score. I usually don’t do well on my WrestleMania predictions, although if I look back at my WrestleMania VI predictions article that was published in The Daily Orange at Syracuse University, I do think I only had one or two wrong that night. I definitely had Warrior over Hogan!! The next big questions will be for Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live. Will Lesnar be on RAW? If/when Reigns wins, who’s his first challenger? Will there be a new SmackDown GM if Daniel Bryan is back to being an in-ring performer? Who are the NXT call-ups to the main roster? When does the Superstar Shake Up happen? It’s an exciting time for wrestling fans. Enjoy WrestleMania my friends!

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