2017 has been an okay-ish year for the WWE. While promotions such as NJPW have risen considerably over the past year around the six-star trilogy of Okada and Omega, WWE has struggled to create long-term storylines and colorful characters the audience can invest in. Even in terms of match quality, nine months down the line, there are few matches that can be deemed as classics in any way (Tyler Bate v Pete Dunne for the U.K Championship comes to mind. And, that wasn’t even a main roster pay-per-view). What does that mean for WrestleMania 34 then?
WrestleMania is a culmination of long-term storytelling. It is also a celebration of the talents of the best entertainers in the business. What would the card look like then? It’s hard to say. Some seem pretty obvious (Lesnar v. Reigns) but, what would the ideal WrestleMania card look like? Here’s my take,
WWE Universal Championship (Brock Lesnar v. Roman Reigns v. Samoa Joe)
Part of this match looks set in stone, right? So is Roman Reigns’ coronation. Lesnar looks set to carry the title to Mania too. What of Samoa Joe then? Joe has been dominant AF in terms of ringwork and promos since he moved to the main roster. What better way to spice up the main event everyone’s expecting than by throwing a wrench into it. And who knows? Maybe it’ll be better than the surprisingly enjoyable main event of ‘Mania 31. Maybe Lesnar can finally wrestle as he once used to, rather than Suplex City all over again.
WWE World Championship (Kevin Owens (c) v. Sami Zayn)
I’ll admit it. This is my heart taking over my head but, why not. Owens is probably the best thing in the WWE since Punk and Zayn is one of the best in-ring workers and faces of the industry. With their history and chemistry together, Owens and Zayn might steal any pay-per-view they headline. And sure, we have seen too many Owens v. Zayn matchups already but, this is where WWE could prove its storytelling credentials. Plus, Fight Forever indeed.
Have Owens beat McMahon at Hell in a Cell. Build him up as a monster heel and have him become champion at the Royal Rumble. Parallel to that, build Zayn as a credible face by giving him a few major victories and have him win the Royal Rumble.
What better way to cap off one of the best professional wrestling rivalries in the last decade than by headlining WrestleMania 34?
But again, this might just be unlikely to happen. Not only because Owens looks penciled in to face Triple H at ‘Mania but, Zayn has been directionless for some time now. And, that’s just unfortunate. Watch their Battleground classic if you haven’t.
AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura (May or may not be for the WWE Championship)
The pop for the face-off between these two legends at Money in The Bank blew the roof. And like Lesnar v. Reigns, this match looks to be penciled in as well. After two years of Styles being wasted at WrestleMania (His match was Shane O’ Mac was great though), it’s about time Styles had a classic at ‘Mania. And, who else than his old New Japan rival to get that match out of him?
The only question is, will it be for the WWE Championship? If Nakamura beats Mahal at HIAC and carries the belt till Rumble, this looks likely. If not, who cares? This is a match that deserves all the hype, with or without any championship at stake.
John Cena v. Kurt Angle (Angle to retire if he loses)
Something really poetic about this, isn’t it? Angle, the man who introduced Cena to the WWE universe gets to cap off his brilliant wrestling career with a match against the very same Cena at WrestleMania 34. The wrestling fan in me would want Angle, one of my personal favorites to continue wrestling forever. But, considering his neck and back issues and his little paunch, that is unlikely. This would be a swansong deserving of the man. Plus, this would be a much better match than the one against the Game some are suggesting.
Dean Ambrose v. Seth Rollins
This looks inevitable too, isn’t it? Surely, the mini-Shield reunion will be brief and done with by Rumble next year. And although this angle has already been done with, what might be more interesting this time around is the face-heel dynamic. Have Rollins as face and Ambrose as heel. Ambrose as a face has run its course and considering his almost deranged personality, heel is the way to go. And yes, Rollins deserves a better opponent but, sometimes a better story trumps a better opponent.
A few more matchups I would love to expand on if my Editor wasn’t so keen on overextended pieces,
- I haven’t expanded on any women’s matchups. That’s not out of any sexism or anything but, the women’s division isn’t one I tune in to watch regularly. That being said, Charlotte v. Asuka and Bayley v. Sasha Banks seems to be the way to go. That is unless Ronda Rousey gets involved.
- The Miz v. Finn Balor v. Jason Jordan (Intercontinental Championship)
- Wrestlemanias mean exciting ladder matches. At New Orleans, the marquee ladder match should be ideally for the Tag Team or Cruiserweight championships. I hope it’s for the former because WWE’s tag team division is the best it has been in years. Also, I hope by the time ‘Mania comes, Neville has moved on from the cruiserweight division to better things. What? I don’t know.
- I know I haven’t mentioned a lot of big WWE stars. Braun Strowman for one, arguably the biggest star of 2017. I haven’t mentioned others such as Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Alexa Bliss, Mickie James etc. either. To be honest, I don’t know where I’d put them in the card. Can’t think of any match for the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla either.
- I know I haven’t mentioned the US Championship. But, I don’t think AJ will carry it to Mania so, what’s the point?
- Unfortunately, we need to get used to a Mania without the Deadman.
So, fellow wrestling fans, that was my two cents as to what the ideal WrestleMania 34 card should look like. Note the key word here, ‘Ideal.’ This is my card, how it should be. The article isn’t a card prediction. So, live with it. Or else, sue me and meet me in court. If you have anything else to say, read and comment and share. Cheerio.
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