The most prestigious night in wrestling is almost upon us, as WWE prepares for WrestleMania 34. Here is the full event card, as well as our predictions for each match-up. It’s been an interesting twelve months for WWE since last year’s WrestleMania. On RAW, the Universal Championship has been dominated by part-time performer Brock Lesnar, the RAW25 celebrations were dogged with controversy, and an injury to Dean Ambrose scuppered the highly anticipated reunion of The Shield. Meanwhile, SmackDown spent much of 2017 mired in the frequently bashed WWE Championship reign of Jinder Mahal, and saw fan favorite superstars like Rusev and Tye Dillinger be seemingly held down and mostly ignored.Despite the above issues, there has also been so much in WWE to celebrate. A white-hot feud between The New Day and The Usos, the introduction of all-female Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches and the continued success of superstars such as The Miz, Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman and Asuka have all served to remind fans exactly why they continue to invest their time and money into Vince McMahon’s scripted sport.Related: 15 Wicked WWE Memes Only True Fans Will UnderstandMuch of the hype surrounding Wrestlemania 34 may concern a main event that many predicted a year in advance, but to focus solely on the Universal Championship bout between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns would do a disservice to what is actually a very strong card overall. Here’s exactly who will be going toe-to-toe and which superstars we think will come out on top in New Orleans.This Page: Cruiserweight Championship, Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, and Women’s Battle Royal
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (Cruiserweight Championship)
Under the guidance of a certain Paul “Triple H” Levesque, 205 Live has gone from an afterthought to arguably the most exciting part of WWE’s Tuesday night programming, and a large part of that has been due to the exciting Cruiserweight Championship tournament. The tournament has been reminiscent of the critically lauded 2016 Cruiserweight Classic, and will conclude with a face vs. face contest pitting two of WWE’s best athletes against each other in a match that will surely be a high-flying spectacle.
The match could go either way, with both Alexander and Ali popular with fans and credible enough competitors, but WWE have seemed marginally more keen on Cedric since the dawn of the Cruiserweight division and HHH in particular is known to be an admirer. Also look out for a possible cameo reappearance from the King of the Cruiserweights, Neville, who is reportedly close to returning to WWE.
Predicted winner: Cedric Alexander
Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Are you a WWE Superstar but don’t have a match at this year’s Wrestlemania? Fear not, as the snappily-titled Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal is here to spare your blushes. Essentially a Royal Rumble without the staggered entrances, these matches can often be clunky, forgettable affairs and since many competitors aren’t even announced until they walk down the ramp, picking a winner can be trickier than escaping a Daniel Bryan submission.
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With that said, this appropriately oversized trophy is often used to elevate up and coming new superstars and the likes of Cesaro and Baron Corbin have certainly benefited from winning. Some hot contenders for the prize could be Mike Kanellis (who was recently cleared to return to action) or Tye Dillinger, two men whose careers are both yet to take off on Smackdown. On the other hand, what a story it would be if Curt Hawkins could halt his infamous losing streak on the grandest stage of them all.
Predicted winner: Tye Dillinger
Women’s Battle Royal
It’s been a history-making twelve months for women’s wrestling and that is set to continue with an all-female version of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania 34. Although only marginally more prestigious than the usual multi-woman face vs. heel tag match it replaces, the ladies will be keen to make a big impression in the Battle Royal after a very impressive Rumble debut.
WWE will be looking to start their new annual battle royal off on the right foot, and are likely to pick a relatively high-profile winner, most likely Sasha Banks or Bayley since their feud seems to be the big story of the match. The Boss and The Hugger could have easily had their own spot at ‘Mania but alas, their beef will need to be settled among a myriad of other women, with Bayley hopefully capitalizing on her recent upturn in fortunes with a victory.
Predicted winner: Bayley
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax (RAW Women’s Championship)
Bliss’ relief at not having to face Royal Rumble winner Asuka at Wrestlemania was short-lived, as Kurt Angle revealed that her opponent would be none other than The Irresistible Force herself, Nia Jax. The hugely improved Alexa is a Miz-style heel that can talk with the best of them but rarely picks up a clean win. and the chances of her pinning or submitting Nia Jax on the big night are slim to none.
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The real question is whether or not RAW‘s self-proclaimed Goddess can wriggle her way out of this particular predicament or whether Nia’s raw strength and natural size advantage will win out. Given that WWE have positioned this match as ‘Bully vs. Victim’ and how heavily they promote their anti-bullying stance (for anyone not called James Ellsworth, anyway), it would be very strange indeed for Bliss to walk away victorious. A Nia win would also provide the perfect excuse to bring back The Rock, her real life cousin, to celebrate.
Predicted Winner: Nia Jax
The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship)
It’s fair to say that many WWE fans would’ve preferred any of these three men to feature against Brock Lesnar in the main event, such is their consistent quality in the ring and on the mic. However, The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor will have to make do with competing for RAW‘s secondary prize.
This triple threat will surely be a contender for match of the night and each man deserves a run with the belt. The Miz has drastically raised the profile of the Intercontinental Championship in the Universal Championship’s absence and few would begrudge him retaining at WrestleMania. Balor, meanwhile, is popular with crowds and a top worker who is still owed a lengthy championship run after his Universal reign was cut short die to injury.
However, the most likely winner here is ex-Shield member Rollins. WWE have spent a lot of time putting Rollins over of late, with a stellar performance in both RAW‘s Gauntlet match and the men’s Elimination Chamber. Seth may have ultimately failed on both occasions but his momentum has to be leading somewhere.
Predicted winner: Seth Rollins
The Bar vs. Braun Strowman and ??? (RAW Tag Team Championships)
Imagine being The Revival or Gallows and Anderson and finding out that the Tag Team Championship challenger spot for this year’s Wrestlemania would be filled by a singles competitor. That’s essentially what happened on the RAW brand this year, with Braun Strowman’s involvement relegating two world class duos to the sidelines.
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WWE have kept Braun looking immensely strong and with Wrestlemania often catering more for the casual viewer, it wouldn’t be unusual to see the Monster Among Men pick up the win. As for Braun’s mystery partner, Rey Mysterio is rumored for another return after a well-received Royal Rumble appearance. Having said that, Elias doesn’t have a match yet either, and The Big Show just signed a new multi-year contract with WWE.
Predicted Winner: Braun Strowman & ???
The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
The Usos and The New Day have dominated Smackdown‘s tag team scene for months but the ominous presence of Harper and Rowan has been bubbling away in the background. Vince McMahon is reportedly very keen on the mallet-wielding duo and their push has been considerable, with a string of jobber-crushings and some key singles wins, not to mention their destruction of Xavier Woods’ spine a few weeks ago.
The Usos are in the form of their lives and WWE appear to have realized their mistake in not giving the duo a main card Wrestlemania berth previously. The multi-team set-up should allow all three duos to thrive and the Bludgeon Brothers will no doubt enhance their growing reputation, but The Usos remain firm favorites to win in the end.
Predicted Winner: The Usos
Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev (United States Championship)
Bobby Roode’s transition from NXT to the main roster has been relatively successful compared to some of his peers, with the “glorious” gimmick transferring seamlessly. Consequently, fans were perhaps justified in feeling disappointed when Roode lost his U.S. Championship to company-favorite Randy Orton at Fastlane.
However, Orton’s win was perhaps a blessing in disguise for Roode supporters, as whoever ate the loss at Fastlane arguably became favorite to emerge victorious at Wrestlemania. The addition of Jinder/Rusev to the match also gives Roode someone to pin without making Randy look weak. With the late entry of Rusev however, perhaps WWE have finally decided to capitalize on the massive success of the ‘Rusev Day’ gimmick and plan on giving the Bulgarian his Wrestlemania moment.
Predicted winner: Bobby Roode
Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H
WWE pulled off a gargantuan coup in signing former UFC star and international celebrity Ronda Rousey to their roster, but somewhat botched her introduction by having Rousey rely on her limited mic skills and do lots of awkward sign-pointing. Nevertheless, most fans recognize that Rousey’s skill set resides squarely in beating other people to a pulp and all will be forgiven if her competitive debut delivers.
Whether a mixed tag match with three aging in ring part-timers is the best way to introduce Rousey remains to seen, but the trio of Angle, HHH and Steph have a wealth of experience to help the newbie through her first match. Sure, it’s unlikely to be a five star affair, but Rousey is deadly serious about succeeding as a wrestler and the crowd will be willing her career to get off to a strong start. It would be incredibly self-serving if Hunter and Steph walked out victorious here, so Rousey and Angle are the likely winners.
Predicted winner: Rousey & Angle
Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka (Smackdown Women’s Championship)
Asuka vs. Charlotte is the match WWE fans have wanted to see since the Japanese star first stepped foot into NXT, but the big question is whether the Queen of Smackdown will conquer Asuka’s record breaking unbeaten streak – a prize arguably even greater than the championship itself.
Of the entire women’s division, Charlotte is perhaps best placed in terms of stature and reputation to break Asuka’s run, and Wrestlemania would provide the illustrious stage needed for such a momentous event to take place. On the other hand, Charlotte is already a made woman in WWE. Perhaps it would make more sense to give the honor of beating Asuka to someone who is almost at the summit of the women’s division but in need of an extra push.
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An incredibly tough match to call but one that will undoubtedly be an event highlight, regardless of the result. Look out for a possible appearance by Money in the Bank briefcase holder Carmella too.
Predicted winner: Charlotte Flair
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship)
It seems almost inevitable that Wrestlemania 34 will close with Vince’s favorite oversized canine standing victorious as fireworks go off in the distance… again. Roman Reigns is undoubtedly a very good wrestler but WWE’s persistence in pushing him over others means that many fans simply won’t get behind The Big Dog, despite considerable improvement in recent years.
While it’s easy to be cynical about a match between Lesnar and Reigns, the duo’s build-up feud has been compelling, with Reigns delivering undoubtedly the best promos of his career, playing on Lesnar’s part-time role in the company and protected status. While that last part may be somewhat hypocritical of Roman, his promos have done what all great feuds do in the modern era: blur reality and fiction in a way that makes people question whether what they’re seeing is entirely part of the script.
Predicted winner: Roman Reigns
John Cena vs. The Undertaker (probably)
It’s the dream match everyone wanted to see, just around a decade later than most wanted to see it. Despite transforming into a bona fide Hollywood A-lister, Big Match John is still capable of putting on top class contests, as his bouts with AJ Styles have shown. But while there’s no denying the draw of The Undertaker, there are big question marks over whether the Phenom should come back for one more match, or whether he should retire and let last year’s emotional exit against Roman Reigns be his permanent WWE farewell.
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As for who wins, John Cena hardly needs the rub of victory but The Undertaker was always likely to follow tradition and end his career with a loss, if indeed this proves to be his final, final match.
Predicted winner: John Cena
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (KO & Sami Re-Hired If They Win)
Seeing Daniel Bryan compete in a wrestling ring again is the only thing that truly matters here but this match also represents the culmination of a story that has been running for many months on Smackdown, starting with KO’s feud against the McMahon family. Tension between GM Bryan and Commissioner Shane O’Mac has been building for what feels like an eternity, and that story-building should come to a climax at Wrestlemania despite their ‘hugging it out’ session.
Perhaps the most likely outcome here is Daniel Bryan picking up the feel-good comeback win, while Kevin and Sami get snapped up by rival brand, RAW. A more interesting narrative, however, might see Shane go too far in his endless quest for revenge, forcing the honorable Bryan to side with the heel duo in the name of fairness and helping them regain their jobs in the process.
Predicted winner: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)
It seems contrite to say that the real winners here are the fans but there’s an element of truth to the suggestion that whoever wins between Styles and Nakamura, the fact this match is taking place at all is a victory in itself. Indeed, if someone had suggested during the duo’s match at Wrestle Kingdom 10 that a rematch would take place a few years later for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, the laughter would’ve taken the roof clean off the Tokyo Dome.
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And yet here we are. Clearly recognizing that the Universal Championship bout would ruffle feathers, WWE decided throw fans a bone by putting on a dream match in every sense of the word. Many fans truly won’t mind who walks away with the gold but AJ has retained a lot – most recently against five other men at Fastlane – and another win in New Orleans might feel like more of the same. Royal Rumble winner Nakamura picking up his first big main roster championship however, would surely trigger a huge reaction from the crowd.
Predicted winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
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WWE Wrestlemania 34 airs on Rusev Day (April 8th) on the WWE Network.