With WrestleMania 34 all set to invade the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana this coming Sun., April 8, 2018, live on pay-per-view (PPV) and the WWE Network, it's time to go about making predictions for the biggest show of the year. The match card is filled out and our staff of learned blowhards will give their best guess on who is going to emerge victorious this weekend.
But instead of doing this all in one post and giving you a wall of text and 5,000 words to read through, we'll give the top matches their own post, then cover the undercard.
Got it? Good.
RONDA ROUSEY & KURT ANGLE VS. STEPHANIE MCMAHON & TRIPLE H
Geno Mrosko: There is not a single reason to believe WWE would be silly enough to book Ronda Rousey to lose her first match in WWE. Well ... now that I think about it, ego could very well lead to a weird call here but if they’re counting on mainstream press, they’re almost surely going to ensure Ronda looks as good as possible, and that means making sure she scores the winning pinfall or submission. It will almost surely be a submission too, with Stephanie tapping in the middle of the ring but not before there’s plenty of time to capture some good photos to push to every media outlet everywhere. This, they hope, will be the start of an epic rivalry between the two. We shall see. What makes this match intriguing isn’t the outcome, but just how good Ronda will look in her first official match. That’s reason to be excited for this, no matter the result. Pick: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle
Sean Rueter: Could Angle take the pin here? Sure. Will he? I doubt it. Yes, he could eat a Pedigree and still grab an ankle for a post-match double submission scene that lets Rowdy walk out to Joan Jett after her first official match, but I think record books matter to Rousey and the larger story WWE is hoping to tell with her, so I just don’t think she came to a business where the results are scripted to get a third straight high-profile loss. Pick: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle
Kyle Decker: I can’t imagine they’re going to introduce Ronda Rousey to the WWE and have her lose her first match. It’s possible and there’s a story that could certainly be told with it. But if they’re going to do a “How does she handle losing?” story, it should probably be after she wins some. Plus, Triple H is 2-6 in his last 8 Manias so he clearly doesn’t mind losing on the Grandest Stage. Pick: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey
Rev. Claire: I’ll be honest, I’m not really concerned about the outcome here. My main interest in watching this one will be to see how Ronda takes to pro wrestling— traditionally folks who come from legitimate combat sports tend to adapt pretty quickly (see both her tag partner Kurt Angle and Matt Riddle, just to name two), but you never know until you see it. Her in-ring exchanges to date have had a sort of raw, primal quality that I dig, but I’m looking forward to see how she is actually putting a match together. That said, is there any way in this round world of ours that Ronda comes in with all this hype and doesn’t win her first match? ...well, it’s Hunter and Stephanie, so even odds, actually, but I’m not playing them. Pick: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey
Cain A. Knight: It doesn’t make any sense for Stephanie and Triple H to win this match, but Triple H often wins despite that being the case. Remember when Brock Lesnar returned to WWE from UFC and immediately lost against John Cena, just so Vince McMahon could show that his top WWE superstar is better than the top UFC star? I would not be shocked if the same scenario plays out here. For the sake of my sanity I am going to pick Rousey, because having her lose the first match seems like absurdly backwards thinking. But you know, Kurt Angle is sort of just hanging around ready to take the pin if Vince decides his family needs the first win so they can extend this feud into SummerSlam and beyond. Pick: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle
Pete Sweeney: This match is intriguing for many reasons, but the thing we all will be paying attention to most is the in-ring performance of Ronda Rousey. I don’t think it is impossible that Triple H and Stephanie win the match, but I also don’t think it is very likely. Kurt Angle finally gets his hands on Triple H and Rousey gets the pin over Stephanie for the victory in her debut. Pick: Ronda Rousey & Kurt Angle
That’s what we think. What about you?