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WrestleMania 34 predictions: Daniel Bryan, Women’s title matches, more!

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.

Let’s go:



Geno Mrosko: There are any number of ways to book this but the most important is that it sets up McMahon to leave, Bryan to come back with matches waiting on him, and Owens and Zayn to get their jobs back. Well, shit, that sure makes it seem like Shane will turn on Bryan and cost him his first match back, doesn’t it? I’ll go with that. Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Sean Rueter: Not worried about the stipulation, because I figure WWE can explain that KO and Sami broke into Vince’s house and stole whatever dirt Shane had on the Chairman heading into WM32 in order to get their jobs back. Can’t rule out a heel turn from either of the SmackDown brass, but... Pick: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon

Kyle Decker: This was a gimme until they added that stipulation. Clearly Bryan was going to win his first match back and the heels were going to get their comeuppance. But then they added the stipulation that KO and Sami get their jobs back if they win. So either the faces win and the heels go to Raw, which would undermine the stipulation. Or the heels win in one of three ways: 1) They go over clean. 2) Daniel Bryan turns heel, which would be really dumb so I’m taking it off the table. 3) Shane McMahon turns heel, which is actually the most likely way because he’s a McMahon (they’re inherently evil) and they were always building a Shane vs. Daniel thing. Given that Daniel Bryan doesn’t need to win his first match back to still be super over, and if he’s screwed by Shane, that’ll help more, I’m going with the heels. Pick: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Rev. Claire: The stipulation here bugs me a little, but it’s not like there aren’t ways around it if Bryan and Shane win, this is still pro wrestling after all. But I can’t see it. It makes far more sense for Kev and Sami to win and rub it in their faces (and have more matches against Bryan down the line). One thing I know for sure, though, folks, it’s that I’ll be liveblogging this one with tears running down my face, because I never ever thought I’d see Daniel Bryan wrestle in a WWE ring again. Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Cain A. Knight: The stipulation here pretty much mandates than Zayn and Owens have to win. Then again this is WWE, so I guess the heels can lose this match and still get one more opportunity to win their jobs back at the next PPV. Having Bryan lose his first match back feels like a very Vince McMahon thing to do. Bryan is untouchable regardless, so I’m sticking with the best friends. Pick: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

Pete Sweeney: Just when you think this show has enough to look forward to, at the last minute, WWE gives us this gift from heaven—Daniel Bryan in a ring again. And that will be enough. Although I can see a scenario in which Bryan and Shane McMahon win, sending Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens to Raw, I think Zayn and Owens scratch and claw a way to stay employed and on SmackDown until the impending shakeup. Pick: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn


Geno Mrosko: Not every title is going to change hands on this show, and I actually believe this would give a strong candidate for keeping the title right where it is but Miz deserves some time off to go hang with Maryse and Monroe. That will leave Balor and Rollins to feud over the Intercontinental title. Pick: Finn Balor

Sean Rueter: It feels wrong Seth is the only Shield guy who isn’t a grand slam champ. That gets fixed here. Pick: Seth Rollins

Kyle Decker: I feel this is a spot for a title change and I think Balor is the better fit. Seth still feels like more of a main event/world title guy than Finn, despite Finn being the one to hold the Universal title. Miz doesn’t need the title to have that fire feud with Daniel Bryan. Pick: Finn Balor

Rev. Claire: Surely you wouldn’t deprive young Monroe Mizanin the pleasure of watching her father become the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, would you? Pick: The Miz

Cain A. Knight: WrestleMania is all about flashy entrances so if Balor puts on the paint, he’s getting the win. The great match Balor and Rollins had on Raw will likely end up being better than this actual PPV match, but that’s what happens when there are 3 hours of Raw to fill every week. Seth beat Finn on Raw, so I think that means Rollins is losing here. Miz isn’t in their league and feels like the third wheel, especially after the magic Rollins and Balor created on Raw without him. Pick: Finn Balor

Pete Sweeney: I love watching Finn Balor and Seth Rollins work together because of their similar styles and moves—cue the slingblade to the slingblade to the slingblade to slingblade. The Miz will be there, too, and though you could make the argument that the other two are far better wrestlers, he has come a long way. I think both the Miz and Rollins deserve to win because of just how damn good they have been for the past year. Knowing WWE, that means Balor will walk away with the title. Pick: Finn Balor


Geno Mrosko: You’d like to think they didn’t put Rusev in this match just to have him lose but I don’t trust anyone at WWE to understand his value (because they’ve clearly demonstrated for years they don’t really get it). Pick: Randy Orton

Sean Rueter: If XFL 2020 teaches us anything, it’s that Vince doesn’t like to admit defeat. Pick: Jinder Mahal

Kyle Decker: Rusev got himself into this match by being super popular and selling a ton of merch. May as well put a title on him and roll with it. Pick: Rusev

Rev. Claire: Rusev’s addition has really livened up what was threatening to be the dullest match on the card. I still don’t think it’s gonna be great, exactly, but he’s made it interesting. And now that Orton’s checked the US title off his bucket list, there’s no reason he should keep it, so... Pick: Rusev

Cain A. Knight: I’m really glad that WWE added Rusev to this match, because seeing 70+ thousand people chanting Rusev Day sounds pretty great to me. He won’t win the match though, because Rusev never wins on PPV. Rusev is just here to keep the crowd from falling asleep. The bottom line is that all of these guys seem well beneath Randy Orton’s level, so I’m going with Vince’s guy. Pick: Randy Orton

Pete Sweeney: What does everybody want? Rusev to win the title. What does everybody need? Rusev to win the title. What is everybody going to get? Jinder Mahal winning the title. Pick: Jinder Mahal


Geno Mrosko: This story requires a very particular payoff — Nia Jax beating Alexa Bliss from pillar to post before pinning her clean in the middle of the ring to be crowned the new champion of the Raw women’s division. That is the only acceptable result. Pick: Nia Jax

Sean Rueter: You can convince me there are people who can outsmart/outwork The Irresistable Force, and WWE has been doing it for years to keep titles off Nia. I don’t think they can sell it any more, though. Not against Alexa, and not in this story. Pick: Nia Jax

Kyle Decker: In order for this feud to work, Nia needs to win. She needs to put the bully in her place by taking her title. It’s a good story if that happens. If it doesn’t, then it becomes a story of a body shaming bully getting away with it. This feels like exactly the type of story the WWE would screw up, doesn’t it? Pick: Alexa Bliss

Rev. Claire: Nia has to win this and put Alexa in her place, anything else short of, I dunno, Madison Eagles (just to pick a wonderful but truly unlikely name) doing a run-in will be a real, major, huge bummer. Pick: Nia Jax

Cain A. Knight: It’s really hard for me to get invested in stories when I have no expectation that the match will be any good. But this story has pulled me in and now I really want to see Nia rip Alexa to shreds, so good job to all involved for overcoming my typical jaded viewpoint. Nia looks strong and confident right now, while Alexa lost a match on the go-home Raw and then ran away from Nia, looking frightened and vulnerable. I think that means the heel escapes with the title in their first match, maybe by DQ. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Pete Sweeney: I don’t think this match is getting the prematch hype it deserves because of just how good we know Charlotte-Asuka will be. I think this match has sneaky potential and I love the story WWE is telling with Nia Jax finally playing a role she can actually relate to from her life experience. The legitimacy of her character has finally shined through, and I think the bullied goes over the bully. Pick: Nia Jax


Geno Mrosko: I can’t get the idea out of my head that Asuka wins the SmackDown women’s title from Charlotte and Carmella immediately cashes in on her ... and Asuka wins that match too. Pick: Asuka

Sean Rueter: If WWE were going to end a storyline they’ve been building across years and brands, wouldn’t they have paid some more attention to the feud which was going to end it? Pick: Asuka

Kyle Decker: I am super pumped for this match. Two women who have been kept apart and separately built as two of the best now collide title vs. streak? That’s just awesome. I bet they keep the ball rolling here with Asuka and give her a run with the title before someone eventually knocks her down. No one is ready! Pick: Asuka

Rev. Claire: All good things must come to an end. Is Charlotte the right woman to end Asuka’s streak? Maybe not. Is WrestleMania the best stage for it? Absolutely. Does WWE have a track record of botching the landing on streaks to some extent? Definitely. Ending it here isn’t the perfect choice, but it’s good enough, and that’s all I really want out of a WWE streak ending these days. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Cain A. Knight: I’m very disappointed that this match wasn’t given a bigger spotlight on television over the last month. This is still one of the most important women’s matches in WWE history, so hopefully WWE will give them enough time to put on a classic. I’m pretty sure that Asuka will remain undefeated until she eventually faces Ronda Rousey, so that means Charlotte’s time as champ is over. And Carmella better not even think about cashing in, unless she wants to join Baron Corbin on the list of Money in the Bank failures. Pick: Asuka

Pete Sweeney: WWE has leaned into the women’s revolution, especially in the past 365 days, so don’t be utterly shocked if we see this as the night’s final match. You could make the case even despite the lack of real build from WWE on this one. Charlotte Flair is outstanding. Asuka is outstanding. I think the undefeated champion is too captivating a story to leave on the table. Asuka wins and stays undefeated until we’re writing this post next year. Pick: Asuka

That’s what we think. What about you?

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