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WrestleMania 34 predictions

The staff of Cageside Seats spent the week putting together predictions for each match on the card at tonight’s (Sun., April 8, 2018) WrestleMania 34 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. If you missed out on any of the separate posts, we’ve compiled them all in one place right here.


Geno Mrosko: I can’t wait for this match. These two have great chemistry together and their WrestleMania 31 match is criminally underrated, probably because Seth Rollins crashed the party and screwed up the finish. We don’t have to worry about that now. I’m also able to separate what I may want personally from what WWE should do to finish telling this particular story. Do I necessarily want to watch Reigns vanquish “The Beast” once and for all? Not particularly. But is it absolutely what WWE should do? Yes. It’s time. Let’s wrap this up, once and for all, so we can all move on into the new era, whatever that era may be. Pick: Roman Reigns

Sean Rueter: More than a pick, it feels like we should be weighing in on whether or not we’re looking forward to the match. As with all things Roman, WrestleMania 34’s likely main event is a dividing line betwixt wrestling fans, so let me plant my flag on the pro-Reigns (which I guess is also Vince’s?) side of the divide. The story which stretches back to their WWE title fight in 2015 is pretty freaking epic, and the build to this match - once we got past the early worked shoot stuff I’m always a little leery of when it’s overtly used in The Big Dog’s angles - has been fire... even/especially when it veered into the ridiculous of assaulting law enforcement and handcuffed beatdowns. Plus, I have little doubt the match itself will rule. It’s been a long time since I haven’t enjoyed a Reigns’ match, and I believe Brock likes working with Roman, and cares about his legacy enough - should this be his last pro wrestling match for a while - to bring it. Stop fighting. Acceptance is the answer. It’s his yard. Witness him. Pick: Roman Reigns.

Kyle Decker: It’s got to be Roman. Whether Brock stays or not, they have to close out this story here. It was too soon for Roman to get the win at WrestleMania 31 and I’m glad they went the way they did. But we’re three years removed from that and Roman is certainly ready to put the Brock story to bed. Then we can finally move on and get really good Roman feuds with all sorts of members of the WWE rosters. Pick: Roman Reigns

Rev. Claire: Four years. It’s been four years that WWE has been telling this story! How many other stories in wrestling last that long these days? Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s interpromotional, never-ending tale of friendship turned antagonism and back again? The Rise and Fall and Rise of Jimmy Havoc in Progress? Kazuchika Okada’s long ascension from returning to New Japan as the Rainmaker to beating Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 10? There aren’t many. Some beats have been better (the WrestleMania 31 main event cash-in, Reigns putting the Undertaker down at WrestleMania 33) and some have been worse (the whole interminable period where Triple H was Roman’s main antagonist heading into their match at WrestleMania 32), but they’ve stuck to their guns throughout. And wrestling, as much as folks decry it, is just as good at being great when it’s predictable as when a call comes out of nowhere. There’s only one way this ends... Pick: Roman Reigns

Cain A. Knight: Even though Seth Rollins doesn’t have a Money in the Bank briefcase this time, I hope he runs down to the ring anyway with a random briefcase and pins Roman Reigns, leaving everyone in a state of confusion while he celebrates. But just in case that doesn’t happen, WWE will probably pick the straightforward route of having Reigns win and then moving on to a feud with Samoa Joe. The story between Reigns and Lesnar has been really fun, and so was that handcuff beatdown segment. I’m a Paul Heyman Guy, so I’m definitely rooting for Brock. But either way, I expect this match to be stiff, violent, and much more entertaining than the last two WrestleMania main events. Pick: Roman Reigns

Pete Sweeney: There are more than 12 matches on this Wrestlemania card, and of them all, I am least looking forward to this one. The absurdity of that is this is the main event, which, by definition, is the bout I should be looking forward to the most. But it’s simple, I think. Watching this match, despite over a year’s build (see above), will be like watching the Sixth Sense already knowing our guy Bruce is deceased. Roman Reigns is going over. Vince McMahon is handing Reigns the torch even though it’s taken him six years to show any sign of a spark—and that’s only been in recent weeks. Do I think the match will be above average? I do. Will I care having known the end for months? I doubt it. Please WWE, make me look ridiculous for writing this paragraph... Pick: Roman Reigns


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


Geno Mrosko: If you win the Royal Rumble, especially as a babyface, you go on to win the title at WrestleMania. I have zero statistical evidence to back up this claim but I absolutely feel it should be the case. There are questions regarding AJ’s health, considering his recent knee injury, but we know they have great chemistry together. I wonder how much time they’ll be given. Considering the crowd, the atmosphere should be electric. This is going to be fun, and I fully expect a new champion crowned. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Sean Rueter: Both because this feels like a now-or-never moment for Nak’s WWE career after the decision to put Jinder over him repeatedly last year and since it seems like maybe AJ could use a little down time to heal up from various injuries... Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Kyle Decker: This is a tough one, partially because there hasn’t been a huge build to point one direction or another. Plus, there’s this lingering issue with AJ that could affect the outcome. Is he good enough to work Mania but may need to take some time afterwards? I’m going to forget the injury for a moment since there’s not enough known about it and pick Styles. I just have a gut impression that they love Styles and while they like Nak, they’re not as all in on him. Pick: AJ Styles

Rev. Claire: So this is a tricky one. A few weeks ago I would have definitely said Nakamura would win, but then two things happened. One, the story of the match has gradually come to be about Nakamura’s confidence shaking Styles and getting in his head with all his “knee to the face” rhetoric. And two, Daniel Bryan got cleared to wrestle, and we all know that Shinsuke’s big number one WWE dream match is against the American Dragon. Not that there’s any reason for that match to not be for the WWE Championship when it happens, of course, but I dunno. Both together have me thinking that maybe the story here is AJ avenging his defeat at Wrestle Kingdom 10 and walking out as WWE Champion. Pick: AJ Styles

Cain A. Knight: The story behind this match seems rather boring and underwhelming, so I’ll have to settle on the action in the ring delivering the goods. After a year of mediocrity, it’s time for Nakamura to have an incredible jaw-dropping match on the main roster to remind everyone of his apparent greatness. If he can’t do that with AJ Styles, then there really isn’t much hope that he will ever set the world on fire in WWE. Styles’ health seems to be questionable right now, so I’ll go ahead and pick Nakamura as the winner. Regardless of who wins, Daniel Bryan hopefully won’t be too far behind to challenge the WWE Champion next. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura

Pete Sweeney: This may go without saying, but to me, the title bout between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura is the odds-on favorite for match of the night. With this duo, the performance level being so high is kind of a curse—I think anything other than an outstanding match will be a disappointment to fans. Styles has been at it since 1998 and now WWE since 2016, and I believe he’s finally to a point among WWE fans in which he really doesn’t need a title. Nakamura does, and for that reason I think he goes over and starts the new wrestling year on top of Smackdown Live. Cue the “You Deserve It” chants. Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura


Quick note: This match isn’t “officially” scheduled but WWE has all but made it clear it’s happening. After all, they wouldn’t go to the lengths they have and never deliver on it. It’s happening.

Geno Mrosko: I’m actually hugely intrigued by this match because I can find any number of reasons to book either guy to go over. They waited a little too long to put this together, however, so I’m not sure the result even matters. Cena isn’t going anywhere — he’ll be wrestling Triple H in a high profile bout at Greatest Royal Rumble later this month — and Undertaker could very well appear at that same event. They made this for the spectacle, so expect that and not much more. I really don’t know who wins. I guess the safe assumption is the younger guy who we know isn’t retiring just yet. Pick: John Cena

Sean Rueter: Working under the assumption this will be Taker’s last match (until Vince convinces him to return next year for another one), going out in a way that helps the business and the company would be important to him. They’ve crafted a story here where his winning does more for both by creating a possibly all-time great story for Cena’s pursuit of a record-breaking 17th WWE World title. Let Mark Calaway/The Dead Man/ The American Bad Ass ride off into the sunset with his fist not only held high, but raised in victory, and leave John searching for his mojo... in between promotional appearances for Bumblebee... en route to breaking Ric Flair’s record at WrestleMania 35. Pick: Undertaker

Kyle Decker: Normally I’d say Undertaker goes out on his back, but he did that last year. John Cena doesn’t need the win and Undertaker deserves it after coming back so often to give the fans another match. And the way John Cena has been acting like a spoiled brat to get this match, the story would dictate that he doesn’t really deserve to win it. Hell, maybe this isn’t even his last match given the build was all about John Cena and Undertaker was never there for it. Pick: Undertaker

Rev. Claire: “The 3 in 23-3” isn’t super catchy, but... No, hold up, this is WrestleMania, I can’t skimp out here. When Cena talks about all the fans that Taker was letting down not responding to them, I’m one of ‘em. It started when I was a little girl and he left me scared out of my wits because I thought zipping jobbers up in body bags meant they were really dead, and after my long, long break from wrestling, one of the things that brought me back was reading about him wrestling a whole Elimination Chamber match in 2010 with his chest and neck burnt due to misfired pyrotechnics and thinking “holy hell he’s still going I should watch again.” So as long as he wants to keep coming back, broken down or not, I’ll always be happy to have him, because in a very real sense without the Undertaker I’d have never found the fulfillment I’ve found in watching and writing about pro wrestling. But the fact is Father Time hasn’t just knocked on his door, he’s busted it down, and there’s frankly no longer any reason for John Cena to not beat him here. Pick: John Cena

Cain A. Knight: This match needed to happen when Cena was in his prime and the streak still existed, but instead we are getting a story where John Cena has lost his spot and is also losing his mind because Undertaker is ignoring him. I am not really all that concerned with Undertaker’s capabilities in this match; Cena is the one with a bunch of poor performances over the last 8 months while Undertaker has been resting up. This storyline doesn’t seem to be worthy of Undertaker’s retirement, so I’m giving this one to the Dead Man and will assume that WWE finds a more suitable final story for him either next year or the year after that (or the year after that...). Pick: Undertaker

Pete Sweeney: I have seen and heard a lot of griping that this is happening way too late, and though that may be true, as a wrestling follower, fan and writer, I’m just happy it’s happening. We assumed we saw the final bow for the Undertaker last year, but I think he probably is itching for a better final performance. I have read too many times about the Undertaker being a wrestling business-first guy to think he wins against John Cena, even if Cena is now officially a part-timer. Pick: John Cena


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 the 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: Zayn & 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. The bottom line though is that all of these guys seem well beneath Randy Orton’s level, so I’m going with Vince’s boy. 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 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 wins their first match. 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 Asuka 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 the 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


Geno Mrosko: This is interesting because you would think Strowman’s push dictates winning this match, no matter who his mystery partner is, but a victory would keep him in the tag team division for a while. He should shoot back up the card sooner rather than later. That could mean losing here. Thankfully, he’ll have a partner to take the pin. Pick: Cesaro & Sheamus

Sean Rueter: Braun smashes, his partner gets pinned. Cesaro and Sheamus’ tag run has been stellar and should get a better send-off than this. Also, yes, I’m a mark for Tony and Sheam-y. Pick: This Bar

Kyle Decker: I love me a good surprise and that has me really excited for this. I’m hoping for James Ellsworth, but they only just released him and he’s scheduling indie dates for May already. Hawkins would be another great choice, though it appears Braun isn’t into his win/loss record. I’d be into Elias and Braun (Monsters Among Music). Big Show would be a good choice as a show of respect after their epic Raw matches. Either way, I think Braun is going to take this, though I can imagine his partner taking the pin and Braun going ham on them. (Can bring in Ellsworth for just that one thing, right?) Pick: Braun and other

Rev. Claire: Braun’s partner could be Curt Hawkins and he’d win this one, right? Like, I’m hoping for somebody like a freshly healed Samoa Joe or a returning Bobby Lashley, but this is all about Braun doing Braun things. Pick: Braun Strowman

Cain A. Knight: It doesn’t matter who Braun’s partner is, WWE has established that he doesn’t need a partner to beat these guys. The idea that Braun Strowman will pin Cesaro at WrestleMania horribly violates everything that I want to see in my pro wrestling, so hopefully Sheamus will eat the pin instead. Or maybe Strowman will murder them both with a garbage track to get some revenge for what they did to him at TLC. Pick: Strowman & Mystery Partner

Pete Sweeney: The best thing about Braun Strowman being billed with a mystery partner is that he is the only wrestler on the roster that you would say without a doubt, he could win the tag team titles by himself. Just for the reasons we love the Royal Rumble (which is, in essence, is 30 mystery partners), I think the element of surprise is a nice bonus day-of treat for wrestling fans. My guess on the partner is Samoa Joe, and he and Strowman win gold silver. Pick: Braun Strowman & Mystery Partner


Geno Mrosko: They’ve certainly been building this to The Bludgeon Brothers taking the titles. I worry about how interesting the SmackDown tag team division would be with Harper and Rowan on top. The Usos and The New Day have gone back-and-forth for what feels like forever but they’re all so very good it’s been entertaining the whole way. And the matches have been great. I’m not ready to concede yet. Pick: The Usos

Sean Rueter: Neither the current or former champs really need the belts, and while a win here doesn’t completely ensure they won’t eventually return to Ascension-adjacent status, it helps Harper and Rowan a lot more than it would their opponents. We should also have a Shake-Up or Draft coming to help deal with rematch clauses and other lingering issues. Keep teasing the rivalry between New Day and The Usos for bigger things down the road, and go all in on taking Bray’s former charges seriously. Pick: Bludgeon Brothers

Kyle Decker: The Bludgeons are going to win the titles eventually, but I feel the triple threat is a way to avoid that for a little bit. They could feasibly beat either of these teams one on one and it’ll be an awesome match. But I think defeating (and probably destroying) the New Day will get more heat on the team. Plus a New Day win will continue to pad their “greatest tag team” stats. Pick: The New Day

Rev. Claire: I’m super-invested in the Usos making the main WrestleMania card for the first time in their careers, and I really don’t think you pull the rug out from under them just yet. It’s a three-way, so the Bludgeon Brothers can take New Day out and then bam, lockdown in the Uso Penitentiary. Pick: The Usos

Cain A. Knight: I’ve seen too many times during the Wyatt Family gimmick where Rowan and Harper were treated as a low card team, and so the unstoppable Bludgeon Brothers super push isn’t working for me at all. That being said, I love what Harper can do in the ring and so I think this match should be fantastic, because the Usos and New Day are also top notch workers. This feels like the right time for New Day to finally get a major win on the biggest stage possible. WWE owes them one after booking a loss to the League of Jabronis back at WrestleMania 32. What the hell was that? Pick: New Day

Pete Sweeney: I haven’t been a big fan of the Bludgeon Brothers since they repackaged, while I absolutely love the New Day and the Usos. I think this match is the one that bothers me the most on the card because the New Day and the Usos are the team with the proven staying power, and both teams won’t win. I believe the Bludgeon Brothers, who won’t even exist by the time of next year’s WrestleMania, go over here as WWE continues to try to build them into something they will never be—a legitimate draw. Pick: The Bludgeon Brothers


Geno Mrosko: DRAKE MAVERICK for President. Pick: Mustafa Ali

Sean Rueter: Had you told me even a month ago I’d be rooting for someone other than Cedric at ‘Mania, I’d have thought you were crazy. But here we are. As far as predictions go, however, I wonder if WWE isn’t in the same position I’m in. The plan since Enzo’s firing has likely been to push Alexander out of this spot... and I think they still do that. A loss doesn’t negate any of the work Ali’s done, and there are probably more stories for DRAKE MAVERICK’s brand to tell with the heart still beating for another chance while the soul gets its chance at the top. I’m not as excited about it as I would have been a few weeks ago, but especially considering the quality of match we should get regardless, that doesn’t mean it’s still not the right call. Pick: Cedric Alexander

Kyle Decker: I want Mustafa Ali to win. He won me over with his killer promos week after week. But at the same time, I feel Cedric is going to win. He had been screwed out of opportunity time and time again and he’s finally going to take advantage of it here. Pick: Cedric Alexander

Rev. Claire: I’ve watched Ali come from crappy single-camera live feeds of Freelance Wrestling shows all the way to a spot on the grandest stage of them all. Sorry, Cedric, you’re great, but Ali is the guy. Belt him! Pick: Mustafa Ali

Cain A. Knight: This could very well be the most spectacular match of the night, but unfortunately putting it on the pre-show means the necessary atmosphere simply won’t be there for it to steal the show. Pick: Mustafa Ali

Pete Sweeney: Before, the strategy of the Cruiserweight Division was put the whole thing on Enzo Amore. Now it seems the idea is to push the wrestling, which I like. You could make a case that Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali are the two most talented cruiserweights on the WWE roster, and I think that’s clearly why they have been gifted with this spot. I expect a fantastic match with Alexander lumbar checking his way to to the title. Pick: Cedric Alexander


Geno Mrosko: Think of what Woken Matt Hardy would do with the trophy. Pick: Woken Matt Hardy

Sean Rueter: Obviously, this will be used to continue last year’s angle and give Mojo’s buddy something to use in his ongoing negotiations with The Hoodie. Pick: Rob Gronkowski

Kyle Decker: Rusev was my pick but they took him out. The field is pretty pretty pretty underwhelming. Matt Hardy and Dolph Ziggler are the only ones that seem like obvious ones, but neither feel like it. I’m going to say Samoa Joe gets cleared in time and wins this by kicking all sorts of ass. Pick: Samoa Joe

Rev. Claire: So this is where I say hell with it, I wasn’t gonna be 100% right anyway and pick with my heart because this match has too many options. He may claim he’s retired, he may be going into the WWE Hall of Fame, but he’s got a lot more left in the tank, or at least enough to win one last battle royal for a proper send-off. Pick: Mark Henry

Cain A. Knight: This match is on the pre-show, so it’s there to whet the appetite and is not a match where the winner needs to be carefully decided upon for the sake of a future push. We’ve already seen that winning this match doesn’t really have any long-term ramifications. As for who I think WWE will pick, I’m tempted to pick Dolph Ziggler and assume he will walk out on the trophy on the following episode of SmackDown. But giving it to Woken Matt Hardy sounds like a lot more fun. That means Kane will probably win, because Kane ruins everything. Pick: Kane

Pete Sweeney: WWE made Dolph Ziggler win the United States Championship, leave it in the middle of the ring, disappear from television for a month, then (and yes, I remember he was No. 30 in the Royal Rumble) pretty much nothing after that. I think somewhere, somehow, there has to be a payoff, and I think the payoff for the showoff finally comes at WrestleMania 34. Pick: Dolph Ziggler


Geno Mrosko: I am super looking forward to this because we can’t know what to expect with it. I imagine they’ll use it to devote a big chunk to the Bayley vs. Sasha Banks story, seeing as they couldn’t get a singles match on this card. I imagine they’ll work it until it comes down to the two of them and/or they’ll be in the final three and one will toss the other just have that one tosses the third. But who gets what role? Let’s take a risk here. Pick: Bayley

Sean Rueter: The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection will be the big story in this one, but a win will be used for something else. Possibly to give a new call-up something to crow about, but I’m thinking it’ll be to hype Asuka’s next victim. Pick: Naomi

Kyle Decker: Unlike the Andre, there are plenty of women who make sense winning this. I think Sasha and Bayley are going to do themselves in with their issues. So I’m going with Straight Fire Becky Lynch, who has looked good as of late on SmackDown. Pick: Becky Lynch

Rev. Claire: So, like, no matter who wins, this is really all about Sasha and Bayley, right? That’s the biggest, best story coming in here. Question is, does it actually come down to them, or is it the kind of situation where they end up eliminating each other and somebody else is able to swoop in and win? Either seems plausible, but given who else is in the match and who’s got matches outside of it, I’m playing this one straight and giving the Boss a big win she can crow about in Bayley’s face for the duration of their feud. Pick: Sasha Banks

Cain A. Knight: I’d love to see Becky win this match, but she never wins on PPV. Maybe Sasha and Bayley will cause each other to be eliminated, leaving the door open for Naomi to win it? Naomi has basically been forgotten for the last 6 months, so that doesn’t seem too likely either. It’s the pre-show though, so I guess it really doesn’t matter. When in doubt, go with the biggest star in the match. Pick: Sasha Banks

Pete Sweeney: With there being no separate match for Bayley and Sasha Banks, the battle royal is the picture perfect opportunity for one of those WrestleMania moments: Bayley and Banks eliminate everybody else leading to a stare down as 76,000 fans loudly cheer. At that moment, they brawl, and Bayley puts aside her friendly ways for what she has needed for far too long: ruthless aggression. Banks over the top, and a historic win for the hugger. Pick: Bayley

Those are our thoughts.

What are yours?

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