While the WWE will only claim that the ‘Road to WrestleMania’ officially kicks off when the sign appears at the annual Royal Rumble event, the build and focus effectively starts as early as the Raw after the previous WrestleMania. Decisions that are made from that moment on can have a ripple effect on the next year’s event and therefore it is crucial that WWE makes the right booking calls all the way.
Of course, injuries and other things out of WWE’s control do affect the Showcase of the Immortals. But on the whole it is on WWE to create the best show possible and with the stacked roster that it currently boasts, WrestleMania 34 has the potential to be very special.
Everyone has different opinions on what makes the perfect card, with some fans wanting to see totally different things on the special night, but there are certain things that all fans can agree that they simply do not want to see. This list will be a look at the 15 dumbest things that will likely happen on the road to New Orleans in April.
15. Jinder Mahal Retains The WWE Championship
It isn’t going to happen, is it? Is it? At this point, who knows? Did anybody actually think we would live in a world where Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion and hold the belt for longer than the likes of Eddie Guerrero? From the moment he defeated Randy Orton, Mahal has been expected to drop the title at every single show he has defended it on. So far WWE is continuing to book him strongly heading into the annual Survivor Series show. Surely WWE recognizes that this project simply isn’t working, with boring matches that are simply diminishing the championship and the people Mahal works with. Even though it would be fun to see him drop the belt at ‘Mania, it would be a complete waste of a WWE Championship match and Mahal needs to be out of SmackDown’s main event picture.
14. John Cena In The World Championship Scene
Whether it is the Universal or WWE Championship, due to John Cena’s current free agent gimmick, there is always a chance with Big Match John that when he returns from Hollywood he could be placed back into the main event scene for either brand. His star power and ability to sell a PPV makes him an ideal candidate to be involved in the championship picture, regardless of his part-time status.
With Cena being one title reign away from breaking Ric Flair’s record it is inevitable that he will have at least one more run with the belt and that is something that his career has earned him, but right before WrestleMania isn’t the time to do that. Cena is a top star but his star power would be better served in a non-title match at ‘Mania and keeping him away from the title scene when he returns will allow WWE to build up other talents ready for the big show in April.
13. Debuting Ronda Rousey Before WrestleMania
Ever since her appearance at WrestleMania 30, fans have been patiently waiting for another in-ring moment with the UFC star, specifically a wrestling match. While we have seen her appear in WWE, most recently at ringside for the Mae Young Classic, the WWE Universe wants more from the MMA megastar. Rumours have it that this could be the year that eventually happens. However, it is crucial WWE doesn’t waste this opportunity before WrestleMania as it would lose its impact of potentially creating a major WrestleMania moment. The company is focusing on making all the Big Four PPV events a bigger deal and bringing someone like Rousey to the Royal Rumble (for a potential female Rumble) or Survivor Series (for a Four Horsewomen traditional Survivor Series match) would help both shows in a big way. However, this is a moment that should be saved for the Grandest Stage Of Them All and anything else would be a waste of her major popularity.
12. Breaking Up New Day
Arguably the greatest tag team/stable of the last decade, New Day has done so much for the tag team division that it’s hard to sum up. Making tag team wrestling exciting again, New Day has elevated so many other teams (such as The Usos) in the process of entertaining the WWE Universe on a weekly basis. But, like with most groups in wrestling, people can only enjoy it for so long without whispers of a break up starting to appear. That is a subject that comes up with New Day frequently. Have the group search for singles titles for a few months, while remaining a group and then bring them back into the tag team fold for a tag team classic at WrestleMania.
11. Creation Of Women’s Tag Team Championships
With the women’s evolution continuing to grow with every passing month it is clear that WWE is putting a major focus on the division and creating historic moments that people will always talk about. With a Hell in a Cell match, Asuka’s undefeated streak and the recent Mae Young Classic tournament, there have been plenty of moments in the last few years that have made the division really stand out.
One idea that is often tossed around is that WWE should introduce tag team championships to the women’s division. There aren’t enough feuds going on in the division unless you are involved in the championship scene and there simply isn’t enough depth to make it possible for the company right now. Also, sitting through at least seven hours of wrestling, especially for the live crowd, can be difficult no matter how good the show is.
10. Kevin Owens And Sami Zayn Stay Friends
The story between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn is going to go down as one of the greatest in wrestling history when it is all said and done. Whether they have been friends, tag partners or bitter enemies the work they have done together has been phenomenal. Of course, this story started long before WWE with their days on the independent scene and really heated up in Ring of Honor, with WWE simply acting as a backdrop for this latest chapter in the classic tale. One thing that this great feud really deserves is a WrestleMania match, one that is given plenty of time to breathe and could easily steal the show. However, after Zayn’s recent heel turn, the pair are back together once again as friends and if that match is to happen another fallout is needed before WrestleMania.
9. Premature AJ Styles Against Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the match that diehard wrestling fans have been waiting for, ever since it was announced that both men were signing with the company. Their classic at WrestleKingdom is one of the greatest matches in history and the fact that we haven’t seen a rematch is something that grinds on wrestling fans. While putting these two men together finally would be a huge deal that could main event any PPV, this is one that has to be saved for WrestleMania, it is too big not to. WWE has already given away John Cena vs Roman Reigns at No Mercy, a match that should have been saved for ‘Mania, it is crucial they don’t make that mistake again and save some huge matches for specific WrestleMania moments.
8. Triple H Will Return
Triple H wears many hats in WWE and there can be no denying that he is one of the hardest workers in the game (see what I did there). While he may take on many different roles backstage and with NXT, he still manages to find time to wrestle at least once a year, traditionally at WrestleMania giving the show a boost of nostalgia and star power.
That trend should come to an end this year, and I don’t mean that Triple H should retire and never wrestle again, but the break from The Authority since WrestleMania 33 has been nice and should continue for a little while longer. As NXT continues to develop, more talent makes its way onto the main roster meaning there is even more competition for places on the WrestleMania card. This year Samoa Joe failed to get a spot on the show. Not adding The Game would give more talent a chance to appear, rather than holding back the talent he is supposedly helping.
7. Talent Will Stay In NXT
At least not until after WrestleMania, unless WWE is plagued by injuries between now and then. As mentioned in the previous entry, there are only so many spots on the card for WrestleMania and while everyone wants to be involved it is better for WWE not to just throw everyone on for the sake of it, as much as they might want to. Right now there is some incredible talent in NXT, but the brand is now building back to its full strength and that is something that they should focus on. Having no more call-ups will make it even more special when somebody does get brought up, which can happen at the next draft (which should be after WrestleMania), allowing that to be a bigger and more important event at the same time.
6. Kurt Angle Won’t Wrestle
WrestleMania 34 will mark the second WrestleMania that WWE has had Kurt Angle under contract for, and not using him in a wrestling capacity for the second time would be a huge mistake on WWE’s behalf. The fans are begging to see the Hall of Fame star back in the ring, hitting suplexes and locking in the famous Angle Lock, and for anyone who saw him wrestle on the independent scene, Angle can certainly still go. Choosing his opponent and a suitable story is something that should be high on WWE’s priority list, and if they decide to go with my earlier point of not having Triple H wrestle at ‘Mania, then Angle could fill that nostalgic element of the show. It is crucial they don’t give away his first match any earlier than WrestleMania as the impact it could have and the crowd reaction he would gain would be at its very best on such a grand occasion.
5. Return Of The Undertaker
Very few wrestlers get the perfect retirement, with Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels being two that come to mind. But most end up bowing out before they are ready to call it a day, often with injury playing a major role such as with Edge and Daniel Bryan. WrestleMania 33’s main event seemed like WWE giving one of the legends of the business, The Undertaker, that perfect retirement that his career so rightfully deserves. However, the Deadman and WrestleMania do go hand in hand and there is no doubt that the Phenom can still sell tickets, something that Vince McMahon is well aware of. WrestleMania isn’t something he needs to put his body through any longer and therefore this should be when WWE trusts the great roster they have and put on a show without him. Induct him into the Hall of Fame by all means, but keep it to just that.
4. Dean Ambrose And Seth Rollins Stay Together
Both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins were quickly losing momentum coming out of WrestleMania 33, with Rollins failing to make much of an impact as a babyface and Ambrose struggling to make an impact at all. The recent decision to put the pair back together and make them the Tag Team Champions has worked wonders for both men, with fans once again invested in them and both men looking rejuvenated. As good as their tag team has been so far, both men can offer so much to the company as singles stars. WWE’s best move is to reverse the feud that the pair had in 2014, this time with Ambrose turning heel and sticking it to his partner, allowing them to add another chapter in their classic rivalry, perhaps being capped off by a match at WrestleMania.
3. Asuka’s Undefeated Streak Will End
WWE has a real chance to right a wrong here. If I was writing this list at this time last year, the title would read ‘End Charlotte’s Undefeated PPV Streak’ and we all know how that would have worked out. WWE made a terrible decision to end the Nature Girls winning record before WrestleMania last year. This year, WWE can put that right with Asuka. Not only is the Empress of Tomorrow undefeated at PPV’s or NXT TakeOver’s to be more precise, she is also undefeated on television events and house shows, which is incredible.
Who that will be against is anyone’s guess, with Sasha Banks likely to be the one to get the accolade out of everyone currently on the Raw roster. Of course, the chances of WWE not having her lose a match between TLC and WrestleMania is incredibly slim so it looks like we are set to have this moment before then.
2. Roman Reigns Will Win The Royal Rumble
Roman Reigns has been in the main event of the last three WrestleManias, something that hasn’t gone down well with most WWE fans. Whether they like it or not, the chances are that he could be set for a fourth one in New Orleans. However, the way that Reigns gets himself into that position is crucial and him winning the Royal Rumble is not the way to do it. WWE has struggled in recent years to book the Rumble match with fans being frustrated with the outcome and that was never more obvious than when Reigns himself won the match. Even an appearance from The Rock wouldn’t stop the fans from booing him. Having Reigns win the Royal Rumble again would only cause the same reaction, if not an even bigger uproar. There is only so much faith fans have in the Royal Rumble itself and another poorly booked match will only fuel that problem.
1. Brock Lesnar Will Drop His Championship Belt
Brock Lesnar has been a dominant champion since picking up the belt from Goldberg at WrestleMania 33, taking on plenty of new challenges in the likes of Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe which has seen the Beast return to his very best in my opinion. Long title reigns are great for the business, making someone look like a legitimate threat as well as building up the title to mean something important, which the Universal Championship certainly does. That’s exactly why WWE should keep the belt on Lesnar all the way until New Orleans, giving him a full year with the belt which will make him losing it (preferably at ‘Mania) an even bigger moment. As mentioned in the previous point, the story is being told between him and Roman Reigns and WWE is seemingly still pushing for him to get his big win against the man who ended the streak and that should happen at WrestleMania, potentially to close the show.
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