It may only be October but believe it or not we are very much already on the Road to WrestleMania. In fact WWE are almost certainly planning for the following year’s Showcase of the Immortals the night after the previous one has finished. The saga between The Rock and John Cena a few years ago is a great example of that. In the main event of WrestleMania XXVII Rock cost Cena the WWE Championship and began the build to their generation defining match a year later. Ever since its first incarnation in 1985, WrestleMania has been the crown jewel of WWE and the event that their entire calendar revolves around.
What that effectively means is everything at this moment in time and all the angles that you’re watching this week on Raw and SmackDown Live will be connected in some way to WrestleMania 34 despite still being six months out. The lack of a major championship on Raw thanks to Brock Lesnar, the gradual rebuild of Finn Balor, Kevin Owens’ feud with the McMahon family; all of those things and more are part of a domino effect leading to all of their individual WrestleMania moments. On April 8th WrestleMania will take place in New Orleans, and here are 15 things we will see at the landmark event.
15. Brock Lesnar’s Retirement
Roman Reigns headlining a fourth straight WrestleMania won’t be the only history being made in the night’s main event. By the time WrestleMania 34 rolls around Brock Lesnar will have been Universal Champion for a year. That’s just one of the reasons it’ll be time to hand over the championship to The Big Dog. The other reason is that WrestleMania 34 will be Lesnar’s last night as a professional wrestler. It’s common knowledge that Brock’s contract comes to an end at that time, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that The Beast has no desire to renew his deal. When he appeared on Stone Cold’s podcast a while ago Lesnar revealed that he already had the rest of his career planned out, and even as far back as then it would seem that retirement after WrestleMania 34 was a part of that plan.
14. MMA Against WWE
The worlds of WWE and MMA are crossing over more and more recently. Brock Lesnar was all set to have another fight with Jon Jones before Jones was suspended once again, and the threat of both sets of the Four Horsewomen clashing hung over the entirety of the Mae Young Classic. One thing is for certain, at WrestleMania 34 someone who made themselves famous in the world of MMA will do battle with a woman who is in WWE. At this point who exactly those two women will be is unclear. The big one would be to have both sets of Horsewomen competing in an eight person tag match. That isn’t the only option though. We could also see Charlotte Flair take on Ronda Rousey one on one or even the culmination of Becky Lynch and Cris Cyborg’s Twitter war.
13. The End Of Asuka’s Streak
At the time of typing this Asuka’s undefeated streak is very much intact, and we are just weeks away from the former NXT Women’s Champion’s debut on the main roster. Here’s hoping that WWE treat Asuka in the same way that she has been treated in NXT thus far, which is like a force to be reckoned with. It has been almost two years since The Empress of Tomorrow made her debut on NXT and if it were up to most fans that impressive streak would continue for at least another year. Those fans will also know that the powers that be at WWE are not nearly patient enough for that to happen. If we’re lucky we will see Asuka at least make it to WrestleMania 34 unbeaten and there have that streak broken by somebody worthy of doing so.
12. The Return Of The Bella Twins
Women’s wrestling really is in the best place it has ever been in WWE right now. That will truly be reflected in the match card and the action at WrestleMania 34. It won’t all be about the newer females though as we will likely see the return of the Bella Twins, and not just one or the other either. In an interview recently the sisters revealed their longing to return to action for WWE and they made it very clear that when they do come back they want to do so together. Brie may be retired and Nikki engaged, but that isn’t going to stop the sisters from wrestling again. Nikki did hint that her and John Cena’s wedding would take place in New Orleans, but that’s not looking very likely as of right now.
11. Cena Breaks The Record
Nikki Bella may very well have had the idea to tie the knot with her fiancé at WrestleMania 34, but when proposing the idea to John Cena the WWE stalwart will have likely shot it down. He’s already given up one WrestleMania appearance in order to get engaged to The Bella Twin so it was never likely that he would sacrifice another, especially with so few of them left for Big Match John. There are really only two big things left for Cena to do as a WWE Superstar at WrestleMania. One was to face The Undertaker and it would appear that ship has sailed. The other is to surpass Ric Flair’s record of 16 World Championships. John’s next will be his 17th and it has to happen on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
10. Sami Zayn’s Ascent Will Finally Begin
The last few years have seen the majority of the world’s best professional wrestlers arrive in WWE. AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and even as far back as CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. In almost every instance their potential has been realized and they’ve been shot to the top. One of the best Superstars the company have brought in is Sami Zayn and as of right now he is being criminally under-utilized. Not only does Sami have yet be a World Champion in WWE, but he hasn’t won any championships at all since leaving NXT for the main roster. At this moment in time the United States Title is more prestigious than the WWE Championship and at WrestleMania 34 it will be the star spangled belt that Zayn is lifting above his head.
9. Wrestle Kingdom Meets WrestleMania
Two of the greatest pro wrestlers on the planet right now are AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. Not only are the pair of them under the same roof in WWE but they’re both on the same show. The SmackDown Live pair have only ever done battle once before, at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s equivalent of WrestleMania, Wrestle Kingdom. This isn’t a case of WWE not thinking things that happen elsewhere aren’t big enough to happen in their ring either. A Styles/Nakamura match has already been teased on more than one occasion by WWE and WrestleMania is really the only stage big enough for a match of this magnitude.
8. Bullet Club USA
Okay so they’re not going to be called Bullet Club USA, but some form of New Japan’s Bullet Club is definitely coming to WWE. There are too many former members of the faction under the WWE umbrella for it not to happen at some point. Yes we have sort of already seen it via AJ Styles leading Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, but that wasn’t the watered down version fans were looking for. What the WWE Universe wants now is the Balor Club. The name is already flaunted by Finn Balor and WWE every week on Raw so why not give it some actual meaning? With the introduction of Sister Abigail looking like it may be on the horizon it would appear that Bray may be on the verge of rebuilding his family. If so, The Demon is going to need some back up in his quest to bring down The Eater Of Worlds.
7. The Architect May Need To Burn Down The Ambrose Asylum
What the WWE Universe would like to see more than anything is the fellas from the last entry in this list go three on three with The Shield. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns are pretty much reunited at this point so if Balor Club comes to fruition then it’s bound to happen right? Wrong. WrestleMania 34 may only be six months away but by the time it rolls around The Shield reunion will have come and gone. Not only that but we will have seen The Lunatic Fringe turn heel in the process. It may not seem apparent at the moment but Seth’s 2014 betrayal of The Shield has never really been forgotten by Ambrose, and when he is next reminded of it the Grand Slam Champion will be the one to turn on his current tag partner.
6. Roman Reigns Will Headline A Fourth Straight WrestleMania
It’s almost a given at this point that Roman Reigns will be clashing with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 for the Universal Championship. What’s also a given is that this mammoth sized rematch will likely close out the event’s proceedings. That means a few things for Roman Reigns. Firstly The Big Dog will continue to be rejected by the fans, and secondly he will be making history. If Reigns does in fact compete in the night’s main event it will be the fourth straight year in a row that he does so. The first match with Lesnar at WrestleMania 31, his win over Triple H a year later, retiring The Undertaker last year, then the Lesnar rematch this coming year. The only other man to ever achieve that feat is Hulk Hogan between WrestleMania V and VIII.
5. WrestleMania Will Never Be The Same
While Shawn Michaels has been given the moniker Mr. WrestleMania, even The Showstopper would likely agree that there is one man in particular who deserves that title more than he does: The Undertaker. At WrestleMania 34 there will be no Deadman and it will certainly make the show feel like there is something missing. The Undertaker has missed just two WrestleMania events since his first all the way back in 1991. The last time The Phenom didn’t feature on the show was in the year 2000. At WrestleMania 33 earlier this year Taker did battle with Roman Reigns, and although nothing official has been said it would appear that the veteran hung up his wrestling gear for good. The rest of next year’s show will have to be extremely good to make up for a lack of The Deadman.
4. Kurt Angle Competing In The Ring
When one door closes, another one opens. WrestleMania 34 may signal the beginning of an era without The Undertaker but it will likely see the in ring return of a different fan favorite, Kurt Angle. A man with a fair few WrestleMania moments of his own against the likes of Brock Lesnar and Shawn Michaels. This coming year we will see the Raw General Manager strap on his wrestling boots for the first time in WWE since 2006, and compete at his first WrestleMania since the 22nd edition of the pay per view. His most likely opponent at this moment in time will be Triple H. Angle has commented on how good and safe a worker The Game is during interviews even before he returned to WWE, and there’s a built in story line when it comes to the right to run Raw.
3. Kevin Owens Becomes WWE Champion
The WWE is very much behind Kevin Owens right now. Vince McMahon doesn’t make appearances on TV for nothing nowadays and he especially doesn’t come to the ring and take a beating like the one he suffered at the hands of KO for just anybody. The Prizefighter might very well be the most highly regarded Superstar on SmackDown Live at the moment. The near future has Owens battling Shane McMahon, but after that his road to a first ever WWE Championship surely has to begin. It’s the one singles title available to him that KO has yet to win, and the one he undoubtedly wants the most. Who he takes that WWE Championship from however is up for debate. It’s unlikely that Jinder Mahal will still be champion by then and WWE likely has different plans for SmackDown Live’s two top faces.
2. Bray Will Try To Tame His Monster
Braun Strowman’s career has absolutely sky rocketed during the past 18 months. So much so that fans may be forgiven for forgetting that we were introduced to The Monster Among Men via The Wyatt Family. It has been two years since Braun appeared in his black sheep mask. That means Bray Wyatt is sort of to blame for the devastation Strowman has unleashed on the roster since he was separated from his family via the draft. With Wyatt now back on Raw you’d have to think that sooner or later these two are going to clash. With the revelation of Sister Abigail being teased, Bray could claim that he has a way to control the monster in a story line that leads all the way to a WrestleMania match between the monster and his former master.
1. The Return Of Hulk Hogan
If there was ever one name that fans never believed WWE would attempt to delete from their history and black ball from the company it’s Hulk Hogan. The Immortal One really had to go the extra mile in order for WWE to distance themselves from him. Recently however Vince McMahon has ever so subtly been reintroducing The Hulkster back into WWE programming via the likes of ads for the WWE Network. Hogan has also been talking about returning more than ever before, asking fans via various forms of social media whether they would like to see him back. Hulk himself would likely want to wrestle again, but his appearance at WrestleMania 34 will be nothing more than him hosting the show or opening proceedings like he did last time the show was in New Orleans.
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