WrestleMania 33 will be the biggest professional wrestling show to take place underneath the World Wrestling Entertainment umbrella in 2017, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the company’s best show of the year. Truth be told, the WrestleMania 33 card appears rather underwhelming when you consider the depth of the overall WWE roster and the potential matches that were left off the card and to our imaginations. WWE remains obsessed with pushing Roman Reigns as the future face of the company, John Cena and The Miz are once again meeting at a WrestleMania and Triple H is involved in one of the major storylines of the Raw brand because of course he is, even though it’s 2017 and he’s now an executive.
We, thus, cannot help but look ahead to the WrestleMania 34 card that will take place in New Orleans, Louisiana. Those running WWE have roughly 12 months from the typing of this sentence to learn from previous mistakes and help build what, theoretically speaking, could be the greatest WWE card in the history of the company. Obviously, the WWE cannot book every match suggested in this piece for one reason or another, but a card filled with even half of these matches could make for a memorable show. If nothing else, creating these matches for the 2018 edition of WrestleMania may get people to watch the show without the benefit of receiving the WWE Network free of charge for up to three months.
15 Women’s Money in the Bank
Putting a female Money in the Bank match early on during the WrestleMania 34 card would be a way to energize fans once the main show begins, and such a contest would also get multiple women on the show without having to feature a pair of multi-wrestler female matches at the same event. Besides, the WWE women’s division is deeper and better today than at any point, and that trend should only continue as Asuka and others receive deserved call-ups from NXT to either Raw or SmackDown.
This match could even steal the show if it was given a good amount of time and booked correctly, and it could also help provide a jump-start to a future Raw or SmackDown champion who has not yet held one of those titles.
14 Big Show vs. Shaquille O'Neal
If at first you don’t succeed for whatever reasons, try and try again. The WWE needs to remember this old adage as it pertains to a future match between Big Show and former National Basketball Association star Shaquille O'Neal. It was widely believed this match would take place at WrestleMania 33, and Big Show did well to get himself in phenomenal shape for the contest. That match isn’t happening at the biggest event of 2017, though, but the WWE now has an additional 12 months to get everybody to agree to a deal that would make the contest a reality in 2018.
It’s possible Shaq and Big Show could meet inside a WWE ring at a different event later this year, but we’d rather see the match happen at a WrestleMania where it will generate the most buzz for the company.
13 #BROKEN Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
This match admittedly cannot occur at WrestleMania 33, as neither Matt Hardy nor his brother, Jeff, are signed to WWE contracts as of the end of March unless those deals are being kept secret. Assuming both of the Hardy brothers will sign with the WWE in 2017 and that they will be able to legally use the “Broken” gimmick they made famous while working for Impact Wrestling, this is the obvious WrestleMania 34 match for Matt.
Just as with some other matches suggested for the WrestleMania 34 card, one concern here is that the WWE wouldn’t wait an entire year to book this feud. Hopefully, writers and executives will show patience and give this match the lengthy build and respect it requires between April 2017 and WrestleMania 34.
12 Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano
Even before the duo of Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano won the NXT Tag Team Titles, there were subtle teases that Ciampa could go heel and eventually turn on Gargano. That does not necessarily need to happen before the team known as D.I.Y. appears on either Raw or SmackDown. In fact, it may make for better a story if the two remain a team on the main roster until Ciampa turns for whatever reason.
As long as WWE is able to show some patience and allow this feud to breathe over several months, fans could be longing to see Gargano get his revenge at WrestleMania 34. For what it’s worth, the match would probably be awesome and also beloved by fans watching at the stadium and at home.
11 Kassius Ohno vs. Kevin Owens
It’s still too early to say if the WWE will ever allow Kassius Ohno to be anything of note as a member on the main roster, but we hope he gets a real opportunity if only so we can see this match take place at a WrestleMania. This is a “K.O. versus K.O.” big-man battle we have yet to see take place on WWE television, and it’s one that should be a great encounter because of the talents held by both participants.
A future feud between the two will need to wait, as Ohno has only been in NXT a short time during his second stint on that brand. Ohno could potentially debut at the 2018 Royal Rumble and eliminate Owens to set up what could be a fast-paced brawl at WrestleMania 34.
10 Neville vs. Sami Zayn
Neville and Sami Zayn are similar in that both got over as beloved babyfaces in NXT, and yet neither man was all that protected after making the jump to the main roster. Neville’s WWE run received new life when he turned heel and was given a chance to serve as the top star of the company’s cruiserweight division, but Zayn continues to be just a guy on the Raw roster.
One idea could be to add Zayn to the 205 Live roster and have him feud with Neville, perhaps even over the Cruiserweight Title. WWE could tell a story about Zayn’s inability to win a major title en route to WrestleMania 34, and there’s little doubt these two would put on a great show in front of the live crowd.
9 Roman Reigns vs. Jeff Hardy
Just about everybody knows Roman Reigns needs to turn heel, perhaps even at WrestleMania 33 during or after his match with The Undertaker. A heel Reigns could make for the ideal opponent for Jeff Hardy if Jeff and Matt are on the cusp of re-signing with the WWE. Hardy and Reigns is a unique match that’s almost guaranteed to entertain the audience, and Jeff would be a great babyface to take bumps working with a larger opponent such as Reigns.
The WWE could even have this match be for the Universal Championship depending on all that occurs in storylines over the next 12 months. The WWE has to eventually get something right with Reigns. Let the man’s inner heel come to the surface, and then let him feud with “Brother Nero.”
8 Randy Orton vs. The Rock
The Rock seems to almost always make time for the WWE regardless of how busy he is with Hollywood projects and other business affairs, which is why it’s not unlikely he’ll make an appearance at WrestleMania 34. There aren’t many big matches left for Rock to have, but a WrestleMania encounter versus Randy Orton could make for great television with the proper writing.
Orton, known as the “Legend Killer” during his early days in the company, never had an opportunity to defeat this particular living legend in a one-on-one bout at a WrestleMania, and Rock is still capable of having good matches even though he hasn’t been an active wrestler in years. Orton could be the perfect opponent for Rock if the “People’s Champ” is interested in working at WrestleMania 34.
7 Asuka vs. Charlotte
Even if the WWE does decide to book a Money in the Bank match for WrestleMania 34, the show could still use a one-on-one bout featuring female wrestlers on that card. Asuka needs to be called up to either Raw or SmackDown as quickly as possible, perhaps as early as the week after WrestleMania 33.
Charlotte, meanwhile, has been a revelation as a top heel on the Raw brand, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say she’s been the MVP of the women’s division during her run on the main roster. Asuka and Charlotte have yet to face each other on any brand at a televised event, and Charlotte would be a true heel who would get booed by a WrestleMania crowd during a match against a talented wrestler such as Asuka.
6 Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor
Perhaps the biggest hurdle standing in the way of wrestling fans getting to see Seth Rollins face Finn Balor at WrestleMania 34 is that the WWE won’t want to wait an entire year to have these two wrestle once Balor makes his official return to television at some point this spring. A real-life storyline for this future match already exists, as Balor suffered a legitimate injury when the two faced off at SummerSlam in August 2016.
Assuming both men will be fully healthy and able to be at their best on the night of WrestleMania 34, this could and maybe even should be a match of the year candidate. Neither man would necessarily have to turn heel for this match to occur, as both would receive cheers from the types of fans that pay to attend a WrestleMania show.
5 Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe
We’ve decided to go ahead and ignore those rumors about Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns once again working with each other at a WrestleMania show, this time in 2018, and instead dream of a match that features Lesnar wrestling Samoa Joe. This match wouldn’t be pretty, but that’s the point of it.
Fans would be able to suspend their disbelief for several minutes and believe they’re watching a legitimate fight between two big guys who hit hard and throw each other all over the ring, and odds are the contest would leave lasting memories in the minds of all who watch it. This could also be a way to put Samoa Joe over as one of the top performers in the WWE if the company has such plans for him over the next 12 months.
4 Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz
We’re not in denial here, as we get it’s highly unlikely WWE will allow Daniel Bryan to ever wrestle for the company again following his forced retirement in 2016. It cannot be ignored, however, that WWE repeatedly teases a feud and future contest involving Bryan and Miz, and we think we’ve figured out a way the promotion could produce this match without having to worry about the safety of either man.
Remember when Sheamus defeated Bryan in 18 seconds at WrestleMania 28? We’d like Bryan to squash Miz in even less time. This would give Bryan a win in his last official WWE in-ring appearance, and it would allow him to have a WWE retirement match in front of a massive audience chanting “YES!” as he walked up the ramp for the last time as an active performer.
3 Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
This match between real-life family members who are two different types of authority figures in storylines is easy to create. Truth be told, this match may, to steal the phrase, be “best for business,” as it would keep both Triple H and Shane McMahon away from active wrestlers for the WrestleMania 34 show.
We understand this match probably wouldn’t be a five-star classic, but not every WrestleMania match can be at such a high level of quality. A feud between Triple H and McMahon is both believable in the eyes of casual and diehard fans, and it may even be slightly based in reality. The hope here is that Triple H could talk McMahon out of taking a ridiculous and unnecessary high risk for this match, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to WrestleMania 34.
2 John Cena vs. The Undertaker
The storyline for the match involving John Cena and Nikki Bella taking on Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania 33 has made for entertaining segments on SmackDown and Talking Smack, but the actual match will likely be lackluster and forgettable. One match that needs to happen before both men ride off into the sunset is Cena versus Undertaker, a contest featuring two of the biggest WWE stars of the past 20 years going face-to-face in front of thousands upon thousands of excited fans.
Regardless of who wins, this could be an opportunity for both men to offer one final farewell to WWE audiences before they go on to whatever future endeavors they plan to embrace outside of the ring. The match also would likely be fun to watch.
1 A.J. Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
It’s almost impossible to believe WWE couldn’t come up with a better idea for A.J. Styles for WrestleMania 33 than a one-on-one match against either Shawn Michaels or Shane McMahon, but that’s where we are as of the final week of March 2017.
Meanwhile, Shinsuke Nakamura remains down in NXT rather than on the main roster and part of the company’s top show of the year. Creating an entertaining storyline that ends with Styles and Nakamura facing each other at WrestleMania 34 should be easy enough knowing the pasts of the two wrestlers, and that contest could prove to be one of the top WWE matches of the decade. It would be a shame if WWE dropped the ball and didn’t put this near or even in the main-event slot of WrestleMania 34.