The end of 2017 is well within sight as of the typing of this sentence, so, logically, passionate World Wrestling Entertainment fans are already looking ahead to WrestleMania 34 and matches that could take place at the biggest show of 2018. It’s important to remember, while attempting to forecast what could occur at North American pro wrestling’s “Granddaddy of Them All,” that things can and often do change at the blink of an eye in WWE thanks to Vince McMahon (allegedly) having second thoughts about certain storylines and about which wrestlers he may want to push at any given moment. The old adage that anything can happen in the WWE from the 1990s remains true weeks before 2018, and that makes keeping up with WrestleMania 34 rumors a difficult task.
With the help of journalists such as Bryan Alvarez, Dave Meltzer and others who cover what occurs behind the scenes in WWE, fans have at least a working idea of what the WrestleMania 34 card looks like as of Christmas time. Because of that, pockets of viewers likely can’t help but wonder what could be done to make a few, if not all, of those matches more entertaining. In some instances, something like a slight change to a character could make all the difference in how that match is presented to fans. For other matches, though, the WWE should consider going in an entirely different direction to make those matches better and to ensure the participants in the contest aren’t booed out of the stadium by fans just looking for reasons to erupt during the lengthy show.
16 Rumored: WWE Four Horsewomen vs. MMA Four Horsewomen
Those of you who watched the first ever WWE Mae Young Classic from this past summer know this match has been rumored for WrestleMania 34 for nearly half a year. During that tournament, WWE performers Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Bayley had a confrontation with mixed martial artists Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shafir and former Ultimate Fighting Championship Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey.
While the WWE hasn’t yet officially confirmed Rousey is signed to any deal, it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before the two sides agree to terms that will finalize this rumored WrestleMania 34 match. Baszler is set to be introduced to NXT television audiences sooner rather than later, but don’t be surprised if she and her three teammates show up at the 2018 Royal Rumble.
15 Make It Better: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte
The problem with doing this particular eight-women tag match is that something of this magnitude needs more than a build-up of only a few months to get the most out of it. Besides, all should remember three of the eight supposed competitors in this rumored WrestleMania 34 match are essentially anonymous to casual fans who care little, if at all, about women’s MMA.
There should absolutely come a time when these eight women battle it out in the ring. Truth be told, that match could be made even better by having it occur inside of the War Games double-cell. Have Rousey go over Charlotte at WrestleMania 34, and allow that rivalry to grow naturally before booking a historic War Games for the 2018 edition of SummerSlam.
14 Rumored: Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose
A dream held by many WWE fans around the world came true in 2017 when Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns came together to re-join forces and bring The Shield back to Raw shows and Pay-Per-View events. Anybody who follows the product and knows what Vince McMahon evidently sees in Reigns probably realizes The Shield isn’t going to be part of the company’s long-term plans heading into WrestleMania 34.
Once the inevitable second breakup occurs, Seth Rollins battling with Dean Ambrose for one reason or another could finish a feud that never had a true ending in the first place. If that happens, we have one stipulation that could help make this match, and the storyline hovering over it is better for all involved.
13 Make It Better: Loser Leaves Raw Stipulation
Just about nobody in the stadium or watching at home is going to care all that much more about any match between Rollins and Ambrose if a mid-card tile such as the Intercontinental Championship is on the line when the two have yet another contest. Assuming The Shield isn’t long for WWE programming and that Reigns is going back into the main-event picture before WrestleMania 34, the promotion should split Ambrose and Rollins from each other.
Those of us who follow the company on a weekly basis understand Raw is the main brand regardless of what is presented in storylines or in promos. Make this a “loser leaves Raw” match, which could help both Rollins and Ambrose reset their solo characters once the new WWE years begins after WrestleMania 34.
12 Rumored: WOKEN Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
A supposed “Great War” is coming. After months of waiting — and waiting and waiting — Matt Hardy is finally able to play a version of the “WOKEN” character he made famous while performing for Impact Wrestling, and his feud with Bray Wyatt will probably lead to more than one match in 2018. There should come a time when these two, and probably others, battle at the Hardy compound to create the WWE’s version of “The Final Deletion,” but the company cannot show that match on big screens to thousands of fans watching inside a stadium.
It would bomb unlike any other moment in WrestleMania history. Because of that, the promotion should instead consider adding multiple people to this storyline ahead of WrestleMania 34. It can work if done correctly.
11 Make It Better: WOKEN Matt, Brother Nero and Reby Sky vs. Bray Wyatt, Eric Young and Nikki Cross
There is only so much more the WWE can do with the Sanity faction in NXT beyond 2017. The duo of Eric Young and Killian Dain (spoiler) dropped the NXT Tag Team Championships at a taping in late November, and the stable, as a whole, is somewhat tired and watered-down in the developmental portion of the company.
Wyatt is going to need soldiers of his own assuming that Jeff Hardy will physically be able to work at WrestleMania 34 and play his Brother Nero character. Young and Nikki Cross joining Wyatt to form a new heel group could extend this storyline and make for an interesting WrestleMania 34 match, one that would feature the in-ring debut of Reby Sky, Matt’s wife. The Great War should extend throughout 2018, with WrestleMania 34 serving as just one skirmish.
10 Rumored: Alexa Bliss vs. Asuka
It'll be interesting to see what the WWE does with the upcoming women’s Royal Rumble match. Perhaps, as mentioned earlier in this piece, the promotion will use this match to introduce the MMA Four Horsewomen as a dominant faction that destroys all in its path and ruins what was supposed to be a special and historic moment. If that doesn’t occur, though, it seems likely the company would have Asuka go over as the winner en route to taking the title from Alexa Bliss at WrestleMania 34.
As much as fans may like and respect Alexa Bliss, nobody is going to believe for even a second that she has any chance of beating the dominant Asuka. In fact, some probably wouldn’t want to watch Asuka sell for Bliss for a single move before the former NXT Champion won via submission.
9 Make It Better: Asuka vs. Paige
Everything about this match screams WrestleMania 34 contest, and the company has already put the idea into our minds by having Paige and her Absolution stable attack Asuka. These two should have a one-on-one showdown with Paige working as the heel, but they should remain separated until that contest occurs. Theoretically, Paige could defeat Alexa Bliss at a future show, such as the Royal Rumble, and Asuka could win the Rumble to earn her spot in a WrestleMania title match.
From there, booking a feud between the former NXT Champions is easy. Both made history earlier in their WWE careers, and both are beloved by fans. We’re getting excited even thinking about what these two could do with up to 20 minutes of match time at a WrestleMania.
8 Rumored: Hideo Itami vs. Enzo Amore
Knowing how certain individuals who book and create storylines within the WWE allegedly think, we understand why Hideo Itami has been added to the Cruiserweight Division and the 205 Live show after being called up to the main roster and to the Raw brand. After all, Shinsuke Nakamura took Itami’s spot in NXT after Itami was injured, so the promotion using Itami differently than Nakamura because that’s how the company works is just the way things are in 2017.
Itami could potentially carry Amore to a decent WrestleMania match, but Enzo holding the title through WrestleMania 34 shouldn’t happen. He’s a fine character, but the gimmick of him working as champion just because he’s a name and recognized by casual WWE audiences gets older and older with every week.
7 Make It Better: Itami vs. Finn Balor
Hear us out on this one before you attempt to reach through your computer out of anger at the thought of Finn Balor being used in a Cruiserweight Championship match. All indications are that the 205 Live weekly WWE Network program is a dead show walking and could be canned before or not long after WrestleMania 34.
If that happens, the promotion will still have an entire roster of Cruiserweight performers signed, and the company is going to need to do something major to bolster that particular brand. Balor isn’t going to feud for the WWE Universal Championship before WrestleMania 34 regardless of what fans think about it. Why not have Balor and Itami tear the house down and make Balor the face of the Cruiserweight Division in the process? It’s better than Balor doing jobs for Kane.
6 Rumored: Triple H vs. Kurt Angle
Any fears or concerns one may have had about the WWE potentially refusing to allow Kurt Angle to work a match underneath the company umbrella were eliminated when he became a temporary member of The Shield and wrestled at TLC, and then later performed at the Survivor Series.
A babyface Angle feuding with a heel Triple H and The Authority is an easy tale to tell, and writers could even go so far to mention the former love-triangle involving Angle, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. No disrespect meant to these two WWE legends, but they are no longer the performers of old. Truth be told, this match could be lousy and downright boring unless it is improved by a couple of performers turning it into a tag team contest.
5 Make It Better: Insert Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon
Per WWE storylines, Kevin Owens has been handpicked by Triple H to carry the company flag and serve as a top heel behind the scenes, in NXT and on the Raw brand. Yes, Owens is currently part of SmackDown, but such things don’t matter as it pertains to WrestleMania. Besides, Shane McMahon could push for Owens to either move to Raw or work alongside Triple H for a one-off due to his feud with Owens that seems likely to continue through the end of 2017.
Adding Shane-o-Mac and Owens to this match goes along with multiple storylines, and it could prevent Triple H and Kurt Angle from creating a forgettable bout that leaves those of us who watched them two decades ago wanting to turn the clock back to 2000.
4 Rumored: John Cena vs Jinder Mahal
Logic suggests WWE would want John Cena, the face of the company throughout the 2000s and a performer who could be thinking about life away from pro wrestling sooner rather than later, to win a historic 17th major championship at a WrestleMania. Having him do so against a heel even dedicated and “insider” fans don’t want to see as champion could prevent those customers from turning on the leader of the CeNation during the match.
Don’t think that just because Jinder Mahal lost to A.J. Styles at the December Clash of Champions show means that the company won’t go back to him as a heel title-holder meant to do the job to Cena at WrestleMania 34. With that said, one probably doesn’t have to think long and hard about who they’d rather see work with Cena on that night.
3 Make It Better: Cena vs. Styles
Sure, we’ve already seen John Cena and A.J. Styles wrestle against each other more than once, but those matches were somewhere between good and great. We have to assume the two could steal the show at WrestleMania 34, particularly if writers allowed the duo to play their current characters and didn’t force Styles to play the role of a heel looking to take shortcuts to win.
Styles versus Cena is an easy story to tell without any gimmicks. Styles believes he is the best wrestler on the SmackDown roster, if not in all the WWE, and wants to keep Cena from making history. Cena, meanwhile, wants to notch what may be his final title run. This match, were it to occur, should be the true main event at WrestleMania 34.
2 Rumored: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
Almost immediately after WrestleMania 33 came to an end following Roman Reigns destroying the Undertaker in what will probably be the legend’s final match, rumors surfaced that the long-term idea was for Reigns to defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 34 in yet another attempt to try to make Reigns into the promotion’s top singles star.
Nothing has happened as of late December to make us believe that isn’t the plan moving forward. Say, for the sake of argument, Vince McMahon and others are all-in on Reigns being the guy. There’s nothing those who boo Reigns at events can do about that. Still, McMahon and company should think about making one needed change ahead of time to help keep fans from rejecting Reigns’ future win over The Beast.
1 Make It Better: Have Reigns Work as a Heel
We understand some out there already view Roman Reigns as a heel regardless of who he is working with, and that those people would boo at even the thought of him beating Brock Lesnar for the company’s main title at WrestleMania 34. Reigns needs to go from being a heel in the minds of casual fans to an actual heel, one who turns on his Shield brothers, cuts a promo saying that he is the rightful face of the company who no longer cares what any fans think of him and who takes shortcuts to win matches versus the likes of Lesnar.
The great Reigns babyface push is a failed experiment and needs to be burned to the ground. See if the character has life as a heel, WWE, and let that version of Reigns beat Lesnar at WrestleMania 34.