The first several months of any given year make for the most exciting period to follow World Wrestling Entertaining programming. Hopefully, the Royal Rumble show that occurs in January is an entertaining card that also keeps your interest following the event, and the idea is that WrestleMania season brings with it can’t-miss storylines fans want to see conclude at a stadium near the end of March or early April. Due to the ever-changing nature of both WWE programming and the mind of WWE chairman Vince McMahon, numerous rumored matches and feuds get mentioned by respected journalists as well as by fans who fantasy book on social media platforms such as Twitter and also in Internet wrestling forums. Not all of these matches play out in WWE or NXT for whatever reasons, and that isn’t necessarily a negative.
Some of the matches that are scheduled or rumored to take place underneath the WWE umbrella in 2018 will grab fans' attention leading up to WrestleMania, the end of springtime and the start of SummerSlam seasons. Others, however, either leave us wanting more or even cause followers of the product to consider skipping editions of Raw or SmackDown because we simply don’t want to watch those particular performs work together. Not every match or idea is going to be a gem, of course. That’s the case with any version of combat sports, even one where the outcomes of contests are pre-determined. Nevertheless, WWE fans can hold out hope that individuals making creative decisions for the promotion will get things right and create only enticing main events between now and the end of December 2018.
17 Hope To See: Daniel Bryan vs. Shane McMahon
We wouldn’t blame any wrestling fans out there for being upset about the WWE constantly teasing this match, because it looks as if it won’t be possible due to Daniel Bryan not being cleared to compete in the ring following his forced retirement.
Everybody out there should understand Bryan probably won’t work a five-star classic in the WWE even if the company allows him to wrestle, out of concerns for his well-being, but pairing him up with Shane McMahon could be a way to protect the former World Champion, allow him to have one more match in the WWE, and then have his hand raised one more time before he bounces and works on his own time in September if that is what he plans to do in the fall.
16 Don't: Shane McMahon vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Literally nothing about this match occurring sounds interesting. For starters, we’ve already seen Shane McMahon face Kevin Owens, and it wasn’t anything special. Adding Sami Zayn into the match for a two-on-one situation or having the combination of Zayn and Owens work on behalf of Daniel Bryan versus Shane McMahon and a teammate won’t do much for viewers or for people attending a WrestleMania or other event.
This storyline will have been watered down to death after the three-way match involving Zayn, Owens and AJ Styles, and extending it for another month so Shane can get the win on a pay-per-view will do nothing for the two men who are actually members of the main roster. Simply stated, Owens and Zayn deserve better than this.
14 Hope To See: Jinder Mahal vs. Rob Gronkowski
This will absolutely be a gimmick idea, but it’s one that involves long-term booking, a year-long build and a feud that has continued thanks to Jinder Mahal trolling Rob Gronkowski on Twitter after the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gronk will have the time of his life working at WrestleMania, and he’ll be over among even those who don’t like the Patriots wrestling against Jinder. Granted, Jinder will have to have his working boots on, even for a match that probably isn’t going any longer than a minute or so. Not everything about pro wrestling has to be serious and about a championship. Let Gronk and fans have their fun, and enjoy what will be one of the silliest WrestleMania matches in recent memory.
13 Don't: Seth Rollins vs. Jason Jordan
As this point, those of us who aren’t Jason Jordon can only speculate about the neck injury that may, depending on what rumors you want to believe, endanger his career or that could just be a minor setback. Either way, we don’t want to see Jason Jordan face Seth Rollins in some sort of grudge match at WrestleMania, SummerSlam, Survivor Series or any other event, for that matter.
Turning Jordan into a heel and a character similar to the one played by Kurt Angle in the late 1990s is a fine idea, but Rollins needs something more interesting to do. He’s too good and too special a performer to be wasting away in a storyline that, quite frankly, is drawing go-away heat from fans. We’d like to see this match become a forgotten rumor if Jordan is, in fact, sidelined for a lengthy amount of time.
12 Hope To See: Asuka vs. Charlotte
Assuming that the WWE is going to run with the plan of having Alexa Bliss face Nia Jax at WrestleMania, this is the rumored bout we want to see occur at the biggest show of the year. It’s a dream encounter that never happen in NXT, and these two women could absolutely tear the house down if given the right amount of time and the opportunity to steal the show.
There’s so many possibilities for how this storyline would play out. Asuka could, and should, be the woman to dethrone Charlotte en route to taking SmackDown by storm. On the other hand, the WWE could throw a total swerve out way and have Charlotte be the first person to beat Asuka setting up a feud between her and Ronda Rousey.
11 Don't: Carmella vs. Charlotte
With so much left up in the air regarding WrestleMania and storylines that will play out following that event, the possibility still remains that Carmella could decide to cash-in her briefcase for the biggest show of the year and face Charlotte in New Orleans. No disrespect meant to Carmella, but the Queen of Staten Island going for the gold would be a complete letdown.
She is not nearly as good as Asuka in the ring or as a character, and that isn’t going to change at any point, let alone before WrestleMania. Carmella could eventually win a title, potentially by cashing-in on the Raw Champion as a surprise. Charlotte versus Asuka is the money match here, and the WWE should realize that and toss this rumored match out the window.
10 Hope To See: Usos vs. Authors of Pain
Before any WWE fans get too excited about this rumored match, remember that plans change, and that the company could choose to put the SmackDown tag team championships on the duo of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan ahead of a WrestleMania rematch between the two. If that doesn’t happen, which it shouldn’t because the Bludgeon Brothers aren’t ready for that kind of push just yet, we hope the rumor of the Authors of Pain receiving a call-up and immediate push to the top of the SmackDown division ends up being true.
AOP vastly improved throughout their tenure in NXT, so much so that they somewhat turned babyface at the very end of their run. The Usos could potentially produce close to a five-star thriller with the Authors in the right environment.
9 Don't: John Cena vs. The Undertaker
Yes, it is understood this is a battle between living legends of the industry, and also a match that never occurred at WrestleMania. The harsh truth of the matter here is that the WWE is about five years too late to run this match and make fans care about it. Undertaker remains a popular figure among casual fans and diehard WWE supporters, but his body gave up on him even before the spring of 2017. He can’t go anymore, and it’s actually somewhat sad to see him make even slow strolls to the ring.
Cena has evolved into a tremendous worker capable of having amazing matches when facing the likes of AJ Styles, Sami Zayn or even Roman Reigns. He won’t get a good contest out of Undertaker. Leave the memories alone, WWE, and let The Undertaker character rest in peace.
8 Hope To See: Goldberg Winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
By now, we already know that the idea of the WWE using the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal to put over a young Superstar en route to pushing him as a serious and main-event player is nothing more than a fantasy. Why not have Goldberg come back at WrestleMania, draw a huge pop and then just win the battle royal?
Watching Goldberg throw dudes around and over the top rope would be good for laughs and fun, and he’d be beloved by the in-stadium crowd after he won the trophy. Much like with the idea for Daniel Bryan, this would allow Goldberg to theoretically go out as a winner assuming this would be his final match before officially retiring, for good, from WWE action.
6 Don't: Kurt Angle vs. Triple H
Much of what was said about the Undertaker could be echoed for Kurt Angle. Angle, in his time, was quite possibly the greatest overall worker in the history of North American pro wrestling, an athletic marvel who could do it all in the ring. That time, sadly, ended well before his return to the WWE as the storyline authority figure in charge of Raw.
We do understand Angle wanting to have a final WrestleMania match, and it makes sense for him and Triple H to feud assuming Angle has a falling-out with Stephanie McMahon. Just because Triple H could protect Angle in a match doesn’t mean the actual bout will be good or entertaining. Besides, who needs to see Triple H go over Angle in 2018?
5 Hope To See: Aleister Black vs. Drew McIntyre
It is only a matter of time before Aleister Black becomes the NXT Champion and Andrade “Cien” Almas makes his much-anticipated move to the WWE main roster. Black will have several intriguing opponents once he wins the title, and it was always hoped that Black and Drew McIntyre would eventually feud over the NXT belt before one, or both, were called-up in 2018.
McIntyre’s injury put a halt to that rumored match, but he is on the road to recovery and should be good to go in the not-so-distant future. The NXT roster needs stars such as Black and McIntyre for the touring brand and for a future Takeover event. We hope this match will play out rather than McIntyre being re-introduced on either Raw or SmackDown once he’s healthy.
4 Don't: The Rock & Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H & Stephanie McMahon
The Rock is wrestling royalty and also an entertainment megastar who is the biggest action-movie draw in Hollywood today. None of that means we need to see Rock team up with former Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight championship Ronda Rousey to face the team of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, even if that match was teased at a prior ‘Mania.
Rock will draw attention and will earn the WWE desired press from media outlets, things fans care next to nothing about. Using Rousey and Rock to make Stephanie into a mainstream name is a horrible idea and may even backfire in front of a crowd of diehard fans who pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to watch WrestleMania. Rousey is, allegedly, a member of the roster. She doesn’t need the rub from the Rock.
3 Hope To See: Asuka vs. Ronda Rousey
The slow build for a match between Asuka and Ronda Rousey began at the 2018 Royal Rumble, and it should continue long past WrestleMania assuming Asuka will defeat Charlotte at WrestleMania. Rousey submitting the likes of Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Mickie James and Bayley will help to get her wrestling persona over and will offer fresh matches for the Raw division, but everyone will, understandably, be waiting for her to fight an undefeated Asuka to see who the WWE will put over.
The heat, alone, for this bout will cause fans to raise from their seats before the bell rings. Truth be told, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see the WWE put Asuka over Rousey before crowning somebody currently in NXT as the woman to defeat the Empress of Tomorrow.
2 Don't: Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
We are just going to be blunt and come out and say that nobody should want to see this match even teased, let alone actually take place. Roode holding the United States Title is giving some meaning to that belt, but he is such a natural heel that it’s actually difficult watching him work as a babyface.
Ziggler, meanwhile, is a lost soul on the SmackDown roster that probably cannot be saved on the blue brand. Whatever his gimmick was supposed to be near the end of 2017 did nothing for him, and putting him in a ladder match with Roode for the US Title that Ziggler gave up for zero reason, in storyline, won’t fix that. The only thing that might work with Ziggler is to move him to Raw to shake things up. Please have Roode defend the gold against a better worker at WrestleMania, WWE.
1 Hope To See: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles
The WWE is essentially promising us on every edition of SmackDown that the triple-threat match between AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens isn’t going to rob us of the WrestleMania showdown between Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. Knowing how the minds of certain people within WWE work and that things can change seemingly in an instant, we are putting this as the top rumored match we hope and even demand to see in 2018.
Nakamura and Styles will be an instant classic unless something goes horribly wrong, so much so that the company may have no other choice than to put this last on the ‘Mania card. Don’t pull the rug out from under us on this one, WWE. We need Nakamura versus Styles at WrestleMania in 2018.