Cultured Vultures Predict The WrestleMania 34 Match Winners
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Anyway, here are our predictions for WrestleMania 34.*
ANDRÉ THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL
Jimmy Donnellan: Christ, I don’t know/care. Let’s say Curt Hawkins. What was once a really interesting idea to get over upcoming talent is now the toilet-est toilet break of them all. I’ve gone for Curt Hawkins but can’t wait to see a retired hockey player from 1987 win the whole thing.
Darryl Edge: Big Cass To be honest, this match ultimately means nothing for the winner, but Big Cass has reportedly been cleared for a while and this match is a great way to re-establish the big man.
Matt McConnell: Samoa Joe *Godzilla roar*
Thomas Broome-Jones: Big Cass I’m gonna take a stab in the dark and wager on a returning Big Cass.
Chris Pilkington: Goldust Despite its relatively short history, The Andre Memorial has a bit of an identity crisis, flipping between showcasing newer talents like Cesaro and Mojo Rawley and honouring the careers of long-time employees such as Big Show. With how little build has been put into this year’s battle royal, I think this might be one of the years they give the win to a veteran. Goldust deserves one last big WrestleMania moment and I hope he gets it here.
James Cooke: Samoa Joe What better way for a healed Samoan Submission Machine to return than with a big WrestleMania win?
William Quant: Dolph Ziggler Let Dolph Ziggler have it. Let that contract renegotiation amount to effing something.
WRESTLEMANIA WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL
Jimmy Donnellan: Bayley Bayley is going to throw her mate Sasha over the top rope to win it, leading to a couple of PPV matches between the two post-Mania.
Darryl Edge: Bayley If Bayley is going to get her Mania moment and any measure of revenge, it will be here and now by eliminating Sasha Banks.
Matt McConnell: Nikki Bella *Brie Mode roar*
Thomas Broome-Jones: Bayley Her winning here and bragging about it the next night on Raw feels natural.
Chris Pilkington: Ember Moon I see Shayna Baszler taking the NXT Women’s title away from Ember at NXT Takeover and immediately making her mark on the main roster. We’ve already seen Ember appear in the Royal Rumble so her entry here wouldn’t be surprising and WWE did a similar thing with Baron Corbin a couple of years ago. It would be a great way to call Ember up and would make her an instant challenger to either Raw or SmackDown’s champions post-WrestleMania.
James Cooke: Bayley The only two entrants with a current storyline are Bayley and Sasha Banks. The Boss has several firsts under her belt already. This one’s Bayley’s with a possible shock heel turn. William Quant: Bayley It better be Bayley, preferably after a final three of Bayley, Sasha, and Becky Lynch.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER VS. MUSTAFA ALI
Jimmy Donnellan: Ali Ali dresses like a DBZ character. That does it for me.
Darryl Edge: Alexander The post-Enzo rehaul of 205 Live has done wonders for the purple brand and Cedric has been its destined champ for some time. He’s come too close for too long to fall now.
Matt McConnell: Alexander Probably a really decent kick-off match. This will be the boost 205 Live needs going forward.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Alexander At this point, he’s the heir apparent.
Chris Pilkington: Ali Despite originally being a Cruiserweight Classic stand-in, Mustafa Ali has become one of the highlights of 205 Live. His story (cop turned wrestler who’s trying to subvert the views wrestling fans have of his culture) is one worth telling on the big stage.
James Cooke: Alexander He’s been building towards this win for almost two years, ever since a Full Sail crowd demanded his employment.
William Quant: Alexander I want my boy Mustafa and his Power Ranger suit and sick promos to get it, but it’s Cedrick’s time. Genuinely can’t wait for this one.
THE USOS VS. THE NEW DAY VS. THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS
Jimmy Donnellan: The Usos The New Day have had their day as champions, the Bludgeon Brothers’ attire makes me deeply uncomfortable, and The Usos just simply deserve their turn in the WM spotlight.
Darryl Edge: The Usos Astonishingly, this is The Usos’ first Mania match on the actual card. As happy as I would be to see either Usos or New Day win, I’m taking the UUUUU-SOOOOOs to defend.
Matt McConnell: The Usos Hopefully some ladders are involved in this match. Maybe a table or two. I’d also accept a chair. Just no kendo sticks.
Thomas Broome-Jones: The Usos The Usos have put in work to reinvent themselves as the standard bearers for tag team wrestling in WWE. Their first ever real WrestleMania match should end in victory.
Chris Pilkington: The Usos I see The Usos being victorious in their first ever WrestleMania match. They’ve worked so hard this past year and won a lot of people over. I think they finally get their WrestleMania moment here.
James Cooke: The Usos The twins take advantage of a downed Big E following a Bludgeon Brothers beatdown.
William Quant: The Usos Usos retain, even if it does become a TLC. I think virtually every other title changes hands, so one has to stay.
RANDY ORTON VS. BOBBY ROODE VS. JINDER MAHAL VS. RUSEV
Jimmy Donnellan: Rusev Orton is alright unless he has a belt, Roode needs to start being his gloriously evil self, and Mahal is just Mahalssively bland. WrestleMania deserves a beautiful Rusev Day. Plus, he might come out in a tank again and I am all about that tank.
Darryl Edge: Orton We all know that WrestleMania falls on Rusev Day, but I think The Viper -even though I don’t think he should have beat Bobby Roode in the first place- will slither his way to a successful defence here.
Matt McConnell: Roode RKOs aplenty but a Glorious sing-along is too overpowering.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Roode Roode was built for a WrestleMania moment, he’s gonna have a ludicrous entrance and leave with his title.
Chris Pilkington: Orton I think Orton retains here. He won’t be the popular choice, especially on Rusev Day, but Orton has a habit of standing tall at WrestleMania. Roode has only just lost the belt so returning to him as champ doesn’t make sense, Mahal is quickly dropping back down the card and Rusev is such a late addition to the match that I really don’t see him going over.
James Cooke: Rusev Because Rusev Day has come at last.
Jimmy Donnellan: Jax She should have been champ ages ago.
Darryl Edge: Jax Easiest match to predict, I believe. As great as Bliss has been as champ, her body shaming has set her up for a fall.
Matt McConnell: Jax Total squash match. Don’t be a bully, be a star.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Jax It’s among the easiest matches of the night to predict. Nia to win and hopefully with ease.
Chris Pilkington: Jax I feel the story between Alexa and Nia has been set up for Nia to destroy the Women’s champ. Alexa is a strong enough character to come back from an embarrassing Mania loss and Nia would make a cracking, dominant champ.
James Cooke: Jax Squash.
William Quant: Jax I would love for Nia to win it in a minute thirty.
DANIEL BRYAN & SHANE MCMAHON VS. KEVIN OWENS & SAMI ZAYN
Jimmy Donnellan: Zayn & Owens As much as Zayn and Owens’ stock has fallen since they banded together, I can’t see a WWE without them. Can you imagine the heat if they beat a returning Bryan, too? That would be delicious.
Darryl Edge: Bryan & McMahon It’s Bryan’s big return match and I see no way he will lose at WrestleMania, especially being in New Orleans which heralded one the WWE’s greatest feel-good moments with him at the conclusion of WM 30. Not to mention the boost in ticket sales that D-Bry’s return has led to. He and Shane losing here will lead to actual riots.
Matt McConnell: Bryan & McMahon “WRESTLEMANIA HAS TURNED INTO YESLEMANIA” – probably Byron, 2018.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Bryan & McMahon Daniel Bryan isn’t losing his big return match.
Chris Pilkington: Zayn & Owens Of course I’d love to see Bryan pick up a decisive victory on his monumental wrestling return, but the money has always been in his eternal underdog status. With Daniel Bryan giving up his general manager position to focus on his in-ring return, the door is open for a retread of him being held back by a heel authority.
James Cooke: Bryan & McMahon It’s another miracle of Bourbon Street! Yes! Yes! Yes!
William Quant: Bryan & McMahon DAT SUPERHERO D-BRYAN ain’t losing and it’ll be awesome. Steenerico will be fine on RAW.
THE MIZ VS. FINN BÁLOR VS. SETH ROLLINS
Jimmy Donnellan: Bálor The Miz and the IC title have intertwined fates, so they will meet again — they can never be apart for too long. Rollins will wander off to do Shield things again soon and already has enough title reigns under his belt. Bálor, meanwhile, has done sweet fuck all in about a year.
Darryl Edge: Bálor Miz is everything the IC title needs, but I think the time is right for Balor to have his first main roster title run.
Matt McConnell: The Miz Tough one, but I’m thinking Miz is going to retain via heel shenanigans. This is meant to be his year, after all.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Bálor Only because I can see Seth feuding with Roman over the Universal Title after Mania is done (spoiler alert), I’m picking Finn Bálor.
Chris Pilkington: The Miz Given the year he has had, Miz deserves to walk out of WrestleMania with his Intercontinental Title reign intact. I expect to see a lot of outside involvement in this. The Miztourage, The Club and possibly even Dean Ambrose will all join in the fun. Miz sneaks out with the title in all the confusion and it will be awesome.
James Cooke: Bálor Expect Miztourage and Bálor Club to flaunt the fact that there’s no disqualification in a triple threat match. Bálor Club is best.
William Quant: Bálor I think the match itself will disappoint a lot of people, but I still say Finn, as much as I want to see Rollins with my favorite strap.
CHARLOTTE VS. ASUKA
Jimmy Donnellan: Asuka Asuka is just going to hiss at Charlotte and her entire body will just wilt and fly away, like a plastic bag in the wind.
Darryl Edge: Asuka No way in hell Asuka is losing. To build up her streak and have it crumble at the final, most important hurdle is madness.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Asuka Asuka will win. The real question is whether or not we’ll see a Carmella cash-in. I believe we will, and I believe she’ll fail.
Chris Pilkington: Flair Similar to Rollins joining Lesnar and Reigns, Carmella will pick her moment and enter with both women down. Unlike Rollins, however, Carmella will eat the pin, allowing WWE to have their cake and eat it. Carmella loses her briefcase, Asuka is still undefeated and Charlotte is still the SmackDown champ.
James Cooke: Asuka Streak.
William Quant: Asuka Part one of the anime match-ups goes to the Japanese corner. Asuka’s streak ain’t being broken this soon and I fully expect this one to steal the damn show.
KURT ANGLE & RONDA ROUSEY VS. TRIPLE H & STEPHANIE MCMAHON
Jimmy Donnellan: Angle & Rousey Angle will cosplay as Roman Reigns again and Rousey will sort of look awkward about it. Triple H will take nine years to come to the ring and get disqualified because his entrance is a recreation of every Arnie movie as an abstract art movement.
Darryl Edge: Angle & Rousey Why? Because it’s Ronda Rousey and, regardless of wrestling ability, WILL snap an arm. Preferably Stephanie’s.
Matt McConnell: Angle & Rousey Ronda’s gonna look real strong here. Slow build, muchos armbar. Next year’s main eventer right here.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Angle & Rousey Ronda will be the one to win the fall for her team, and she’ll do it by forcing Stephanie McMahon to tap out.
Chris Pilkington: Angle & Rousey Stephanie is another character who has avoided a true comeuppance for her actions over the years and Rousey is the perfect person to correct this.
James Cooke: Angle & Rousey It doesn’t matter who’s ultimately legal, as Trips and Steph are tapping out to an ankle lock and an armbar simultaneously.
William Quant: Angle & Rousey Ronda better effing win, but oh boy, the shitshow that would come out of an actual possible Steph victory would be incredible.
AJ STYLES VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Jimmy Donnellan: Nakamura It’s about time. Just wish this was a Rumble winner actually headlining a Mania.
Darryl Edge: Nakamura Nakamura needs the victory here. He’s come too close in the past to fail now. Plus, who doesn’t want to see more matches in a Nak/Styles feud down the line?
Matt McConnell: Nakamura If they want Shinsuke to be a huge, marketable star for the company then this is the chance to make that happen. Also, AJ needs to be sent to Raw.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Nakamura Nakamura needs to win far more than AJ does. I know it seems a little anticlimactic for Styles to lose twice in a row, but Shinsuke can’t keep winning on TV only to falter when the belt’s on the line.
Chris Pilkington: Nakamura I see this opening the show and being the best pure wrestling match on the card. Nakamura is being positioned as a massive star and a loss here won’t diminish the popularity of AJ. WWE has nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain from making Nakamura the champion here.
James Cooke: Nakamura Knee to face is surely more likely to connect than flying forearm to head.
William Quant: Nakamura The anime match-up. Nakamura every goddamn day. But I could still see them pulling a fast one and having AJ retain.
THE BAR VS. BRAUN STROWMAN & TBD
Jimmy Donnellan: Braun & TBD Braun and his dog, Braun and his old Wyatt mask, Braun and his peeky nipples; whoever he teams with, The Bar are getting buried.
Darryl Edge: Braun & TBD The mystery of whether Strowman will have a partner or not remains (Elias/Samoa Joe?), but there’s no doubt the Monster Among Men is winning the match. As much as it kills the tag division, he is just too popular not to win.
Matt McConnell: Braun & Alexa Bliss Best friend happens to be his partner from the Mixed Match Challenge. First ever intergender tag team champs because breaking gender boundaries is a thing.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Braun & TBD Braun Strowman is gonna beat both guys and demonstrate why the Raw tag team division lacks depth.
Chris Pilkington: Braun & TBD I recently wrote about potential tag partners for Strowman, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. WWE wouldn’t put one of their biggest stars, who has yet to reach his full potential, in a losing position here.
James Cooke: Braun & TBD I wouldn’t be surprised to see Braun win this without ever tagging in his teammate.
William Quant: The Bar Going with Sheamus and Cesaro, even with the white-hot Braun involved. This is more about the Authors of Pain coming up than anything.
BROCK LESNAR VS. ROMAN REIGNS
Jimmy Donnellan: Reigns Lesnar to fall asleep in the middle of the match and start whispering something about how sexually powerful Dana White is.
Darryl Edge: Reigns Does this really need explaining? This rematch has been three years in the making and Reigns is the chosen one. I’ve enjoyed his worked shoot style promos in recent weeks (badass Reigns is the best Reigns). The part-time era needs to come to an end.
Matt McConnell: Reigns Roman’s crowning moment…again. Three years and two Attitude Era stars later, Reigns will finally be able to defeat Brock Lesnar and put an end to this crusade against the fans and their logic. Mark my words, this will be a great match.
Thomas Broome-Jones: Reigns Roman’s destined to win. Vince McMahon has been building towards this for three years now. He won’t be denied by a vocal crowd again.
Chris Pilkington: Reigns The sight of Reigns standing tall to close another WrestleMania may be unappealing to some, but it’s the obvious story to tell here. I expect a relatively clean victory with plenty of kick outs and a relaxed ruleset. At the end of the night, Reigns wins, Brock disappears and WWE completes its long term plan.
James Cooke: Reigns It feels like the kid’s time. Brock can flee back to the safety of the UFC.
William Quant: Reigns The only people voting against Reigns are either fools or people who want us locked in the vicious circle of Reigns coronations because it’ll happen again next year if he loses.
*We haven’t bothered with Cena/Taker because WWE haven’t bothered to build it properly.