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Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com as prepared by yours truly, Mr. Tito. After a long road, Wrestlemania 34 is almost here… In terms of pure HYPE, this has been one of the best Rumble to Wrestlemania seasons in quite some time. To WWE’s benefit, they have consistently stayed above 3 million viewers during this period of time after ending 2017 consistently under 3 million. The reason? Besides the time of the year, I’d say that it’s the roster… I laughed at a Comments section guy when he said that the current WWE roster was the most talented in years but I’m kind of taking that back now. Especially with Daniel Bryan back for some much needed STAR POWER.
And that’s what WWE truly lacks… As much as the WWE wants you to believe that Roman Reigns is the “next guy”, the fact is that if Roman went to Impact, Ring of Honor, or even New Japan… He’d struggle to top their cards. Roman is OK and could be good in a few years if he only developed in the midcard following the Shield’s break-up during 2014. Instead, he has been rushed to the top without the promo ability or in-ring skills to back it up. Now, he’s going to actually defeat Brock Lesnar as Lesnar’s final WWE match (at least on this contract).
That’s the real question for me… What is the POST-Wrestlemania 34 world going to look like? Is Brock Lesnar gone? Since 2012, he has dominated the main event scene and in my opinion, helped carry the main event scene. I don’t know how that WWE Network even sells without Lesnar. Seriously. Had the WWE went through with their intial plans for 2015 and Wrestlemania 31 before they re-signed Lesnar, things could have been disastrous. I believe that Lesnar won’t re-sign with the WWE this time around and might return during 2019 if the UFC return doesn’t work out. Lesnar will take a break and potentially let his value increase if Roman Reigns on top doesn’t work out. That or Lesnar can join the once-a-year club with Undertaker, Triple H, and Rock to make a very easy payday just working Wrestlemania.
I believe that Paul Heyman‘s comparison of Cody Rhodes in the WWE to how Steve Austin was treated in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to NBC Sports is a sign that Heyman is on his way out. That’s an insult to the WWE, folks, as WCW marginalized Steve Austin during 1994 by having him drop his US Title to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and then terminating him during early 1995. I actually disagree with Heyman on that, as Cody had plenty of opportunity to get over but he didn’t quite show the confidence in himself that you’re seeing now. I would actually argue that the “Stardust” gimmick gave him that confidence and swagger that merged into the Cody character that you see now in Ring of Honor and/or New Japan. But Heyman freely ripping the WWE for mishandling Cody is a sign that Heyman’s WWE filter is coming off. The question of WHERE Heyman goes after Wrestlemania 34 could be more interesting than Lesnar leaving.
We’ll see what happens with Daniel Bryan… He has a contract coming up in September and if he learns from history, he might want to be careful about signing that. CM Punk signed a 3 year extension and did nothing but job to big names after that while not even being allowed to Main Event Pay Per Views or RAW shows as WWE Champion. Be careful what you wish for Bryan… But then again, where would Bryan go if not the WWE? Ring of Honor which Sinclair Broadcasting places on LATE at night on their own channels? New Japan which only gained 25,000 subscribers for their New Japan World product for Jericho vs. Omega? That makes it 95,000, by the way, which is a mere % pimple on the WWE Network’s arse. Impact Wrestling… LOL, yeah, about that. They just celebrated a recent high of 399,000 viewers. Congrats to them as I’m sure they’ll be Scrooge McDuck swimming in that advertising money.
In just a few weeks, the WWE has become VERY interesting to me… But Undertaker vs. John Cena still has to happen at Wrestlemania 34. Sorry, but some angle to set up Wrestlemania 35 is unacceptable to me. This show needs their STAR POWER because (a) Roman Reigns is not working as a Main Eventer and (b) AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura are not top draws to grow the WWE business as champion. The ONE GUY who could have been morphed into a top draw is wrestling a freakin’ tag match with a mystery partner and his name is Braun Strowman. THAT is a joke! Other than the World Title matches, we’re chalk full of multi-person matches and Ronda Rousey hype that overshadows anything that the Women’s division is trying. Ronda is going to beat the BULLY that has talked down the entire Women’s division.
WWE’s roster is deep but full of similar guys who would act as upper midcarders for most top years. They LACK guys who have personalities that can draw, cut promos, and connect in unique ways with the audience. Daniel Bryan is that guy and the WWE should be THANKING THE LORD that he’s back… But history shows that Vince McMahon hates shorter guys and Bryan cannot stay healthy. That, and nobody on the WWE roster is allowed to look reasonable as a star with Roman Reigns getting pushed so strongly. He’s NOT the guy, folks… This “money pit” of a main eventer is going to crater when Lesnar leaves the WWE. Who is left to defeat after you’ve beaten Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Randy Orton, John Cena, Triple H, the Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar 100% clean? What is there left to do or accomplish?
If this show is reliant on Roman Reigns having that World Title confetti moment and trying to push the Kurt Angle/Ronda Rousey vs. Stephanie/Triple H match hard, even making it main event the freakin’ show, while NOT doing John Cena vs. Undertaker… I’m worried for this show.
For the record, I don’t care which Undertaker shows up… Deadman, Ministry of Darkness, Bikertaker, or Mean Mark from WCW… I DON’T CARE. Just show up and have the damn match against John Cena. I don’t want to wait until Wrestlemania 35 where both guys are 1 year older and always at a risk for injury. I don’t care how well Rock vs. Cena did for Wrestlemania 28 for a full year’s worth of hype… DO THE MATCH NOW!
If Cena vs. Undertaker doesn’t happen, someone else on the card needs to step up bigtime because Roman and Rousey will underperform in New Orleans. I don’t know who, to be honest. Too many multi-person matches that just aren’t special anymore for the WWE.
Anyway, here are my predictions for Wrestlemania 34 show with the WHO SHOULD WIN/WHO WILL WIN format.
Mr. Tito’s PHAT WRESTLEMANIA 34 Predictions
I’m also going to attempt to predict the ORDER of the card, too.
Andre the Giant Battle Royal
The “Everybody Gets a Trophy” or Wrestlemania payoff match. Honestly, I don’t care who wins this match. The FACT that you’re in this match shows that the WWE doesn’t care enough about you to grant you a match on the Wrestlemania card. Thus, they settle on you appearing in a Battle Royal where the winners seen no benefit. I honestly don’t know who to pick, so I’ll go with one of the taller participants to win his 2nd battle royal win.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Baron Corbin
Cruiserweight Title: Cedrix Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali
I keep hearing great things about 205 Live. I can agree that the in-ring work has improved but if you look at certain metrics, such as YouTube views for their segments, nothing has changed since Triple H took over its Creative. Why? Well, look at when Enzo was around. Their wrestlers LACK personality. They are just warm bodies out there hitting big spots just to get any pops from the fans. Compare that to 1996-1997 WCW which was chalk full of characters and personalities that made that division great. 205 Live lacks characters to complement its improved in-ring work. THAT is why this match DESERVES to be on the Pre-game show. Deal with it. Who wins this match? *Flips Coin*
WHO WILL WIN: Mustafa Ali
Women’s Battle Royal
Much more star power in this match, provided that only 2 Women’s matches are on the main card for their brand’s titles. Should actually be decent compared to lackluster bottom roster wrestlers seen in the men’s. Lots of former Women’s champions in this match… Of the ones in this match, who needs a push? I think that after Wrestlemania, Asuka is going to need a top opponent for a good feud following Wrestlemania. That person? Becky Lynch. She’s been improving in the ring lately, changed up her look, and can help make Asuka good in her first Women’s Title defense.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Becky Lynch
US Title – Fatal 4 Way: Rusev vs. Randy Orton(c) vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode
My question is this… Why was Rusev added to this match? To me, that seems as though WWE acknowledges that Rusev is growing in popularity and might be making a snap judgment on the booking of this match. You have to give credit to Aiden English who acts as a manager to Rusev and is getting him over based on English’s mic skills… That’s how managers work…
WHO SHOULD WIN: Rusev. He’s over and for real. It’s time.
WHO WILL WIN: Randy Orton retains.
Tag Titles: Usos (c) vs. New Day vs. Bludgeon Brothers
This match screams of the 2 face teams teaming up briefly and then something goes wrong… Then, Rowan or Harper take advantage of distracted or arguing opponents. Personally, this match should have been just Usos vs. New Day as a reward for the ONLY shining part of Smackdown’s Pay Per Views last year. Harper and Rowan should be in the Andre Battle Royal, period.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Usos, only to allow Big E to break off (but remain as a New Day member) to become a Singles wrestler. He’s ready.
WHO WILL WIN: Damn it, Bludgeon Brothers. You can’t push them that hard without some kind of payoff.
Charlotte vs. Asuka for the Smackdown Women’s Title
Asuka has been pushed as remaining “undefeated” for a long period of time and the WWE actually mentions NXT as part of that streak. Charlotte has been champion long enough and it’s time for a change. This could be a “Match of the Night” contender if the ladies play their cards right and seize the opportunity.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Asuka
Daniel Bryan/Shane McMahon vs. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens
The stipulations for this match are the keys to how this match goes down. If Owens/Zayn win, they get their jobs back… And I don’t see either wrestler going to RAW right now. Yet, I don’t see why you’d let Daniel Bryan lose so early… Unless Shane gets pinned. But does Shane make it to this match? That’s a key component, as Bryan would need a new tag partner. Hmmmm…
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens, the full-time wrestlers. The stipulation of them returning to Smackdown if they win seems too obvious.
IC Title: The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins
I believe that Miz and Rollins, after Wrestlemania 34, will see more Main Event opportunities. Rollins beats Reigns and Cena on the SAME NIGHT during RAW… How could he not do something after Wrestlemania? Maybe turn heel and immediately feud with Reigns? I think that Miz will either return to Smackdown to feud with Bryan or maybe turn babyface on RAW? He’s a family man now and many fans are really happy for the guy. Finn Balor, on the other hand, is going to be a midcarder for the WWE for a long, long time.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Finn Balor
John Cena vs. the Undertaker
Kid Rock being inducted as a WWE Hall of Famer suggests that he might be playing “American Badass” live… I think that the match is happening and this will be Undertaker’s last match. He’s going to kick Cena’s arse as revenge and Cena will bump like a champ. Cena will do the honors, here, which is a condition of the match actually happening.
WHO SHOULD WIN: John Cena, as he is the bigger legend and draw than the Undertaker. Yeah, I went there.
WHO WILL WIN: The Undertaker
Braun Strowman + Mystery Partner vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
I believe that Elias will be the mystery partner… Why Braun Strowman is in this match, I’ll never know. Complete joke if you ask me. If WWE did things correctly, Braun Strowman would have been a ready-made star to defeat Brock Lesnar in the main event. But noooooo, we had to sabotage him last year by rushing him to Brock at No Mercy. The consolation trophy is winning Tag Titles. Congrats, I guess.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Sheaums and Cesaro. They are a great tag team and Strowman isn’t going to be a tag wrestler for long.
WHO WILL WIN: Braun Strowman + 1
WWE Title: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura has been on the WWE roster for less than a year. Think back to AJ Styles’s first year on the WWE roster. He LOST at Wrestlemania. I still don’t see Vince McMahon having full faith in a former New Japan star to win a World Title on his big show. I could see Nakamura winning the rematch at the next Pay Per View, however. I’m just not seeing Nakamura getting over as many from the internet think he is. Since his Rumble win, attendance has become worse… That said, if the WWE wants to quickly rush Daniel Bryan to the WWE Title, Nakamura could be a transitional champion. Then again, does the WWE want Nakamura delivering a kick or suplex that would injure Bryan?
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: AJ Styles
Ronda Rousey/Kurt Angle vs. Triple H/Stephanie McMahon
I am boldly predicting that this will NOT be the main event. Stephanie getting the better of Ronda on RAW easily predicts how this match will go. Then again, I could see Kurt Angle eating the pin… However, WWE has a ton of money invested in Rousey and won’t make her look bad at the biggest show of the year. Stephanie is going to scream loud and tap out.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Rousey & Angle, as Stephanie is NOT a full-time wrestler or trained fighter. I figure that they’ll make Angle the “face in peril” for a long, long time and when that tag is made to Ronda…
Women’s Title: Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax
Piss break match… I see an extended squash by Nia Jax here, as Bliss is in trouble for her fat-shaming Nia in the storylines. Alexa is gonna get slammed hard!
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Nia Jax
MAIN EVENT for the WWE Universal Title: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
In my opinion, Vince McMahon totally regrets his 2015 decision to change the ending of the Wrestlemania 31 main event’s booking. With Lesnar’s contract expiring, Reigns was supposed to defeat Lesnar 100% clean… Then, on the Tuesday before Wrestlemania 31, Lesnar signed a 3-year extension and the booking was changed from Roman winning clean to Seth Rollins cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase to steal the WWE Title. 3 years later, Vince wants to fix that mistake by having Roman defeat Lesnar 100% clean. With Lesnar still un-signed for another extension, he’s likely to be gone and Roman is going to beat him cleanly, maybe convincingly. The match could be decent, as their chemistry during 2015 was actually warming up and Lesnar was selling hard for Reigns during that match. Without a contract, I believe that Lesnar plays nice with the WWE in case he needs another contract in the future. This isn’t 2004 where an immature Lesnar was burned out from the WWE from a full-time road schedule and wanted out. WWE rolled out the red carpet for Lesnar this time around and he’s no dummy. He’ll give full effort and might even sell his way to “Match of the Night”. Maybe.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Brock Lesnar
WHO WILL WIN: Roman Reigns. Just do it… To quote Jim Ross, women can’t be “half pregnant”. Make Reigns champion and push him as strong as you’d like. If numbers are going South with him on top, then you demote him hard and give everyone FREE WWE Network for a year to prove a point of being wrong, Vince.
SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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