Part two of WrestleMania 34 preview which sees in ring returns, debuts and dream matches galore.
Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
For many fans, this rivalry between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens jumped the shark immediately after Hell in a Cell with the addition of Sami Zayn. McMahon came off as petty an vengeful because he couldn’t let go of the fact that Owens attacked his father. McMahon’s bias ruined a lot of Smackdown programming and Owens and Zayn had a lot of reasons to show their disapproval. Then, the addition of Daniel Bryan added more substance and at the same time a fair balance to the situation making sure Shane’s bias wasn’t affecting the overall vibe of the show. After Shane McMahon announced that he was stepping down temporarily as Commissioner of Smackdown Live, Owens and Zayn decided to get even by attacking Shane leaving him in a great deal of pain. A week later, after Bryan announced his being cleared to return to in-ring action, Bryan fired Zayn and Owens for their actions and then they attacked Bryan. Bryan managed to get a bit of offense in, reminding the fan base why during his tenure in WWE he was the best pure wrestler on the roster. With this match being a return match for Bryan, the big picture is to protect Bryan health and character wise. It is best to assume that Zayn and Owens will win the match, but Shane losing to Owens and them retaining their jobs.
Winner: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon
Ronda Rousey makes her debut on the grandest stage of sports entertainment. Since her arrival at the 2018 Royal Rumble, Rousey has made it clear that she wants to earn the respect of the WWE Universe and every time she’s been shown on television, she looked genuinely happy to be there and loving every moment she’s been there. This match is probably one of the most predicable of the card, which is fine because for many WWE fans waiting to see Stephanie McMahon get her comeuppance, this is a moment four years in the making (sorry Brie Bella). This moment is to showcase Rousey as a dominant force and to showcase why she was highly touted for so long in WWEs radar over the past five in a half years. This match isn’t going to be a five star classic by any means, but it will be entertaining nonetheless
Winner: Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey
Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka
After a successful retention of the Women’s Championship from Charlotte against Ruby Riott at Fastlane, Asuka entered the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH surprising the WWE Universe in what seemed to be a challenge towards Charlotte and her SD Live Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. It made sense for this match to be the marquee women’s match. As much as Alexa Bliss proved her worth as a champion, on paper a Bliss/Asuka match isn’t enticing by any means. This match is truly a dream match because it features two of the most star worthy women in the WWE today. Asuka is undefeated in singles competition, the longest reigning NXT Champion in history and is dominant in so many ways. Charlotte is also a true dominant force: NXT Women’s Champion, WWE Divas Champion, WWE Raw and Smackdown Live Champion. Both are familiar with history and are familiar with the biggest stage possible. However, WrestleMania is about twists and turns and it’s been long overdue but let’s break out the wildcard: Ms. Money in the Bank, Carmella. Carmella cashing in on Charlotte and pinning her does a great amount of favors. For starters, Asuka and Charlotte have a clear story after Mania with a true antagonist. Carmella is now a top heel because of her antics and isn’t considered an afterthought anymore by ending her undefeated streak and “ruining” a dream match, so there’s a great amount of heat that she should’ve had that was lost back in Money in the Bank 2017. Carmella for both Raw and Smackdown’s Women’s Championship matches are indeed a true wild card and with less than two months remaining for her to cash in, this is the best time to do it.
Winner: Carmella via Cash in pinning Charlotte
WWE would most likely say that since Asuka didn’t get pinned, she still hasn’t lost. However, WWE has a tendency to say that in triple threat matches the champion doesn’t have to be involved with the decision to LOSE THE CHAMPIONSHIP, therefore losing the match. It’s a double standard and it never fails. Asuka not being involved with the decision makes a massive amount of grey area, however, the bigger picture really above all else gives Carmella a chance to execute herself as a charismatic heel, which she can do extremely well when given the time on the microphone. Plus, it’ll somehow protect Asuka because it wasn’t a devastating loss, making Carmella’s victory a fluke, which in storyline makes a great deal of sense.
WWE Championship Match: A.J. Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The last time these two faced off in a one on one match was NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10, a match that would be the last Wrestle Kingdom for the both of them, as both signed to WWE. Both men had very different paths getting to this point. Since debuting at Royal Rumble 2016, AJ Styles has been a part of the main roster, faced off against the likes of John Cena, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal, winning two WWE United States Championships and WWE Championships in the process, and establishing himself as a reliable worker and a top draw merchandise wise. Shinsuke Nakamura went through the ranks of NXT, first debuting at Takeover: Dallas defeating Sami Zayn. Nakamura would face the likes of Finn Balor, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode, before going to Smackdown on the Smackdown Live after WrestleMania 33. Nakamura has been in a odd spot, despite key victories against the likes of both John Cena and Randy Orton. It wasn’t until this past January’s Royal Rumble when he last eliminated Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble (becoming the first Japanese born wrestler to do so) that Nakamura finally got solid direction. To many, this is a dream match. To most, this should steal the show with the right amount of time given. Both Styles and Nakamura are reliable workers and can put on a show for the ages. WWE giving these two the green light with the right amount of time will not only give fans a reason to enjoy this match, but it will also show why Nakamura was highly touted prior to Takeover: Dallas.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
A match three years in the making. Both men went on visibly different paths since their first encounter back at WrestleMania 31. Brock Lesnar since losing the WWE Championship was involved with high profiled feuds against the likes of The Undertaker, Goldberg, Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. WrestleMania 33 was the start of the dominance of Brock Lesnar as he defeated Goldberg in a true match of redemption that exceeded many of expectations as it seemed like a WWE 2K match with unlimited finishers turned to the max. Since WrestleMania 33, Lesnar went through every challenge in his path holding the title for at the start of WrestleMania 371 days. As for Roman Reigns, Reigns has been in limbo. There has been many times that he’s been trying to get over but unfortunately each time at WrestleMania it’s failed miserably. WrestleMania 32 was supposed to be his crowning moment, but to a chorus of boos, Reigns’ WWE Championship win yet again was an unwanted one. WrestleMania 33 was supposed to put over Reigns as Lesnar equal being the second man to defeat The Undertaker at WrestleMania, however the just caused more disdain to the fans for a match the people seem to not want for WrestleMania 34. Nonetheless, Reigns is a reliable worker, an athletic specimen and an above average wrestler. Lesnar is going to beat Reigns and inch of his life, but the plan is indeed for Reigns to finally go over against Lesnar a plan that is truly three years in the making.
Winner: Roman Reigns