Every year since 1985, the sports entertainment landscape stands still for one special night filled with explosive entertainment only the mind of Vince McMahon could possibly contrive. In 2018, that day will come on April 8, when the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana hosts WrestleMania 34. This is sure to be a landmark event that is still more than four months away, and no matches have been officially booked, nor has WWE announced any official plans for the evening whatsoever. Of course, this is hardly any reason for us not to speculate about the upcoming Showcase of Immortals.
No matter how a person feels about WWE in general, everybody with an interest in pro wrestling is bound to at least read about what happened when its over, knowing it’s definitely the most important show of the year. Even a seemingly pointless match can have huge ramifications simply for taking place on the Grandest Stage of Them All, as it reveals what Vince McMahon thinks his annual largest audience wants and/or needs to see.
Unfortunately, for the past few years, Vince’s ideas on what to share with the world and what people actually enjoy watching haven’t seen all that much overlap. The thing about wrestling, though, is that absolutely anything can happen to change the entire industry for the better, and when Vince is at his best, he chooses to make those things happen at the Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment. For this reason, we can still dream about a perfect super show happening in just a few months, even if we know full well it probably isn’t going to happen. Keep reading to see 15 of our early hopes, predictions, and general expectations for WrestleMania 34.
15 The Show Continues To Grow
For better or worse, WrestleMania has added about a half hour to its running length pretty much every year over the past decade. What was once a simple two-hour show is now more than seven hours, and with Hall of Fame ceremonies, NXT TakeOvers, and various other promotions along the way, it can last an entire weekend. There’s no reason to expect this trend to slow down anytime soon, so one prediction we’re extremely certain about is that WrestleMania 34 will be the biggest and longest event in WWE history. How exactly the company will accomplish this is yet to be seen, and may well relate to some of the other assumptions appearing on this list. Truth be told, there will probably be pros and cons to it, with some of the matches and segments looking like filler to stretch out the length. However, it also adds potential for quiet greatness and gives more wrestlers the opportunity to shine.
14 Triple H Doing Something Pointlessly Self-Serving
Despite his ever-increasing presence backstage, it’s almost a certainty that Triple H will make his way to the ring at WrestleMania for his 22nd match at the event. Who it will be against, where on the card it will place, and whether or not it will matter are all entirely up in the air, but Triple H hasn’t missed a Showcase of Immortals in years, and there’s no logical reason he’d do so now. Well, except the fact he’s near retirement and no longer has the ring skills to put on an entertaining match, but that hasn’t ever stopped him before. Hopefully, Triple H will somehow stumble into a scenario where he can actually have a good match against an opponent who could benefit from beating him, which last happened at WrestleMania XXX against Daniel Bryan. Barring that, HHH will at least take up a bunch of ring time talking about nothing, until another semi-retired superstar or celebrity comes along and shuts him up.
13 Minor Championships Getting Completely Shafted
Not including the titles defended exclusively in NXT, there are currently 9 separate championships in the WWE Universe. Even in recent years when the show lasted over seven hours long, the average WrestleMania only has time for 9 or 10 matches total, and chances are, not every single one of them will be for a piece of gold. Sure, there’s still time for another two or three matches during the pre-show, but a title getting defended before the real event is a clear-cut sign the company doesn’t care about it. Worse than that, the wrestlers won’t be given enough time to truly shine, anyway. Quite frankly, there’s no way for WWE to fix this problem except to get rid of a couple belts, and that isn’t going to happen. The best we can hope for in this regard is that the matches contested over titles held by talented wrestlers will get the most time to develop.
12 Unstoppable Monsters Colliding
It’s still a bit early to predict any complete shot-in-the-dark matches with any degree of certainty, but there’s no harm in rampant speculation, right? WrestleMania is more or less a monument to the phrase “go big or go home,” so it’s hardly out of the question they’d try to throw all their biggest monsters into one huge match. That goes double considering 2018 has been the long-rumored retirement date for The Big Show, meaning space is opening up for the new giant in wrestling. They may not match Show’s immense size, yet two of the best options to take up the role are Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe, who incidentally could also pull off one heck of a match against one another. To make a match between them even bigger, WWE could also throw in Big Show and another monster of the past in Goldberg to bring all their giants into one huge destructive contest to see who the true giant really is.
11 Tone-Deaf Celebrities The Crowd Doesn’t Care About
From the very first Showcase of Immortals back in 1985, celebrities have played an integral role in WrestleMania. In many occasions, there was absolutely nothing wrong with this, as names like Mr. T, Mike Tyson, and Pete Rose all added incredible entertainment to the unforgettable segments they were involved in. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a moment like this in years, as all recent celebrities were either confusing or borderline irrelevant, making fans wonder what the point was. When Shaq showed up in the 2016, Andre the Giant Battle Royal, most audience members were confused, and even that was better than Rob Gronkowski pointlessly elevating Mojo Rawley for all of a few minutes. No celebrities have been announced for WrestleMania 34 yet, and some might not even get named until the show occurs, yet our unfortunate prediction is that they won’t be all that entertaining.
10 Female Wrestlers Stealing The Show
While it’s true that in many respects WrestleMania isn’t quite what it used to be, one aspect of the show that’s been consistent in recent years is that the women’s wrestling revolution has been in full effect at the Grandest Stage of Them All. It took a long time for the females of sports entertainment to earn equal respect as the men, earning praise as legitimate wrestlers rather than mere “divas” who basically served as eye candy. Now that they’ve got a spotlight, though, women in WWE are putting on incredible matches at every chance they get. Several major NXT call ups and the marquee return of Paige after over a full year’s hiatus means the opportunities are almost endless for women getting paired up in ways that will lead to contests with huge show-stealing potential. Which women’s match will be best of all? Probably whichever one features Asuka.
9 The Great One (And More) Coming Back
In addition to celebrities who may or may not have any right inside a wrestling ring, the Greatest Spectacle in Sports Entertainment is notorious for being a night of comebacks and returns for some of the industry’s greatest legends. Again, the exact specifics in regards to who this may entail are up in the air, with no names having yet been announced. However, one wrestler fans can almost consider a lock would be the same athlete who made dramatic comebacks for the past several years in a row now, the People’s Champion himself, The Rock. The Great One may not actually wrestle a match, but he’s sure to talk, layeth the smacketh down, and do his thing, and it’s doubtful he’ll be alone. The question is whether or not any of it will matter, or if it will just be another case of WWE letting the old guard shine over their new would-be superstars.
8 The Shield Exploding…Again
It’s barely been two months since the October 9, 2017 episode of Raw, when Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns stood together in unison and reunited The Shield with an emphatic fist bump. This was despite tensions brewing between Rollins and Ambrose leading up to their dramatic reconciliation, and the two continue to have their fare share of issues relating to jealousy, greed, and pride to this day. It’s inevitable that the Hounds of Justice won’t stay reunited for long, especially since their reformation was mostly a matter of convenience and strength in numbers. There’s no better time of year for a high profile friendship to dissolve in explosive fashion than WrestleMania season, when the whole world will be tuning in to their big and destructive blow-off match. Chances are, it will be Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose doing battle in one way or another, and as long as both men beat one another like they would their own brother, crowds will go home happy with the results.
7 Kurt Angle Getting In The Ring
This year reminded WWE fans to never say never when it came to sports entertainment, and no one wrestler was more clear about this message than the Olympic Hero, Kurt Angle. After almost a decade working for the low key competition in TNA/Impact Wrestling, Angle returned to the company that made him a superstar to a rapturous ovation, then was quickly announced as the new General Manager of Raw. Several months later, he made his dramatic return to the ring at Survivor Series, and it feels like WrestleMania would be the obvious next step on his comeback trail. Angle’s opponent is a bit of a mystery, and one pessimists may worry relates to other entries on this list relating to Triple H and John Cena. That said, the options are really limitless, and given the right person to work with, Angle could still have a classic WrestleMania moment or two left in him. Let’s just hope Jason Jordan is kept out of the picture either way.
6 Styles And Nakamura Recapturing Their Magic
In early November, AJ Styles finally ended the nightmare for all wrestling fans that was Jinder Mahal’s reign as WWE Champion. He’s gone on to phenomenally defend the gold for over a month and a half since then, with all signs pointing to AJ holding on to the title all the way to WrestleMania. Should this be what happens, there would be no better time for WWE to recapture one of the greatest feuds in modern wrestling history to take place outside of their realm. Right before either man jumped ship to WWE, Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura were wrestling classic after classic against one another in New Japan Pro Wrestling over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. The only way they could top them today would be for the WWE Championship to be on the line and for the rematch to take place at the Grandest Stage of Them All, a reality that seems wholly possible if not even likely.
5 A Shocking Winner To Andre’s Battle Royal
Should WWE decide to continue one of WrestleMania’s newest traditions, it could be said the first and only match announced for the 34th annual Showcase of Immortals would be the 5th Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This being the case, fans still can’t be sure whether or not they’re in store for a good night just yet. While Andre’s Battle Royal is definitely an idea that could have great dividends for years to come, thus far, the batting average has been about .500 on actually delivering the goods. Cesaro’s inaugural win was a great moment, and Baron Corbin’s surprise entrance and shocking win was his first step to stardom during the third annual bout. The Big Show’s win was pointless, though, and Mojo Rawley was even more of a joke after his victory than before it. The good news is, this pattern means the next winner will be great in one way or another, so this match should be one to look forward to.
4 Learning To Cope Without The Dead Man
Before we get too far into this one, it feels apt to remind everyone that anything can happen in the WWE Universe. Despite all signs pointing toward The Undertaker bowing his hat in retirement after losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33, there’s at least a small chance he’ll pop back up in time for the next one, anyway. However, for the time being, we’re going to go on the assumption things are really over for the Phenom, meaning WWE in general needs to find out how to put on the Showcase of Immortals without their most recognizable superstar. The options on how to do this are endless, of course, and the easiest solution may be to simply ignore it, focusing on all the great entertainment taking place in the Dead Man’s stead. Knowing WWE, though, they’ll probably reference The Undertaker’s absence in some way, maybe by acknowledging a new Streak or letting Bray Wyatt further descend into his status as the New Face of Fear.
3 Ronda Rousey Making A Splash
As of right now, the rumor mill is kind of stuck in regards to the whole Ronda Rousey becoming a sports entertainer situation. The idea has been bandied about since she was the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion, and the idea has only grown in prominence since she lost that honor and gradually decreased her presence in the octagon. Rousey has already made a handful of WWE appearances, most notably at WrestleMania 31, and each passing Showcase of Immortals is a tremendous opportunity for her presence in pro wrestling to increase. Should Rousey decide to make her debut, the only question is how she’ll do it. One idea may be a money match against the vicious and undefeated Asuka, though if the Empress of Tomorrow isn’t a reigning champion by then, whoever holds the Raw or SmackDown Women’s titles would also be a viable contender. Even if all Ronda does is make an appearance and fuel the rumor fire a little more, it’ll still be one of the most talked about moments of the night.
2 John Cena Stealing The Spotlight
No matter how much time John Cena spends in Hollywood making movies, WWE continues to treat him like the face of the company. In all fairness, this is because Cena remains the most popular wrestler in the world, albeit for reasons entirely unrelated to his harshly diminishing skills inside the wrestling ring. Then again, maybe Cena would do better if his matches were a little longer or against better opponents, two things that don’t seem entirely likely if the plans of him facing Jinder Mahal at WrestleMania 34 come into fruition. The rumored match would only serve to give Cena undeserved spotlight in the name of America, waving his xenophobic flag over the first Indian man to reign as WWE Champion. Unfortunately, because Cena is Cena and WWE is out of ideas, that’s probably exactly what fans will see. Even if WWE comes to their senses and gives him a better opponent, Cena’s match still probably won’t matter for longer than a single night, but he’ll receive all the mainstream attention anyway.
1 Roman Continuing To Reign
WrestleMania 34 may be more than four full months away, making this list feel a bit premature, but the truth is it could have been written almost immediately after WrestleMania 33 and this prediction still would have made the cut. Almost immediately after Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker in last year’s big main event, rumors started to fly that Vince McMahon’s ultimate end game was The Big Dog squaring off with Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at the biggest show of 2018. On the one hand, you gotta give Vince some credit for planning ahead, but many fans have voiced the opinion he could’ve picked a better match to build towards than a rehash of WrestleMania 31’s main event. Fans don’t care anymore about Roman Reigns now than they did back then, yet Vince is gonna continue to be Vince, going full speed ahead for a match no one really wants to see. On the plus side, it could still be a pretty good match, since the first time around wasn’t all that bad.