The road to WrestleMania can be better than the matches themselves at times. The go-home shows for Raw and Smackdown Live have aired and it’s time to separate the can’t miss matches between the bathroom break sleepers. What are the best and worst buildups for WrestleMania 34?
John Cena vs Undertaker
This might be the most controversial one since the Undertaker hasn’t made a peep the whole time. However, it’s entertaining how desperate John Cena has been to have a match at WrestleMania. He is practically being heel-ish calling out an old man to fight who is supposedly retired and just had hip surgery.
Cena is one of the best on the mic. When given good material, he can’t be stopped and this build has him showing a more aggressive side. Calling out Taker, mocking his career, harassing him on social media – you name it and Cena has tried it.
Taker is rumored to return as the American Badass since he seemingly retired the Deadman persona after last year’s show.
Possibly the two greatest things of this one-sided feud is that I’m questioning if that match is happening, and is going to win. Now the dirtsheets are saying this match is indeed happening – or at least some brawl. Who knows, but this is definitely a moment to look out for.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
This was massively helped by the two years of backstory of Bryan being forced into retirement. The big moment of his return and emotional speech helps to create a big emotional investment in this match. Zayn and Owens beat the crap out of him, and Shane also got great heat.
Honestly, three of the best wrestlers on the roster in one match is more than enough. Then, you add Bryan for Shane to carry and boom, instant good match. In all seriousness, all four have the ability to make this the most entertaining one of the night.
Mustafa Ali vs Cedric Alexander – Cruiserwieght Championship
205 Live is firing on all cylinders with the recent tournament, putting on great matches week after week. The spot at Wrestlemania 34 is being built to “tear the house down” as Ali and Alexander are going to prove why their division shouldn’t be slept on.
Both their tournament finals victory speeches weren’t the most polished, but they were honest and it is easy to tell how much this match means.
There isn’t of a stolen girlfriend, betrayal or anything; just two competitors wanting to be the best. Cruiserweights are second-class citizens in WWE, separated from the rest of the roster like they have the plague. For now, this match is on the pre-show, but it could end up being the show when these two pull out all the stops.
Great on paper, meh in execution
Usos vs The New Day vs Bludgeon Brothers – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
This has the chance to steal the show as well with so many great athletes in one ring. New Day and Usos had the best tag feud of 2017, whuch culminated in a fantastic Hell in a Cell match. Fast-forward to Fastlane and the rivalry was reignited.
The buildup with New Day and Usos to Fastlane was great as the Usos had so much to lose. The whole story of them never being on the Wrestlemania card after nearly a decade and this finally being their moment was great.
Now, it is a triple threat and that last part was dropped to focus on how both teams will handle Harper & Rowan. Regardless, this match is going to be anything but booty as the top 3 teams on Smackdown face off.
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship
This is a dream match and possible match of the year contender that has barely been touched upon on all year. You blink and miss the whole interaction between Styles and Nakamura.
Shinsuke’s win at the Rumble led to him being off Smackdown, and then match after random match. He and Styles still didn’t really have a focus for the last 3 weeks of playing catch up to build this. That is fine as fans have waited a year for this and don’t care how they get it as long as they do get it.
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar
Man… this feud is kind of insulting to the audience. We’ve seen the fake US Marshals, Roman not being “Vince’s boy”, and boring beat downs from Lesnar the last two Raws. How can you make a beat down boring? You have to really go out your way for that.
Brock no-showing on Raw week after week started off cool, earning some real heat à la WM20. Roman being shown as the guy who is always here and is tired of an overpaid part-timer is relatable. Reigns not being in jail for assaulting the Marshals is goofy in a bad way.
Viewers have seen how Lesnar gives no effort in matches he doesn’t care about, such as the one with Dean Ambrose at WM 32. Ambrose would have had more engagement from wrestling a blow-up doll than what Lesnar gave him. Let’s hope the doll is at ringside in case Lesnar does a repeat since his contract is up again.
Asuka vs Charlotte
The Empress vs the Queen is the same as Styles and Nakamura. It’s gotten very little build up since Asuka won the Rumble and spent most of her time wandering, not doing much until the final weeks. I just wrote more on this feud than the time they spent building it.
Asuka’s undefeated streak is on the line, while Charlotte has a chance to do something worthwhile since changing brands. Either way, this WrestleMania 34 match is of a high caliber and will definitely make up for what came before.
The Forgotten Matches of Wrestlemania 34
Miz vs Seth Rollins vs Finn Bálor – Intercontinental Title
Bálor and Rollins just put on a great match on Raw and this match is sure to be good. There is not much to say here as WWE is letting the match speak for itself.
Bruan Strowman vs The Bar – Raw Tag Team Championship
This is one of the most thrown-together matches that has the potential to be entertaining. Braun won a tag team battle royal by himself to compete for the belts at Mania. The go-home show for Raw saw Braun dress up as “Brains” Strowman for a week of good ol’ filler.
Apparently, he still needs a teammate to face The Bar and the list is short. There are rumors of it being Big Show or Big Cass, and that is immediate bathroom break material. Strowman getting Samoa Joe, who is unparalleled on the mic, or even Elias or Kurt Hawkings has some cool story possibilities.
Women’s Battle Royal
There are so many top competitors in the division in a random bout with no stakes. Sasha/Bayley has been the main focus of this angle and that has had its ups and down. Hooray, Bayley is getting her spine from NXT where she left it, but not seeing her go for another 1-on-1 classic with Sasha is a crime.
I’m not saying this is going to be a bad match, but being live at a seven-hour show is a test in itself. This match brings up the question: With so much talent, is it better to be left off the card than be in a WrestleMania 34 throwaway match?
What matches are you looking forward to at Wrestlemania 34? Who do you think is going to win? Leave your comments and let us know!