NZPWI Roundtable: WWE WrestleMania 34

WrestleMania 34 has arrived! The Showcase of the Immortals takes place in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome live today, April 9, from 9am NZDT on Sky Arena and WWE Network.

Men’s Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakaura challenges AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. Women’s Royal Rumble winner Asuka attempts to further her undefeated streak and dethrone SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.

Brock Lesnar defends the Universal Championship against Roman Reigns in a WrestleMania 31 rematch, Ronda Rousey makes her in-ring debut, and Daniel Bryan returns to action!

Who will be victorious on this, WWE’s biggest event of the year? Join the NZPWI Roundtable as we break down the card for WrestleMania 34.

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WrestleMania 34

Universal Championship:
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns

David Dunn (@david_dunn):
I think Roman Reigns was going to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 before Seth Rollins got involved. And he’s been thinking about doing it for three whole years.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Grady Hooker (@GradyHooker):
We saw that Roman Reigns was very close to beating Brock Lesnar last time they clashed, before Seth Rollins rudely interrupted and ran away with the championship. Although, since then, Lesnar has gone on to beat Goldberg and hold the Universal Championship for a year, so both men have evolved since their last fight.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Mike Kilpatrick (@mikekilpatrick):
I’ve had enough of Brock Lesnar. Actually, that’s not quite true – I’d had enough of Brock Lesnar two years ago. Now I’d be happy to see him defeated and never seen in the squared circle again. It’s not so much that I want Roman Reigns to win, I need Roman Reigns to win – to rid us of the curse of a part-time champion who thinks all he needs to do is multiple German suplexes.
Winner: Roman Reigns

Mister Jay (@misterjcomics):
As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I hate to admit it to myself… I’m going with Reigns. If only because, if he can’t do it now… if he can’t do it at WrestleMania, then what’s the point?
Winner: Roman Reigns

WWE Championship:
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

David:
With the Royal Rumble behind him (and a win in New Japan Pro-Wrestling) Shinsuke Nakamura seems to have all the momentum in the world leading him to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Grady:
Winner: The Audience
Oh? I have to pick an actual winner of this match? I guess I’ll go with the Royal Rumble winner with the slight advantage of being rested heading into the title match.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Mike:
A dream match-up, one most of us never truly believed we’d see on a stage such as WrestleMania. It’s trite but true – there are no real losers in this match because it’ll be remembered and talked about for many years to come. I would love to see the King of Strong Style holding the belt after a sensational match.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Mister J:
It’s certainly going to be a hell of match, and probably the match of the show (not that that’s a huge call). I’m going to give AJ the nod, but realistically, I think we are all the winners here.
Winner: AJ Styles

Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey vs. Stephanie McMahon & Triple H

David:
Ronda Rousey was an untouchable destroyer for so much of her MMA career. And with the added motivation of humbling Triple H and Stephanie McMahon added to her skillset, she and Kurt Angle must go 1-0 as a team.

Winners: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey

Grady:
Triple H is great and all, but I am not going to ever bet against an angry Ronda Rousey, and when he teamed with The Shield we saw that Kurt Angle still has enough fight in him to go toe-to-toe with The King of Kings.
Winners: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey

Mike:
It wouldn’t be a WrestleMania without an over-the-top entrance from Steph and Triple H. But the presence of Ronda Rousey raises this to a must-see for more than the WWE Universe. Is it wrong that I want to see Ronda Rousey putting an armbar on either of the dastardly duo?
Winners: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey

Mister J:
Is this even a question? Really?!
Winners: Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

David:
I’d love nothing more than to see Daniel Bryan pick up the big win in New Orleans, just like he did four years ago, but with Owens and Zayn’s jobs on the line…
Winners: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn

Grady:
I think Daniel Bryan could fight a bear, or a 1 vs. 10 match and his adrenaline and determination would carry him to a victory. This is something I thought I wouldn’t see in WWE – Bryan back in the ring is a miracle in itself, if Shane shows up that brings the miracle count to two. Why not make it three?
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon

Mike:
The day most of us thought we’d never see again! I can’t bear the idea of Daniel Bryan losing on his return to the ring. But I need Sami and Kevin back in ring. And the history between Bryan and Shane O’Mac is also complicated. Who wins? A toss of the coin says Owens and Zayn take the win, but I suspect shenanigans somewhere.
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon

Mister J:
Like I said above… is this even a question?
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon

SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka

David:
Charlotte knows a thing or two about undefeated streaks, so she should be prepared for Asuka to take her title on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Winner: Asuka

Grady:
Asuka is still undefeated and I expect Charlotte to put up the biggest chance to break that streak to hold on to her championship. Asuka took out a lot of great, talented wrestlers on her way to building this streak, Charlotte will fall and become yet another number.
Winner: Asuka

Mike:
This is going to be another of those brilliant matches I can’t wait to see. Asuka’s undefeated record is on the line against one of the best in the business – and despite Charlotte’s brilliance, I think she’s going to struggle to put away Asuka. Could WWE have two Japanese champions at WrestleMania? I think so.
Winner: Asuka

Mister J:
The other match that has he potential to steal the show. Both are at the top of their game, and both will no doubt want to shine on the grandest stage of them all. Streak vs. Championship. I’m going to lean towards Asuka, but it is only a slight lean… like I’ve accidentally walked into a gutter or something.
Winner: Asuka

Raw Women’s Championship:
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax

David:
I’d have picked Jax regardless, but she’ll be especially motivated after Bliss’ betrayal.
Winner: Nia Jax

Grady:
Alexa Bliss can only run for so long and Nia Jax is coming for her. Assuming this finally happens with no interference then Jax should be able to squash her ex-friend into the ground and scrape up the Raw Women’s Championship from the mess.
Winner: Nia Jax

Mike:
On paper there is only one winner. Nia Jax deserves the victory for what she’s been put through. But Alexa Bliss won’t go down without a fight. And that fight will be dirty. I think Alexa Bliss might have a trick too many for Nia Jax.
Winner: Alexa Bliss

Mister J:
I’m surprised at how much I’ve grown to like Alexa Bliss. In the last year or so, she has grown so much. But she hasn’t grown that much.
Winner: Nia Jax

Intercontinental Championship:
The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

David:
Triple threats are volatile to say the least. I don’t like Miz’s odds of retaining his title, especially if The Demon comes out.
Winner: Finn Balor

Grady:
I can’t separate these three in terms of talent, and this should be an absolute cracker, so I will fall back to personal preferences. I have always loved The Miz, so the new dad can swoop in for the win here.
Winner: The Miz

Mike:
Another match nearly impossible to predict. The dastardly Miz and his Miztourage have a clear advantage, but both Seth and Finn have friends in the back. Twist my arm and I’ll pick Finn to pick up the win after a great match.
Winner: Finn Balor

Mister J:
It must be time for Finn to step out of the shadows again… or into them as the case and facepaint may be.
Winner: Finn Balor

United States Championship:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev

David:
Rusev as a late-in-the-game addition might give him an advantage, but I’m predicting a glorious WrestleMania debut for Bobby Roode.
Winner: Bobby Roode

Grady:
How can Rusev lose on Rusev Day?!
Winner: Rusev

Mike:
But for Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton would be my most hated WWE wrestler. I hope he loses. To anyone of these other competitors. But WrestleMania is the ultimate Rusev Day, right? It has to be the Bulgarian brute.
Winner: Rusev

Mister J:
How can anybody pick anyone other than Rusev in a match that includes Rusev?
Winner: Rusev

Raw Tag Team Championship:
Cesaro & Sheamus (c) vs. Braun Strowman & ???

David:
Does Strowman even need a partner? Technically, yes, but I believe he can get the job done all on his own.
Winners: Braun Strowman & ???

Grady:
Curt Hawkins is beaten up during the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, Strowman finds him backstage and drags him unconscious to the ring to lay there as his tag team partner. Strowman beats both members of The Bar to pick up the championship – Hawkins’ losing streak is broken and we have the best tag team champions of all time.
Winners: Braun Strowman & ???

Mike:
Braun could win this single-handedly, and so whoever enters the ring with him isn’t likely to play a major part in the sure win over the Bar. Sheamus and Cesaro are going down.
Winners: Braun Strowman & ???

Mister J:
Certainly much depends on who Strowman’s partner might be. But not that much.
Winners: Braun Strowman & ???

SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
The Usos (c) vs. The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The New Day

David:
The Usos are the top tag team in WWE today. They’re up against a massive challenge, no doubt, but they’ve proven themselves to be pretty adaptable.
Winners: The Usos

Grady:
You can’t beat sledgehammer-swinging swamp maniacs, that is how you get a hole in the side of your head and your championships stolen. As it is a triple threat, expect the weapons and hammers to come out in this brutal affair.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers

Mike:
This is a match that’s almost slipped under my radar – I’ll be honest and say I’d much rather Luke Harper was fighting for the US Championship and not the tag team titles. Hmmm, the head says The Bludgeon Brothers, the heart says The New Day. The Usos are toast, New Day will take the titles.
Winners: The New Day

Mister J:
Bludgeon. Bludgeon! Bludgeon! What I’m trying to say here, in the words of the immortal bard, is “bludgeon”.
Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers

WrestleMania Kickoff

Cruiserweight Championship:
Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali

David:
Cedric Alexander has been adjacent to the Cruiserweight Championship for so long now! Today is the day to complete that chapter in his life.
Winner: Cedric Alexander

Grady:
This could go either way. Both men deserve the championship (and a main card spot), but it is impossible to accurately predict a winner for this one, ignoring the fact if any of my colleagues get this right. I’ll go with Cedric Alexander as he impressed me early on in the division.
Winner: Cedric Alexander

Mike:
It’s Mustafa Ali’s time. I have a renewed interest in the Cruiserweight Championship lately and I’ve been massively impressed with both these wrestlers. But Mustafa Ali will rightfully be the next champion.
Winner: Mustafa Ali

Mister J:
It depresses me that what could easily be one of the best pure wrestling matches on the show (from two guys doing their best to turn around what had become a dry and lifeless show—205 Live, not WrestleMania), and putting in career best and possibly career-defining matches) is such a minor blip on the radar. Sigh…
Winner: Cedric Alexander

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal:
Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan vs. Naomi vs. Natalya vs. Ruby Riott vs. Sarah Logan vs. Sasha Banks vs. ???

David:
Sasha Banks has cost Bayley two big moments this year. How fitting it would be for Bayley to do the same to The Boss.
Winner: Bayley

Grady:
Still hard to pick… the only real feud heading into this one is Bayley vs. Sasha Banks so they will either be way too busy with each other to win or drive each other to the final two with one of them taking the trophy home. Let’s go with the latter and have Sasha Banks raise the trophy.
Winner: Sasha Banks

Mike:
Hoo boy, another match nearly impossible to call. Bayley and Sasha Banks’ friendship has endured but appears at breaking point. The tension between those two opens up the opportunity for someone else to sneak the win. I’m going to take the wonderful Becky Lynch to be victorious.
Winner: Becky Lynch

Mister J:
I’m going to pick someone not even announced for the match, because I feel wrestling, and WrestleMania especially, is about people’s dreams…. and a man has to dream, right?
Winner: Molly Holly

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
Baron Corbin vs. Dash Wilder vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango vs. Matt Hardy vs. Mojo Rawley vs. Scott Dawson vs. Tye Dillinger vs. Tyler Breeze vs. ???

David:
Larger WWE Superstars have done well in this match in years prior. And there’s one “big” guy who must be for back in the ring soon…
Winner: Big Cass

Grady:
Battle Royals are hard to predict, no one would have given Mojo last year… screw it, I’ll take Matt Hardy to break his way to the trophy.
Winner: Matt Hardy

Mike:
After Baron Corbin and Mojo Rawley, this is ripe for an upset. I can’t even begin to predict who’s going to win this match. Could a returning old-timer take a shock win? Is Tatanka still hanging about? Is anyone returning from injury? Or can “Woken” Matt Hardy delete everyone else? I have no idea. I’m going to pick only because he’s Scottish and brilliant, Drew McIntyre making his return from injury.
Winner: Drew McIntyre

Mister J:
Bray Wyatt doesn’t have a match, does he?
Winner: Bray Wyatt.

Staff Picks Summary:

Universal Championship:
Brock Lesnar: 0 (0%)
Roman Reigns: 4 (100%)

WWE Championship:
AJ Styles: 1 (25%)
Shinsuke Nakamura: 3 (75%)

Kurt Angle & Ronda Rousey: 4 (100%)
Stephanie McMahon & Triple H: 0 (0%)

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon: 3 (75%)
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn: 1 (25%)

SmackDown Women’s Championship:
Asuka: 4 (100%)
Charlotte Flair: 0 (0%)

Raw Women’s Championship:
Alexa Bliss: 1 (25%)
Nia Jax: 3 (75%)

Intercontinental Championship:
Finn Balor: 3 (75%)
The Miz: 1 (25%)
Seth Rollins: 0 (0%)

United States Championship:
Bobby Roode: 1 (25%)
Jinder Mahal: 0 (0%)
Randy Orton: 0 (0%)
Rusev: 3 (75%)

Raw Tag Team Championship:
Braun Strowman & ???: 4 (100%)
Cesaro & Sheamus: 0 (0%)

SmackDown Tag Team Championship:
The Bludgeon Brothers: 2 (50%)
The New Day: 1 (25%)
The Usos: 1 (25%)

Cruiserweight Championship:
Cedric Alexander: 3 (75%)
Mustafa Ali: 1 (25%)

WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal:
Bayley: 1 (25%)
Becky Lynch: 1 (25%)
Molly Holly: 1 (25%)
Sasha Banks: 1 (25%)

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal:
Big Cass: 1 (25%)
Bay Wyatt: 1 (25%)
Drew McIntyre: 1 (25%)
Matt Hardy: 1 (25%)

WWE WrestleMania 34
Monday, April 9
11am (WrestleMania Kickoff from 9am)
Sky Arena & WWE Network