WrestleMania 34 match card, predictions from Brunner and Raven

The WresteMania 34 kickoff show starts on the WWE Network at 5 p.m. What two better outsiders than Austin Brunner of The Geekiverse and myself of the Court of Nerds to give you our predictions? I mean, we did just watch, write and talk about every WrestleMania show in the past month. 

 

Below you will find our predtctions to go along with the complete match card. Hopefully the main card isn’t 5 hours, 10-minutes this year:  

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

  • Raven: Elias
  • Brunner: Matt Hardy

Women's Battle Royal

  • Raven: Sasha Banks
  • Brunner: Bayley

Cruiserweight Championship

  • Raven: Cedric Alexander
  • Brunner: Cedric Alexander

Raw Tag Team Championship

  • Raven: Braun w/ Partner
  • Brunner: Braun w/ Partner

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship

  • Raven: Bludgeon Brothers
  • Brunner: Bludgeon Brothers

Raw Women's Championship

  • Raven: Nia
  • Brunner: Nia

Smackdown Live Women's Championship

  • Raven: Asuka
  • Brunner: Carmella (cashes in Money in the Bank)

U.S. Championship

  • Raven: Jinder Mahal
  • Brunner: Rusev

Intercontinental Championship

  • Raven: Finn Balor
  • Brunner: Seth Rollins

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

  • Raven: Zayn/Owens
  • Brunner: Bryan/McMahon

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

  • Raven: Angle/Rousey
  • Brunner: Angle/Rousey

Undertaker vs. John Cena

  • Raven: Hopefully doesn't happen
  • Brunner: Undertaker

WWE Championship

  • Raven: Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Brunner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Universal Championship

  • Raven: Brock Lesnar
  • Brunner: Roman Reigns

What do you think? Give your predictions in the comment below, as well as any surprises you think may happen!

Our complete 34 Days of Wrestlemania is broken down below:

34 Days of WrestleMania: Once WrestleMania 31 has some nostalgia dust it will be remembered with the greats

34 Days of WrestleMania: Once WrestleMania 31 has some nostalgia dust it will be remembered with the greats

The best thing WrestleMania 31 has going for it and aspect that will make it hold up as one of the best shows in Mania history is the fact that every match from the pre-show to the main event is at least very solid.

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34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania 25 with HBK-Undertaker I hold up?

WrestleMania 25 from April 5, 2009, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston with 72,744 people in attendance

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It's too bad that the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania was so poorly timed out and executed because there was some serious potential for more here. Yes, WrestleMania 25 has the first Shawn Michaels/Undertaker match which was fantastic. But, guess what, that doesn't make this a great show.

See WrestleMania 13.

Triple H and Randy Orton main evented the show for the WWE Championship in a really, well-done intense feud that was billed as a five-years in the making type of thing. Orton and Legacy (Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase) beat the hell out of the entire McMahon family, Randy attacked Stephanie twice and kissed her while HHH was handcuffed just feet away. It was intense, the match was solid and then it was over out of nowhere.

We'll get into the obvious timing issues below, but other than that it was the Money in the Bank Ladder match, Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy in an extreme rules match, Edge defending the World Heavyweight Championship against John Cena and the Big Show, Jericho vs the team of Piper, Snuka and Steamboat with Ric Flair, and JBL vs Rey for the Intercontinental Championship. No, I won't talk about the Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal that was won by a man. 

This is a monumental show that feels and looks special, but is ultimately dragged down by the bullshit Miss WrestleMania Battle Royal, Mickey Rourke taking way too long for one crap punch and Kid Rock playing a 10-minute concert. By the end of the night, Lillian Garcia is announcing people before/and as their entrance music hits. So, you know how the crowd pops like crazy whenever "I hear voices in my head" hits the speakers? Yeah, at WrestleMania 25 for the main event Lillian is talking about the rules to the match as Randy's music hits and then just moves right into introducing him. A bad look for the 25th anniversary of your biggest event.

Favorite moments and matches

Before getting into the obvious Undertaker and Shawn Michaels praise that we all know is coming, I just want to point out that the stage, theme, set, ring and arena all looked amazing for WrestleMania 25. There was a special feel that night, and it's almost like the cameras applied one of those WWE 2K camera filters. A very aesthetically pleasing show.

Undertaker and Shawn Michaels put on an absolute clinic this night in their native Texas. For 30 minutes, these two legends beat the hell out of each other, hit high spot and told a beautiful story in and outside of the ring. This one is pretty pedal to the metal right from the get-go with Shawn hitting a weird moonsault bump to the outside, Taker taking his iconic dive over the ropes only to land on his head when the cameraman fails to get under him which left a sweaty forehead mark on the mat outside. Scary moment, but Undertaker was not only able to get up but he managed to sell the count out loss in the process.  They tease the count out so hard and that just drives home the point of how badly Shawn Michaels wants to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, kill the streak and cement himself as Mr. WrestleMania by any means necessary.

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When Undertaker chokeslams HBK to hell, the match turns into a beautiful counter, finisher and near fall heart-wrenching classic. Shawn skins the cat into a Tombstone and kicks out of a clean one, which gives us the iconic shot of Undertaker's shocked and exhausted facial expression.

This is amazing work across the table for WWE. The end of the match is gold as both kick out of clean finishers before Taker catches an HBK moonsault off the top rope into another Tombstone to get to 17-0. Considering the run that these two legends had from WrestleMania 19 through now is truly just unbelievable. What they were able to achieve this night and the next year at WrestleMania 27 is impressive beyond comprehension at any age. It went a little more than 30 minutes, and doesn't even begin to feel like that long of a match.

While the Jericho vs Mickey Rourke inspired legends team of Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper and Ricky Steamboat was tough to watch at time, Steamboat could absolutely still go in his late 50s. He enters the match off the top rope, hits his famous deep arm drags that gives JR "chills" on commentary and even takes a dive to the outside. So very impressive, and he went out and did it again in a singles match with Jericho at the next month's PPV.

Parts of the Triple Threat World Heavyweight Championship match with Edge-Big Show-John Cena were great little fun parts, but it never really exceeds that level. Cena hits some impressive spots, Big Show is at a good working point here and Edge is Edge. Solid work all around and I thought that these three meshed together fantastically, but were dragged down by the convoluted Vickie Guerrero love triangle and the hot potato WHC. Edge had just lost the WWE Championship and won the World Heavyweight Championship in one night at the previous PPV in the Elimination Chamber. Edge would go on to lose it to Cena who qualified for the match by blackmailing Vickie. At the next PPV, Edge would beat Cena to regain the championship in a last man standing match. Do you see how crap/inconsistent stories weigh a solid in-ring product down?

Listen, of course, the match was crap, but JBL beating the piss out of Rey and begging for the bell to be rung in his native Texas only to get 619'd and splashed in 21 seconds was brilliant. What a way for a heel to retire. For real.

I thought that the Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy match was solid enough to fall on this section of this retrospective but it was between the good vs bad section due to its hype and great vignette. They perform some cool spots with Jeff on Matt who is sandwiched between two tables with a chair on his chest (to protect from the other table) was good stuff. The ending might have been the best part, and I don't mean that in jest, as Matt dodged a high-risk move, put his brothers head entwined into a steel chair and hit his Twist of Fate finish for the win. Worth a watch, even though it only got a second or two more than Kid Rock and Mickey Rourke.

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Least favorite moments and matches

The Kid Rock concert went on for three songs too long, and the Mickey Rourke appearance might have been the worst executed in the history of WrestleMania. He wastes time for 10 minutes then delivers a terrible punch that Jericho TRIES SO HARD to make look cool. Sucked, sucked, sucked and both of these crapily executed segments affected the rest of the show.

The ending to the main event haunts me to this day. I loved this feud, knew the match wasn't going to be a 5-star but I expected so much more. I remember watching live and looking at my friend Mike and saying, "uh oh" when Randy's music started playing over Lillian's instructions. Bad sign, especially for a WrestleMania main event when the entrance is just as much a spectacle as the match. When Triple H suddenly ended the match with a Pedigree we both looked at each other in amazement. He swore he heard the ref call for HHH to quickly finish the match, and by god, he did. Very disappointing especially considering Randy would win the WWE Championship in a six-man tag match the following month.

That's how this period of wrestling was. Hot potato championship swaps that rivaled the Attitude Era in both longevity and logic.

Man, the Money in the Bank Ladder match on this show just felt like repetition between those involved, the spots performed and the winner. Even though I loved CM Punk winning as it kept him in the conversation, and would set up a beautiful, long feud with Jeff Hardy, it still felt like a replay from the previous four years. Punk had been in three in a row, Finlay had been in four, Shelton had been in everyone except for WrestleMania 23, Kane had been in a bunch and so on and so forth. It was a pretty standard ladder match and had some very impressive spots including another scary one with Shelton leaping off a ladder on the outside only to not get caught and land on his head. The thing that brought it down was a couple of botches right in a row, the crowd will take a couple slips here and there especially in an 8-man ladder match but when they come back to back to back, it's hard to look past.

Does it hold up?

The show holds up as every match carries a certain level of appeal for the current watcher of the WWE product. Edge and John Cena are brilliant performers at this point, Randy Orton is a disgusting heel and Shawn Michaels and Undertaker are proving that two older men were the company's best workers when given the chance together.

This show will hold up because of that one match and the solid but not spectacular card.

34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania 23 with HBK-Cena, Batista-Undertaker from Detroit hold up?

34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania 23 with HBK-Cena, Batista-Undertaker from Detroit hold up?

Our author breaking down WrestleMania 23 was actually in attendance for this show, so enjoy the interesting perspective. THE CURRENT U.S. PRESIDENT SHAVED VINCE MCMAHON'S HEAD AT THIS SHOW, DRANK BEER WITH STONE COLD AND TOOK A TERRIBLE STUNNER. 

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34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XIII hold up with the Bret-SCSA submission match?

34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XIII hold up with the Bret-SCSA submission match?

Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in the Submission Match was not only a great match, but it would go on to kickstart the Attitude Era and serve as the launching pad for the company’s biggest and most important star in Stone Cold Steve Austin.

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34 days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XII and the Iron Man match hold up?

A dozen years of Wrestlemania and WWE appears to have mostly figured out how to book a solid show throughout. Entertaining. Technical wrestling. And over the top moments. This edition of Wrestlemania had everything.

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Taking place in 1996 out of Anaheim, California, we're starting to get to the Wrestlemania's that I actually have some re-collection of. I didn't start watching wrestling regularly until I was a teen, but one match stood out above the rest, as it has throughout time.

Favorite Match:

  • Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart

    • These two always put on stellar matches, and they did so this time for more than 60 minutes. Hearing about this match, it sounded somewhat silly. How can 2 men entertain in a wrestling ring for 60 minutes? Hart and Michaels simply had that chemistry. They knew how to milk the time down, yet still, captivate the audience from the get-go. And the fact that match went 0-0, and then went to overtime really sold the entire thing for me. After an hour, it's just a wrestling match? What. Are. You. Thinking?! It absolutely worked though. While there have been other Iron Man matches that have stood out, this is the one that set the bar. So think about this. Shawn Micheals set the standard for the ladder match. The Iron Man match. Hell in a Cell. And I'm going to argue the Elimination Chamber. Wow. What an amazing area to witness. Thanks, Obama! I mean WWE Network.

Best Moments:

  • Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler going at it on commentary

    • These two are charismatic together as an announce team. Absolutely great chemistry in their back and forth. Vince McMahon is an underrated commentator.

  • Rowdy Roddy Piper exposing Goldust

    • Once again, another shock-factor moment that I didn't expect. Personally, I found it more comedic than in poor taste. Still stands up in 2018.

  • Undertaker tombstoning Kevin Nash

    • That's a big dude and he got him up and put him down. I sometimes forget how powerful young Taker was. That dude could GO.

Worst Match:

  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. The Ultimate Warrior

    • At the time, what a terrible result for the man with three H's. The Ultimate Warrior returned in spectacular fashion and demolished who would become one of the biggest names in the business and the future COO of the company. Incredibly waste of time and space here with this match considering what Warrior did after the fact. I understand Warrior needed a solid squash victory, but really? Not even 2 minutes?

Worst Moments:

  • Rowdy Roddy Piper calling in during matches

    • The concept and idea of the parking lot brawl and that expanding beyond the venue itself was unique. Obviously playing off the OJ Simpson chase, I understood it. However, doing stuff during other wrestling matches simply didn't work for me.

  • Following "The White Bronco" during the event

    • See the reasoning above.

  • Stone Cold vs. Vega had a strange ending that could have played out better

    • The match itself was pretty solid throughout. I love playing this match out in WWE 2k. But the ending cheapened the solid ring work for the 10 minutes prior.

Final Thoughts:

Aside from the one waste of a match, this card was solid throughout. Obviously, there were fewer matches because of the 60+ minute Ironman Match, but HBK and The Hitman put the icing on what was already a solid foundation of cake. Of the Wrestlemania's I've watched thus far, this is certainly one of the best.

Would this hold up in 2018?

I think so. The Iron Man match told a fantastic story, and I think today's crowd would appreciate that. Especially considering all the perceived, and real heat between the two competitors at the time. HHH and Warrior would not stand-up in any era to be honest. And today's crowd still loves their Undertaker, so I could see that working too.

This is the twelfth piece in a Court of Nerds and Geekiverse collaboration that will present “34 Days of WrestleMania” as we look back on each Showcase of the Immortals as we lead you into WrestleMania 34. Keep an eye out for a couple of podcasts in the near future from Austin Brunner and Benjamin Raven as we break down each decade in podcast form.

See below for a roundup of those already up:

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34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XI with Bam Bam-Lawrence Taylor hold up?

34 Days of WrestleMania: How does WrestleMania XI with Bam Bam-Lawrence Taylor hold up?

Bam Bam Bigelow and retired NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor fought in the main event with wrestlers and NFL players serving as lumberjacks, in what was a mildly amusing and not terrible showing from either man. Still, a show missing an identity. 

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