Every week we inch close to the WWE Royal Rumble is a week we inch closer to knowing what to expect at WrestleMania 34. There are already several matches you can assume are happening, including Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship, Shinsuke Nakamura winning the Royal Rumble and challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Championship (which was bold back when I predicted it—before SummerSlam), and now Asuka challenging Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women’s Championship.
None of those can be called B.O.L.D – Bullheaded, Outlandish, Lascivious, and Deplorable. No, it takes a certain combination of foresight and insanity to make, and occasionally, to nail a truly Bold Prediction. These must be believable, but also quite a bit crazy.
So what crazy matches am I predicting for WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans? Read on and find out!
5. The Usos defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
The Usos have said it themselves, they deserve to be on the WrestleMania card for the first time in their careers. Taking a look at the Smackdown roster, I don’t see any team that would be deemed worthy for the main card spot. There are indeed some good options, but those options are kickoff show at best.
Except for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Kevin Owens is a multi-time champion in his short WWE career, and much like The Usos, Sami Zayn is doing his best work. Zayn and Owens represent the best shot to see The Usos on the proper WrestleMania show. They are relevant, main event performers that elicit crowd reactions in so many ways. They are an experienced team, and are the perfect opponents for Jimmy and Jey In New Orleans.
4. Rusev In The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Since WrestleMania 30, The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal has been a point of contention among many fans. Cesaro’s win gave us hope that a true favorite of so many hardcore and casual fans alike was getting an opportunity—and it seemed to be true, too. He later received Paul Heyman as a manager, only to lose that back-up equally fast and eventually find his spot as a tag team specialist.
But at least that was on the main card, as The Big Show’s battle royal win came on the preshow at in Santa Clara. Baron Corbin took the Andre battle royal back to the main card with his shocking win, followed up by the match’s best outcome ever—Jinder Mahal putting over Rob Gronkowski (en route to Mojo Rawley winning) and later capturing the WWE Championship.
What about this year? Rusev, already one of most athletic big men to ever perform in a WWE ring, is ridng a wave of popularity and success with his Rusev Day program.
This Bold Prediction goes a step farther—Rusev shouldn’t only be in the match, he should win it. That would make WrestleMania Day the greatest Rusev Day in history.
3. Sheamus and Cesaro defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy
There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said—and that’s because I said it not that long ago!
But I am sticking with what I said: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy have more legs as a tag team than they do as enemies. And they’ll be a tag team at WrestleMania 34, challenging Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
2. Triple H vs. Shane McMahon
So much has been done to direct us away from this match, that I believe more than ever it will happen. Yes, I do think Daniel Bryan returns to the ring, but you can make money from him being involved in this match at ringside (along with Kurt Angle) and save his in-ring return for SummerSlam.
Triple H has been all over the place, leaning towards matches with Kurt Angle and Braun Strowman. But remember, Triple H screwed Shane McMahon at Survivor Series, and that’s something the eldest McMahon child won’t forget.
1. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Jason Jordan in a 6-Man Ladder Match for the vacant Intercontinental Championship
It’s no secret that Roman Reigns is headed towards a collision with Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 34. But he currently holds the Intercontinental Championship, and needs to lose it before WrestleMania, right?
I honestly don’t think Roman Reigns is losing the Intercontinental Championship before getting to New Orleans, as he’ll be kept strong before challenging (and beating) Brock Lesnar. Stephanie will likely make Kurt Angle remove the Intercontinental Championship from Reigns, leading to this 6-man Ladder Match for the belt at WrestleMania.
Who wins? Seth Rollins, that’s who! Rollins follows in Reigns’ footsteps in completing the modern-day Grand Slam. I, like you, want to see Samoa Joe win the title, and I believe he’ll do just that before we hit SummerSlam. But WrestleMania will belong to Seth Rollins, at least in terms of the Intercontinental Championship.
Top 5: WWE Raw Superstars That Should Go To Smackdown In 2018
The brand split has given us two distinct rosters with their own faults. While both shows could stand to mix the rosters up, today we look at five Raw superstars that should come to Smackdown Live within the next year.
5. Apollo Crews (Titus Brand)
Since coming to RAW, Crews was able to find a mentor in Titus O’neil, and did get a few wins under his belt. With Reigns and Lesnar holding both singles titles, the best opportunity for gold lies with the tag team championships, and that doesn’t seem probable at this point. A switch to Smackdown Live, not only for Crews, but Titus Brand, would open up opportunities. Smackdown’s tag team division is the best it has been in a while, and with a new U.S. champion getting crowned Crews can be a viable challenger for the victor.
With both Asuka and Paige top contenders for Alexa Bliss’ Woman’s Championship, and Sasha and Nia waiting in the wings, Bayley doesn’t have much she can do. Smackdown Live’s Woman’s division is in need of new competition, with Becky Lynch and Ruby Riott being the freshest competitors to challenge Charlotte. Reports are coming out that WWE is giving up on Bayley, but a switch to the blue show could open up
3. Samoa Joe
Unless he wins the Intercontinental Championship, there doesn’t seem to be anything for Samoa Joe to do on RAW until Roman eventually gets the Universal Championship. Even then the likely candidate to be a worthy challenge to the Big Dog is Braun Strowman. A move to Smackdown Live would give the main event scene a big player heading into WrestleMania and could provide for some memorable dream matches. Joe is one of the few NXT call-ups that still has a good bit of his aura still intact, but moving to SmackdownLive could provide much more prominent role.
2. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel
While a trade to the blue brand might not do much for the Miztourage, a change of scenery could do them justice. Bo and Axe are two talents most fans believe to be underutilized, as Axel is the son of Curt Henning and Bo is a former NXT Champion. The Smackdown Live tag division is flourishing at the moment, and while the two may not be challenging for the titles, at least Harper and Rowan can have another team to destroy outside of Breezango.
1. Finn Balor
Like Joe, Balor will have to wait a while before getting the chance at one of the two singles titles on Monday nights. A plethora of challengers awaits Roman Reigns with both his I.C. and Universal Championships, and while Balor could be one of those challengers, it is unlikely he will take one of them. A brand change could open up a possible run at AJ Styles, as Balor has a victory over him. Not to mention, like Joe, the plentiful amount of dream matches that could come of this.
Official Rundown: The Chairshot 2017 Match of the Year
All of the voting is done, and we finally know the winner of the Inaugural Chairshot Match of the Year. We’d like to thank everyone who participated across multiple groups, we saw a total of 400 people express their opinion in the results. Each of the five matches brought something a little different to the table, and in most groups we had a difference of merely 3 or 4 votes between first and second place. However, one group tipped the scales significantly for the match that ended up winning.
So let’s see where each of the Top 5 ended up in the final rankings:
(t) 5th – The Usos vs The New Day – WWE Hell in a Cell – 17 votes
While many people enjoyed this match, the in ring quality wasn’t quite up to par with the other options, as well as people preferring one of the other matches between these two teams. Given the year both teams had, and how The Usos are most people’s tag team of the year…tying for 5th in this vote isn’t really an insult.
(t) 5th – Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Brian Cage – NOAH Summer Navigation – 17 votes
This match suffered from the lack of overall exposure to the general crowd. Brian Cage’s popularity in Lucha Underground helped to put this on some people’s radar but, Japanese companies not named New Japan still have issues garnering more fans. This match showcased a lot of Brian Cage’s ability not seen on Lucha Underground. So the fact it at least tied for 5th, instead of getting no traction, is a small testament for word of mouth still doing work in the social media age.
3rd – John Cena vs AJ Styles – WWE Royal Rumble – 56 votes
The WWE’s Match of the Year, finishes third, with a respectable number of votes. A very good match for WWE standards, had the uphill battle of following Wrestle Kingdom 11, and put up a good fight. Cena ties Ric Flair’s record 16 Heavyweight Title reigns with this match, but it sadly didn’t measure up to the caliber of our top two matches this year.
2nd – Tyler Bate vs Pete Dunne – NXT Takeover: Chicago – 91 votes
When this match ended and Meltzer’s ratings gave it less than 5 Stars, the internet wrestling community collectively lost their minds. NXT as a brand is highly beloved since it’s basically the WWE’s version of a Indy promotion, with better production values. The match was quite good and even won the vote in a few of the groups we extended the poll into. Definitely a well deserved Top 5 entrant, but still fell to the match that won over many critics and decisively won our vote.
1st – Kazuchika Okada vs Kenny Omega – NJPW Dominion – 219 votes
Was there really any doubt? These two have put on enough classic matches this year to basically have a Top 10 of matches just including them. Not only did this match surpass their first bout, which was Kim Kardashian’s backside levels of breaking the internet, it immediately drew comparisons to Steamboat vs Flair thanks to the 60 Minute Broadway, which isn’t seen often, much less for the Heavyweight Championship. Regardless of where you lie on your feelings between the best match of the trilogy, or what trilogy is the best, or who the better wrestler is, the main fact is; without these matches capturing your interest, you wouldn’t have a basis for argument in the first place.
This vote caps off 2017 nicely as the year of New Japan. It became more visible to the public even before Jericho’s announcement and gives fans a plausible number 2 to try to rally behind. Would it be nice to see WWE step up their game a little? Yes it would, but it probably won’t happen yet. Should you be hopping on the Japanese Wrestling Hype Train and look into NOAH, Dragon Gate and All Japan? Definitely yes, at times those three companies put on matches that were better than New Japan and have stars that can easily compete with your favorites in NJPW.
Use your internet connection to educate yourself further…and Always Use Your Head.
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