WWE: WrestleMania 34 Could Surpass X-Seven as Best Ever


WrestleMania X-Seven. The “Stairway to Heaven” of  WWE pay-per-views. It was a fantastic show from top to bottom, and is widely considered to be the greatest WrestleMania of all time. The card included such matches as: Angle vs Benoit, TLC II, Undertaker vs HHH, and Vince McMahon vs Shane McMahon in a street fight. The cherry on top of this wrestling sundae was the Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin in a main event for the ages.

Since that fateful 2001 edition of the Showcase of the Immortals, there have been several WrestleManias that have been great, but none have surpassed number 17. This year, WrestleMania 34, with an announced card filled with promise, has the opportunity to pass X-Seven, and claim the number one spot.

Let Them Wrestle

For fans of pure, no-nonsense wrestling, it does not get any more exciting than the prospect of AJ Styles facing off with Shinsuke Nakamura.  The two previously faced off in NJPW, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in a near-25 minute classic that Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer gave ****3/4. If they are given enough time at WrestleMania, there is little doubt Styles and Nakamura can once again achieve greatness.

Elsewhere on the card, SmackDown Live women’s champion Charlotte Flair is set to defend her title against the undefeated Asuka. Both women are no strangers to putting on great matches on big stages. Asuka finshed off her NXT tenure with a series of terrific bouts against Ember Moon. Meanwhile, while the Empress of Tomorrow was waiting to be called up to the main roster, Charlotte was having spectacular matches against the likes of Becky Lynch and and Sasha Banks.

Though the technically Asuka has much more experience than Charlotte, the Queen continues to improve her wrestling skills at a rapid-pace. This, combined with her tremendous athletic experience, and Asuka’s impeccable in-ring ability, bodes well for this match being a great one.

Something For Everyone

One of the main reasons WrestleMania X-Seven was great was not just the number of great matches, but also the number of different types of great matches.

Variety is also on the card for this year’s WrestleMania, in the form of two tag team matches that are both intriguing, albeit for different reasons. One of the most highly anticipated matches on the show is a mixed tag-team match, which will pit Triple H and Stephanie McMahon against Kurt Angle and former UFC champion Ronda Rousey. Quite obviously, this is a match centered on mainstream attention towards a big-name star, and the intrigue of how she will perform in a WWE ring.

Three indicators seem to suggest that Rousey’s debut performance will be a successful one. First, celebrities who have competed at WrestleManias past have, surprisingly, exceeded expectations. Mr. T, Lawrence Taylor, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, and even Snooki all performed quite competently inside the ring, likely due in large part to the thorough preparation done by match agents.

Second (and this is a sentence I thought I would never be typing), Ronda Rousey isn’t exactly Snooki. Rousey is an accomplished athlete, an Olympic Judo medal winner, and an Ultimate Fighting champion. She is no stranger to intensely training for a big stage. And third, the inclusion of Triple H in the bout means an experienced in-ring veteran will be able to guide the match along, and put it back on track should things start veering astray

Another intriguing match on the WrestleMania card will see Shane McMahon team up with a returning Daniel Bryan to face Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. This will be an exciting and dramatic match for a number of reasons, chief among them the return of Bryan to the ring after a two-year absence, and the stipulation that if Owens and Zayn lose rhey are fired from SmackDown Live.

The feud between these four men (which at times has seen tensions flare between Bryan and Shane) has been one of the longest running feuds in recent WWE history. Another point of interest will be seeing how it finally comes to a head, and if we are in for any late-90s-type swerves.

Rematch Of A Classic

The Universal Championship match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns should be an absolute smash-mouth affair. This certainly was the case at WrestleMania 31, when the two met in the main event inside Levi Stadium. It was a hellacious brawl, featuring a plethora of stiff strikes, and hard-hitting power moves.

Brock took a large majority of the match, but Reigns’ comebacks were well-timed, creating a great deal of suspense over who would be victorious. The match was also the birthplace of “Suplex City” as Lesnar welcomed Reigns there after delivering one of his many German suplexes.

Before Seth Rollins’ surprise cash-in, it appeared Roman was gaining a slight upper hand, rocking the Beast Incarnate with a number of his signature maneuvers. Nonetheless, the match turned into an impromptu triple threat, and we did not get a decisive winner in the originally scheduled one-on-one main event.

Now, three years later, Brock remains as volatile and intense of an in-ring performer as ever, while Roman Reigns has greatly improved his wrestling ability, competing, and performing well, in a number of high-profile main event matches. As well, this feud has been doused with a healthy heaping of hatred, with Reigns unleashing some fiery promos, and Brock carrying out a vicious beat-down this past week on Raw. The potential is certainly there for the two top superstars to recapture the magic from 2015.

Putting It All Together

WrestleMania 34 has all the right pieces in place to offer a number of great matches, and something that should please fans of every kind. We are set to see an intense brawl, a five-star wrestling classic, and some dramatic storytelling. Beyond the matches mentioned, there are a number of other bouts on the card that also have the potential to be excellent.

The Intercontinental Title triple threat has two of the better workers in the company in Balor and Rollins. The New Day and Usos have had a series of classic matches in recent months, and there is no reason this trend cannot continue in the SmackDown Tag Title match.

Alexa Bliss vs Nia Jax is not likely to win match of the night, but it features two very over performers, and perhaps the best storyline of any bout on the card. The U.S. title fatal-four way, another match that is not exactly predicted to steal the show, features three extremely over superstars, in Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, and Rusev. As we have seen countless times, a hot crowd can really boost a match’s quality.

Next: NXT TakeOver Predictions

Excluding a pair of battle royals, which should at least be short and inoffensive, this card has 11 matches booked (a dozen if Cena and Undertaker indeed do hook it up), and all 12 have the potential to be great. That is an astounding figure, and should even a large fraction of the bouts deliver, and the others avoid falling off the rails, then WrestleMania 34 can indeed overtake WrestleMania X-Seven, and claim greatest ever status.