WWE WrestleMania 34 and NXT Takeover: New Orleans Predictions

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April 6, 2018 by coachcarter717

Wait, this isn’t Lesnar vs. Reigns on the featured image! Oh well… (Courtesy of WWE.com)

Written by Carter Cotrupi

The biggest show of the year is almost here! Shawn Eaton, Adam Burt, and Carter Cotrupi take a look at the epic weekend of wrestling ahead of us, making predictions for all twelve matches on the WrestleMania 34 card PLUS bonus coverage on NXT Takeover: New Orleans.

WrestleMania 34 Predictions

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

SE: Mostly likely the “Main Event” of Wrestlemania will be a rematch from Wrestlemania 31. Champion Brock Lesnar will defend against Roman Reigns and I’m personally expecting a great match. Roman Reigns will win another Wrestlemania main event, as well as Winning the Universal title. Grade: B+

AB: Roman Reigns, A-

CC: Roman Reigns, B+

WWE Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

SE: Shinsuke Nakamura Grade: A+

AB: This WWE championship dream match between Styles and Nakamura is going to simply be a thing of beauty. Both guys will without question elevate each other’s abilities to showcase to the world. The decision to go through with these two for the title at WrestleMania is amazing and I think the build up to this match was handled fairly well. I say “fairly well” simply because the WWE did not, in my opinion, really go into depth about the history between these two guys that dates back to their days in New Japan Pro Wrestling. But regardless, most passionate wrestling marks know that Nakamura is going into this one 1-0 and is in my opinion the favorite to win this one which would make Nakamura the first ever Japanese WWE championship holder in the company’s history. Grade: A+

CC: AJ Styles, A+

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

SE: Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey Grade: B-

AB: Angle & Rousey, B-

CC: As much as I hate WWE for shoving Stephanie McMahon down our throats on a weekly basis, I think this could be a fun match overall. The goal is obviously to get Rousey over with the WWE universe. So, I expect Angle to struggle against Triple H with a clutch tag-in from Rousey as Stephanie stares at her like a deer in the headlights. Double-submission victory from Team Angle & Rousey. Grade: B-

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

SE: Daniel Bryan’s return match will be a Tag match vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn…..and his partner will be Shane McMahon. If you told me this would be a match 2 years ago I would have told you, you were a crazy person! I’m extremely excited for this match, welcome back Daniel Bryan, and with that being said. Winners: Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens Grade: A-

AB: Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon, B-

CC: America…& Shane McMahon, B+

Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka

SE: Unstoppable vs Unbeatable, simply this is the biggest Women’s match in the History of Wrestling. I don’t think it will top Sasha vs Bayley but it damn sure will be close. Asuka’s Streak continues in a very close back and forth match. Grade: A-

AB: Asuka, A

CC: Asuka, A-

Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (Triple Threat Match)

SE: The New Day Grade: B-

AB: Over the course of the past year The Usos and The New Day have been two of the most dominant and entertaining tag teams the WWE has had to offer. The two teams have pretty much passed the titles back and forth numerous times and have put on some classic matches while doing so. But this is not your average tag title showdown as the new force of the SD Live tag division enters the picture and that is The Bludgeon Brothers. In my opinion this match will be very solid, and I could see The New Day as well as The Usos teaming up to take Harper and Rowan out of this one early. I think it would be really cool to give The Bludgeon Brothers the straps to change it up a bit, but I’ve been down on that day one ‘ish. I got The Usos retaining. Grade: B

CC: The Usos, B

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor

SE: Seth “Freakin” Rollins, A

AB: Finn Balor, B+

CC: This match could potentially steal the show if all the cards fall into place at the right time. All three stars could carry a match like this on their own, so there will be no shortage of epic spots sprinkled throughout the bout. Miz will play the role of the cowardly heel/opportunist while Rollins and Balor fight with the same intensity that they brought to the first ever Universal Championship match. I don’t think Miz is at that level of heat where he would use his newborn child as an in-ring distraction…so I think Seth Rollins could actually win the title here. Grade: A-

United States Champion Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev (Fatal 4-Way Match)

SE: Jinder Mahal Grade: C+

AB: Bobby Roode, C+

CC: How often is it that the stars align for one superstar as they look to make an impact on the grandest stage of them all? That’s right, WrestleMania 34 just HAPPENS to fall on Rusev Day! Unlike his first run with the U.S. title, Rusev should break away from the tired evil foreigner gimmick. He is genuinely over with the fans and Aiden English would have a field day with the number of songs he could sing if Rusev won the championship. Come on WWE, the fans want something to celebrate on the Raw after WrestleMania, which also happens to be Rusev Day! Grade: B-

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

SE: Andrade Cien Almas Grade: C-

AB: The Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal is always an interesting match usually towards the beginning of the card to kick things off. It’s been said that the winners of this match use it as a career boost despite Mojo Rawley being last year’s winner. I have a few guys in mind that could use the boost and the first guy on that list is Elias Samson. Elias is currently over as hell with the WWE universe and I believe he would benefit most from having that WrestleMania moment. Others I could see it helping is Dolph Ziggler, and possibly a returning Samoa Joe. If Samoa Joe who has been medically cleared isn’t involved in another match I could see him being a last-minute entry to make some noise. Grade: C

CC: Tyler Breeze (Why not), C+

Women’s Battle Royal Match

SE: The only match I have a problem with on this card is the Women’s Battle Royal. I truly believe Sasha and Bayley should have had their own match this year. They have shown that they can put on incredible matches together and show have had another opportunity. Winner: Sasha Banks. Grade: C-

AB: Becky Lynch, C+

CC: Bayley, C

The Bar vs. Braun Strowman and a tag team partner of his choosing

SE: The biggest question this Wrestlemania other than if Undertaker is going to show up is who Braun’s partner is going to be. To be totally honest, I don’t feel like it matters. Braun needs his Wrestlemania moment so here is the spot. I have a couple of guesses on who Braun’s partner will be, but my favorite for sure is…. Winners: Braun Strowman/ James Ellsworth Grade: C

AB: Braun Strowman & Big Cass, C

CC: Braun Strowman & Samoa Joe, B

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

SE: Nia Jax Grade: C-

AB: Best friends turned enemies in what looks like it could be a very personal championship match. I’m expecting this to be a very defensively played match from the champion Alexa Bliss as she is sure to be struggling to survive against an enraged Nia Jax in this contest. Alexa has held the championship belt for quite some time now and has without question carried it well. Nia Jax although more than deserving to hold a championship, will have that moment taken away from her with my prediction. Nia Jax will just barely sneak a win by against Bliss in a tough fought battle, then will instantly lose the championship when Carmella cashes in her money in the bank contract to steal the title from Jax moments after fighting for her life for it. This in my mind makes more sense than having a potential cash in on the undefeated Asuka with the Smackdown title if she is to defeat Charlotte for it. With a rumored superstar shakeup in the near future after WrestleMania this could cement Carmella as the newest member of Monday night RAW. Grade: B+ (Carmella cashes in and wins title).

CC: Alexa Bliss, C+

NXT Takeover: New Orleans Predictions

Left to right: Ethan Carter III, Adam Cole, The Velveteen Dream, Ricochet, Lars Sullivan, and Killian Dane headline the six-man ladder match to crown the first-ever NXT North American Champion (Courtesy of WWE.com)

NXT Champion Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Aleister Black (Shawn)

SE: Aleister Black Grade: A-

AB: Black vs Almas could easily be the most well executed match of the entire weekend. Both guys are viewed as stars in NXT currently and has had their share of A+ matches on previous NXT takeover shows. Andrade “Cien” Almas although accompanied by Zelina Vega will not have enough to get by Aleister Black in my mind. The “Dutch Destroyer” is going to showcase his strong style striking approach and ultimately finish the match landing a black mass to Almas to capture the title in an absolute slobberknocker in the words of Jim Ross and head into a dominant championship run. Grade: A+

CC: Andrade “Cien” Almas, A

NXT Women’s Champion Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler (Shawn)

SE: A rematch from the last NXT Takeover, the Women’s match I feel have been forgotten in this NXT stacked card. Both Moon and Baszler can go, and I know they will try to shine in the card filled with potential 5 star matches. Winner: Shayna Baszler Grade: B-

AB: Ember Moon, C-

Ember Moon, C

NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole vs. Authors of Pain vs. Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne (Carter)

SE: Strong/Dunne Grade: B+

AB: Strong/Dunne, A

CC: I love tag-team matches in general, but something about tag matches with the NXT Tag Team Championships on the line always brings out the best from every wrestler in the ring. Takeover: New Orleans will be no different. I can understand if some fans are tired of seeing AOP constantly getting pushed to the front, but they are the best pairing to highlight just how expansive these tag teams’ move-sets can be. I expect Cole to be shaken up if this comes after his six-man ladder match. That combined with AOP being the target that the Undisputed Era and Strong/Dunne take out first means that my vote would sway towards the unlikely tag partners to take the W. However, I think the Undisputed Era’s time in the limelight is far from over. Bobby Fish may unable to compete because of his injuries, but I’m sure he would be able to provide a nice distraction for some sneaky heel tactics by Cole & O’Reilly. Undisputed Era, A-

Ladder Match to Crown the First-Ever NXT North American Champion- ECIII vs. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. Lars Sullivan vs. The Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dane (Adam)

SE: (Match of the weekend alert) Winner: Velveteen Dream Grade: A+

AB: This six-man ladder match to determine the first ever NXT North American champion will be absolutely epic! Not only is it the debut of a brand-new championship to drool over, but it’s also the debut of EC3 and Ricochet. This match is going to have an abundance of epic spots throughout its duration and it should leave fans drawn to the match throughout its entirety. Although all these guys could be pictured as champion, I think this title needs a first-time champion that is well respected and proven to everyone, and that’s ADAM COLE BAY BAY! Grade: A


Tommaso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano- Unsanctioned Match (Carter)

SE: Johnny Gargano Grade: A-

AB: Johnny Gargano, A+

CC: If this match was on the WrestleMania 34 card, I think it would have a much better chance at stealing the show. Takeover is just stacked with so many great matches. This is the bout we’ve all been waiting for ever since the heartbreaking disbandment of #DIY. The people want to see Johnny Wrestling back in WWE and I don’t see how the company could finagle Gargano’s return if he were to lose again here. Grade: A

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