SK's take on what could be the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 34
As WrestleMania season approaches, the high-profile matches at 2018’s event are beginning to take shape.
So far, we know that there will be a women’s one-on-one match at "The Show of Shows" for the first time in 11 years, while many are anticipating that we’ll see Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs. John Cena in New Orleans.
Traditionally, one of the biggest matches at WWE’s annual extravaganza revolves around the WWE Championship, but we’re still no closer to knowing who will battle for the prestigious title with three months to go until the event.
Reports earlier in 2017 suggested that Cena was going to face Jinder Mahal for the WWE title on 8 April 2018. However, with Mahal no longer champion and Cena said to be featuring in a non-title match, we can rule out seeing “Big Match John” challenging for his 17th World Championship at WrestleMania 34.
That leaves AJ Styles, the current WWE champion, needing a high-profile opponent.
A recent arena advertisement for Fastlane, the SmackDown Live-exclusive pay-per-view which will take place on 11 March 2018, revealed that the show’s main event will feature Styles defending his WWE title in a Fatal 5-Way match against Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Of course, cards are always subject to change and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this one get altered, but the Fastlane advertising certainly seems to suggest that none of Owens, Zayn, Orton or Nakamura will win the Royal Rumble in January.
Now, call us crazy for not reading between the lines of the advertisement, but we still think it’s entirely possible that Nakamura will be victorious at the Rumble and go on to face “The Champ That Runs The Camp” in a featured match at WrestleMania.
Assuming Styles remains champion until then, “The King of Strong Style” is the one standout contender who fans want to see in a WWE title match against his former NJPW rival, as proven by the crowd reaction when the two men collided in the Money In The Bank ladder match in June 2017.
Other than Nakamura, there aren’t many SmackDown Live Superstars who could face “The Phenomenal One” in a WrestleMania-worthy match. We’ve seen him take on Owens and Zayn before, while Orton’s last reign – and subsequent pursuit – of the WWE title was disappointing.
As an outside bet, how about Batista or Goldberg? The future Hall of Famers have both teased WWE comebacks and, as unlikely as it may seem, it’d be great to see either of them take on Styles on the grandest stage.
But if we’re being realistic, despite his underwhelming main-roster run so far, we can expect to see Nakamura challenge Styles for the WWE Championship in New Orleans in April.