WrestleMania 34 Roundtable: Main-event predictions; how will Rousey fare?

With WrestleMania 34 taking place Sunday, theScore is celebrating the WWE's annual marquee event throughout the week with an in-depth look. Here, theScore staff discusses which advertised bout they feel should close the show, and predicts how Ronda Rousey will fare in her in-ring debut.


Which match deserves to close WrestleMania 34? (e.g. Lesnar-Reigns, Styles-Nakamura, Angle/Rousey-HHH/McMahon, etc.)

Christopher Walder: The New Japan Pro-Wrestling fanatic in me would love to see AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura slotted in as the main event.

I have a vivid memory of their IWGP Intercontinental title match at Wrestle Kingdom 10, and to see that recreated on an even larger stage like WrestleMania would be a welcome trip down memory lane.

Even with the introduction of the Universal Championship, the WWE Championship should be held in higher regard. The winner of the Royal Rumble should be the one main-eventing WrestleMania so as not to diminish the prestige of the 30-man battle royal.

Mike Dickson: This may be a bit of an out-there choice, but I would love to see Charlotte Flair and Asuka close out the show.

The WWE arguably hasn't pushed any storyline as much as the women's revolution in recent years, and what better way to emphasize it than a women's singles match headlining the company's biggest promotion of the year? In Charlotte and Asuka, the WWE has two women that have not only elevated the in-ring product, but have built up the massive fan bases required to earn this spot. They've also both already proven their ability to tell a story in the ring. Why not allow them to do it on the grandest stage of all?

Jose Taboada: Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar should close the show by fighting for the Universal Championship, as they've had the most compelling storyline with the two going back and forth.

Reigns has improved week after week in promos that have consistently brought fans to their feet. It's rare for someone as polarizing as Reigns to be cheered to close out "Monday Night Raw."

As for Lesnar, he's continued to be the monster we all know and his advocate, Paul Heyman, remains a great mouthpiece. To put the icing on the cake, their brawls in the past few weeks suggest their battle at 'Mania will be gruesome. If WWE wants to (finally) "crown" Reigns as its top guy, this is the opportunity.

On a scale of 1-10, how confident/optimistic are you that Ronda Rousey will have a solid performance in her in-ring debut?

Dickson: A 7.

There's a lot riding on Rousey's in-ring debut, so for her to compete for the first time at WrestleMania, the WWE must have a lot of faith that she's not going to embarrass herself or the company. This move has been in the works for a long, long time, and you have to imagine Rousey put in an appropriate amount of work to train for this moment.

She's already proven to be a world-class athlete in both the Olympics and the UFC, so adapting to the style of the WWE, while difficult, shouldn't be impossible for her. She also won't have to compete in a one-on-one match, which makes it easier to hide any weaknesses her professional wrestling game may still have at this point.

I'm not expecting Rousey to light the world on fire Sunday night, but I think she'll show enough potential to give fans reason for optimism.

Taboada: A 4.

Over the past several weeks, when Rousey got physical, it felt like something didn't click. It almost looked like she had the jitters, or was still trying to get comfortable between the ropes.

Her post-"Raw" confrontation with Dana Brooke, in which Brooke lifted her own leg up to assist Rousey in a back toss, wasn't a good sign. However, Rousey will have two veterans in the ring with her Sunday: Kurt Angle and Triple H. They'll aid her in selling and help paint her as a dominant competitor.

If Rousey can show off a sense of independence and confidence in the ring and if she can naturally perform moves, she'll get fans on her side.

Walder: I'd give it a solid 8, if only because I believe Rousey is going to be heavily protected.

WWE will do everything it can to place her in a position where she has to do very little, but will still look like a megastar. This is a long-term investment, and the company's not going to jeopardize arguably its biggest signing ever by placing her in complex scenarios where she'll be out of her depth and her inexperience will show.

Hunter and Angle will do much of the heavy lifting. Since Stephanie McMahon is no ring technician herself, the moments when we do see the two women go at it need to be simple, but effective.

Fill in the blank: Coming out of WrestleMania 34, ________ will be the biggest talking point among fans

Taboada: Daniel Bryan.

It’s still a shock that he was medically cleared by WWE to return to in-ring competition. Most fans came to terms with his retirement years ago, and some hoped he would never be cleared out of concern for his health. Yet here we are, awaiting his first wrestling match since April 2015.

Regardless of the outcome Sunday, people will just want to get more and more of Bryan. He trended worldwide on Twitter when the news broke, and fans were buzzing about potential physicality that same night. Bryan can only keep going up from here, and it all starts at WrestleMania.

Walder: The Undertaker.

For reasons I have yet to comprehend, WWE chose not to advertise a John Cena-Undertaker dream bout in the weeks leading up to the big event. The company instead left fans wondering whether the latter will even appear.

Last year's 'Mania conclusion, when Undertaker left his signature trench coat and hat in the middle of the ring, felt so final and perfect. I don't think anyone honestly believes he won't show up Sunday, however, despite that presumed retirement angle in Orlando.

But if a match does go down, and the 53-year-old Deadman has another poor performance on the grandest stage of them all, his legacy will take a slight hit.

Dickson: As much as it pains me to say, I think the biggest talking point will be the WWE's continued insistence on pushing Roman Reigns to the detriment of just about everyone else.

It's no secret that Reigns has been Vince McMahon's golden boy for the last few years, as he's the kind of prototypical wrestler Vince loves to have wearing the title belt. The whole process was seemingly set in motion for this moment, allowing Roman to finally conquer "The Beast" - the man who ended the Undertaker's streak and has run roughshod over the roster from his part-time position for years now.

Sunday is likely to be the crowning moment for Reigns, and that's probably what will have fans talking the next day, although the conversation won't be complimentary.

WrestleMania 34 Roundtable: Main-event predictions; how will Rousey fare?
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