10 Biggest Takeaways From WWE WrestleMania 34

What's next for Cena? What about Roman? What about Nicholas!?

Quite obviously, this article is full of WWE WrestleMania 34 spoilers. Be warned!

WrestleMania 34 has already divided opinion online, but a general consensus has emerged. Many seem to think that the first half of the show was incredibly strong (like greatest-'Mania-of-all-time levels) before things took a turn for the bizarre later on.

There's no doubt that the second portion of the night was more than a little strange, but even as a whole, WrestleMania was a very eventful one.

From Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt's alliance in the first match of the pre-show to Brock Lesnar's demolition of Roman Reigns in the main event, this year's 'Mania gave us incident after incident.

We saw The Undertaker squash John Cena, and it wasn't even the most surprising result of the night. That honour must go to Braun Strowman and his brand new tag team partner, Nicholas - a 10-year-old boy seemingly plucked from the crowd - who became a very unlikely pair of Raw Tag Team Champions.

Of course, a show with so many twists and turns is going to leave us with a lot of questions going forward. We've picked 10 of the most notable takeaways from WrestleMania 34, and take a look at how they could shift the WWE landscape.

10. Where On Earth Is This Nicholas Angle Going!?


Let's do the sensible thing and start off with Nicholas, the new big dog of WWE.

The young fan was later revealed to be the son of referee John Cone, but that revelation hasn't stopped his Raw Tag Team Championship victory being one of the most bizarre WrestleMania moments of all time.

The angle was incredibly divisive online, with some finding it hilarious and fun, and others finding it anything but. Despite this, it at least united fans worldwide in wondering what the hell is going to happen next?

Is Nicholas going to be stripped of the title on tonight's Raw? Is Strowman going to make several defences alongside his new pal, essentially taking part in handicap bouts until he's finally overwhelmed? Is Nicholas going to pick up the pinfall at any stage!?

Whatever happens, it will surely be remembered as one of the weirdest 'Mania results ever - and, due to the nature of the business, don't be surprised to see a fully-grown Nicholas appear for a nostalgia pop in 10 years or so.

9. Will The Heel Turn Benefit Nakamura?


Last night's WWE Championship match had a hell of a lot of hype to live up to. Sadly, in the eyes of many, it wasn't able to - and while Styles and Nakamura didn't put on a bad match by any means, it was overshadowed by many other bouts on the card.

There was one saving grace, however. After AJ had picked up a (somewhat surprising) victory, Shinsuke hit him with a shocking low blow, turning heel in the process.

This has been almost unanimously decreed a Good Thing. Since jumping to the main roster, Nakamura hasn't caught fire in the way WWE intended. His ultra-intense exploits in NJPW and NXT have been diluted beyond recognition on SmackDown, but now that he's a bad guy, perhaps Shinsuke will revert to his old ruthless ways.

8. What's Next For John Cena?


John Cena got squashed at WrestleMania. Seriously though.

I don't think we need to worry about The Undertaker just yet. He likely won't appear again for a while (certainly not in a match), and he's provided us with another classic WrestleMania moment - albeit a shockingly short one.

Cena, on the other hand, finds himself in the same spot as before - only worse. I'd assumed that he would suffer a hard-fought loss to 'Taker, before shaking the Deadman's hand and getting his old mojo back.

Now, having been thoroughly demolished on the Grandest Stage Of Them All, Big Match John's recent bad luck has plumbed new depths.

This story can't be over yet, can it? Something's got to give - and although Hollywood commitments may mean that we see less of Cena in the near future, when he does show up, he's sure to be hurting.

7. How Does Ronda Keep This Momentum?


Ronda Rousey may well have stolen the show at 'Mania in her debut match. We all knew that the former UFC champion would have the athletic capability to impress in a wrestling ring - or at least to avoid messing up badly.

However, as her few promos in the build to her 'Mania debut showed, she was sorely lacking on the mic.

Last night's mixed tag match served as a timely reminder that promo ability and charisma are not necessarily the same thing. Yes, Ronda may stutter over her words at the moment, but she is positively dripping in in-ring charisma.

The main question now is, having blown the minds of a global wrestling audience, how will Rousey keep her momentum going? WWE have to be very careful with their next steps - but for the time being, it looks as though Rousey is a far more capable wrestler than many of us thought.

6. Owens And Zayn Are Showing Up On Raw, Right?


In all the excitement of Daniel Bryan's return to in-ring action, it was quite easy to forget the stipulation of the match.

Bryan and Shane defeated KO and Sami, which now means that the heel pair remain fired from SmackDown Live. There seem to be two clear options here:

  1. They crash SmackDown and ramp up the villainous antics, attempting to win back their jobs via intimidation and brute force.

  2. They show up on Raw.

In my mind, the latter seems far more likely. The whole Shane/Bryan/Owens/Zayn storyline feels like it's been going on for several years now, and while D-Bry's unlikely medical clearance may have encouraged WWE to switch up the original plan, it feels unwise to try to reach that destination any longer.

If the heels do indeed head for the red brand, I'd like to see them fight their way in, rather than simply be snapped up by an authority figure.

5. Broken Bray Wyatt!?


WWE's Lake of Reincarnation may not have quite the same effect as in the IMPACT universe, but it has refreshed Bray Wyatt somewhat, at least.

The Eater of Worlds showed up on the pre-show, interfering in the closing stages of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal to hand victory to former nemesis Matt Hardy.

Since winning the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber 2017 and entering a feud with Randy Orton, Wyatt's momentum has slowed to a crawl. This could well be the reset button his career needs, and although it appears to have knocked him a few rungs down the ladder, that could be a good thing in the long run.

What's next for the pair? The recruitment of more allies? A hunt for tag title gold (watch out Nicholas)? A trip to SmackDown so Bray can gain revenge on Orton? Thankfully for the former cult leader, the possibilities are numerous.

4. Why Did Jinder Mahal Win?


Not to sound too blunt about it, but why on earth did Jinder Mahal win the United States Championship?

To be clear, I don't want to disparage the hard work and dedication that Mahal (or any pro wrestler) has put into their career. However, in this specific instance, with a less than successful WWE Championship run in recent memory, and a red-hot Rusev standing in the same ring, I cannot figure out why Jinder went unhindered.

Personally, while I also wanted Rusev to win, I predicted that WWE would keep the title on Orton for now. His run has not lasted long at all, and I figured he'd hit a flurry of crowd-popping RKOs to hide the disappointment of Rusev not winning.

Jinder would probably have been my last guess here. The most shocking thing about the finish wasn't just the fact that he won, but that we saw nothing new. Mahal lifted the title thanks to interference from a Singh brother followed by a Khallas - an ending we saw so many times during his WWE Championship reign.

Hopefully, despite returning to Jinder's method of victory, WWE stray from the tired foreign heel promos we were "treated" to last time he held gold.

3. Where Does Asuka Go From Here?


I gasped when Asuka tapped out to Charlotte's Figure-Eight Leglock. Despite the strong booking Flair has enjoyed since debuting on the main roster, I didn't begin to entertain the possibility that the Empress of Tomorrow would lose her undefeated streak.

The main reason for this was the question we now face: what's next for Asuka? It's a prospect that has totally blindsided me, and I've got no idea what she's going to do next.

Unlike fellow Rumble-winner Nakamura, Asuka handled her defeat with grace and humility - which seems oddly out of character. I wasn't asking for a full-blown Shinsuke heel turn, but I'd have enjoyed a little hunger for vengeance.

Hopefully, the Empress is given an intense feud with an out-and-out heel to keep her momentum going. She's too good to fully lose her way, but the future is decidedly less certain for a now-defeated Asuka.

2. Is The Roman Reigns Experiment Over?


In terms of long-term storytelling, the most baffling result of WrestleMania 34 by far was Brock Lesnar's merciless destruction of Roman Reigns.

The Big Dog may have kicked out of five F5s, but he spent the vast majority of the match taking monstrous amounts of one-sided punishment - culminating in a vicious elbow that split open his forehead, Randy Orton style.

As Reigns bled all over the WrestleMania main event, I couldn't help but feel very confused indeed. Ever since Lesnar broke Undertaker's streak four years ago, he has been built up as the ultimate villain of WWE - and Reigns has been built up as the hero to defeat him.

Even though the crowd hasn't accepted Roman as that hero, it never seemed to make a difference. Having knocked off Triple H and Undertaker in consecutive 'Mania main events, it seemed as though Reigns was going to make it a hat-trick in New Orleans. Instead, against everything that had built to this match, he lost.

Does this mean that WWE have finally accepted the fans' general rejection of Roman? Is their attempt to make Reigns the face of the company truly over? I guess it won't take long to find out...

1. Who Will Beat Brock Lesnar?


In all seriousness, now that Reigns has failed, who on earth is going to take that Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar.

The Beast's next title defence has been announced: he'll face Roman again, this time in a steel cage at the Greatest Royal Rumble. A title change in Saudi Arabia wouldn't surprise me as a business decision, but it's certainly not a foregone conclusion - especially with Lesnar signing a brand new deal today (at the time of writing).

Should Reigns lose that match, who could possibly beat Brock? For the sake of speculation, I'll throw out a few potential names:

  • Samoa Joe - approached Lesnar a different way to most, seemed like a legitimate threat

  • Seth Rollins - slowly becoming one of the hottest things on the roster again

  • Braun Strowman - already lost to Lesnar, currently tied up in the tag division

  • Finn Balor - would be a huge underdog story, but maybe too farfetched for WWE?

The key thing to note here is that, while there are several possible conquerors of Lesnar, there are zero likely ones. If Roman doesn't take that Universal Championship in Jeddah, I'm at a total loss for answers.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]