While all the talk was about AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura’s ‘dream match’ prior to the build-up to Wrestlemania 34, all eyes are now on Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon’s bout against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The main and most obvious reason for this is that it marks Bryan’s first match in three years and given that he is one of the most beloved and technically gifted wrestlers in the company’s history, it’s a pretty big deal.
It’s easy to forget the talent of the other men involved in this match since the spotlight will undoubtedly be on Bryan, however, the reason the build-up has been so great is largely due to the tremendous heel work of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Like Bryan, Owens and Zayn pull off incredible feats of athleticism every time they compete and seeing these three share the ring on the big stage is an independent wrestling fan’s dream. It’s awesome to finally see Zayn featured in a huge match at ‘Mania and he will hopefully show why he is one of the most exciting wrestlers on the roster.
We cannot ignore Shane McMahon’s role in this grudge match as even though he isn’t as gifted of an athlete as the other stars in this match, his reckless and chaotic style will surely have fans on their feet when this match inevitably breaks down into an all-out brawl. Shane showed last year that he can stand toe-to-toe in the ring and grapple with the best of them in his match against AJ Styles at Wrestlemania 33. Maybe he’ll continue to surprise the crowd this year. Nevertheless, it’s a near certainty that Shane will be going through the announcer’s table on Sunday, either by choice with a trademark elbow off the top rope or at the hands of Owens and Zayn.
The rivalry between the four men also has one of the best longterm storylines in the company right now with only Gargano and Ciampa’s feud in NXT surpassing it. The build-up has been full of brutality with Kevin Owen’s vicious attack of Vince McMahon, Owens and Shane’s Hell in a Cell match and Sami Zayn’s allegiance with Owens all being significant highlights of last year. The initial rift between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon due to Bryan’s sympathy of Owens and Zayn’s backgrounds could foreshadow a heel turn by Shane at the ‘Grandest Stage of Them All’. Likewise, a turn by Owens or Zayn is also possible given their unstable relationship at the beginning of the year.
Since the implication of the match is that if Zayn and Owens lose they have to leave SmackDown Live, a turn by Shane would cost him and Bryan the match and see Zayn and Owens stay on the brand. On the other hand, this does seem unlikely as Bryan’s return is one of the biggest moments in the recent history of the company and having Bryan lose in his first match back wouldn’t make a great deal of sense. Therefore I do believe that Bryan and Shane will get the win here with Owens and Zayn making their return to Raw the following night.
This has the potential to be one of the best matches of the weekend given the animosity between the four men and the volatile relationships on both sides, I really can’t wait for this one.
Prediction: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan
What do you think about this match? Is there even the slightest possibility of Bryan being the one to turn? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter here.
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