Even though the road to WrestleMania 34 is a bit under a year away, there are two big favorites for who will be WWE champions at the end of the big pay-per-view next year. As fans just saw at WrestleMania 33, both championship belts changed hands with Brock Lesnar finally defeating Goldberg for the Universal title and Randy Orton pinning Bray Wyatt to claim the WWE World Heavyweight title. However, neither of these WWE stars is listed as the favorite to have the respective title once the dust has settled at next year’s WrestleMania pay-per-view event. The latest WWE rumors suggest a fan favorite, and a “not as much of a fan favorite” could be holding the two major titles next April.
The WrestleMania 34 pay-per-view is officially scheduled for April 8, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The city hosted the event for WWE’s WrestleMania 30 where one of the biggest stories was Brock Lesnar becoming the first superstar in history to defeat The Undertaker on “the grandest stage of them all.” That moment had fans stunned that Taker’s legendary undefeated streak had finally come to an end. Earlier this month at WrestleMania 33, WWE superstar Roman Reigns gave Taker another “L” on his match card for the pay-per-view. That has led to early talk of how both Lesnar and Reigns are the only two stars to have given “The Deadman” losses at Mania.
While it appeared like the current champion was recently calling out Reigns for a match for the title, Braun Strowman got in the way of that match happening when he sent Reigns to the hospital. It’s being rumored that Reigns and Strowman will fight at the upcoming Payback PPV with Strowman winning to become No. 1 contender for the WWE Universal title. However, according to the WWE Leaks website, Roman Reigns is currently listed at the top of overall championship favorites to have the Universal Championship once WrestleMania 34 ends. Reigns has been given 1 to 2 odds to be at the end of the day on April 8, 2018. That could mean he wins the title at Mania, or that he already will have the belt and then successfully defend it.
Early WWE rumors have been suggesting that Reigns and Lesnar will collide at the event billed as the “Showcase of the Immortals” next year with the title on the line. That could very well mean that Brock keeps a hold of the Universal title for the next year, something that isn’t seen as often in pro wrestling these days. If anything, it could be an attempt by WWE to give “The Beast” a lengthier title reign than CM Punk, who ditched WWE for UFC.
As for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a majority of fans might be more pleased to learn who is the favorite to hold the title at the conclusion of Mania next year. “The face that runs the place” AJ Styles tops all competitors on the betting special with 6 to 4 odds to have the championship around his waist once the PPV has ended. Fans were understandably upset with Styles’ placement on this year’s WrestleMania match card in a match against Shane McMahon, although the bout certainly delivered. However, if these odds end up proving correct, Styles could very well have his big “WrestleMania moment” in New Orleans next April.
For those wondering which other superstars have a shot to possibly be the champions as Mania ends, some of the major players from Raw and SmackDown are listed by the sports books with WWE odds. For the WWE Universal title holder, trailing Reigns is Braun Strowman at 3 to 1 odds and the first-ever WWE Universal Champion Finn Balor at 6 to 1 odds. The current champion Brock Lesnar is fetching 8 to 1 odds.
For the WWE World Heavyweight title holder, AJ Styles is at the top, followed by new SmackDown Live roster member Shinsuke Nakamura at 2 to 1 odds and John Cena at 7 to 2 odds. Keep in mind that Cena is one big championship win away from breaking the record he’s tied with Ric Flair for. Both superstars have had 16 major championship reigns in their career.
While it’s fun to make early speculations based on WWE rumors or fan buzz, placing a bet like this so far in advance carries a ton of extra risk. Just looking at the extended time that injuries have cost major WWE stars like Seth Rollins or Finn Balor, both of whom were in title pictures, shows that it’s way too early to be certain who will be in those big WrestleMania 34 title matches.
WWE fans, which superstars do you think will have the WWE Universal and World Heavyweight titles once WrestleMania 34 is over? Which superstars would you book to win the title matches at Mania next year?
[Featured Image by WWE]