As noted, it was recently revealed that the main event for the SmackDown-branded WWE Fastlane pay-per-view in March will be AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship in a five-way match against Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
While it’s not a lock, that would suggest that Orton, Nakamura, Owens and Zayn aren’t winning The Royal Rumble match in January, since it wouldn’t make sense for them to challenge for the title at Fastlane and then again at WrestleMania.
There had been speculation that Styles would be defending his WWE Championship against John Cena at WrestleMania 34, with the storyline being that Cena would be trying to break Ric Flair’s recognized record of 16 World title reigns. According to Dave Meltzer in the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Cena will not be facing Styles at the event as Cena “is in a much bigger match than Styles.” He added that while he doesn’t know exactly who Cena will be facing, he was told that the match will be clear within a few weeks.
Meltzer noted that the only names he could come up with to be facing Cena were The Undertaker, Batista, Goldberg or Hulk Hogan, however it would be a surprise with Hogan given his controversy with his leaked racist rant, as well as his issues with his back. It is expected that some angles for the top WrestleMania matches will be shot at the 25th anniversary of RAW on Monday, January 22, 2018. The special will emanate from both the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center in New York City, and will feature appearances by The Undertaker, Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels, among others.
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