PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with Dan Soder – preview of WrestleMania 34 with rundown of every match, favorite ‘Mania, the wrestler who may have taken over for Roman Reigns in the back of Vince’s mind (Ep. 180)

Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast

Release Date: April 5, 2018

Guest: Dan Soder

Recap By: Matthew Wilkinson


Newsworthy Items

  • Dan Soder thinks Roman will join with Paul Heyman  
  • Dan believes Elias will be Braun Strowman’s tag team partner
  • Sam wants Undertaker set up to happen at the HOF  
  • Sam will be on the NXT Takeover Pre-Show  
  • Sam wants Bray and Jeff Hardy to join Matt at WrestleMania   
  • Sam thinks Undertaker and John Cena will main event

Subjects covered (with timestamps)

00:00-Sponsor Ads
08:00-Dan Soder Interview
20:00-Biggest pop of WrestleMania
33:00-The Undertaker/John Cena
36:00-Match Card Order
38:30-Elias’ Role
40:00-Bray Wyatt
55:00-State Of Wrestling/NXT Takeover New Orleans
1:10:00-WrestleMania Pre-Show
1:15:00-WrestleMania Match Card Order

Interview with Dan Soder/Favorite WrestleMania

Sam welcomes Dan Soder to the podcast and wants to break things down regarding WrestleMania, asking Dan which his favorite show is.

WrestleMania V, was his as it was just everything colliding, he was a big Hulkamaniac, it’s that saying you should be liberal when you’re young and conservative when you’re old? Soder thinks you should be a Hulk Hogan fan when you are little and a Macho Man fan when you’re an adult.

WrestleMania 12 was the first that he had paid for, he used to have to wait till Blockbuster and rent it on VHS, but 12 was the first Dan saw live and paid for. It was Roddy Piper vs Goldust, the return of Ultimate Warrior and the iron man match which in hindsight was cool.

You go back and watch those Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect matches, man what a worker. The iron man match broke that thing where it’s like, okay, we need to have some good wrestling. That’s why The Rock and Stone Cold were so popular because they were cool character but in the ring they were awesome.

Dan was arguing when he watched WrestleKingdom that it was like Austin/Rock 17 and he watched it back and was like, ‘I was wrong.’

Biggest Pop Of WrestleMania 34

Sam wanted to know what Dan thinks will gain the biggest pop of the night at New Orleans this weekend.

Biggest pop, Undertaker coming out. The loudest reaction will be when Paul Heyman teams up with Roman Reigns, Dan thinks he beats Brock Lesnar and then does the ‘I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy, I’m a Paul Heyman guy.’ Have they learned you can turn someone heel and get more heat from them. If Brock wins he will be blown away.

Sam thinks that Braun Strowman has taken Roman’s spot in the back of Vince’s mind and by the time we get to WrestleMania 35, either Braun Strowman will be wrestling for or will be the champion.

So, the loudest reaction will be Reigns being a Heman guy, but what’s the biggest pop, it could be Roman Reigns but not the right reaction. We are almost conditioned when his music hits to boo.

Dan said when they were talking about Hogan and Savage, he remembers booing John Cena and a kid just looking at him like ‘what are you doing man.’ He was thinking you are sat there in a neon green shirt, but he would have been wearing a bright yellow one.

He added that wrestling only became a million-dollar business during their lifetime, so it’s not a surprise a bunch of adults are watching it.

It’s a carnival act, you want to keep the people coming in. It’s not surprising there are so many adult fans because of how it has aged.

Sam asked what he thinks will be louder, the positive for Daniel Bryan or the negative for Roman Reigns?

Daniel Bryan will be the biggest pop, he thinks they will do the intro smart with Daniel last. Just to see him in the furry boots and the red, it’s going to be crazy to see him in trunks again.

The Undertaker/John Cena

Let’s talk Undertaker and John Cena, you can’t invest four weeks of TV time into a story that has zero pay off at all.

Dan said, or, is it the most wrestling thing of all time, even our superstars can be fans. Does John Cena get on the mic and say he is going to sit-down.

Sam said Undertaker should have been on Raw, it’s ridiculous, at least a gong or flash his face on the screen. We have two scenarios, his is that something happens at the Hall Of Fame and he says challenge accepted.

Who is inducting Kid Rock? You could have Undertaker and he says something like ‘ this guy wrote a song for me, and you can hear it Sunday, I accept John’ and Sam has sold a lot of people on the theory of Biker Taker.

Or, Kid Rock performs and at the end he just rolls down on a bike, either way it surrounds Kid Rock. At 33, the hat and cloak are in the ring, then Raw 25 he made the appearance and he didn’t have any of those things on, now the attacks are about his wife’s Instagram, his injuries, everything he did humanized The Undertaker. Which is why, at 33 we saw The Undertaker retiring, at 34, the man who is Undertaker, that is who responds.

He comes out, black leather pants and tank top, he is now this man who John Cena attacks and then he beats John Cena and goes out on top and that in my book closes WrestleMania.

Match Card Order

Dan wanted to know the match order for the final three matches in Sam’s opinion and Sam thinks there’s a huge possibility that AJ Styles and Shinsuke is the opening match of the show, because there has been World Title matches in that spot before.

Dan said if you’re in the number two spot and you open with that, you’re like ‘what the fuck’.

Sam said they could also put it on second to last because the only thing that could follow it would be Cena and Taker. He would do Roman vs Brock then Alexa Bliss vs Nix Jax into the WWE Title match and then Undertaker John Cena. Charlotte and Asuka will be slapped down in the middle of the show and opening with the Intercontinental is smart.

Elias’ Role

Dan guesses that Elias will be Strowman’s tag team partner, but Sam has a different theory for what his role will be.

On Raw, Elias has said he is performing, every show has been saying wait till you hear me perform. He comes out, spotlight on him, he is talking about New Orleans sucks and then If You Smell… here comes The Rock.

He could get physical and Elias will receive a Rock Bottom and then maybe he sings a litte SmackDown Hotel. The Rock used to be the only one signing in the ring, then he sees him, who is he?

Bray Wyatt

Dan quickly asked about where Bray Wyatt fits in to this year’s WrestleMania show and Sam is hoping he’s in the Andre, he’s the pre-show for him. The women’s battle royal opens the whole thing, then the cruiserweight championship match and then the Andre battle royal ends the whole thing and in it we see Jeff and Bray come with Matt Hardy as part of his Universe.

State Of Wrestling/ NXT Takeover New Orleans

So, for today’s State of Wrestling, instead of the top five stories because it’s a special weekend and even though we have been down the card. Sam thought we would look at the matches and breakdown what might happen at Takeover and then go down all the matches for WrestleMania and book them.

So, at Takeover New Orleans Sam would start the show with the ladder match to tell you the truth. Either the ladder or the women’s championship match, if you are not doing the ladder match last you maybe have to do it first.

That is for the North American Championship and the title is gorgeous, Sam loves that it has an old school look to it, it is original and feels very wrestling and to me that is what NXT is about.

There’s two guys he would decide upon winning this thing, Velveteen Dream is the stick-out but he is the popular one, he can try be a heel all he wants but it is never going to happen.

Sam would give the championship to someone who is a bit of a spoiler. Killian Dain and Lars Sullivan will cancel each other out, Ricochet he wouldn’t put the title on because it’s enough just to see him, quite honestly, he will be in 205 Live in no time anyway.

That leaves us with Adam Cole and EC3 and Sam would probably put it on EC3 and use it to establish him as a champion.

EC3 is not a ladder match guy, he is a classic buff dude wrestler, he has the potential to be that obnoxious heel and him being the champion instead of others he can establish that quickly.

He would follow that up with the Tag Title match and leave the title on the Undisputed Era and they need a championship, Cole not winning the ladder match is made okay by them being champions. Roderick Strong would be a great guy to feud with EC3.

Sam would put the women’s match on third and have Shayna Baszler become champion, he really likes her and can believe her as a bad guy and wouldn’t mind seeing her as a champion and have Ember Moon chase that thing and cast Baszler in a Brock Lesnar type role.

Sam would then go to the NXT Championship match, it is going to be a hell of a match and Zelina Vega will steal that match but Andrade should walk out as champion. Aleister Black could be on the main roster by Monday, having a great match with the champion is his graduation ceremony, he doesn’t need the title.

Sam has been asked if he is putting Adam Cole in back to back matches and he is doing. If he loses the ladder match and then goes into the Tag Team you will assume he is going to lose, but you can make him look stronger by losing, taping his arm and coming back out and winning and let him get the pin.

Sam would end the show with Gargano vs Ciampa, we have watched Gargano lose a lot of big matches lately he has taken on a 2018 Tommy Dreamer type role, he is the favorite and the guy putting on show stealing matches.

The story is he can’t win the big one but at Takeover he does, he goes to the main roster with his head held high and you can make Ciampa look scary and allow Gargano to sneak out a victory.

WrestleMania 34 Pre-Show

We start at the kick-off show, the first is the women’s battle royal, and he knows what you’re saying ‘what does it do for the women if they are curtain jerking?’ Sam has to tell you, there is enough female representation where he doesn’t think it hurts in this case.

Also, he thinks the women need to work something against that is current, Sam wants to hear Bayley and Sasha Banks tell the story of WrestleMania 32 their picture was on the stadium only two years later they are in the opening match, he wanta Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to have something like that to fight against.

That way, it will become even more special when we finally get to that Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks match. In the battle royal a lot can be done, the story has got to be between Bayley and Sasha Banks and he doesn’t think either will win, they should eliminate each other.

Honestly, Sam wouldn’t mind seeing one of the girls from Absolution win, we could also have some surprises in there. The second match on the Kick Off should be Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali, because it has felt like this whole thing has been about Alexander from the beginning.

But because Ali has turned so many heads and has gone out of his way to make his own promos, people care about him. Sam thinks Mustafa Ali should leave as Cruiserweight Champion, the fact it was almost a forgone conclusion before that Alexander would win it should be Ali.

We then go to the Andre and who knows who is going to win he can’t call it. He wouldn’t have predicted Mojo Rawley winning and the time before Baron Corbin won, he thought that was a great one.

What Sam does want to see is Matt Hardy utilized in a way. Broken Matt Hardy comes out and the universe should be with him, Brother Nero and Brother Bray, put them all in the battle royal or have Matt in and have Nero and Bray on the outside to support him.

Really drive home that they are soldiers in the Woken War, and they are Woken Warriors, fans will lose their minds to see them and it could add some personality and storyline.

WrestleMania 34 Card Placement and Predictions

Sam would open the show, WrestleMania starts and he would imagine there will be pyro which is awesome. The opening match he would make Miz vs Balor vs Rollins. You have mega star power to start the show, three of the biggest names in WWE, it lets you know how loaded this card is and you know you’re in for a massive show.

Sam would have Miz introduced first and make it an awesome 15-minute match that is quick paced, probably have The Miz walk out as champion. At some point you take it off him and let him do bigger things but have him walk out as champion and lose it on Monday.

Now, second match, it’s time for your Raw Women’s Championship, we can talk about the story with Nia Jax as a role model and in this match Jax becomes the champion, it’s a good deal and a positive thing. Sam wants to see her dominate some people and have fans question who will take the title off her.

Now that the crowd is settled in, straight to it, no more waiting Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. The reason that is my third match, there is a chance, who knows how smooth it will be or how long it will go.

They will do things that highlight positive things that Ronda can do and clearly, they will win the match. As we are getting over and see the star power, the crowd goes down only to hear The New Day and match four is them vs Usos vs Bludgeon Brothers.

That’s a great match that has the possibility to follow all the energy that was dragged out from the previous match, Sam would let this night belong to the Bludgeon Brothers and he really still believes that after WrestleMania New Day will break up. This following the star power will be all about great wrestling and doing something that the fans really love.

We see that and are disappointed as we like Bludgeon Brothers but they are bad guys, what comes next, Asuka vs Charlotte. The streak is on the line, the Women’s Championship is on the line and this is an epic match, Sam is talking 25 minutes and they put on a show that could steal the night.

What happens, it’s back and forth a lot, they trade submissions and it is a hard-fought match up, Charlotte gets a roll-up just like her dad used to do, Asuka knows how to fight but doesn’t know how to fight with the dirtiest player in the game, the first defeat happens with Charlotte.

Asuka puts Charlottes hand up and then Carmella comes from the crowd and whacks Charlotte with the briefcase and cashes in and wins the title, at WrestleMania.

She has ruined this moment, but when we go to SmackDown, the first challenger is Asuka where she will become the champion and beats Carmella and if Charlotte wants the title she has to beat Asuka.

We then go to number six and we thinking what can follow that, then Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come out and they are fighting for their careers.

Dead center of the card we have KO and Zayn then Shane, and then comes Daniel Bryan, biggest reaction of the night it is going to be incredible, fans will be losing their minds, he is wrestling and is putting on a clinic.

In order to preserve the characters, Sami has to do something sneaky like pin Shane but we finish with a glory shot of Daniel Bryan, he has a moment to just feel the audience and absorb everything.

They might turn him heel but nobody is booing him on his return match, all you can do is celebrate him logically, it doesn’t make sense to turn him here.

You sit there and say literally we have given all the energy, well that’s when you slow things down a little and have Elias come to the ring and perform for New Orleans like he has promised to do.

He is in the ring performing and then talks about how much New Orleans sucks, only to be interrupted by The Rock to interrupt Elias, he does all his catchphrases and hits a Rock Bottom, that’s his moment. After that we sweep up the ring and that’s when we do the Hall Of Fame moment with them accepting their awards.

After that it’s going to be The Bar, they come first and then Braun comes and says he doesn’t follow the rules and goes at it solo. Sam struggled with this for a while, thinking if it’s worth sacrificing the tag division for a while, but yes, Strowman wins, he is too important.

Then to try and make the world forget they lost to one guy they go to SmackDown right away and Strowman shoes up on Raw ready to defend by himself.

We move on now to the ninth match of the night, it’s Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar. It’s what you think it is, hard hitting, a ton of suplexes and in the end Roman wins with Paul Heyman looking on in sheer horror, no heel turn, no nothing.

Tenth match of the night we have Randy Orton defending the championship against Bobby Roode, Rusev and Jinder Mahal, you pick the crowd back up with Rusev winning and everyone is happy again.

Coming off that we have AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, give them 25 minutes and hopefully we have a legendary match and have AJ Styles win. Again, you have everyone booing Roman winning do you still feel bad after Rusev and then this?

Sam thinks at the HOF ceremony, Undertaker inducts Kid Rock, he makes it short and sweet, saying he did a lot to make the American Badass what it was, and he is ready for one last ride, Kid Rock performs, he is all in black, but leather pants and rides his Harley to the ring and him and John Cena close the show.

Cena comes out and asks where he is, here comes Undertaker and the man’s last match is WrestleMania 34. The whole thing has been Cena calling out the man so the man comes out on the bike and in his last match in WWE.

The Undertaker tombstones John Cena and is victorious and that’s how you end and his exit music is the funeral song, we close WrestleMania with the arm raised one final time, that is how Sam would do WrestleMania 34, that would make him very happy.

There it is, that’s Sam’s scenario of where things are going, it isn’t anything except him in his head mixing them around in an order.  

Rating 8/10

This was a fun episode just simply breaking down WrestleMania and getting into real detail about what could happen and hearing Sam’s full match card predictions. Whilst it wasn’t as serious as other episodes, the focus was all on ‘Mania and it was a good listen to hear the different ideas that they had.

About the Writer

Matthew Wilkinson is from Bradford, England. He’s been a fan since the late 90’s with the Attitude Era and was then heavily invested again through the rise of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He can be found on Twitter at @MC_Wilkinson1


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