All week, we here at Sports Al Dente will be previewing all 14 matches on the WrestleMania 34 super card. Considered to be one of the biggest WrestleMania’s of all time, there are multiple marquee matches set to take place on “the grandest stage of them all” Sunday night in New Orleans.
One of those marquee matches is a tag team match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn facing Shane McMahon and the returning Daniel Bryan. This match seemed impossible only a month ago, as Bryan was medically cleared to compete in WWE again on March 20th. This will be Bryan’s first match since April 14, 2015, after being sidelined with a neck injury for nearly three years. Bryan returns to team up with his boss, Shane McMahon, against two guys who have been a thorn in the side of the duo for months. Let’s take a quick look at how we got to this big-time tag team matchup.
Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn; if Owens and Zayn win, they are rehired.
How We Got Here
Ever since losing the United States Championship to AJ Styles over the summer, Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon have not seen eye-to-eye. Their feud was escalated when Owens attacked Shane’s father, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. The duo had a grueling Hell in a Cell match in October which saw Zayn help his longtime rival, Owens, win the match. Zayn and Owens have been together since then, always looking for ways to stick it to the commissioner of Smackdown Live.
While McMahon has always been against Zayn and Owens, Bryan has shown a more compassionate side to the duo. This created a rift between McMahon and Bryan, as the duo faced animosity with each other for the first time since becoming the leaders of Smackdown Live.
Bryan, Owens, and Zayn have a long history dating back to their ROH days. The trio has been friends together for more than a decade, traveling the world together through wrestling. Bryan came to WWE in 2010, with Zayn joining him in 2013, followed by Owens in 2014.
Upon arriving in WWE, Owens immediately turned on Zayn. The two feuded for the NXT Championship before Owens was called up to the main roster. After Zayn came back from a shoulder injury, the two resumed their feud. This led to a series of matches between the two, including a show-stealing performance at Battleground 2016.
As mentioned earlier, the feud between Owens and McMahon has been going on since the summer of 2017. The most recent beef between the two came at Fastlane when McMahon denied both Owens and Zayn from becoming WWE Champion during the six-pack challenge match for the title. Two days later, on the March 13th episode of Smackdown, Shane O’Mac admitted he let his emotions get the best of him and decided to take a leave of absence from his role as commissioner. This wasn’t enough for Owens and Zayn, however, as the duo took out McMahon in a brutal beat down.
On the following Smackdown, Bryan announced that Owens and Zayn were fired due to their actions against McMahon. Infuriated, Owens and Zayn beat up their former friend, with KO eventually powerbombing Bryan onto the ring apron. On March 27th, Bryan announced that his in-ring return would be a tag match featuring him and McMahon against Owens and Zayn. If KO and Sami won, they would get their jobs back. If they lost, they would remain fired.
The return of Bryan is huge. He is easily the most popular wrestler of the past decade, and having him back in the ring opens up tons of possible dream matches for WWE. This should be the culmination of this feud between Owens and McMahon, as both men are due for a fresh feud. The excitement levels for this match are high because of Bryan returning, and all four men are big-time match performers. This could steal the show on Sunday.
WrestleMania 34 takes place from The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on April 8 with a special start time of 7 pm eastern/6 pm central. The show is streaming live on the WWE Network.