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WWE WrestleMania 38 is almost here, but there’s still time to get one more round of predictions in.
Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns will clash to unify both world titles in what is being billed as “the biggest WrestleMania match of all time.” Ronda Rousey locks up once more with Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, while Bianca Belair seeks to steal the Raw Women’s Championship from Becky Lynch.
With special appearances by Johnny Knoxville, Logan Paul, Pat McAfee and even “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Show of Shows is set to pack a ton in AT&T Stadium despite a lackluster build in parts.
Let’s break down the card and make our final picks on who will walk away victorious from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas this weekend.
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Ronda Rousey wouldn’t have signed a new contract just to come back for the Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania. She’ll be sticking around for a while, and the SmackDown women’s title is going around her waist.
Charlotte Flair even alluded to this herself when she told Bleacher Report’s Graham Matthews that her reign will be forgotten about after The Showcase of the Immortals.
The Queen is a reliable champion at any moment, but she could stand to use some time away to cook up some ideas of how to freshen things up. Meanwhile, Fox will want a mainstream star such as Rousey to be a focal point for a boost in ratings.
Rousey is also the babyface, which gives her more momentum for a triumphant victory over The Queen for the sake of a pop.
Prediction: Rousey wins.
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Arguably, WWE never should have had Becky Lynch defeat Bianca Belair at SummerSlam. At the very least, it didn’t need to go down in such short fashion to make The EST of WWE look so weak and uncoordinated in comparison to The Man.
After several attempts to regain her title, Belair continued to fail. After winning the Elimination Chamber, though, she has secured another title shot.
It is clear The EST has to win the title back or WWE risks damaging her overall credibility. The company already has had too many stop-start pushes for Rhea Ripley that has cast doubt on her being the future of the women’s division. It can’t afford to do the same with Belair.
The 32-year-old is far too popular to book to fail just to swerve the audience or have Lynch retain through shenanigans and set up another rematch at WrestleMania Backlash on May 8.
While predictable, the simplest course of action is often the best one. Belair needs to go over clean.
Prediction: Belair wins.
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- Kevin Owens gets a microphone and trashes the state of Texas to build heat.
- He introduces “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
- Austin comes out and trades verbal barbs about one another to a chorus of “What?” chants.
- KO gets frustrated and goes to attack Stone Cold.
- After a brief physical spat, the veteran hits a Stunner on Owens, who oversells it.
- Austin catches some cans of beer and drinks them in celebration.
- Maybe Owens gets up and takes another Stunner, if he hasn’t just rolled out of the ring.
Technically, The KO Show segment isn’t a match, so there will be no winner. And if anyone is expecting it to turn into an impromptu bout, you’re likely to be disappointed.
Based on how these things have gone down in WWE’s past, though, here is the breakdown of what you can expect to happen:
Anything more than that would be shocking.
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The Miz was one-upped by a celebrity last year in the form of Bad Bunny, so he has opted to have one on his side this year to change his luck.
His chosen partner to face The Mysterios is Logan Paul. The feud has been largely just these people fighting each other with no real story, so there isn’t much substance here.
Look for Paul to jump off the top rope, The Miz to anchor the match for his team and for The Mysterios to win in a contest that will be entirely forgettable.
Dominik and Rey are the babyfaces who can end this feud with a victory. Then, The A-Lister will likely argue with Paul about how they lost the match because of him, leading to the YouTuber knocking down Miz so the celebrity doesn’t come off like too much of a loser.
Prediction: The Mysterios win.
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In a feud that did not need to be dragged out for one month, let alone carry over for four months into 2022, Drew McIntyre has been chasing Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss aimlessly for far too long. It’s time to end this.
A win for Corbin would not only be a downer, but it also wouldn’t enhance this feud whatsoever. Rather than take it to a new level, it would be the same two-on-one handicap advantage paying off that we’ve seen for months.
The only way that happens is with closure, meaning McIntyre nails Corbin with a Claymore, pins him and celebrates by raising his sword high in front of the cheering fans…if they haven’t used this segment to go to the bathroom or concession
Prediction: McIntyre wins.
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The SmackDown Tag Team Championship seems to be on the line to give The Usos a match rather than for Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura to claim a title win.
The build for this was one of the many instances where a Superstar cut a promo about how they need to have a match, only for someone to arrive and step up.
Boogs and Nakamura will have their WrestleMania moment during their entrance when the crowd chants along with their names as the former plays guitar.
After that and a generic back-and-forth match, Jimmy and Jey Uso will continue their record-setting title reign so they can stand tall with their cousin post-WrestleMania.
Prediction: The Usos win.
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We won’t know who Seth Rollins will face until their name is announced. It is being touted as “an opponent of Mr. McMahon’s choosing” with the major speculation suggesting it will be Cody Rhodes.
If it isn’t the former All Elite Wrestling star, the only alternative WWE could get away with would be The Undertaker, who will make sense after McMahon inducts him into the Hall of Fame on Friday night. The Deadman is also renowned for his WrestleMania appearances.
If it is anyone else, they will be booed out of the building to a sea of “We want Cody” chants.
Assuming it is The American Nightmare, he needs to win. WWE can’t pull the rug out from under his return with a swerve victory for Rollins just to keep the audience on its toes.
Prediction: TBA wins.
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Had Big E not suffered his neck injury recently, this would have been all three members of The New Day reuniting against Ridge Holland, Sheamus and Butch.
Once that happened, though, this downgraded to a regular tag team match that would be skippable on any episode of SmackDown.
Even with Butch ringside to offer an advantage by possibly interfering, WWE needs to offset the disappointment of Big E’s injury by giving The New Day the victory.
The babyfaces don’t have to win every match, but WrestleMania should be largely about making the fans happy, rather than crafting ways to bum them out.
Prediction: The New Day wins.
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Either Omos is going to continue his dominant streak with the biggest victory of his career over two-time world champion Bobby Lashley or this is the end of the road for the giant of Raw.
In the grand scheme of things, the smarter decision is to go with a win for Lashley. He has more staying power and viability on the roster than his ‘Mania opponent.
A win over the colossus puts momentum in The All Mighty’s corner that the new babyface can spin into a title shot against Roman Reigns at another upcoming pay-per-view.
If Omos did win, what would he do next? He’s not fighting The Tribal Chief and he’ll have already beaten the biggest, baddest man on the red brand.
Prediction: Lashley wins.
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Queen Zelina and Carmella are definitely losing the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. The only question is which team will walk out with the titles instead.
Natalya and Shayna Baszler are the least likely options. Their presence here is probably just to make sure they got on the card. It’s a shame, as they could work well together, but now is not their time.
It’s really down to Sasha Banks and Naomi or Liv for Brutality. The Boss is the biggest star of the four, so WWE may prioritize her while making sure her teammate can check off a tag team title run from her list of accomplishments.
But Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley have shown considerably more passion for their team leading up to this and should be rewarded for that. Plus, the former has yet to win a title in WWE.
Flipping a coin is as good of a guess as anyone can make between those teams.
Prediction: Morgan and Ripley win.
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With the Anything Goes match gimmick, Sami Zayn and Johnny Knoxville should have an all-out wacky brawl with stunts galore and too many high spots to count.
The overall theme of this should be like watching an episode of Jackass to lean into Knoxville’s day job, making The Great Liberator the fish out of water.
Since Zayn is the comedic heel, the most logical outcome is for him to take the biggest bump that leads to a loss. He can complain later that the match was rigged and tie back into the conspiracy angles from the past year.
Prediction: Knoxville wins.
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While a feud between Randy
Orton and Riddle would have been a major match for WrestleMania, WWE chose to keep them together with the Raw Tag Team Championships.
This Triple Threat is as textbook as it gets. Alpha Academy won the titles to legitimize their status as contenders and to give RK-Bro some time without the belts just for something to do. Otis and Chad Gable will be the heels of the match, with The Street Profits seemingly playing tweeners to RK-Bro’s babyface act.
Since WWE doesn’t want to break up The Original Bro and The Viper, it would be ridiculous for them to lose the titles here.
If the belts do change hands, Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins will win it, but you should place your bets on RK-Bro coming out on top to keep their train moving along.
Prediction: RK-Bro win.
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One of the dream matches left for Edge after his return to WWE was AJ Styles, and it’s is finally set to happen on Sunday.
The most interesting caveat to this is The Rated-R Superstar’s heel turn. While it may have hit some tired tropes and touched on similar characters like Seth Rollin’s Messiah character, it does still spice things up for him going forward.
The Hall of Famer’s return to the ring had started to run its course and for this to breathe new life into his career, he needs to win. Styles can take the loss without looking weak, especially if Edge cheats.
Look out for this to be a feud that continues into Hell in a Cell on June 5, when the ultimate victor will be decided. This is just the start of this story.
Prediction: Edge wins.
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If you could go back in time to last year and say Vince McMahon would appear on Pat McAfee’s show to offer him a WrestleMania match and his opponent would be Austin Theory, who would be working a gimmick of the WWE chairman’s protege, few would believe you. But that is where we’re at.
This feud has mostly been about Theory poking and prodding at the SmackDown commentator, who gets angry and blows his lid.
If anything noteworthy had been done by Theory, getting his comeuppance would make sense. But this level of pestering isn’t strong enough to justify McAfee scoring a victory over a prospect who could be the next John Cena.
Theory should win this to keep his credibility in tact and service the story that he’s looking to impress Mr. McMahon. A win at WrestleMania may just be how he does that.
Prediction: Theory wins.
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At WrestleMania 31, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Roman Reigns would beat Brock Lesnar to become the top dog in WWE. Then, Seth Rollins swooped in and stole the title via his Money in the Bank contract.
Three years later, Reigns looked set for the victory he had been built up for. But Lesnar won and that swerve set up several more rematches that dragged the story out for several more months until SummerSlam.
The Big Dog did finally beat Lesnar then but relinquished the title two months later, and The Beast Incarnate picked it back up.
They fought again at Crown Jewel 2021 and were set to fight again at Day 1 until Reigns had to skip the show. After jumping through many hoops, both titles are now on the line in a unification match to settle the score once and for all…hopefully.
The Tribal Chief must definitively prove he’s the better man by beating Lesnar this time. No silly pinfalls that cast doubt on it or draw finishes to stretch this into Backlash. This needs to be where Reigns is cemented as the pinnacle of WWE.
Prediction: Reigns wins.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.