WrestleMania 39 Predictions

Image Credit: WWE

I couldn’t resist. I’ve been a professional wrestling fan for about sixteen years now, so deciding to make this is a personal project more than anything.

This year’s WrestleMania certainly has genuine excitement attached to it, especially in the form of the potential culmination of the best storyline WWE has put out in recent memory. The Bloodline saga involving Roman Reigns, the Usos, Sami Zayn and many others has dominated the professional wrestling landscape for the last year and a half, and it will feel somewhat disheartening to see it come to a conclusion this weekend. That said, it’s hard to come up with a more fitting end than the prodigal son Cody Rhodes fulfilling his destiny and claiming the WWE Championship that has eluded his family for decades.

Outside of the Bloodline, however, the build-up for some of the matches has been hit-or-miss. While it’s been easy to invest in some, others don’t really have that great of a story to tell. Sure, I come in with the expectation that at least most of these matches are going to be good, but it feels like WWE’s creative team is looking beyond the Showcase of the Immortals for better or worse.

So which WWE Superstars are on the verge of their WrestleMania moment? Let’s find out.

Roman Reigns vs Cody Rhodes (Undisputed WWE Universal Championship)

In a way, this feels like destiny. The crown jewels from two of wrestling’s most revered families. The dominant Tribal Chief hoping to continue his years-long run at the top of the mountain taking on the American Nightmare hellbent on building a legacy of his own. Sometimes, storytelling really is this simple.

The main fear I have coming into this is the possibility of overbooking. It’s expected that the rest of the Bloodline will come down in some capacity to support Reigns, while Cody could be getting some surprise backup (Randy Orton? Jay White? The Rock?!?). The main focus shouldn’t be who interfered or what happens to the championship after WrestleMania; it should be about Rhodes finally reaching the peak of his profession and bringing an end to the most dominant title run in years.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley (SmackDown Women’s Championship)

There’s a difference between a wrestler that SHOULD win a championship, and one that NEEDS to win a championship. Given the circumstances of this match, Ripley firmly belongs in the latter camp.

While there’s no denying Flair’s in-ring talents and importance to women’s wrestling, she’s also earned a few undeserved Mania victories (Asuka and her first match with Ripley immediately come to mind). If Flair wins this rematch as well, WWE runs the risk of permanently locking out an ascending young star in Ripley outside of wrestling’s elite, not to mention having the audience turn on Flair and the match itself. Since this is the expected main event of Night One, it’s the perfect time for Ripley to gain redemption and finally have her moment in the sun.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Bianca Belair vs Asuka (RAW Women’s Championship)

While SmackDown’s top women’s match has a clear-cut favorite, the RAW side is a bit more conflicting. Asuka has shown a new persona in 2023 complete with face paint and mist, suggesting a complete turn is on the horizon. The issue is that the timeline of said turn isn’t really clear yet, and the build for this match hasn’t helped clarify things up at all.

Is this the story that feels like the end of a feud? I doubt it. Belair’s run may have gone on long enough to the point it’s starting to get a little stale, but she is undefeated in singles matchups at WrestleMania. Triple H has already established himself as a fan of historic performances in his booking, and he’d love nothing more than to catapult one of his own homegrown talents to superstardom with a streak at the Grandest Stage of Them All. I’m leaning Belair to win this match, leading Asuka down a dark road before turning full heel and getting the championship at Backlash.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Brock Lesnar vs Omos

Does this buildup make any sense at all? Forget that this feels like a Plan B for Lesnar for a minute; the Beast Incarnate has taken on and defeated some of WWE’s biggest stars, both literally and figuratively speaking, but Omos is the one superstar he’s struggling to take on? I understand that WWE is trying to build up the rising Omos, but there comes a point where the suspension of disbelief is too much to handle.

There are reports coming out that Lesnar’s contract is up after WrestleMania and, if this is truly the last time we see Lesnar in a WWE ring for a while, doing the job to Omos would boost the latter’s stock overnight. If the rumors are unfounded, which I’m currently leaning towards at the moment, this will be the Nigerian Giant biting off more than he can chew. Lesnar will finally be able to suplex and F5 Omos to a good pop from the crowd, and that will be that. This isn’t hitting double digits in minutes, everyone; be prepared.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Austin Theory vs John Cena (United States Championship)

It would be easy to say that Cena wins this matchup handily, shows up on the RAW after WrestleMania for an open challenge, drops the United States Championship to an ascending young talent (a debuting Bron Breakker, perhaps?) and go back to Hollywood. In fact, perhaps that’s the likeliest outcome in all of this. Still, with how busy Cena is, it’s hard to imagine WWE will want to take up too much of his schedule just for a short championship run. Besides, doing that would damage Theory again, possibly for good.

2022 wasn’t too kind to Theory, in retrospect. He went from being one of the brightest young stars WWE had to offer to losing his top supporter in Vince McMahon, having one of the worst Money in the Bank runs imaginable, and now using the United States Championship as a way to claw back to that same point. It’s clear that Triple H might not value Theory as much as McMahon did, but it also appears that the former understands what Theory brings to the table. A massive win over Cena at WrestleMania would certainly help his heel persona get more heat from fans, which is always a good thing to have as a villain.

Winner: Austin Theory

Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus vs Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky)

The Lynch vs Damage CTRL storyline has dragged on enough, and it’s good to see that it will finally come to a conclusion here and allow the competitors to move on to bigger and better things. Lita and Trish should also draw some attention to the match, as well, which is perfectly set up to give them some good spots without overexposing them. On a side note, I love seeing Kai and Sky in this position, going from being essentially out the door in WWE this time last year to sharing a ring with two of the greatest female wrestlers of all time.

The question I have here is how do the Women’s Tag Team Championships come into play? Lynch and Lita won the titles from Kai and Sky on the buildup to this match, but it’s unclear if WWE wants to keep the belts on the two for a prolonged period of time. Lynch and Lita could do double-duty and defend the titles against the winners of a match we’ll discuss later, but expect the two and Trish to come out on top here.

Winners: Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus

Logan Paul vs Seth Rollins

If you’re a wrestling fan looking for a match of the night candidate, look no further than this. Rollins has established himself as one of WWE’s best in-ring competitors for a long time, but Logan Paul is earning more respect with each appearance. While Paul has revealed that his contract is up after WrestleMania, it’s hard to see the sides not agreeing to an extension. Oddly enough, if Paul ever does decide to give wrestling a shot full-time, he has potential to become a top star and world champion. He’s that good.

That makes a match like this hard to call, but I think Paul would be more likely to bounce back from a loss here than Rollins can. Besides, between his yeoman’s work with Cody Rhodes last year and helping to restore the United States Championship, Rollins deserves a reward. Besides, revisiting the Rhodes vs Rollins feud with the WWE Championship on the line is a pretty nice idea, especially with the allusion we got at the Royal Rumble when the two faced off in the ring. Paul’s time will come; Rollins’s time is now.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Edge vs Finn Balor (Hell in a Cell)

The fact that WWE is having a Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania hopefully means that the gimmick-based PLEs are dead and their matches can actually mean something for feuds again, but I digress. Edge vs Judgement Day and their new leader Finn Balor has been going on for a year, and it’s high time it comes to an end before Edge’s designated retirement show in Toronto this summer. It will also be nice to see the return of Balor’s Demon King persona for the first time since the infamous showing at Extreme Rules 2021, and the idea of what he’ll look like for the first time as a heel is also worth noting.

Again, with this being Edge’s last WrestleMania and the match ending the feud with the Judgement Day, the Rated-R Superstar getting the win here makes sense. A WrestleMania moment with former allies like Gangrel would be a nice way to send Edge off to his final feuds. Meanwhile, Balor can take a loss with fellow stablemate Ripley landing a win, and the Judgement Day can set their sights on a new story.

Winner: Edge

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez vs Natalya and Shotzi vs Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green

If this isn’t for a shot at the Women’s Tag Team Championship on Night Two, what’s the point? I’m a fan of several of the talents in this match, and it feels odd to see them being used in a match that has zero real buildup that may or may not have any real meaning. Expect to see this cleared up, hopefully before the match starts to give us at least some stakes.

The good news is that deciding the winner feels easy. Natalya and Shotzi is the thrown-together cannon fodder team, while the Karen-manager dynamic of Green and Deville is for comedy and not championships. I’d love to see Morgan and Rodriguez pick up the win here, but logic would dictate that Rousey and Baszler are currently the bigger draw. Rousey vs Becky Lynch in a one-on-one match was rejected, however, so keep that in mind before comfortably placing your bets on a tag match being met with a warmer reception.

Winners: Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler

Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)

The real throwaway match. At least the women’s tag match has an easy path to relevance, but this match would be for what? A title shot at the tag team belts at Backlash? The RAW after Mania? Sometime at all in the future? If there’s no point for this, why not just plug all eight of these guys in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and be done with it? I get that not every match has to have the same level of gravitas and importance, but all of these guys deserve to be in better spots than the designated bathroom break.

At least the winner and the team taking the fall is somewhat easy. WWE has been high on Montez Ford for a while now, so expect the Street Profits to pick up the win here to keep the momentum rolling. Meanwhile, Chad Gable appears set to split from Otis due to the latter’s recruitment for Maximum Male Models (oh yeah, that’s still around). Expect Otis to be lured away during the match, leaving Gable to unsuccessfully fend for himself. An underrated performer in Gable and a fun comedy act in Otis returning back to their old roles wouldn’t be the worst takeaway here.

Winners: The Street Profits

Gunther vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre (Intercontinental Championship)

Here’s the proof that you don’t need a thrilling story sometimes to know that you’re in for a great match. Gunther and Sheamus put on a match of the year candidate at Clash of the Castle, and adding a fellow hard-hitting competitor in McIntyre to the mix is sure to add a layer of intensity to the affair. It goes to show how much Gunther has elevated the Intercontinental Championship, taking the belt from not even being featured at last year’s WrestleMania to a prominent spot on the card this time around.

While Gunther will be rewarded for his efforts, this is the rare opportunity to take the belt off of him without halting his momentum. Sheamus needs the Intercontinental Championship to lock himself in as a Grand Slam champion for WWE, and McIntyre will be fine taking a loss here and congratulating his friend. Gunther, meanwhile, will have his eyes set on bigger and better things, and I suspect we will see him get a world championship match before the calendar turns to 2024.

Winner: Sheamus

The Usos vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship)

Outside of the main event, there’s no match I’m more invested in than this one. Zayn was arguably the MVP for WWE in 2022, with his brand of humor and mannerisms adding an unexpectedly welcome level of nuance to the Bloodline. Seeing the Bloodline turn on Zayn after he refused to let them attack Owens at the Royal Rumble is already the most emotionally charged moment in all of wrestling in 2023, and seeing longtime best friends Owens and Zayn on the same side once again is great to see.

I am curious to see how the match plays out. While Jimmy Uso has proven loyal to the Bloodline after Sami’s departure, Jey has been much more conflicted. Expect there to be some level of communication between Sami and Jey during the match, which could play a role in the outcome of the main event as well. While Flair vs Ripley is a worthy main event for Night One, seeing Owens and Zayn celebrate their tag title win would be a moment worth closing the show out for.

Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Rey Mysterio vs Dominik Mysterio

Give credit where credit is due: Dominik Mysterio is here to stay. Since turning heel on his father at Clash in the Castle and aligning with the Judgement Day, Dom has arguably become the most hated man in all of WWE. He’s the smarmy, entitled brat that people would pay money to see get smacked around, and Dom has played such a role to near-perfection. Expect there to be more of the same behavior at Rey’s Hall of Fame speech, possibly involving the guest inductor Konnan.

I don’t expect this feud to really end between the two yet, at least until Rey formally retires and hands the mantle to Dominik. While it’s unclear for now how such a story will play out, expect Dom to win this one through some mask-stealing shenanigans and get one over on his father, at least until Backlash.

Winner: Dominik Mysterio

Extra Credit: Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

I feel bad for Bobby Lashley. He went from a hot program with Brock Lesnar, to being dragged into a strange and sudden feud with Bray Wyatt, to now running the risk of being out of WrestleMania entirely. While that makes him the immediate favorite to win this Battle Royal, that doesn’t really do anything for him in my eyes. It would be better to set up a match for him by being eliminated, potentially by a fellow hot act in LA Knight, who’s been getting a fair amount of positive reactions as of late.

So who does that leave to win this Battle Royal on SmackDown in a couple of days? The answer is honestly simple. I’ll openly admit that Karrion Kross is a guilty pleasure of mine from having watched the guy evolve as a wrestler in Future Stars of Wrestling out of Vegas, and it sucks to see that he’s stalled out on the main roster. If Triple H wants to give his once-prized returnee a lifeline, this would be a good start. Kross gets some much-needed momentum back on his side, and it would open up some new feuds for him to run through on a return to relevance. Personal bias be damned.

Winner: Karrion Kross


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