Caption: Wrestlemania 39 Promotional Banner
By Ryan Harless
Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.
April 1, 2023
It is officially my favorite time of the year, Wrestlemania season. It is the time of the year when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has their culminative PPV event that wraps up the biggest storylines of the past 12 months and showcases their plans for the next year.
Over the last few years, WWE has split their Wrestlemania card up into two nights to help prevent fans from tiring out by the end of the card. This year is no different with 13 matches (as of now) being spread across the two-night event.
As I did with AEW Revolution, I will be explaining the matches and storylines leading into the event as well as giving my prediction as to who I believe will walk out of “The Showcase of The Immortals” victorious.
Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky) vs. Becky Lynch, Lita and Trish Stratus
This should be a really fun contest pitting some of the biggest stars in women’s wrestling today against two of the stars of yester-year. Damage CTRL consists of Bayley and two women who were previously released from their WWE contracts amidst one of their many “budget cuts.”
I was really excited for their team when they re-debuted in August of last year but they are yet to do anything of major note on TV. That is my reasoning for predicting the team of Becky Lynch, Lita, and Trish Stratus.
I think this will be a good match that sees the babyface team emerging victorious while getting the crowd tuned in and ready for the night ahead.
United States Championship: John Cena vs. Austin Theory (C)
John Cena hasn’t been a full time wrestler for the last few years, but every time he shows up to wrestle it is always an important occasion.
This story has many layers as many people were quick to compare Austin Theory to Cena as his gimmick was that he was handpicked by Vince McMahon himself to be the next big thing in WWE.
Cena himself was a nondescript good guy when he arrived and was rejected by fans and had to adapt and grow. Theory is undergoing that transformation for himself right now. He already is a great wrestler between the ropes, but I think that a clean victory over Cena here could be what he needs to cement himself as a star.
I believe that Austin Theory will win and retain his United States Championship over Cena in a good sports-entertainment match.
Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins
Yes, you read that right. YouTube star Logan Paul has a match at Wrestlemania against Seth Rollins. These two have a rivalry that has spanned a few months with Paul interfering in Rollins’ matches over the course of the last few months.
Although Paul has only wrestled a handful of matches, he has consistently been a highlight on every card he has been featured. Paired up with Seth Rollins at ‘Mania, this has a very good chance to be the best match of the night.
I think this is the perfect place to show just how good Paul is in the ring. I expect Logan Paul to win and, much like Austin Theory, cement his place in WWE for many years to come.
‘Fatal 4-Way’ tag team: Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Shotzi and Natalya vs. Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville
Sadly, not all Wrestlemania matches can be held to the highest standard. This is the first of two seemingly thrown together tag team matches on the Wrestlemania card.
I expect this to be a “cooldown” match to give the crowd a rest between big matches. There is very little story going into the match and basically all of the teams are completely thrown together.
I would expect this to be mainly a showcase for Shayna Bazler and Ronda Rousey as they are both former MMA fighters and have been portrayed as such in the recent weeks.
I predict that Rousey and Bazler will win this match pretty easily and possibly go on to win tag team gold.
‘Fatal 4-Way’ tag team: Braun Stroman and Ricochet vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) with Valhalla
Here is the second of the two “cooldown” matches that I noticed when I looked at the card. In my opinion, the biggest saving grace here is that three of the four teams are actual teams with actual team names.
The odd men out are Braun Stroman and Ricochet who have actually been teaming together on WWE TV as of late. All of the competitors are super talented and there is a chance this could be a really fun match to watch.
But the lack of anything being on the line for this match keeps me from being fully invested. Again, like the previous match this might be a way to catapult a team into the tag championship scene (more on that later).
I predict that the Street Profits will win this match and possibly even tease a breakup with the emergence of Montez Ford as a fan favorite.
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dominik Mysterio
What a long way we have come since Summerslam 2005 where Rey Mysterio fought Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match for the custody of Dominik.
Dominik is now all grown up and, against his father’s best wishes, has aligned with the dark side while teaming with The Judgement Day. Rey has spent most of the past few weeks doing everything in his power to not resort to violence against his son.
Dominik has terrorized his father in the past months, breaking into his house, attacking him in front of his family and going to jail in the process. Finally, we get to see a match almost two decades in the making.
With Rey Mysterio being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year, he looks to be winding down his career. I think it makes perfect sense for Dominik to get his first Wrestlemania win against his dad.
This should be a great match as the two have amazing chemistry together.
Brock Lesnar vs. Omos with MVP
If you would have told me four months ago that Brock Lesnar would be facing off against Omos at Wrestlemania, I would have laughed and probably ignored you. Oh, how the tables have turned.
This match could go many different ways. In their weigh-in segment on WWE Monday Night Raw, Omos got the better of Lesnar after battering him with the scale.
But, Lesnar still managed to look like a beast as he hurled himself around the ring in a way that we haven’t seen out of Lesnar in a while. I think if “The Beast Incarnate” (Brock Lesnar) shows up to Wrestlemania wanting to work, this will be a blast.
It is hard for me to imagine Lesnar losing a match at Wrestlemania, but if there was ever someone who could beat him, I think Omos could be the one to do it.
Omos is one of the biggest stars (in stature) in WWE history and if they want to make him a scary giant who can terrorize the roster for years to come, this is their chance.
I believe that Omos will beat Lesnar in a statement victory as WWE gains their new giant.
Bobby Lashley vs. Bray Wyatt
This is a weird one to predict as many wrestling fans don’t know where this match stands. It has been mentioned that Wyatt is either sick or injured and more than likely won’t be able to compete at this years event.
However, I can’t imagine that WWE will leave Bobby Lashley off the card. If Wyatt is unable to make the event, I expect Lashley to pick up an easy win against a surprise return or possibly a debut.
Hell in a Cell: Edge vs. “The Demon” Finn Bálor
“The Demon” is the alter-ego of Finn Bálor that we haven’t seen in a long while. It was overused by WWE for a time and lost a lot of its alure. But now, after a long hibernation, it is back and (hopefully) better than ever.
This match has been a long time coming, too, as Edge was the original leader of the group known as “The Judgement Day” but he was kicked out by the group soon after Finn Bálor joined and became their de-facto leader.
Edge cut a promo this week on Raw that looked a lot like a revision of his original vampire gimmick in the group known as “The Brood” in the late 90’s. This could be a really cool showing of supernatural wrestlers using their spooky magic on a huge stage.
This match will be held inside of Hell in a Cell to prevent the interference of The Judgement Day and also to keep the two warring wrestlers inside. I expect this to be a brutal match that sees “The Demon” picking up a huge win and vanquishing Edge from The Judgement Day for good.
Intercontinental Championship triple-threat: Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Gunther (C)
I am so excited for this match, it is hard to put it in words. These three have been going at it with each other for most of the past year, but we are yet to see them all in the ring at the same time.
These are three huge men that love to beat up other large men. Put them in the ring together and let the magic happen.
WWE has already made it increasingly clear that Gunther is the superstar of the future with his record breaking showing in the Royal Rumble this year where he lasted over an hour in the match.
The largest storyline in this match, in my opinion, is the fact that Sheamus has won every title in the WWE EXCEPT for the Intercontinental Championship. I think that this has a serious chance to be the match of the event and I predict that Sheamus will walk out with the IC title.
I also expect Gunther to enter the World Heavyweight Title scene following this match.
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (C)
In a rematch from Wrestlemania 36, Rhea Ripley faces off against the champion Charlotte Flair. The main difference being the championship being fought over. Three years ago, the pair fought at Wrestlemania over the NXT Women’s Championship.
Many people (myself included) were baffled at the choice to have Flair beat the up and comer Ripley. But, WWE has given themselves a chance to right their wrongs with Ripley being an entirely different animal from who she was all those years ago.
I think this is the time for Flair to pass the torch to Rhea with a clean victory that stamps Ripley as a dominant, monster heel that can rule over the SmackDown Women’s division.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Bianca Belair (C)
Bianca Belair has been Raw Woman’s Champ for quite a while. This year at the Royal Rumble, we got to see the return of Asuka looking a lot like her gimmick from Japan as Kana.
She is one of the most believable fighters on the WWE roster and has been one of my favorites to watch for many years. This should be an absolutely crazy match showing off the athleticism and brutality of both competitors.
I think Asuka should win this match so that she can finally lead the Raw Woman’s division with a proper title win. Also, like I said, Belair has been the champ for almost a year. If she loses the title here, she can take a few months off to rest and then come back better than ever.
Unified Tag Team Championship: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) (C) with Solo Sikoa
This match should be the culmination of the best story WWE has told in years. The never-ending saga of best friends/enemies Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has gone on for two decades.
They seem to be on the same page again and look to dethrone The Usos who have held tag-team gold for the last 600+ days. The Usos have accepted Zayn into their family and, more recently, kicked him out in violent fashion.
After Zayn lost to the World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, he has been scrambling to avenge his loss and to become the mega star the fans want him to be.
I think this will be the feel-good moment of the night as I predict that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens beat the Usos to become the Unified Tag Team Champions.
Undisputed Universal Championship: Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns (C)
It is finally time for the main event, The Undisputed Universal Championship match between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns. Reigns has been champion for over 900 days and Rhodes is looking to do what his father Dusty Rhodes could never do – win the WWE Title.
I didn’t think this match had much substance at first, but after the work that Paul Heyman (Roman’s manager) and Rhodes have been putting in week after week, I’m invested.
This should be a great match with huge implications for the company. I predict that Rhodes will finally dethrone the Tribal Chief and send him packing for quite some time.