Tag Archives: Wrestlemania 39

Roman Reigns defeating Cody Rhodes was a bad decision… right? 

By Kalen Lumpkins

Kalen is a fourth year BGSU student from Toledo, Ohio. He is a sports management major with a minor in journalism. His primary sport interests include football and tennis, but he also has an interest in a wide variety in other sports, from baseball to hockey. His dream job outside of college is to be a sportswriter for an organization like ESPN or Sports Illustrated.

April 3, 2023

WrestleMania 39 was stunning from start to finish. From Austin Theory pinning his idol John Cena to Gunther surviving a brutal chop-fest against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre, the fans in attendance were wowed nonstop through both nights. 

The main story of this year’s Showcase of Immortals was the conflict in the Bloodline. The first night ended with Sami Zayn hitting Jey Uso with three Helluva Kicks to make Zayn and Kevin Owens the undisputed tag team champions.

After the Usos’ 619-day tag team title reign ended, all eyes were locked on the second night’s main event, where Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes would finally come face-to-face for the undisputed WWE universal championship.

Since winning the 2023 Royal Rumble, the expectation was that the American Nightmare would dethrone Reigns, finishing his story and finally engraving the Rhodes’ name into the top prize in WWE. Furthermore, the fans at SoFi Stadium were eager to see what they had been waiting for: 

‘This is it; WWE’s final boss goes down. Tonight’s the night Roman loses and the Bloodline ends.’ Many of the viewers thought. 

Instead, it was Goliath that emerged from the smoke. 

The Tribal Chief speared Rhodes, went for the cover, and the referee counted to three. The silent shock of the crowd at SoFi Stadium after the count will tell a better story than anyone ever could. 

Roman Reigns shattered the WrestleMania dream of Cody Rhodes and walked out of the arena, still on top of the world with championships in both hands. 

After the reality of what happened finally hit the viewers, there were two consistent responses: ‘Why did this happen?!’ or ‘Acknowledge him!’ This split is something we have not seen since Brock Lesnar ended the Undertaker’s streak. 

The split is getting heated, and both arguments are valid. Here are some of the points that could be made. 


The Bloodline’s story is not over

Since Rhodes returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38, he had been unstoppable. An incredible feud with Seth Rollins solidified that the American Nightmare had everything it takes to be the top babyface of the company. 

Rhodes vs. Roman was always the endgame, but a torn pec suffered by the returning star could very well have derailed these initial plans. When Rhodes returned, he showed the cracks that existed in the Bloodline and went out to open these cracks further. 

However, after the Usos super kicked Rhodes midway through the WrestleMania match, this meant that the Usos are not sold on leaving Reigns just yet. Neither is Solo Sikoa, who interfered at the end to give Reigns the victory. 

If Rhodes would have prevailed, this would have created confusion in the Bloodline story. At this rate, the group must fall apart before Reigns is defeated, as it would signal how the family’s bond has lifted them to new heights before disbandment. 

The Reigns vs. Rhodes rivalry is not over just yet, so the challenger will still have a chance to get into the heads of the supergroup. It will be interesting to see how the Raw and Smackdown after Mania plays out, but there are still plenty of stories to tell.

Cody’s story is not over, either

Cody Rhodes was on a roll when he returned to WWE. Having won every single match since his comeback, he seemed to be the next guy up. 

In his verbal altercations with Solo Sikoa, he always told him that he was not ready, that he is not there just yet. After his Mania loss, though, Cody Rhodes had questions to ask himself.  

Could he be questioning if he is ready for the moment? Or wondering if he lets the Rhodes family down?  

These are hurdles that Rhodes will have to overcome if he truly wants to finish his story. The loss at the grandest stage of them all could set up a story of Rhodes’s pursuit of maturity and redemption against Reigns.   

A story like this could set up a victory that could potentially be sweeter than a WrestleMania win for the American Nightmare. 

1000 days! 

At the time of writing this, Roman Reigns has held the universal championship for 946 days. He won the WWE championship from Brock Lesnar last year, so he has held both titles for a year now. 

The title reign (pun intended) has been a memorable one for the Tribal Chief, as he has carried the brand on his back for over three years. There is not anyone on the current roster that will be able to replicate this. 

It is also unlikely that Reigns loses the titles before SummerSlam, which is on Aug. 5, so 1000 days seem inevitable. 

The thousand-day mark will be a repayment for all that Reigns has done, while also being an accomplishment we may never see again. 


Who’s going to beat Roman now? 

Here is a list of the wrestlers that Roman Reigns defeated to defend his Universal title: 

  • Jey Uso (twice)
  • Braun Strowman 
  • Kevin Owens (four times)
  • Bryan Danielson, formerly Daniel Bryan (four times) 
  • Edge (twice)
  • Rey Mysterio 
  • Cesaro 
  • John Cena 
  • Finn Balor (twice) 
  • Brock Lesnar (three times) 
  • Sami Zayn (twice) 
  • *Seth Rollins (Reigns lost by DQ, but kept his championships)
  • Goldberg
  • Matt Riddle 
  • Drew McIntyre 
  • Logan Paul 
  • Cody Rhodes 


As of right now, Cody Rhodes is the logical choice to dethrone Reigns, but what if he loses again? The Tribal Chief has run through most of the legitimate threats on the roster, so there is a small number of remaining stars that will be a believable roadblock.

Gunther’s name has been thrown around, as well as Jey Uso being the one, so the Bloodline story comes to a full circle. The reality, however, is that time is running out on the freshness of the undisputed universal title run, and overstaying its welcome will be a sad sight to see. 

Every title match is still predictable

No matter how we view Roman Reigns, we can agree that the same tropes have been used too much. Normal 1-on-1 match until the referee takes a bump, the Usos and/or Solo Sikoa interferes and Roman prevails. 

Now it is reasonable, Reigns is supposed to keep the heel energy. However, doing the same thing for over a year is bound to get tiresome for most of the viewers, Roman fan or not. 

Furthermore, Reigns needing help every match could also delegitimize his case for being the greatest wrestler ever. Yes, others have done this all the time, Edge being the main one, but this does not fit into the unstoppable Tribal Chief Roman Reigns character. 

A clean win vs Rhodes at Mania would have put the thought in the viewer’s mind that no one can beat Reigns. Then, a future Reigns loss would create one of the greatest championship wins for the opposing superstar ever. 

Unfortunately, we got the same interference-filled finish that we have seen countless times. It is time to let these types of endings go for the Bloodline. 

We don’t want a part-time champion!

The biggest flaw of this Roman Reigns title run is the appearance of the Tribal Chief, or lack thereof. This was the problem when Brock Lesnar held the titles around WrestleMania 37, as well. 

In many people’s eyes, they think that Reigns is holding the titles hostage, and that creates a problem all around. Mainly, it takes a toll on attempting to create more main-event-level stars. 

WWE is trying to create more talent by pushing people like Brunson Reed, LA Knight and Gable. When there is not a title to go after when Reigns is gone, though, it leaves the weekly shows in a stalemate. 

This is a problem that WWE has been trying to figure out for some time now, and it may not be solved until Roman Reigns loses the titles. 

There are fair points that can be made for both sides of the split reaction to the Roman Reigns win. One certain thing, however, is that only time will tell. 

Wrestlemania 39: Night One Review

Caption: Kevin Owens (L) and Sami Zayn (R) celebrating after capturing the tag titles at Wrestlemania 39

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 4, 2023

Wrestlemania was truly a tale of two different nights. It was some of the best wrestling of the year compounded with some odd booking choices, but nonetheless a great time as always.

Austin Theory def. John Cena via pinfall

This match kicked off night one of ‘mania and was a very fun contest that got the fans ready for the rest of the night. The crowd was heavily behind Cena throughout the match and Theory played off that perfectly.

Theory got the win after delivering a low-blow following the referee being knocked down. I was very happy with this match as Theory got a much needed win over an established star.

The Street Profits def. The Viking Raiders, Alpha Academy, and Braun Stroman & Ricochet via pinfall

It was a match meant to showcase the men’s tag division, and one that absolutely delivered at that. This was fast paced, hard hitting action from bell to bell. Everyone did their jobs perfectly and no team came out of this looking bad.

I expect the Street Profits to go after the Unified Tag Championships in the coming months.

Seth Rollins def. Logan Paul via pinfall

I expected this would be a fun match, but it still overdelivered. Paul worked very well as the heel in this match as he was accompanied to the ring by a huge bottle of his sports drink, Prime.

Rollins was played to the ring by the entire crowd singing along to his entrance music which was a super cool scene. The Prime bottle ended up being Paul’s friend KSI, who inadvertently was put through a table by Paul towards the end of the match. This allowed Rollins to hit a Pedigree on Paul and secure the win.

Trish Stratus, Lita, & Becky Lynch def. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, & Io Sky) via pinfall

Unfortunately, these six had to go on after Paul and Rollins and the crowd was audibly tired. This match suffered as a result. Although the action in the ring was competent, it was clear that Stratus and Lita had lost a step or two in the ring.

Becky Lynch was able to get the crowd back into the action before we got to see Lita hit her “Litasault” and score the win. I still feel strongly that Damage CTRL have been criminally misused since their return at Summerslam 2022.

Rey Mysterio Jr. def. Dominik Mysterio via pinfall

In the matchup that was set to settle the score of a longtime father-son rivalry, Rey scored a victory over his errant son. These two have great chemistry as you would expect, but they turned it up a notch on Wrestlemania Saturday.

Dominick played an amazing heel splashing water on his sister and yelling at his mom at ringside. Rey managed to get Dominik back in the ring before taking off his belt and actually spanking his son with it. Rey got the victory after a 619 and celebrated with the rest of his family at ringside.

Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair via pinfall

This was a rematch three years in the making stemming from when Charlotte defeated Ripley at Wrestlemania 36. These two absolutely tore the house down and were praised handily for it by the crowd reactions.

This 23 minute epic saw a great back and forth between the competitors, although Rhea was clearly the more powerful and dominant of the two. Rhea was finally able to escape with a victory after hitting the “Riptide” from the second rope. Truly a 5-star match from night one.

Pat McAfee def. The Miz by pinfall

Before the main event of the evening, the hosts of the show (The Miz & Snoop Dogg) came out to announce the attendance for the night. The Miz was interrupted by former NFL punter McAfee.

McAfee challenged Miz to a match and a referee appeared. Snoop Dogg distracted Miz on the outside and allowed McAfee to score a quick win, infuriating The Miz in the process.

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn def. The Usos via pinfall

The main event of night one was everything it was supposed to be. The Usos were extremely dominant for most of the match and the violence was almost uncomfortable at times. The Usos hit Zayn and Owens with no fewer than 20 superkicks throughout the match.

The Usos went for their finisher “The 1D” which in the entire history of pro wrestling, has only been kicked out of ONCE before, but Zayn refused to stay down and kicked out. After about 20 minutes of the match, the two teams stood opposite each other while the crowd gave an ovation.

Owens yelled “let’s finish this” and the two teams went at it again. After the scrap, only Zayn and Jey Uso were left in the ring. After months of anticipation, Zayn snapped and hit Jey with three “Helluva Kicks” and as Jey collapsed in the ring, Sami covered him and scored the pin.

These were two best friends who started wrestling together over two decades ago, winning the tag team championships in front of their families in the main event of Wrestlemania.

This was an amazing event, and if you followed my previous article where I predicted the match winners, you’ll know that I was 5 for 7 (not counting Pat McAfee because it was impromptu).

Wrestlemania Predictions

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.