A year ago I offered some delightfully wrong predictions for WrestleMania 38. I’ve been doing this for many years and usually to hilariously bad results, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been so far wrong as I was last year. I had Daniel Bryan retiring in a match vs. The Fiend, for crying out loud!
To be fair, WWE churns through talent and starts-and-stops storylines at a pace nigh-unpredictable, so these sorts of articles are merely an exercise in literary silliness. Either way, I’m ready to throw out some wild and crazy predictions for next year’s show. I’m not going to try and predict the entire event, because I don’t have the imagination or seventy+ years of Vince McMahon’s insanity to try and book two seven-match cards (as I assume Mania 39 to be). Instead, here are my picks for the biggest seven matches to happen on the two-night spectacle.
Here we go!
RANDY ORTON vs GABLE STEVESON
It’s clear the young wrestler Steveson is going to have a rocket strapped to his back as soon as he debuts. He’s going to be the poster child for the company’s push to recruit NCAA talent right out of college, and that means a big, high-profile push right out of the gate. For his first WrestleMania, I can think of no better sure hand than Randy Orton. The twenty+ year vet has the natural talent, the brain, the connection with the crowd, and the name value to give the next young superstar a big debut on the grandest stage.
BRON BREAKKER vs SETH ROLLINS
As with Gable, Bron Breakker looks poised for a monster push as soon as he leaves NXT. He instantly became the face of “2.0” and, as the brand’s shakeup last year was entirely a Vince McMahon brainchild, there will be a great incentive (either intentional or subconscious) to give Breakker a big push on the main roster to prove the new version of NXT is the superior one. Not that Breakker needs much help being presented as the real deal; he’s more than proven he’s the best thing about NXT 2.0. He’s a charisma machine and, while still green in the ring, has plenty of natural talent that will probably be rolling by the time we get to next year’s Mania. Much like Orton with Gable, Seth Rollins is the perfect guy to give Breakker a big-name opponent on the biggest stage of them all.
EDGE vs FINN BALOR
Here’s a match I predicted last year but it didn’t happen. I hope it does eventually, before Edge re-retires. His match with AJ Styles this year was disappointing and while I think the living legend still has one more great match left in him, he needs someone spry and quick enough to help him out. As I said last year, I’ve no doubt Edge could hang with Balor, and seeing the Demon on the biggest stage ever would be more than memorable for the huge crowd in attendance.
Drew McIntyre vs Conor McGregor
While I’m sure there will be many more goofy celebrity matches at WrestleMania, there’s simply no way to predict what hot, trending thing WWE will latch onto and give a big platform. That said, one match I do think is possible is Drew McIntyre vs Conor McGregor. WWE has been trying to get McGregor signed to some kind of a deal for a few years now and with the money they have to burn, I think they can afford to drop however many zeroes on the check are needed to get the UFC legend, whether it’s for a one-off appearance, or something more like a Ronda Rousey-type deal.
BATISTA GOES INTO THE HALL OF FAME
Batista was supposed to go into the Hall of Fame two years ago but they held off on it due to Covid. Last year he was supposed to go in but had to back out because of scheduling conflicts. I assume those same conflicts were present this year (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), but maybe they won’t be next year. The event is in Hollywood and that’s a fitting location for the superstar who proved basically everyone in the WWE hierarchy wrong when he made himself a bonafide movie star after leaving the company. He’s already had his retirement match and while it’s always possible they throw enough money at him for another match (Lesnar?), I think it’s more likely he just takes a bow as a Hall of Famer.
If not Batista, then I can see Rock being an easy pick, what with the show being in Hollywood, but they might wait and give him the nod the next time they’re in Miami. Triple H left his boots in the ring this year, but I expect they’ll hold off putting him in the Hall of Fame until the big WrestleMania 40 in 2024.
WWE WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP = RONDA ROUSEY (c) vs BECKY LYNCH
I can’t imagine a bigger match for the women’s division. Ronda might not be what she was a few years ago, and her big return this year might be off on the wrong foot, but all it takes is one WWE video package and the crowd will be at a fever pitch to watch these two go at it.
WWE HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP = AJ STYLES (c) vs CODY RHODES
No, that title does not exist. I made it up. Consider it a placeholder for whatever “secondary world title” WWE comes up with whenever they get tired of having one world champ spread over both brands. In my head-canon, they bring back Big Gold and put Cody on a quest to win the title his dad once carried many moons ago. Is that the world title Cody came back to win? Nope, he wants the title his daddy didn’t win, but being denied the chance to compete for the “real” top title will only give more fuel to the raging fires of internet discussion. Cody will have to settle for the #2 match and the #2 title, giving AEW diehards enough ammo to say “told you so” and giving Cody fans enough ammo to say “it’s a bigger platform than what he was getting under Tony Khan.” Everyone is snarky; everyone wins!
WWE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP = ROMAN REIGNS (c) vs THE ROCK vs BROCK LESNAR
For the past several years I’ve been predicting a “ROCK vs BROCK” match to main-event WrestleMania. Obviously, money is not a factor here, but the fact that Rock is the busiest A-list action star in Hollywood prevents him from coming in even for an appearance, much less a full-blown match. Personally, at this point, I don’t think Rock has it in him to do a one-on-one match, but that’s fine because you know Vince is dying to do Roman vs Brock AGAIN. This time with Rock in the middle makes for the biggest possible WrestleMania main event he could concoct. Will Rock’s schedule permit it? We’ll see. If so, that’s my pick for the top-billed match.
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Those are my predictions, insanely wrong though they likely are.
Have any to share? Leave a comment below!