WrestleMania 39 Preview: Reigns vs. Rhodes headlines an action-packed event

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WrestleMania 39 encompasses a clear-cut, undisputed important event. However WrestleMania, on the whole, has changed into excess of only a one-match spectacle over its close to 40-years of existence. It’s expanded right into a two-night marathon full of dozens of matches, a number of of which might important event on some other Premium Live Event.

The thirty ninth version of WrestleMania will look quite a bit completely different than the primary incarnation, which passed off on March 31, 1985 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. There have been a complete of 9 matches on that card, headlined by a particular attraction match that includes actor Mr. T teaming up with Hulk Hogan to go up towards Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. This yr’s event will function 13 matches unfold throughout two nights, with the Roman Reigns defending his Undisputed Universal Heavyweight Championship towards Cody Rhodes serving because the headlining important event.

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The superstars of the WWE are set to clash in a two-night marathon of marquee matchups at WrestleMania 39. Stream all the action live on the WWE Network on SN NOW.

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While the presentation has, after all, modified drastically over 39 years, the general thought surrounding WrestleMania stays the identical. The remains to be bigger than life, dwelling up its “showcase of the immortals” moniker, whereas the principle focus stays on the wrestlers within the ring, telling a narrative designed to get followers invested. And at this years ‘Mania, WWE will likely be presenting, in all chance, the end result of 1 its best tales ever informed.

Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship match: Roman Reigns (C) vs. Cody Rhodes

This isn’t simply months within the making, it’s years within the making.

For Reigns, it’s a close to 1,000-day reign as champ. Roman has certainly reigned as, arguably, essentially the most dominant champion in WWE historical past. Two straight WrestleMania important event victories, with pins over such legends as Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan and Edge cement Reigns’ legend standing. Over the course of his championship reign, the Tribal Chief established one of the dominant factions in WWE historical past together with his Bloodline steady, joined by real-life members of the family Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa (in addition to Paul Heyman in a managerial-type position).

Photo courtesy: Steve Argintaru

For Rhodes, in the meantime, it’s the end result of a close to decade-long ascent to the highest of the cardboard. Rhodes left WWE in 2016 after years of hovering across the mid-card, finally working into inventive frustrations. Cody, the son of wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes, set out on his personal, decided to carve his personal path to the highest. He wrestled at each impartial wrestling event he might, earlier than serving to discovered All Elite Wrestling, a now reliable in-ring competitor to WWE. Cody grew to become one of many largest stars in skilled wrestling and now appears destined to seize his first WWE Championship.

Both wrestlers are on the high of their video games, representing the perfect in professional wrestling. The edge, although, goes to Rhodes. The street for Cody from undesirable to plain ends at WrestleMania and it concludes together with his first main professional wrestling championship. Even in AEW, Cody by no means gained the large one. Now, although, the final chapter is able to be written.

Reigns, in the meantime, is in prime place to jot down the final chapter of his championship story, one that can go down as one of many best ever. First of all, if Reigns have been to defeat Cody, there can be no reliable threats to problem for the title afterwards, leaving the principle titles in peril of going stale. In addition, Reigns’ Bloodline steady seems prepared to interrupt aside, which is able to additional support the conclusion of his championship story.

Prediction: Cody Rhodes def. Roman Reigns (C)

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (C) vs Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

The different half of the conclusion of the Bloodline fracture will play out on this matchup when Zayn and Owens problem Jimmy and Jey Uso for the Undisputed Tag Team Championship.

As talked about above there’s nonetheless a big portion of the WWE viewers, with a majority of that sect residing north of the forty ninth parallel, that might have most popular Zayn to be part of the principle event championship match towards Roman Reigns. However, WWE caught to their weapons and stayed with the Cody storyline, as an alternative blowing off the feud between Reigns and Zayn at Elimination Chamber in February.

Photo courtesy: Steve Argintaru

However, that is nonetheless a serious spot, close to adjoining to the world title match. And as Zayn famous to Sportsnet final yr forward of his match towards Johnny Knoxville at WrestleMania 38, “not all the things is, ‘you’re important night for the world title otherwise you’re being misused.’”

This match seems like it’s adjoining to the world title match due to how intertwined Zayn and Owens have been to the gradual, dissolution of the Bloodline story throughout the final a number of months. This weekend at ‘Mania, Zayn and Owens will conclude their arc of the story with a victory over The Usos.

It will likely be a crowning second within the careers of each Zayn and Owens, each of whom began their wrestling careers in Montreal. The two wrestled at a one-on-one singles match two years in the past at ‘Mania, and now have the chance to crew collectively to seize tag crew gold.

Meanwhile, for The Usos, this can doubtless arrange some type of fallout within the days afterwards the place Reigns, who can have additionally misplaced his championship titles, will query their dedication to The Bloodline, resulting in the eventual dissolution.

Prediction: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens def. The Usos (C)

Hell in a Cell match: Edge vs Finn Balor

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are two of the six (*39*) in motion over the course of WrestleMania Weekend.

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Orangeville, Ont. native Edge will compete in a Hell in a Cell match towards Finn Balor, in what ought to culminate a close to year-long storyline involving the 2.

Balor will likely be sporting his demon look, emphasizing the magnitude of the match, as Balor now solely brings out the demon gimmick for big-time matches and it doesn’t get any larger than WrestleMania.

Building the anticipation even additional, Edge just lately famous to Sportsnet 590 The Fan that he has, “some fairly further silly concepts” for the match.

Last yr at WrestleMania, Edge was the betting favorite forward of his match towards AJ Styles and picked up the win because of interference from Damion Priest. This yr, Edge is the underdog and Priest is aligned with Balor, which might very properly play a job in figuring out the result of the match.

Prediction: Finn Balor def. Edge

Six-Woman Tag Team match: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch vs Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky)

More Canadian content material on this match with Toronto native Trish Stratus returning to crew up with fellow legend and Hall of Fame member Lita alongside Becky Lynch.

When it involves predicting this match, it relies on whether or not you fall on the facet of considering a nostalgic pop is extra worthy at WrestleMania weekend, versus placing over present, up-and-coming expertise.

If you fall into the latter camp, then the crew of Bayley (already one of the noteworthy names within the historical past of girls’s professional wrestling), Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky will likely be your favourites for victory.

The Damage CTRL trio have been speaking trash for the reason that summer time of 2022, and feels just like the legends shutting them up can be a worthwhile finish to this long-running feud.

Prediction: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch def. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky)

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

Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley will meet for the second time at WrestleMania this weekend. Their first encounter was in 2020 when Ripley held the NXT Championship. Flair gained that match, however a lot has modified within the three years since.

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Most notably, Ripley is among the largest stars in all of wrestling now. In 2020 her expertise and potential was evident, and has now been absolutely realized. On the power of being of the most effective skills within the locker room, Ripley ought to simply seize her first main title in WWE at WrestleMania 39.

Ripley did the job as soon as, she gained’t be doing it once more.

Prediction: Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair

Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (C) vs Asuka

Bianca Belair has held the Raw Women’s Championship for practically a full calendar yr, cementing herself as one of many high skills in WWE. However, that reign will doubtless come to an finish at WrestleMania, with Belair going up towards a reinvigorated Asuka.

Asuka, a former three-time champ, returned after a short hiatus in January and has appeared just like the dominant model of herself that followers noticed in NXT from 2015-2017, the place she was by no means defeated.

While Belair will stay one of many high stars within the firm, her championship reign is previous its best-before date, and a loss to Asuka will do nothing to hurt her within the long-run.

Prediction: Asuka def. Bianca Belair (C)

United States Championship: Austin Theory (C) vs John Cena

John Cena has returned, as soon as once more, to assist put a younger expertise excessive.

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Cena has reached the arc of his profession the place he returns round WrestleMania season to, initially, promote tickets, and second of all, to do the job for an up-and-coming wrestler.

The up-and-coming wrestler in query this yr is United States Champion Austin Theory. Love him or hate him, and there are a lot who aren’t followers of Theory, he’s undoubtedly within the long-term plans for WWE.

Cena has repeatedly reduce Theory down in promos main into ‘Mania, which is able to make a victory for Theory that rather more impactful, as he can say, “I informed you so.”

Prediction: Austin Theory (C) def. John Cena

Other Predictions…

— WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Guenther (C) def. Sheamus and Drew McIntyre

— Seth Rollins def. Logan Paul

— Dominik Mysterio def. Rey Mysterio

— Brock Lesnar def. Amos

— Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler def. Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez, Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville and Natalya & Shotzi in Women’s WrestleMania Showcase whole four-way tag crew match

— Braun Strowman & Ricochet def. The Street Profits, Alpha Academy and Viking Raiders in Men’s WrestleMania Showcase whole four-way tag crew match

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