Thursday, April 4, 2024

WWE WrestleMania XL Preview & Predictions

We've arrived at the fortieth edition of WrestleMania, because we're old.

This weekend is WrestleMania XL, and it's nice to see WWE using the roman numerals again after a decade of Vince's fear of aging tricking his brain into thinking no one would remember what number 'Mania it was.  Anyway this will be the first WrestleMania totally free of that scumbag rapist motherfucker's creative input, so maybe it will fully live up to its on-paper potential, unlike night two of last year's show.  One thing remains constant though, WWE has no room for either Ricochet or Shinsuke Nakamura on the biggest show of the year.  Why are those two guys still there again?  I guess if they were hoping for a good paycheck for doing as little as possible, well done?

But this show looks very good, for the second year in a row.  Let's hope both nights fully deliver this time.  

Night 1

Women's World Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch

We're kicking things off with a big women's title match, as Becky requested, and this should be quite good.  Becky knows how to deliver in big-match situations and Rhea is one year removed from her career-defining performance against Charlotte Flair.  I think Rhea's title run will continue for the time being; she's one of the company's hottest stars so no real reason to change horses at the moment.

Pick: Rhea retains

Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Sami Zayn

This one I just kinda find disappointing, even though it should be an excellent match.  Since Brock was the original opponent for Gunther until it came out that he's a disgusting creep, and Bron Breakker took his exact spot in the men's Rumble, one would've thought they'd put Bron here, have him be the one to finally unseat Gunther, and they'd have a new made man.  But Bron wasn't even figured into the hunt for some reason.  I guess he could still do that later on, I just think it should've been at 'Mania.  Anyway I don't see much point in having Sami go over here; Gunther's historic reign needs to be ended by a younger guy whose career will skyrocket in beating him.

Pick: Gunther retains

WWE Tag Team Championship Ladder Match: The Judgment Day vs. #DIY vs. The Awesome Truth vs. The New Day vs. A-Town Down Under  vs. New Catch Republic

Since WWE loyalists like to ask this question every time AEW puts together a match that isn't based off a soap opera, I have to ask: wHeRe'S tHe StOrY???  Seriously, this is a spotfest for its own sake, which WWE stans hate, right?  RIGHT??  Look, I have no problem with a match like this being included, but twelve guys is way too much.  Three teams would've been sufficient.  Also, Ric and Nak aren't on the show but R-Truth is??  Christ.  No idea who wins this.  I'd say keep the belts on Finn and Damien but generally you don't put this many dudes in one clusterfuck match only to have the champs retain.  They might actually have Miz and Truth win this, for Chrissake.  Ugh.

Pick: Miz & Truth

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

This one's been building since SummerSlam, and by that I mean Jimmy nonsensically fucked over Jey in his title quest, offered some flimsy excuse for it, and the two have been on separate shows ever since, and thus not interacting all that much.  Match should be very good, but I haven't cared about anything Bloodline-related in a year.

Pick: Jey

Bianca Belair/Jade Cargill/Naomi vs. Damage CTRL

It's finally time for Jade Cargill to wrestle a real match, as opposed to a Rumble appearance.  She's in good hands, as both her partners are capable and Damage CTRL are all consummate workers.  If Jade can't look good here, she might just not have what it takes in the ring.  Team Jade is obviously winning and maybe they'll have her and Bianca win the Women's Tag belts later.

Pick: Bianca, Jade and Naomi

Rey Mysterio & Dragon Lee vs. Dominik Mysterio & Santos Escobar

For the second year in a row Rey and Dom are on opposite sides of a 'Mania match.  This thing really ran its course last year, but maybe Dragon Lee will pick up the lucha mantle in WWE.  I think the heels win here however.

Pick: Dom & Santos

The Rock & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins

What an absolute narrative clusterfuck it took to get us to this point.  Cody wins the Rumble, "gifts" his 'Mania match to The Rock for no reason, the fans revolt, Cody takes it back, Rock turns heel, Rock almost completely takes the focus in the Cody-Reigns feud, Roman kinda becomes an afterthought in his own WrestleMania program.  "Booker of the Year."  Anyway this will be a massive spectacle and will no doubt be a very entertaining Night 1 main event.  At stake is whether or not The Bloodline will be allowed at ringside for Roman vs. Cody.  Obviously the answer is yes.

Pick: Rock & Roman

Night 2

World Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew has become the most interesting guy in this company, ironic considering his contract is up right after 'Mania (I'm assuming he'll be signing a new one before he goes out there), and he wasn't even supposed to be here today!  Thanks to Fragile Phil being injured AGAIN, Drew got his spot on this card and will almost certainly, finally, win the big consolation belt in front of an actual crowd.  Match should be really good, and Punk on commentary will probably say more stupid things that his 2014 self would've made fun of him for.

Pick: Drew

WWE Women's Championship: Iyo Sky vs. Bayley

Here's the culmination of the Bayley-Damage CTRL feud, as the former leader finally gets her revenge on the woman who kicked her out of the group.  Should be another very good match and I think Bayley wins her first singles title since 2019.

Pick: Bayley

LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

Boy do I not care about this.  AJ hasn't been in peak in-ring form since before the pandemic, and LA Knight does absolutely nothing for me.  It made me laugh when AJ said in an interview he wishes more free agents would come to WWE.  Umm, why?  So they can be creatively hobbled and have forgettable midcard outings with a forgettable opponent like Knight?

Pick: Knight

US Championship: Logan Paul vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens

Orton going for the US Title just seems weird and pointless.  Why would he be interested?  The talent here is first-rate though, so the match should be quite good.  Orton has no need for this title and Owens hasn't been a hot star since losing the tag belts last year.  So Paul keeps it.

Pick: Paul retains

Philadelphia Street Fight: The Pride vs. The Final Testament

Another case of "Why are some of these guys on the show but Nakamura and Ricochet aren't?"  Karrion I'm looking in your general direction.  I guess if the 1997 Chicago Street Fight between the Nation of Domination and Ahmed Johnson & The Road Warriors is the model for this, it should be fun.  Lashley's team wins I reckon?

Pick: The Pride

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes

And finally we have the long-awaited rematch/course correction from a year ago, where Cody absolutely should have (and I suspect he was going to) ended Roman's stranglehold over the company's top title.  All the booking post-Mania last year pointed to Cody winning being the plan, from his unexplained feud with Brock to Roman's long absence, it still makes no sense for him not to have gotten the job done at 'Mania 39.  But here we are, and WWE has a chance to fix it all.  Clearly Cody's making good this time, maybe with The Rock's help, although Cody vs. Rock makes a lot of sense for SummerSlam given how they've interacted.  Seth Rollins will help keep The Bloodline at bay but I'm not sure who else runs interference.  Regardless this match will go very long, entrances will go even longer, and there will probably be a full hour between the end of the Street Fight and the start of this one.

Pick: Cody, finally

So yeah, a strong 'Mania lineup for the second consecutive year, and maybe we'll see another all-time great 'Mania card like Night 1 of last year, or hell, maybe even two of them.  I won't hold my breath but we'll see.

Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Facebook and YouTube!

No comments:

Post a Comment