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As has been recent tradition, WrestleMania 39 will be spread across two nights on April 1 and April 2, 2023. It will emanate from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, part of the Greater Los Angeles area. Night 1 opens with a test for Austin Theory as he puts his WWE United States Championship on the line against John Cena in an attempt to solidify his stature in the WWE. Then, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Rey Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, Seth Rollins, and Becky Lynch all seek retribution for past wrongs in their respective matches. Also… a four-way tag team match.
(This is the lineup as of 3/30/2023 so things may change.)
Jey & Jimmy Uso (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, former friends who have been fighting against the Bloodline, reunite to challenge Jey and Jimmy Uso for their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, in what they hope will be the first blow in bringing down the group.
Sami Zayn joined the Bloodline, eventually being welcomed in by most of its members including a recalcitrant Jey Uso after Sami took out his former best friend, Kevin Owens, at Survivor Series. At Royal Rumble, Roman Reigns successfully defended his championship against Kevin Owens but decided to make an example of Owens after the match by brutally attacking him. Sami had seen too much and tried to convince Reigns to stop the assault but Reigns tested Sami’s loyalty instead. Sami turned on the Bloodline. Jey, conflicted, left the Bloodline‘s side. Sami and Owens continued fighting the Bloodline separately, mostly unsuccessful in their individual endeavors. Sami tried to get Owens to work together but Owens didn’t trust Sami at first. Jey returned and sided with his family over Sami. Owens eventually agreed to team up with Sami (thanks to some prodding by Cody Rhodes) and challenged the Usos for their titles at WrestleMania. Jey agreed on behalf of the team claiming that it would let the Bloodline end both Sami and Owens once and for all.
Prediction and analysis: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn win, either as the first shot in the downfall of the Bloodline, or to add more intrigue to Cody and Reigns’s match on night two by showing that the Bloodline is weakened.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Story in a nutshell: Thanks to their nefarious influence, Dominik turned on his father, Rey Mysterio, and joined the Judgment Day and ever since has been bedeviling his father in the hopes Rey would lash out and give Dominick a match where Dominick can usurp the Mysterio legacy.
After Edge got kicked out of Judgment Day, a group he created, Rey Mysterio teamed with his friend to try to take them down. Finn Balor, Damien Priest, and especially Rhea Ripley began a campaign to manipulate Dominik against his father. They eventually succeeded when Dominick felt that his father had more affinity for his friend Edge, than for his own son. Dominick took out Edge and his father and struck up a relationship with Ripley and the rest of Judgment Day. Rey, who does not want to fight his son, was transferred to Smackdown to get him away from the Raw based group. Dominick continued to pester his father every chance he got. It wasn’t until Dominick disrespected his mother that Rey finally snapped and hit Dominick, granting him a match at WrestleMania. Dominik then claimed that he wants to defeat his father to claim the Mysterio legacy.
Prediction and analysis: I think Dominick may pull this one off by preying on Rey’s sympathy. The end to this feud should ultimately be a match for Rey’s mask.
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Rhea Ripley won the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble match and chose to challenge WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair, in the hopes to avenge her WrestleMania 36 loss against Flair.
Charlotte Flair shocked WWE fans when she chose to challenge Rhea Ripley for the NXT Women’s Championship after Flair won the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble match. Flair defeated Ripley in the match, forcing Ripley to rebuild herself. Ripley journey led her to win the 2023 women’s Royal Rumble match and afterword chose to challenge Flair for Flair’s WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Prediction and analysis: This seem like the culmination of Rhea Ripley’s story, so I think she wins this one.
Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Story in a nutshell: Logan Paul has been harassing Seth Rollins since Logan returned at the Royal Rumble, going so far as to take out Rollins at the Elimination Chamber, prompting this match.
Logan Paul returned at 2023’s Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant and eliminated Seth Rollins. Rollins was upset with Logan’s involvement with the WWE seeing him as a poser and tourist. Logan struck back by costing Rollins his shot at winning the WWE United States Title at Elimination Chamber. The two crossed paths a few more times with Logan getting the better of Rollins by knocking Rollins out with lucky punches, continuing to sell the idea that all Logan needs is to land one lucky punch to win a match.
Prediction and analysis: I figure Rollins will win this one unless they plan on dragging this story out.
Austin Theory vs. John Cena – WWE United States Championship Match
Story in a nutshell: Austin Theory has been calling out John Cena through social media and in interviews wanting to challenge Cena to a match at WrestleMania which Cena eventually agreed to.
An Austin Theory/John Cena confrontation had been teased through various forms of media. When Cena appeared on Raw in Boston where Theory confronted him, Theory’s idea being that he would take the torch from Cena. Cena initially declined, addressing all of Theory’s perceived (some would say real) shortcomings, stating that Theory wasn’t ready. Theory accused Cena of disappointing his fans, and backed into a corner, forcing Cena to leave it up to the fans. The fans decided in favor of a match, so Cena accepted.
Prediction and analysis: Theory wins but the real question is will he win over fans who doubt him. I Cena is someone who doubts him and just goes through the motions, I think it bodes poorly for Theory in the immediate future.
Becky Lynch & Trish Stratus & Lita vs. Bayley & Dakota Kai vs. Iyo Sky
Story in a nutshell: Becky Lynch’s feud with Bayley and her group, Damage CTRL that began back in SummerSlam 2022 has had Becky ally herself with the WWE Hall of Famers Trish Status and Lita for this next installment of the feud.
Back at SummerSlam 2022, Bayley returned from injury and brought with her Dakota Kai and Io Shirai (now Iyo Sky), and together confronted Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch. Later Damage CTRL, as Bayley’s group would be called, attacked and injured Becky Lynch. (This served to write off Lynch from TV as she was legitimately injured at SummerSlam). Becky returned and continued her feud with Damage CTRL but despite some wins, Damage CTRL kept coming after her. During a cage match between Bayley and Lynch, Lita returned to help even the score by preventing Sky and Kai from interfering in the match. Lynch and Lita challenged for and won the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship from Sky and Kai when Trish Stratus returned to prevent Bayley from interfering. Then this match was set.
Prediction and analysis: I think this is the end of Damage CTRL. Becky has been saying that Becky has been an albatross around Kai and Sky’s career who has seen several setbacks since allying with Bayley. I’d keep my eye on Trish however since she left Becky off of her “Mount Rushmore” of women wrestlers while including Bayley.
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford vs. Chad Gable & Otis vs. Erik & Ivar – Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match
Story in a nutshell: They wanted to get eight more people onto the WWE WrestleMania card
As above. Only real thing of note is that Chad Gable and Otis’s relationship is being tested as Otis considers a life of modeling.
Prediction and analysis: The winners most likely will be the next challengers for the Tag Team Championship so I think the Street Profits, Dawkins and Ford, or the Viking Raider, Erik and Ivar (my pick), win.
CATCH-UP: VIDEO: PWTORCH FIRESIDE CHAT – WrestleMania 39 preview, predictions, more
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