SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
It is Night 2 of WrestleMania 39 in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Roman Reign’s historic championship run is in the greatest danger it has ever been as Cody Rhodes takes his shot at the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. The Demon returns to face Edge in Hell in a Cell. A beast must fall as Brock Lesnar faces Omos. The WWE Intercontinental Championship will be decided in a Triple Threat match between the three of the hardest hitting wrestlers in the WWE, Gunther, Drew McIntyre, and Sheamus, and WWE Raw Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair, must fend off a reinvigorated Asuka.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes, Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match
Story in a nutshell: The prodigal son, Cody Rhodes, returned to the WWE and won the Royal Rumble to earn a shot at the championship his father, Dusty Rhodes, never held.
Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE at WrestleMania 38 after a excursion wrestling for other companies. Cody’s goal upon his return was to win the WWE Championship that his father never won and “completing the story”. On his journey, Cody feuded with Seth Rollins resulting in Cody being injured. Cody returned from the injury at Royal Rumble winning the eponymous match. Ostensibly worried about his title reign, Roman Reigns sent Heyman to get into Cody’s head by claiming that Reigns was the son Dusty wanted and that Dusty would be ashamed of his son. Cody responded by continuing to widen the cracks that have started to form in Reigns Bloodline faction thanks to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
Prediction: This has been Cody’s story as most of the focus of the build has been driven by Cody with Paul Heyman acting as his foil. I think Cody will succeed.
Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka, WWE Raw Women’s Championship match
Story in a nutshell: After Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley chose to challenge WWE Smackdown Women’s champion Charlotte Flair, it was determined that the winner of the Elimination Chamber match, Asuka, would challenge Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s championship.
Asuka defeated Raquel Rodriguez, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Natalya, and Nikki Cross in the Elimination Chamber to win the right to challenge Bianca Belair for the WWE Raw Women’s championship. The two were recently allied (along with Alexa Bliss) against Damage CTRL. Asuka has been trying to get into Bianca’s head by showing that she could easily summon the mist by letting the fluid dribble from her mouth.
Prediction and Analysis: This has been a weird build. I think the idea is that the mist is something that Asuka produces on her own and that she is preparing so much of the toxin that she can barely contain it within her. Anyway, Bianca likely retains but I wouldn’t mind a change. I can also see some kind of angle coming out of this.
Edge vs. Finn Balor, Hell in a Cell match
Story in a nutshell: Ever since Finn Balor usurped control of Edge’s Judgment Day faction Edge has been trying to take them out HOPEFULLY ending the feud in Hell in a Cell.
Edge defeated A.J. Styles at WrestleMania 38 with the assistance of Damien Priest. Edge called their alliance the Judgment Day with the goal of helping out younger talent by getting rid of what was holding them back. Soon after they recruited Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor. However, the group determined that Edge was holding the group back and they turned on him. Edge continued feuding with them for what feels like forever, at times drawing the Mysterio family and Edge’s wife, Beth Phoenix into the mix. Finally, Edge hopes to end this in Hell in a Cell where he can unleash his inner darkness and demanding that Balor brings the Demon Balor.
Prediction and analysis: Hopefully we see Gangrel and/or Christian and get the Brood reunion I so desperately need in my life. Finn is coming out as the Demon so he can’t lose right???
Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre, WWE Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat match
Story in a nutshell: Thanks to Gunther’s interference in a match to determine the next challenger for his WWE Intercontinental Championship between Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, Gunther must now defend the title against both men in a Triple Threat match.
Sheamus wants to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship that has thus far eluded him despite having several standout matches against the champion, Gunther. Sheamus took part in a Fatal Five-way match that would determine the next challenger for Gunter’s title, but became upset when his friend, Drew McIntyre was facing him in the match accusing Drew of politicking his way into the match. The match ended in double pinfall with Drew and Sheamus as co-winners. Adam Pearce announced that the winner of a singles match between Sheamus and Drew would challenge Gunther. Gunther and his Imperium cohorts interfered in the match. As punishment, Pearce made this Triple Threat match official.
Prediction and analysis: Normally the champion retains in a multi-man match unless the idea is to take the championship off of a champion you want to protect for something else. I hope this is the case here and that Gunther drops the title letting him move on to the big title. Give Sheamus the belt.
Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
Story in a nutshell: MVP called Brock Lesnar a coward after Lesnar got disqualified in his match against Bobby Lashley and goaded Lesnar to accept a match against Omos.
Brock Lesnar lost to Bobby Lashley at Elimination Chamber by disqualification after hitting a low-blow. MVP, who may have been acting on Lashley’s behalf in the shadows, called out Lesnar as a coward. MVP then convinced Lesnar to accept a match against Omos.
Prediction and analysis: Don’t care. These two have equity built up, Omos being a monster and Lesnar being Lesnar. It feel like the WWE will be finishing up with the loser of the match. I think Lesnar is worth more to them unless he’s done with them.
Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville vs. Natalya & Shotzi, Fatal Four-way match
Story in a nutshell: They wanted to get eight more people onto the WrestleMania card.
As above only Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler has injured several of the women in this match painting a target on their backs.
Prediction and Analysis: Despite being targeted, Ronda and Shayna win on their way to face Becky Lynch and Lita for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.