WWE WRESTLEMANIA PRIMER – NIGHT 1: Machado’s preview with predictions for Reigns & Rock vs. Cody & Seth, Ripley vs. Lynch, Gunther vs. Sami, Tag Team Title Ladder Match, more

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


WrestleMania XL will be spread across two nights on April 6 and April 7, 2024. It will emanate from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. The following is a preview of the first night with predictions…


Night 1

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

Story in a nutshell: If Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins win this match, the Bloodline will be barred from ringside when Cody faces Roman Reigns on Night 2, but if the Bloodline wins, their match will be held under “Bloodline rules”.

After Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble which granted him a title shot at a champion of his choice at WrestleMania, it was his intent to challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship so that Cody could “finish the story” (win the title Cody’s father Dusty Rhodes never did). A returning Rock, however, talked Cody out of challenging Roman and instead pushed Cody to choose to face Seth Rollins so Rock could face Reigns instead.

Thanks to a fan revolt, Cody chose Reigns in the end which angered the Rock who formally joined Roman Reigns’s Bloodline faction. Cody called out the Rock and challenged him to a match. The Rock rejected the offer but countered with a tag team match between Cody and Seth Rollins as his partner against Reigns and himself. To sweeten the deal, Rock promised that if Cody wins the match, the Bloodline members would be barred from interfering. On the other hand, if Cody loses, the championship match would be fought under “Bloodline rules” (basically anything goes). Cody and Seth accepted.

Prediction and analysis: With the stipulations in play, it would make sense for Seth and Cody to lose, thereby giving Cody an even bigger obstacle to deal with on Night 2. However, the Rock taking a loss here can lead to the eventual falling out between him and Reigns. Personally, I hope Cody’s team wins so we can get a clean match between Reigns and Cody.

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch, Women’s World Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Becky Lynch won the Elimination Chamber match to become the challenger for Rhea Ripley’s Women’s World Championship.

After the winner of the women’s Royal Rumble, Bayley, chose to challenge Iyo Sky for the WWE Women’s Championship, it was determined that Rhea Ripley’s challenger for her Women’s World Championship would be the winner of the Elimination Chamber. Becky and Rhea have had several chance encounters backstage over the weeks and Rhea knew that she’d have to defend her title against Becky at some point, going so far as to encourage Becky to win the Elimination Chamber match so that their match can happen at WrestleMania. Becky did indeed win the match.

Prediction and analysis: Becky has been approaching this match with a bit of desperation, almost like she “needs” to the win the title. I think WrestleMania is more of a starting point for a program between these two, so I’ve got Rhea retaining.

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Story in a nutshell: As much as Jey Uso wants to leave behind the Bloodline, his brother, Jimmy Uso won’t let Jey get away without Jey paying a price.

Jey and Jimmy Uso split from the Bloodline thanks to their frustrations over Roman Reigns’s machinations leading to a match between the Usos and Reigns and Solo Sikoa. Jey won. This earned Jey a title match against Reigns with the “head of the table” leadership of the family also at stake. Jimmy turned on Jey, costing Jey the match. Jimmy claimed it was because he didn’t want to see Jey become corrupted by power the way Reigns had. Jey attacked Jimmy and quit the WWE. Cody Rhodes used his experience in management to get Jey hired on to Raw, away from the Bloodline who were on Smackdown. Jey’s peace did not last very long as soon he was beset by Jimmy and Solo over the course of several weeks. Fed up, Jey challenged Jimmy to a match at WrestleMania.

Prediction and analysis: This match will probably be a showcase to show what is in store for Cody if he loses the stipulation match on Night 1, so I expect Jey to lose thanks to Bloodline shenanigans.

Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn, WWE Intercontinental Championship match

Story in a nutshell: Sami Zayn won a gauntlet match to become the contender for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship, a challenge Gunther does not seem to be taking seriously.

Gunther has been a dominant Intercontinental Champion, having defeated many challengers. Several of the challengers that had come close to beating him, as well as several new threats, were angling to get a shot at Gunther at WrestleMania. It was decided that the winner of a gauntlet match would get the title shot at WrestleMania. Sami Zayn won the match which failed to impress Gunther who blew off Zayn’s threat to him. Chad Gable, who was also the gauntlet match agreed with Gunther’s assessment that Zayn was not ready to take on Gunther. A Zayn loss to Bronson Reed proved Gable’s point that the neurotic Zayn had let doubts get into his head. Zayn begrudgingly saw Gable’s point and accepted his help in getting sorted out.

Prediction and analysis: This is Philly and Zayn is in the role of Rocky. While not my choice, I think Zayn wins to free up Gunther to go after one of the big belts.

Finn Balor & Damien Priest (c) vs. Johnny Gargano & Tomaso Ciampa vs. Miz & R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Six-Pack Team Ladder match

Story in a nutshell: They needed a way to split the tag team titles.

A while back, the Usos defeated RK-Bro to unify the Raw and Smackdown tag team titles into the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship. After changing hands a few times, the titles ended up in the hands of Finn Balor and Damien Priest. It was determined that the titles would be defended in a Six-pack Tag Team Ladder match. Both the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Title belts will be suspended above the ring and the team that retrieves the belts will become the champion for that brand. Both sets of titles need to be retrieved so it is possible that they get split off into their own brands once again.

Prediction and analysis: I think Finn and Priest retain the Raw titles while Pete Dunn and Tyler Bate take the Smackdown titles.

Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill & Naomi vs. Dakota Kai & Asuka & Kairi Sane

Story in a nutshell: Bianca Belair gets new backup in her never-ending feud with Damage CTRL, the recently returned Naomi, and recently signed Jade Cargill.

Soon after her return to the WWE, Naomi ran afoul of Damage CTRL. Naomi felt bad for what Damage CTRL did to their former leader Bayley which upset Bianca Belair who had been feuding with the group for a long time. Belair faced Dakota Kai in a match Belair won. After the match, the rest of Damage CTRL attacked Belair and Naomi, but Jade Cargill, who officially signed with Smackdown that day, came out to make the save.

Prediction and analysis: I expect Jade Cargill to destroy poor Kairi Sane with one move.

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

Story in a nutshell: In the continuing feud of the L.W.O. and Legado del Phantasma, Rey Mysterio teams up with the son he wishes he had, Dragon Lee, against Santos Escobar and Rey’s actual son, Dominick Mysterio.

Santos Escobar, disillusioned with his hero, Rey Mysterio, turned on Rey when Escobar “accidentally” helped Logan Paul win the WWE United States Championship from Rey. This got Escobar excommunicated from the L.W.O. Escobar injured Rey, taking him out of action for months, and reformed a new version of Legado del Phantasma. L.W.O. and Legado feuded for a while until Rey made his return. Escobar countered by enlisting the help of Rey’s estranged son, Dominick Mysterio.

Prediction and analysis: Dominick has been going out on a ledge when it comes to his faction-mates in the Judgment Day. He’s been getting cocky which is rubbing Judgment Day the wrong way. A loss here can exacerbate the issues within the faction.


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