KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

Rhea Ripley won the Women's World Championship at least year's WrestleMania. Will she be able to retain it at this year's?

We are on the home stretch to the grandest, most unforgettable weekend in sports entertainment. That means it’s time for WrestleMania predictions! With this weekend marking the 40th edition of WWE’s largest yearly event, no expense has been spared to make this year’s Mania the company’s magnum opus. Night one of the two-night event takes place Saturday, April 6, and as always I have a slew of predictions for the show that will no doubt 110% happen.

A WrestleMania of XL Proportions

While every WrestleMania comes with a heightened sense of pomp and pageantry, most WWE fans agree that this year’s buildup has been one for the history books. The stakes on the road to WrestleMania XL seem higher than they’ve been in quite some time – maybe even ever. Obviously the match card itself is absolutely mammoth in scale, with seven matches taking place on night one alone. But what really sets this year’s WrestleMania apart is the direct effect that many of night one’s matches will have on night two.

The night one match that has the wrestling world on pins and needles is the main event. The final match of Saturday night will see the unlikely alliance of Cody Rhodes and Seth “Freakin” Rollins go to war in tag-team action against Universal WWE Champion Roman Reigns and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The “Rhodes” To WrestleMania

The road to this particular Mania match is controversial to say the least. Ever since Cody’s devastating loss against Reigns at last year’s WrestleMania, the American Nightmare has fought tooth and nail to get back into the title picture. After winning the men’s Royal Rumble match for the 2nd year in a row, all the pieces were falling into place for Rhodes to finally finish his story.

Those pieces were at risk of tumbling down, however, on the following episode of Friday Night SmackDown. In a baffling promo segment, it seemed that Cody decided to pass his guaranteed title match at WrestleMania to the Rock, who made his shocking return to the WWE just seconds later.

This abrupt story beat came at the bewilderment of wrestling fans around the world. For the past year WWE’s creative team had been planting seeds for the ultimate rematch between Cody and Roman. And while the Rock is a beloved WWE legend and the biggest megastar in wrestling history, his sudden and arbitrary sub-in for Rhodes left a bad taste in the mouths of fans. Not to mention it threw a wrench in many people’s WrestleMania predictions.

Thankfully WWE course-corrected once it was clear that the fans wanted Cody to finish his story. The American Nightmare selected the Tribal Chief as his Mania opponent after all, drawing the ire of Reigns and Rocky alike. Instead of entering the grandest stage of them all as opponents, Rock and Reigns now stood united against a common enemy. In their eyes Rhodes was now a threat to their family’s birthright at the top of WWE’s food chain.

Unlikely Alliance

With Rock, now dubbing himself WWE’s “final boss”, in the fold, it was clear Cody had his work cut out for him if he was going to topple the Bloodline this year. Luckily he found backup in the form of the World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

Rhodes and Rollins have their own complicated history, and I don’t believe either superstar would consider the other a friend. But the one thing that unites them is their shared exhaustion with the Bloodline’s reign of terror. For the long-term betterment of the company, Rollins and Rhodes formed an unlikely partnership that vowed to put an end to the Bloodline once and for all.

WrestleMania Predictions: The Stakes Have Never Been Higher

All this brings us to this Saturday, with Rhodes and Rollins facing off against Roman and Rock. As if this match isn’t explosive enough on paper, a stipulation has been added that will have dire consequences for the losing team. If Cody and Seth win the match, then all members of the Bloodline are banned from ringside in night two’s main event match between the American Nightmare and the Tribal Chief.

However, if Rock and Roman win, then the title match for Sunday will be contested under “Bloodline rules.” Anything goes and nothing is off limits. In recent weeks Rock has delivered horrific and bloody beatdowns to both Cody and Seth, serving as a preview for the kind of brutality to expect under Bloodline rules.

So much rides on this one match. If Cody wants to finish his story and win the championship that has always eluded his own family’s lineage, it’s a near imperative that he wins the tag match on Saturday to ensure a fair fight. But will he?

Keep in mind, this is just one match of an absurdly stacked card for night one. We haven’t even scratched the surface for how action-packed just one half of the weekend-long show will be. What are my thoughts on the main event and other matches for Saturday’s WrestleMania showcase? Let’s find out with these WrestleMania predictions.

  • Rey Mysterio and Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar and "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio

    My pick: Santos and “Dirty” Dom

    Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes aren’t the only one locked in a rematch from last year’s WrestleMania. One of the latest additions to the Mania card came this past Friday on SmackDown when WWE legend Rey Mysterio once again challenged his son to a match at the showcase of the immortals.

    Rather than last year’s singles bout between the father and son, this time they will face off in tag team action. Flanked by the high-flying luchador Dragon Lee, Mysterio will take on his rebellious son, who’s aligned with Rey’s former friend and LWO teammate Santos Escobar.

    There’s a lot of factors to consider in this match. After all, Rey already has a Mania victory over Dominik. What’s to be gained from another decisive victory here? There’s also the possibility of Dom’s friends from the Judgment Day showing up to run interference for he and Santos.

    In the end I think Dominik will live up to his “dirty” moniker by picking up a cheap underhanded win against his father and Lee. It’s gonna make things a little tense at the Mysterio family dinner table, but my point still stands.

  • Naomi, Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill vs. Asuka, Kairi Sane and Dakota Kai

    My pick: Naomi, Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill

    Jade Cargill was one of WWE’s biggest free agent signings of 2023. This investment paid dividends the second she made her dazzling in-ring debut in the 2024 women’s Royal Rumble match earlier this year. After her impressive display of strength and unmatched power in the rumble match, fans were eager to see more Jade. Their wish will come true this weekend as Jade teams with Bianca Belair and Naomi to take on Damage CTRL in six-woman tag team mayhem.

    It’s tough to picture any scenario where Jade’s team realistically loses. Bianca has a history of rising to the occasion and pulling out big wins on the WrestleMania stage, and the returning Naomi is no stranger to Mania glory herself. And with this being Jade’s first legitimate in-ring bout for WWE, it only makes sense that she be allowed time to prove why she belongs at the largest wrestling event of the year so soon into her tenure.

    Not only do I see Jade’s team picking up the victory here; I see Jade herself picking up the pinfall.



  • Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder Match For The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship

    My pick(s): Awesome Truth (Raw), and A-Town Down Under (Smackdown)

    Multi-man matches are always tough to account for, especially when ladders are involved. But twelve men vying for two different sets of tag team championships? That’s just not even fair!

    It was established on last week’s episode of SmackDown that the ladder match will only end when both the Raw and SmackDown tag team belts have been pulled down. This of course opens up the very likely possibility that two different teams will win, thereby splitting the titles for the first time in over two years.

    Ironically enough the only team I feel confident isn’t walking out with tag team gold are the current champions, Damian Priest and Finn Balor of Judgment Day. The meddlesome stable has felt a bit fractured as of late. With Rhea battling Becky Lynch and Dom being tangled up with family business, the reigning champs won’t have much of a numbers advantage to work with like they usually do in their title defenses.

    I won’t lie, my picks for this match aren’t exactly based on much in-depth analysis. I just like the team of R-Truth and Miz and would love for them to win gold together on the biggest stage in wrestling. And Austin Theory and Grayson Waller make the most sense to win the SmackDown tag belts, as that would only fuel their already obnoxious attitudes on the blue brand.

  • Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

    My pick: Jimmy Uso

    From the second Jimmy Uso turned on his brother Jey at last year’s SummerSlam, the twins facing off at WrestleMania seemed inevitable. Jimmy’s subsequent return to servitude under Roman Reigns and the Bloodline didn’t help matters either, with Jey abandoning the family altogether for greener pastures on Raw.

    But you can’t escape family, especially if you’re an Uso. After unceasing harassment and torment at the hands of his brother, Jey finally laid down the gauntlet and challenged Jimmy to a match at WrestleMania in a deeply personal version of a Bloodline civil war.

    Believe it or not, this is not the first time brothers have faced each other at Mania. Bret Hart fought his brother Owen in an all-time classic match at WrestleMania X, and Matt and Jeff Hardy squared off in a brutal contest at WrestleMania XXV.

    What’s interesting to note is that in both of those outcomes, the “bad” brother won. I foresee history repeating itself with Jimmy just barely squeaking out a win over Main Event Jey, likely involving heavy interference from the third Uso brother Solo Sikoa.

  • Gunther (C) vs. Sami Zayn - Intercontinental Championship

    My pick: Gunther

    Gunther has been completely unstoppable since winning the intercontinental championship in 2022. Countless opponents have stepped up to take it off him, and all of them have failed at the hands of the Ring General. Sami Zayn recently won the right to face Gunther after a hellacious gauntlet match on Raw.

    The story going into this match is that hardly anyone believes that Sami has what it takes to overcome Gunther. Over the course of his career, Sami has gained a reputation as the perennial underdog, always fighting up from the bottom to reach the top. While this identity has served him well through the years, it’s also played a detriment to him at times.

    Unfortunately, I can’t help but think this match will prove to be the latter for Zayn. I do think this will be the sleeper for match of the night, and I firmly believe Sami will put on a hell of a match with Gunther. That said, Gunther retains just in time to cement his two full years as champ on the following Monday Night Raw. I’m happy to be proven wrong with this one though.

  • Rhea Ripley (C) vs. Becky Lynch - Women's World Championship

    My pick: Rhea Ripley

    I had such a hard time formulating my pick for this match. Normally it’s a no-brainer for me to go with the reigning women’s champ Rhea Ripley. However, this is “The Man” Becky Lynch she’s going up against. Both of these women have impressive WrestleMania resumes, with Becky even winning in the main event of WrestleMania 35.

    My only concern with this match is where does each women go once they win? Rhea has successfully defended her championship from practically every superstar on the main roster who poses a legitimate threat. If she triumphs over Becky, who’s left as believable opposition on the Raw brand?

    On the flipside of that, if Becky wins what does she do? Does she valiantly defend her championship in open challenges week after week? Who’s there to serve as a villainous foil for her?

    My gut leans toward Rhea, but only by the thinnest of margins. I’m fans of both of these women though so I’m happy with the outcome either way, and curious to see what the plans are moving forward for both. If there’s one thing that WWE programming has made a promising turnaround with, it’s story continuity and fluid character progression. I trust they’ll come up with something intriguing for Mami after retaining.

  • Roman Reigns and The Rock vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins

    My pick: Roman Reigns and The Rock

    I know, I know. I did say at the top of this that it was almost an imperative that Cody wins this match so he can go into his title match the next night with zero shenanigans. But hear me out: wouldn’t it be all the more compelling for Cody to walk into shark-infested waters on Sunday and still win the championship?

    I have almost zero doubt that Roman and Rock will win this match, and honestly, I think that’s for the best. The Bloodline has always shown a flippant disregard for rules anyway, so why should we believe they’ll actually honor the stipulation should they lose the tag match? No, what’s best is to have the Bloodline win night one. That way we can be spared of the inevitable ref bump that always accompanies a Roman Reigns title defense, which always leads to outside interference.

    Believe it or not, I believe Bloodline rules favors Cody more than anyone, as he’ll then be able to pull out all the stops he needs to neutralize the Bloodline long enough to beat Roman on night two. Then again, I thought Cody winning was a sure thing last year too, so who knows? But I digress, don’t want to get ahead of myself for my night two predictions tomorrow!

  • How To Watch

    You can watch night one of WrestleMania Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. ET, only on Peacock!

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