KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

KC in the Afternoon

Will The American Nightmare Cody Rhodes "finish the story" at WrestleMania XL in Philadelphia?

It’s like Christmas eve for wrestling nerds; WWE WrestleMania is just one sleep away! Yesterday I exposited my picks for night one of the showcase of the immortals, and now I’m back for night two. If I may borrow a line from a soon to be hall of famer: these are not predictions. These are SPOILERS.

Finish The Story

All eyes are on night two’s main event match between the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes and the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. In one of the most hyped WrestleMania rematches of all time, Rhodes will fight to avenge his loss to Reigns at last year’s event, and finally finish his story by claiming the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

I’ve already gone into great detail about the messy circumstances surrounding this match, so I won’t linger on it. Suffice to say, though, this main event will be one for the ages.

The Time For Talk Is Over

Reigns/Rhodes won’t be the only world championship match on night two’s card. World Heavyweight Champion Seth “Freakin” Rollins will also put his title on the line against longtime rival Drew McIntyre. With Rollins pulling double duty this weekend in a tag team match on night one, who knows what shape he’ll be come night two. To make matters worse for the two opponents, their mutual enemy CM Punk will be sitting ringside as guest commentator during their match. What role will Punk play, if any, in the outcome of this heated contest?

Bayley: From Damaged To Destroyer

One match that I hope gets a ton of time on night two is the WWE Women’s Championship match between Iyo Sky and her former friend Bayley. Tensions between the Bayley and the rest of her Damage CTRL teammates had been simmering for months, with the Role Model feeling alienated by Iyo and the group’s newest additions Asuka and Kairi Sane. The friction soon combusted when Bayley won the 2024 women’s Royal Rumble.

As it turned out, Bayley’s suspicions were correct. The group of women she came to trust were secretly plotting against her, even going as far as to openly insult her in Japanese. Little did they know that Bayley also spoke the language, which she revealed on SmackDown before choosing Iyo as her WrestleMania opponent. With the mask completely slipped off, the group did not hesitate to turn on their former leader, with the champion leading the coup. Can Bayley knock the Genius of the Sky off her pedestal Sunday night?

Prediction Perfection

I have a feeling that the results of WrestleMania night two will have major, long-lasting ramifications for WWE. With the future of the entire wrestling landscape hanging in the balance, the pressure is on me now more than ever to make my picks 100% perfect. Technically I already achieved prediction perfection at WWE’s last big show, Elimination Chamber. Though that victory feels hollow since the show only featured four matches whose results were completely telegraphed.

Rest assured though, if I correctly pick every single match winner for WrestleMania weekend, I’m never shutting up about it. Here are my predictions for WWE WrestleMania night two!

  • The Pride vs. The Final Testament - Six-Man Tag Team Philadelphia Street Fight

    Winner: The Final Testament

    Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits have been at war with Karrion Kross and the Authors of Pain for months, with both teams exchanging vicious salvos week after week on SmackDown. And Sunday night in Philadelphia, all gloves are off in what’s sure to be a hard-hitting street fight between the two stables.

    I’ve been a huge Lashley fan since I started watching wrestling in 2006, and I’ll always root for his success. But when it comes to achieving a perfect WrestleMania prediction streak, I have to vote with my head and not my heart. Street fight rules seem to favor the much larger and more imposing Final Testament. While Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins have been known to pull out big moves from their arsenal, I don’t think it’ll be enough to neutralize Akam and Rezar.

    I believe the final result here will come down to which team leader can formulate the best game plan. Karrion’s mastery of mind games could very well be what lead to The Pride’s downfall.

  • LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

    My pick: LA Knight

    My pick here may surprise some people. After all, AJ Styles is a multi-time WWE champion who has stood toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names in the industry.

    Despite his overall success in WWE, Styles’ WrestleMania record isn’t much to write home about. Styles has only won three of his seven prior Mania matches, with one of them being against a non-wrestler and another being a tag team match in which his partner Omos did a bulk of the work.

    Granted, LA Knight’s only WrestleMania credential to his name so far was a losing effort in last year’s Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Knight’s popularity has skyrocketed since then, with his natural charisma and boisterous personality winning the hearts of WWE fans around the world.

    I think Styles may be underestimating Knight heading into their confrontation in Philadelphia, which very well may cost him dearly. Do I think the Megastar is picking up his first WrestleMania victory this weekend? YEAH! 

  • Logan Paul (C) Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton - United States Championship Triple Threat Match

    My pick: Logan Paul

    In a match that sounds like it was cobbled together in WWE 2k24’s MyGM mode, Logan Paul will put his United States championship on the line against Kevin Owens and The Viper Randy Orton.

    Originally my gut wanted to go with Orton picking up the win after a couple of perfectly-timed RKOs. But once I thought about it, the more Logan retaining made sense. While Owens and Orton are certainly united in their hatred for the cocky influencer, triple threats are ultimately about every man for himself. I certainly expect the two to gang up on Logan for much of the match, only to turn their sights on each other once they think he’s out of the equation.

    This will allow Logan time to recoup and sneak away with a quick roll up for the upset victory. As cool as it would be to see Orton or KO win the title, I think this loss will free both of them up for a future championship program with a certain main event winner later in the night.

  • Iyo Sky (C) vs. Bayley - WWE Women's Championship

    My pick: Bayley

    Ever since being betrayed by her former friends in Damage CTRL, Bayley has been on a warpath against women’s champion Iyo Sky. For awhile it seemed like the numbers game would be her downfall come WrestleMania weekend, but it looks like the Role Model may have some aid coming her way after all.

    For weeks SmackDown superstar Naomi has tried to convince Bianca Belair to help Bayley even the odds against Damage Ctrl. After some initial hesitation, it looks like Belair is finally on their side. And with the new WWE recruit Jade Cargill in the mix, Bayley just might be able to even the odds long enough for her to defeat Iyo once and for all.

  • Seth Rollins (C) vs. Drew McIntyre - World Heavyweight Championship

    My pick: Drew McIntyre

    I applaud Seth’s desire to help Cody Rhodes free WWE from the vise grip of the Bloodline on night one. But as I remarked earlier, this could be the cause for his demise in his title defense against Drew McIntyre.

    McIntyre is an imposing force and a tall task to beat even with his opponents at 100%. Rollins has shown a great amount of resilience throughout his title reign, but the human body can only take so much punishment. While I think CM Punk’s presence at the commentary table could provide a distraction for McIntyre, I don’t believe it’ll throw the challenger off his game enough to lose to an already battle-scarred Rollins. Drew wins.

  • Roman Reigns (C) vs. Cody Rhodes - Undisputed WWE Universal Championship

    My pick: Cody Rhodes

    Earlier this year I made the prediction that Cody Rhodes would finally finish his story on the grandest stage of them all. While the journey to this particular match definitely wasn’t what anybody expected, I’M. NOT. FLINCHING.

    Last year’s main event was just deflating to watch as a fan. It seemed like a sure thing – the prodigal son of a late great wrestling legend returning to the company that once squandered him, and winning the prize that eluded his family for decades. You could feel it in the air, the people were ready to cheer Rhodes to victory…and then he lost.

    For what it’s worth, the only reason Cody lost was due to the Bloodline running interference for Roman. Cody didn’t account for the numbers advantage that has befallen many a challenger before him, and it cost him dearly. Now a year later, Rhodes has learned from this error and recruited help from Seth Rollins and Main Event Jey Uso.

    There’s even been rumors circulating of big names like John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin making surprise returns to help Cody put down the Bloodline for good. That remains to be seen, but I think it’s safe to say that Cody and Roman won’t be the only two wrestlers out there fighting for the future of WWE.

    Last year’s WrestleMania main event was such a crushing blow to many fans, but it could all be worth it if Cody pulls it off at WrestleMania XL.  This is the make-or-break match for the entire show. Regardless of how good all the preceding matches may be, the age old adage of wrestling is “people only remember the ending.” Whether the match is contested under standard or Bloodline rules, Cody HAS to win. Of course I thought that last year too…

    Nah, this is it. The story gets finished Sunday night at WrestleMania! Adrenaline is absolutely in my soul!

  • How To Watch

    You can watch night two of WWE WrestleMania Sunday, April 7 at 7 p.m. ET, only on Peacock!

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