WWE is firmly on the Road to WrestleMania, the biggest show of the year and the grandest spectacle in live entertainment as a whole. Vince McMahon’s money-spinning wrestling promotion has enjoyed a stellar 12 months, and the company’s year will culminate on April 1st and 2nd at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Roman Reigns heads into the event as the company’s top star. Oddschecker, which compares combat sports odds and free offers, had made the reigning Undisputed WWE Universal Champion odds on favorite for his recent title defense against Sami Zayn, and he duly delivered.
What’s next for the Tribal Chief is the American Nightmare, Cody Rhodes. The challenger to the champion’s reign returned to WWE at last year’s WrestleMania, receiving a thunderous ovation as he was announced as Seth Rollins’ surprise opponent. The returning Rhodes got the win, and he would defeat the Former Architecht of the Shield a further two times throughout 2022.
The last of those victories came inside Hell in a Cell when Rhodes had suffered a legitimate pectoral tear shortly prior to the match. The former AEW star garnered the respect of everybody when he still competed in the match. Not only did he compete, he gave the WWE their first five-star match in over a decade.
Following that third and final victory against Rollins, Rhodes was forced to sit out of action for six months while he recovered from his injury. He would return to win the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble, punching his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania and putting him on a collision course with Roman Reigns.
With a stacked card spread across two nights, there are plenty of interesting talking points ahead of the Showcase of the Immortals. Here are our two predictions of what we could see transpire in four weeks’ time at WrestleMania.
Roman’s Reign Continues
Since returning in 2020, Roman Reigns has run roughshod throughout the WWE. He arrived late at August’s SummerSlam pay-per-view to dethrone Bray Wyatt as the Universal Champion, and it’s a title he has held ever since. His reign currently stands at over 900 days, and he unified his Universal title with Brock Lesnar’s WWE Championship at last year’s Wrestlemania. He has kept hold of that title for almost one year, but many think that Cody could be the man to tear the Tribal Chief down.
The Head of the Table has not been defeated since December 2019, and no one has even looked like beating him. He has defended his championship against a murderer’s row of opponents and has always come out on top. Throughout his reign, he has faced Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Goldberg, Daniel Bryan, Edge, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Rey Mysterio, and even YouTube sensation Logan Paul, and he has been victorious every time. We can’t see his reign ending just yet.
WWE likes to make history, and Roman Reigns is breaking records left, right, and center. Reigns’ current championship reign is the fifth longest in company history. If he can manage to hang on to the title for another year, he will be catapulted up to third in the all-time standings. He is also the company’s biggest star and has been for some time. This year will be his seventh WrestleMania main event. One more will tie him with the iconic Hulk Hogan for the most number of Mania main events of all time.
While Cody Rhodes is an extremely talented wrestler and perhaps the biggest babyface in the company, there can be no denying WWE’s borderline fetish for Roman Reigns. It would be a huge surprise to see him drop the titles, despite what the betting odds may say. But in the world of WWE, “never say never” forever rings true.
The Bloodline Stands Tall
One major factor of Roman Reigns’ three-year-long reign of terror has been his formation of the Bloodline faction, alongside his three real-life cousins Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa, as well as a resident wise man and perennial bad guy Paul Heyman. Throughout 2022, Sami Zayn integrated into the faction, looking to regain the respect of the locker room following his supposed comedic match against Jackass star Jonny Knoxville at WrestleMania 38.
Zayn aided the Usos firstly and then Reigns himself to a number of victories, which would culminate at November’s Survivor Series event. There, the Montreal native finally proved himself to the Bloodline when he hit long-time frenemy Kevin Owens with a low blow, allowing Jey Uso to pick up the victory. For the two months that followed, all was well on the Island of Relevancy.
However, Owens challenged for Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble, and that caused an irreparable divide between Zayn and the other members. At the culmination of the champion’s victory over his challenger, Zayn struck Reigns before he had the chance to hit first, nailing the Tribal Chief with a steel chair shot, much to the delight of everyone in attendance.
The following month, Zayn’s attempted to usurp Reigns as champion but was ultimately unsuccessful. The match still had plenty of drama. The aforementioned Jey Uso looked as though he was going to turn on his cousin and side with Zayn prior to being inadvertently taken out by the challenger. Many feel that this has sown the seeds for an Undisputed Tag Team Championship match between the reigning champion Usos against Zayn and Owens.
The match is not yet confirmed, and WWE still has a long way to go in terms of planning the story. Zayn and Owens are still not on good terms following the former’s low blow on the latter back in November. We are still unsure of where Jey Uso’s allegiances lie, and we may not know the answer to that until the night of WrestleMania itself.
But in the end, Jey Uso will choose family, and he and his brothers will somehow find a way to retain their championships. They will then ensure that older cousin Roman does exactly the same against Cody Rhodes, and WrestleMania 39 will end with the Bloodline standing tall once again. That’s how we see it.