The WWE Championship picture heading into WrestleMania is a bit cloudy at best. January was a weird month for the WWE Title as far as rumors go.
Brock Lesnar won the WWE Championship at the Day 1 Premium Live Event and lost it to Bobby Lashley three weeks later at the Royal Rumble Premium Live Event. Lesnar lost because of interference from Roman Reigns following a referee bump. Now Bobby Lashley defends that WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber on February 19th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Could Riddle, Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Austin Theory, or Seth Rollins emerge as WWE Champion? It’s possible. There are plenty of rumors of what WWE might do, but we have seen many times over the years that a plan that’s in place in January or February gets changed in March. Last year WWE was set to do Roman Reigns vs. Edge at WrestleMania, but then they decided to add Daniel Bryan. There are plenty of other examples in the past as well. I’ve narrowed down five likely scenarios for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 38.
#5: SETH FREAKIN ROLLINS VS. KEVIN OWENS
They’ve been teasing something with these two for months now. Since before Day 1, Seth Rollins and a newly heel Kevin Owens have forged this unlikely partnership while both were competing for the WWE Championship. Neither man came out of Day 1 with the gold, but the partnership continues. We’ve seen how these partnerships usually end for both Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins. From Ambrose/Moxley to Reigns for Seth. From Sami Zayn to Chris Jericho to Kofi Kingston for Kevin Owens. This could be a path for the two for WrestleMania.
They faced eachother two years ago at WrestleMania 36, but Kevin Owens was the babyface while Seth Rollins was the heel. Seth has been getting good babyface reactions as of late so I think the roles could be reversed this time around. I think these two will meet at WrestleMania again regardless of the Elimination Chamber outcome. I do think it’s possible that the WWE Championship could be on the line this time around.
#4: RIDDLE VS. RANDY ORTON
Another match that I think happens at WrestleMania regardless is Riddle vs. Randy Orton. This match has been in the making since the Summer of 2021. With Riddle in the Elimination Chamber, this could add to the rumored match at the Show of Shows. Riddle could easily win the Elimination Chamber, which would make Randy Orton jealous because we all know that’s all he really cares about. Randy Orton turns on Riddle and the match is on. I
think this match could easily steal the show and make Riddle an instant star in the process. Whether it turns out to be for the WWE Title remains to be seen. This has been one of the better long-term stories that WWE has told in years. RK-Bro has been a highlight of the show pretty much every week since June of 2020. We all know that Randy Orton doesn’t stay babyface for very long so it’s only a matter of time before he inevitably turns heel on Riddle to kickstart their rivalry.
#3: BOBBY LASHLEY VS. SETH “FREAKIN” ROLLINS VS. AJ STYLES
Another possibility is a fresh triple threat match between AJ Styles, Seth Freakin Rollins, and Bobby Lashley. Two of these three were all involved in the Day 1 match and these three are booked in triple threat matches leading into WrestleMania. That is usually a good indicator of the direction they’re going in for the show. I would assume AJ Styles is still in the babyface role but they’ve been on and off with the babyface teases for Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins lately so he could easily slide in there as well.
I would prefer Bobby Lashley not to lose the WWE Championship three weeks after winning it so this would actually be my preferred title match. However, I’m not booking the shows.
#2: AJ STYLES VS. EDGE
AJ Styles and Edge have been rumored for a showdown ever since Edge returned to WWE back at the Royal Rumble in 2020. So far, it hasn’t happened yet but I feel like it’s closer now than ever before. They’re both currently babyfaces although WWE has shown they are happy to have two faces face off at a show like WrestleMania. If this is to happen then obviously AJ Styles would need to win the Elimination Chamber and become WWE Champion. That could be tough, but stranger things have happened.
I think AJ Styles vs. Edge at WrestleMania is the plan no matter what. I just think there is a possibility that the WWE Championship is on the line in the process. AJ Styles has been one of the guys Edge said he wanted to get in the ring with when he came back. This will probably be the show-stealer regardless of what night it’s on.
#1: WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPION ROMAN REIGNS VS. WWE CHAMPION BROCK LESNAR
This is probably my least favorite option, but one I think is very likely. I have a hard time believing they would put Brock Lesnar in the Elimination Chamber just to lose. They’ve done many teases over the last month that Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania will be Title for Title. I doubt they unify the Titles, but they may do a situation similar to Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania 35 where Becky won both belts before eventually losing the Smackdown Women’s Title first and then having a long run with the Raw Women’s Title. I feel a similar situation could present itself here. I don’t see them unifying the titles.
I see Brock Lesnar likely coming out of the Chamber with the WWE Title because otherwise it makes no sense to put him in the Chamber in the first place. Having him lose twice in three weeks in WWE Title matches would weaken his credibility going into his match with Roman Reigns. It’s not my first choice, but it’s a route I think they will go in.
We will know for sure after the Elimination Chamber show on February 19 where the WWE Title picture will be heading into WrestleMania 38. WrestleMania isn’t until April 2nd/3rd so it’s okay not knowing on February 9th. There are five interesting possibilities and who knows what direction they will go in. I like the Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns match at WrestleMania. I feel that is a proper place to end this chapter of the story. I just don’t believe the WWE Championship is needed to make this story better. You already have the Universal Championship. Go with that.
Thanks for reading. Check out my TJRWrestling writing archive here. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments.