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TJR WWE WrestleMania 38 (Sunday Only) Preview

wwe wrestlemania 38 2022 preview sunday

The WWE WrestleMania 38 second night spectacular takes place on Sunday, April 3rd and the TJRWrestling team is back to preview the seven match lineup.

John: The second night of WrestleMania 38 features a huge match with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar facing off against Universal Champion Roman Reigns. It’s their third WrestleMania main event together. This feud started in 2015, returned again in 2018 and now it’s back in 2022 after they have been rivals for the five months or so. I’m intrigued to see who leaves with the Universal Championship and WWE Championship as well as what happens to both titles after WrestleMania. I also think Edge vs. AJ Styles is an excellent dream match that we have never seen before, so I’m looking forward to that.

You can check out our WrestleMania 38 Saturday predictions right here.

Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Lance Augustine, Joel McIntyre, Alex Podgorski, Matthew Fowler, Marc Madison and Kelly Dishnow. Here’s Marc.

Marc: For night two, fans will be treated to a night, not unlike night one. But if two matches on this particular night are the most intriguing ones, it would be the Edge/Styles and Reigns/Lesnar match-up. These two bouts are the ones fans are most likely most looking forward to. They may be interested in other ones, but these two matches appear to be the most exciting. Although the Lynch/Belair and Flair/Rousey one’s certainly have a lot of reason to have been excited about the previous night. The show appears to be pretty balanced between the two nights’ booking.

(Note: All graphics are from WWE.)

 

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory

Lance: I think this match is an appropriate place to let everyone know that I love Pat McAfee, but I do not like this weekly commentary as much. I feel like the guy has done a great job being an ambassador for the sport and can go in the ring, but his announcing is a bit much for me. That doesn’t make me like him any less though, and all things considered, this match should be pretty solid. Theory has been good in his role as McMahon’s lackey and has been good in the ring since being called up from NXT. I have a feeling that Theory takes a loss here and continues to pay the price for it on TV coming up in the next few weeks.

Winner: Pat McAfee

Joel: Those who haven’t seen Pat wrestle, I suggest you go back and watch his matches with Adam Cole. We know Austin Theory can wrestle and I think this will be his coming out party. He’s going to have his working boots on and I think Pat will hold up his end of the bargain. Normally I would go with the wrestler Austin Theory here but he has gotten the upper hand nearly every time they’ve interacted. I think Pat wins it here after some shenanigans that may or may not involve the Best in the World.

Winner: Pat McAfee

Alex: I’ll keep this simple. Theory is Vince McMahon’s personal pet project. Vince runs the show and micromanages pretty much everything. Theory’s goal for months now has been to impress Vince as much as he can, and after so many attempts and near-misses at proving he’s worth Vince’s time and effort, there are no more chances for Theory. He needs to win here and that’s exactly what he’ll do. McAfee will do a few impressive things here and there, but ultimately, he’ll be pinned in under ten minutes.

Winner: Austin Theory

Matthew: When it was first announced that Pat McAfee would be having a match at WrestleMania, it was Vince McMahon that he was rumored to be facing. Seemingly smarter heads have prevailed however, and now it will be Theory in the match. Anyone who saw McAfee compete in NXT knows that he can hold his own in the ring. I expect Theory and McAfee to have a surprising entertaining match, with McAfee getting the win.

Winner: Pat McAfee

Marc: After Vince McMahon’s appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, he said something unexpected to Pat. He shared with Pat that he would have a match at WrestleMania. It was something Pat, a former NFL player, felt was a lifelong dream having a match at Mania. The problem was that McAfee didn’t know who his opponent would be. That is until Austin Theory showed up and informed him that Mr. McMahon was playing him and that HE is Pat’s opponent.

One thought is that Pat has no pedigree behind him but has, in fact, competed twice previously while in NXT. First, he faced Adam Cole, and the second time was part of a four-on-four battle against the Undisputed Era in a WarGames Match. But does fewer repetitions in the ring impact your performance when it counts? Not if Pat McAfee has anything to say about it. Does it look good on Theory to lose to someone who doesn’t compete regularly? It doesn’t seem to have hurt his time thus far.

Winner: Pat McAfee

Kelly: This is a really interesting match. If Theory was facing anybody else, I would pick Theory to win. Since we have McAfee in this slot against Theory, I’m going to pick McAfee to win. This would likely be his only WrestleMania match, so I would give the win to him. Theory has already been to WrestleMania so it wouldn’t be as special if he won. WrestleMania is all about making WrestleMania moments, so here will be one for Sunday night.

Winner – Pat McAfee

John: I’m intrigued by the match because I’m a big fan of Pat McAfee’s sports talk show, his commentary on Smackdown and his overall enthusiasm about things he is passionate about. I’m sure some people may not like him, but it feels like a lot of people really enjoy watching him do what he does. Theory is one of those guys that WWE hopes to build around in the future since he’s in his mid-20s like current NXT 2.0 standouts Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes. Throw in Olympic Gold Medallist Gable Steveson into the match. Those are some cornerstones to build around in the future.

I think they’ll have a pretty good match because Pat impressed me during his two NXT matches. They have had a month to get ready for this, which likely means they have practiced a lot of the match already and now they get to execute it on the bigger stage. I’m going to go with Theory to win because he’s the full-time wrestler while Pat is not, but if McAfee were to win it wouldn’t bother me at all.

Winner: Austin Theory

 

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Carmella & Zelina Vega (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler

Lance: It’s hard to keep up with the number of times that these titles have been defended because we see them so little. Carmella and Vega are a good pairing for what they need, but there is a lot of talent in this match. I don’t normally like 4-way matches, but it’s WrestleMania. As far as the winner, I think there will be back and forth moments, but ultimately, the champs retain.

Winners and STILL Women’s Tag Team Champions: Carmella & Zelina Vega

Joel: Carmella and Zelina Vega have exactly zero momentum. It is really only a two team match as I don’t see Shayna and Natalya winning either. Sasha Banks and Naomi have been on a roll since reuniting their team several weeks ago. Sasha Banks has yet to win a match at WrestleMania. I think that changes here. Rhea just lost the Tag titles. I don’t think she gets them back that quickly even though Liv Morgan does deserve her moment. It just won’t be here. Sasha and Naomi are the most over team in the match. Give them the win.

Winners/NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha & Naomi

Alex: This match just screams ‘thrown together’. There doesn’t seem to be much of a story here and it shows. And yet, there’s potential that this match could be solid enough if given at least ten minutes so that all four teams can shine. As for winners, I don’t think the champions will retain. They’re just not as exciting as a unit compared to the other three teams. Natalya and Baszler are the most skilled grapplers, but Natalya seems cursed to never have true glory in WWE despite being a talented veteran. Ripley and Morgan are popular, but I get the feeling that WWE just won’t pull the trigger on Morgan for some unknown reason.

That leaves Bank and Naomi, who are two of the most reliable women in WWE. Banks enjoys consistent top booking by virtue of being one of the Four Horsewomen, but since I predicted both Charlotte and Lynch losing, I can see Sasha mocking one or both for being the only one with gold. Plus, Naomi has been a hard worker for a long time, so I think she has earned a fleeting moment of glory at WrestleMania.

Winners and NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks & Naomi

Matthew: Kudos to WWE for getting all eight of these women on the card. Unfortunately, I doubt that this match will get much time, and may even end up being relegated to the pre-show. As for the match I expect all eight women to give it there all to make the most out of what they are given. I will go with Banks and Naomi getting the win, to give both of them some much needed momentum.

Winner: Sasha Banks & Naomi

Marc: A multi-team championship match isn’t new, but this one doesn’t feel like much energy is being put towards some of the competitors involved. Instead, fans are seeing Natalya back once again in the same spot as last year. She previously teamed with Tamina to capture the Women’s tag team championship. This time she returns with Shayna Baszler as her teammate.

It is remarkable that seven of the eight women involved have held a championship of some kind in either NXT or on Raw or SmackDown. The exception is Liv Morgan, who has yet to hold championship gold. While she has come up short in her attempts to capture the Raw Women’s Championship, the fans are clearly behind her. This could very well be the night where she captures her first title in the WWE.

If she does, who better to do that with than with Rhea Ripley by her side? This could very well be where the split between Vega and Carmella finally happens.

Winners: AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan

Kelly: It’s obvious that Carmella and Queen Zelina are losing here. The problem is, there are no real teams in the Women’s Tag Division left. Either one of the face tams should be winning here. The question is which one? Sasha and Naomi would be good to pay Naomi back for having to endure that horrible and pointless feud with Sonya Deville. Do we even know why they were feuding? Liv and Rhea would be a good pick too to right the wrong of Liv not already holding the tag team titles when the Riott Squad was set up to win them. I think this is going to help build Liv up to be the champion by the end of this year.

Winners – Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley (new champs)

John: It’s a 4-way match to get more women on the show, which is fine with me. I think they should do it elimination style because those are better. A title change seems likely with one of the babyface teams winning. Carmella & Vega have had a boring, inconsequential reign as champions. Carmella is getting married to Corey Graves a few days after WrestleMania, so good luck with that. I’m leaning towards Banks & Naomi winning even though they really didn’t team up together much before declaring themselves contenders about a month ago. I just think it makes sense to put them over as the most likable team. Ripley & Morgan are popular enough, but Ripley was already a champion with Nikki A.S.H. recently. Natalya & Baszler being in the match will make it better because they’re good, but I doubt they win. Banks & Naomi make the most sense to me.

Winners AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks & Naomi

 

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

Lance: This was thrown together on the go-home edition of Raw. Omos has to go over here and I feel like they could have picked someone else to take the fall instead of Lashley. He is a former World Champion and it feels like he is getting led into the fire here. I would like to see Lashley pick up the win, but you can’t have Omos lose a singles match this early.

Winner: Omos

Joel: Good to see Bobby Lashley back after it was believed he would need surgery and be out four months. He still might need that shoulder surgery, but it is good to have him here to put over Omos. I haven’t really been that impressed with Omos since he split from Styles. I feel like Omos gets the win here after MVP turns on Lashley. Then you can have Lashley take a few months off and come back for revenge while MVP becomes the Omos hype man. The money in Omos is to see who the first person to slam him and the first person to pin him. That should be a younger guy. Not Bobby Lashley.

Winner: Omos

Alex: This should be a straightforward win for Omos. Ever since splitting from Styles, he has benefitted from WWE’s classic ‘monster’ booking and it’s too early to stop that. Omos has manhandled opponents over and over and he should continue that positive momentum with a big win over a former world champion. Besides, it doesn’t make any sense for Lashley to win at ‘Mania. Not only is Omos bigger, but Lashley’s coming off an injury while Omos is still more or less 100% healthy. No matter what he says, Lashley will not be 100% in this match while Omos will. If Lashley wins, Omos will look like a chump for losing to someone that’s not at their best. Besides, it looks like Omos is being pushed exactly like The Great Khali was fifteen years ago, and even though his matches largely sucked, one cannot deny the drawing power of freakishly-huge superstars.

Winner: Omos

Matthew: This was a last-minute addition to the card, with the “feud” just starting on Monday. Lashley was heavily rumored to be missing this years WrestleMania due to a shoulder injury, but clearly has Wolverine like healing abilities. Lashley will now face the dominant Omos, who is proof that Vince will choose size over talent every time. Lashley is talented enough to carry Omos to a decent match here, and hopefully will be the first to defeat him.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Marc: Have you ever felt a match came together at the last minute and really doesn’t make much sense? Bobby’s return as a face in the midst of a heel run as a champion isn’t something I’m warming to. At least not yet. While we understand it would need to be someone of equally threatening stature to come after Omos, having Bobby in there with him makes sense. But what does a win do for Omos? Yes, it helps him to be considered the next threat for a title. But for it to be at the expense of the champion that didn’t technically lose the title, that doesn’t sit well with me. Of course, it could all come out in the wash, and a win via disqualification or a count-out is still a win. I think for Omos, it likely ends on this night.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Kelly: This match needs to be kept as short as possible. If Lashley still needs surgery, Omos will win. If he dodged surgery, then he will hand Omos his first loss. Lashley is legit enough to be able to pin the big guy.

Winner – Bobby Lashley

John: This will probably be the shortest match on both nights of WrestleMania. Lashley’s dealing with an injured shoulder and Omos is a big guy that barely bumps at all, so he doesn’t really have lengthy matches. I think Lashley is going to put up a fight, maybe even get a nearfall or two, but this should be a win for Omos. I think Lashley will probably do a spot where he goes shoulder first into the ring post, then Omos hits his finish to win. Lashley can sell the shoulder injury, have the surgery he needs and come back for revenge in a few months.

Winner: Omos

 

Anything Goes Match: Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn

Lance: I just finished watching the newest Jackass movie and I wish Knoxville would have just stayed there. I like Johnny a lot and think he has done some things that are cool, but I don’t know how I feel about this coming in. There are rumors that other Jackass guys may be there as well and that might make this thing just fall into total chaos. I think Zayn has done some great work finding a solid persona, but I am not sold on this match. It’s WrestleMania and I assume they have Knoxville go over in some kind of finish because this will probably be his last outing for the company.

Winner: Johnny Knoxville

Joel: I am not the least bit surprised that Sami Zayn has made this storyline somewhat entertaining. He is one of the most valuable talents on the roster. That said, I think Johnny gets the crap kicked out of him here. He’s used to it and I think this is the one celebrity involvement that will not end in a celebrity victory.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Alex: On one hand, Sami Zayn must be super happy that his bank account will receive a massive deposit after this event. On the other hand, he’s probably going to end up jobbing to Knoxville, which might as well be career suicide. Knoxville is long past his prime, and if you’ve watched any of his interviews, you’d know that he’s riddled with severe injuries. In fact, he might be the only person that has a larger collection of injuries than your average pro wrestler. And Knoxville is underprepared going into this match. To that end, I predict lots of smoke and mirrors and over-the-top nonsense to pad this match’s length out. Personally, I’d be happy to see Zayn beat the crap out of Knoxville and anyone else stupid enough to enter the ring. But that’s a pipe dream; of course Knoxville will win. He’s the one with the movie coming out, not Zayn. I just hope this is kept short and Knoxville at least tries to do something daring to make this storyline worth it.

Winner: Johnny Knoxville (unfortunately)

Matthew: I am a big Sami Zayn fan and am thrilled that he is getting a marquee matchup at WrestleMania. However, I do wish the marquee matchup was for the intercontinental championship against Ricochet and not against a “celebrity” like Knoxville. Knoxville is rumored to be bringing the entire Jackass cast with him to Mania, so I expect lots of comedy and very little wrestling. In the end Zayn will probably end up losing after a bunch of shenanigans.

Winner: Johnny Knoxville

Marc: John Canton pointed out to us in the staff email about the show that the cast of Jackass will be in attendance to the show and likely will contribute to this match. All the power to Sami Zayn, who seems to be caught into scenarios with celebrities, not unlike The Miz on Raw. Time and time again, Sami is made to look foolish while continuing to do his best to make the most of these types of matches or situations. If granted the opportunity to showcase his skillset, fans are well aware then Sami Zayn will put on a wrestling clinic.

While the Sami in NXT is a far cry from the one on Raw or SmackDown, he is still a special talent. Whether it’s given an opportunity to convey what he plans to do to someone like Johnny Knoxville or to capture a title, Zayn will put forth the maximum effort. For some reason, it doesn’t seem right for Sami to lose this match. Too many other intangibles could affect him walking away as the winner.

Winner: Johnny Knoxville

Kelly: Given the match stipulation, this will not be a one-on-one match. Knoxville’s buddies will be on hand to lend a helping hand. Zayn will make them look good, because that’s what he does. Knoxville will pick up the win here. Hopefully, Zayn can move on to something a bit more serious after this.

Winner – Johnny Knoxville

John: This should be a comedy match with Knoxville getting some help from his Jackass buddies. Everything doesn’t have to be an attempt at having the match of the night on a wrestling show. Zayn is one of my favorite wrestlers in WWE, who is very skilled in the ring, but also good at doing the comedy stuff as well. My guess is Johnny gets help from 8-10 of his Jackass buddies while Zayn gets no help since he’s kind of a loner now, so the numbers game helps Knoxville get the win. I don’t love it. It’s not the best use of a guy like Sami, but he’s capable enough to make it work and have some funny moments hopefully as well.

Winner: Johnny Knoxville

 

Raw Tag Team Championships: RK-Bro – Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Alpha Academy – Otis & Chad Gable

Lance: This match has the potential to be really good. These teams have had some time to feel each other out and have some really good matches on TV with each other. RK-Bro works because Orton seems to have found that fire again and Riddle is the perfect partner for him. The Street Profits are really talented and Otis & Gable has been getting better and better. I am a tag team mark so I am looking forward to this one. Orton and Riddle just won the the titles a few weeks ago so it’s hard to see them losing them so quickly, but this is WWE. I will say they retain here, but I don’t think they will have a long run.

Winners and STILL Raw Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro

Joel: I’m looking forward to this. If this is anywhere close to the triple threat tag on Raw a few weeks ago, this will steal the show. A year ago, people were asking when Chad Gable’s contract was up because he was so misused. Now he is one of the bright spots of Raw. All he needed was an opportunity. The Street Profits debuted on the main roster in the summer of 2019 so this is their first WrestleMania in front of a live crowd. That’s crazy to think about. RK Bro just won the titles back so I don’t see them losing them here. I think they want to milk this Riddle/Orton team for a few more months.

Winners/STILL Raw Tag Team Champions: RK Bro

Alex: This should be an exciting match. RK-Bro have really come a long way as a team and Alpha Academy are quite entertaining. Then when you throw The Street Profits into the mix, you’re in for one hell of a wild ride. Ford & Dawkins will bring their high-flying craziness into the mix, which wasn’t there when RK-Bro & Alpha Academy had their great match with Rollins & Owens a few weeks ago. If you like pure ‘what-just-happened’ chaos, this’ll be the match for you.

In terms of a winner, I predict that the champions retain, simply because they won the titles a month ago. The only way I see the titles changing hands is if the two challenging teams team up and incapacitate both Orton and Riddle, or if Riddle decides to turn on Orton in the middle of the match. but I don’t see that happening. Instead, I see RKOs galore at WrestleMania and the champions retaining after a maximum of fifteen minutes of wrestling.

Winners and STILL RAW Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

Matthew: This match has the potential to steal the night and possibly the whole weekend. RK-Bro has lasted way longer then a lot of people would have predicted, and has brought out a whole new side to Randy Orton. Alpha Academy has reinvigorated both Otis and Gable’s career, with Shorty G being a distant memory. Finally The Street Profits are two incredibly talented guys, who could both have successful singles careers in the future. The last time these teams met on Raw, it was special and possibly match of the year so far. If given enough time I expect this match to be a classic, with RK-Bro winning to retain the titles.

Winners: RK-Bro

Marc: While I hadn’t seen it, I heard RK-Bro against Alpha Academy and Rollins & Owens was an incredible match from a few weeks ago. It sounds like all six men really worked a great match with tons of action throughout. In saying that, the hope is that the same chemistry will be evident here, with the exception being that The Street Profits will add to the success of the previous six-man match-up.

Sometimes, that minor tweak can break up the chemistry and throw things off. But these six guys are true pros, so it would be safe to say that they will give it everything they have. The long-rumored on-again/off-again rumor involves the split of RK-Bro. Does it happen here? Is the best time to do it when it comes OUT OF NOWHERE?? See what I did there? I’m going out on a limb and calling for the split to happen with Alpha Academy winning and it being Riddle that turns on Randy because that is the least likely one to happen.

Winners: AND NEW Raw Tag Team Champions, Alpha Academy – Otis & Chad Gable

Kelly: The last time these three teams squared off, it was amazing. I think they will be able to replicate that magic again. All three teams are on a great run right now. RK-Bro has turned into a bit of a sleeper surprise. I don’t think many people gave them much of a chance to be as wildly popular as they are. It’s great to see Alpha Academy finally get a decent push to be taken seriously. I think Chad Gable has finally been allowed to grow and move up to that next level. I’m loving the newfound edge in the Street Profits and hope it continues. It could be an interesting dynamic to them. With three teams, you can’t really flip a coin here. I think RK-Bro will retain and continue to ride their wave of popularity up until SummerSlam.

Winners – RK-Bro (still champs)

John: RK-Bro won the Raw Tag Team Titles back in an excellent triple threat tag match in the last month with Alpha Academy and Owens/Rollins. I think The Street Profits will do just fine replacing Owens/Rollins and there should be plenty of time for these guys to put on an outstanding match. If this gets 15 minutes then they can certainly have the match of the night or one of the better matches anyway. I saw Riddle doing an interview saying they first teamed up in April 2021, so here we are a year later with RK-Bro as champions. Who would have predicted that? I figured they would have split a few months ago with Orton as the heel leading to a singles match at WrestleMania. Maybe that’s coming later in the year, but not yet. To Orton’s credit, he is thriving as a 42-year-old (happy birthday to him on April 1) that looks like he’s happy to be there as a babyface that the fans want to root for. RK-Bro is like a main event act as a team; the fans love them. It’s hard for some tag teams to reach that level of popularity, but Riddle takes a beating during matches and the crowd erupts for Orton getting the hot tag. It’s working well.

I don’t know if The Street Profits are heels now or if they were just acting a bit heelish on Raw in the build to this match. Either way, I like those guys a lot. I also think they are going to split up as a team by the end of this year. Hopefully Alpha Academy get to do a promo on their way to the ring since I enjoy the promos of Chad Gable doing the “SHOOSH” thing to silence the crowd and the “thank you” bit that he does in an annoying. Otis is doing just fine as the muscle in the group. I think a title change is possible, but I’m going with the champions retaining. It just feels right since they only won the titles back a few weeks ago.

Winners: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

 

Edge vs. AJ Styles

Lance: Both of these guys are legends and will be remembered for their contributions long after they are gone. I think this is a good way to give us a match we have been waiting while also having a fresh matchup we haven’t seen on TV yet. Edge has gotten more of an attitude as of late and is out to prove that he is better than Styles. They have styles (no pun intended) that complement each other and if given a lot of time, this one could be special. I could see the finish going either way, but I will see that Styles ends up coming out on top since Edge is more of a seasonal performer.

Winner: AJ Styles

Joel: The match I’m most looking forward to is this one right here. It’s great seeing AJ Styles back in the singles picture again and as a babyface. The crowd doesn’t want to boo Styles anyway. I think this match will come close with the Raw Tag Title match as the match of the night. With Edge recently turning heel, I don’t see a scenario where he loses here. AJ will come close but I think Edge takes it to set him up as probably the top heel on the Raw brand.

Winner: Edge

Alex: This has the potential to be the best match on the show from a pure in-ring perspective. Edge has been more than solid as of late, especially following that awesome HIAC match with Seth Rollins. Meanwhile, AJ Styles is, well, AJ Styles. He is this generation’s Shawn Michaels in terms of in-ring talent. He and Edge should have no problem putting on a classic. I’m predicting (and hoping) that they get 20-25 minutes to do whatever they want. I’m hoping to see plenty of believable near-falls, crazy high-spots, and tense exchanges. If there are two guys that can really steal the show, it’s these guys. As for a winner, I’m personally banking on Styles since he’s the babyface in this feud. Plus, assuming that this is the penultimate match and is followed by only one other match, a babyface needs to win here to counterbalance what’ll happen in the main event.

Winner: AJ Styles

Matthew: The term “Dream Match” gets misused often. This is not one of those times. Edge and AJ Styles truly is a dream match, and one that just a few years ago no one thought they would ever see. Hopefully WWE gives this match enough time to be as special as it could be. If that happens then these two could reach the 5 star level, and have a true WrestleMania classic. Picking a winner in this one is tough, as I could make a case for both guys. I will go with Edge getting the win, in hopes that he is getting pushed for one more title reign.

Winner: Edge

Marc: Whenever something is a first time ever, something special can happen. When that happens with two world-class stars who have captured championships throughout the world, the potential is magic. While any match these two have after this is less likely to hold as much weight as their first time meeting, the build has been enjoyable. The complete transformation that Edge has undergoing has been haunting. I say that in the most complimentary way.

From his presentation to his change in music to how he’s come after Styles and turned his back on the fans? It’s been a pleasure to watch. Fans have seen Styles in the role of heel antagonizing The Undertaker and his family when he was presented with that opportunity. In this matchup, his place as the face has been convincing too. With the ask that Edge wants the pitbull in AJ Styles, we’d be hard-pressed not to see him prove to the world that on this night, it is once again when he’ll be ready to fly.

Winner: AJ Styles

Kelly: Here is a dream match worthy of the grandest stage of them all. I think this will be the best men’s match for the two nights. These two should tear the house down and will exceed all expectations. I can see this going as a best of three series and be able to make each match real special and different. As for the winner, I think they are going to try for three matches out of these two so I’m gonna have to flip a coin for it.

Winner – AJ Styles

John: This is my favorite match on either night because it’s a legitimate dream match between two of my favorite wrestlers over the last 25 years. I think in terms of the story, the logical thing is for Styles to win since Edge is the one that cheap attacked him when they set up the match. Edge beat up Styles with multiple Conchairto chairshots to the head and then Edge attacked Styles during a match with a chair to the back. Styles has barely done anything to Edge, so the smart thing to do would be to have Styles get his revenge by beating Edge in a wrestling match.

There are rumors of Edge leading a heel stable after WrestleMania with Damian Priest as one of the guys in the group. They could certainly add others. I like it a lot. I think there’s an easy story to build off of this match where Edge can lose this match, so then he feels like he needs help to navigate the waters so to speak and that can lead to a stable being formed.

I think this is going to get a lot of time, which means over 20 minutes with a lot of nearfalls and near submissions for both guys. Edge had the best WWE feud of 2021 with Seth Rollins including an amazing Hell in a Cell match. Styles hasn’t had an incredible singles match for a while because he was in a tag team for a long time. I think AJ is going to be ready to remind us just how talented he is. Even though Edge is 49 years old while Styles is 45 years old, they are both more than capable putting on an outstanding match. I think they’ll do it again on Sunday at WrestleMania 38. I’m excited about it.

Winner: AJ Styles

 

Winner Take All – Championship Unification Match: Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar

Lance: Besides Austin returning, this is the other match that has been pushed to the moon. Reigns is on one of the most dominant tears in recent history and has lost very few matches since winning The Universal Title almost two years ago. That kind of reign is unheard of in modern wrestling and he is the biggest star in the business. To think that this is what we could have gotten earlier if he wasn’t shoved down our throat as a babyface. Lesnar seems to be having a blast on TV and has been doing a lot of stuff out of character for the big man. He has been smiling a lot more on TV and nearly killed Reigns and The Usos with a forklift a few weeks ago. The build to his match has been good and I am actually looking forward to seeing this one. A winner is hard to pick, but I am going to go with Reigns winning both titles. He has to lose the belt eventually, but I don’t know if it’s in this spot here. I also don’t know if Lesnar sticks around long after this show, so in that sense, this just feels like Reigns comes out on top. I would also like to add that I hope this ends the two titles era and Reigns just goes to both shows.

Winner and Undisputed Champion: Roman Reigns

Joel: The end of the latest chapter in this rivalry. Babyface Cowboy Brock Lesnar is a highlight of every show he appears on and he has appeared on a lot more than most people probably thought he would. Roman Reigns hasn’t submitted or been pinned since December of 2019. The match will be physical, and I think you might actually see some blood here. This is the anticipated match between these two that WWE has wanted for seven years. I think Roman Reigns wins the match and it ends with a stare-down with The Rock.

Winner/Unified Champion: Roman Reigns

Alex: This match is seven years in the making. Ever since WrestleMania 31, Vince McMahon has wanted Roman Reigns to stand tall as his indestructible conqueror and unquestioned top guy. And now, that is more likely to happen than ever. As great as Lesnar has been of late, I don’t see him as a long-term investment in WWE. He’s at his best when he has short feuds that lead to big payoffs at WWE’s biggest shows of the year.

Meanwhile, Reigns has been better since the fall of 2020 than he has ever been, and now he can cement himself as the true #1 top guy by beating Lesnar. I predict that this match will go between 15 and 20 minutes and will include lots of high-impact bombs and brutal power moves. Reigns will try hitting all his Spears and Superman punches like he did in their previous matches together but those won’t do anything. Lesnar will spam F-5 after F-5 after F-5, but none of them will get the three-count.

In the end, Reigns will counter an F-5 into a guillotine choke and will make Lesnar do the impossible and tap out (while having Lesnar pass out would be just as cool a visual, that would necessitate a rematch since by passing out he wouldn’t have given up officially, and this match needs a decisive finality to it). And even though he’s technically a heel, enough people will cheer Reigns as he unifies the titles and holds both belts above his head as the fireworks go off.

Winner and STILL Universal Champion/NEW WWE Champion: Roman Reigns

Matthew: Finally, we come to the Main Event. A Champion vs. Champion, Winner Takes All Match between the two biggest stars in the WWE. Roman Reigns heel run will go down as one of the best ever, with him holding the Universal Championship for over a year and a half. Lesnar on the other hand is showing the world that he can be a top baby face as well, and has more personality then anyone knew. After holding the title for 580 days, it would seem that it is time for Reigns to lose it. However, there is a certain “Great One” that I think is destined to face Roman at WrestleMania 39. Therefore, I will make a big prediction here and say that Roman will retain, and then The Rock will make a surprise appearance to stare down Reigns.

Winner: Roman Reigns

Marc: We’ve seen these two face each other time and time again. They work well together at the end of the day. So how do you change the narrative of their history with one another? First, they need to change their defined roles as heel and face. It also needed to involve a double-cross by Paul Heyman on Brock Lesnar to secure it as well. While it hasn’t been the first time Heyman has betrayed Lesnar (he did so with The Big Show at Survivor Series 2002), this time feels different.

It became important for an army was against Brock at this point. Before, he didn’t face a threat as the imposing champion. Now, however, he faces the likes of The Usos and Paul Heyman, adding to Brock being distracted. While the cheery Brock is at times still difficult to take in because he’s played a heel so well, he ultimately has to beat Reigns when he faces too many other variables.

Winner: AND NEW Unified Champion, Roman Reigns

Kelly: This match has a lot of intrigue going into it. Since it is a championship unification match, where do we go from here? The build has been good and you can tell Brock is loving every minute of it. Who knew Country Farmer Brock would be so entertaining? And in 2022 no less.

The story is built for Brock to win. Roman brought up the point on Raw that he has never beaten Brock at WrestleMania, which I find surprising. I really feel that Brock is going to win this match. Yes, Roman is on the run of his life, but he has a couple of issues. First, there’s literally been no competition for him for the last 6-8 months. Secondly, I still to this day firmly believe he should have lost to Big E at Survivor Series. It would have fit into the story perfectly. And lastly, this isn’t the 1980s and your World Champion was not being overexposed on weekly television. I think that they are building up for a Roman/Rock match next year. As much as Vince thinks, it does not need the title involved. Why? If Roman beats Brock and carries the title all the way into WrestleMania 39, everybody including the Martians know Rock will not be winning the title. If you wreck Brock now, who do you have? Drew McIntyre would be a good opponent, but I doubt he’ll go over. You’d almost have to call up Bron Breakker to beat Roman at a throwaway PLE or wait until SummerSlam. I don’t think the audience can stay invested that long. It won’t hurt Roman to chase the title for a couple of months.

Winner – Brock Lesnar (unified champ)

John: I like both guys a lot and I like this match. However, I would have done it differently in terms of the booking. You may recall that at Royal Rumble, Paul Heyman screwed over Lesnar and helped Reigns attack Lesnar, which caused Bobby Lashley to beat Lesnar to win back the WWE Title. Later that night, Lesnar won the Royal Rumble. If it was up to me, Lesnar wouldn’t have won the WWE Title back at Elimination Chamber, but obviously, WWE wanted to get the title on Brock to make it Title vs. Title match. I think the story would have been better if Lesnar was on the hunt for Reigns/Heyman as payback for them costing him the WWE Title. After all, Lesnar already won the Royal Rumble. I just think the story would be stronger if Brock was the title chaser going for revenge. Instead, they’re doing Champion vs. Champion while billing it the “biggest match in the history of WrestleMania” or whatever they’re trying to label it as.

I thought Reigns did an excellent job in his Raw promo by talking about what this match means to him. Roman has done it all in WWE, this is his sixth WrestleMania, but he has never beat Lesnar at a WrestleMania, so Roman has to prove to the world and himself that he can do that. Lesnar looks like he’s having the most fun in his career by dressing up as a cowboy (likely how he dresses on a regular basis outside the ring) and smiling more than ever. Lesnar is also telling jokes and things like that to pop the crowd. It’s fun to watch. I’m glad he can show a different side to him. It’s helped him in terms of his popularity with the crowds, who are giving him big reactions in every building.

If Reigns wins then I think we’ll see The Rock appear at the end of the night. Rock will get in Roman’s face, they might tease a handshake and when Reigns wants Rock to “acknowledge him” then Rock will hit a Rock Bottom. That would set up WrestleMania 39 for next year in Los Angeles.

I’m torn on my prediction for this match. On the one hand, it makes sense for Reigns to win as the younger guy (36 years old compared to 45 years old for Lesnar) that is going to be around longer in the future, so it’s understandable that he would win the “biggest match ever.” However, in terms of the story, Reigns has been the guy running from Lesnar and having Lesnar finally getting his hands on Reigns should lead to a Brock win…right? I don’t know. I’ve picked against Reigns a few times since this run of dominance started in August 2020. I was wrong in those predictions. This time I’m going to go with Roman although I’m a bit reluctant about it. I think Lesnar has a shot to win. I’m going with Reigns, but it’s really close in my mind.

Winner: Roman Reigns

 

BONUS TOPICS! (For WrestleMania Sunday ONLY~!)

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Lance: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.

Joel: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Alex: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Matthew: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Marc: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Kelly: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

John: Edge vs. AJ Styles with Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns very close behind.

 

The Match I Care About The Least

Lance: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos.

Joel: Zayn vs. Knoxville.

Alex: Carmella & Zelina Vega vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler.

Matthew: Carmella & Zelina Vega vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler.

Marc: Knoxville/Zayn.

Kelly: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos.

John: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos.

Longest Match

Lance: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Joel: Triple Threat Raw Tag Title match.

Alex: Edge vs. AJ Styles (~25 minutes).

Matthew: Edge vs. AJ Styles.

Marc: Raw Tag Team Championship Match.

Kelly: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.

John: Edge vs. AJ Styles around 20 minutes.

 

Shortest Match

Lance: Lashley vs. Omos.

Joel: Austin Theory vs Pat McAfee.

Alex: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos (6-8 minutes).

Matthew: Women’s Tag Team Match.

Marc: Zayn/Knoxville.

Kelly: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos if WWE is smart.

John: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos under five minutes.

 

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high):

Lance: I am going with a 7 out of 10. It’s hard not to get excited for WrestleMania, but this year just feels a little lacking. With that being said, I do think there is some potential here for some great stuff, but we will have to wait and see how it comes out. In the long run, I think Saturday’s lineup might be a little bit stronger and will be looked upon more fondly.

Joel: 7/10. I’m looking forward to Night One a little more than Night Two, but Night Two has at least three matches that could hit the four-star level. Obviously, the potential return of Cody Rhodes is what I’m most anticipating but Edge/Styles, the Raw Tag Titles, Reigns/Lesnar, Owens/Austin will all be talked about on Monday. It should be a good show.

Alex: 6.5 – There are some interesting matches between both nights, but on the whole nothing here seems truly ‘stupendous’. Most of these matches look like they belong on a random B-level show and not WrestleMania. I think Night Two will be better than Night One in terms of in-ring quality while Night One will have more surprises.

Matthew: 7 – This card feels like your typical WrestleMania card, with a little bit for everyone. There are quite a few matches that I could do without, but a lot that I am excited to see as well. In the end it is two fun nights of wrestling, so how can you not be excited.

Marc: 7.5 – There has to be enough reason to care about this event between both nights. It’ll keep people interested if the card is spread out with quality matches over two nights of the event.

Kelly: My excitement level is at a 7. For the Sunday night lineup, I think it is a tad bit stronger with several matches that could be the match of the night and maybe even the year.

John: I’ll go 7.5 out of 10. I love the WrestleMania atmosphere and I think the two night format makes it a better overall show. I think Saturday probably has the better lineup overall, but Sunday has the Edge-Styles match that I think is going to be the best of the weekend and that’s going to help Sunday’s show a lot. Plus, the anticipation for Reigns-Lesnar is strong too. I think it will be a fun couple of nights of shows.

In Closing

John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE WrestleMania 38 Sunday on TJRWrestling.net on Sunday night, so check that out live or any time after it’s over.

You can also tweet me @johnreport, Joel is @GiftedMoney, Kelly is @ciscowebwiz76, Matthew is @fowlerwrestlin1, Marc is @TheMarcMadison, Lance is @Collectiveheel and Alex is not on twitter.

If you want to send an email, send it to me at mrjohncanton@gmail.com as well. Thanks for reading.