WWE WrestleMania 38: Predictions, preview, how to watch – The Denver Post

WrestleMania season is here.

World Wrestling Entertainment’s biggest show of the year takes place this weekend at AT&T Stadium. And for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this one will be at full capacity.

For the second straight year, the event will be broken up into two separate nights — Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s a look at the card and predictions for the show:

How to watch

Date: April 2-3
Time: Preshow at 5 p.m. MT, main card at 6 p.m. MT both nights
Location: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
TV: Peacock

Colorado connections

  • Bobby Lashley: Billed from Denver and residing in Parker, the chiseled former WWE champion will face the 7-foot-3, 400-pound Omos on Sunday.
  • Otis: A former collegiate wrestler at CSU-Pueblo, he is one half of tag team Alpha Academy with former Olympic wrestler Chad Gable. They are in a triple-threat tag team match with The Street Profits and champions RK-Bro for the WWE Raw tag team titles on Sunday.

Saturday card

Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz and Logan Paul
Tag team match

How we got here: It began a couple months ago when Rey Mysterio claimed that The Miz cheated to defeat his son in a singles match. After weeks of feuding, The Miz said he had found a “global superstar” to face the father-son duo at WrestleMania. That would be YouTube personality Logan Paul.

Why you should care: This is one of several matches involving celebrities this weekend. Paul gained notoriety as a YouTube celebrity over the years, accruing more than 23 million subscribers to his channel. He, along with his brother Jake, have been boxing miscellaneous celebrities over the years. Logan, 25, is no stranger to the WWE. At last year’s WrestleMania, he was Sami Zayn’s cornerman for his match against Kevin Owens. After the match, Owens used his finishing move, the stunner, on Paul to a huge roar from the crowd.

Who should win: The Mysterios.
This feels like it’s setting up to be one of those “the bad guys need their comeuppance” type of matches. The Mysterios should come up victorious and there should be cheers from the crowd for Paul getting hit in the face.

Who will win: The Mysterios.

Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
Singles match

How we got here: McIntyre was attacked backstage by Corbin and Madcap Moss at the Day 1 pay-per-view at the beginning of the year. Since then, the two sides have been battling back and forth. Now McIntyre and Corbin will finish it once and for all at the biggest stage.

Why you should care: They’re big and they’re skilled. It should be a fun match.

Who should win: McIntyre.
Corbin and Moss are overdue for a beatdown from McIntyre. This is where their feud ends.

Who will win: McIntyre.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. TBA
Singles match

How we got here: Rollins has been trying to secure a spot on the WrestleMania card for months but has fallen short on every attempt. This past Monday, WWE owner Vince McMahon called him in for a meeting and told him if he wanted a spot, all he had to was ask. McMahon added that his opponent will be revealed at ‘Mania.

Why you should care: Surprises are fun, like the appearance of the nWo at WrestleMania 31 or the return of The Hardy Boyz at WrestleMania 33. If online speculation is to be believed — as well as the numerous references made on the commentary on “Raw” over the past few weeks —

Who should win: If the speculation turns out to be true, then that person should win. It’s been years since he’s been in the WWE and this would be a big splash for his return. If Rollins’ opponent is someone else, it’ll be a way bigger surprise and Rollins should get the victory.

Who will win: See above.

The New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston) vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland (with Butch)
Tag team match

How we got here: The two teams began battling each other a few weeks ago. Unfortunately New Day enforcer Big E suffered a legitimate neck injury against Ridge Holland on the March 11 episode of “SmackDown.” This match felt like it was being built to a six-man tag-team match with Butch (formerly Pete Dunne) joining Sheamus and Holland.

Why you should care: The New Day is arguably one of the best tag teams of the last decade. They are fun and entertaining. The last time they were at AT&T Stadium, they came out of a giant cereal box dressed as saiyans from “Dragon Ball Z.”

Who should win: Sheamus and Holland.
I chalk this up win for the bad guys because of the numbers game. Dunne, er, Butch recently made his debut onto the “SmackDown” roster from “NXT.” He’ll play a key role in giving his teammates the win.

Who will win: Sheamus and Holland.

The Usos (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
WWE SmackDown tag team championship
Tag team match

How we got here: 

Why you should care: The Usos are a fun tag team to watch. And Boogs and Nakamura’s entrance will be amazing on a grand scale.

Who should win: The Usos.
Boogs and Nakamura are fun, but it’s hard to see the Bloodline leaving ‘Mania without the belts.

Who will win: The Usos.

Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair
WWE Raw women’s championship
Singles match

How we got here: Back at SummerSlam in August, Lynch made her surprise return to the WWE after a 15-month hiatus for the birth of her daughter. Lynch destroyed Belair in less than a minute. In the following months, she went from her fan favorite confident persona of “The Man” to the over-the-top, cocky “Big Time Becks.” Belair would win the women’s Elimination Chamber match in February to secure a rematch for the title.

Why you should care: Belair is one of the most athletically gifted wrestlers in the women’s division. Her match at WrestleMania 37 against Sasha Banks last year was probably the best on the card. Meanwhile Lynch shines brightly when the spotlight is cast upon her (see: WrestleMania 35 when she defeated Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey in the first-ever main event to feature women). This is a match between two of the company’s biggest stars.

Who should win: Belair.
It’s a story that comes full circle. Belair deserves to shine at the ‘Mania stage and exact her revenge on that travesty of a match at SummerSlam. Let’s hope this match is actually given time.

Who will win: Belair.

Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
WWE SmackDown women’s championship
Singles match

How we got here: Rousey made her return to the WWE at the Royal Rumble after a nearly three-year absence. She won the 30-woman match, which awarded her a match against the world champion of her choosing: Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair. She chose Flair.

Why you should care: Flair is consistently one of the best performers on the roster and she always ups her game at big pay-per-views. Rousey, the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, made a big splash during her first run with the WWE that culminated in a WrestleMania main event matchup against Flair and Lynch (Lynch would win). It could be a fun match.

Who should win: Rousey.
I picked this because of what I want to see moving forward past ‘Mania. Like how the Belair-Lynch feud should end after their match, so should this one. Maybe Lynch chasing Rousey to set up a proper one-on-one match between the two of them? Maybe Flair goes and chases Belair in pursuit of her umpteenth world title reign?

Who will win: Rousey.

The KO Show
Host Kevin Owens interviews “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

How we got here: Owens spent weeks disparaging the state of Texas and the retired WWE star who was born and raised there. Austin accepted the invite. Since then, Owens has mocked the “Texas Rattlesnake” at every opportunity he can find.

Why you should care: In his prime, Austin was probably the most popular active pro wrestler ever. The chance to see him in action after a 19-year hiatus against Kevin Owens — who actually uses Austin’s stunner as his finishing move — is a must for fans from the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Sunday card

Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn
Anything goes match
Singles match

How we got here: Knoxville (yes, he of “Jackass” fame) in January declared for a spot in the Royal Rumble. Zayn took offense to this, saying Knoxville did not deserve or earn a spot in the annual 30-man match. Zayn eliminated Knoxville, but it didn’t stop there as the two would antagonize one another for the following weeks. Knoxville would cost Zayn his WWE Intercontinental title to Ricochet, leading Zayn to challenge Knoxville at WrestleMania.

Why you should care: If you’re a fan of “Jackass,” this is the match for you. With the “anything goes” stipulation in place, one can only imagine what could happen in this match, from cameos of Knoxville’s cohorts to crazy, gross and hilarious stints spewed throughout.

Who should win: Knoxville.
I’m typically not a fan of celebrities beating pro wrestlers in a singles match, but this is an exception. The sheer ridiculousness that could happen in this bout lends a slight advantage to Knoxville. Plus, can you imagine the rants Zayn will have moving forward after ‘Mania?

Who will win: Zayn.
That said, Zayn winning the match would give him plenty to gloat about.

Edge vs. AJ Styles
Singles match

How we got here: Edge issued an open challenge the Feb. 21 episode of “Raw” to anyone in the locker room who wanted to face him at WrestleMania. “You fight me at WrestleMania,” he said, “and you’ll live forever.” Styles answered the call a week later. Edge accepted and then brutally assaulted him.

Why you should care: This is one of those dream matches that just a couple years ago, no one thought would ever happen. Styles is one of the best in-ring performers of his generation. Edge had retired from pro wrestling in April 2011 after years of injuries (particularly to his neck) took a toll on his body and doctors told him he may become paralyzed if he continued. He was an 11-time world champion with the company and was inducted into the hall of fame the following year. In 2020, he made a shocking return at the Royal Rumble.

Who should win: Edge.
Bad guy Edge is the best Edge. Seeing what he can do moving forward as a villain is intriguing.

Who will win: Edge.

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Singles match

How we got here: The 7-foot-3, 400-pound Omos has been effortlessly tearing through the roster. When he issued a challenge on “Raw” this past Monday, Lashley answered and knocked the big man off his feet.

Why you should care: It’s two monsters going at it. Things are going to break.

Who should win: Lashley.
It’s hard to go against the Colorado guy. Over the last two years, he’s proven himself to be more than worthy of being a main-event player in the WWE.

Who will win: Omos.
As much as we would love to see our hometown hero Lashley pick up the victory, the magic 8-ball points to Omos winning and continuing the path of destruction.

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
Singles match

How we got here: McAfee, best known as the host of “The Pat McAfee Show” and one of commentators for “SmackDown,” hosted WWE owner Vince McMahon on his show on March 3. During the interview, McMahon offered him a match at WrestleMania. The next day on “SmackDown,” Theory — the self-proclaimed protege of McMahon — announced he was going to be McAfee’s opponent. The two jawed at one another for the next month.

Why you should care: Don’t think this is just another celebrity match — McAfee is surprisingly entertaining in the ring. The former Colts punter took on Adam Cole at NXT Takeover XXX in a really fun match.

Who should win: Theory.

Who will win: Theory.

Queen Zelina and Carmella (c) vs. Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan vs. Natalya and Shayna Baszler
WWE women’s tag team championship
Fatal four-way tag team match

How we got here: These four teams were placed together in this match.

Why you should care: To be honest, this one’s a bit more difficult to figure out. All four teams are relatively new with Zelina and Carmella be the veterans having started their team in November. We’ll get Sasha Bank vs. Rhea Ripley, which is sure to be fun.

Who should win: Banks and Naomi.
In terms of star power, these two are the biggest names (along with Ripley) in the match. Putting the belts on them would hopefully help create a foundation for the women’s tag team division, which is arguably the weakest and most neglected in the company.

Who will win: Banks and Naomi.

RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) (c) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis)
WWE Raw tag team championship
Triple threat tag team match

How we got here: These three teams have been feuding with one another over the course of the past few months. Alpha Academy beat RK-Bro for the titles back in January, holding onto it for two months before losing them back early in March.

Why you should care: This has been one of the more entertaining feuds leading into WrestleMania and has been a breakout run for Gable, who has been able to show off his goofy persona and his in-ring prowess. RK-Bro is probably the hottest thing going on “Raw” for most of the last year. And The Street Profits are dynamite, especially Montez Ford’s high-flying skills. This could be a show-stealer.

Who should win: RK-Bro.
The juxtaposition of Orton’s serious demeanor and Riddle’s laid-back persona has been fun to watch over the past year. Keeping the titles on them

Who will win: RK-Bro.

Brock Lesnar (WWE champion) vs. Roman Reigns (Universal champion)
Winner takes all match to unify WWE and Universal titles
Singles match

How we got here: After losing the WWE championship to Lashley at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Lesnar came in as the No. 30 entrant in the men’s rumble match and cleaned house to earn a world title shot at WrestleMania. He chose Reigns the next night on “Raw.” Then he regained his WWE championship at Elimination Chamber.

Why you should care: Yeah, this is the third time these two have met in the main event at WrestleMania. But the twist is this doesn’t feel forced down our throats like the previous encounters. Plus Lesnar’s the good guy this time with his cheery cowboy persona while Reigns (who was heavily jeered the last two times despite being the supposedly good guy) is in full-on heel mode. Plus these two have solid chemistry in the ring — it’ll be a banger for sure.

Who should win: Reigns.
There can only be one, so let it be the Tribal Chief, who finally beats Lesnar at WrestleMania after losing at WM31 (Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and stole the victory) and WM 34 (Lesnar pinned him).

Who will win: Reigns.

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