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WRESTLEMANIA 40 - Night 1 and Night 2 picks

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The 40th anniversary of WrestleMania.....and nary a McMahon to be found.

With that said, it's pick time for me.

Night 1 (WrestleMania Saturday):

WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Match Stipulations - The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes and World HW Champion Seth "Freakin' " Rollins vs. "The Final Boss" The Rock and WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns: It's being billed as the biggest tag team match in WM history. I'd take exception to that (WM1 main event was far more consequential). If Rollins and Rhodes win, Bloodline is barred from ringside; a victory for the People's Champion and Undisputed Universal Champ means "Bloodline Rules", as in NO DQ....and Lord knows what else.

If WWE is finally going to pull the trigger and snatch that belt off the Tribal Chief, Rhodes needs a bigger mountain to climb. On paper, I'd go with Rock and Roman Reigns getting the win. This "main event" is supposed to have Reigns tie Hulk Hogan for the most WM main events, with his Universal Championship match giving him the all-time record alone. But, I have two UPSET SPECIALS!! One involves the American Nightmare and the Visionary getting the win (I'll even go with Rollins pinning the Rock).

Women's World Championship - Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch: Boy, they've been building this for months. But, it got super personal quickly. Although having Nia Jax rag-doll the two of them has taken a bit of shine off them. I think they wanted to have a Ripley-Flair rematch. But, Lynch pinch-hitting is a great fit. I think the company wants' more "Mami"; so I'll give the Eradicator the win

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship - Ladder Match - Judgment Day (Priest & Balor [c]) vs. New Day (Woods & Kingston) vs. Awesome Truth (Miz and R-Truth) vs. "A-Town Down Under" (Waller & Theory) vs. New Catch Republic (Dunne & Bate) vs. DIY (Ciampa & Gargano): A tag ladder match with 6 teams, totaling 12 men. This is too clumsy and too crowded. UPSET SPECIAL!!!! Judgment Day will get the RAW belts and another team will get the Smackdown belts.

WWE Intercontinental Championship - Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn: To me, this should have been Chad Gable. I'd rather see someone get some singles gold for the first time. Zayn being IC champion again means squat at this point. Yes, I'm finally over my RAW boycott, as I didn't want Gunther to break Honky Tonk Man's record. But, somebody else needs to take that belt from "the Ring General". Gunther wins.

Jimmy Uso vs. Jey Uso: It seems every 15 years, WM gets a legit brother vs. brother match. First, it was the Harts (Bret & Owen); then came the Hardys (Matt & Jeff); now comes the Usos. For the first time, it's a set of twins set to beat each other up. Jimmy has been the punching bag and glorified jobber for way too long. And, since the previous brother matchup has had the heel go over (Owen and Matt at WMs 10 and 25, respectively), I'll reluctantly go with "Big Bruh".....a whopping 9 minutes older than his twin.

Damage Control (Dakota Kai, Kari Sane, and Asuka) vs. Bianca Belair, Naomi, and Jade Cargill: Cargill must be injured or something. Why hyper her debut to the moon, only to have her be in a six-woman tag? I know part of that is to build the "dream match" between her and Belair. But, they can team up later. I also thought Asuka blew her knee out a few weeks ago. Anyway, Cargill can't debut with an "L", so she and her buddies beat DC, especially since their belts aren't at stake.

Andrade & Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar and "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio: Dragon Lee got kayfabe injured. Therefore, Mr. Charlotte Flair makes his WWE return. However, I see a loss here for Rey and Andrade. Dominik got his @$$ whipped....literally last year; so he's due for payback.

Night 2 (WrestleMania Sunday):

WWE Undisputed Universal Championship - Roman Reigns (c) vs "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes: I've heard rumors about Reigns going on "hiatus". But, this is a weird one. My UPSET SPECIAL (if Rhodes and Rollins win on Saturday) is Reigns will retain and the reason for that is based on...........

WWE World Heavyweight Championship - Seth "Freakin' " Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre: This is a mercy pick. After four years of McIntyre being mired in the mid-card, and not winning any title since the pandemic days, I think WWE is finally going to let the Scottish Warrior have his big ceremony (and get the stigma of being the "ThunderDome Champion" off him. I suspect (assuming my night 1 pick was accurate in that tag match, the Rock will cost Rollins the title. And he will shock everyone (UPSET SPECIAL) by turning on Rhodes and helping Reigns retain. After all, technically the Visionary isn't part of the Bloodline.

WWE United States Championship (Triple Threat Match) - Logan Paul (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens: Owens and Orton have been too nice to each other. Neither one really needs to be US champion. So I suspect Paul with slither out with his belt, probably after Orton nails Owens and Paul picks the bones.

WWE Women's Championship - Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bayley: Now, THIS is a beef with roots, since Summerslam 2022. This is almost like the female version of Evolution when Batista eventually defected. Most were waiting for Bayley to turn on Iyo. But, I like the way they flipped it and and Iyo turn (after adding Kari Sane and Asuka). It would be nice to have Iyo win clean, since she seems like such a weak champion. But, since this is really Ripley's division anyway, why not let Bayley win the medium-sized one?

LA Knight vs. AJ Styles: AJ Styles hasn't been relevant since the "Boneyard Match" four years ago. The only thing he's done since then is introduce Omos. LA Knight has blurred a bit; but a 'Mania win over someone with Styles' resume can get him back heated again. Plus, he needs to face a heel champion and that should be McIntyre.

"Philadelphia Street Fight" - The Final Testament (Karrion Kross and the Authors of Pain) vs. "The Almighty" Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits. The Almighty has looked anything but that, as he keeps getting jumped and beat up by Kross and crew. But, for what it's worth, I think Lashley and the Profits beat these boys. Plus, we may get a catfight or two between Scarlett (aka Satanic Sable) and B-Fab.

A young lady named Coco Jones sings the national anthem. Triple H welcomes us to a new era. And right off the bat, the women's world title, with a holographic book citing her passage from her best-seller. Lynch looks like part Santa's helper and part dominatrix.

"Honey, I shrunk Marilyn Mason!!" Whoever this live band is singing Ripley to the ring looks weird. And the lead singer's mike keep cutting in and out. Reports are that Ripley has a bad wrist and Lynch has had strep-throat with fevers exceeding 100 degrees. And, as cold as it is, these two didn't get Ember Moon's memo, complaining about the "fishnet booty butt cheek shorts".

Ripley keeps flinging Lynch around the ring, but the Man keep finding counters. A suplex got countered into a small package. Lynch got the armbar, but Ripley hits a power bomb. Lynch won't let go, so power bomb #2. The arm is still locked. So, a third Powerbomb gets a near fall. Now comes some boob chops, and Ripley introduced herself to the post. Lynch goes for a legdrop and hits it but the champion counters into some submission called the "Prism Trap".

Lynch hits a superplex, followed with an armbar. They both flip over the top, only for Lynch to get dropped via Electric chair. This gets followed up by a frog splash.

Lynch rolls Ripley up for a near pin; Ripley kicks out and goes for the Riptide. But, that gets countered into the "Man-Handle Slam". but no three count. A bunch of counters after Lynch tries for an armbar. Ripley hits the Riptide but gets an close two-count, to the champion's shock. Now, comes a super-plex attempt. Lynch went for a super man-handle slam. But, Ripley escapes, hits Lynch with a Riptide with Lynch's head hitting the turnbuckle, followed by a regular Riptide, and the 1-2-3.

Now comes the tag title match. It looks as if my pick may come true, as the blue belts are on one cable and the red ones are on the other. so, it looks as if these titles are being split. Otherwise, they would have had one blue belt and one red belt on the same perch.

What the heck is this weird purple predator mask that Damian Priest is wearing? So, the rules apparently are the match ends with all four belts get taken down. So I guess, once that happens, whoever has the red belts are the RAW tag champions and the possessor of the blue ones are Smackdown tag champs.

Bate has Balor in an airplane spin, while Balor has a ladder in his hand, which just bonked Kingston right in the bean.

New Catch Republic moonsault and land on everyone. They climb the ladders to get the blue belts. Bate jumps off to stop Priest. But, Priest sets him up for the Razor's Edge and throws him into Dunne.

Miz stops Priest who fails at a skull-crushing finale and ultimately gets double-team when Balor returns. Now for comedy relief!! R-Truth hits the apron and grabs the tag rope, reaching for Miz. While the ref keeps telling him he doesn't need to tag into the match, Priest and Balor look utterly befuddled and throw Miz towards a ladder.

 But, Miz hops off the ladder, rolls between Judgment day and actually TAGS R-Truth, to a standing ovation. After he hits the splits, causing Priest to hurdle himself over the top rope, Truth's mimicking of John Cena, shoulder blocks and all, on Balor begins. Truth hits an Attitude adjustment on a ladder on Balor; but boy genius actually goes for a pin. While he slaps the mat and the crowd counts, the Miz reminds him there are no pitfalls. So they hit Priest with a double-team skull-crushing finale.

More silliness!! Since R-Truth thinks DIY is DX, he has Gargano hit Priest with "Sweet Chin Music", followed by Ciampa drilling Seņor MITB with a pedigree. Then, Truth cuts a deal. He tells DIY to get the red belts while he and Miz get the blue belts. But Waller and Theory spoil the party.

They grab the blue belts and are announced as the new Smackdown champions.

New Day knock Theory off the ladder, as he went for the Raw belts. Then they double-powerbomb Waller (with blue belt in tow) into a ladder outside the ring. And to the delight of the fans, New Catch Republic set up table. New Day almost wins the Raw titles, until Kingston jumps backward onto the field. Theory stops Woods on the other side. Dunne stops Theory but he gets DDTed into an outside table for his trouble by Gargano. And Champa splatters Bate and himself from the top of the big ladder to the mat. R-Truth is all alone, looking for the gold. But JD Mcdonough stops him and helps Balor. Yet, Kingston arrives with a chair and tenderized Balor's back. New Day then dumps McDonough onto an outside table.

Priest kicks Woods in the face and give Kingston the Razor's Edge onto a chair. Priest goes for the Raw belts (and apparently the lady ref kept swiping his foot to remind him he's not supposed to win). Miz climbs to stop Priest but gets chokeslammed. Priest needs a new ladder as the previous one nearly buckled. R-Truth actually gives him a ladder only to be kicked away for his trouble. Truth has had enough, pushes Priest off the ladder, gives him an AA over the top rope.

Mr. "What's UP!!" then climbs the ladder. Balor and Priest try to stop him. But Miz grabs a leg of each guy. Truth grabs the red belts and Awesome Truth are new Raw tag champions!!! Talk about a Zack Ryder moment circa 2016!!

Andrade and Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio. Basically, lots of flips. With the LWO and Legado De Fantasmo in their respective corners, we get more fighting, ending with Joaquin Wilde launching himself from the second rope to the outside on Angel and Umberto. Then, when Dominik goes for a char, two HUGE masks guys grab that chair and Dom and chuck the ungrateful sun into the ring. A 6-1-9 on both opponents from Rey, followed by a splash on Escobar for the win. The masked men turned out to be Philadelphia Eagles O-linemen, Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce.

Now, it's the twins battling each other. Lil' Wayne escorts Jey to the ring, after performing a song. Jimmy follows up but gets hit with a splash before the bell rings. Jimmy is still in his ring gear. But, finally he hits a Samoan drop and lots of punches. Jimmy misses a splash and gets super kicked by his twin. Now, they're exchanging punches. But, instead of the usual "YAAAY!!" "BOO!! chants when the face and heel deliver punches respectively, It's "YEET!" when Jey connects and "NO YEET!!" when Jimmy delivers the blow.

Now each is hitting the other with the exact same moves in the exact same order. Super kicking each other, with Jey egging Jimmy. But, Jey is gradually winning the superkick battle. Now, comes a leaping superkick and Jimmy is crawling and begging for mercy. And of course, Jimmy pulled the snake move with a kick and a splash but gets no three count. Jimmy goes for the kill but gets speared. An Uso splash later and "little brother" gets the W.

Ladies' six woman tag match. Great entrances from both teams. But, Naomi and Belair did the lion's share of the work. Of course, it all got saved for Jade Cargill to end the match in style. A miscue has Asuka spew the mist in Kari Sane's eyes. Each woman hits her finish with Cargill hitting the glam slam on Sane for the win.

Naomi has the most wins in women's history in WWE and Belair, the female Phenom is now 4-0. Conversely, Asuka is winless.

Next up, IC title match!!

Sami Zayn's wife and kids are hyping him up, along with Kevin Owens. Meanwhile, Gunther shows up, but he goes it alone leaving Ludvig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci behind him. Gunther beats him repeatedly, chop and chop and powerbomb after powerbomb. But, Zayn kicks out. Gunther hits three splashes but instead of pinning Zayn, he goads Zayn's wife. Zayn hulks up and refuses to stay down. After a 4th splash attempt, Zayn hit a brain-buster on Gunther on the top turnbuckle. Three Helluva kicks later, Zayn flops on Gunther and the reign is over....666 days. An evil omen?

Main event (night one, at least). Cody Rhodes gives his weight belt to his father-in-law and Rollins looks like a giant peacock!!

Rock has a video game entrance and a flaming bull. He carries a "People's Championship" belt (given to him by Muhammad Ali's widow). Roman Reigns comes out with the Wiseman, and he looks SWOLE, with rippling abs, much better than he did last year.

And starting the match....the world champ and the Universal champ. Reigns hits a shoulder-block. Rollins hits the ropes, leapfrogs Reigns, and kicks him in the stomach. Now, the Rock enters the ring with the world champion. After two shoves and some jawing, Rhodes tagged himself in the ring to face the Great One.

Now, the match has broken down and Reigns and Rhodes are clobbering each other up the ramp; meanwhile, Rock and Rollins are beating up each other, spitting Prime in each other faces in front of Rock's mother. Rock tells the ref that he's fired if he counts them out. He swears at him but the censors didn't catch it.

While Rock wiggles and writhes in pain and distracted the ref, Rollins gets chop-blocked by Reigns and now, it's injured knee time for the world champion. And now Rock slams Rollins' knee into the post.  Reigns tags and gets into the action with a Boston crab.

Rollins clotheslines Reigns over the top ropes. But, when Rollins goes on offense, Rock flings him into the steps. Back in the ring, ten clotheslines and Roman Reigns goes for the kill. But he misses the Superman punch and gets a neck breaker. Rock tags in and deliberately kicks Rollins in the nuts. The ref can't do anything but apologize to Rhodes. Rollins manages to pull off a ghetto blaster to the back of Rock. Reigns gets the tag and gets thrown out the ring. But, he yanked Rhodes off the apron. Sharpshooter on Rollins, but Rhodes slaps Rock in the face. Rollins gets a curb stomp on Rock and the tag is made. Rhodes nails a powerslam, a disaster kick, and a Cody-cutter.

Reigns hits a superman punch after a second Cody-cutter attempt but no three count. Reigns, as usual, does the tribal scream but misses and nearly gets pinned. Then Rhodes hits a Cody-Cutter from the top rope, Rollins tags and hits a splash for a near fall. A curb stomp and Cross-rhodes. But Rock pulls out the ref. Reigns hits Rhodes in the nuts and spears him. Rock throws the ref in the ring but no three count.

Reigns lock the guillotine with Rock holding Rhodes' legs. Rollins hits a curb stomp on Reigns. Rock has the "Mama Rhodes" belt and talks to Rhodes' mom. Now, Rhodes is getting fired up....only to get a spine buster. And the setup goes for the "People's Elbow". But, Cody-Cutter drops the people's champion. Cross-Rhodes? NOPE!! Superman punch from Reigns breaks it up. Roman charges up and finally delivers a THE ROCK!!!

Pedigrees on the Bloodline but no pinfall. Rollins splashes Reigns from the top. Rock tries a Rock bottom on the Spanish table but Rollins grabs a leg. Rhodes drill Rock through the announce table. But Reigns spears Rollins through the barricade.  Cody tries to crawl in the ring but gets a drive-by kick from Reigns. Rhodes rallies with two Cross-rhodes, but when a third attempt is made, the weight belt to the back end the rally. The Universal Champion hits the spear, tags his cousin, who hit a Rock Bottom and the people's elbow for the PIN and the WIN!!

Bloodline rules for the Universal Championship match tomorrow night!!


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