For 38 years, WrestleMania was Vince McMahon’s baby. His idea for what pro wrestling could be was tied up in his vision for WrestleMania. Pro wrestling could be more than just a ring and matches—it could be a spectacle, a pop culture mega event on the same scale as the Super Bowl. It could be larger-than-life entertainment. Some years were immortal chapters in the long-running tradition. Some were flops. In recent years, “the showcase of the immortals” was formulaic at best. But WrestleMania 39 ushers in a new era, a post-Vince McMahon era. Triple H surely has already mapped out where he wants to be story-wise by then. So what are we looking at for WrestleMania 39? Here are some really early predictions.
The End of the Roman Empire
Make no mistake about it—Roman Reigns’ title run has been nothing short of historic. It’s been dominant and a true spectacle to behold. I’m convinced that had Vince remained in power, Roman would have lost the title in meaningless fashion to a played-out Money in the Bank cash-in from the not-yet-ready-for-Prime-Time player, Theory, at SummerSlam. Which would have ranked among the worst booking decisions made in wrestling history.
When Roman’s historic title run ends, it should mean something. The person who ends Roman’s reign (pun intended) of terror should be a made man moving forward, a true career-defining moment. The moment when Roman falls should be played forever in WWE video packages to truly sell the significance of this multi-year title run. And it should happen at WrestleMania 39. And it should be Cody Rhodes who does it.
What better story could there be, than the son of Dusty Rhodes leaving WWE, touring the world, launching WWE’s first major competitor since 2001, coming home, getting hurt & then one year later finally winning the big one? Finally, climbing the mountain top his father climbed but he previously couldn’t, the leader of the Samoan dynasty passing the torch to Dusty’s baby boy? You could have legends in the front row, cheering on the son of the son of a plumber, invoking the spirit of the American Dream.
Some stories just write themselves. WrestleMania 39 should be one of them.
Bad Men on the Biggest Stage
Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley are two legitimate tough men. Two MMA stars who are some of the best big men to ever grace the squared circle. A match between them should be treated as a showdown of icons. Yet, when the Vince lead regime had these two monsters collide, it was an afterthought title match with an overbooked ending. It wasn’t treated as a dream match. But at WrestleMania 39, that wrong can be made right.
Pro wrestling doesn’t have many dream matches left. Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley should be one of them. Make it happen Triple H.
The Horsewomen Explode
For years, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Bayley’s careers have been connected. Friends, enemies, fierce rivals, and more, these 4 women were the beginning of Triple H’s NXT revolution that lead to the women’s revolution on the main roster. Sure, there have been others, but these 4 started something special. It will always come back to these 4.
Which is why at WrestleMania 39, it needs to come back to the 4 of them. For Triple H’s first Mania running the show, the Horsewomen need to come full circle: a Fatal Four Way, for one of the company’s women’s titles. With Mania being a two-night show, here’s your Night 1 Main Event of WrestleMania 39. Run video packages going through their history together and build this up to be one of the biggest matches in WWE history. Which it should be.
Give Big E His Moment
Big E has everything it takes to be a long-time main event player in WWE. He should be a multi-time World Champion who headlined his share of WrestleManias. But bad booking derailed a promising main event push, and then a tragic injury threatened his career. It’s unclear when, or even if, he’ll ever return.
It seems highly unlikely that he would be medically cleared to return to the ring for WrestleMania 39. But Big E should have his moment. Whether he’s coming out to see the crowd or perhaps even making a save for the New Day and then having an emotional in-ring moment after the match, Big E deserves to be in the middle of the ring, soaking in the love of the WWE Universe on the grandest stage of them all. He deserves a powerful moment. And so do the fans.
AJ Styles Dream Match
It’s almost a Mania tradition now, to give AJ Styles a dream match of sorts. I wouldn’t get too cute with it this year though: Seth Rollins is the perfect choice for an opponent at WrestleMania 39. It sells itself really—two of the best in-ring performers from different generations. Two men who traveled the world, working in several promotions as the top guy before making it to WWE. Both looking to cement their legacies as all-time greats, now facing off on the biggest stage of them all. Easy booking that focuses on exactly how great both of these men are and then turns them loose at Mania to put on an all-time classic.
Bianca Belair vs. Ronda Rousey—While the Horsewomen are occupied duking it out over legacy, Belair can continue to build hers by facing the toughest woman WWE has to offer in another career-advancing match for the current champ.
Randy Orton vs. Riddle—It’s time for Riddle to be a main event player and while RKBro has been fun, it’s time to split them up and turn Orton back to his vicious heel self. WrestleMania 39 can be Riddle’s coming-out party, where he makes himself a top guy for years to come.
Drew McIntyre vs. Kross—Two big men who both want to be champ. Simple storytelling and this match can be treated as a showdown between huge, tough guys who will stop at nothing to be the best. The winner is looking at a future title shot.
Finally…The Rock Has Come Back to WrestleMania!
The rumors have been going strong for years that when Mania came to Hollywood, The Rock would return to challenge his cousin, Roman Reigns. While that would be a huge dream match, it doesn’t need to happen. It puts eyes on the show, yes, but it hurts long-term storylines by putting too much emphasis on someone who isn’t part of your long-term plans. You can get big-time usage out of The Rock in other ways.
Talk Batista into a dream match with The Rock: former champions turned into Hollywood leading men. They can finally do Batista’s Hall of Fame ceremony at WrestleMania 39. Want to go even bigger? Get Cena and make it Rock vs. Cena vs. Batista.
Now, that likely won’t happen for a lot of reasons, but you could try for a 6 man tag perhaps—Rock, Cena, and Batista—3 Hollywood A-Listers—against an act like Judgement Day. Add a new member to the mix & give the young faction a big rub. Odds are, you won’t get all three of Rock, Cena, and Batista in the ring so other options here include Rock teaming with Logan Paul in a headline-grabbing match, or even Rock, Edge, and Rey Mysterio teaming against Judgement Day (after Dom turns on his dad). Point is, there’s a lot you can do with Rock that doesn’t involve the World Championship.
The last few Manias have been hit or miss. They have had good matches and good moments but the long-term storytelling wasn’t there. Creative shot itself in the foot for moments. I don’t see that happening with Triple H. Could I be way off with my WrestleMania 39 predictions? I likely am and that’s ok. WWE is fun again and the Road to WrestleMania surely will be as well.