5 Matches WWE Could Book For WrestleMania 39

WrestleMania 39

The build to WrestleMania 38 saw WWE claim the event to be the most stupendous WrestleMania ever, which they proceeded to shove down the throats of the WWE Universe en route to AT&T Stadium. Although they received ridicule for this over-the-top and unnecessary wording, the thirty-eighth instalment of ‘The Show of Shows’ delivered in all the right places, featuring incredible moments and a couple of genuinely must-see matches, two things that make WrestleMania what it is.

Between ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin coming out of retirement after nineteen years, Cody Rhodes returning to WWE, Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch’s epic Raw Women’s Championship outing, and the sensational performances put in by the non-wrestling talent, WrestleMania 38 was stupendous. It’s a ridiculous word to use as the main billing for such an event, but it worked in hindsight.

Looking ahead to next year, WrestleMania 39 has been officially confirmed to take place on Saturday, 1 April and Sunday, 2 April 2023, emanating from the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The seventh WrestleMania held in the state of California, ‘Mania 39 has high expectations to live up to following the positive reception of 2022’s outing of ‘The Super Bowl of Sports Entertainment’.

So, what card could we be looking at for WrestleMania 39?

Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes

Roman Reigns Paul Heyman

There’s little evidence to suggest that Roman Reigns will lose the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship before WrestleMania 39. A SummerSlam title loss would certainly make the scheduled 30 July card must-see, but having ‘The Tribal Chief’ reign as champion all the way through to next year’s ‘Mania – and thus, closing in on 1,000 days as champion – could tell a greater story overall.

Regardless of when the time comes for the former Shield man to drop his titles, the bigger question is who knocks Roman from the throne? Brock Lesnar was a top candidate and was expected to dethrone him at this year’s WrestleMania, but with his loss, he’s presumably out of the picture. WWE could build up either Bron Breakker or Gable Steveson for a potential ‘Mania showdown with ‘The Head Of The Table’, but they run the risk of hot shotting them. The Rock is also a plausible option, but his absence from this year’s festivities indicates he perhaps won’t be donning the trunks again come next April.

That leaves one quite obvious option; Cody Rhodes. The first major AEW to WWE defection, ‘The American Nightmare’ unsurprisingly returned on night one of WrestleMania 38 as Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins’ mystery opponent, defeating ‘The Visionary’ in a positively-received match. A Rhodes and Reigns collision is expected sooner rather than later, but it may be worth holding off on this for ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’.

Putting WWE’s top prize on Cody Rhodes a year after he’s been back in the company shows that Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant believes in the efforts made by Cody during his six years out of the company. There are risks attached, as is always the case with WWE vs. AEW debates, but this may be worth upsetting a few people.

Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey Becky Lynch

WWE may not be able to promote Roman Reigns vs. The Rock for WrestleMania 39, but Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey is a match they absolutely should go for come 1 and 2 April, regardless of potential championship stakes. Aside from Reigns vs. Rock, it’s the biggest match they can build WrestleMania 39 around with years of backstory behind it.

Originally pencilled in for the 2018 Survivor Series pay-per-view, prior to Becky Lynch’s facial injuries sustained by Nia Jax, Lynch vs. Rousey had high expectations. At the time, Lynch had only just transformed into ‘The Man’, whereas Ronda had just wrestled her first match the previous April at WrestleMania 34. There was a lot riding on the clash, so when WWE was forced to substitute Lynch for Charlotte Flair, there was an understandable air of disappointment that the match – one of WWE’s biggest in a while – was forced off.

That they’ve neglected to reschedule the match says a lot. They shared the ring together at WrestleMania 35, though this was a Triple Threat also involving the aforementioned Charlotte Flair. A recently-planned tag team match on the go-home Raw before ‘Mania 38 was to see Lynch and Flair battle Rousey and Bianca Belair, but this was canned, too.

Unless WWE plans this match for any other event, such as SummerSlam or, as first planned, Survivor Series, Lynch and Rousey must be one of the headline attractions for WrestleMania 39. It’s incredibly likely that ‘The Rowdy One’ departs WWE following ‘Mania 39, working a similar schedule to her initial WWE run, with this long-awaited clash serving as the most fitting finale to her second WWE run.

Gable Steveson vs. Brock Lesnar

Gable Stevenson, WrestleMania 38

WWE evidently has big plans for Gable Steveson when he eventually joins the Raw roster full-time. Making his first proper WWE appearance during WrestleMania 38, the Olympic gold medalist performed a perfect belly-to-belly suplex on Chad Gable, while also being introduced by Stephanie McMahon. It’s clear that Steveson will be a big deal in WWE, just as Kurt Angle was when he formally debuted with the company in 1999.

By WrestleMania 39, Gable will presumably be a regular fixture across the red brand, with his first WrestleMania as a professional wrestler expected to be a big deal. Kurt Angle’s first WrestleMania, for example, saw him defend both the Intercontinental and European Championships at WrestleMania 2000, despite having debuted just a matter of months before. Who WWE chooses as Gable’s opponent therefore has a lot resting on it, but, really, there’s only one choice, that being Brock Lesnar.

Lesnar’s background in amateur wrestling would make him the ideal opponent for Steveson’s first outing on ‘The Show of Shows’. He’s previously put on a series of instant classics opposite Kurt Angle, most notably headlining WrestleMania XIX for Angle’s WWE Championship, so he already has the experience of grappling with an Olympic gold medalist. Aside from this, though, the match has huge mainstream potential, a key aspect of WrestleMania promotion.

Unless WWE can convince Angle to return for one last match against Steveson, then expect ‘The Beast Incarnate’ to stand opposite the Olympian in SoFi Stadium.

The Miz vs. Logan Paul

Logan Paul Miz

Speaking of matches with mainstream potential, the return of Logan Paul at next year’s WrestleMania should be expected. WWE officials must have been seriously happy with Paul’s performance during WrestleMania Saturday, where he teamed with The Miz in a winning effort over The Mysterios. Logan was sensational throughout the match, far surpassing everyone’s expectations as he took both Rey and Dominik Mysterio to the limit.

In a shock post-match move, however, The Miz laid out the social media superstar with a Skull Crushing Finale, indicating that the story of Paul as a professional wrestler may not be over quite yet. This easily could have been done to help transition The Miz out of the program and into his next, but it seems all too suspicious for this to be the end of the road. If Logan’s up for it, then WWE would be foolish to not pursue more matches involving him. He can only get better in-ring as time goes on.

The former two-time WWE Champion has been praised tremendously for helping make Logan look as though he belonged in a WWE ring, despite all of the criticism that came WWE’s way for booking him. This was the same response to when he and John Morrison faced Damian Priest and rapper Bad Bunny at WrestleMania 38 in 2021, with Bunny having since returned to the ring as a surprise Royal Rumble entrant. The 28-year-old was regarded as one of the best celebrity wrestlers in WWE history.

WWE trusts The Miz with these sorts of matches as he always delivers. Putting celebrities in singles matches will always be a tricky situation for WWE to handle, as WrestleMania XI’s Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Lawrence Taylor bout revealed, but Logan Paul and The Miz could be the way to go. It’s too good an opportunity to pass up on.

Razor Ramon Memorial Ladder Match

Scott Hall, 1958-2022

The tragic passing of Scott ‘Razor Ramon’ Hall on 14 March left a significant gap within professional wrestling. ‘The Bad Guy’ was never really in the running for best in the world, but he was still a superlative in-ring talent and charisma machine, capable of making just about any wacky idea work. In the wake of his passing, the general consensus was largely the same with regards to how WWE could honour him; an annual memorial ladder match at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship.

There couldn’t be a more fitting way to remember the late WWE Hall of Famer. A former four-time Intercontinental Champion, Ramon contested a critically-acclaimed ladder match at WrestleMania X for the title vs. Shawn Michaels, a match that Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers voted 1994’s Match of the Year, while also being the first WWE match to be awarded the coveted five stars from the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. The match still stands up compared to today’s standards.

This would hardly be a new concept for WWE, either. They’ve held the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal since WrestleMania XXX. Dusty Rhodes has been remembered with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic in NXT, which debuted its female version in 2021. As for the ladder match part of the idea, WWE previously held a multi-man ladder match at WrestleMania for a couple of years that always went down a treat.

WWE needs only look at the response to NXT Stand And Deliver. The North American Championship five-man ladder match was received exponentially well for providing something different to WrestleMania weekend. There’s still a demand for this sort of match; with two nights to fill, it’s a must-have for WrestleMania moving forward.