While there is always excitement heading into WrestleMania, the second night of this weekend’s WrestleMania 39 has a little something extra. Roman Reigns’ record-breaking run as champion appears in more danger than ever before as he heads into battle against Cody Rhodes.
Reigns has held one half of his undisputed titles — the universal championship — since August 2020. He has bested some of the top superstars in the promotion, including Edge, Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Rey Msyterio, Brock Lesnar and more. He unified the universal title with the WWE championship at WrestleMania 38 when he beat Lesnar. Now, he takes on a hungry challenger in Rhodes, who enters as one of the hottest stars in all of wrestling.
There are five other matches set for the second night of the incredible spectacle in Hollywood. Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair looks to extend her title reign when she welcomes her latest challenger in Asuka. Intercontinental champion GUNTHER is set to put his title on the line — along with his lengthy title reign — when he takes on the best friends of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in a triple threat match. And Edge and Finn Balor look to end their bitter rivalry when they meet inside Hell in a Cell.
Let’s take a look at who the CBS Sports wrestling experts expect to pick up wins at Night 2 of WrestleMania 39.
WrestleMania 39 Night 2 predictions
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
There is no real choice for WWE but to put the title on Rhodes here. It’s rare to have one babyface challenger that is red-hot with the fans and positioned perfectly to become champion. WWE managed to get two men in that position with Rhodes and Sami Zayn. Understandably, WWE did not put the belts on Zayn in the final pre-WrestleMania pay-per-view, but that decision was deflating for many fans. If they now don’t pounce with Rhodes, completing the story of his return to WWE, they will alienate fans while also likely never again having a moment so “right” to take the belts off of Reigns. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins the titles — Brent Brookhouse
It’s time for WWE to pull the trigger on Reigns’ title loss. There are too many sign pointing to Rhodes’ crowning moment. Rhodes has quickly established himself as one of WWE’s top stars, has crossover interest of the AEW audience, quickly became a top merchandise-seller and is red hot with momentum. WWE passed on giving Zayn the title and there’s not much room to press forward with Reigns. You could build to a Reigns vs. Jey Uso match; however, the Thunderdome-era story requires a lot of time to retell and Reigns appearances are infrequent enough as it is. The responsible choice is to give Rhodes a memorable WrestleMania moment to send the crowd home happy. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins the titles — Shakiel Mahjouri
Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka
WWE has really dropped the ball with the introduction of Asuka’s darker side. The video package they presented on the Raw before WrestleMania was really good but too little, too late. Asuka has generally been presented more as a cartoonish villain than an unhinged killer. It’s a shame because this character could have been very refreshing as a heel champion. Pair that with the fact that Belair is a reliable champion and Rhea Ripley — who also has a dark, brooding persona — should be favored to beat Flair, and Asuka’s chances are slim. Pick: Bianca Belair to retain the title — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)
Intercontinental Championship — Gunther (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
No match sticks out as specifically booked to appeal to fans like me as much as the clash for the intercontinental championship. The match features three big men who specialize in blunt-force violence. We’ve seen the three men mix it up in tremendous singles matches and a triple threat should do well to add an extra layer of chaos to the mix. Sheamus, one of WWE’s most underappreciated talents, doesn’t seem as though he’s set for a run with the belt and McIntyre doesn’t need the strap. Gunther is having a long run as champion and that will likely continue as he closes in on the record for longest reign as intercontinental champion held by Honky Tonk Man since 1988. Pick: Gunther to retain the title — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)
Edge vs. Finn Balor (Hell in a Cell)
Edge has been great in the ring and inconsistent on the microphone since returning from a seemingly career-ending injury. Balor is no spring chicken, but he’s in top athletic shape and one of the best superstars WWE has between the ropes. Judgement Day has had a remarkable resurgence thanks to the individual performers comprising the group. Dominik Mysterio’s snot-nosed brat persona has been a surprising hit and Ripley is in rare form. Balor winning has far more upside than Edge winning, pure and simple. Besides, WWE has so many “send the fans home happy” options that having Balor, particularly in his demon form, take the fall would be unwise. Pick: Finn Balor wins — Mahjouri
Had Balor not defeated Edge in an “I Quit” match before having Rhea Ripley hit Beth Phoenix with a con-chair-to, I’d shade toward Balor getting the win here. Yes, Edge and Phoenix beat Ripley and Balor in a tag match at Elimination Chamber, but a simple tag win doesn’t feel like appropriate payback for the attack on Edge’s wife, nor all the other times Balor has violently gotten the best of Edge. Edge takes this one. Pick: Edge wins — Brookhouse
Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
It has been fun watching Omos get the best of Lesnar in their limited physical interactions. Lesnar is rarely shown as at a disadvantage. Against men like Bobby Lashley or Roman Reigns, Lesnar is usually on equal footing but not physically dominated. Of course, this all leads to a WrestleMania match where Lesnar hits some big moves and a “How did he do that?” moment of hitting Omos with an F5. Pick: Brock Lesnar wins — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya & Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville
The fact that Rousey and Baszler were given a free pass into the showcase match says it all. They are by far the most cohesive team in this makeshift match and have the most star power. Kicking off the MMA fighters’ journey to women’s tag team champions is the best use of the former UFC champion if you want to keep her away from the singles title pictures. Pick: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler win — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)