Monday, June 17, 2024

WWE WrestleMania 40 predictions, Night 2 picks, card, 2024 matches, start time, location, date

WrestleMania 40 is setting up to be one of the biggest — and possibly best — events in WrestleMania history. It all comes to a close on Sunday night when Cody Rhodes challenges Roman Reigns for the undisputed WWE universal championship.

We won’t know the stipulation for the match between Rhodes and Reigns until the conclusion of Night 1 when Reigns teams with The Rock to take on Rhodes and world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins. If Reigns’ team wins, his match with Rhodes will be contested under “Bloodline Rules,” which means no disqualifications and likely a lot of running in from members of his family. A win by Rhodes and Rollins means The Bloodline would be banned from ringside.

After the shocking decision to have Reigns defeat Rhodes in the main event of WrestleMania 39, fans are red-hot for Rhodes to finally have his moment on the 40th anniversary of the biggest event in wrestling history.

There are two other world championship matches set for Night 2, with Rollins defending his world heavyweight championship against Drew McIntyre and WWE women’s champion Iyo Sky putting her belt on the line against Bayley. In addition, Logan Paul will defend the United States championship against Kevin Owens and Randy Orton in a triple threat match.

The CBS Sports experts got together to provide predictions for every match on the card. Let’s take a look at how they think all of Night 2’s action will go down. Predictions for Night 1 can be found here.

WrestleMania 40 Night 2 predictions

The Pride vs. The Final Testament

You can give him months of vignettes, repackages, two managers and a badass tag team and I still won’t care about Karrion Kross. Please let Bobby and the Profits put an end to this rivalry so both groups can move on to something else. Pick: The Pride win — Connor Casey (also Brent Brookhouse)

A brawl between two middling factions who weren’t booked to their potential. This one could go either way. Lashley and the Street Profits are the safe choice, not an inspired one. AOP was shelved for a long time and Kross has been rebooted repeatedly in the last two years. The stable might be a little hokey or crowded but they have great intensity as a brutal heel faction opposing any popular babyface. Rhodes will send the crowd home happy so let’s sour them a little with this match. Pick: The Final Testament win — Shakiel Mahjouri

LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

Knight is a true WWE success story graduating from undesirable to undeniable. He has cooled off since losing to Reigns at Crown Jewel but so have most superstars in the lead-up to WrestleMania’s two main events. Knight and Styles have done a great job of dialing up the intensity of their feud. They could benefit from a match stipulation this weekend or down the line. Knight should win this match in most cases. Even if they want to extend the feud beyond WrestleMania, the 41-year-old Knight has waited more than 20 years for this moment. Give it to him. Pick: LA Knight wins — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse and Casey)

United States Championship — Logan Paul (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton

Orton is a bit too big of a name to be hanging out as United States champ and Owens doesn’t really need the title. Paul having the title — and retaining here — is unfortunate just in that he isn’t an every-week player on television. Still, his name draws a bit of extra attention and taking advantage of Owens and Orton taking each other out to get another sneaky title defense under his belt makes too much sense to not be how this plays out. Pick: Logan Paul retains the title — Brookhouse (also Casey and Mahjouri)

WWE Women’s Championship — Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bayley

I feel bad for Bayley. Here she is at the end of a years-long storyline with a faction she helped create and a matchup that will finally give her a definitive WrestleMania performance. And yet it’s maybe seventh on the two-night card in terms of fan excitement. She’ll get the win and hopefully, they’ll be given enough time to make something special, but this feels like an afterthought walking into Philly. Pick: Bayley wins the title — Casey (also Mahjouri and Brookhouse)

World Heavyweight Championship — Seth Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

McIntyre deserves his WrestleMania moment almost as much as Rhodes does. McIntyre is arguably the most improved superstar of the year. He’s developed into a witty, vengeful heel with relatable gripes. He’s holding his own on the microphone with CM Punk and Rhodes, some of today’s best talkers. McIntyre won his first WWE championship in an empty venue during the pandemic-affected WrestleMania 36. McIntyre is long overdue for a proper celebration in front of his family and 60,000 fans. Pick: Drew McIntyre wins the title — Mahjouri

All credit to McIntyre for the great work he has done of late, but given I believe Rollins will be on the losing team on Night 1, it seems difficult to believe he’d eat another loss on Night 2. Also, for all of McIntyre’s good work, you know WWE has their eyes on a feud between Rollins and CM Punk for the title down the road. Depending on the full Punk timeline for return, it makes sense for Rollins to hold onto the belt here. While Punk has issues with both men, he should be more angry at McIntyre for rubbing in the injury lately, and he’ll be on commentary, right in position to tip the scales one way or the other. Pick: Seth Rollins retains the title — Brookhouse (also Casey)

Undisputed WWE universal championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

While we won’t know until Night 1 wraps on Saturday, we do believe this match will be contested under Bloodline Rules. That would stack the deck against Rhodes in a way that can only be overcome by a true babyface superstar — and that’s what Rhodes is. Add in some backup likely coming in the form of both those he’s aligned with, those who resent Reigns’ actions over the past years and maybe a few legendary superstars and suddenly the odds are evened up. Also, failing to pull the trigger on a Rhodes win here would be a horrible misstep for WWE, which has fumbled having several very over top babyfaces over the past 18 months. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins the title — Brookhouse

It all comes down to this. Cody was cheated out of the WrestleMania main event a year ago. He’s been beaten down week after week by The Rock and Roman Reigns. The Bloodline just cost him the tag team main event the night before and now he’s taking on the longest-reigning champion in decades with no rules holding him back. The odds couldn’t be stacked any higher — so now you have Cody win.

But he won’t be alone. Since Reigns has an entire posse at his disposal, let Rhodes have an “Avengers Assemble” moment and have a legion of wrestlers run out to even the odds. There are so many to choose from that have a score to settle with Reigns — Seth Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton and LA Knight just to name a few. And if they really want to get nuts, have John Cena and Steve Austin run out there too just for the obscene pop both would produce.

There’s no point in trying to push for another standard wrestling match between Cody and Roman. We had that already last year. This is the time to go all out; no idea is too crazy, no spot is too over-indulgent. It’ll feel like a car crash in the moment, but if Rhodes walks out as champion, it’ll be considered a classic. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins the title — Casey

There was a collective groan when Rhodes lost to Reigns at WrestleMania 39. Paul Levesque urged patience but it was hard to see the decision as anything other than a massive blunder. WWE almost ruined it twice by having The Rock take Rhodes’ spot this year. Fortunately, they beautifully pivoted in response to fan disapproval. WrestleMania 40’s two main events are some of the most anticipated in the event’s four-decade history. Maybe this isn’t the ceiling but it’s too big a gamble to delay it further. Rhodes must become the undisputed WWE universal champion and achieve the one thing his father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, never did. Pick: Cody Rhodes wins the title — Mahjouri

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