WrestleMania season is the time of year where many casuals jump back into WWE, but are completely lost about what is going on. While some start rewatching around Royal Rumble and take part in the entire Road to WrestleMania, others need more of a crash course to cram at the last minute.
Lucky for you, I’m here to give you a tl;dw (too long, didn’t watch) recap of what you need to know.
This post will be a short breakdown of all the essential information to explain why these matches are happening and how we got to this point. That way, you can be call caught up well in advance for WrestleMania 39.
Let’s get into it!
ICYMI: Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes
After years of being “crammed down the throats” of the fans as the top babyface, Roman Reigns finally turned heel a few years back, won the Universal Championship and started his Tribal Chief character. Along the way of his record-setting run, he became aligned with Paul Heyman as his wise man, The Usos and Solo Sikoa, forming The Bloodline.
Reigns beat Brock Lesnar to unify the WWE Championship last year at WrestleMania 38 to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.
Meanwhile, Cody Rhodes had left WWE several years ago, formed All Elite Wrestling, and returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38. Not too long after that, though, he suffered a torn pectoral and still wrestled inside Hell in a Cell, but was forced to take many months off.
He returned to win the 2023 Royal Rumble match and earn the right to challenge Reigns for the belt in story that revolves heavily around how Cody’s father, Dusty Rhodes, never won the championship, nor did his brother, Dustin Rhodes (aka Goldust).
Reigns is a product of Dusty’s time running NXT, so there is a “son he never had” element to this, as well, and we’re going to see two family dynasties collide.
ICYMI: SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
Simply put, Rhea Ripley was NXT women’s champion heading into WrestleMania in 2020. When Charlotte Flair won the Royal Rumble, Ripley egged her on, hoping The Queen would pick to challenge her for her title opportunity.
She did, and she beat Ripley to a humbling degree, completely killing her momentum. We were told that this would all make sense in due time. A few weeks later, at NXT’s In Your House event, Io Shirai (Iyo Sky) pinned Ripley in a Triple Threat match to win the title from Flair, who promptly went back to the main roster. Ripley spent months flailing around with no direction.
When she came up to Raw, she eventually beat Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37, only to feud with Flair once more and continue to prove she cannot beat her. WWE specifically went through hoops to have The Nightmare fail to best The Queen, who ultimately beat her for the belt again.
Fast forward two years later and now that Ripley won the 2023 Royal Rumble, she challenged Flair with the intent to prove she’s learned her lessons and is going to get her revenge.
ICYMI: Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair vs. Asuka
I’m not exaggerating when I say that to be caught up on this match, all you need is one sentence: Asuka won the Elimination Chamber match to earn this title shot.
That is it. There is no story. These two have teamed together alongside Alexa Bliss to fight Damage CTRL for months, but that isn’t being mentioned all that much, or in any detail that matters.
All they’ve done is look at each other on Raw every week since then, with Asuka drooling her mist and laughing. One post-match mini-scuffle is the most effort WWE has put into trying to give this heat, which is the absolute bare minimum.
They simply aren’t trying with this. It is painfully clear they think it just sells itself because Belair and Asuka are great, and “won’t this be a good match, guys?”
ICYMI: Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
After having spats with Bobby Lashley for over a year, Lesnar simply moved on to Omos.
TL;DW = Omos is big. Can Lesnar pick him up for a German suplex and/or an F-5? Maybe. Perhaps not.
The end. That’s the whole feud and storyline. You get more depth for this if you look at a poster of the two standing next to each other than if you watch any of the segments, like when Omos failed to get Lesnar over the top rope at first.
ICYMI: Bobby Lashley vs. Bray Wyatt….maybe?
This match has yet to be confirmed, and may even be off the card. Why? We don’t know. But that’s been par for the course with this whole situation.
Bray Wyatt randomly said he would challenge whoever won at Elimination Chamber between Lashley and Lesnar. Then, they’ve done essentially nothing else. Several episodes have gone by with nothing happening, and even when something did happen, it was quite literally Lashley saying he’d fight anyone, including Wyatt, who popped up on the screen with the muscle man dance.
Oh. And Uncle Howdy got wrecked by Lashley once. So…there’s that.
ICYMI: United States Champion Austin Theory vs. John Cena
For years, Austin Theory has been called “the next John Cena” and there have been numerous teases they’d have a match. Those rumors heated up even more with Cena’s recent returns and Theory flat out calling attention to all this.
On March 6th, things came to a head and Cena cut a promo about how Theory isn’t ready for him, but he’ll fight him at WrestleMania anyway. Theory maintains Cena’s era is in the past and it is his time now.
Considering Cena’s history with the United States Championship, which will be on the line, this should be a daunting task for the potential future franchise player.
ICYMI: Six-Woman Tag Team Match – Damage CTRL vs. Becky Lynch, Lita and Trish Stratus
Becky Lynch has been feuding with Damage CTRL since the group’s formation at SummerSlam 2022. After months of encounters, Becky and Bayley were set to have a steel cage match.
Timing for that episode ran long, so WWE decided to just have Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky attack Lynch and call the match off. A few weeks later, they followed through with having the steel cage match, wherein Lita came out to help Becky fight off Damage CTRL’s outside interference.
A few weeks after that, Trish Stratus evened the odds to help Becky and Lita beat Kai and Sky for the Women’s Tag Team Championship, setting up this three-on-three confrontation.
ICYMI: Logan Paul vs. Seth Rollins
This rivalry kicked off with the Royal Rumble. Essentially, it is your standard “one guy eliminated the other and that has caused friction” storyline. Simple, but effective.
Since then, Rollins was looking for a measure of revenge and sought out the solo match. Paul has definitively been the heel in this scenario after having his short stint as a babyface against Roman Reigns in Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, The Miz—who is hosting WrestleMania this year—has been tossed in between Rollins and Paul as a former ally of the latter. However, Paul does not have any allegiances to The Miz, so The A-Lister is very much just the punching bag for both of them.
ICYMI: Hell in a Cell Match – Edge vs. Finn Balor
At last year’s WrestleMania 38, Edge had formed The Judgment Day to feud with AJ Styles. For months, The Phenomenal One and various others feuded with The Judgment Day, with Finn Balor becoming a turncoat in the process as they booted Edge out of his own group.
An entire year has been spent with The Judgment Day on and off feuding with Edge. Most of the time, Rey Mysterio has been involved, and he is still teetering on wrestling his son Dominik Mysterio (who joined The Judgment Day several months back), but that hasn’t been made official.
Meanwhile, after all this time of fighting for a few weeks until Edge takes a few more weeks off, then repeating the cycle, with allies like Beth Phoenix and The O.C. getting involved, this should be the one true finale to cap it off. Edge wants Hell in a Cell and we are likely to see him tap into his Brood side while Balor lets the Demon King out.
ICYMI: Intercontinental Champion Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus
Imperium’s Gunther has been a dominant intercontinental champion and put on a fantastic brawl against Sheamus at Clash at the Castle. The Celtic Warrior has done basically everything imaginable in WWE so far (Royal Rumble winner, Money in the Bank, tag team, United States and world champion) but hasn’t won the Intercontinental Championship. Without that, he cannot become a Grand Slam Champion.
Meanwhile, Drew McIntyre is understandably up for getting a title shot of his own, even though this has caused significant tension with his buddy. Sheamus thinks this is a backstabbing move and that as his friend, McIntyre should just be supporting Sheamus in his bid for the title, rather than being selfish and going after it himself.
After two qualifying matches that ended in draws, it was settled that this would just be a Triple Threat match. Now, Gunther has both The Celtic Warrior and The Scottish Warrior to contend with, and the two friends will be putting their partnership aside to battle it out in what is sure to be a brutal fight.
ICYMI: Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn weaseled his way into The Bloodline as a random ally that was eventually referred to as an Honorary Uce. Despite all the trepidation, he slowly but surely won over every member of the faction, starting with Jimmy Uso, moving on to Roman Reigns and eventually, even Jey Uso, who was his biggest opposition.
However, once The Bloodline’s feud with Kevin Owens—Zayn’s former best friend and frequent enemy at different times in their careers as well—became too harsh, Zayn made the decision to turn his back on The Bloodline.
Seeing the light, Zayn is now on a mission to take them down, and although it took some convincing for a few weeks, he’s managed to get Owens to trust him and fight alongside him.
In a story that has two twin brothers with the record long tag team title reign in WWE history against two friends that are as close as brothers, there is much more on the line than just championships.
ICYMI: WrestleMania Showcase Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match (x2)
Seemingly just to get people on the card, it was announced at random that there will be two “WrestleMania Showcase” Fatal 4-Way tag team matches.
The four men’s teams were just spat out on Raw as Braun Strowman and Ricochet, Alpha Academy, The Viking Raiders and The Street Profits. The women’s teams, however, all have to qualify, for some reason.
At first, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez beat Emma and Tegan Nox. The other three teams are up in the air, but we can assume Chelsea Green and Carmella or Piper Niven can be one, Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler can be another, and the fourth is rumored to be Natalya and Shotzi.
As of yet, nothing is on the line. These aren’t officially No. 1 contender’s matches or anything.
That is your quick TL;DW recap of what you need to know going into WrestleMania 39. Which match sounds the most exciting? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
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