Predicting the Winners and Losers on Road to WWE WrestleMania 39February 7, 2023
Predicting the Winners and Losers on Road to WWE WrestleMania 39
The Road to WrestleMania is underway in WWE, and as always, there will be a number of Superstars who can be considered winners of wrestling's hottest period of the year and others who are not so lucky.
Who are the men and women who will emerge as true winners and why? And which competitors will struggle through a disappointing 'Mania season?
Find out with this preview of things to come.
Winner: Seth Rollins
On the surface, the idea of a star the magnitude of Seth Rollins working an undercard match with a celebrity might feel like a step down for someone who stole WrestleMania 38 with Cody Rhodes in the best match of the two-night pay-per-view.
When taking into consideration the fact that the celebrity in question is social media star Logan Paul, whose last one-on-one contest came against Roman Reigns in a legitimate Match of the Year candidate at Crown Jewel on November 5, the doom and gloom lifts.
In Paul, Rollins has a mainstream star and enormous personality for his Visionary character to play off. More importantly, he is one of the best wrestlers on the planet and should be able to get a match out of the YouTuber on the level Reigns did.
There will be some who argue Rollins should have been considered for an Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match against The Tribal Chief, and they may not be completely wrong about that.
Reigns is busy elsewhere, though, and without an obvious opponent currently on the roster, Paul is the next best thing for Rollins.
Recent history suggests the social media star will perform up to the moment, which means The Visionary should be ready to deliver another 'Mania classic to negate any disappointment over his place on the card at The Show of Shows.
Loser: Becky Lynch
Becky Lynch may be one of the biggest stars in WWE, but she is facing a somewhat uncertain path to WrestleMania 39 at best.
She joined forces with Lita on Monday's Raw to see off the threat of Damage CTRL, but one would assume the feud with Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai will not run all the way through to April 1-2, which begs the question: Where does The Man fit in the plans for 'Mania?
She is not in the Elimination Chamber match to determine the No. 1 contender to the Raw Women's Championship and another contest with Bianca Belair would be somewhat lackluster after only ending their last rivalry at SummerSlam.
There is no obvious route to WrestleMania for Lynch, which is why she is projecting to be one of the losers on this year's road to the marquee event.
The 36-year-old is one of the pillars of this WWE and remains perpetually over with the fans, and she is one of those Superstars who should be planned for by the creative team.
As the big show approaches, though, she appears to be on the outside looking in at higher-profile feuds and stories.
Things can change, obviously, but one would expect to have a clearer vision of what Lynch will be doing at WrestleMania by now.
Winner: Dominik Mysterio
It's amazing how a minor development can affect a character for the better.
Such is the case for Dominik Mysterio, who went to jail following a Christmas Day invasion of his father's home and has become one of the most over heels in all of WWE ever since.
The entitled second-generation competitor has disrespected his dad, talked trash on the biggest names in the company and infuriated crowds due to his general disrespect for anyone outside of The Judgment Day.
All signs would seem to point to a family showdown on The Grandest Stage of Them All, but even if that doesn't happen, it would be difficult to find a young star finding himself and benefiting from increased screen time quite like the son of the future Hall of Famer.
That Dominik knows who he is and has not shied away from looking like a coward when the time calls for it, such as on Monday's Raw when she screeched for "Mami" Rhea Ripley before being driven into the mat by Beth Phoenix.
Whether he has the match with Rey or not, Dom is going to remain a key player on Monday nights, thanks to the WWE Universe's disdain for him and the creative team finding a character that fits him.
Winner: Finn Bálor
Mysterio's Judgment Day teammate, Finn Bálor, also figures to be a prominent figure as WrestleMania approaches.
On Monday's Raw, Edge and Phoenix challenged the Irishman and Ripley to a mixed tag team match at Elimination Chamber on February 18. That contest may be significant but it is a bigger one, against The Rated-R Superstar, that will establish Bálor as a winner on The Road to WrestleMania.
In December, Angel Aramboles of WrestlingNews.co reported that Edge and Bálor would do battle inside Hell in a Cell at the Royal Rumble PPV. That did not come to fruition, but the veteran did target The Judgment Day leader in the men's Battle Royal on the night.
With the mixed tag match booked for Elimination Chamber, there is plenty of time for WWE to still produce the Hell in a Cell bout.
Balor and Edge have unfinished business dating back to Extreme Rules in October, when The Judgment Day put the veteran out of action and delivered a devastating Con-Chair-To to Phoenix.
That intensification of the feud gave the program all it needed to justify an eventual payoff inside the cage. A match of that magnitude would make The Prince a winner, even if he loses the contest itself.
And working alongside Edge in a WrestleMania program certainly helps, too.
Loser: Liv Morgan
Over the summer, Liv Morgan was the SmackDown Women's champion and one of the most interesting performers on the main roster. Since then, though, her role on Friday nights has diminished, even though she continues to have breakout performances.
In fact, it may be somewhat ridiculous to describe her as a loser on this Road to WrestleMania given that Triple H just booked her to set the longevity record alongside Rhea Ripley in the women's Rumble and was the last person eliminated from it.
However, the uncertainty surrounding her route to a major bout at 'Mania is there. Like Lynch, Morgan is likely to be shut out of championship action, leaving both her and her supporters wondering what WWE Creative will have planned for her.
The 28-year-old has earned the right to compete on the grandest stage, having evolved her character and in-ring work over the past year. Whether she will get that opportunity, though, remains to be seen.
That there is no clear answer supports her "loser" status here, unfortunately.
Winner: Sami Zayn
This time last year, the idea that Sami Zayn would be one of the most popular names in professional wrestling ahead of a Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns would have been laughable.
This was a guy getting ready to wrestle Jackass star Johnny Knoxville in a heavily gimmicked bout that would end with him felled by a giant-sized mousetrap.
Yet here we are.
Zayn's dedication to his character, his interaction with The Bloodline and steady winning over of the crowd have helped him become the most beloved performer on the main roster. And his match at Elimination Chamber figures to be one of the most emotionally fueled bouts of the year.
Even though The Great Liberator is unlikely to win, it will not be the end of Zayn's run near the top of WWE. The fans will not allow that.
The Canadian is the Daniel Bryan of his time, the babyface who was never intended to get over but did. So much so that he will routinely outperform his peers in fan reaction to the point that management will have no choice but to book him in a high-profile position.
The expected WrestleMania bout pitting him and Kevin Owens against The Usos for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship, in which his relationship with Jey Uso will be exploited for emotional effect, will only increase his support among the fans.