The WWE WrestleMania 38 Storylines to Emerge from 2022 Royal RumbleJanuary 28, 2022
The WWE WrestleMania 38 Storylines to Emerge from 2022 Royal Rumble
The Royal Rumble has historically been where WWE begins to set the stage for several marquee matches at WrestleMania and give fans a better idea of what the card will consist of.
With WrestleMania 38 emanating from the grand AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 2 and 3, it isn't impossible to already predict what those top matches at 'Mania may look like. Seeds have already been planted, and now it's more a matter of officially putting the pieces into place.
Of course, anything can change coming out of the Royal Rumble, not only in regards to the booking but also major returns or injuries that may occur. WWE has been known in the past to not lock in plans for The Show of Shows until the event draws closer, but it's safe to assume the main matchups for this year's two-night instalment have (hopefully) been decided upon by now.
Expect these five WrestleMania 38 storylines to start taking shape Saturday night at the Royal Rumble.
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
All signs point to Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar being one of the two main events over WrestleMania 38 weekend, and the fact that both men are walking into the Royal Rumble on Saturday with world title gold doesn't change a thing.
These two titans have been on a collision course since SummerSlam last August, when Lesnar returned and confronted Reigns. Paul Heyman had been stuck in the middle for many months until The Tribal Chief fired him as his special council, resulting in Heyman reuniting with Lesnar instead.
Although Lesnar left Day 1 as WWE champion and not universal champion, WWE has continued to tease a mega match between the two. The only place that makes sense for their program to be paid off is WrestleMania.
It's possible they meet in a title unification match on The Grandest Stage of Them All, but it's much likelier that Lesnar loses his title before then and sets his sights back on the Universal Championship. Either way, Reigns vs. Lesnar is essentially a lock for WrestleMania weekend.
Both men will have their hands full in their own title defenses at the Royal Rumble, but expect interference in one of them from the other that results in a title loss. Reigns or Lesnar going on to win the men's Royal Rumble later on in the night could also see them meet at WrestleMania.
Randy Orton vs. Riddle
It was obvious from the moment Riddle and Randy Orton joined forces in the spring of 2021 that their stint as a tag team would ultimately lead to Orton betraying Riddle and returning to his roots as a heel. Shockingly, WWE has held off on the split and has allowed them to have a fun run together.
RK-Bro has been the best thing to happen to Raw's stagnant tag team division in ages. In addition to their strong chemistry as partners in the ring, their backstage segments and promos have also been entertaining, and the crowd hasn't hesitated to get behind them.
When they lost the Raw Tag Team Championships seemingly out of nowhere to Alpha Academy earlier this month on Raw, the writing was on the wall: Their time as a tandem was coming to an end sooner rather than later.
They're still in chase mode right now and, as seen this past week on Raw, are willing to go through a series of academic challenges in order to regain the gold. When they inevitably lose their rematch, Orton should finally drop Riddle with an RKO and begin building to a bout between the two at WrestleMania 38.
Before then, though, both men are set to take part in the men's Royal Rumble match, and Orton eliminating Riddle when The Original Bro least expects it will serve as a nice prelude to their program on the road to WrestleMania.
Carmella and Queen Zelina vs. the Bella Twins
The Bella Twins have made it abundantly clear over the years that they'd love nothing more than a run with the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, but it was always an impossibility due to Nikki Bella not being cleared to compete.
It's a different story now that Nikki is returning to the ring in this year's women's Royal Rumble match alongside Brie. Although they were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame over WrestleMania weekend in 2021, Evolution in October 2018 marked the last time either of them were in action for WWE.
It looked like The IIconics won the women's tag titles at WrestleMania 35 solely so they could feud with The Bella Twins coming out of the event, but the rivalry never materialized due to Nikki's health issues. The women's tag team division is so depleted at the moment that The Bella Twins coming back for one more run at the gold wouldn't be anything but a positive.
Carmella and Queen Zelina could use some legitimate competition for their championship, and The Bella Twins would pose a pretty big threat to their title reign.
Nothing we have seen or read so far has indicated this match is in the works for WrestleMania, but all four women are confirmed to compete in the women's Rumble on Saturday. Thus, that should be enough to set the wheels in motion for the match at 'Mania.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Rey and Dominik Mysterio have been teasing tension for what feels like forever, but that's presumably because WWE has wanted to wait until WrestleMania season to officially have them go their separate ways and begin building toward the long-awaited singles match between them.
The storyline started last summer on SmackDown when Rey being overprotective of his son and Dominik cost them the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. They subsequently failed to regain the gold at SummerSlam and lost a series of matches to Sami Zayn in the months that followed.
Their move to Raw in the 2021 WWE Draft put that tension on hold, and they appeared to be back on the same page. They've managed to coexist just fine lately, but Rey tossing Dominik over the top rope on Raw not once but twice in recent weeks has got to be an omen of things to come with them.
Of the two, Dominik would make more sense to turn heel because Rey is so beloved, but it remains to be seen how he'll fare in that role. WWE wouldn't necessarily need to have them betray each other, as a babyface vs. babyface bout is believable for WrestleMania.
They may be able to team up and avoid elimination for a little while in Saturday's men's Royal Rumble, but something will have to give eventually, and one of them turning on the other will get us one step closer to their split being cemented.
Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair
Despite what certain rumors and reports may suggest heading into the Royal Rumble, WWE shouldn't deviate from what has evidently been the WrestleMania 38 plan for months: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women's Championship.
Lynch beating Belair in under a minute for the SmackDown Women's Championship back at SummerSlam was met with plenty of online backlash from fans, and rightfully so. It was a poor portrayal of Belair after everything that had been done to build her up as a top talent throughout 2021, but to the company's credit, the follow-up has been handled near-perfectly.
Big Time Becks has run rampant over the Raw and SmackDown women's divisions since then and has boasted about holding gold every day she has been active on the roster for the past three years. Considering Belair was never able to avenge that loss to Lynch, she must be the one to ultimately dethrone her as champ at The Show of Shows.
Belair winning an Elimination Chamber to earn the title shot in February is an alternate way of getting back to this bout, but The EST of WWE clinching a second straight Rumble victory would be far more monumental, memorable and historic. There would be no denying her as a legitimate threat to Lynch after an accomplishment of that caliber.
If WWE stays the course, the eventual rematch between Belair and Lynch at WrestleMania is bound to be great, and the first steps in rekindling the rivalry should come on Saturday night with Belair punching her ticket to the WrestleMania main event with another impressive Rumble win.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.