WWE WrestleMania 38 Match Card Predictions After Royal Rumble 2022 Results

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2022

WWE WrestleMania 38 Match Card Predictions After Royal Rumble 2022 Results

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The WWE Royal Rumble may be in the rearview mirror on this road to WrestleMania 38, but in its wake, fans have a taste of what they can expect come April 2 and 3 in Dallas.

    The card, which was star-studded at its top thanks to Royal Rumble match victories for both Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, is likely to feature some personal battles, high-stakes championship encounters and two matches with roots dating all the way back to last August's SummerSlam event.

    What are those matches, and why should fans expect to see them unfold at The Showcase of the Immortals?

    Take a look with these early card predictions for wrestling's most exciting extravaganza.

Women's Tag Title Match: Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Queen Zelina and Carmella

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Wrestling Twitter exploded Saturday night when Sasha Banks was inexplicably eliminated early from the Women's Royal Rumble match by Queen Zelina. In hindsight, it was likely a tip of the hat to the company's creative plans for WrestleMania.

    Since when does WWE let Zelina get over on anyone, especially a star of Banks' stature? Unless there is a fair amount of cheating and the titles are on the line, WWE has a long history of booking the 2021 Queen of the Ring to lose, as we witnessed just five nights earlier on Raw.

    Her elimination of Banks was to set up the Women's Tag Team Championship feud for WrestleMania, which will see the heels defend their titles against Banks and her returning best friend, Bayley.

    Not only does such a match give Banks and Bayley an opportunity to win big on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but it also elevates Zelina and Carmella's star on the road there and brings attention back to a set of titles that have been underwhelmingly booked for the last two years.

    The outcome will not be in doubt, though, as Banks and Bayley recapture gold that they have not held since summer 2020. 


    Prediction: Bayley and Banks win the titles. 

Riddle vs. Randy Orton

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    Credit: WWE.com

    From the moment Randy Orton and Riddle began their peculiar partnership after WrestleMania last year, it was obvious there would be a falling-out and the two would eventually clash, with The Viper utilizing his star power and experience to help make The Original Bro a bona fide main event star.

    No one could have imagined the success of RK-Bro as a team that would dominate the Raw tag team division for the entire year and become one of the most popular acts in the entire company. Although there were no signs of dissension at the Royal Rumble, expect plans to remain intact, with Orton likely growing frustrated with his and Riddle's inability to regain the tag titles from Alpha Academy being the emphasis for the split.

    Orton has told Riddle to listen to him countless times before, so it is likely that one last instance of insubordination will be all it takes for the third-generation star to lash out and drop his partner with the vaunted RKO.

    As for the winner of the prospective match?

    It has to be Riddle. A failure on the WrestleMania stage, even with wins in later showdowns, erases everything the company intended to do with the story and gives Orton an unnecessary 'Mania victory.


    Prediction: Riddle defeats Orton.

SmackDown Women's Championship Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Ronda Rousey cashed her ticket to WrestleMania following her victory in the Women's Royal Rumble match Saturday night. The woman she eliminated, SmackDown Women's champion Charlotte Flair, will be her opponent on either April 2 or 3.

    Rowdy tossed The Queen over the top rope and to the floor with relative ease, showing a level of dominance over the champion that Flair is unlikely to let stand.

    WWE may tease Rousey challenging Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship, hinting at a feud that still has its own juice left, but it will be Flair who gets the nod this time as WWE looks to ramp up its WrestleMania creative on Friday nights to reach the largest audience and make Fox happy.

    As for the outcome, it's as easy as any on this list of potential matchups. Rousey wins, collecting a title she has yet to hold.


    Prediction: Rousey wins the SmackDown Women's Championship.

Raw Women's Championship Match: Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch

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    Credit: WWE.com

    At SummerSlam last August, Becky Lynch returned after a year away from the squared circle and defeated Bianca Belair in seconds to win the Raw Women's Championship. She turned away The EST's challenges in subsequent rematches, doing just enough to hold on to her title.

    Since then, Belair has worked hard to remain in the championship picture and repeatedly expressed her desire to regain the title she felt was stolen from her in Las Vegas.

    After coming up just short at the Royal Rumble, The EST will find her way into the Raw Women's Championship Match at WrestleMania, a singles showdown with Big Time Becks, and look to make it two in a row on wrestling's most prestigious night.

    And she will.

    The entire feud has built to Belair avenging the most humbling loss of her career and quieting Lynch in the process. The heel has reigned as champion every night she has been an active competitor since WrestleMania 35 in 2019.

    That streak ends in Dallas.


    Prediction: Belair wins the Raw Women's Championship.

WWE Championship Match: Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens vs. Bobby Lashley

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    Who really knows which direction the WWE Championship picture is taking on Raw?

    Bobby Lashley regained the title from Brock Lesnar, proving The Beast really only won it at Day 1 to appease fans pissed off that the scheduled match with Roman Reigns did not happen. In the process, it undermined Big E's main event run and threw the Raw main event scene into chaos.

    We know The All Mighty is once again the brand's top dog, and we know both Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens are prominent stars with a burgeoning friendship. Throw on top of that what is very clearly a Rollins babyface turn in the making, and you have a potential storyline for the WWE title.

    Rollins vs. Owens vs. Lashley may not be the most star-studded affair, but it is one that writers can tell a hell of a story around and, if desired, put an exclamation point on Rollins' turn with a championship victory on a stage he has made his own more than once before.

    Or it can do as it did a year ago and book Lashley strong, giving him another quality Mania title defense to help bolster a legacy that is enhanced every day he spends at or near the top in WWE.


    Prediction: Lashley retains the WWE Championship.

Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns

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    Credit: WWE.com

    There has been absolutely zero doubt since Brock Lesnar returned at SummerSlam back in August that he and Roman Reigns were on a collision course for a showdown on wrestling's most important night.

    There have been twists and turns in between, such as Paul Heyman's wavering loyalties, a COVID-19 diagnosis that scrapped a planned premium live event main event and the start of a feud between Reigns and Seth Rollins that threatens to steal attention away from the program. But when all is said and done, the originally planned main event absolutely will headline the second night of WrestleMania 38 in Dallas.

    And rightfully so.

    Lesnar, fresh off of winning the Royal Rumble, will enter the vengeful challenger looking to beat the hell out of Reigns, regain the Universal Championship and get his hands on the slimy, scheming, conniving Heyman in the process.

    He will do all of those things and pay off the lengthy feud by ending The Tribal Chief's historic reign atop WWE.


    Prediction: Lesnar defeats Reigns and wins the Universal Championship.