June 17, 2024

WrestleMania 38 comes to its thrilling conclusion on Sunday night after a raucous finish to Night 1. Saturday saw a pair of thrilling women’s title matches as Charlotte Flair and Rond Rousey battled it out while Bianca Belair exacted her revenge on Becky Lynch to regain her title. Plus, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin participated in his first match in nearly two decades when he battled Kevin Owens to close the show. 

Now, WWE is set to close things out with a massive main event it is billing as “the biggest WrestleMania match of all time” when WWE champion Brock Lesnar clashes with universal champion Roman Reigns to unify the two world titles.

The second night of WrestleMania also features two all-time greats facing off for the first time as Edge and AJ Styles clash. The two have gone at it for weeks with Edge increasingly losing his mind ahead of the matchup. There will also be no shortage of celebrity inclusion on Sunday as “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville will also make his singles match debut, taking on WWE superstar Sami Zayn. Plus, former NFL punter and current SmackDown commentator Pat McAfee will battle Austin Theory.

Let’s take a closer look at who our CBS Sports experts predict will come out on top at Night 2 of WWE WrestleMania 38, which begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday and streams live on Peacock following a kickoff show one hour earlier.

2022 WWE WrestleMania 38 Night 2 predictions

Women’s Tag Team Championship — Queen Zelina & Carmella (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler

While this is certainly a collection of thrown-together teams chasing after a title that Zelina and Carmella won in November and have only defended once (in January), it’s nice to see more people get their chance to participate in WrestleMania. Zelina and Carmella’s act has been run into the ground with every match coming down to Carmella being distracted by Corey Graves at ringside because now that they have a YouTube reality show, their relationship suddenly matters on-screen. That means the most likely moves are either WWE keeps the team strapped up to promote the show or they move on by splitting the team and having them feud. I’ll go with the latter and a chance for a Banks and Naomi to play champions. Pick: Sasha Banks & Naomi win the titles — Brent Brookhouse

The four-way match for the titles came together abruptly. New tag teams were formed week after week in order to fill out the match. The stronger players, both in terms of name value and momentum, are clearly Sasha Banks and Naomi. They were the first duo to campaign for the title shot and they should leave Sunday with gold around their waists. Pick: Sasha Banks & Naomi win the titles — Shakiel Mahjouri

Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn

WWE is very good at working celebrities through a match. Aside from Tyson Fury, it’s hard to remember any recent celebrity matches that haven’t led to big “Wow! Can you believe it?” reactions. With that in mind, expect Zayn vs. Knoxville to be a fun ride while it lasts. Zayn is exactly the right kind of heel to lose this match and have that loss be a benefit in building him up. Zayn thrives on having been “wronged” or embarrassed and losing to the stunt joke guy fits right in. It’s undeniably the right move to have Knoxville get the win. Pick: Johnny Knoxville wins — Brookhouse

You would hope that WWE would not go so far as to have a quality superstar like Zayn take the L for “Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville. The no-disqualification stipulation should present opportunities for run-ins and fun stunts from other stars from the film franchise. At present, Knoxville has not endeared himself to the roster and Zayn is not in any other feuds, so a superstar run-in seems unlikely. Maybe WWE surprises everyone with a fun cameo to aid Knoxville, but Zayn really should win this. Pick: Sami Zayn wins — Mahjouri

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

WWE has booked themselves into something of a no-win situation here. Lashley is returning from several months on the sidelines and his return should result in a win. Omos has been unstoppable as a singles star and that aura takes a massive hit when he suffers his first loss. So, where do you go? Tank Lashley’s momentum on his return or cut Omos’ monster heel run off at the knees. If there’s any out here, it may be in finding the cheapest way for Lashley to lose, which could come down to MVP turning on him and moving on to manage Omos. That would benefit the monster by giving him someone who can work the mic and extend the program with Lashley for a while. Pick: Omos wins — Brookhouse

WWE obviously has high hopes for Omos, but he is still a work in progress. It’s believable enough to give him wins over meaningful opposition like AJ Styles considering the size difference. He won’t have that benefit against fellow heavyweight Lashley. “The Almighty” is coming off a recent WWE championship reign, has a winning MMA record and muscles for days. Having Omos go over would be a disservice to Lashley, but that doesn’t mean the former basketball player can’t look good en route to a loss. Pick: Bobby Lashley wins — Mahjouri

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory

McAfee has shown that he can wrestle shockingly well in multiple matches in NXT. Theory is a talented wrestler but he isn’t exactly Adam Cole, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this were a minor step down overall from those past McAfee matches. Still, WWE has fully bought in on Theory, from having him taken under Vince McMahon’s wing to a spot in Elimination Chamber and now a featured WrestleMania spot. That should mean a win for the guy who will be wrestling every Monday night. Pick: Austin Theory wins — Brookhouse

McAfee is so beloved by fans that it’s hard to see him losing to Austin Theory, who has plenty of time in his career to recover from a loss to a pro-athlete-turned-commentator. McAfee proved he has wrestling chops in a pair of matches with Adam Cole that defied expectations. Maybe the promotion is building towards a longer program involving McMahon — who is expected to be in Theory’s corner — and McAfee but, assuming that’s not the case, I’ll pick McAfee to win. Pick: Pat McAfee wins — Mahjouri

Raw Tag Team Championship — RK-Bro (c) vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy

The talk since RK-Bro began their run has been that Randy Orton and Riddle will have to split and feud. That’s probably true given that WWE loves to split up tag teams. As entertaining as RK-Bro is as an act, you get the sense that WWE is getting antsy to break them up for a less entertaining feud. That Orton has come to fully embrace Riddle as being his friend is probably a sign the team is doomed. Losing the titles on the big stage could certainly kick off that story and Alpha Academy are the more entertaining team to run forward as champs. Pick: Alpha Academy win the titles — Brookhouse

Alpha Academy should have been afforded the opportunity for a longer Raw Tag Team title run, but Orton and Riddle were quick to reclaim their crowns. As a consequence, they will likely leave WrestleMania as champions while continuing the build to an eventual split and feud. Pick: RK-Bro retain the titles — Mahjouri

Edge vs. AJ Styles

The Edge we’ve seen dropping promos straight out of a late 1990s e-fed has been the low point of Edge’s return. WWE has largely followed the same pattern with Edge rivalries since his return — stretching things out over a string of two or three matches. With that in mind, it’s unlikely that the story between Styles and Edge ends with just one match, even if it manages to steal the show at WrestleMania. With that in mind, it may make more sense for Edge to take the win. Pick: Edge wins — Brookhouse

This one is a toss-up. Edge has pulled most of the weight in building this rivalry. An argument can be made that Styles should get the rub from Edge, but “The Rated R Superstar” could benefit from the momentum as well. Taking a look at my other predictions for WrestleMania Night 1, a villain needs to come out on top. I’ll side with Edge, hesitantly, but am rather confident that this will be Match of the Night. Pick: Edge wins — Mahjouri

Title vs. Title — Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns (c)

Given that Lesnar is 2-0 against Reigns in WrestleMania main events, it certainly would make sense for Reigns to get the win here, just like his cousin Dwayne finally getting his win over Steve Austin in their third WrestleMania clash. Still, my internal bias is overriding logic. The Reigns championship reign is completely stalled out. The momentum was gone months and months ago and no amount of Reigns cutting the same stale promo is fixing it. The only way to get his momentum back is to end his run as the unbeatable champion. Reigns can get his win over Lesnar down the road in the inevitable fourth Lesnar vs. Reigns WrestleMania main event. Pick: Brock Lesnar unifies the titles — Brookhouse

This is very much a toss-up. A case can be made for either man to leave WrestleMania as undisputed champion. Lesnar is the most believable threat to Reigns’ record-setting run and is overdue for payback. Reigns is a full-time performer for WWE on the best run of his career, despite moments of staleness. WWE should build a contender that can really benefit from dethroning Reigns. That contender is nowhere in sight. While that may invoke more confidence in Lesnar, I hold out hope that WWE sees the value in keeping Reigns on top as they build towards new challengers. Pick: Roman Reigns unifies the titles — Mahjouri

Source link