WrestleMania 38, aka “The Most Stupendous Two-Night Event in WrestleMania History” is in the books, closing the chapter on WWE’s biggest and busiest stretch of the year. But now that the dust has settled, new champions have been crowned, and the world is done reacting to Wee Man body-slamming Sami Zayn and Stone Cold Steve Austin wrestling his first match in 19 years, now seems about the right time to look at some of the most consequential stars of the night and speculate on what’s next for them.
With Roman Reigns defeating Brock Lesnar to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Cody Rhodes making his long-awaited return, and several members of the Women’s roster at a crossroads, there are a lot of different directions we could take as we start the slow march to WrestleMania 39 next year.
Roman Reigns continued the most dominant run in modern WWE history at WrestleMania 38 when he defeated longtime rival Brock Lesnar become the first Unified WWE Universal Champion in a grueling, albeit brief, Night Two main event. But the future remains uncertain for “Top Dog” and “Tribal Chief” of WWE, especially if those rumors, like the one from Wrestling Inc. about Reigns reportedly sustaining a tricep injury during the fight, prove to be true.
But this could be a blessing in disguise, as it would give Reigns an opportunity to drop both titles without losing a match and set up some kind of big return down the road, perhaps that long-speculated match against The Rock. I mean, WrestleMania 39 is in Los Angeles next year, and there will need to be a massive main event of this magnitude.
After several months of speculation, Cody Rhodes finally returned to WWE during Night One of WrestleMania 38 where he was revealed to be Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent. For the first time in six years, “The American Nightmare” stepped into a WWE ring and gave one of the best performances of the night. And following his decisive victory on the “Grandest Stage of Them All,” the future looks bright for the son of a “son of a plumber.”
Having built up a nice brand for himself in AEW (as well as other promotions around the world), Rhodes could be inserted into the WWE Universal Championship picture immediately. But if a title shot isn’t in the cards for him, Rhodes could turn his match against Rollins into a nice program.
Nearly eight months after losing the SmackDown Women’s Championship to a returning Becky Lynch at SummerSlam 2021, Bianca Belair got her revenge and beat “Big Time Becks” to win the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 38. If we go off wrestling logic then we should expect to see Belair defending her title against Lynch (via the rematch clause) at WrestleMania Backlash in May, but you never know.
If Belair and Lynch do meet up again at WWE’s next big show, hopefully it ends with a decisive victory for the newly minted Women’s Champion and is nothing more than the first stop on a reign that should last until next year’s WrestleMania, especially considering how her Raw Women’s Championship was cut short after a few months in 2021.
It seemed like Ronda Rousey, who returned and earned a title shot at Royal Rumble 2022, was going to defeat SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38. But as we found out in the co-main event of Night One, that didn’t happen and the former UFC Champion’s future is a little unclear, especially with word that she wasn’t happy about her place on the card, a rumor that she has since denied on Twitter.
If that is all just internet wrestling dirt sheet hearsay and Rousey sticks around for the long-haul, it would be fun to see her challenge for one of the two titles or set up a feud with Asuka, who will hopefully be returning to WWE TV post-WrestleMania. If not that, then maybe Rousey could reform the Four Horsewomen with Shayna Baszler and dominate the midcard for a while.
The singles match between Edge and AJ Styles at Night Two of WrestleMania 38 was the longest match on the card and featured an ending that could potentially have the biggest impact moving forward. In the final moments of the hard-fought battle, Damian Priest appeared at ringside to distract AJ Styles, which allowed Edge to counter the Phenomenal Forearm with a spear and a 1-2-3 victory.
Following the match, Priest knelt down in a show of respect to Edge before both started laughing menacingly. This looks like, at minimum, the formation of a new heel tag team (Edge has a great deal of experience with this), or potentially a new faction. Could this be The Brood 2.0?
Not including the 18 months she was away from WWE to give birth to her first child, Becky Lynch was a champion of some form every day she was on the active roster. That all changed when “Big Time Becks” was defeated by Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 38. But even though Lynch doesn’t have the gold around her waist for the first time in three years, this doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of one of the most entertaining WWE superstars.
Once we get the rematch situation out of the way, there are plenty of directions Lynch could take in the future, perhaps even a program with Alexa Bliss or Bayley, both of whom should be returning soon. We probably won’t get a match between “The Man” and Charlotte Flair for quite some time, if at all, but could very well be the next big WrestleMania match between the two.
With Brock Lesnar having lost the WWE Championship to Roman Reigns in their title unification match at WrestleMania 38, there’s a good chance the “Beast Incarnate” hangs up his boots for a few months and goes back to his life of seclusion on his remote farm in Saskatchewan. Unless something changes, we probably won’t see Lesnar in action until SummerSlam in July and won’t see him on TV until a few weeks before the big show, if he’s on the card.
In the event Lesnar does return for the summer, we’ll probably see him continue his feud with Roman Reigns if the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion isn’t actually injured or is back by then. But who knows, maybe Lesnar will come out of his self-imposed isolation and take out his revenge on whomever Paul Heyman (who betrayed him at Royal Rumble 2022) takes under his wing next.
Only time will tell what happens to these WWE superstars and the dozens of others who participated in WrestleMania 38. One thing that is for certain is that you can watch them in action with a Peacock Premium subscription.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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