Folks, this weekend the 40th edition of WrestleMania will be upon us, and we are officially in a post Vince McMahon world for WWE. Shortly before last year’s WrestleMania, the man forced his way back into power by conducting a merger that by some accounts, was more about him maintaining power than getting the best offer. This proved to be the man’s downfall as in the months following the merger, it became clear that the new combined company of TKO had provisions in place if any of Vince’s skeletons came back up. And they did. Because of course they did. The man is a garbage human. Allegedly. 

Long story short, the man who built this show is gone, and thankfully so. Outside of the moral reasons why this is good (of which there are many), the build to this big show has been one of the best ever conducted by the company. We’ll get into all that in a bit, but first, we need to fulfill the promise of our premise.

If you’re like a lot of folks, a lot of what I just said is a whole lot of noise. You might not follow wrestling, or you haven’t checked in for a while. That’s where we come in.

Once again, we’ve put together a handy dandy guide to (almost?) everything you will need to know about WrestleMania if you have found yourself pulled into its orbit. It happens. You might be wandering listless on social media, or hanging out at a pal’s house and suddenly you’re having to navigate the world of big bad meat men and women fighting over belts. We’re going to give you the basics to survive, and some weird facts to thrive if you’re ever asked to follow along.

Now, before we dive in completely, you might want to know the ground level basics. (We took Danica’s parents to a local wrestling show once and quickly realized that everything happening meant nothing if you don’t have these building blocks.) So quickly:

A person can win a match if they can pin their opponent’s shoulders to the ring mat while the referee counts to three. Or, a person can make their opponent “tap out” or pass out in a submission – the tapping signifying “quitting”.

If the match taking place is a championship match, and someone pulls an illegal move that is caught by the referee, that person will lose the match – but the “champion’s advantage” means the championship WILL NOT change hands via disqualification.  Unless there are special bonus rules. There often are, and we’ll bring them up as needed.

Now, on with the show!


This is the fifth year that WrestleMania has spread itself over two nights, which is a huge blessing. The last show to run one night ran for over seven hours, and folks? That’s a terrible idea. It made for a bad experience. Now, there is a nice balance of getting all the big stories they’ve been building on the show without an endurance test nobody asked for. 

Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill & Naomi vs. Damage CTRL (Six-Woman Tag Team Match)

TL;DR // Mean girls have been plaguing Bianca for years now but now she has new friends. 

How Did We Get Here? // Damage CTRL formed shortly after the first time we thought Vince was gone from the company – a heel faction of women who were on the outs (in real life) with the company at the time. All the while, Bainca has been a target – and while their former leader Bailey isn’t leading the charge, the group still stand against Belair. So, Belair went and did what most people do when they’re not in a huge match at WrestleMania – she created a franken-team to take on the bad guys.

Now to her credit, this team is top notch. You have Naomi who walked out of WWE with Sasha Banks (currently Mercedes Moné elsewhere) some time ago. She went out and proved herself over at TNA Wrestling, becoming their Women’s Champion and running that division. Meanwhile, Jade Cargill was developing over at AEW, had a monstrous winning streak, and did things like “team with Shaq to fight with Cody Rhodes.

This match basically features a recent highlight of WrestleMania in Belair, a homecoming, and a debut all in one. So um… Damage CTRL don’t have much of a chance here.

Rey Mysterio & Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar & “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio

TL;DR // Just wait until your abuela hears about who you’ve been hanging out with. Again.

How Did We Get Here? // It is the second year of the “Dominik has fallen into a bad crowd” storyline, and while the build to this wasn’t much (partly due to Rey being injured for quite some time), it still works! Rey and Dom have been kept apart since last year’s WrestleMania where Rey whipped the kid’s ass for being a turd. Now they’ve brought some friends into the fight, with Dom teaming with Rey’s former pal Santos Escobar to counter who many consider to be the next Rey Mysterio: Dragon Lee. It’s gonna be some flippy fun.

UPDATE: The Card is Always Subject to Change // At some point between my writing of this last night, Dragon Lee has been subbed out for Andrade – a wrestler who just returned to WWE after a few years way at competitor AEWThis is a huge return for him, so we’ll see how that goes, as Dominik has been spending quite some time trying to get Andrade in with The Judgment DayWhere will Andrade’s loyalties lie?

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship Six-Pack Tag Team Ladder Match

The Judgment Day (c) vs. The Awesome Truth vs. The New Day vs. #DIY vs. New Catch Republic vs. A-Town Down Under

TL;DR // One of the most beloved veteran wrestlers in the world might get his flowers at WrestleMania after he goofed on one of the most dominant groups in recent WWE history.

Special Rules // No one is getting pinned in this match, Here, you have to climb up a ladder, and grab the titles. The first person or team to do this wins the match. Or um… probably. We’ll… we’ll get to the specifics in a moment.

How Did We Get Here? // WrestleMania tries to cram as many folks as they can on the show to get a payday, but this time, in a rare turn of events, there is actually a story to be told here.

For a good long while, R Truth has been a fan favourite weirdo, often getting “confused” in very amusing ways. Because he’s ran as more of a comedy wrestler, he’s never received a big moment at WrestleMania. However, for the past few months, R Truth has considered himself a part of The Judgment Day in very amusing ways.

This was considered harmless by Damien Priest, one of the tag title holders until enough was enough. Truth was beaten down pretty hard, and now there’s beef. Sort of. Sometimes Truth still thinks this is all tough love. Regardless, he’s been put in a position to get a huge reaction if he pulls off a win during the show, and with the way they’ve been running things, it just might happen.

Anyway, there are a bunch of other teams in this match (see the whole “put people on the show to get paid” thing), and they’re all going to be doing crazy things… and according to some, this match might even have two winners.

What?!?? How ?!?? // So here’s where wrestling gets very… “wrestling”. Currently, the tag titles are actually two tag championships held by one team – which is why they are currently called the “Undisputed Champions”. Now, despite a lack of confirmation on anything I’m seeing on WWE’s official websites, a BUNCH of sites that vet their wrestling news are talking about two different teams pulling down the two sets of belts like it is a confirmed plan. Honestly, this should happen so each of WWE’s big shows have tag champs on them. But who really knows at this point. Watch the show to see, I guess?

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

TL;DR // You know when you have that cool cousin who tells you that the raddest guys eat dirt, so you nab a big handful and attempt to gag it down and you’re crying because it tastes terrible and you don’t think you can do it and you just know you’ll never be cool and people will make fun of you forever? That classic scenario that we’ve all experienced? This match is what happens when one brother figures out the “cool cousin” is just being a dick, but the other is still under the sway.

How Did We Get Here? // There was quite the build to this one for a while. Jey and Jimmy had both been part of The Bloodline under Roman Reigns with no real issues until WrestleMania last year when the Usos lost the tag titles. Then things got rocky. The Usos eventually left the group, and Jey even pinned Reigns in a match, the only person to do so in the past four years or so. That earned Jey a shot at Reigns, which Jimmy would end up ruining, returning to The Bloodline in the process. Jey then moved to another show to keep the brothers apart, and then… nothing much happened for months and months. Then Jimmy started popping up again, wrecking Jey’s matches. Now they’re gonna fight about it.

Fun Fact // WWE isn’t a stranger to twin fights. Nikki and Brie Bella had a feud (not at WrestleMania) where Nikki famously told her sister “I wish you died in the womb”. Siblings are fun.

Intercontinental Championship Match

Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn

TL;DR // Sami Zayn is hoping for more of a Rocky 2 vibe for this big fight in Philadelphia. 

How Did We Get Here? // After winning big in one of last year’s WM main events, Sami Zayn didn’t have much of a path back to the big show. Chances kept slipping through his fingers, until he finally won a gauntlet match to challenge for Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship, defeating Chad Gable for the privilege.

Since then, Gable (who also has beef with Gunther) has been training Zayn to see is he can’t take the title off of the longest running IC Champion of all time. There is a solid chance that this all ends in betrayal somehow. Regardless, WWE will be running one of their bigger shows of the year in Gunther’s home town of Germany this year, so he’ll be set for something wild after this regardless.

Women’s World Championship Match

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch

TL;DR // So when a Mami and The Man hate each other, very, very much, they settle their differences in the ring.

How Did We Get Here? // This is a match that doesn’t have a huge story outside of the sheer star power of it all. Ripley has been wrecking all comers all year long. Lynch has been on a different path, fighting a long war against Trish Stratus before becoming NXT Champion for the first time in her career. Then she circled back to the main event scene, winning this year’s women’s Elimination Chamber to earn this match.

Ripley and Charlotte Flair stole the show at WM last year when Ripley won the title, in part because they out to prove a point, after losing out on a main event spot. This match should be no different, because…

Match to determine Bloodline banned or Bloodline Rules

Cody Rhodes & Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson & Roman Reigns

TL;DR // The Rock thought he could just walk back into WWE and take a main event spot at WrestleMania, and boy, were people not having it. This big fight is what we got as a result.

Special Rules // The outcome of this match will determine just how bonkers the main event will be on Night Two between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns. If Rhodes and Rollins win, The Bloodline is banned from ringside. But if The Rock and Reigns win, that match becomes a fancy “no rules” match where shenanigans will be spammed everywhere.

How Did We Get Here? // While most of the other stories on this card are pretty self explanatory, this one has quite a bit of history. It starts last year when Cody Rhodes lost to Roman Reigns in last year’s main event in WrestleMania, causing oh so many folks to go “WTF are we doing??!?Reigns had been holding onto his title for years at that point, and had already worked through the roster of good guys. Cody was set up to be the last and best defence. It sucked all the air out of the whole weekend, and earned us another year’s worth of bog standard Reigns matches where The Bloodline would interfere to cost the babyface (good guy) the match. Cody was given the unenviable task of staying as white hot as he was last year – trying to maintain a year’s worth of momentum outside of the orbit of the title he was chasing. He managed far better than Reigns did.

Rhodes then won the Royal Rumble, which gave him the option to choose his opponent at WrestleMania, and immediately after the match, he started pointing up at Reigns. Cody was hell bent on “finishing the story”, and the crowd was too, a whole year after they expected it to happen.

And then The Rock showed up and made a huge mess out of everything. Behind the scenes, WWE’s parent company TKO made a deal with Dwayne that supposedly included a contract to main event WrestleMania – and while Reigns vs The Rock looks good on paper, the crowds and fans had been made a promise that was cemented at the Royal Rumble. The Rock comes in days later, and they tried to write a scenario where Cody would walk away from his year’s long purpose for reasons just to let The Rock take that spot against Roman.

The pushback hit such a level that a pivot was made. The Rock turned heel (a bad guy) after Cody decided to take his rightful spot in the main event of WrestleMania after all. Dwayne joined up with The Bloodline and this match was built up over time. And now, we get to see who they get to take the pin here, as not a single one of these fighters should take the pin leading into tomorrow. All of them have reason to remain strong. The only thing I can think of working is to have The Rock pin Cody after shenanigans to set up the bonkers rules match for tomorrow, and to build a program after Cody beats Roman tomorrow.

That’s not a spoiler, so much as it is what I want to be the outcome of all of this. Roman gets beat, and The Rock and The Bloodline turn on Roman in short order, with The Rock rightfully saying he pinned Cody, and Roman couldn’t get it done. It sets up a whole year for Roman, running through The Bloodline before he can get back at The Rock, probably at next year’s WrestleMania.

Anyway. With that bit of fantasy booking, we’re calling it a day on this instalment. Join us shortly after the end of tonight’s event for a look at what is to come for night two.