MR. TITO: My WWE Wrestlemania 40 Predictions and Pushing Back on Miserable Wrestling Marks

The Excellence in Column Writing has returned and for today, we shall predict Wrestlemania 40 which is just 2 weeks away from today. Seems a bit early for predictions, eh? Nah, I figure next week and the week following’s RAW and Smackdown shows will be protective as the WWE doesn’t want any major injuries on their card. Plus, everyone will be flooding the market with their predictions during early April, I’ll do something different and give you mine now.

However, I cannot help but observe that many aren’t enjoying their Wrestlemania experience this year… So much misery out there. Why? Isn’t THIS the WWE that you’ve been wanting for years? A WWE without a McMahon helming it? You’ve been begging for this for YEARS, yet you still seem incredibly divisive. Hell, I can’t even write any columns about WWE without getting personally attacked for having a different opinion.

My opinion heading into Wrestlemania 40 has been very simple… Triple H has been doing a good job with WWE Creative and had a great vision of building up a rematch between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns. The Brock Lesnar feud through SummerSlam 2023 was a way to strengthen Cody as a Main Eventer and it worked. Then, Cody wins the 2024 Royal Rumble match to earn the #1 contendership at Wrestlemania and he points at Roman to end the show. Perfectly done…

This storyline build already sold-out (or close to it) Wrestlemania 40 in Philadelphia. They didn’t need any added support, as the fans were 100% invested in Cody’s story and seeing the Bloodline finally “get theirs” at Wrestlemania 40 for years upon years of escaping losing the WWE Titles.

Then, we get a crazy week where the following events happen:

(1) WWE announces Netflix deal and the Rock joining the WWE Board of Directors for $30 million in stock options.

(2) Janel Grant’s lawsuit against Vince McMahon, John Laurinaitis, and WWE is filed and details are made public.

The latter event sent Endeavor and TKO into a panic, and they then forced their hand by inserting The Rock into the WWE main event. For the many, many WWE fans invested in Cody getting a second crack at Roman, per the close WM 39 finish & Cody overcoming Lesnar, they were upset and got very vocal online. Some, unfortunately, harassed Rock’s daughter about it but that’s a very slim minority. Most fans were just honestly invested in Cody’s rise and felt he was THE GUY to finally take down Roman. Merchandise sales, drawing numbers, attendance, etc. seem to apply metrics to validate Cody’s push.

Because Corporations are how heavily driven by analytics and sensitive to Social Media, Endeavor/TKO panicked once again and thus WWE reverted back to Cody vs. Roman Reigns. However, the Rock, a former wrestler, felt the heat of the initial switch and decided to lean into it as a new heel character. After all, his schedule was free after his television show was cancelled and didn’t have any movies to film until this Summer. Rock got poisoned by the wrestling bug again and is really pumping out quality stuff as a heel which was miles better than his babyface efforts of 2012-2013 when feuding with Cena (Cena crushed him on promos, “writing on your wrist”).

HOWEVER and this is the biggest point of them all… The Rock is attacking guys like Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins with a bazooka while Cody & Seth are totally limited on their replies. Rock has 100% freedom do to and say anything he wants on Social Media. Cody and Seth’s Social Media accounts are controlled by WWE and their contracts limit anything they can say publicly. TKO/WWE Corporation would severely punish Cody or Seth if they dropped vulgarity or went off character on their Social Media accounts. FACT. The Rock has his own special television writer (Brian Gewirtz) while Cody & Seth have to read scripts from the overall Creative Team that everyone else has to use. The Rock can ad lib and improvise away from the script, while Cody & Seth have to stick with the script no matter what. It’s an UNFAIR fight.

It’s just like CM Punk during August/September 2011 when he’s feuding with Triple H and while CM Punk is delivering scripted lines put in place by HHH’s wife’s Creative Team, Triple H is unscripted and literally shooting on CM Punk. You know, the famous one that everyone memed when CM Punk was terminated by AEW where Punk is sitting at a table and HHH is shooting on him. Same issue was with Stephanie McMahon repeatedly calling Daniel Bryan a “B+ Player”. Like CM Punk, he couldn’t fire off an unscripted response… Both men had to stand there and take it. Ironically in the end, both guys lost… Punk never got revenge on HHH, and Bryan’s push saw cold water (the Wrestlemania 30 rig job was a joke) and Stephanie even beat Brie Bella at SummerSlam 2014.

The only way this somewhat works is if Cody Rhodes scores a meaningful win over the Rock… That’s it… But HOW does he do that? Because after all, he’s still feuding with Roman Reigns for the WWE World Titles. Does winning in the tag match on Night #1 satisfy that demand? I don’t know…

And how much of the Rock are we actually going to see wrestle? He’s in his early 50s now and if you recall watching him during 2011-2013, he wasn’t a good wrestler. Rock lacked cardio and was seen sucking wind throughout his matches with Cena or Punk. Then, he tore a muscle during his Wrestlemania 29 match with Cena. There’s a price to pay when looking absolutely jacked, however that is being accomplished. Tendons aren’t meant to hold exceptionally lean muscle, especially on an older body. For example, if Rock gets injured in the Tag Match, then he wouldn’t be available to wrestle Cody, ever, in a match, let alone Roman Reigns.

BUT HERE IS THE REAL ISSUE… By me simply articulating this opinion, I’m the enemy. I’m a bad guy for professionally stating my opinion and have been personally attacked by many readers, people from other websites, and even a few know-it-alls here at NoDQ.

I see nothing but attacks by diehard Roman fans, diehard Cody fans, and now older marks of the Rock. Hell, I’m even seeing attacks by Vince McMahon apologists, the ones who don’t want Roman Reigns to lose at all. For simply stating an opinion that (a) Wrestlemania 40 didn’t need the overbooking or the Rock and (b) Cody and Seth are restricted by the WWE’s policies to properly respond to the Rock’s unscripted attacks.

The online wrestling community should be CELEBRATING right now for Wrestlemania 40, as you’re now 100% free of Vince McMahon and many wrestlers, across the board, are doing their best work ever. Yet, you’re all miserable and looking for a pissing match online.

Things could be MUCH WORSE, WWE fans… You could have blown millions on 4 talents (Adam Copeland, Mercedes Moné, Will Ospreay, and Kazuchika Okada) and still barely draw 800,000 and LOW YouTube numbers for your top Dynamite show weekly. And yikes, the television show attendance since Mercedes’s debut has been dropping… Plenty of tickets available, and lots of tarping happening in those smaller arenas. That place is total misery, as the Creative SUCKS and now the morale is gonna sink after the overpaid wrestlers didn’t boost the numbers.

But instead, WWE fans are incredibly miserable and very militant on their opinions. I can’t post a column without getting personally attacked. Rock can post whatever he wants, whenever he wants while Cody/Seth are restricted. Rock can ad lib and gets his own writer, Cody/Seth have to use the same creative team and can’t improvise at all. Also, attacking your own fans as “crybabies”… The fans are the ones who have PAID the WWE their top dollars to enjoy the content for the past 2 years to help them get into a better position to get these Netflix deals. They aren’t crying, they were appreciating the quality that Triple H’s storytelling was providing and don’t appreciate the pure chaos that has been injected by the Rock.

And in the end, Cody vs. Roman, the initially planned match, has been overshadowed by the Rock doing 20-30 minute promos on various Smackdowns. The shine on the Rock vs. Roman match is GONE, as the foolish idea to rush that match has diminished the drawing power of that and would need serious creative help to re-establish (now likely to be babyface Roman vs. heel Rock). And Roman Reigns was the #1 heel and character of the WWE but he’s had to take a backseat to the Rock. Important point brought up by Pat McAfee on his show Friday… Roman has CARRIED the WWE since the COVID-19 era, as the WWE viewing audience was shrinking considerably. Then, Roman changes his character and along with Paul Heyman, helped grow the WWE numbers organically again.

That’s where I think Rock calling himself “final boss” is BS… Roman IS the final boss and has been since the Bloodline stable began. The Rock is just riding the bandwagon that Roman and Heyman built, and I think that’s BS. Sure, once the dust is settled, Rock and Roman will have their feud and it will be huge… But it could have been bigger.

Imagine this… Rock remains silent and doesn’t interject himself into the Wrestlemania 40 booking… Cody vs. Roman goes on as planned and they have an epic match BUT it looks to be ending the same with Solo trying to interfere again (maybe Jimmy too). As this is about to happen, the Rock’s “IF YOU SMELLLLL” music plays and Rock clears the ring of the Bloodline scum. Now, the playing field is even and Cody can go on to vanquish Roman Reigns as World Champion. Then, Rock and Roman can spend the rest of 2024 and 2025 building up a MASSIVE Rock vs. Roman match to likely headline Wrestlemania 41. Much, much, easier path to do this.

Instead, we injected nothing but booking chaos and have unleashed a Rock character that has an unfair amount of resources at his disposal to make the rest of the WWE roster look bad. When the Rock leaves after Wrestlemania 40 to film a movie, what then? Cody has been tarred and feathered, while Roman became a BETA to the Rock acting like the ALPHA.

But by me stating my opinion professionally and with FACTS, I’m the bad guy in many militant fans’ eyes.

Go watch wrestling from 2018 and get back to me on how BAD that stuff was compared to this… Good lord, you fans are miserable!

And I want to emphasize that through chaos, there is still quality here in the WWE… Rock’s promos are great, not disputing that. We’re getting what could be a crazy match with Rock/Roman vs. Seth/Cody, which I think has the opportunity to benefit Cody and Seth. It’s good to have the Rock back because he’s an all-time great talent.

But damn it, level the playing field… While Cody/Seth have controlled Social Media accounts and have to rely on a Creative Team to be scripted, Rock can literally say whatever he wants on Social Media and gets the luxury of 1 writer crafting stuff for him while the Rock can improvise whenever he wants. That’s total CRAP and should be against whatever policies are in place by TKO and WWE.

I don’t care if he’s the Rock… His role as a Board Member is to make the company he represents look great, not just himself. Again, hopefully he redeems Cody and Seth by putting them over cleanly, but I have my doubts based on prior WWE history. And I recall who won at Wrestlemania 28, too…

Onto my predictions that I’m sure will get attacked with personal insults, too.

Mr. Tito’s PHAT Wrestlemania 40 Predictions

Keep in mind that I’m writing these early, as of 3/24/24. The card is always “subject to change”. But any major show that adds matches within 2 weeks of a show is a disorganized mess and is just rigging things to get everyone a Wrestlemania payout.

Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bayley
I am purposely placing this match first in my predictions… How on earth is anyone saying this should Main Event a Wrestlemania show, especially this one? Sure, Bayley won the Royal Rumble and I understand the older advertising of “gets to main event Wrestlemania”, but getting a World Title match at Wrestlemania itself is important. But neither Bayley or Iyo are strongly drawing. Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch have a WAY better argument to Main Event over this match.

I just don’t see any excitement for this match. Iyo Sky and her tiny self hasn’t generated any heat as a World Champion and Bayley isn’t the same as she once was. The whole “Ding Dong” stuff was pure cringe and the Damage CTRL stable hasn’t generated any excitement for me. Not doing much for me here, but the Damage CTRL stable is a weak one without Bayley and I expect her to vanquish it at Wrestlemania. Bayley’s overall career has been great, past few years aside, and this will be a reward for it.

Tito’s Prediction: Bayley


6 Pack Ladder Match for the Tag Titles
“Everyone gets a Wrestlemania payday”. Furthermore, let’s have everyone do their favorite daredevil stunts from ladders to see who can get injured first and cost TKO/Endeavor money by paying medical bills. The more hilarious part is that the Money in the Bank briefcase holder, Damian Priest is in this match… So if he gets beat up during this match, how would he muster up the energy to possibly take a World Title away?

There’s a lot of love for R-Truth lately, and I think he and Miz will escape this match and become Tag Champions.

Tito’s Prediction: R-Truth & Miz


Gunther(c) vs. Sami Zayn
Don’t doubt that Damian Priest cashes in the MITB briefcase here… After a hard fought match against Sami, whom I expect Gunther to defeat, this could be an opportunity. Gunther losing the title could free him up to be Cody’s first opponent following Wrestlemania 40 for the WWE Title…

I like Sami, but he just won the gauntlet challenge to get here and there really isn’t much “sense of urgency” to make him IC Champ or for him to end Gunther’s reign. It’s just a reward for hard work, and thus a good Wrestlemania spot because damn Brock Lesnar was named in the lawsuit to end the Brock vs. Gunther initially booked match. That lawsuit has been a total wrecking ball to the WWE this year.

Tito’s Prediction: Gunther, with a slight chance of MITB cash-in from Priest


LA Knight vs. AJ Styles
Remember when Kevin Nash savaged LA Knight by calling him a cheap Rock imitation? Well, with the Rock back, LA Knight hasn’t been as interesting… Well, isn’t that fascinating? Kevin Nash was right… Much like the 2024 Primary season when Ron DeSantis tried to act like Trump but he failed miserably because he wasn’t the real deal. Since Knight is regressing, I’m changing my mind on this prediction. Furthermore, AJ Styles is JACKED right now and WWE tends to reward those who get in absurd shape. I could see an AJ Styles win here and then they keep feuding through the summer.

Tito’s Prediction: AJ Styles


Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso
This match has “hot opener” written all over it… To me, the prediction is obvious because Jey is the baby face and Jimmy is a heel that doesn’t have much established as a singles wrestler. There’s always a chance of Solo interference, but I predict Jimmy will do something before the match to have him stay in the locker room. After all, the interference is coming later in that big Tag Match.

Tito’s Prediction: Jey Uso


Logan Paul(c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens
Again, I would not be surprised if Damian Priest sneaks into this match… Just seems too obvious that you have 2 babyfaces in this match against a heel in Logan Paul. I don’t see much benefit putting the US Title around Randy’s waist, while if Owens wins the title, he won’t hold it for long. I see Logan getting sneaky or cheating to win the match, maybe by pitting Orton and Owens against each other (creates a feud after Wrestlemania too).

Tito’s Prediction: Logan Paul


Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch
I like this match A LOT… In my opinion, both of these 2 are among the most talented women’s wrestlers and I expect both to put on a supreme 20-25 minute match much like Charlotte and Rhea did last year. Rhea is very talented, but Becky is too. I think you’re going to see an all-time female match here but with Rhea retaining to continue to solidify her as champion. Keep in mind that WWE wants longer title reigns and Rhea will remain as champion. But winning doesn’t matter… Just blow the roof off the arena and that matters, no matter if you’re in the main event spot or not.

Tito’s Prediction: Rhea Ripley


Seth Rollins(c) vs. Drew McIntyre
I expect Seth to be selling an injury, as this match is on Night #2 and he’s coming off the knee surgery. That will be the story of the match and Seth selling the injury may prompt (dare I say it again) Damian Priest to invade this match, either during or possibly afterward. Either way, I don’t see Seth escaping this match as Champion. He’ll be the true victim of the previous night’s tag match, especially if this is the hot opener of Day 1 meaning he had much less than 24 hours to recover. Drew will take advantage and win the title here to set up CM Punk vs. Drew in the future. Then, Punk wins the World Heavyweight Championship from Drew to possibly set up Roman Reigns vs. CM Punk in the future when Roman moves to RAW.

Tito’s Prediction: Drew McIntyre (MITB cash-in likely fails)


Roman Reigns/The Rock vs. Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins
Seems too obvious that the stipulation on the line for this Tag Team match will be desired to happen on Night #2 for Cody vs. Roman. I don’t see any way for Cody and Seth to win UNLESS there’s a moment where Rock and Roman collide or interference goes wrong. I expect Jimmy and/or Solo to interfere here to cause Roman Reigns to pin Cody Rhodes to “up the stakes” for Night #2. What will Cody do after getting pinned and having the Bloodline stipulation added to his match? Should be interesting to see how the heel work is done between Roman and Rock, as I expect them to work on Seth Rollins as the “babyface in peril” by attacking the injured leg and then the hot tag will be Cody Rhodes unleashing a fury.

But I believe this Bloodline stipulation is wanted and desired for Night #2, so thus Rock and Roman are going to win.

Tito’s Prediction: Rock & Roman Reigns


Roman Reigns(c) vs. Cody Rhodes
The Bloodline stipulation will be added to this match, per the Night #1 tag match favoring Roman/Rock. Thus, expect the Rock on commentary talking smack and attacking, when necessary, and Jimmy and Solo on the outside acting like Lumberjacks. Hell, the Rock already has his strap, so I expect Cody to be beaten senseless throughout this match. Anytime Cody gets the upperhand, Bloodline interferes… But I expect many close call pins, as the Bloodline’s frustration starts to grow when they can’t put him away. Then, I expect the Bloodline to get cocky and just beat down Cody for fun without even trying to pin him… It’s within that section of the match where things go wrong, and the Rock or Roman will accidentally hit the other with something… I believe Rock will nail Roman and that will lead to Cody attacking the Rock and hitting him with a CrossRhodes will disposing of Jimmy/Solo. Then, it’s Cody vs. Roman one-on-one and Cody completes his story.

THAT SAID – I am always hesitant on Roman Reigns ever losing lately. I could see Cody disposing of Rock/Jimmy/Solo as described above and Roman seizes upon that distraction to hit a SPEAR to get the win.

At this point, though, I believe WWE wants to appease the loyal WWE fanbase and get them their Cody big win for the WWE Title. That will end the Rhodes story of capturing the title that eluded Dusty Rhodes and the WWE move forward, likely with Cody losing the title shortly after winning it and maybe even back to Roman. Who knows? But I see Cody being a Smackdown brand wrestler once the new TV deals are in place. The Anti-AEW and Rhodes Story shine will be gone by then.

Tito’s Prediction: Cody Rhodes


THE LAST WORD: Personally, this could be an all-time great Wrestlemania… But it was already shaping to be that anyway because the WWE roster is stacked and the Creative is doing an overall good job under Triple H’s leadership. The Rock has to “get his”, though, as his unfiltered and unscripted shadow has been cast too much over the entire WWE roster who aren’t allowed to operate in the same manner as the Rock. We’ll see what happens to the self-proclaimed “final boss” for this event and if it benefits Roman, Seth, and Cody at all afterward.

But remember, what I’ve just posted above are OPINIONS and mine isn’t any more special than yours. Get over it if someone’s opinion upsets you, particularly about a wrestling event where winners and losers of matches are determined ahead of time.

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