Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Bianca Belair [Undisputed Women’s Championship]
Rhea Ripley will dethrone Bianca Belair to become the Undisputed Women’s Champion and merge the women’s divisions. The women’s divisions are so depleted to the point that not even a few NXT call-ups can fix it. There are way too many rematches in the title scene with the same familiar faces in the title picture. The divisions need to be merged to add more value to the women’s title in WWE and bring about fresh feuds in the new wrestling calendar year. That tease between Ripley and Belair on Raw was just what WWE needed to spark a brand-new start for the division.
As predicted here on Daily DDT, Belair, and Ripley were always going to win their respective title matches at Mania 39 because they are the John Cena and Randy Orton of this women’s division today. In other words, Belair and Ripley are the top face and heel of this era’s division respectively. They have defeated every top contender in this division, and it is long overdue for two of WWE’s top NXT graduates, who are not one of the four Horsewomen, to battle head to head, see who is truly the best of the best, and elicit a bright future for the women’s division as a whole.
Both women are deserving of being the Undisputed Women’s Champion. However, since Belair has held the title for more than 365 days and Ripley just won the title, it makes more sense for Ripley to win here and go on a monster run as champ whilst leading the Judgment Day.
Prediction: Rhea Ripley
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar [No Holds Barred Match]
Brock Lesnar will seal the fate of Cody Rhodes by burying him in this No Holds Barred Match for what should be the main event of WWE Backlash 2023. As predicted here on Daily DDT, Rhodes was always going to lose to Reigns at Mania 39. Although he was on cloud nine with his winning streak on the road to his title match against Reigns, he was still the Plan C behind The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin as potential opponents for Reigns at Mania. Reigns would have retained his title at Mania against either Rock or Stone Cold, so he was bound to retain it against Cody.
Not to mention, Reigns has had a historic run that is on the verge of reaching 1000 days. From a business perspective, WWE likes those milestones and would likely want to reach it before dethroning Reigns. Besides, this loss at Mania could have actually helped more than hurt Cody. As a polarizing figure, some fans were actually turning on Rhodes after his lack of struggle in winning the Rumble match from #30 and his winning streak thereafter. Due to his devastating loss at Mania, he could garner some sympathy here for his babyface character before becoming champion.
As the chasing babyface who only recently returned to WWE from a rival company in AEW last year, Rhodes needs to struggle a little before dethroning the biggest draw and world champion in WWE today. He needs that struggle to add some humane qualities to his character and assure that fans can relate to and fully connect with him as a top babyface. The struggle Cody is about to face is Brock Lesnar, who was not only a top contender for the world title in the main event scene but will also be a wake-up call for Rhodes as he is initiated into the main event scene.
Thanks to the merger with UFC, it would also be a neat marketing technique for WWE to book a former UFC star in Lesnar as the winner in their first PLE main event and continue this trilogy on the road to SummerSlam, where Rhodes can hopefully dig down deep to get two wins back.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
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