McGuire’s Mondays: What’s going to happen after the WrestleMania circus leaves Philadelphia?


By Colin McGuire, Staffer

It’s WrestleMania go-home week. You already knew that. Something most of us don’t know is what’s going to happen coming out of WWE’s biggest event of the year. In fact, as I was covering Smackdown on Friday, I found myself writing some form of the following after nearly every segment:

“I’m interested to see what will happen to [blank] after next weekend because [blank] could use a change of pace.”

And so, I figured instead of polluting the World Wide Internet with yet another prediction column heading into pro wrestling’s Super Bowl, I’d take a look at a few wrestlers/stories/teams/issues that seemingly have no direction beyond this weekend and then wonder aloud: What’s next? The answer to that question, of course, is “I don’t know.” But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. So, let’s do this.

Becky Lynch

Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch has been a match most fans have pushed for since Mania season began to take shape. And because we are in the “WWE actually wants to please its fans” era, it turns out that’s what we’re going to get in Philadelphia. The only problem? Ripley can’t lose … can she?

Or, well, I can’t see it, at least. So Ripley retains and maintains dominance over the WWE women’s division. But Becky? That’s a little more tricky. Lynch is one of the company’s biggest stars, even when it feels like she’s cooled off, but Lynch without a title, presumably having just taken an L on the Grandest Stage Of Them All feels empty. Plus, when it comes to the Raw brand, there really aren’t many other women left for her to work a notable program with.

A logical step would be to somehow fit Lynch and Tiffany Stratton onto the same show to continue their very good feud from Stratton’s NXT days, but unless if I missed something, WWE draft day has yet to be announced and those women happen to be on different brands. Does Lynch go back to trying to elevate younger talent? Is there a legend ready to return who could use six months with The Man?

It’s moot if Lynch pulls out the win, but I believe the only way that happens is if …

The Judgment Day

… We are in the twilight moments of The Judgment Day and that nonsense gets in the way of Ripley retaining. The group showed some friction on Friday night’s show after Dominik agreed to team with Santos Escobar at WrestleMania, so perhaps WWE has decided to pull the trigger on their breakup sooner than any of us could have predicted. In hindsight, though, it would kind of/sort of make sense.

Case in point: Nobody wants to boo Rhea Ripley these days. The only thing keeping her Bad Guy Heat is her affiliation with Dirty Dom, but if Dirty Dom is the reason everyone in the group is all pissy, perhaps those two are due for a split with Rhea leaning into the cheers, kissing babies, and performing the Stink Face on wrestlers who beg for it (hi, Shayna). I think we can all agree that it’s unlikely Finn and Damian walk away from the weekend still as tag champs – and who knows all the stories that potential loss could hatch – so, hey: Maybe the end actually is nigh for the faction.

Or, at the very least, it’s closer than any of us expects it to be. Now, speaking of endings …


The return of the Latino World Order has been fun in spurts, but it’s awfully hard to tell if the juice is worth the squeeze anymore. Carlito’s return has been easily forgettable, Zelina Vega feels like her talents are being wasted, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde could stand a high-profile tag run in NXT, and Rey Mysterio … Rey can be better utilized in the final days of his career, can’t he?

My point is that the feud between Legado Del Fantasma and the LWO has run its course to such a degree that not only can I not wait for WrestleMania to come and go for both sides, but I’m also eager to see what else WWE has in store for the groups. Fantasma just got rolling, so it’s hard to think they’re going anywhere, but the LWO, at this point, feels most like a vehicle that was revitalized to build Santos Escobar, turn him heel and ostensibly have him win a program against Rey Mysterio.

All that’s fine and good, of course. But enough is enough; it’s time for everyone to move on. Whether that means both factions will still be intact at this time next week is a question only time will answer. For now, here’s hoping other plans are made for both the LWO and Legado Del Fantasma.


I love me some Bayley. Always have. Always will. I loved the hugger. I loved the obnoxious talk show host with the Karen haircut. I’m a Bayley fan. The problem? Her grand plan to elevate Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai as part of Damage CTRL has worked out great for those women, but as for Bayley’s profile these days?


Iyo Sky vs. Bayley for the WWE Women’s Championship at WrestleMania feels like it should mean way more than it currently does. Weirdly, Bayley has struggled to reconnect with the fans as a babyface (and, to be fair, Bianca Belair’s constant reminders of all the sins Bayley has committed over the last few years hasn’t done her any favors either). The former Damage CTRL leader hasn’t warranted as much sympathy as someone in her storyline position should be receiving and in the meantime, she hasn’t necessarily been warm and cuddly for those who may want to get behind her.

So, what happens coming out of Mania? I’m inclined to think she beats SKY to become the women’s champion, but I’m also not sure who she works with next if she indeed walks away as the victor. Could a Bianca Belair, Naomi or Jade Cargill heel turn at WrestleMania lead to establishing Bayley’s next dancing partner? It’s possible, though the alliance between Naomi, Jade and Bianca feels too new to break it up. Plus, that group has legs if WWE wants to invest in it.

So, then what? While I hope Bayley gets her WrestleMania moment (and the Internet melts when grainy videos of Mercedes Mone cheering her on in the crowd surface), I can’t help but think she’d be a cold champion as WWE starts its storyline fiscal year. That could change. But something major at Mania would have to happen.

Sami Zayn

I can’t be the only one who is reading this Sami Zayn/Gunther stuff as such: Way back when Sami was the hottest thing wrestling has seen since Bruno ran The Garden (which was, if you remember, sometime last year), we all knew he wasn’t going to dethrone Roman Reigns. The consolation prize, meanwhile, now feels like it was a tag title reign with Kevin Owens and a singles victory at next year’s WrestleMania against another dominant champion.

Well. OK. But why does none of this feel special? Maybe it’s the rise of Chad Gable and the story of him one-day dethroning Gunther. Maybe it’s because Zayn took a lot of losses at one point and those losses felt more like steps back down the card rather than a story designed to keep him toward the top of it. Whatever it is, I feel bad for the guy because it’s not like he was shy about saying the Roman Reigns phenomenon from 12 to 18 months ago felt a little empty because he never got the win the fans so desperately wanted to see.

And now, if his big moment really is approaching, it feels like those fickle fans have proved Bryan Danielson right once again and moved on. Either way, it’s time to move Gunther into a world title picture and since he’s already broken all the Intercontinental Title records, it sure does feel like it’s Sami’s time to shine this weekend. My only gripe with that is almost identical to my only gripe with Bayley’s potential win … which is almost identical to to the other scenarios I outlined here … which is almost identical to what this column is about this week … which is, very simply put …

Now what?

A week from now, the answer to that will hopefully be just a little more clear.


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