Lakers’ LeBron James still wants to participate in 2024 Paris Olympics, but says health will play major role

Despite being 39 years old, LeBron James still wants to compete in the Paris Games this summer. But during NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, James admitted that his ability to play in the 2024 Olympics will depend on his health.

“The most important thing for me is definitely my health,” said James, whose last Olympics was the London Games. James’ Team USA squads won gold in 2012 and 2008, and bronze in 2004.

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference with a 30-26 record but still look like potential postseason contenders. If the Lakers are able to make a deep playoff run, that could throw a wrench into James’ Olympic plans if he’s banged up at all.

“I told myself before the season, when I committed to being part of the Olympic team, obviously it was all predicated on my health,” James said. “As it stands right now, I am healthy enough to be on the team and perform at a level that I know I can perform at.”

If the Lakers are able to reach the Western Conference finals or even the NBA Finals, James would still have time to rest up, but it’s also possible that he doesn’t want to tax his body anymore during the Paris Games, which will run from July 26 to Aug. 11.

After all, it’s likely that James still has a few more seasons left in the tank, so that could also be a contributing factor.

“It’s more miles put on these tires,” James said. “But if I’m committed — which I am — to Team USA, then I’m going to commit my mind, body and soul to being out there for Team USA, being out there representing our country with the utmost respect and go out there and play.”

James is now past the midway point of his 21st season, and he’s made it clear he isn’t sure how many more NBA seasons he plans to play.

The Lakers star has already become one of the most accomplished players in NBA history. He’s fresh off his 20th All-Star Game appearance, which is the most ever. During the 2022-23 season, James passed Kareem-Abdul Jabbar for the most points in NBA history, and is now just 132 points from tallying 40,000 points in his regular-season career.

Timberwolves guard signs two-year, $21 million extension, per report

Mike Conley has agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Timberwolves, owners of the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed at the All-Star break, now have their starting lineup locked up going into next season.

Conley, who was acquired in a deadline deal that cost Minnesota D’Angelo Russell in 2023, has been everything the Timberwolves could have hoped for as their starting point guard. He has been a stabilizing force on an offense built around young superstar Anthony Edwards. His presence has made life significantly easier on both ends of the floor for former Utah Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert, who is favored to win his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award this season. Minnesota is 49-25 overall with Conley in the fold.

Getting Conley back at this price is a boon for a Timberwolves team facing a severe financial crunch. Right now, the Timberwolves have roughly $185 million on the books for next season dedicated to nine players.

CBS Sports HQ Newsletter
We bring sports news that matters to your inbox, to help you stay informed and get a winning edge.

I agree to receive the “CBS Sports HQ Newsletter” and marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from CBS Sports and the Paramount family of companies.
By pressing sign up, I confirm that I have read and agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge Paramount’s Privacy Policy.
Email Address
The projected second apron for next season is $189.5 million, and Minnesota is nearly a lock to exceed that figure. That will likely mean the loss of impending free-agent forward Kyle Anderson, but the rest of the core will be in place.

That includes their starting point guard, who is now locked into a deal that will pay him less than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. He almost certainly could have earned more on the open market, but in Minnesota, Conley has his best chance to genuinely contend for a championship. Now he’ll be able to do so for the next two seasons at least.

Nets promote Kevin Ollie to interim head coach after firing Jacque Vaughn, per report

The Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Jacque Vaughn, the team announced Monday morning. Kevin Ollie is set to be named the interim head coach in Brooklyn, per ESPN. The Nets, now 21-33, have fallen out of the top 10 in the Eastern Conference and made a change over the NBA All-Star break with 28 games left on their regular-season schedule. Ollie’s first game will come Thursday night against the Raptors.

Ollie, previously the head coach at the University of Connecticut and the head of coaching and player development at Overtime Elite, joined Vaughn’s staff ahead of the 2023-24 season. Ollie spent 13 seasons in the NBA as a player, and he helped guide UConn to a national championship in 2014. He was a candidate for the Detroit Pistons head coaching job last summer before the team hired Monty Williams.

Vaughn took over the Nets under less than ideal circumstances. After serving as interim coach in 2020 after the firing of Kenny Atkinson, he remained on the staff under new coach Steve Nash. When Nash got fired early last season, Vaughn was again tapped as the interim replacement.

That interim tag was removed following a hot start, but things fell apart in the middle of the season when extension talks with Kyrie Irving broke down and he sought a trade. The Nets sent him to Dallas and followed that move up by dealing Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns. With a suddenly rebuilding roster, the Nets declined. They fell to the No. 6 seed in last year’s postseason, and now, at 21-33, they sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference this year. They have gone 8-23 since their impressive 13-10 start.

The Nets are now somewhat stuck between eras. They lack the star power of the Durant-Irving years, but with the Houston Rockets owning so many of their first-round picks from the James Harden trade, they aren’t in an ideal position to rebuild either. They’ve accumulated plenty of picks from other teams in recent trades, and those picks could potentially help them land a new star to pair with Mikal Bridges. Of course, maintaining a winning culture in between those two eras would go a long way in recruiting such a player. Vaughn hasn’t done so, and now the Nets are moving on.

Vaughn is the third Eastern Conference coach to get fired this season. The Washington Wizards made a coaching change from Wes Unseld Jr. to Brian Keefe while the Milwaukee Bucks replaced Adrian Griffin with Doc Rivers. That means that 20% of the Eastern Conference has already made coaching changes this season, and when the offseason arrives, more could easily come.

Draymond Green expected to return Monday vs. Grizzlies after 16-game absence, per report

Draymond Green is expected to return to the lineup on Monday when the Golden State Warriors face off against the Memphis Grizzlies, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Green was suspended indefinitely after a Dec. 12 incident against the Phoenix Suns in which he committed a flagrant foul against Jusuf Nurkic. In total, Green missed 16 games between his suspension and ramp up for a return, and his return is now set for Martin Luther King Day.

Green’s indefinite suspension was the result of several disciplinary issues over the course of his career. He had already been suspended five games earlier this season for a chokehold against Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. Additionally, Green had been suspended several other times in his career, and the league had cited his previous disciplinary issues as the punishments grew more severe for newer infractions. As part of his return to play, Green needed to undergo counseling.

He revealed on his podcast, the Draymond Green Show, that commissioner Adam Silver needed to talk him out of retiring after the incident. He eventually apologized for what happened. “I was wrong,” Green said. “I was wrong regardless of what I was trying to do, regardless of — none of that shit matters. I was wrong. I accept my fault in that and I apologize.”

The Warriors have struggled mightily lately without Green. They started 5-1 after his suspension began, but are 3-7 since. At 18-21, the Warriors currently hold the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference and will need help just to make it into the Play-In Tournament. The defense that Green typically leads is currently ranked 24th in the NBA.

The Grizzlies, under other circumstances, might not be an ideal opponent for Green to return against. They have been one of Golden State’s primary rivals over the past several years, and Green has publicly feuded with them in that span. However, his primary antagonist in that window has been Dillon Brooks, who now plays for the Houston Rockets, and with the Grizzlies at 14-25 and dealing with several key injuries, this game isn’t as likely to generate controversy as a typical Warriors-Grizzlies matchup might have done. If the Warriors have their way, Green’s return will lead to a quiet victory against the Grizzlies and then a whole lot more of them as the season progresses.

Dwyane Wade to receive statue outside Heat arena, which Pat Riley says will be ‘eight feet tall’

It was only a matter of time before Miami Heat legend and recent Hall of Fame inductee Dwyane Wade received a statue outside the organization’s South Beach arena, and it became official on Sunday. During halftime of the Heat’s game against the Charlotte Hornets, which they dubbed “Dwyane Wade Hall of Fame Night,” team president Pat Riley announced that Wade will soon have the first statue in franchise history outside of Kaseya Center.

“I’m not really the person who gets lost for words. I’ve got too many words actually. I didn’t dream of this, though,” Wade said after the halftime announcement. “I’m just so grateful. I’m very grateful. … I can’t wait for families to be able to experience what that’s gonna be like from all around the world, to come and have a moment of the culture that will be out front. I can’t wait until that day, man, so I’m excited.”

Catch Wade’s full halftime interview featuring the special announcement from Pat 👀

— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 15, 2024
The unveiling ceremony for the statue will take place in fall of 2024, according to the Heat, with further details being released at a later date. Riley said that the statue will be “eight feet tall,” but no size parameters were provided in Miami’s press release. They did say that sculptors Omri Amrany and Oscar Leon of Fine Art Studio Rotblatt Amrany have been commissioned to create the statue. Amrany has worked on statues of NBA stars before, including those of Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Dirk Nowitzki and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Wade played 15 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Heat, leading them to three championships while earning Finals MVP honors in 2006. He is one of three players in NBA history to accumulate at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks and 500 3-pointers in his career — the other two are LeBron James and Michael Jordan. Wade was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this past August, and will always have a home in “Wade County” as the poster child for Heat Culture.

“When we retired his jersey in February 2020, I said Dwyane was the face of this franchise forever and I meant it,” Riley said. “Dwyane’s legacy is a towering one not only for the Miami Heat but for Miami-Wade County. I can’t think of a better way to honor him than by memorializing that legacy.”

Desmond Bane out at least six weeks with ankle sprain, as nightmare Grizzlies season continues

A rough 2023-24 season for the Memphis Grizzlies just got even more difficult, as shooting guard Desmond Bane will miss at least six weeks with a Grade 3 ankle sprain, the team announced on Sunday. Bane carried the brunt of the scoring load during Ja Morant’s 25-game suspension and was expected to do the same once Morant underwent season-ending shoulder surgery. Instead the Grizzlies will have to look elsewhere for the next month and half.

Bane joins a growing list of Grizzlies who have missed significant time this season, most notably Morant and center Steven Adams, who was ruled out prior to the season due to knee surgery. On Thursday the Grizzlies announced that guard Marcus Smart would miss at least six weeks with a hand injury and, in the same press release that provided the Bane update, Memphis said that forward Jake LaRavia would also miss at least three weeks with an ankle sprain.

After a dismal start to the season, Morant’s return temporarily breathed life into the Grizzlies, as they went 6-3 in the games he played. But now, sitting at 14-25 without Morant and with extended absences for Bane and Smart, it’s hard to envision a late run into the thick of the playoff race.

Bane is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging career highs in points (24.4) and assists (5.3) while maintaining remarkable efficiency from the field. He’s shooting 38% on 8.6 3-point attempts per game and making a career-best 55% of his 2-pointers. The team’s offensive rating has improved by 5.5 points per 100 possessions with Bane on the floor this season, so the Grizzlies could struggle on that end during his absence.

Martin Luther King Day game times, live stream, TV channel, odds, how to watch basketball online

The NBA is celebrating Martin Luther King Day on Monday with an 11-game schedule and plenty of afternoon tips for the holiday. Action gets started at 1 p.m. ET with the 76ers hosting the Rockets, and there are five other games that will be underway by 6 p.m. ET. Mavericks-Pelicans, Knicks-Magic, Grizzlies-Warriors are all on the holiday slate, which closes out with Lakers-Thunder at 10:30 p.m. ET. Warriors veteran Draymond Green is set to make his return from suspension in Memphis against the Grizzlies.

During #MLKDay and beyond, the NBA honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy through action that answers the needs of today. We are reminded of the continued responsibility to protect and promote freedom and justice for all people.

The time is always right to do what is right.

— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2024
Here’s where you can watch every MLK Day matchup.

Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center — Philadelphia
TV channel: NBA TV | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: PHI -305 | HOU +240 | O/U: 227.5
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: American Airlines Center — Dallas
TV channel: Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports Southwest | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: NO -170 | DAL +143 | O/U: 236
Detroit Pistons vs. Washington Wizards
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Captial One Arena — Washington, D.C.
TV channel: Bally Sports Detroit, Monumental Sports Network | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: DET +185 | WAS -225 | O/U: 240.5
Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden — New York
TV channel: Bally Sports Florida, MSG Network | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: ORL +222 | NY -278 | O/U: 221
San Antonio Spurs vs. Atlanta Hawks
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: State Farm Arena — Atlanta
TV channel: TNT
Odds: SAS +260 | ATL -335 | O/U: 245.5
Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: FedExForum — Memphis
TV channel: TNT
Odds: GS -305 | MEM +240 | O/U: 227.5
Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse — Cleveland
TV channel: NBC Sports Chicago, Bally Sports Ohio | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: CLE -165 | CHI +140 | O/U: 220.5
Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Barclays Center — New York
TV channel: Bally Sports Sun, YES Network | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: MIA +110 | BKN -130 | O/U: 218.5
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Scotiabank Arena — Toronto
TV channel: NBC Sports Boston, TSN | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: BOS -285 | TOR +228 | O/U: 243
Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
Location: Delta Center — Utah
TV channel: Bally Sports Indiana, KJZZ-TV | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: IND +222 | UTA -278 | O/U: 245
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Arena — Los Angeles
TV channel: NBA TV, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Spectrum SportsNet | Live stream: fubo (try for free)
Odds: OKC -105 | LAL -115 | O/U: 239

2024 NBA picks, January 15 predictions from proven model

We’ve got another exciting Eastern Conference matchup on the NBA on MLK Day schedule as the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat are set to tip at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Barclays Center. Brooklyn is 16-22 overall and 10-9 at home, while Miami is 23-16 overall and 11-9 on the road. The Nets have dominated this series recently, winning six of the last seven meetings against the Heat.

The Nets are favored by 2 points in the latest Nets vs. Heat odds, and the over/under is 219 points. Before entering any Heat vs. Nets picks, you’ll want to see the NBA predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters Week 12 of the 2023-24 NBA season on a sizzling 112-62 roll on all top-rated NBA picks dating back to last season, returning well over $4,000. Anyone following it has seen huge returns.

The model has set its sights on Miami vs. Brooklyn. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several NBA betting lines for the game:

Nets vs. Heat spread: Nets -2
Nets vs. Heat over/under: 219 points
Nets vs. Heat money line: Nets: -132, Heat: +111
Nets vs. Heat picks: See picks here
What you need to know about the Nets
Last Thursday, Brooklyn couldn’t handle Cleveland and fell 111-102. The Nets have not had much luck with the Cavaliers recently, as the team’s come up short the last three times they’ve met. The Nets struggled to work together and finished the game with only 18 assists. That’s the fewest assists they’ve managed all season.

Despite the setback, the Nets will enter Monday’s matchup confident they can secure the victory. That’s because Brooklyn is 6-1 in its last seven meetings against Miami. The Nets are led offensively by Mikal Bridges, who’s averaging 21.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

What you need to know about the Heat
Meanwhile, winning is just a little bit easier when you work as a team to post 10 more assists than your opponent, a fact the Heat proved on Sunday. They strolled past Charlotte with points to spare, taking the game 104-87. The win made it back-to-back wins for the Heat.

The Heat’s win was the result of several impressive offensive performances. One of the most notable came from Bam Adebayo, who dropped a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Adebayo has been hot recently, having posted 10 or more rebounds the last five times he’s played. For the season, Adebayo is averaging 22.1 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.

How to make Nets vs. Heat picks
The model has simulated Nets vs. Heat 10,000 times and the results are in. We can tell you that the model is leaning Over, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 50% of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

Pat McAfee returns to beat The Miz with help of 49ers star George Kittle

Since the first WrestleMania, the annual supershow is known for surprises and plenty of celebrity appearances. The tradition continued on Saturday night at Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 when San Francisco 49ers superstar tight end George Kittle helped Pat McAfee to beat The Miz in an impromptu match.

Miz, who had hosting duties for the two-night event at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, was in the ring with Snoop Dogg to announce the night’s official attendance when Snoop told Miz the night would be better if Miz had a match.

This led to the surprise return of former WWE commentary member McAfee, who was also a punter in the NFL. McAfee challenged Miz to a match, which was eventually made official.

After McAfee got the upper hand, Miz attempted to walk away from the match. As he left ringside, Miz walked past Kittle, who booed the WWE superstar and received a shove in return.

The duo of @PatMcAfeeShow & @gkittle46 just took down @mikethemiz at #WrestleMania!!!

— WWE (@WWE) April 2, 2023
Kittle quickly unzipped his jacket and jumped the ringside barricade before delivering a clothesline to Miz as McAfee distracted the referee.

After a big swanton from McAfee from the top rope to Miz at ringside, Miz was tossed back in the ring for the finish, after which Kittle and McAfee celebrated together in front of the rabid SoFi crowd.

2023 WWE WrestleMania 39 card, date, matches, Night 1 and Night 2 match card, rumors, start time, predictions

WWE’s biggest annual event returns to Hollywood for WrestleMania 39. A marquee match between undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns and Royal Rumble winner Cody Rhodes will headline the events from SoFi Stadium over two days in Inglewood, California on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2.

Rhodes punched his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania by winning the Royal Rumble and now is one match away from completing his promise to “finish the story” and win the world title that eluded his legendary father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Reigns, meanwhile, has held the universal championship since August 2020 and unified the belt with the WWE championship at last year’s WrestleMania.

There are five other matches set for the second night of the incredible spectacle in Hollywood. Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair looks to extend her title reign when she welcomes her latest challenger in Asuka. Intercontinental champion GUNTHER is set to put his title on the line — along with his lengthy title reign — when he takes on the best friends of Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in a triple threat match. And Edge and Finn Balor look to end their bitter rivalry when they meet inside Hell in a Cell.

Take a look below at the confirmed matches for the 2023 WrestleMania 39, both Night 1 and Night 2. And don’t miss our WrestleMania 39 predictions for Night 2.

2023 WWE WrestleMania 39 card
Night 1
United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena: A match between Theory and Cena has been discussed since Theory was on the independent scene. So, when Cena was set to appear on Raw ahead of WrestleMania, it seemed a no-brainer what the end result of that all would be. Indeed, Theory confronted Cena and laid out the challenge, which Cena refused before running Theory down on the microphone, saying Theory was not ready for that level of competition. By the end of the segment, Cena agreed to the match but to please the fans, not to give Theory what he wanted.

SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley: Ripley was the frontrunner to win the women’s Royal Rumble match and did just that. Entering at No. 1, Ripley set the record for the longest performance in a traditional women’s Rumble match en route to winning the bout. Ripley officially challenged SmackDown women’s champion Flair the following evening over a match against Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair.

Undisputed Tag Team Championship — The Usos (c) vs. Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens: Zayn and Owens have had their own issues with The Bloodline. Jey Uso stood by Zayn after Zayn’s falling out with the group but eventually turned on his best friend, berating him for thinking he would choose a friend over family. Zayn spent weeks trying to reunite with Owens before the longtime friends finally hugged it out. As expected, that reunion will lead to Zayn and Owens trying to finally get one over on The Bloodline by taking the tag titles from The Usos at WrestleMania.

Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul: Celebrity appearances have been tied to the fabric of WrestleMania since its inception. Paul has emerged as one of the most athletically brilliant celebrity crossovers in professional wrestling. His match against Reigns at Crown Jewel received rave reviews. Certainly, Reigns did the heavy lifting, but Paul over-delivered on his part. Paul returned from injury as a surprise entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble match and eliminated Rollins. Then, as Rollins was one of the last two men standing in the Elimination Chamber, Paul interfered, taking out Rollins and allowing Austin Theory to retain his United States championship. Paul has knocked out Rollins with a single punch multiple times, playing up his prowess as a boxer.

Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Damage CTRL: Lynch’s issues with Damage CTRL have been going for quite some time. Lita made her return to WWE to help Lynch defeat Bayley in a steel cage match, which led to the pair teaming to battle Dakota Kai and IYO SKY for the women’s tag titles. Lynch and Lita managed to take the belts with the help of a returning Stratus. This led to the expected challenge for a six-woman tag at WrestleMania, which Damage CTRL was quick to accept.

Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio: After a long build that has seen Rey leave Raw for SmackDown to get away from his son, Dominik finally made an official challenge for a match at WrestleMania. Rey declined, leading to Dominik insulting him. While Rey insists he will never wrestle his son, Dominik pushed him over the edge by disrespecting Rey’s wife and daughter ringside. Rey smacked Dominik on the March 24 episode of SmackDown and accepted his challenge for WrestleMania.

Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy vs. Viking Raiders (Men’s Showcase): A special four-team match was announced for the card, giving some roster staples a chance to showcase their skills on the biggest stage in wrestling.

Night 2
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship — Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes: Rhodes returned at the Royal Rumble following a seven-month absence to heal a completely torn pectoral muscle. Rhodes entered the eponymous match at No. 30 and eliminated GUNTHER to punch his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania. Reigns and Rhodes have since engaged in a long series of mind games, as well as Rhodes picking up a big win over Solo Sikoa, ending Sikoa’s undefeated streak since joining The Bloodline on the main roster.

Raw Women’s Championship — Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka: Ripley’s decision to challenge Flair left Belair without a match at WrestleMania. Authority figure Adam Pearce announced that an Elimination Chamber match would determine the No. 1 contender for Belair’s Raw women’s championship at WrestleMania. Asuka was able to outlast Liv Morgan, Carmella, Raquel Rodriguez, Nikki Cross and Natalya to punch her ticket to WrestleMania.

Intercontinental Championship — Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre: McIntyre and Sheamus battled on SmackDown with the winner punching his ticket to a match with Gunther at WrestleMania. Imperium attacked both men during the match, which led to a disqualification with no clear winner. As a consequence, both men were named challengers for the title at WrestleMania. Sheamus and Gunther have already had a series of great matches.

Edge vs. Finn Balor (Hell in a Cell): Edge and Balor have been engaged in a heated feud since Balor turned on Edge and took over The Judgement Day. After winning their “I Quit” match by threatening to have Rhea Ripley deliver a Con-Chair-To to Beth Phoenix, Balor seemed to have gotten the better of his rival. Phoenix and Edge came back to win a mixed tag match against Balor and Ripley at Elimination Chamber. Now the two men meet one more time, this time on the biggest stage in wrestling and inside Hell in a Cell. Adding more fuel to bout, Balor has indicated he will enter the match in full “Demon” persona.

Brock Lesnar vs. Omos: Despite not truly settling things with Bobby Lashley at Elimination Chamber, Lesnar was quickly shuffled into a new program when MVP laid out a challenge for Lesnar to face the towering Omos at WrestleMania. Lesnar appeared on Raw, asking MVP to sell him on the match, which MVP did to Lesnar’s satisfaction. After being surprisingly cordial, Lesnar did eventually hit MVP with the F5 after MVP accidentally spit moonshine in his face as they toasted to celebrate the newly official bout. Omos has gotten the better of every physical confrontation between the two giants to date.

Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya & Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Bazler vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville (Women’s Showcase): It was announced on the March 17 episode of SmackDown that a fatal four-way tag team WrestleMania showcase match would take place. Mogan and Rodriguez were the first to qualify by beating Emma and Tegan Knox. Natalya and Shotzi qualified by beating Xia Li and Lacey Evans; meanwhile, Rousey and Bazler were given free entry into the match. Green and Deville qualified on the final pre-WrestleMania Raw by beating Michin and Candice LeRae.