The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 39 Review – Night 1 (Saturday)
It’s WWE WrestleMania 39 night one! The Usos defend the Tag Team Titles against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn, Charlotte Flair faces Rhea Ripley and more.
Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling all year round, but especially now during WrestleMania season. I’m a big fan of two-night WrestleMania events and I look forward to watching/writing about this year’s show. We love you guys like Vince McMahon loves having a mustache.
In case you missed my other reviews from WrestleMania weekend shows, here’s my WWE Hall of Fame 2023 recap. I also reviewed NXT Stand & Deliver earlier on Saturday.
The United States Championship Match is up first. I’m on Twitter @johnreport as usual. Let’s rock.
WWE WrestleMania 39 – Night One
From SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles (Inglewood), California
April 1, 2023
A woman named Becky G sang America The Beautiful. That’s not a very creative name for her. Almost as creative as a guy using The John Report. Wait a second! Anyway, she did well.
The cold open to the show featured Kevin Hart narrating a video of some WWE highlights.
Let’s Hear from The Miz and Snoop Dogg
The Miz and Snoop Dogg were in the ring as the hosts for the show. They went over their credentials with Snoop having way better credentials than Miz, who thinks starring in The Marine movies is a big deal. Snoop Dogg said it’s not about them, it’s about the fans. The Miz was hyping up the crowd by mentioning the matches on the show. Snoop ended it by saying it was time to start the show.
Analysis: It is weird how they hyped up The Miz as a host, yet they also had Snoop Dogg as the host. They didn’t mention Snoop Dogg in the role prior to this.
It was Austin Theory, the United States Champion, up first wearing his title. The commentary team was Michael Cole and Corey Graves as usual for WWE PLE events. Graves congratulated Cole for calling his 22nd WrestleMania, which is the most of any announcer in WWE history. The Spanish language announcers were shown at ringside.
A video aired about WWE’s work with the Make-A-Wish kids.
There were a bunch of Make-A-Wish kids on the stage who all shared a dream of going to WrestleMania. That’s right when John Cena’s music hit! The kids loved it.
John Cena greeted the kids that were on the stage. Cena talked to them, talked to the camera, told the kids to have some fun and said it was time to go to work. Cena ran down to the ring to have his match. Cena had a new shirt on and tossed it into the crowd. Huge pop for Cena as usual. It took 17 minutes for the bell to ring, so let’s begin WrestleMania with the first match.
Analysis: That crowd reaction for Cena was huge. I have watched and written so much about him over the last 20 years. It’s cool to see him getting that respect and love from the fans considering how legendary of a performer he is.
United States Championship: Austin Theory vs. John Cena
Cena with a shoulder tackle knockdown. After they locked up, Cena got another shoulder tackle knockdown. I am sure there will be memes about Cena’s bald spot again, but the man is 45 years old and that’s life. Theory pushed Cena into the turnbuckle and looked like he was biting Cena’s left arm. Cena shoved Theory out of the ring, then Theory went back in while Cena was complaining to the referee and Theory knocked him down with a forearm. Theory hit a suplex followed by another suplex for two. Cena countered Theory into his own suplex. Cena charged, Theory with a back elbow and a neckbreaker by Theory got two. Theory hit a somersault into a dropkick for a two count. Theory tried the same move, Cena avoided it and Cena applied the STF submission, but he wasn’t able to lock it in fully. Theory bit Cena’s hand to get out of it. Theory decked Cena with a running clothesline. I could hear Cena calling spots as usually does while Theory hit a snapmare followed by a stomp to the chest. Cena blocked a stomp to the chest, he tried for the Attitude Adjustment, Theory got out of it and Theory hit a DDT for two. Cena avoided a charging Theory, I could hear Cena say “sleeper” and Theory grabbed a sleeper. Cena got out of it with the two shoulder tackles, then the spinning slam and Cena did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture with the fans chanting it right on cue. Cena picked up Theory on his shoulders for the AA, but Theory’s feet hit referee Chad Patton to knock him down. Cena put Theory in the STF and Theory tapped out, but the referee didn’t see it. Theory with the low blow uppercut to Cena that the referee didn’t see. Theory picked up Cena and hit the A-Town Down onto the knee for the pinfall win at 11:20.
Winner by pinfall: Austin Theory
Analysis: **3/4 It was a decent match, but I wouldn’t say it was Cena at his best. The crowd was into it, so that helped a lot. Theory winning was the expected result since he’s a full-timer while Cena barely wrestles at this point. The finish was actually similar to the Carmelo Hayes-Bron Breakker match that I watched about five hours earlier when Hayes tapped out while a referee was knocked down, but then Hayes came back to win. It’s a classic wrestling booking finish.
Austin Theory celebrated with the US Title while the announcers put it over as a big win for him.
There were some commercials promoting various products including WWE Shop.
A video package aired from Smackdown showing highlights of the four-way match to promote the four-way tag team match that’s coming at WrestleMania.
The WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil joined commentary for this next match. Braun Strowman & Ricochet were up first. The Viking Raiders were next joined by the barefoot Valhalla. The Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable & Otis were next followed by The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins. The Street Profits were cheered loudly while Strowman & Ricochet were as well.
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) (w/Valhalla) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
The rules for the match are two guys are legal in the ring while the other six guys are on the apron. The first fall wins the match.
Gable started with Ricochet doing some basic holds until Otis tagged in and Otis ran over Ricochet with a clothesline. Titus mentioned that Otis is always sweating. Gable tagged in back, Ricochet tagged in Strowman and then all eight guys went into the ring. It turned into a brawl as Erik hit Strowman with a knee, Ivar with a heel kick and the VR guys took care of Gable as well as a double team springboard clothesline on Ricochet. Viking Raiders hit the Ragnarök double-team spinebuster on Ford. Strowman was back in with a double shoulder tackle to knock the VR guys down. Strowman fought out of Gable’s German Suplex attempt, but then Gable managed to hit a rolling German Suplex for two. That was great. The fans cheered, so Gable shouted “thank you” to them. That was funny. Gable missed a dive, Dawkins missed his own dive off the top and Ivar went up top for a moonsault attempt, but Dawkins avoided that. Strowman went up top and jumped off with a Superfly Splash on Ivar for a two count, but everybody else broke it up. That was great by Braun with the fans cheering it big time. Otis picked up Braun with the World’s Strongest Slam on Braun. Ford hit a jumping kick on Otis, Ricochet tagged in, Ford kicked Ricochet, Gable knocked Ford down there was a pile of guys by the turnbuckle. They did a crazy spot with Ricochet jumping off the top to knock down about four guys doing a double suplex spot. The fans popped for it huge. Strowman did the Strowman Express shoulder tackles on three guys on the floor including Otis. Strowman ran over more guys, but Dawkins jumped up with a Pounce on Strowman. Ricochet jumped off the top with a Shooting Star Press on Dawkins/Erik on the floor. Wow! Ricochet kicked Dawkins to knock him down. Ricochet jumped off the top with a Shooting Star Press, but Dawkins got the knees up. Ford hit a Frog Splash on Ricochet’s back while Dawkins held Ricochet! That was great. Dawkins pinned Ricochet for the pinfall win at 8:35.
Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
Analysis: ***1/4 There wasn’t much of a story going into the match, but that’s okay in this case because they made the most of the time they were given. It was a very entertaining match for the most part with some huge moves like Strowman’s splash, Ricochet’s SSP to the floor, Gable’s German Suplex on Strowman, that combo cross body block off the top spot by Ricochet, Dawkins hitting the Pounce on Strowman and the finish with Ford hitting the Frog Splash while Dawkins was holding Ricochet. I liked the fast-paced action. There was some chaos with random people going into the ring to do spots, which I don’t like. It happens in multi-person matches a lot. The fans were really into the match, so that’s what matters. I’d like to see The Street Profits get a push at some point soon.
A video package aired for Brock Lesnar facing Omos. That match is on Sunday.
Xavier Woods was backstage on the set of UpUpDownDown with Tyler Breeze, Butch, Ridge Holland, Liv Morgan and another guy I don’t know. They showed WWE 2K23 highlights of a Rollins/Paul match stipulation with Rollins winning. Woods said that during a simulation of the match, Rollins won 58% of the time.
There was a video package to build up the Seth “Freakin” Rollins-Logan Paul match that started at the Royal Rumble when Paul eliminated Rollins from the match. It escalated from there.
The camera was on Logan Paul’s face as he asked the City of Angels if they missed him. The fans booed. Logan was on a zipline that he used to head toward the ring. Logan turns 28 years old today, so happy birthday to him. There was a Prime Energy mascot on the ramp which is the energy drink that Logan is a part of. Some of Logan’s friends from his podcast and his crew were at ringside.
There was an orchestra conductor on the stage for the entrance of Seth “Freakin” Rollins. The conductor was aiming toward the crowd while a tape played of people humming Seth’s theme song. Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance to a huge ovation as he wore a long red robe. Rollins was wrestling in some pink/red gear as the fans continued to sing the song.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Logan Paul
They did a spot running the ropes leading to Rollins hitting a shoulder tackle. Rollins with a kick to the gut, but Logan got up quickly to avoid a Stomp attempt. Logan tossed a running Rollins over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Logan did a necksnap across the top rope followed by the Maverick Lariat (Buckshot Lariat as some of us know it) by Logan. When Rollins got back up, Logan punched Rollins in the ribs. Logan punched Rollins a few times more. Logan hit a left knee to the ribs. Logan stomped on the chest, Rollins missed a corner attack and Logan jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Rollins with two forearms to the head, but Logan did a legsweep leading to a submission move with Logan’s left leg against the head. Rollins got out of it with a series of chops. Logan hit a gutwrench suplex for a two count. Logan jumped to the top rope, then he jumped off and went for a moonsault, but Rollins moved out of the way. Rollins with punches, then two clotheslines and Rollins sent Logan over the top to the floor. Rollins with a suicide dive, then back in with another suicide dive and Rollins hit a third suicide dive. Logan was near the Prime mascot as Rollins stomped on Logan’s right hand on the steel steps. Back in the ring, Rollins wanted a Pedigree, but Logan powered out of it. They exchanged into some pin attempts with multiple two counts. Logan was back up with the right-handed punch with Cole screaming about Logan having a titanium screw in the hand. Logan was slow to cover, so Rollins kicked out at two.
Logan charged, Rollins caught him and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. The Prime mascot was a guy named KSI that is Logan’s buddy and YouTube phenomenon. KSI is also a boxer. I have no idea who KSI is. Logan sent Rollins into the ring post. Logan went up top, Logan looked up and Rollins pulled KSI onto the table. Logan jumped off the top rope and gave KSI a Frog Splash through the table. Rollins sent Logan back into the ring and hit a Pedigree for a two count. Great nearfall there with the fans chanting “this is awesome” for them. The crowd was really into it. Rollins hit Logan with a forearm to the back. Rollins charged, Logan caught him and Logan hit a Go To Sleep knee to the face. Logan jumped off the top with a Frog Splash, you could see Seth staring at the referee and Rollins kicked out at two. Logan stomped on Rollins a few times. Logan went for a leap across the ring, but Rollins hit him with a superkick. Rollins hit The Stomp for the one…two…and three. It went 16:15.
Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Analysis: **** It was excellent like Rollins tends to do at WrestleMania nearly every year. Logan Paul continues to impress as a part-timer that knows how to put an entertaining match every time he’s out there. It looked like Logan had outsmarted Rollins by using his mascot friend, but Rollins ended up countering it by putting KSI on the table and Logan put his own buddy through the table. The key spot also was Logan going for the leap across the ring, but Rollins was ready and hit that superkick. It was all over from there with Rollins hitting The Stomp for the win. Rollins winning was the right call since Logan got the advantage going into the match, so it made sense for Rollins to get the win here. Plus, we don’t know how often Logan is going to wrestle in the future and Rollins is always around. Rollins winning was the right decision.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins celebrated the win while the announcers put it over as a great match as they should. Logan checked on his buddy KSI at ringside.
Next Sunday on A&E Biography it’s all about Dusty Rhodes. Plus, The Undertaker’s rivalry with Randy Orton is featured as well.
There was a video package for the six-woman tag team match with Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus teaming up against Damage CTRL’s Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai.
Damage CTRL’s Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota were up first. I liked their gear.
There was this quick video to introduce us to the babyface trio. They had a black and white movie star style entrance. Lita was out first, then Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch as they all walked out to the ring together. Lynch and Lita are the Women’s Tag Team Champions. Trish has my favorite gear of anybody on the show so far. She’s the greatest.
Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Damage CTRL – Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai
The heels worked over Lynch in their corner with Sky hitting a springboard dropkick. Damage CTRL worked together for a triple-team neckbreaker/slam on Lynch with Kai getting a two count. Kai hit a running kick against the turnbuckle for a two count. Bayley tagged in, she mocked Lita’s old hand motions, Kai tagged in and Lynch knocked Kai down with a kick. Bayley tripped up Trish on the apron to prevent a tag. Lynch kicked Kai and Lynch hit a forearm on Sky. Lynch sent Kai over the top to the apron. Lita finally got the tag with clotheslines and Lita hit a headscissors on Sky. Lita used her legs to send Sky face-first into the turnbuckle. Lita with a running knee to the back on Sky. Lita with a neckbreaker driver-type move sending Sky into the mat. Lita used her legs drop Sky to the mat. Sky distracted the referee, so Kai did a cheap shot kick on Lita and Sky got a two count. Bayley tagged in leading to a triple team kick on Lita for a two count. Bayley mocked Trish on the apron as the heels isolated Lita in their corner. Bayley and Sky tried a double-team move, but Lita countered it and hit a double DDT. Stratus finally got the tag as unloaded on Kai with punches and Trish hit a Thesz Press on Kai along with punches. Cole said Trish’s gear was paying tribute to what Trish wore at WrestleMania 21 also in LA. Trish hit a bulldog/headscissors combo and a neckbreaker on Kai for a two count. Stratus charged, Kai with an elbow to the face and Kai blocked Trish’s headscissors attempt. Lita and Lynch hit dives onto Bayley and Sky on the floor. Trish got an assist from her team leading to a headscissors on Kai sending Kai onto her teammates. Back in the ring, Stratus hit a spinebuster on Kai for two. Lita tagged in for a Poetry in Motion splash on Kai. Lynch tagged in and hit a leg drop off the top for two on Kai. Lynch went for the Disarm-her, but Bayley stopped that with a running knee.
Bayley got the tag for a showdown against Lynch, who slapped Bayley in the face. Bayley with a running clothesline to the back of the neck. Lynch hit a belly-to-back suplex, Bayley sent Lynch into the ropes, Sky with a punch and Bayley hit the Roseplant for two with Lita breaking up the pin. Sky, Lita, Kai and Trish hit moves (Stratusfaction by Trish) and took moves leading to them going out of the ring. Lynch rolled up Bayley for two. Lynch tackled Bayley out of the ring. Sky went up top and hit a moonsault onto the five women on the floor. The referee counted the six women down, but Lynch and Bayley got back in before ten. It was almost like the match reset as both sides made quick tags so everybody was legal for an extended period. Lita hit a Twist of Fate on Sky. Stratus with a Chick Kick to Kai. Lita jumped off the top with a moonsault on Sky and Kai at the same time. Bayley tried a Bayley to Belly off the middle rope, but Lynch countered that and Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on Bayley for the pinfall win at 14:40.
Winners by pinfall: Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match that had some fun and creative moments. They ignored tag team rules a bit at times, but that tends to happen in tag team matches in this era of wrestling. Trish looked amazing when she was in there, Lita did pretty well too and the heels worked well together as usual. Lynch pinning Bayley after a Manhandle Slam was a great way to end it since it was a big move off the ropes. I went with Damage CTRL winning just because they have looked inferior so much in the feud. I thought maybe the faces would have a communication issue, but there was nothing like that.
Becky Lynch and Lita celebrated with their Women’s Tag Team Titles while Stratus pointed at the fans.
Analysis: I know there were rumors of a Trish Stratus heel turn. Maybe it’s coming at some point in the future, but not here.
There was a video package for the Bianca Belair-Asuka match that takes place on Sunday.
Next up is Rey Mysterio facing his son Dominik Mysterio. The Rey Mysterio-Dominik Mysterio video package was outstanding. I know a lot of WWE video packages are great, but this one really covers the story well. For a non-regular viewer, I’m sure it’s helpful too.
Bad Bunny was on hand for this match. Bad Bunny joined Spanish language commentary for the match.
They aired a Prison Dominik video and he was in the prison in his wrestling gear. They showed Dominik with his hands cuffed and being put into a squad car.
Dominik Mysterio made his entrance in the back part of the building in a police squad car with guys dressed as police officers, but I know at least two of them as indy wrestlers. Anyway, Dominik was wearing a lucha mask. Cole was screaming about Dominik being disrespectful. They showed Dominik’s mom Angie and sister Aalyah at ringside. Cole continued to complain about Dominik while Graves tried to defend Dominik.
The WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio was driven into the stadium by Snoop Dogg in a low rider as “Nothing But A G Thang” played. They also played Eddie Guerrero’s “Lie, Cheat, Steal” theme song. Loved that. They played Rey’s song after that. When Rey made his way down to ringside, he shook hands with Bad Bunny at ringside.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Dominik took down his dad after a lock up. Dominik did a waist lock takedown, which led to Rey using his technique to send Dominik out of the ring. Back in the ring, Dominik hit a shoulder tackle and Rey hit a hurricanrana to send Dominik out of the ring. Rey with a headscissors sending Dominik into the second turnbuckle. Rey took his belt off and whipped Dominik in his ass with the fans cheering for that. Dominik complained about it to his mom and sister. Dominik threw Aalyah’s drink in her face! Rey went to Aalyah, so Dominik cheap shotted Rey with a punch. Dominik sent Rey into the ring post. Back in the ring, Dominik hit a senton splash over the top onto Rey’s back. Dominik whipped Rey hard into the turnbuckle. Rey got some momentum going with a hiptoss, then Dominik got an arm drag and slammed Rey down. Dominik hit a Michinoku Driver for two. Dominik sent Rey throat-first across the top rope. Dominik pulled Rey out of the ring to the floor. Dominik argued with his mother Angie, Dominik told her to shut up and Angie slapped Dominik to a big pop. Rey kissed his wife. Back in the ring, Rey hit a seated senton on Dominik followed by a springboard cross body block for two. Rey hit a Code Red out of the corner for a two count. Rey wanted to do an Eddie Guerrero tribute, but Dominik blocked it. Damian Priest and Finn Balor showed up at ringside to support Dominik. Rey charged and Dominik flipped his dad over leading to Rey hitting the turnbuckle hard. The referee checked on Rey, who appeared to be okay. That was a great bump. Dominik did a vertical suplex, Rey countered a second attempt and Rey used his legs to send Dominik into the ropes. Rey hit a 619 kick on Dominik. Balor distracted the referee, Priest pulled Rey off the top rope and Dominik hit Rey with a forearm. Dominik sent Rey into the turnbuckle. Rey was on Dominik’s shoulders, then Rey punched Dominik and they went tumbling to the floor. The Legado Del Fantasma guys in the Latino World Order (Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro & Joaquin Wilde) with Rey showed up to fight with Damian Priest and Finn Balor to take them out. Escobar hit a suicide dive on Priest. Back in the ring, Dominik hit a clothesline and a catapult into the ropes. Dominik hit a 619 kick on Rey against the ropes. Dominik went up top and hit a Frog Splash for one…two…no! Rey kicked out. The fans popped for that two count. Dominik took the top turnbuckle pad off, but the referee saw it. Dominik grabbed something that was in Priest’s jacket, so Dominik grabbed the steel chain and Bad Bunny took the chain! Rey hit a dropkick on Dominik, then a 619 kick by Rey. Rey went up top and hit a splash off the top on Dominik for the pinfall win at 16:17.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a fun match that was heavy in storyline going into it. A lot of guys got involved in the match, but Rey had backup with the LWO taking out The Judgment Day guys and Bad Bunny stopping Dominik from using the steel chain. They worked well together, which isn’t a surprise since Rey trained Dominik to wrestle. Dominik continues to get better every time we see him and knows how to get heat. I know there will be people saying that Dominik should have won since he’s the younger guy, but story-wise I think it made sense for Rey to shut his son up. Plus, Rey got all that help to neutralize Dominik’s cheating attempts, so I think it fits the story for Rey to win.
Rey Mysterio celebrated with Angie and Aalyah in the ring while Dominik looked on with Priest & Balor from a distance.
Analysis: We know Bad Bunny is at Backlash, so that could lead to a match against Dominik or some sort of angle anyway. Maybe a tag team match with Rey and Bad Bunny against Dominik and one of the J-Day guys. There are a lot of options.
A video aired about the WWE Backlash PLE on May 6th in Puerto Rico. Bad Bunny is the host.
They showed some fans reacting to the Rey-Dominik match in Germany. They showed some fans in England reacting earlier in the night.
There was a video package to set up the Charlotte Flair-Rhea Ripley match.
They showed George Kittle of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers watching from ringside.
Rhea Ripley was up first followed by the Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair. I admit I didn’t watch the entrances. Sometimes a man needs to go to a bathroom, stretch the legs and get a drink. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin did the championship introductions.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley
Flair got the first advantage with a clothesline that sent Ripley over the top to the floor. Flair was on the apron, she hit a boot to the face and a cross body block off the top. Flair tried a move to the knee, but Ripley caught Flair on her shoulders and Ripley sent Flair face-first into the turnbuckle. Flair tried to fight back, but Ripley sent Flair into the middle turnbuckle. Ripley with a body scissors around Flair’s waist, Flair powered out of it with punches and a rollup for two. Ripley with two forearms to the spine. I think I heard Flair say “do it again” so Ripley hit another forearm to the back. Flair with a back elbow, but Ripley hit a German Suplex for two. Flair kicked the arm, then drove Ripley back-first into the knee and Flair hit two clotheslines. Flair chopped Ripley repeatedly in the chest followed by Flair doing a knee drop to the back of the knee. Flair sent Ripley into the turnbuckle. Flair jumped off the top with a cross body block, Ripley rolled through and Flair countered a Riptide attempt into a DDT for two! That was a great spot about ten minutes into this match.
Flair was going for the Figure Eight, Ripley kicked herself free and Ripley got an inside cradle. They did a double running boot to the face. They exchanged forearms, Ripley drove Flair’s head into the knee and Flair came back with an overhead suplex across the ring. Flair kipped up leading to a mix of cheers and boos. Flair went up top, Ripely went after her, Flair knocked her back, Ripley went after Flair again and Ripley hit a German suplex with Flair doing a moonsault bump into the ring. Ripley got a two count. Flair with a chop block to the knee and the Natural Selection neckbreaker for two. Ripley was on the floor, Flair charged, Ripley avoided that and Flair went hard into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Ripley slammed Flair hard into the mat for a two count. Ripley wanted Riptide, Flair got out of that and Flair hit a German Suplex. Flair hit another German Suplex. Ripley with an elbow to the head and Ripley hit another German Suplex with Flair doing a moonsault bump again. That was a dangerous spot with Flair landing on her head/face instead of her hands. Flair came back with a running boot to the face for two. Ripley was on the apron, so Flair hit a running boot to knock Ripley down to the floor. Flair went up top and hit the moonsault onto a standing Ripley on the floor. It was mostly Charlotte’s left arm that hit Ripley. Flair went for a Spear, Ripley avoided it, Flair nearly hit the referee and Ripley hit a headbutt. Ripley hit a Riptide for one…two…and no! Flair got her right shoulder up. You could see Charlotte staring at the referee so she could time it perfectly. Ripley was frustrated by that. Flair managed to get an inside cradle for two. Ripley came back with the submission move tying up Flair’s knees, but Flair got to the ropes. Flair sent Ripley into the turnbuckle and the referee was nearly hit, but she was not. Flair hit a Spear for one…two…and no! Ripley kicked out. The crowd was coming alive for this as the women exchanged forearms with Ripley getting more cheers even though she’s a heel. Ripley with a kick to the head, but Flair hit a boot to the head again. Flair with a Figure Four Leglock, but they were near the ropes so Ripley held the ropes to break free. The fans were mostly standing at this point. Flair sent Ripley into the ring post. Flair was on the middle rope going for a move, but Ripley fought out of it. Ripley sent Flair face first into the top of the ring post. Ripley went up top, Flair was on the ropes and Ripley picked her up with Ripley hitting the Riptide slam off the middle ropes for one…two…and three! It went 23:36.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley
Analysis: ****1/2 This ended up being an outstanding match. The first half of the match wasn’t that interesting, but then it got really good after Flair countered the Riptide with a DDT and they each hit some huge moves after that. From there it was a barrage of big moves throughout the match with each woman kicking out of big moves. I thought they could have had Charlotte go for the Figure Eight some more. Anyway, Ripley getting the win was the right move and hitting the Riptide off the middle rope was a great way to end it. Their styles work well together because they are both talented athletes that are also powerful women, so they can do it all in the ring. Ripley winning seemed like an easy prediction. It just made sense for her to win and I think she’ll have a long title reign too.
Rhea Ripley celebrated with the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Charlotte Flair looked up at her with a bit of a smile on her face. They showed some fans watching in Australia and they were celebrating. Ripley continued to celebrate.
Analysis: That looked like a smile from Charlotte letting us know she was proud of that match. She should be.
A video package aired for the Intercontinental Title match on WrestleMania Sunday: Gunther defending the title against Sheamus and Drew McIntyre in a triple threat match.
Austin Theory, the United States Champion, was interviewed by Byron Saxton. Theory said he made John Cena believe. Theory looked into the camera: “Do you believe in Theory now?” Theory laughed and left.
Let’s Hear from The Miz and Snoop Dogg
The Miz and Snoop Dogg were in the ring again. The Miz announced the attendance was 80,497 people. That’s the entertainment that WWE announces.
Snoop said that this would be even better if The Miz had a match. The Miz claimed he put out an open challenge for a match (he lied about that) and did his usual promo about being awesome.
Pat McAfee made his entrance as a surprise with Cole screaming about how he can’t believe McAfee is here.
Pat went into the ring saying that none of us saw The Miz’s alleged open challenge. Pat said that he was wearing this WrestleMania tank top. Pat said that if The Miz wanted a match then Pat could beat his ass right here, right now. The Miz asked if you wanted to see this match with Cole screaming “oh yeah” repeatedly. The Miz said that he’s the host of WrestleMania and he can’t make matches officials. Pat said Miz’s tiny balls are showing. There was a “tiny balls” chant. Pat said somebody can make the match and Snoop said he can make the match, so it’s on.
Analysis: Welcome Pat to WrestleMania without being advertised.
The Miz vs. Pat McAfee
Pat was on offense to start the match with punches. They went to the turnbuckle. Pat tried a superplex, Miz stopped that and Pat did a backflip off the ropes. Pat superkicked Miz to knock him out of the ring. Graves encouraged The Miz that he could do this. Miz walked over to George Kittle at ringside and Miz shoved him. Kittle jumped over the barricade and knocked down Miz with a clothesline at ringside. Pat went up to the ring post and hit a somersault onto Miz on the floor. The referee missed Kittle hitting Miz with a clothesline, I guess. Back in the ring, Pat hit the running punt kick to the chest for the pinfall win. It went 3:40.
Winner by pinfall: Pat McAfee
Analysis: * I wouldn’t call this a great match by any means. It was just a filler segment between the last match and what’s coming in the main event. Pat looked sharp while Miz looked like a jobber instead of a former WWE Champion. Kittle will wrestle in WWE some day, I’m sure, but maybe after he retires.
Pat McAfee and George Kittle celebrated the win together. NFL players stick together.
A video aired for WrestleMania 40 next April in Philadelphia. I might be going to that one, but I’ll decide that down the road.
The announcers did a rundown of the six matches that are advertised for WrestleMania Night Two on Sunday.
* Brock Lesnar vs. Omos
* Women’s Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match: Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya & Shotzi vs. Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green
* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre
* Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs. Finn Balor
* Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka
* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes
The Miz and Baron Corbin were part of some advertisement for WWE DraftKings contests.
A video aired to set up the WWE Tag Team Championship main event match between The Usos and Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn as the challengers. Terrific video package as usual.
Tonight’s main event is brought to you by Turbotax, so here’s a Turbotax commercial.
They had a singer named Lil Uzi Vert singing his song. Cole mentioned the song’s success. I have no idea about it, but it’s not up to me. The Usos made their entrance as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.
Kevin Owens made his entrance first with the fans popping big for him. Sami Zayn was next and he got a huge ovation as well. Kevin waited for Sami to get out there, so they walked down to the ring together. The ring announcer Mike Rome did the in-ring championship introductions.
Analysis: I love seeing the WWE Tag Team Titles in a WrestleMania main event for the first time ever. The second-ever tag team main event. Proud of The Usos as one of the best tag teams ever and also Kevin/Sami as best friends that worked so hard to get here. Congratulations to all four men.
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos – Jimmy & Jey Uso vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
This is for the Raw & Smackdown Tag Team Title held by The Usos. The Usos have been Smackdown Tag Team Champions for 622 days.
The Usos were dressed in all white wearing “We The Ones” tank tops as well. Jimmy was going to start, but then Jey decided to start against Sami instead. Jey knocked down Zayn with a shoulder tackle. Zayn hit a Thesz Press followed by punches to the head. Jimmy made a tag, pulled down the ropes and Zayn went over the top to the floor. Jimmy decked Zayn with a clothesline on the floor. Jimmy sent Zayn into the ring post. Jey tagged in with a suicide dive with a forearm that sent Zayn into the barricade. Jey suplexed Zayn on the floor. Jey worked over Zayn with forearms while Jimmy hit a boot to the face. The champions continued to work over Zayn until Zayn broke free and sent both Usos to the floor. Owens tagged in with a somersault off the top on both guys on the floor. Owens hit a Frog Splash on Jimmy from the apron to the floor. Owens went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Jey in the ring for a two count. Jey came back with a lifting neckbreaker for a two count. Owens was fighting out of the champions corner, he knocked Owens down and went for a Swanton Bomb, but Jey got the knees up. Jimmy had made a blind tag and Jimmy hit an Uso Splash off the top on Owens for two. Jimmy went for the hip attack, Owens moved out of the ring, Owens hit two superkicks and a cannonball attack in the corner. Owens went up top, Jey grabbed Owens and Zayn hit a brainbuster on Jey on the apron. Owens with a Swanton Bomb off the top on Jimmy for two. Zayn got the tag, he held one finger in the air like The Usos and Zayn hit an Uso Splash for a two count. The fans did “Ole Ole Ole” chants for Zayn with Cole mentioning that El Generico would be proud. Jimmy broke free of Zayn, then Jimmy superkicked Owens and Jey got the tag as Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb. Jey was legal, so hit a superkick on Sami for two. Jey hit a superkick on Sami again. Jey threw his shirt at Sami. Jimmy tagged in, both Usos hit superkicks and then a double superkick got Jimmy a two count because Owens made the save. Jey superkicked Owens out of the ring. Jey tagged back in and The Usos hit a double superkick to Zayn’s head for one…two…no. Zayn got his right shoulder up. Jimmy tagged in as The Usos hit another double superkick, Jimmy covered and Zayn got his right shoulder up at two again. The Usos went for 1D, but Owens tripped up Jimmy and Zayn got a sunset flip on Jey for two. That was close. Owens took Jimmy to the Spanish commentary table. Jey saved his brother, Jimmy with a superkick to Owens and The Usos gave Owens (who was not legal) a double spinebuster through the English commentary table. Ouch. The referee was counting Jey out, but Jey got back in before ten.
Jimmy tagged back in, Zayn was stumbling to his feet and The Usos hit 1D on Zayn for one…two…and no! Zayn got a shoulder up again. Cole was screaming about how nobody has ever kicked out of the One And Done. Jey punched Zayn repeatedly while trash-talking him as well. Jey charged with a running kick to the head like Zayn’s Helluva Kick to the face. Jey trash-talked Zayn saying he never should have left The Bloodline, so Zayn gave Jey an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Owens was back on his feet with Zayn making the tag. Owens was on fire with a Popup Powerbomb on Jimmy, a Popup Powerbomb on Jey and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick on Jimmy. Owens hit a Stunner on Jey for the one…two…and no! Jey kicked out. That was one of the better nearfalls of the show for sure. The fans bought that as the finish and it was not. Owens helped Zayn back to his feet while The Usos slowly got back up as well. The fans were cheering them. They all started brawling. Jimmy knocked Zayn out of the ring, Owens with a superkick on Jimmy, a superkick on Jey and Jimmy made a blind tag. Both Usos hit superkicks and a double superkick on Owens. The Usos hit a double superkick on Zayn to knock him off the apron to the floor. Both Usos were on the top rope with a double Uso Splash! Jey covered Owens for one…two…and no! The crowd was standing. Owens talked to Jey and the cameras picked up on it, but I’m not sure what it was. The Usos hit a double superkick on Owens in the corner. The Usos tried a double team move, but Zayn pulled Jimmy out of the ring. Owens hit a cradle suplex off the turnbuckle on Jey. Zayn was on the apron he wanted the tag, the crowd was going WILD and Zayn got the tag. Zayn hit Jey Uso with a Helluva Kick with Jey crumbling into Sami’s arms. Zayn put Jey back into the turnbuckle and Zayn hit a second Helluva Kick. Jimmy back in, so Owens hit him with a Stunner! Zayn hit Jey with a Helluva Kick for the third time! Zayn covered Jey for the one…two…and three! It’s over! Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens are the new Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions! It went 24:15.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
Analysis: ***** It was an excellent tag team match. It really was one of the best tag team matches I’ve ever seen in WWE, at a WrestleMania and anywhere else. These four guys worked so well together. A lot of the match was The Usos in control with Zayn getting his ass kicked and then the comeback was glorious leading to the hot finish. There were so many superkicks in the match. I lost count. I think it worked in the sense that The Usos just kept wearing down Zayn throughout the match, then they put Owens through the table. There were so many moments where it looked like The Usos were going to win, but deep down watching this you knew that Zayn and Owens just had to win. We got the happy ending, but it was done in a way where the story was so important. Zayn had to put Jey away with the Helluva Kick three times because The Usos are so tough to beat, so that puts over The Usos as an incredible team. These four guys put on an outstanding match. Listen to the crowd. They loved it. I did too.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens celebrated with the Raw & Smackdown Tag Team Titles. The fans were exploding in cheers. Zayn and Owens shared a big hug in the middle of the ring with the fans cheering loudly for that. They showed replays…sponsored by TurboTax.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were presented the Raw & Smackdown Tag Team Titles as pyro went off on the stage. Cole wondered if Roman Reigns would be losing too and how this would affect The Bloodline. Zayn and Owens hugged. They were so genuinely happy as Sami’s music played. The fans were so happy too.
Analysis: A happy ending to end WrestleMania. That’s what we like to see.
There was a post-show video package with highlights of the show.
This event had a runtime of 4:01:44 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
- Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn
- The Usos
- Rhea Ripley/Charlotte Flair
- Seth Rollins
- Rey Mysterio
I’m going with a 9 out of 10 for this show.
It was an outstanding WrestleMania 39 Night 1 from top to bottom. The standout matches were Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens beating The Usos for WWE Tag Team Titles in the main event. I rated it five stars out of five in my review and it’s one of the best tag team matches in WWE that I’ve ever seen. Rhea Ripley’s win over Charlotte Flair was outstanding as well after a slow start to the match, but the second half of the match was terrific. That match is one of the better women’s matches at a WrestleMania. So when you have matches like those two on top that’s pretty awesome.
There were some other fun matches like Seth Rollins beating Logan Paul. I continue to be impressed with Paul while Rollins was great as usual. The Rey-Dominik Mysterio match was a lot of fun as well. The Austin Theory-John Cena match was just okay, but that’s fine since Cena barely wrestles anymore. The crowd made it feel like a bigger deal.
The crowd was so into most of the show. Some of the matches that were lacking in terms of story had weaker crowd reactions, but for the most part, LA was hot for the entire night. I think if you watch for surprises you might be disappointed because there was only really Pat McAfee leading to a bad match with him and Miz as filler before the main event. Maybe we’ll get more surprises on night two. Watch and find out. I think overall Night 1 was a huge success.
As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.
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