WrestleMania 39 Night 1 Review
WrestleMania 39 kicked off with the first of two nights at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Overall, it was an event that started a bit slow but gained steam as the night went on, eventually culminating in two incredible final bouts.
The Miz opened up the show with Snoop Dogg because every WrestleMania apparently needs a host in order to needlessly stretch out the runtime as much as humanly possible. Nonetheless, he and Snoop got the crowd hyped before night one’s first match.
Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena
United States Championship
Austin Theory continues to feel like a wrestler pushed onto an audience that doesn’t care too much about him, but the crowd definitely cared about John Cena, who got a huge pop. Cena pretty much carried the match. He and Theory whipped out the ol’ “knock out the ref and deliver a low blow” for a Theory victory. Overall, it was an uninspired match clearly designed to push Theory. Hopefully Cena collected a nice paycheck for a hard day’s work of phoning it in.
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders
Fatal Four-Way Tag Match
The night got significantly better with this fun match that contained many great spots. Chad Gable hoisted up Braun Strowman for a rolling German suplex. Braun then went up to the top rope for a frog splash. Ricochet, per usual, stunned the crowd with a springboard shooting star press, landing outside the ring. But the Street Profits snuck in a quick three count on Ricochet after another shooting star press inside the ring went haywire. An impressive and exciting match with about a dozen memorable moments in less than only nine minutes.
Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Logan Paul rode into the ring on a zipline before a Prime energy drink mascot came down the entrance ramp. I’m still not sure if Paul has any self-awareness but he’s an awesome heel whether he does or doesn’t (and a surprisingly decent in-ring competitor). A conductor came out to lead the audience in singing Seth Rollins’ theme song before Seth himself emerged adorned in a massive red robe. Paul yawned when Seth finally got to the ring. Both superstars seem like they had a lot of fun cooking up these entrances.
That’s pretty much where the fun ended until the finish, unfortunately, as the match was mostly pretty average. Rollins was briefly distracted by the Prime energy drink mascot (revealed to be KSI, whoever the hell that is) before he tossed the massive foam energy bottle onto the announcers’ table right before Paul did a frog splash off the top rope onto the mascot/table. The match went on a bit longer until Rollins super kicked Paul when Paul attempted a coast-to-coast. Rollins then delivered a Curb Stomp for the win. A great finish to an otherwise okay bout.
Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky)
Trish, Lita, and Becky had a cool black-and-white Sin City-inspired entrance to start this one off. The veterans Lita and Trish looked a little slow in the ring but still got the crowd worked up a bit. Becky, Lita, and Trish executed a slightly botched hurricanrana on the outside that was the best spot in the first half of the match. The action picked up with a Stratusfaction and Bayley to Belly before Dakota Kai did a moonsault off the top onto the outside. An all-out brawl inside the ring led to a Twist of Fate and then a Litasault. Bayley attempted a Bayley to Belly off the top but Becky reversed for a Manhandle Slam for the win. In the end, a good but not great six-woman tag match.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Father versus son, this is what wrestling is all about folks. Dominik came out to the ring in handcuffs surrounded by police officers. Rey entered to Eddie Guerrero’s music in a lowrider driven by Snoop Dogg, which might be one of the greatest Mania entrances of all time. After tossing Dominik into the turnbuckle, Rey took off his belt and smacked Dominik in the ass with it. Dominik later tossed a drink at his sister’s face while at ringside. Dominik’s mom got revenge by slapping her son across the face, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Damian Priest and Finn Balor came out to ringside at one point and distracted the ref after Rey executed a 619 on Dominik. The new Latino World Order came out to battle Finn and Damian. Distracted, Rey fell victim to a 619 from Dominik. Then Dominik frog splashed his papa from the top rope for a near fall. Dominik took out a steel chain but Bad Bunny came from the Spanish announcers’ table to take it off him. Rey then seized the opportunity to hit another 619 and frog splash on his son for the victory. Excellent match, great storytelling, nods to wrestling history…best match of the night thus far.
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley – SmackDown Women’s Championship
This felt like a main event match and probably would’ve been if it weren’t for the incredible Bloodline story rocking the wrestling world for the past few months. Charlotte and Rhea have that special quality where just looking at them standing next to each other makes the match seem epic. The beginning of their match felt absolutely brutal. Reports indicated that Charlotte’s chops could be heard by people all the way on the East Coast. At one point, Charlotte countered Rhea with an insane-looking DDT. Rhea later grabbed Charlotte on the top rope and tossed her like a rag doll for a near fall.
The match generally looked like it hurt like hell (and probably did). At one point, Charlotte landed right on her face but that didn’t stop her from executing her signature moonsault off the top rope to Rhea on the outside. Rhea later delivered a Riptide but Charlotte kicked out. This sparked a back and forth of near falls that made the crowd go nuts. Rhea smashed Charlotte’s face on the top turnbuckle, then delivered a Riptide off the ropes for the win. A genuinely spellbinding match that instantly felt like one of the greatest women’s matches in WWE history.
The Miz vs. Pat McAfee
This was a stupid surprise match and a waste of everyone’s time. Pat McAfee won. Zero stars.
The Usos (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn – Undisputed Tag Team Championship
The anticipation for the first tag team match to headline a night of WrestleMania was off the charts. There was a lot of energy right out of the gate. KO attempted a swanton but got knees to the back and then an Uso Splash, causing an early near fall. Owens later hit a cannonball on Jimmy and Sami delivered a brainbuster on the apron to Jey. Another near fall. Sami tried an Uso Splash of his own but only got a two count. The Uso dominated for a while, showing why they are one of the best tag teams in the business.
KO and Sami turned the tide and Owens attempted a power bomb on the announcers’ table but the Usos countered by tossing KO through a table instead. Then they went back into the ring and hit a 1D on Sami but it wasn’t enough to finish off Zayn. Jey then mocked Sami by delivering a Helluva kick. He taunted Zayn until Sami hit Jey with an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. KO got the tag and hit both Usos with a pair of pop-up powerbombs. Then KO and Sami delivered a Helluva kick, followed by a stunner. But it wasn’t enough to put away the Usos and the match continued.
All four men faced off in the ring, nearly causing the fans to riot. A fury of blows and super kicks ensued. Two more Uso splashes on KO were still not enough for the win as Owens somehow kicked out. Sami begged Ownes for a tag, got it, and the crowd went nuts again. Sami hit another Helluva kick on Jey, then another. KO took out Jimmy with a stunner. Sami hit a third Helluva kick on Jey. Finally it was enough. KO and Sami win and become the new undisputed tag team champions. A magnificent match to end the night.