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WrestleMania 39 Cody Rhodes
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WrestleMania 39, Night 2: A Shocking Conclusion

WrestleMania 39, Night 2 Review

After an impressive first night that included what will probably go down as one of the greatest women’s matches in WWE history, WrestleMania 39 came roaring back for night two at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The evening was again hosted by The Miz and Snoop Dogg.

Night two had some odd blunders that ultimately didn’t prevent it from being a terrific show with a bevy of compelling matches featuring legit injuries, a demon exorcism, and Snoop Dogg coming in clutch. The one thing the wrestling world will be forever debating, however, is the finish of the main event. This had to have been one of the most shocking Manias ever.

Brock Lesnar vs. Omos

The crowd was surprisingly sort of into this one despite how predictable it was. Lesnar dispatched Omos fairly quickly with a couple German suplexes and an F5. Much like the John Cena vs. Austin Theory opener on night one, this felt like a match created entirely just to give a superstar vet something to do at the year’s biggest event. 

Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya & Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville

After an awesome men’s fatal four-way the previous night, the women’s division had a lot to live up to with this one. The first notable spot came when Raquel Rodriguez tossed Liv Morgan out of the ring onto a crowd of competitors. Natalya got a double sharpshooter on Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville before Liv Morgan broke it up. Shayna Baszler somehow lost one of her shoes at one point before Ronda Rousey made Shotzi submit with an armbar for the win. The finish felt a little clumsy but Liv Morgan was great, per usual. Overall, it was hard not to feel like more could’ve been done with this match.

Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus vs. Drew McIntyre – Intercontinental Championship

Gunther had an entrance that was part Julius Caesar, part Kaiser. He continues to be one of the best things happening in WWE right now. Expectations for this match were high and it did not disappoint. Gunther and Drew McIntyre got into an absolutely brutal chop fest that made Gunther’s chest look like a piece of raw meat. Sheamus walloped McIntyre with 29 straight blows and the crowd went nuts.

McIntyre went for a Claymore but Gunther countered with a powerbomb and near fall. Sheamus hoisted Gunther up to the second rope and delivered a White Noise and then a Celtic Cross but Gunther managed to kick out at two. The crowd was fully behind Sheamus, who again nearly pinned Gunther before McIntyre pulled him off at two. “This is awesome” chants broke out. 

McIntyre dove over the top rope onto Sheamus on the outside but once back in the ring, Sheamus hit a Bro Kick that caused another near fall. The audience was on fire. McIntyre then hit a Claymore on Sheamus for yet another near fall. McIntyre and Sheamus slugged it out in the ring before Sheamus got off another Bro Kick. He covered McIntyre for a two count before Gunther broke up the pinfall off the top rope. Gunther then quickly dispatched both Sheamus and McIntyre to retain the title. This match lived up to the high standards it set for itself. Amazing work all around.

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka – Raw Women’s Championship

Bianca Belair and Asuka are two of the best women’s wrestlers in the game and they each had elaborate entrances with teams of dancers that got the audience going. It felt like there were a couple moments of miscommunication early in the match. Bianca delivered the first big spot by powerbombing Asuka onto the mats outside the ring. Bianca made great use of her strength throughout the match, in one case lifting Asuka up from the apron onto the top rope and then suplexing her off the ropes. 

Bianca continued to dominate, hitting a running Blockbuster and then a springboard moonsault that led to a near fall. Asuka tried to spray Bianca with her blue mist but Bianca ducked. This led to a sequence culminating in an Asuka armbar on Bianca, who managed to escape the submission. Bianca hoisted up Asuka from the mat and hit a KOD for the win. This was a great match with a few minor flaws that ended the right way: with Bianca retaining.

The Miz vs. Shane McMahon / The Miz vs. Snoop Dogg

Another surprise match for the Miz that saw the unexpected return of Shane McMahon. After about 15 seconds, Shane collapsed with what appeared to be a genuine injury. Snoop Dogg then got involved and punched The Miz and then gave him a People’s Elbow for a three count. So I guess Snoop won the match? It was a little confusing and pointless but whatever, Snoop is the best while Shane made the lamest return ever.

Edge vs. Finn Balor – Hell in a Cell

Russell Crowe, promoting an upcoming film called The Pope’s Exorcist, narrated the opening of this match that had a tremendous amount of fire roaring for “Brood” Edge’s demonic entrance. Finn Balor came out as the Demon wielding a couple purple smoke flair things, which was certainly a choice. Brood, demon, Hell in a Cell, exorcisms…Satanic Panic is back, folks. The match started out pretty slow but picked up a bit when Edge trapped Finn in the corner of the cell with a couple kendo sticks and dropkicked him off the apron. Edge then took out a table, much to the crowd’s delight. There were a couple nods to Brood members Gangrel and Christian, which was cool. Edge tossed a ladder at Finn that seemed to legitimately bust Finn open. Finn lost a fair amount of blood as medics cleaned him up before the match resumed.

Finn hit a Coup de Grace off the top rope for a near fall. Edge delivered an Edgecution from midway up a ladder for another near fall. Finn scaled up the cell and attempted another Coup de Grace through a table but Edge moved out of the way, sending Balor through the table. Edge then hit a spear for a two count. Edge hit Finn with a steel chair a few times before a Conchairto finally did the Demon in. Edge wins a brutal and bloody match.

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes – Undisputed Universal Championship

The main event arrived. Cody Rhodes entered with a lot of pyro and a ton of fans singing “whoooaaa.” Cody’s wife Brandi was ringside. Rhodes gave his weight belt to the son of the late Brodie Lee (aka Luke Harper). It was a touching little moment that almost seemed to be a subtle nod to AEW. Roman’s entrance began with a bunch of classical concert pianists performing a dramatic intro before his theme song kicked in. Roman was lit up like a god on the entrance ramp before he sauntered to the ring. Two spectacular, electric entrances. 

The early parts of the match were fairly even handed. Cody attempted a Disaster Kick but Roman caught him jumping off the middle rope and powerbombed him. They battled to the entrance ramp, where Roman body slammed Cody a couple times. While outside the ring, Solo Sikoa sneakily hit Cody in the ribs with a steel chair. Solo then later grabbed Cody’s foot to disrupt a maneuver, again tilting the scales in the Tribal Chief’s favor. On top of one of the announcers’ tables, Roman tried to power bomb Cody onto another table but Cody reversed and sent Roman crashing through the table instead. 

Back in the ring, Cody built up some momentum, delivering a series of quick moves including a scoop slam and Cody Cutter for a near fall. Cody hit a suicide dive onto Roman on the outside. Solo interfered yet again by whipping Cody’s weight belt across his back. The ref noticed the shenanigans this time and ejected Solo from ringside. Roman tried to use the belt on Cody but Cody hit him with a Cross Rhodes for another near fall. Roman managed to execute a Rock Bottom for a two count. Roman attempted a Superman Punch but Cody countered for a pedigree. Another two count. The crowd was on its feet at this point. Reigns then hit a Superman Punch but it wasn’t enough to win.

Roman went for a spear but Cody dodged it and wrapped up the champ in a figure four leglock. Roman reversed it before Cody crawled to the ropes to break the hold. Roman connected with a spear but Cody managed to kick out at two and a half. Reigns locked a guillotine onto Cody, attempting to squeeze the life out of him. Rhodes appeared to be fading but rose back up, only to have Roman re-apply the hold. Cody broke out of the guillotine but then, back on his feet, accidentally knocked out the ref. 

With the ref down, the Usos ran out and beat up on Cody for a while before Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens came to the rescue. KO hit a stunner on Roman and Sami connected with a Helluva Kick. Cody draped an arm over Reigns and the now conscious ref crawled over for a two and three quarters count. Cody and Roman exchanged blows back and forth. Roman tried a Superman Punch but Cody hit him with his father’s Bionic Elbow. Paul Heyman distracted the ref on the ring apron while Solo came back out and hit Cody with a Samoan Spike. Reigns speared Cody for a three count and the victory. Shockingly, Roman Reigns retains. A stunning and controversial conclusion to a spellbinding match.

Written By

Jonathon Norcross is a freelance entertainment writer. He worked in post-production for over a decade on projects for Showtime, TLC, Netflix, ESPN, Vice, The New York Times, and PBS, among others. He’s a co-host of the “Scenes From” podcast and contributed to the book “Changeology,” published by Simon & Schuster. He lives in beautiful Saratoga Springs, New York and is an unrepentant Yankees fan.

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