Pruett’s WrestleMania 39 Live Blog: Thoughts from the WM39 press box on The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the Smackdown Women’s Title, Austin Theory vs. John Cena for the U.S. Title, Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio, Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul


By Will Pruett, Co-Senior Staffer (@itswilltime)

WrestleMania 39 Night One
Inglewood, California at SoFi Stadium
Streamed April 1, 2023 on Peacock and pay-per-view

The stage for this show is glorious. Even in the daylight, the rotating posters, massive production setup, and video light up staircase all look stunning. WWE production continues to knock it out of the park with big event stages. You will also notice the sections just about the stage are seated. This show is super sold out.

The show is currently silent in the press box, so my perspective of crowd reactions might be skewed. Lucky for y’all, I only tend to hear what I want anyways. Miz and Snoop Dogg seemed entertaining without belaboring the point. I can’t get over how pretty and well done this stage is.

Austin Theory vs. John Cena for the United States Championship: I’ve got tears in my eyes after John Cena’s entrance. What a moment for those kids to step onto the WrestleMania stage, to high five John Cena, and to be a part of this entrance. Cena’s work with Make A Wish is honestly awe inspiring. What a neat way to highlight it.

John Cena and Austin Theory had a pretty fun opening match, but Cena losing to one A-Town Down (after a gratuitous ball shot) felt a little anti-climactic. This got WrestleMania off to a hot start. From the building, some weird production things happened when the feed to the screen froze. Fans responded to that with some anger, which might have been audible on TV.

Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. Viking Raiders vs. Alpha Academy vs. Street Profits: We’re getting the everyone everywhere all at once tag match early in the show, which might mean it’s a no-nonsense night.

Speaking of nonsense, tax software is trash and we shouldn’t support them, despite them sponsoring a WrestleMania tag team match.

The pop of the night so far in the press box was Chad Gable German Suplexing Braun Strowman. Gable is way too good at professional wrestling and we should all want more for him.

The Street Profits showed up in way too nice of gear to lose this match. This was a great sprint from 8 men who surely can afford to have contractors do their taxes. As independent contractors, WWE stars should absolutely employ folks to run through their 1099s. It’s rough out there paying taxes on 1099s.

WWE has 75,000 people (kayfabe numbers) here watching folks play video games. Remember when grumpy old wrestlers used to complain about “all the wrestlers playing video games backstage”… It’s funny when old people are wrong.

Logan Paul vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins: Logan Paul’s entrance was just the right amount of dumb and spectacular to fit his personal brand. I can’t imagine a less likable human in this world outside of politics. No one likable has ever worn a microphone like Paul’s, other than Britney Spears.

I hope Pete Rose is dressed up as that bottle of Prime and Mayor Kane kills him during this match. I’m a sucker for Pete Rose at WrestleMania nostalgia.

A confession: I know people love singing Seth Rollins’ theme, but I don’t like it. His old theme was just better and tied to so many iconic moments, including his heist at WrestleMania 31. I know I’m in the minority here, but the Whooaaa-ohhhhhh song is a bad song.

Seth Rollins’ rapid fire suicide dives are always electric. They could make me run through a brick wall. Doing the same move multiple times in a row should be boring, but a neat move like that, done over and over, is perfection.

Every wrestler should be managed by a human-sized beverage. What if FTR was accompanied to the ring by a tequila bottle every week? Who would be mad? No one! MORE LARGE DRINKS!

The table spot with the bottle of Prime was excellent! Bring your own crash pad in bottle form! 

Somewhere CM Punk is furiously eating a muffin and raging to no one in particular about Logan Paul using the Go To Sleep. He should be managed by a human Pepsi can when he eventually returns. THE APOLOGY MUST BE AS LOUD AND AS PUBLIC AS THE DISRESPECT!

Seth Rollins and Logan Paul had a really wonderful match. I expected nothing less. Paul has yet to miss in WWE and his many impressive efforts earned him this major spot. Seth needed a major trademark win, especially if he’s being lined up to challenge to for the WWE Championship anytime soon. Great stuff. Logical booking. Awesome use of the WrestleMania atmosphere and a beverage.

Bayley, Iyo Sky, and Dakota Kai vs. Trish Stratus, Becky Lynch, and Lita: The breaks on this show have been relatively short, especially for a WWE show on Peacock. They aren’t giving fans a lot of time to get out of their seats for food and drink. I think this match might suffer a little because of it.

The entrances through the LED garage doors are pretty fun. This WrestleMania set is an all time great one. I love the truss and screen setup of WrestleMania X-7 and the roller coaster of WrestleMania 33, but this one might just win best set ever from me. It’s too good.

WWE hasn’t done right by their women’s division creatively since Paul Levesque took over creative in July, but even with this bad creative effort, it’s neat to see Trish Stratus and Lita in a good, serious WrestleMania match. They more than deserve their flowers and they’re getting them way too late.

I did not think Lita would be the member of her team getting worked over in this match to build up a hot tag. She’s working hard, but creating movement isn’t her strength anymore.

It takes most athletes a while to recover from a torn ACL and actually return to form. Hopefully this explains some of the falloff from Bayley from her pre-injury form.

The setup and execution of Iyo Sky’s moonsault to the outside was perfect. Iyo Sky should be in line for a major push following WrestleMania. She’s earned that and more in the last week.

The six woman tag match was well done and played its role on the card well. Like I said, getting solid serious roles for Trish and Lita in 2023 is wonderful. They deserved better in 2002, so give them that spotlight now. The nostalgia also helped WWE cover the lack of creative thought in their women’s division in the last six months.

Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio: PRISON DOM entering in the corrections van! That man did hard time and we must respect it! This is the new Tank WrestleMania entrance. It’s that good.

Normally when a wrestler does an entrance that’s really three entrances, I’m annoyed, but this weekend is all about Rey Mysterio, so he can have as many entrances as he wants. And Los Angeles was very happy to hear Eddie Guerrero’s theme.

I think Cody Rhodes stole Rey Mysterio’s jumpy platform and made it an elevator. How rude.

This crowd LOVES anytime Rey Mysterio begins hitting Dom. I’m surprised we don’t have an awkward “discipline” chant from the crowd.

The LWO/Legado del Fantasma! Judgement Day! Rey’s wife Angie! This match is getting everyone involved. I need Bad Bunny to punch someone before it’s all over.

JUST as I hit post, Bad Bunny steals the chain from Dom! Bad Bunny and Rey Mysterio against Dominik and Damien Priest at Backlash? I’d watch the hell out of that match.

Dominik Mysterio had his best match yet and really wrestled well against his dad. Rey Mysterio is out here making another star and wrestling like a madman in 2023. You love to see it.

Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: One of my favorite things about daylight WrestleMania shows is seeing the ring and the stage slowly get brighter as the night goes on. 

The set just blew my mind again with the lights under the little false roof under the WrestleMania sign. What a beautiful effort from this production team.

Rhea Ripley, who showed up to the press junket yesterday with a tiny Dominik Mysterio action figure (of his 2005 self), looks excellent and psyched tonight. What an entrance!

Charlotte Flair’s entrance and pyro fit her star status. The pyro on this show has been relatively restrained, which again, I believe means Cody Rhodes could blow the stadium up tomorrow.

I remember thinking, when Charlotte and Rhea met during the pandemic times at WrestleMania 36 at the performance center, that they had a great match against each other that, in the environment was awkwardly verbal. This one is just as grunt-and-shouty from each woman, but it works better with the hum of a crowd.

Charlotte’s DDT to Rhea got an audible gasp from everyone in the press box, as did Rhea’s top rope German Suplex to Charlotte. These two are working hard and putting their bodies on the line in the semi-main event here. Fans are more into Rhea than Charlotte, but that makes sense with Rhea being more relatable going into this.

The commentary on this match makes me think Charlotte Flair is in her Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 6, 7, or 8 stage. We’re basically a month and a half away from Michael Cole calling her “The Immortal” Charlotte Flair.

What a great near fall with Charlotte Flair kicking out of Rhea Ripley’s Riptide! Charlotte is putting in one of her better WrestleMania efforts in the ring tonight. This match is shifting into high gear really well and both women are telling a dramatic and dynamic story.

The image of Charlotte laid out on the top rope and Rhea Ripley smiling up at her was excellent. Following it with the super Riptide and Rhea Ripley’s crowning moment was perfection. This was one of the best women’s matches in WrestleMania history and perhaps Charlotte Flair’s best WrestleMania match since WrestleMania 32.

Rhea and Charlotte put on a damn classic.

Pat McAfee is becoming Michael Cole’s Gene Parmesan. He’s always so surprised when he shows up now.

The Miz vs. Pat McAfee: While I can do without any segment that mentions Miz’s balls, I genuinely enjoy Pat McAfee and enjoy the way Michael Cole loves McAfee even more. This is a fun buffer segment to add a little surprise and a break before the main event.

I’d call it unique to have 49er George Kittle cheered in Sofi Stadium, home of the LA Rams, but I’ve been to Rams/49ers games. This is just part of the depressing trend.

Pat McAfee vs. The Miz was delightful. Nothing too fancy or wild, just a fun segment for the crowd and folks at home. Let Pat call tomorrow night’s main event now.

The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: Kevin Owens is now a two time WrestleMania main eventer and I could not be happier about it. Owens was a guy many thought wouldn’t make it to WWE and he’s proven so many people wrong. After essentially making Reseda, California the house they build, Owens and Zayn now main event down the road in Inglewood.

Tax software apparently loves tag team wrestling. And WWE loves maximizing sponsorship money.

The Usos and Lil Uzi Vert entrance really looks amazing. The Usos gear is on point and they’re the first tag team to walk into the WrestleMania main event as defending champions. This is an amazing night for them and a testament to the hard work and storytelling they’ve done over the last two years.

That roar for Kevin Owens. That roar for Sami Zayn. THE PWG LOGO ON THEIR GEAR. My heart is filled with joy.

Wondering what each human in The Bloodline story really feels for each and every other human in the story has been part of the magic of it all. WWE has been so patient with this one and peaked it so well, it can main event two stadium shows on back-to-back nights. I know some folks really wanted Zayn to take on Roman Reigns here in LA, but this and tomorrow night’s main event are really delightful.

EL GENERICO WOULD BE PROUD MICHAEL COLE YOU BEAST!!! I hope Generico is watching this match with all of the orphans he’s helping in Mexico.

Kevin Owens going through the announce table with authority. For a moment I thought he would Package Piledrive someone, but we can’t get that much Reseda love here at WrestleMania. This match is wild.

Fans are buying into every moment with Sami Zayn. He’s a special wrestler that can make everyone believe and everyone in Sofi Stadium is believing. That One D kickout was art.

Every tag between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn has been a hot tag. They’ve built this match so exceptionally well.

This match going into finisher kickout overdrive is just making this crowd louder. It’s time to clap and believe in fairies, Sofi Stadium. Kevin and Sami need all of you!

Every sequence leading to the end of that match outdid the one before it. Every kickout was closer to the three count. Tag team wrestling, after being ignored for decades in WWE, main eventing WrestleMania and proving to draw the most passion out of fans was a delight.

Sami Zayn’s triple Heluva Kick to win the match was the right kind of melodrama and emotional display in a perfect moment in this match.

I’ll rewatch this WrestleMania main event for years and remember it fondly. What a moment for all four men and especially for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. They deserve this.

The main event finish received a massive pop. The announcement of Kevin and Sami as winners received a bigger pop. Kevin and Sami hugging with the tag team championships almost tore the roof off of Sofi Stadium. All four men had a stadium-sized match here.

Like in years past, this night one of WrestleMania will be really hard to top. The show moved from segment to segment really well and had two instant classic matches to top it off. Will WWE be able to keep people as invested tomorrow night or will it fall off? Two nights of WrestleMania are hard to nail.

I’m going to wrap this liveblog here as Kevin and Sami head up the entrance ramp and I pack up to go podcast from my car like a true professional. Thanks for reading tonight and thanks for experiencing WrestleMania 39 with me. I’ll be here tomorrow night offering thoughts and quips from Sofi Stadium again!


Readers Comments (1)

  1. I love the idea of McAfee and Graves verbally sparring during tomorrow’s main event

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