By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WrestleMania 39 Night One Kickoff Show
Inglewood, California at SoFi Stadium
Streamed April 1, 2023 on Peacock/WWE Network and WWE social media pages
This will not be a full-on recap of the Kickoff Show with listings of all the video packages or the match predictions from the hosts. Rather, I’ll stick to listing any notable developments from the two-hour show.
-Kayla Braxton hosted the show and was joined by Booker T, Wade Barrett, and Peter Rosenberg on their elevated outdoor desk set. There was a large group of fans behind them.
-Byron Saxton was given the “Quest For COVID” assignment of interviewing loud, screaming fans.
-There was a good “numbers” style video package on the history of WrestleMania.
-Barrett spoke about working in front of a stadium crowd. He said wrestlers are used to working in front of arena sized crowds. He said it’s like an out of body experience when you work in front of 75,000-plus fans. He joked that he was was blaming the nerves you feel from the experience for the fact that he never won a WrestleMania match.
-Comedian Gabriel Iglesias joined the panel. Fluffy!!! They didn’t even give the man a chair. Stand up, Rosenberg! Fluffy said he and John Cena are the only guys who can make jean shorts look cool and then showed off his attire.
-A WWE Hall of Fame video package aired. They trimmed the “Jr.” from Konnan’s introduction of Rey Mysterio. By the way, Konnan’s presentation speech was terrific. Fluffy cracked earlier that he was surprised they let Konnan in the building.
-Maria Menounos replaced Fluffy on the panel. She also had to stand while Rosenberg remained seated. Chivalry is dead. I changed my mind after Menounos did a Dusty Rhodes impersonation. Make her stand.
-Actor Rafael Amaya replaced Menounos as the person who had to stand while Rosenberg remained seated. Amaya went off about Rey and Dom. They tried to wrap him up, but he said it was his first WWE event, rambled, and apologized.
-Hot take sports guy Stephen A. Smith joined the panel at the top of the second hour. Yes, he had to stand. He said he’s a longtime fan and mentioned some of his favorites. There were some boos when he mentioned Goldberg as one of his favorites.
-Actor Johnny Knoxville was interviewed by Cathy Kelley in the backstage area. Knoxville wasn’t buying that Sami Zayn is a good guy now. He said everyone thought Bernie Madoff was a good guy too. He even had an anti-Sami t-shirt and said he was there to watch the Usos beat on him. I have no desire to see him factor into the match, but it’s fun that he’s still bitter with Sami after their fun Jackass match last year.
-Boxer Ryan Garcia joined the panel. He punched out Rosenberg and finally took his chair (April Fools). He said his favorite wrestler is Rey Mysterio and he hopes to be able to meet him.
-A video package focused on The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn with less than five minutes until the top of the hour. I’m moving over to my WrestleMania 39 live review. I hope to see you there. You can also check out Will Pruett’s live blog from the press box, and John Moore will be by with his press box blog right after the show.
A two hour preshow with no matches? Why?????
Because they hate me, Tim. They all hate me! They have eliminated three-day holiday weekends, including my beloved fantasy football draft on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. And because WWE is now running Labor day weekend, they are also running SummerSlam over my birthday weekend for the first time ever. And two-hour Kickoff Shows?!? Two more hours with Booker T after spending a couple hours listening to his NXT commentary? Yes, it’s all about me and they all hate me!!! Oh, and I hope you enjoy my coverage tonight.
Well it was probably Vince that had the “Jr” trimmed.
Lol that response cracked me up Jason. And I always enjoy the coverage by you and your colleagues.
Rosenberg didn’t let Maria Menounos have his seat? Holy shit that guys a heel. He’s almost as bad as that guy that used to follow Tensai around. Thankfully Tensai saw through his shit and beat the hell out of him every week