Caption: Kevin Owens (L) and Sami Zayn (R) celebrating after capturing the tag titles at Wrestlemania 39
By Ryan Harless
Ryan Harless is a third-year undergraduate at BGSU from Hillsboro, Ohio. He is majoring in Sport Management with a Journalism Minor. Baseball and golf at all levels are his primary interests but he is also interested in combat sports, hockey, basketball, and football.
April 4, 2023
Wrestlemania was truly a tale of two different nights. It was some of the best wrestling of the year compounded with some odd booking choices, but nonetheless a great time as always.
Austin Theory def. John Cena via pinfall
This match kicked off night one of ‘mania and was a very fun contest that got the fans ready for the rest of the night. The crowd was heavily behind Cena throughout the match and Theory played off that perfectly.
Theory got the win after delivering a low-blow following the referee being knocked down. I was very happy with this match as Theory got a much needed win over an established star.
The Street Profits def. The Viking Raiders, Alpha Academy, and Braun Stroman & Ricochet via pinfall
It was a match meant to showcase the men’s tag division, and one that absolutely delivered at that. This was fast paced, hard hitting action from bell to bell. Everyone did their jobs perfectly and no team came out of this looking bad.
I expect the Street Profits to go after the Unified Tag Championships in the coming months.
Seth Rollins def. Logan Paul via pinfall
I expected this would be a fun match, but it still overdelivered. Paul worked very well as the heel in this match as he was accompanied to the ring by a huge bottle of his sports drink, Prime.
Rollins was played to the ring by the entire crowd singing along to his entrance music which was a super cool scene. The Prime bottle ended up being Paul’s friend KSI, who inadvertently was put through a table by Paul towards the end of the match. This allowed Rollins to hit a Pedigree on Paul and secure the win.
Trish Stratus, Lita, & Becky Lynch def. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, & Io Sky) via pinfall
Unfortunately, these six had to go on after Paul and Rollins and the crowd was audibly tired. This match suffered as a result. Although the action in the ring was competent, it was clear that Stratus and Lita had lost a step or two in the ring.
Becky Lynch was able to get the crowd back into the action before we got to see Lita hit her “Litasault” and score the win. I still feel strongly that Damage CTRL have been criminally misused since their return at Summerslam 2022.
Rey Mysterio Jr. def. Dominik Mysterio via pinfall
In the matchup that was set to settle the score of a longtime father-son rivalry, Rey scored a victory over his errant son. These two have great chemistry as you would expect, but they turned it up a notch on Wrestlemania Saturday.
Dominick played an amazing heel splashing water on his sister and yelling at his mom at ringside. Rey managed to get Dominik back in the ring before taking off his belt and actually spanking his son with it. Rey got the victory after a 619 and celebrated with the rest of his family at ringside.
Rhea Ripley def. Charlotte Flair via pinfall
This was a rematch three years in the making stemming from when Charlotte defeated Ripley at Wrestlemania 36. These two absolutely tore the house down and were praised handily for it by the crowd reactions.
This 23 minute epic saw a great back and forth between the competitors, although Rhea was clearly the more powerful and dominant of the two. Rhea was finally able to escape with a victory after hitting the “Riptide” from the second rope. Truly a 5-star match from night one.
Pat McAfee def. The Miz by pinfall
Before the main event of the evening, the hosts of the show (The Miz & Snoop Dogg) came out to announce the attendance for the night. The Miz was interrupted by former NFL punter McAfee.
McAfee challenged Miz to a match and a referee appeared. Snoop Dogg distracted Miz on the outside and allowed McAfee to score a quick win, infuriating The Miz in the process.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn def. The Usos via pinfall
The main event of night one was everything it was supposed to be. The Usos were extremely dominant for most of the match and the violence was almost uncomfortable at times. The Usos hit Zayn and Owens with no fewer than 20 superkicks throughout the match.
The Usos went for their finisher “The 1D” which in the entire history of pro wrestling, has only been kicked out of ONCE before, but Zayn refused to stay down and kicked out. After about 20 minutes of the match, the two teams stood opposite each other while the crowd gave an ovation.
Owens yelled “let’s finish this” and the two teams went at it again. After the scrap, only Zayn and Jey Uso were left in the ring. After months of anticipation, Zayn snapped and hit Jey with three “Helluva Kicks” and as Jey collapsed in the ring, Sami covered him and scored the pin.
These were two best friends who started wrestling together over two decades ago, winning the tag team championships in front of their families in the main event of Wrestlemania.
This was an amazing event, and if you followed my previous article where I predicted the match winners, you’ll know that I was 5 for 7 (not counting Pat McAfee because it was impromptu).