Can I tell you what a relief it is that the WWE broke up Wrestlemania into 2 days? Just thinking about how many hours I had to devote in a single day just to watch the biggest show in professional wrestling before? I love myself some WWE sports entertainment but telling me I have to set aside roughly 8 hours on a single day was just too much! Breaking it up into 2 shows also makes it much easier to write up what happened on Wrestlemania as I can watch Day 1 for Robin’s Adventures and then write up Day 2 for I’ll Review Anything. It’s still cutting it close but at least I can take a decent breather!
Enough dillydallying, though. Let’s talk about what happened on Day 1 of Wrestlemania 39!
The WWE really started out with their big guns as the first match of Day 1 had Austin Theory defending his United States Championship against John Cena. There was some really cool in-ring storytelling, with Austin Theory having to bite Cena a couple of times in order to get out of trouble. It was generally a solid match but, honestly, nothing they couldn’t put on RAW or Smackdown.
The finish was a little screwy as John Cena had Theory set up for an Attitude Adjustment but Theory tried to escape and inadvertently knocking the official out. Cena then locked in the STF and Theory tapped out and John Cena let go of the hold to celebrate. However, the referee wasn’t there to see Theory tap out so the match continued. The Now took advantage of the downed official and low blowed Cena. Theory then hit his A-Town Down finisher and pinned Cena just as the referee recovered. Austin Theory managed to fend off John Cena to retain his United States Championship. Like I said, this was just a good match but it wasn’t all that special. It was just okay.
The next match was the Men’s Wrestlemania Showcase match featuring the teams of Braun Strowman and Ricochet, The Viking Raiders, Alpha Academy and the Street Profits. Lots of innovative spots and feats of skill was on display here. There were some jaw-dropping spots, like Chad Gable performing a rolling German on Strowman, Ivar doing a picture perfect moonsault which missed and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that crazy Tower of Doom spot. I’m still amazed they all pulled that one off!
The finish came after Ricochet hits an insane looking springboard shooting star press to the outside. Ricochet then turns his sights towards Angelo Dawkins from the Street Profits and tries to hit another shooting star press but eats Dawkins’ raised knees. Montez Ford then hits his frog splash on Ricochet, who is still draped over Dawkins’ knees. Dawkins makes the cover, giving the win to the Street Profits.
This was a very short and sweet match with everyone getting to do something spectacular. A part of me kind of wishes it went longer but I will also say it was smart of them to keep the match as short as it was as it went from 0 to 100 in just a matter of minutes. Super fun match for how short it was.
The next match had Seth “Freakin'” Rollins take on Logan Paul. Logan Paul has continued to amaze me so I was really looking forward to this match. He didn’t disappoint. Both Rollins and Logan Paul showed great athleticism I do wish they’d cut out the entire thing with Logan Paul having a lethal punch because he has a screw in his hand. That’s not how they work! I did love the train wreck part with Rollins dragging KSI (who was dressed up as an energy drink) on top of the announcer’s table, which led to Paul crashing into his pal.
The finish came after Rollins superkicked Paul out of a Coast to Coast attempt. The Architect then fully capitalizes by hitting a Curb Stomp on the downed social media star to get the 3-count victory. This was highly entertaining and the antics of both Rollins and Paul were fun to watch. I thought this was going to be the match of the night but, as good as this was, it wasn’t enough to steal the show. Still, this was a super good match and already worth the price of admission.
The next match had the team of Becky Lynch, Lita and Trish Status take on Damage CTRL, which consists of Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. I grew up watching Lita and Trish Stratus so I was cautiously optimistic for this match. I really hoped Lita and Trish Status were still up to snuff and, well, I have to say I was half right. Lita was pretty impressive throughout, even busting out a couple of innovative new offense. When it came to Trish, however, it did look like she struggled to keep up.
The finish came after an all out brawl between the teams, leading to Kai pushing Lita off an attempted Twist of Fate, only for her to eat a Chick Kick from Trish and IYO SKY taking a Twist of Fate from Lita. Bayley got the upper hand over Lynch and went for an avalanche Bayley-To-Belly but The Man reversed it into a Manhandle Slam to get the pinfall victory for her team.
This was good but nothing exactly great. I couldn’t help but be disappointed by the lack of quality offense from Trish Status and even Lita new moves couldn’t alleviate my dissatisfaction. I also think the wrong team won as Damage CTRL really needed a win because they’re just not as fearsome as they should be. The in-ring action was good but I wanted something special here.
The next match had Rey Mysterio taking on his son, Dominik Mysterio. I haven’t really been impressed by Dominik’s in-ring work yet but he certainly makes up for it with his crowd work. He really went in hard here, going so far as to throw a drink in his sister’s face and yelling at his mother. Rey also worked hard to get the crowd cheering for him with him slapping his son with his belt and garnering a lot of sympathy by eating this wicked looking wheelbarrow suplex into the turnbuckle.
The finish was pretty brilliant, with Dominik distracting the referee by taking off one of the turbuckle pads as a distraction. While the official was replacing the pad, the Con-Dom went for Damien Priest’s jacket, which just so happened to have a metal chain hidden. Dominik was about to strike Rey with the weapon when Bad Bunny, who was doing commentary in the Spanish Announce Table, took the chain. This allowed Rey to hit his 619 into a frog splash combination to get the pinfall victory.
This was a really entertaining match. While the actual wrestling was just okay for the most part and Rey had to carry the match in general. However, Dominik really worked the live audience hard, making you really want to see him get his just desserts. This was a truly satisfying match with a lot of cathartic happiness with Rey finally getting some justice.
The second to the last match had Charlotte Flair defending her Smackdown Woman’s Championship against the 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble winner, Rhea Ripley. I was 100% behind Rhea Ripley here, mostly because I’m just so sick and tired of Charlotte Flair holding a Woman’s championship, RAW or Smackdown. Still, I had high hopes for this match because, despite my dislike for The Queen, she knows how to put on a good match. Rhea Ripley has also elevated her game as shown in the Royal Rumble. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Charlotte took a lot of brutal falls, like that one where she simply landed on her face when The Eradicator performed this wicked back suplex. Then again, Ripley also ate a lot of vicious looking moves, like that DDT Charlotte did to escape the Riptide pumphandle slam.
The finish came after Charlotte tried to get Ripley to the top turnbuckle for her trademark fallaway suplex but The Eradicator slipped to the ring apron and slammed Charlotte’s face into the ring post. Ripley then climbs back up and hits an avalanche Riptide slam on Charlotte to get the pinfall victory and become the NEW Smackdown Woman’s Champion! This was a fantastic match and, on a technical level, I would say it was the match of the night. However, on a more emotional level, this one doesn’t quite make the cut of the best match of Wrestlemania 39 Day 1. Still, this is more than worth a watch.
The next match was a impromptu match featuring The Miz taking on Pat McAfee. Apparently, The Miz issued an open challenge which no one heard of. Pat McAfee was only so happy to accept it, though. McAfee did get to show a good amount of athleticism again by doing some sick looking backflips and the like. The Miz was, well, pretty much the punching bag. I kind of wish I knew some professional football players because I don’t know who George Kittle is. Is he supposed to be a big deal? Anyway, he gets involved and, honestly, the referee should’ve called for the DQ victory the instant he and McAfee rolled The Miz back in the ring. Just spouting facts.
The finish came after McAfee kicked The Miz’s head in with a Punt kick to get the 3-count. This was little more than a distraction and a palette cleanser before the main event. Let’s go talk about that instead!
The final match for Wrestlemania 39 Day 1 was for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship. This had Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens taking on the reigning champs, The Usos. This was easily the match I was looking the most forward to as this had the most buildup. I’m not really sure how much planning went into the entire Sami Zayn integrating himself into the Bloodline nor can I say if all involved could have predicted how hot this storyline would become. Whatever the case, this was definitely the most emotional match as everyone wanted Sami Zayn to get some semblance of revenge against the Bloodline, specifically Jey Uso.
The action was, to be honest, just above average. Everyone got their time to shine. The Usos did a lot of smart blind tags to get the upper hand. They also showed a good amount of brutality, which only heightened how heelish they’ve become. Sami Zayn came off as the most underdogs of underdogs as he was beat down for probably half of the match. He did get his licks in with moves like an awesome suplex to Jimmy Uso on the ring apron. Kevin Owens was also very impressive, even busting out his weird top rope brainbuster type move.
The finish came after Kevin Owens hit the top rope neckbreaker to Jey Uso. Sami Zayn is all fired up and delivers a couple of Helluva Kicks to Jey. Jimmy Uso tries to make a save but Kevin Owens takes him out with a Stunner. Zayn then hits a third Helluva Kick to Jey and it looks like the third time’s the charm as this enable Zayn to get the pinfall victory over The Usos. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are the NEW Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions!
Despite the action not really hitting the heights like the Charlotte Flair vs Rhea Ripley match, this hit all the right emotional notes. It certainly helps how hot the live crowd was as everyone was on their feet for the majority of the match, backing Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Even I was on the edge of my seat with every pin attempt. This was match of the night, hands down, because of the great buildup towards it.
Overall, Wrestlemania 39 Day 1 was a blockbuster of a night. The only real “bad” match was the opener for the United States Championship and even that was just average. I can only hope Day 2 can be this good.
Have you seen Wrestlemania 39 Day 1? What was the match of the night for you? Let me know in the comments section below!