After a tremendous day and night of wrestling yesterday, how is WWE going to follow things up with night two of WrestleMania 39? There are some large shoes to fill, so let’s find out if they can do it.
Brock Lesnar vs Omos: WWE putting Brock Lesnar in show-opening matches never stops being funny to me. He’s a huge star, so he’s going to get the crowd excited. That’s fine. It’s a good way to get things going. It just makes me laugh to think about Brock being driven to the airport less than 30 minutes after the show starts because he has a flight home to make.
Well… it was the match everybody assumed it would be, with the story being told that Brock is in the rare position of being the much-smaller man in the match. It wasn’t ever going to be a classic, but they don’t always need to be. Both men did their jobs really well here. Brock could really be coming up on the end of his time with the company. He’ll never be as fully appreciated as he should be, and he’ll be missed when he leaves. I’d like to see him stick around a bit, maybe working the big events, but we’ll see. By the way, he was walking up the ramp after the match 20 minutes in, so he really might be out of the stadium 30 minutes in. Amazing.
I’m not going to rate this because it was so short. It was entertaining for what it was, though.
Liv Morgan & Raquel Rodriguez vs Natalya & Shotzi vs Sonya Deville & Chelsea Green vs Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler (Women’s WrestleMania Showcase): Like the men’s version of this match last night, I’m not exactly a fan of this being thrown together the way it did. Sure, it gets an additional eight people on the card for big Mania pay days, but creatively, this stuff just doesn’t work or make much sense.
This was fine for what it was, but it certainly didn’t reach the heights that the men’s Showcase did last night. Some clunky moments here, and considerably less “big” spots than the men’s match had. What did match up, though, was that everyone in the match had a chance to shine and look good. Eight people in the match, and not a lot of time given to work with, means you have to cycle through spots quickly. That’s fine. 2.75 Stars
The concern now is the health of Shayna Baszler. She was on the outside for a bit, then re-entered the ring at the end of the match with only one boot on, and was limping a lot. No idea what happened to her, but I hope she isn’t hurt too bad. This would be a terrible time for her to miss an extended period.
Gunther vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre (WWE Intercontinental Title Match): My entire body hurts just thinking about the pain and suffering these three are going to inflict on each other.
My ears hurt just thinking about the pain and suffering that guest commentator Titus O’Neil is going to inflict on anyone listening to the show. He is the worst commentator ever, talking just to hear himself and talking over anyone else on the team with him at the time.
This was absolutely insane. Sheamus’ chest looks like raw ground beef. Gunther’s chest looks like he’s suffering from internal bleeding. Drew McIntyre’s chest and armpit area are battered like some fried shrimp at Red Lobster. All three of these men are going to be SUFFERING in their hotel rooms tonight. One of the damnedest fights you’re ever going to see in pro wrestling. There’s no need to mention any stories or strategies. Just three of the hardest-hitting wrestlers to ever do it going out there and beating the shit out of each other. Fantastic match. I might even have to bump the grade up a bit once I give the match a second, more focused viewing. 4.5 Stars
Bianca Belair vs Asuka (WWE Raw Women’s Title Match): Last night, Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley had one of the better WWE women’s matches you’re ever going to see. They set the bar ridiculously high with their performances. I’m very interested to see how Bianca and Asuka respond to that unofficial “challenge.”
While Charlotte and Rhea used a lot more physicality in their match, this was another great one, focused more on the champion’s freakish strength and the athletic ability of both women. Counters, reversals, counters, reversals… this was more of a flashy work of art compared to last night’s gritty fight. “Big Match Bianca” strikes again, with another classic performance when the lights are the brightest. Asuka, to her credit, stepped up and looked as motivated as she has looked in a long time. Great stuff here from both women. 4.5 Stars
Shane McMahon vs The Miz: Snoop Dogg put Miz in an impromptu match against a returning Pat McAfee last night, and he put Miz in an impromptu match against a returning Shane McMahon. Then, perhaps not even a minute into the match, Shane appears to have blown his knee out, which turns into…
Snoop Dogg vs The Miz: This was all a thing that definitely happened. Two punches and a People’s Elbow from Tha Doggfather, and Snoop gets a pinfall victory at WrestleMania, even though he wasn’t in the match to begin with. Poor Shane. That was quite the roller coaster ride. Well, hopefully Shane is okay. Either way, that was an impressive audible from everyone involved, going from one thing to another on the fly.
Edge vs Finn Balor (Hell In A Cell): It’s the return of the old version of Hell In A Cell! That red abomination was awful. We also got Russell Crowe narrating a video package for this match, Edge making his entrance to “South Of Heaven” by Slayer, and Finn Balor bringing back The Demon. Quite the spectacle. Edge is listed as “Brood Edge” for this, but other than coming up through the ramp surrounded by fire, that wasn’t exactly a Brood entrance. Different song, no Gangrel, no Christian (obviously). Still really fucking cool, though.
Is it possible to overbook Hell In A Cell? If so, that’s what we got here. That was such a weird match. Balor got busted open by a ladder, causing the match to get stopped for a moment so the medical team could attend to him. The problem was that Balor’s black face paint made it almost impossible to see any blood on him. If you didn’t see the blood dripped on the mat, you wouldn’t even know anything had happened. The inclusion of the Demon gimmick also seemed to hurt the match a bit. He has to play the “supernatural” role here, meaning he gets hit by weapon after weapon, only to no-sell a lot of it and continue moving forward.
Lots of relatively slow spots here, with chair or kendo shots filling up space between walking around. This wasn’t a bad match or anything. It just wasn’t anything to get all that excited about. Both Edge and Balor were handcuffed a bit going in, and it showed. Here’s to hoping that the feud between Edge and The Judgment Day is over now. 3.25 Stars
Roman Reigns vs Cody Rhodes (Undisputed WWE Universal Title Match): An incredibly cool moment took place during Cody’s entrance. He goes to ringside, where he kisses his wife and holds his almost two-year-old daughter, Liberty, having her wave to the crowd. Then, the Forbidden Door is knocked off of its hinges as Cody gives his weight belt to Brodie Huber, better known as -1 in AEW. Brodie’s late father was name dropped, but nothing was said about AEW. No surprise, obviously.
With the entrances combining to take up SEVERAL minutes, and with the crowd as amped up as they are, this is THE definition of a big fight feel.
That match was every single thing I wanted it to be. It was every single thing I needed it to be. To say Roman and Cody just took wrestling fans on a roller coaster ride would be the understatement of the century. That was the type of match that takes time off of the lives of fans. I don’t even know what to say right now. I’m damn near sweating, and I’m sitting in a fully air conditioned office as I type these words. I have ZERO IDEA where things are going from here, but what I do know is this… 5 Stars
If you’re basing things on star-ratings alone, WrestleMania 39 might be the greatest WrestleMania of all-time. I might need to watch a few of them from beginning to end to see if the complete package keeps this at the top, but damn, what a fucking weekend of wrestling. I love this shit.