4/1 WWE WRESTLEMANIA 39 – NIGHT 1: Keller’s report on Cena vs. Austin Theory, Rollins vs. Logan Paul, Usos vs. Sami & KO, Charlotte vs. Ripley, more

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


APRIL 1, 2023

Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

Ring Announcers: Mike Rome, Samantha Irvin

Tonight after the PPV, join PWTorch columnist Greg Parks live reviewing the event with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wnialivecast@gmail.com

-Mike Rome introduced Becky G who sang “America the Beautiful” from center-ring.

-Kevin Hart hosted a video previewing the show including clips of the famous Hollywood movie scenes reenactments with wrestlers.

-Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. He touted what a big entertainment spectacular WrestleMania has become.

-Miz and Snoop Dogg introduced the show mid-ring. Miz touted the sold out SoFi Stadium. When he mentioned Charlotte Flair’s name, the wasn’t a huge pop and there were audible boos. Rhea Ripley got some cheers. The Usos were booed. Kevin Owens got cheered. Sami Zayn got mega-cheered. Miz said that’s just “a small taste of how awesome this show is going to be.” Snoop then said, “Let’s fire it up!”

(1) AUSTIN THEORY vs. JOHN CENA – U.S. Title match

Austin Theory made his entrance. Cole said this is the biggest match in the career of Theory. Corey Graves congratulated Cole for calling his 22nd WrestleMania, the most of anyone. They also went to the Spanish announce team on camera briefly. Theory stood on the second rope and took a deep breath. Cole said he’s wrestling a man he grew up idolizing and inspired him. Cole noted that Cena has granted over 600 “Make-a-Wish” wishes, more than any other celebrity. A video package aired on WWE’s work with Make-a-Wish over the decades including Steve Austin, The Rock, Seth Rollins, and many others visiting kids.

Cena made his ring entrance as over a dozen kids in the Make-a-Wish program waited on the stage for him. He interacted with them and then ran to the ring. The bell rang 17 minutes into the hour. When Theory took control and suplexed Cena, Graves said no one knows what’s going on in his head but seems to be basking in the moment. Cole said no one knows what’s in Theory’s head because he’s a loner and is wrapped up in himself. Cena reversed a suplex, but Theory took control again at 4:00. He landed a dropkick. Graves said Cena has had a great career, but the sun sets on every athletes career eventually. Cole and Graves said they didn’t expect Theory to control the match like this.

Cena side-stepped and swattered Theory out of mid-air on a dropkick attempt and then put Theory in a Crossface. Theory bit Cena’s hand to escape. At 7:00 Cena grabbed Theory’s leg on a stomp attempt and went for an Attitude Adjustment, but Theory slipped free and DDT’d Cena and scored a two count. Theory ran in circles with his arm extended in celebration of his dominance of Cena. Cena began punching back. Theory reverse-whipped Cena into the ropes and then applied a sleeper.

At 10:00 Cena landed two flying shoulder tackles and then went into his You Can’t See Me routine including the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Theory grabbed the top rope during Cena’s AA attempt. The ref got knocked down. Cena applied an STF mid-ring and tapped. Cena released the hold and raised his arm in victory. He then noticed the ref was down. When he turned back to Theory, Theory gave him a low-blow and then landed his A-Town Down finisher for the win.

Graves said you don’t have to like or respect Theory, but now you have no choice but to respect him. (Strange choice of words after a low-blow victory.) Cole asked if Theory accomplished what he set out to do. Graves said yes because the record books will show Theory as the winner.

WINNER: Theory in 11:00. (*3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: I didn’t expect much, and that wasn’t much. Cena just didn’t do much at all there and didn’t look like it mattered at all to him. I don’t think much was accomplished overall in this feud compared to it’s potential. Cena degraded Theory on Raw and then lost by low-blow seconds after Theory tapped out to him first. There was a lot more that could have been done even with just one Cena TV appearance and 11 minutes of ring time, but whatever the announcer say, this wasn’t any kind of boost for Theory beyond being the one chosen to have “a WrestleMania Moment” with Cena over other options.)

-Titus O’Neal joined the announcers at ringside. He was introduced as a Global Ambassador for WWE.

(2) RICOCHET & BRAUN STROWMAN vs. THE STREET PROFITS (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar w/Valhalla) vs. ALPHA ACADEMY (Otis & Chad Gable) – WrestleMania Showcase four-way tag match

The bell rang to start the match 37 minutes into the hour. Graves picked the Viking Raiders to win because they’ve taken their brutality to the next level. They opened with Gable vs. Ricochet. Gable went for an early ankle lock submission. When Otis tagged in and knocked down Ricochet, Titus playfully said, “Big Sweaty Otis! He’s sweaty for no reason. He’s extremely sweaty.” They cut to him laughing at the announce desk.

At 3:00, everyone entered the ring and faced off. Ivar springboarded off the ropes and clotheslined Ricochet out of Erik’s arms and Ricochet bumped onto the back of his head. They double powerbombed Ford next. Braun entered and charged at them and took them both down. Gable went for a suplex. Braun resisted, but Gable eventually rolled through and used the momentum to back suplex him. Cole called it one of the most amazing feats he’s seen. Graves said, “That was real life!”

Ivar climbed to the top rope at the urging of Valhalla and went for a moonsault on Ford, but Ford moved. Braun then climbed to the top rope. He landed a splash on Ivar. Everyone else broke up the cover. Ford recovered and began a string of offense, cut off by Gable and Erik. Otis and Ivar joined in and they executed a suplex with Ricochet leaping off the top rope with a crossbody block on Ford as the other four suplexed him. The crowd went bonkers for the spot. (That was a heck of a spot and actually appeared relatively dangerous by WWE standards in the sense that it would just take one wrestler slipping or giving out for everyone to collapse awkwardly.)

Braun ran around shoulder checking people until Dawkins stopped him in his tracks. Ricochet then landed on Dawkins with a running shooting star press over the top rope. Cole said it was the damndest shooting star press he’s ever seen. Ricochet then went for a shooting star press in the ring, but Dawkins lifted his knees. Ford then landed a top rope frog splash on Ricochet. Dawkins made the cover and scored a three count.

WINNERS: The Street Profits in 9:00. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: That match wouldn’t have overstayed its welcome if it went another 10 minutes. A crowd-pleasing match with some memorable spots that will be shown in highlight clips on Raw and Smackdown this coming week. It just wasn’t long enough to amount to a three-star-plus match, but it was on the way.) [c]

-A video package recapped the Seth Rollins-Logan Paul storyline.


Logan made his ring entrance accompanied by a sponsor mascot dressed up like a energy beverage can. An orchestra conductor led the crowd in singing Seth’s entrance theme from the stage. The actual theme kicked in and Seth came out wearing a gaudy red robe that dragged behind him like a wedding gown. We’re an hour in and there’s been about 20 minutes of bell-to-bell in-ring action. (The set and the entrances are spectacular, and WrestleMania should feel different and special, but this might be pushing the ratio to a level some won’t appreciate.) During Seth’s entrance, Logan was leaning in the corner and he let out an exaggerated yawn. The bell rang 4 minutes into the second hour. The fans kept singing Seth’s song.

Cole and Graves talked about Seth’s issues with Logan and how Logan is so wrapped up in just himself. Logan leapfrogged Seth twice early and then threw him over the top rope. Logan body punched Seth and then stomped on his chest. Cole said one strength of Logan is that he “studies sports entertainment” and can pull different approaches and techniques from watching others. Graves said, “You can’t not be impressed with Logan Paul’s athleticism.”

Logan applied a seated octopus. Cole said Antonio Inoki used to this while standing. Seth avoided a Logan springboard moonsault attempt at 6:00. Seth charged at Logan with a barrage of punches in the corner, which popped the crowd. Seth threw Logan over the top rope to the floor. Seth dove through the ropes and tackled Logan at ringside. He did it a second time and then a third time, knocking Logan into the ringside barricade each time. Seth played to the crowd.

Seth stomped Logan’s right hand on the steps. Graves said that’s the hand that knocked Seth out twice. Seth set up a Pedigree. Logan blocked it and rolled up Seth. They exchanged leverage two counts. Logan landed a sudden right punch. Seth was down and out. Logan made the cover, but Seth kicked out at two. Seth landed a sitout powerbomb for a near fall a minute later.

The energy drink mascot yanked Logan out of the ring. It turned out it was Logan’s business partner and buddy on YouTube, KSI. When Seth grabbed him, Logan threw Seth into the ringpost. Logan put Seth on the announce desk, leaped off the top rope as Logan’s buddy set up a selfie. Seth yanked the mascot into the path and Logan splashed him instead. Seth then threw Logan into the ring and landed a Pedigree for a believable near fall the popped the crowd at 12:00.

Logan caught Seth with a Go To Sleep and then back to the top rope. He leaped down with a frog splash for a two count. Seth clutched his ribs in the corner, but he caught Logan with a superkick to the nose as he tried for the Coast to Coast and then landed his signature Stomp for the win.

As Seth celebrated, Logan went to check on his mascot pal who was still selling his top rope splash on the announce desk.

WINNER: Rollins in 16:00. (***1/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: Entertaining. A little gimmicky, obviously, with the mascot spots, but the near falls were well done and the big spots worked in the stadium setting. Logan looked comfortable out there and in his element as a heel celebrity pro wrestler. He is a gifted athlete and his facial expressions and body language show he has good instincts to not ham it up too much. I’d say this overdelivered, but I think Logan has earned pretty high expectations for his matches.) [c]

-A video packaged previewed the next six-woman tag match for those with Peacock Premium+. For everyone else, it was a commercial break.

(4) DAMAGE CTRL (Bayley & Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai) vs. BECKY LYNCH & LITA & TRISH STRATUS

Damage CTRL came out first. A video played for the babyface trio. Lita then made her entrance onto the stage to her theme followed by Trish to her music and finally Becky. Cole talked about what it must feel like for Becky to be teaming with two of her idols growing up in a setting like this. The bell rang 32 minutes into the second hour. All six brawled at the start including some ringside action. The heel trio beat up Becky for a while. She eventually fought back and reached to hot-tag in Lita, but Dakota pulled Becky out of reach. A minute later Becky did fight her way to her corner to tag in Lita.

Lita clotheslined Sky. Lita gave her a head scissors to take her down. She followed with a an inverted head scissors in the corner and yanked Sky’s head into the turnbuckle. That was creative. Lita delivered a Vertigo move for a near fall on Sky at 5:00. The heel trio took over on Lita for a while, with frequent tags taking turns on her.

Lita hot-tagged in Trish at 8:00. She landed a Thesz Press on Dakota. Becky tagged in a minute later and landed a top rope legdrop on Dakota for a near fall. She applied a Disarm Her next. Bayley kicked her to break the hold. Everyone ended up at ringside. Sky then leaped off the top rope with a moonsault onto a crowd below.

They all battled mid-ring again. In the chaos, Lita landed a Twist of Fate on Sky. Trish landed a Chick Kick on Kai. Lita landed a moonsault on both. Becky then landed a Manhandle Slam on Bayley for the pin.

WINNERS: Becky & Lita & Trish in 15:00. (**3/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: A fun match with Trish and Lita looking pretty solid throughout. Another crowd-pleasing match.) [c]

-A lengthy video package recapped the Dominik-Rey Mysterio feud.

-Bad Bunny joined the Spanish announce team.


A video aired of Dominik locked up in prison and then being released, presented presumably as Dominik “reenacting” what he purports went through in prison. A siren blared and then he was driven into the stadium in a Correction van with two police motorcycles escorting the vehicle. Dom stepped out with his hands cuffed wearing a Rey Mysterio mask and new ring jacket with spikes. He was escorted to the ring by police officers. He unmasked on his way to the ring. Cole was very worked up and said he should be back in prison. Graves told him to calm down. They showed Dominik’s mom and sister watching him from ringside (probably beaming with actual pride, but having to feign disgust and dismay).

Rey was then driven to the ring in an orange low-rider convertible by Snoop. Eddie Guerrero’s theme song played. Rey stood in the passenger seat on his way to the ring. The music then shifted to Rey’s entrance theme. Rey then walked down the ramp to the ring. Rey and Dominik faced off mid-ring as the music faded. Rey had some words for Dominik, who then shoved Rey.

The bell rang five minutes into the third hour. Rey tossed Dominik through the ropes and then posed in the ring to taunt Dominik. Dominik returned to the ring and shoved Rey, then knocked him down. He went for a cover, but Rey kicked out immediately, even before a ref one count. Rey head scissored Dominik and then raised his arms. Fans cheered. Rey’s wife cheered.

Rey whipped Dominik with a belt. Cole was ecstatic and yelled “Oh yeah! Oh yeah!” Dominik dropped to ringside and got in his sister’s face and then threw her drink on her. Rey attacked Dominik, but Dominik fought back and then smiled at his family. “How do you treat your family that?” said a disgusted Cole.

Back in the ring, Dominik got in some sustained offense. Graves admitted to Cole that Dominik had gone too far. Cole said this match is just about beating some respect into the kid and putting him in his place. Dominik landed a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Cole said Dominik is impressive. Graves said he is wildly talented. Cole said he could be a future world champion some day, but his treatment of his father is unacceptable given how much his dad has done for him. Dominik was preoccupied with taunting his mother and sister at ringside. Dominik’s mom slapped him. Rey then shoved him into the ringpost.

Back in the ring, Rey landed a seated senton and a springboard crossbody for a two count. Finn Balor and Damien Priest made their way to ringside, upsetting Cole. Dominik flipped a charging Rey into the bottom turnbuckle face-first and then scored a two count. They cut to Bad Bunny reacting. Dominik went into the Three Amigos suplex series, but Rey cut it off on the second attempt. He then landed a 619 which popped the crowd at 10:00. Balor distracted the ref as Priest yanked on Rey’s leg when he climbed to the top rope.

Legado del Fantasma ran to the ring and attacked Priest and Balor. Rey returned to the ring but ate a Dominik clothesline. Dominik then hit a 619. Cole was dismayed. He followed with a top rope frog splash onto Rey for a near fall. Fans popped for the kickout. Rey’s wife and daughter stood and applauded. As the ref checked on Rey, Dominik began unfastening a top turnbuckle pad. The ref caught him and began retying it. Dominik pulled a chain out of a bag. Bad Bunny yanked it away form him. Rey then dropkicked Dominik from behind, hit a 619, and then landed a frog splash for the three count.

WINNER: Rey Mysterio in 14:00. (***1/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: That worked really well in terms of telling a satisfying story with all of the key players including Bad Bunny playing a role that will get WWE some social media attention amongst his fanbase and sets up a potential bigger role at Backlash.) [c]

-They showed George Kittle from the San Francisco 49ers in the front row.

(6) CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. RHEA RIPLEY – Smackdown Title match

As Ripley came out, Cole wondered if what just happened to Dominik will affect her at all. Graves said it might have a few years ago, but not anymore. Cole said she’s never looked more confident and could this be her night. Charlotte made her entrance next. Cole said Charlotte is a star, but Rhea needs this match to become a star. He wondered if it’ll be a changing of the guard. The bell rang 34 minutes into the third hour. Cole noted that never before has a woman’s match had a female ring announcer and female referee.

Ripley gave Charlotte a creepy look as she tilted her head. Ripley took control early and stomped on Charlotte methodically. Ripley fended off a Charlotte comeback attempt and then applied a body scissors on the mat.

Ten minutes in, Charlotte landed a DDT to reverse momentum and score a near fall. Both were slow to get up. Cole wondered if Charlotte was experiencing some self-doubt. Graves said she might’ve expected to have this won by now. Charlotte went for a figure-four, but Ripley blocked it. They connected with big boots to each other and went down. Both were slow to get up. They eventually stood and exchanged strikes. Cole talked about the buzz and electricity in the crowd. Charlotte kipped up. There were more boos than cheers, it seemed.

Ripley overhead suplexed Charlotte off the top rope leading to a near fall. Charlotte fought back. Ripley rolled to ringside to regroup. Charlotte charged at her at ringside, but Ripley sidestepped her and threw her into the ringside steps.

Back in the ring, Ripley back suplexed Charlotte who oddly landed face-first on the mat when she overflipped or underflipped, as it’s not clear what she was going for. Charlotte was fine and landed a big boot for a near fall at 16:00. Charlotte had a canvas burn on her nose from that face plant. They replayed the suplex in sl0-mo twice. Yikes.

Charlotte climbed to the top rope and landed a moonsault press onto Ripley on the floor. She quickly threw her back into the ring and set up a figure-four, but Ripley kicked out of it. Charlotte almost ran into the ref. Ripley then came up behind Charlotte, who was thrown off by almost hitting the ref, and landed a Rip Tide for a dramatic near fall that popped the crowd.

Charlotte surprised Ripley with a small package for a near fall where it appeared the ref might’ve had to stop his count before the kickout. Ripley applied a standing leglock. Charlotte cried out in pain but made it to the corner to force a break. Charlotte then landed a spear on Ripley for a near fall. A minute later Charlotte applied a figure-four, but Ripley grabbed the bottom rope to force a break.

Charlotte soaked up the moment and seemed to breaking emotionally a bit. She then took some deep breaths and got psyched up. Cole threw some heavy compliments at the match. They battled on the second rope. Ripley drove Charlotte’s head into the ringpost. Cole said Charlotte might be out cold. Graves noted her body went limp. Ripley lifted Charlotte and slammed her hard to the mat off the second rope for the three count. Cole said it was one of the damnedest and most physical championship matches he’s ever witnessed. Cole said it was one of the best matches he’s ever seen.

As Ripley celebrated, Cole said the landscape of Smackdown was changed forever.

WINNER: Ripley in 23:00 to capture the Smackdown Title. (****)

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match and on the high end of expectations. The announcers were so heavy-handed in touting that as this great epic world title match, it became a distraction late. I don’t even know if it’s a bad idea for announcers to try to elevate the perception of a match by laying on the compliments thick, but this went just a little too far for me. As good as it was, I just didn’t think it was at that level, but maybe they genuinely were just that wrapped up in it. This had a big-match vibe and both came across like stars, but it was methodically paced a lot of the way. No complaints, but I didn’t see it as the classic at the level Cole and Graves were celebrating it to be, especially considering the crowd wasn’t into it at that level and was actually quite indifferent for the first half or so. The crowd was more into Ripley than Charlotte, which worked a little against the story of the match. As good as this was, I don’t think it would have been the right match to close the show with, either.) [c]

-Byron Saxton interviewed Austin Theory. Theory said he did what he said he’d do and asked Cena if he believes in Theory now.

-They went to Cole and Graves at ringside. Cole said he not only believes in Theory now, but also Ripley.

-Snoop Dogg stood in the ring with Miz. Miz said it’s been an incredible night so far. He touted a crowd of 80,497. Snoop Dogg said the only thing that’d make tonight better is if he had a match. Then Pat McAfee came out. Cole went bonkers. He said there are only two announcers who are undefeated at WrestleMania, himself and McAfee. McAfee asked Miz if he wants a match. Miz said he can’t make matches. McAfee said he thinks his tiny balls are showing. McAfee started a “Tiny Balls!” chant. It didn’t catch on and faded almost instantly. McAfee said somebody must be able to make a match official somewhere. Snoop Dogg said he is the Dogg Father and host of WrestleMania, so he feels he could make it happen. He said they have a ref, “so let’s get crackin’.” Miz protested.

(Keller’s Analysis: I thought we were going to see Vince McMahon the big screen or walk onto the stage to make the match official for a second there.)


Graves threw a hissy-fit over how hard he works and that McAfee is stealing his thunder. Cole claimed he didn’t know about this. McAfee caught Miz leaping off the ropes with a kick to the head. Miz rolled to the floor. Graves gave Miz a pep talk. Miz threw his arms up and acted like he was going to leave. He then shoved Kittle from the 49ers. Kittle leaped over the barricade and pounded his chest and then clotheslined Miz. McAfee leaped off the top rope with a flip dive onto Miz, although he just grazed his arm. McAfee and Kittle celebrated together. They threw Miz back into the ring. McAfee played to the crowd who didn’t seem super into him or this impromptu match. He kicked Miz with a punt kick for the win. Graves said he’s petitioning to have that match stricken from the record. He said Snoop Dogg can’t make matches and Miz was merely expecting to host WrestleMania.

WINNER: McAfee in 4:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This worked well enough for the length of time it took. McAfee’s enthusiasm can carry even a mediocre situation to another level. He seemed more into than the crowd, although they seemed to think it was a fun diversion between the two main events. Miz is at a point where this is what you kind of expect from him – some form of being humiliated or embarrassed and taking bumps for others.) [c]

-A video package previewed the main event tag match.

(8) JIMMY & JEY USO vs. SAMI ZAYN & KEVIN OWENS – Smackdown Tag Team Title match

The Usos made their entrance first. Then Owens made his entrance to his song. Sami came out last, quite a spot for him on a WrestleMania event. Cole said KO and Sami are the “blue collar superstars” not coming to the ring with extra flash or zip lines or outfits. He said they’re all about business. Graves said their entire journey has led to this moment. Formal ring introductions took place. Sami gave Owens a look that conveyed, “Can you believe this is happening?!” The bell rang to start the match 31 minutes into the hour.

Sami and Jimmy started the match. Jimmy tagged in Jey before the lock-up. Cole talked about the trust they both thought they built with each other. At 3:00, Jey dove through the ropes and hit Sami with a flying elbow as Jimmy held him. Jey dragged Sami back into the ring. As Jey held Sami down with a chinlock mid-ring, Graves talked about the Usos redefining tag team wrestling and dominating for so long. Sami hot-tagged in KO at 6:0.

Owens leaped off the top rope with a flip dive onto the Usos at ringside. He frog splashes Jimmy on the floor and then leaped off the top rope with a frog splash on Jey in the ring for a near fall. The Usos took over for a while. Sami gave Jey a brainbuster on the ring apron and then Owens landed a swanton on Jimmy for a near fall. Sami landed a top rope splash on Jimmy for a near fall a minute later at 10:00. They cut to fans reacting with shock. Cole said El Generico would be proud of Sami’s performance. Graves said he’s glad that guy retired.

Sami landed a Blue Thunder Bomb on Jimmy, but Jey was legal and he kicked Sami. The Usos got in sustained offense. Cole suggested the Usos just put an end to it. He said some would say Sami deserves this, but “other would say no one does.” The Usos stereo superkicked Sami and scored another near fall. The crowd wasn’t buying the near falls or were just fatigued at this point.

Action spilled to the floor. Owens set up a powerbomb on the announce table, but the Usos fought back and slammed Owens through the table, which collapsed. Back in the ring, the Usos landed the 1D on Sami. Sami kicked out. Cole exclaimed breathlessly that no one has kicked out of that before.

Jey slapped Sami in the corner and said he just won’t quit. He said he called him his brother, and then he threw some hard elbows at him. Sami was groggy and barely standing in the corner. He collapsed. Cole called it sickening brutality. Graves said the Usos are ruthless and they won’t stop until the job is done. Cole said they’ll have to peel Sami off the mat. Jey hit Sami with the Helluva Kick, then held up his limp body. Jey said Sami should’ve never left The Bloodline. Sami surprised Jey with a sudden Exploder Suplex. Both were down and slow to get up at 18:00.

Sami crawled over and hot-tagged Owens in. He gave Jimmy a Pop-up Powerbomb. Jey got one next. Sami landed a Helluva Kick on Jimmy. Owens then gave Jimmy a Stunner for a believable near fall that popped the crowd. Graves said this isn’t the movies and there might not be a happy ending here. He said the hearts of the fans shattered at the moment of the kickout. Cole said his heart was shattered.

All four stood and squared off again. “It has come to this,” said Cole. He said there were 80,000 fans on their feet. They wildly swung at each other. Jimmy and Jey double-teamed KO with kicks and then they knocked Sami off the ring apron. The Usos climbed opposite top turnbuckles and landed splashes at the same time on KO for a near fall. Fans popped again for the kickout. “What is going on!?” exclaimed Cole. Graves said it is unbelievable. “I don’t even know what to say anymore,” Cole said. The Usos put KO on the second rope. Sami yanked Jimmy out of the ring as Jey set up a move on Owens. Owens then turned Jimmy around and landed a fisherman’s buster.

Sami ran over to his corner and called for the tag. Owens leaped to Sami and tagged him in. The crowd exploded. Sami got a serious look. “Long time coming!” said Cole. Sami landed a Helluva Kick. He then had some words for Jey as he lifted him and then delivered another Helluva Kick. He held him up. Jimmy tried to interfere, but Owens gave him a stunner. Sami delivered a third Helluva Kick for the win.

As Owens and Sami celebrated to Sami’s song, Cole asked if they were seeing the disintegration of The Bloodline. He wondered if Roman Reigns would be next.

WINNERS: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens in 24:00 to capture the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles. (****1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: Fantastic match. Tons of drama that played into the backstory. The crowd ate it up. This was the right match to end the night with, and it seems obvious now. The only downside is I think fans expected an epic finish sequence, and it was tough to deliver true believable near falls some of the time because the match felt too big for anything close to standard finish without the emotional crescendo that the actual finish had.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Most everything on this show worked well, really well, or really really well. This was WWE knowing what it is and delivering a polished, enthusiastic effort from everyone with a feel-good ending. It felt big-time and consequential start to finish. The set and setting and ring entrances and all the glitz shouldn’t be taken for granted. The execution and the presentation was just top notch.

Tonight after the PPV, join PWTorch columnist Greg Parks live reviewing the event with live callers and emails.

•CALL: (515) 605-9345

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wnialivecast@gmail.com

1 Comment on 4/1 WWE WRESTLEMANIA 39 – NIGHT 1: Keller’s report on Cena vs. Austin Theory, Rollins vs. Logan Paul, Usos vs. Sami & KO, Charlotte vs. Ripley, more

  1. Wade, do you really think Lita looked pretty solid in there? She’s very slow, very sloppy, very dangerous. Get her out of there. Enough with these old buzzards. Take Snoop and The Bad Bunny with her. Why in the world would Bad Bunny be involved in this Rey/Dom storyline? Because Rey is Mexican and he’s Puerto Rican? Close enough, I guess.

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