WWE Wrestlemania 2023 Night 1 Results And Review: Sami Zayn And Kevin Owens Best The Bloodline
Night 1 of WWE Wrestlemania 39 has arrived. Keep up with our live review!
The time has finally come! WWE Wrestlemania 39 is kicking off Night 1, complete with seven scheduled matches, the return of the legendary John Cena, and the showdown between WWE Smackdown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair and 2023 Women's Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley.
GameSpot is inside SoFi Stadium for this year's Wrestlemania, bringing you results and a review of the big show live, as it happens, mere feet from the ring. Unless you're in attendance, the only way to catch Wrestlemania is on Peacock (or through traditional pay-per-view). While Peacock has a free tier, you will not be able to watch the WWE event through that. You'll need a Premium ($5 a month, with ads) or Premium Plus Peacock ($10 a month, no ads) account. Regardless of which tier you choose, there will be a few WWE-related ads throughout the show.
There are multiple ways to watch Peacock. Aside from watching it on mobile devices and on the PC, you can stream the service on Amazon Fire devices, Android TV, Apple TV, LG Smart TVs, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xfinity, and more. As for when you can watch (and should tune into our live review, check out the times for Wrestlemania below.
- 8 PM ET
- 7 PM CT
- 5 PM PT
- 1 AM BST (April 1, April 2)
- 10 AM AEST (April 1, April 2)
At current, there are 7 matches scheduled for Night 1 of Wrestlemania 39. Austin Theory's defense of the WWE United States Championship against John Cena will kick off the show. Take a look at the night's full card below.
Night 1 Match card:
- Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena (WWE United States Championship)
- Seth "Freakin" Rollins vs. Logan Paul
- Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky)
- Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) in a Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match
- The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships)
- Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley (WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
- Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Results & Review:
Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena (WWE United States Championship)
Winner: Austin Theory via pinfall
Honestly, having Theory and Cena kick things off makes sense. This is a perfect way to kick open the door to Wrestlemania. The only fault in this feud is that Cena only made a single appearance to further the feud. He's a busy guy, sure, but it would have been great to have him more involved in the buildup.
Theory won clean after hitting a low blow and nailing Cena with A Town Down, which is exactly what should have happened. Not only do the shenanigans make a rematch sensible, Theory just got the biggest win of his career and Cena loses nothing.
The only issue is with the video production in that the video feeds in the stadium glitched out as Cena was about to hit an Attitude Adjustment. So those in the cheap seats had to squint pretty hard to see what was happening in the match. Still, doesn't take away from this being a good opener. Nothing spectacular, just a good match.
Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) in a Fatal Four-Way Tag Team Match
Winner: The Street Profits via pinfall
It's hard to call a fatal four-way tag match "normal" but this match was mostly that. Everyone got in some of their signature offense, there were some unique high-flying moments, and even Braun Strowman went off the top rope. The tower of doom spot was definitely the highlight of the match, and the crowd was plenty entertained. Two other standout moments were Ricochet's sunset flip to the outside and Angelo Dawkins derailing the Strowman Express. Naturally, the crowd went wild for both.
If I had a critique it's that storyline-wise, it's not all that enthralling. There's no real stakes of personal story to this particular bout. Still, it's a showcase win for the Street Profits, who should have been the team to dethrone the Usos.
Seth "Freakin" Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Winner: Seth "Freakin" Rollins via pinfall
The Prime energy drink mascot is exactly the kind of nonsense one should expect from Logan Paul. It also provides an easy target for an hilarious beating from Seth Rollins. Speaking of Rollins, his Wrestlemania drip is flat out incredible--worthy of such a special night.
Paul was surprisingly dominant early on, especially when he got around to throwing punches. It's good to see him on Rollins' level in this match, as there's been so much invested in him as a main player in WWE. And having him almost get the pin on Seth after a knockout punch was a fantastic moment. While Paul has said his WWE deal is expiring, this is certainly playing out in such a way to make him look like a powerhouse--in victory or defeat.
Having one of Paul's YouTube buddies (KSI) in the Prime costume was a good twist, given that most people probably expected his brother Jake to be in there. Having Paul be the one to accidentally put KSI through the table, though? That was pure magic. Less magic is Paul continuing to do finishers of AEW wrestlers without them actually ending the matches. First it was the Buckshot Lariat, now it's the GTS. Using well known finishers as run-of-the-mill moves isn't the best look.
Rollins got the win after a superkick and a stomp, though it doesn't really hurt Paul as he looked like dynamite throughout the match. There were memorable moments, great storytelling, and a wildly engaging match. This one was awesome and I'm all for a rematch.
Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky)
Winners: Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch by pinfall
This is the best way to use legends at Wrestlemania. Working them into a match with top-level and rising stars makes for a good mix. And at this point, Damage Ctrl might be a better heel team than the Bloodline. They're so good at being the worst, isolating their opponents, cheating their way to an advantage, and just being mean. They tore apart the Women's Tag Team Champions Lita and Becky, which made for a pretty fantastic comeback by Trish.
Iyo Sky's moonsault to the outside was clearly the highlight of the match, though once chaos took control and tagging in and out took a backseat, the action was frenetic and super fun to watch. Everyone got a chance to shine, and it was great to see Trish and Lita get their signature offense in. Seriously, her Twist of Fate trumps any done by a Hardy.
The good guys won and the villains were vanquished, but I wouldn't be shocked to see some variation of these wrestlers in another match soon enough. The chemistry between this group is engaging, and Becky and Lita still have the Women's Tag Team Championships to defend.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
Winner: Rey Mysterio via pinfall
Dominik having a prison-themed entrance is pure art and you'll never convince me otherwise. Having him wearing a costume pseudo inspired by his dad's iconic Halloween Havoc gear, though? That's the cherry on top. I don't quite understand why Rey came out with an Eddie Guerrero entrance, though. He's not Eddie's son, Dominik is.
Dear WWE, please have corporate mascots at ringside for every match. The press box went wild when we realized the Cinnamon Toast Crunch mascot was jumping around at ringside like a maniac.
This is the second sponsored match of the night and the visuals here are much more entertaining than the one that was branded as brought to you by TurboTax earlier in the evening. Eating cereal is way better than doing your taxes.
Enough about the shenanigans before the match, we should touch on the shenanigans in the match. Rey literally whipped Dom with his belt in the ring and it was hilarious, as was Dom throwing a drink in his sister's face. Judgement Day is the best thing that could have ever happened to Dominik Mysterio as it made him a much more entertaining and well-rounded character. It's also great for Rey, who has his first truly meaningful feud in ages against a son we all want to see him beat the snot out of.
I really love how even-handed the offense was between the two, as the priority here should be building Dom into a believable competitor, even if he needs his Judgement Day family to secure the win. While fans love to hate him, we've also gotten to watch him develop into a pretty good wrestler.
The interferences by Judgement Day and Legando Del Fantasma (or are they the LWO now, since they have the shirts?) added a good amount of fast-paced action to the match. Rey got the win, which has to be the expected outcome for most after Dom made Rey's life miserable for so long.
This was great storytelling, awesome action, and a happy ending to a feud that's been going on for months. What's not to love?
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley (WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
Winner: Rhea Ripley via pinfall
This is an interesting match because, on one side you have Rhea Ripley, who is firing on all cylinders, the most engaging she's ever been, and is clearly the future of this division. On the other, you have Charlotte Flair. She's still rehashing her dad's music, moves, and catchphrases. She's essentially been doing the same gimmick her entire career on the main roster, never really evolving. Her character and presentation feel dated in a way Rhea absolutely doesn't. That's not to take away from Flair's talent, which she has plenty of. But she's felt stale for a couple of years now and didn't bother reinventing herself at all after her most recent absence.
These two traded some hard hits and excellent counters throughout the match, with Charlotte turning Ripley's Riptide into a DDT earning a huge reaction from the press box. Seriously, if you missed that particular sequence, go back and find it. While you're at it, also rewatch Rhea's huge German superplex a couple of times. These two pulled out all the stops.
The look on Rhea's face after Charlotte kicked out of the Riptide told the entire story of this match. This is so much better than their previous Wrestlemania bout, which goes to show how far Rhea has come since her NXT days. Even Charlotte has a fire in her that we don't see all that much. I'd like to humbly request we see this side of her way more often.
Rhea gave Charlotte literally everything she had and eventually it was enough, after a top rope Riptide. It's hard to imagine this not being the match of the night, which I would not have expected going in. Rhea has been on the rise for a while, but Charlotte really stepped up here to give Ripley an excellent star-making match.
The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships)
Winners: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens via pinfall
I honestly can't believe the main event started with a Turbo Tax commercial set to "Safety Dance." I don't have any comment on it because I just don't understand it. But even that, plus a performance by Lil Uzi Vert, and an impromptu "match" between The Miz and Pat McAfee aren't enough of a buffer between the main event and Ripley/Flair. The crowd was on fire for entrances but it felt like they were getting tired as the match rolled on.
That said, this match was still a blast and, with the incredibly personal story involved, easy to get invested in. We've all been waiting for the Bloodline to be humbled. And while Roman may lose his titles to Cody Rhodes tomorrow night, this was the first brick to fall.
Let's talk about standout moments, though. Sami hitting Jey with a brainbuster on the apron was vicious, as was hit landing an Uso splash on Jimmy. That's really what this match was about, Sami standing up to his former family. Hell, even Michael Cole referenced El Generico during the match, a beloved masked wrestler that looks a lot like Zayn but retired to run an orphanage in Mexico right around the time Sami signed with WWE. So much of the Bloodline story is the story of Sami Zayn and that was on full display here. It's clear that he still has love for the Usos (well, Jey anyway), even if he has to destroy them to set them free from Roman. It's such a fantastic story that's been told over the last year.
In the end, Sami and Kevin went over and, even better, it happened when Sami toppled Jey. This sets the stage for some serious Bloodline turmoil moving forward and it's the first time Zayn and Owens have won the tag titles in WWE. Just wonderful. This wasn't as good as Charlotte vs. Rhea but this was masterful storytelling.