WWE Wrestlemania 2023 Night 1 Live Scores & Review: Charlotte Flair Defends Her Title Against Rhea Ripley
The time has finally come! The first night of WWE Wrestlemania 39 begins with seven scheduled matches, the return of the legendary John Cena and a showdown between WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and 2023 Women’s Royal Rumble winner Rhea Ripley.
GameSpot is in the SoFi Stadium for this year’s Wrestlemania, bringing you results and coverage of the big live show as it happens, just a few steps from the ring. If you’re not in attendance, the only way to catch Wrestlemania is with Peacock (or through traditional pay-per-view). Although Peacock has a free tier, you won’t be able to watch a WWE event through it. You’ll need a Premium ($5/month, with ads) or Premium Plus Peacock ($10/month, no ads) account. No matter which level you choose, there will be several WWE-related commercials throughout the show.
There are several ways to watch the Peacock. In addition to watching on mobile and PC, you can stream the service to Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, LG Smart TV, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series devices S, Xfinity and others. As for when you can watch (and should tune in to our live coverage), check out Wrestlemania times below.
20:00 ET7 PM CT5 PM PT1 AM BST (April 1, April 2) 10:00 AEST (April 1, April 2)
There are currently 7 matches scheduled for Night 1 of Wrestlemania 39. The show will kick off with Austin Theori’s defense for the WWE USA Championship against John Cena. Take a look at the full map of the night below.
Card match 1 night:
Austin Theori (c) vs. John Cena (WWE USA Championship) Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Logan Paul Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bailey, Dakota Kai & Iyo Skye) Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Eric & Ivar) in a fatal four-way tag team match The Usos (Jay Uso & Jimmy Uso) (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zane (WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships) Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship) Rey Mysterio vs. Dominic Mysterio
Results and overview:
Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena (WWE US Championship)
Winner: Austin’s theory through a pin
To be honest, having Theory and Cena makes sense. This is the perfect way to open the door to WrestleMania. The only flaw in this feud is that Cena only showed up once to continue the feud. Of course, he is a busy guy, but it would be great if he was more involved in the preparations.
Theory won cleanly after landing a low blow and pinning Cena with A Town Down, which is exactly what should have happened. Not only does shenanigans make a rematch reasonable, Teori has just picked up the biggest win of his career and Cena is undefeated.
The only problem is with the production of the video, as the stadium’s video feed was interrupted when Cena was about to change attitude. So those who sat in the cheap seats had to squint a lot to see what was happening in the match. However, this does not negate the fact that this is a good beginner. Nothing outstanding, just a good match.
Braun Strowman and Ricochet vs The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montes Ford) vs Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs The Viking Raiders (Eric & Ivar) in a fatal four-way tag team match
Winner: Street profit through a pin
It’s hard to call the fatal four-way match “normal”, but this match was basically that. Everyone landed some of their signature attacks, there were some unique highlights, and even Braun Strowman fell off the top of the rope. The Doom Tower was definitely the highlight of the match and the crowd was very entertained. Two other standout moments were Ricochet’s somersault at sunset outward and Angelo Dawkins derailing the Strowman Express. Naturally, the crowd was delighted with both.
If I had criticism it would be a wise storyline, it’s not that exciting. There is no real stakes on personal history in this particular fight. However, this is a showcase victory for the Street Profits that should have dethroned The Usos.
Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins via pin
The Prime energy drink mascot is exactly the kind of bullshit you’d expect from Logan Paul. It also provides an easy target for a fun beating from Seth Rollins. Speaking of Rollins, his Wrestlemania drip is absolutely incredible – worthy of such a special night.
Paul was surprisingly dominant in the beginning, especially when he started throwing punches. It’s great to see him at Rollins’ level in this match as so much effort was put into him as a main WWE player. And the fact that he almost caught up with Seth after the knockout punch was a fantastic moment. While Paul has said that his WWE contract is expiring, it’s certainly happening in a way that makes him look like a powerhouse – win or lose.
Having one of Paul’s YouTube buddies (KSI) in a Prime suit was a nice twist considering most people probably expected his brother Jake to be there. However, if Paul was the one who accidentally sent KSI across the table? It was pure magic. Less magical is that Paul keeps finishing off AEW wrestlers without them actually completing matches. First it was the Buckshot Lariat, now the GTS. Using well-known finishers as run-of-the-mill moves is not the best option.
Rollins took the win after a superkick and a stomp, although Paul didn’t get hurt much as he looked like dynamite throughout the match. There were memorable moments, great storytelling and an insanely entertaining match. It was amazing and I’m all for the rematch.
Trish Stratus, Lita, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bailey, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Skye)
Winners: Trish Stratus, Lita and Becky Lynch each with a pin.
This is the best way to use Legends in WrestleMania. Using them in a match with high-ranking and rising stars makes for a good combination. And right now, Damage Ctrl might be a better heel team than Bloodline. They are so good at being the worst, isolating their opponents, cheating their way to advantage and just being mean. They tore apart women’s tag team champions Lita and Becky, making Trish a pretty fantastic comeback.
Iyo Sky’s lunar jump outside was clearly the highlight of the match, although once the chaos took over and the entry and exit markings faded into the background, the action became frenetic and a lot of fun to watch. Everyone got a chance to shine and it was great to see Trish and Lita pull off their signature crime. Seriously, her Twist of Fate transcends anything Hardy has done.
The good guys won and the bad guys were defeated, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see some variation of these wrestlers in another match soon. The chemistry between this group is breathtaking and Becky and Lita still have to defend the women’s tag team championships.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominic Mysterio
Winner: Rey Mysterio via pin
Dominic’s prison-themed entry is pure art and you will never convince me otherwise. But what if he’s wearing a costume pseudo-inspired by his father’s iconic Havok Halloween gear? This is the icing on the cake. However, I don’t quite understand why Rey came out with the appearance of Eddie Guerrero. He is not Eddie’s son, but Dominic.
Dear WWE, please keep your corporate mascots ringside at every match. The press box went wild when we realized the Cinnamon Toast Crunch mascot was jumping around the ring like a maniac.
This is the second sponsored match of the night, and the visuals here are much more interesting than the one presented by TurboTax earlier in the evening. Eating cereal is much better than paying taxes.
Enough about pre-match shenanigans, we should touch on in-match shenanigans. Rey literally whipped Dom with his belt in the ring and it was hilarious, as was Dom throwing booze in his sister’s face. Doomsday is the best thing that could have happened to Dominic Mysterio as it made him a much more interesting and versatile character. It’s also great for Rey, who has his first truly meaningful feud in years against the son we all want to see snot out.
I really like how even-handed the attack between them was, as the priority here should be making Dom a believable competitor, even if he needs his Doomsday family to secure victory. While fans love to hate him, we’ve also watched him grow into a pretty good wrestler.
The intervention of Judgment Day and Legando Del Fantasma (or are they now LWOs since they have the jerseys?) added enough action to the match. Rei was victorious, which should be the expected outcome for most after Dom had made Rei’s life miserable for so long.
It was great storytelling, amazing acting, and a happy ending to a feud that has been going on for months. What’s not to love?
Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
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