Wrestlemania 39 went off this weekend (April 1 and 2) at an absolutely packed Los Angeles SoFi Stadium. The WWE franchise is known for high quality fun and Wrestlemania is the crown jewel of their events. Wrestlemania 39 was no exception. It was packed full of surprises and loads of fun. Here are the top moments:
- The Villainy of The Judgement Day stable
WWE storylines have villains and heroes but don’t get it twisted, the villains are often as popular or more with the fans as the heroes. The Judgement Day stable has an extreme and even absurdly sinister presence (in a good way) featuring full gothic regalia and plenty of brutal antics. The team is extremely popular with fans especially Rhea Ripley who won her Wrestlemania match against Charlotte Flair. The whole team had featured fights and storylines at Wrestlemania and had varying results but the crowd absolutely loved them. There hasn’t been a villain franchise like this since The Undertaker and his allies.
- Snoop Dogg getting in the ring
The MC of the event was Snoop Dogg who is known as the Dog Father of WWE is a familiar face and a beloved feature of the franchise. He was in everything this weekend from his commentary to actual fight participation. He escorted in newly minted hall-of-famer Mysterio for his fight against his son Dominik (a Judgement Day storyline see more below) but one of the most fun and amazing moments from the entire event was when Snoop defeated his fellow MC The Miz with “the people’s elbow” (a signature move of The Rock). It was hilarious. It was satisfying. It was everything.
- John Cena making dreams come true
John Cena made an appearance at Wrestlemania celebrating 20 years since he was first introduced to the franchise. The king of the Make a Wish Foundation, Cena used his “entrance” to highlight some adorable deserving children from the program. They all flashed his signature “you can’t see me” hand waved and he made sure to stand behind them so the cameras were on their sweet faces the entire time.
Additionally, much to the deep dissatisfaction of the crowd, Cena actually lost his fight to up and coming pseudo-villain Austin Theory. The loss came as a big surprise to viewers who assumed since he had all those kids with him that for sure he’d get to be the winner. The commitment to a surprising show is what makes WWE great and makes Cena a team player.
- The Mysterio Family Plotline
This plotline is insane and definitely the most fun one going on in WWE right now. Rey Mysterio’s son Dominik has been lured to the “dark side” and turned on his father mid-match a while back. Now he’s with Rhea Ripley and The Judgement Day and a chief adversary to Mysterio. At Wrestlemania, Dominik solidified himself as “the lost son” by arriving at the event in a fake police van (very boy from Juvie) and then harassing his mom and sister who were on the sidelines. The announcers really got into it saying “WOW HE’S GONE TOO FAR!” He even stood up in the middle of Mysterio’s Hall-Of-Fame induction ceremony (which occurred prior to the event this weekend) and left on the arm of Rhea Rhipley with the whole Judgement Day crew. No WWE event is safe from theatrics and this storyline is PERFECT for the franchise.
Dominik took on Mysterio for a signature event and Mysterio reigned victorious ultimately taking off his belt and whooping Dominik for the final blows of victory. It was all very family values and drama. Truly phenomenal plot work. So silly and yet so pure.
- Bad Bunny revealing himself as a “rules guy”
The popular music artist, Bad Bunny, was in attendance and seated in the commentators booth as a special guest. When Dominik pulled out an illegal chain during his fight with his dad Mysterio (see above), Bad Bunny sprung into action and grabbed the chain out of his hands and just shook his finger like “no no no!” Bad Bunny isn’t here for cheaters.
- Ronda Rousey really annoying the crowd
Ronda Rousey has been a truly hilarious villain for WWE by simply playing into how annoying they find her (since she came over from UFC as a sport fighter instead of an entertainment fighter). In Wrestlemania, she and her teammate, Shayna Bazsler, won the women’s tag-team showcase by literally just standing to the side the entire time until the very end. It was sort of a perfect villain move for Rousey who is one of the fan’s favorite to hate. The showcase went back and forth between three teams (including the beloved Natalia) with a lot of cool moves and and big moments and just when it looked like the athletic duo of Liz Morgan and Raquel had taken it, Shotzi and Natalia swooped in with some killer moves and looked victorious. But then out of actual nowhere, from basically the sidelines, Rhonda just came up from behind and knocked them down and pinned Shotzi MMA style for a tap out to win.Winner is Rhonda and Shayna! Without doing anything. The crowd was furious. A chorus of boos. She cackled afterward and everything. She waved off all the booing. Full rude witch. Delightful. Stellar hateable performance. People are still mad about this fight online today.
- Bianca Belair and the Divas of Compton
Much in the style of John Cena, Bianca Belair used her big entrance to highlight the Divas of Compton (a leadership group for young women in the Compton area of California) who did an amazing dance routine complete with a baby contortionist who had tragically lost her mother that day and chose to dance at Wrestlemania anyway. Bianca came out twirling her braid and the whole squad twirled right with her. It was PURE and it represents the next gen of WWE fans and the potential the Divas of WWE have really brought to expanding the franchise financial base (to women and little girls who buy toys and merch).
The homecoming queen being from LA herself, Bianca won her fight against Asuka (who wins for creepiest costume) and was definitely the hype hero queen of the entire event where not many heroes took home prizes.
- Edge v Finn “Demon” Balor in the cage match
The Judgement Day stable were really the true stars of Wrestlemania. Every member of the team had a fight and they were all brilliant. The cage match was *chefs kiss.* Cage matches have a long storied history in wrestling because the performers can’t escape the ring so they tend to be more brutal and for some reason prop heavy. The storyline of this match was that Edge, formerly a central figure of The Judgement Day, was pushed out by Finn and they were battling for Edge’s vengeance. Finn came out as “Demon” which is his stage persona that he says totally changes his personality and he truly becomes “Demon.” The fantasy played out as Edge hit Demon pretty hard the whole fight and Demon stayed sort of blank faced and crazy eyed taking each hit with no sign of wear or tear until Finn finally threw a ladder at him which was truly iconic. Edge was the victor in this match which felt very old school WWE in the best way.
- Cody Rhodes out there lookin like a Prince Charming Ken doll
Cody Rhodes is a main hero of the WWE franchise and beloved by many. He’s definitely the Americana patriotic performer of the group. He had a match against Roman Reigns who is considered a villain but due to his real life fight against Leukemia and his routine honoring of pacific islander culture (reminiscent of The Rock), he’s definitely more of a dark hero than a villain among the fans. Rhodes entrance was pretty absurd even by WWE standards. His costume, his hair and his tan all had very Prince Charming meets America Ken Doll vibes in not the best way. The memes were pretty perfect. He lost his fight much to the surprise of the crowd but come on no one looking that much like Barbie’s date to prom was going to win a match.
There you have it! The only thing that would have made Wrestlemania better would have been a visit from their number one contender, President Donald Trump.