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‘WrestleMania 39’: Roman Reigns Steals the Show

This was one of the greatest main events in the history of the event.

Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes submitted their bid for greatest main event in the history of WrestleMania, and they delivered a convincing argument.

Reigns defeated Rhodes to close out Night 2 of WrestleMania 39, a match that was carried by an extraordinarily rare level of intensity. It featured a ref bump and outside interference, which have been staples of Reigns’s title defenses, but this was altogether different. Rhodes was valiant in defeat, and Reigns entered a new echelon of preeminence.

Here are the results.

  • Brock Lesnar defeated Omos.
  • Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler won the women’s WrestleMania Showcase fatal four-way tag match, defeating Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez, Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville, and Natalya Neidhart and Shotzi Blackheart.
  • Intercontinental champion Gunther defeated Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.
  • Raw women’s champion Bianca Belair defeated Asuka.
  • Snoop Dogg defeated The Miz.
  • Roman Reigns defeated Cody Rhodes to retain the undisputed WWE championship.

Night 2 opened with Brock Lesnar defeating Omos. This belongs in the Lesnar highlight reel. It clocked in at just under five minutes, but Lesnar reminded the world of his brilliance by selling for Omos—and he made the giant look incredible, even in defeat. Lesnar is one of the greatest of all time, and he shined here, remarkably, as the underdog. At 45, it will be interesting to see his next move.

The women’s WrestleMania Showcase fatal four-way tag held extra significance because the winners are likely the next to be tag champs, so it was smart to give the victory to Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. Becky Lynch and Lita won’t have a long title reign, especially with Trish Stratus likely to turn on Lynch as soon as this week’s Raw.

Rousey and Baszler should be the ones to dethrone Lynch and Lita, and it could be particularly compelling if Lita deserts Lynch and leaves her alone to fight them both. That would continue Lynch’s feud with Rousey, in addition to enhancing her ensuing program with Stratus.

The IC title match was sheer brutality. Gunther, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre were spectacular. The chops, forearms and overall physicality made this special. This is a match that has the chance to become immortal in WrestleMania lore, with Gunther emerging victorious and carving out his first WrestleMania moment.

Bianca Belair continued her otherworldly WrestleMania run. She defeated Sasha Banks in her first WrestleMania, then Becky Lynch in her second and now Asuka in her third. She had a really creative entrance, led by a local youth dance group. The young ladies were fantastic, and so was Belair. This was a well-told story. Asuka’s submission-based offense gave fits to Belair, and she was constantly attempting to ground her. The finish was special, as Belair transitioned the Asuka lock into a KOD (and she was able to avoid the green mist). Belair now has the most impressive active WrestleMania win streak.

Following last night’s return of Pat McAfee, who defeated The Miz, WrestleMania host Snoop Dogg built to another surprise reveal to wrestle Miz. It turned out to be Shane McMahon, who received a great reaction from the crowd to welcome him back. That was the highlight of his night, as it was all downhill from there. McMahon came down awkwardly from a leapfrog just seconds into the match, needing assistance to make it to the back after likely tearing his quad.

The segment was saved by Snoop Dogg, who was informed by the referee to get involved. Snoop knocked out Miz with a couple of punches, then hit a People’s Elbow before getting the pin.

The Hell in a Cell match was also a highlight of the night. Edge defeated Finn Bálor, who returned to his “Demon” alter ego. This bout paid homage to the tables, ladders, and chairs of Edge’s past, with Edge finally getting the better of Bálor in a callback to what Bálor did to him and his wife with chair shots to the head.

It was a surprise to see Bálor lose as the Demon. Even though he lost, this feud effectively established Judgment Day. It will be fascinating to see what Edge and Bálor do next.

The focus of WrestleMania 39 was the main event, and it exceeded expectations. The match featured a rare breed of intensity, from start to finish, and it was significantly enhanced by a red-hot crowd.

Both entrances were spectacular. Rhodes had his family sitting ringside, a group that included Negative 1, who is the son of the late Brodie Lee. Reigns’s entrance was stunning, the most impressive of the two-night event.

The early stages of the match saw each man try for an advantage, but neither could take control. Solo Sikoa helped turn the tide for Reigns, interfering when the referee was not looking, doing a number on Rhodes’s rib section. Rhodes eventually seized control, hitting a Cody Cutter for a breathtaking two-and-two-third-second pin fall attempt. No one in wrestling is better than Reigns when it comes to kicking out just before the three-count.

After Sikoa was thrown out by the referee, Rhodes hit a Cross Rhodes and Reigns again kicked out at the last possible moment. That happened again when Rhodes avoided a Superman Punch and hit a Pedigree, and the crowd was fully into the near fall. Reigns hit the Superman Punch when Rhodes attempted the Disaster Kick, but Rhodes took his turn kicking out.

The back-and-forth continued with Reigns hitting a spear, but Rhodes again kicked out of the ensuing pin fall. This led to a ref bump, which knocked out the referee. As Rhodes was about to hit a Cross Rhodes, Jimmy and Jey superkicked Rhodes and then hit him with a 1D. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn evened the odds, throwing The Usos from the ring and knocking out Reigns with a stunner and a Helluva Kick. The referee recovered consciousness, and Rhodes attempted a pin, but Reigns kicked out—again.

The finishing sequence saw Rhodes hit two Cross Rhodes, and he was about to hit a third when Paul Heyman distracted the referee. Sikoa came back from the crowd to hit Rhodes with a Samoan spike, setting up a spear from Reigns that led to the winning pin fall.

This was one of the greatest main events in the history of the event. Reigns—one of the greatest champions in company history—was the right choice to win.

The loss leaves Rhodes in a difficult position. How will he respond to the loss? Can he build even more support from the fan base to regain a main-event position? Those obstacles are the ones that the greats have found a way to overcome, and Rhodes will now have a chance to prove he can, too.

For Reigns, he now has the chance to reach new heights. And he takes the next step toward a 1,000-day championship reign at WrestleMania, where he continues to deliver his most compelling moments.

Justin Barrasso can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.