Going into WrestleMania 39, everyone knew Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes were closing the show on Sunday. But there was a lot of uncertainty and debate about whether the Tag title match between The Usos and Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens or Charlotte Flair’s SmackDown Women’s championship defense against Rhea Ripley would main event night one.
The men’s match was part of the same story as Reigns vs. Rhodes, and featured arguably the business’ hottest act in Zayn. The women’s involved Royal Rumble winner Ripley trying to avenge her loss from three ‘Manias prior to the most decorated woman in WWE history.
In the end, WWE went with Bloodline main events on both nights. Anyone who watched the classic Rhea & Charlotte delivered before Sami & KO won the Tag belts could tell the ladies felt some kind of way about it, though.
During her chat with Corey Graves & Kevin Patrick on the new After The Bell podcast, Ripley talked about the mindset she & Flair brought to thier match, and confirmed they had chips on their shoulders about not being picked to go on last:
“Coming out of that match, I did feel like we stole the show. I feel like we went out there and we left everything we had in that ring, and that’s why we proved to everyone exactly why we should have been the main event spot.
“Like yes, we didn’t have a good build like Sami & Owens and The Usos did, but at the same time, Charlotte and I, every time we step in that ring, we bring the brutality. We bring the ferociousness. We go out there and we just beat the living crap out of each other. All the praise that we got, it made me happy and made me proud that we went out there and beat the crap out of each other and loved it.”
The new SmackDown Women’s champ also said it’s not the first time she’s brought a “Follow This, m*****f***ers” attitude to a big match:
“It’s a lot how I felt going into the first women’s WarGames match.
“We had our WarGames shirts, and it was ‘FTMF’ that was printed on the back — and that was the same mentality that I had going into this WrestleMania.
“The day of was a complete mess to me. I was emotionally unstable, I want to say, because of the lack of sleep and everything coming full circle. I knew that as soon as my music played, and I stepped out of gorilla and into [SoFi Stadium], and all the fans staring back at me, that I was going to switch on and that’s when the Rhea Ripley you see comes out, and all my confidence comes rushing through my body and I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to steal the show.”
It’s debatable whether they fully stole the show, and WWE’s decision to not end both Bloodline reigns that weekend in Southern California plays into it. But it does feel like Flair/Ripley is the match people are still talking two weeks later, so it seems to safe to say they proved they could have main event-ed WrestleMania Saturday.
Should they have? You tell us in the comments below.