Preview: WWE — WrestleMania 39 Saturday (4/1/23)

Austin Theory vs. John Cena | WrestleMania 39 Night 1

WrestleMania 39 is almost here as “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood” for the first time since WrestleMania 21 with a two-night extravaganza on April 1 and 2. Every year, there’s no doubt that WrestleMania is wrestling’s biggest spectacle but the 2023 edition of “The Showcase of the Immortals” may be the best in years and has the potential to be one of the best ever if all goes right. Multiple stories have all been built to culminate at “The Grandest Stage of Them All” but can The Bloodline be taken down? Can Rhea Ripley reach her destiny? Does Austin Theory have what it takes to truly be the “now?” All those answers will be answered soon enough.

Here’s a look at the WrestleMania 39 card for the Saturday night edition of the show.

Read More: WrestleMania 39: WrestleMania Saturday Betting Odds

WrestleMania 39 Night 1 Card & Start Time

— United States Championship: Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena
— Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Logan Paul
— Becky Lynch, Trish Stratus & Lita vs. DAMAGE CTRL (Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai)
— Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
— Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
— Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) vs. Chad Gable & Otis vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
— SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley

Start Time: Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 8 p.m. EST

WrestleMania 39 Night 1 Match Previews

Austin Theory vs. John Cena: An Opportunity For “The Now” To Prove It

Austin Theory vs. John Cena | WrestleMania 39 Night 1
All Photos Credit: WWE

The first match of WrestleMania 39 Night 1 has been confirmed as it will see Austin Theory defending the United States Championship against the man WWE proclaims as “The Greatest of All Time,” John Cena. The fact of the matter is that we know Cena’s days in the ring are much closer to the end than maybe anyone realizes as this very well could be his final match for all we know. That’s the story of Hollywood and being a movie star but we also know the man who preaches “Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect” will do everything in his power to get back when he can.

This will be Cena’s first true singles match at WrestleMania since 2018, when Cena lost to The Undertaker in two minutes and 45 seconds. If you’re looking for a full-on singles match, you have to go back to WrestleMania 31 against Rusev — for the United States Championship. It’s been a long time but we know what Cena is capable of at this point and that’s stepping back into the ring and being every bit of himself in there. So, can Theory keep up?

Cena was clear from the moment he was opposed by Theory — this is a win-win for him. He doesn’t need to do anything to keep his legacy intact while Theory has to not only try and win or see his entire future potentially crumble, but if he loses, he has to deal with that aftermath at Raw After WrestleMania and beyond.

The United States Championship takes a back seat in this matter, but seeing that it will kick off “WrestleMania Goes Hollywood,” it’s as good a spot as the title has seen on a WrestleMania in years. We got ourselves a major one to kick off the festivities.

Prediction: Austin Theory

Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley | Legacy vs. Destiny

Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley | WrestleMania 39 Night 1

Rhea Ripley became the first woman in history to go from number one to winner in the Royal Rumble but her journey is nowhere close to complete. Her turnaround over the past year started at WrestleMania Backlash when she officially joined The Judgement Day but as we’ve seen, she has gone from a follower of Edge to what is effectively the unofficial leader of the group. She’s transformed herself into the charismatic monster we saw her become in NXT once upon a time and it’s working. If you remember when that superstar she was began to disappear, it was following WrestleMania 36 when she lost the NXT Women’s Championship to her opponent on Saturday — Charlotte Flair. That, of course, happened in an empty building with no fans but it happened and that’s bad enough.

As Ripley has said in the build-up to this match, it’s about reaching her destiny. She had a WrestleMania moment when she defeated Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 37, but that seems to have all been forgotten as it didn’t feel like the moment she long deserved. That reign also ended at the hands of Flair, so you can sense the pattern and why this match is the biggest of Ripley’s career. It’s all about “Mami” and so little about the champion. We know Flair is a 14-time champion and she’ll probably be a 16-time champion before we know it. But this should go without saying — Rhea Ripley has to win. There’s no other result that makes sense. It’s her time as she has established herself as the most important women’s star of the division moving forward.

Prediction: Rhea Ripley

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