The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment has arrived. After months of buildup and storylines all funneling toward this weekend, it’s time to reach a boiling point as WrestleMania 39 kicks off inside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The two-night event kicks off on Saturday with a slew of intriguing matches.
Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 is currently set to feature seven matches, ranging from a clash between father and son, to a social media superstar battling one of the best wrestlers of his generation, to a long-awaited showdown for the undisputed tag team championships. There’s something for wrestling fans of all tastes on the card, including John Cena’s return to the ring as he takes on Austin Theory for the United States championship.
But that’s not the match most people are tuning in for. That belongs to the epic tag team title match set between undisputed titleholders The Usos and the team of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Zayn had been intertwined in The Bloodline story for months as he became an “Honorary Uce” while betraying Owens, but things changed at the Royal Rumble when Zayn finally turned on Roman Reigns and set off the chain of events leading to this wild matchup between the four men.
With such a big card ahead, CBS Sports’ wrestling experts have taken a look up and down the card to provide predictions for every match on Saturday’s card. Let’s take a look at the way we think things will play out at Night 1 of WrestleMania 39.
WrestleMania 39 Night 1 predictions
Undisputed Tag Team Championship — The Usos (c) vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
WWE should be looking to take all titles off The Bloodline at WrestleMania. It makes for the best story and rewards the babyfaces who have gotten incredibly over with fans in recent months. That means putting Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn over on Night 1. Zayn has been red-hot thanks to the thriving story of his involvement with, and eventual break from, The Bloodline. WWE couldn’t pull the trigger on putting the undisputed WWE universal championship on Zayn right before WrestleMania, but they can reward his work by putting the tag titles on him and his best friend. Hopefully this match is the start of WWE moving to the post-championship stage of The Bloodline story. Pick: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn win the titles — Brent Brookhouse (also Shakiel Mahjouri)
SmackDown Women’s Championship — Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
Ripley earned the title shot by winning the Royal Rumble, as was the expectation heading into the event. Challenging Flair makes sense, given the history between the two, but it is an odd move as Judgement Day has been a Raw staple since the group’s inception. The women haven’t gotten much of a build heading into WrestleMania, but the match should deliver solid action. The right move here is to put the belt on Ripley and let her have another go at a run with a major championship. Pick: Rhea Ripley wins the title — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)
United States Championship — Austin Theory (c) vs. John Cena
The build to this match has been so poor that I’m hesitant to pick Theory, but I’m not sure where you go with Cena as champion considering his hefty Hollywood schedule. This no longer feels like a passing of the torch moment, so a cheap finish in Theory’s favor feels like the safest way out. Cena has also expressed regret over derailing the Nexus’ white-hot run in 2010. This is a vastly different situation, but I have a hunch that Cena would feel better elevating superstars at this stage in his career. Look for Theory to win via shenanigans. Pick: Austin Theory retains the title — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)
Seth Rollins vs. Logan Paul
Paul has proven that he can be half of a very good match given the right amount of preparation. There’s no reason to think that won’t be the case again against Rollins, a proven high-level talent. Rollins should get the win here if for no other reason than it benefits him far more than Paul, who is a special attraction regardless of wins or losses. Rollins has been on the losing end of the build-up to the match, which also suggests he should get the momentum back by picking up a win here and staying a relevent player at the top end of the card. Pick: Seth Rollins wins — Brookhouse (also Mahjouri)
Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL
I am in favor of the established faction in Damage CTRL getting the win over a made woman in Becky Lynch and two part-time Hall of Famers. The problem is that Damage CTRL has been booked terribly inconsistently and has generally been on the losing end of their exchanges with the tag champs and Stratus. All of this means that Damage CTRL will most likely win at WrestleMania, but I’m pushing back against that. Unless there are concrete, long-term plans to make Damage CTRL a dominant force coming out of WrestleMania, what’s the point? Might as well put a smile on fans’ faces. Pick: Trish Stratus, Lita & Becky Lynch win — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)
Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio
The sensible choice is Rey winning as he has been pushed too far by his son and is also going to be fresh off an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. But, speaking as a father, it’s hard to imagine a dad not wanting his kid to get a win on a stage this big. It’s also very easy to see how much the win could benefit Dominik’s character moving forward. Rey is bulletproof and losing to his kid for the good of that kid’s career makes too much sense. Pick: Dominik Mysterio wins — Brookhouse
It was so satisfying to see Rey finally clock his bratty, punk kid and WrestleMania should offer more of the same. I was initially inclined to give the younger Mysterio the rub, especially considering that the masked man’s career is winding down. Looking back on the feud, Dominik has gotten the better of his father so many times and it just doesn’t feel right to have Rey lose after all of that. Dominik is still very young and has grown leaps-and-bounds in his new role. A loss to his father, arguably the greatest luchador in history, won’t undo his progress. Pick: Rey Mysterio wins — Mahjouri
Braun Strowman & Ricochet vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy vs. The Viking Raiders
These teams are in a weird predicament. They’ve all been presented relatively well on television, perhaps with the exception of Alpha Academy, but are generally used as fodder to the top stars. Street Profits are the most established of the WWE teams, but it still feels like a temporary split is on the horizon. Strowman and Ricochet have stumbled upon something interesting with their time-tested big man, small man dynamic. They’ve had consistently strong showings on SmackDown. Ricochet is a phenomenal talent between the ropes and Strowman is too physically imposing to suffer frequent losses. Braun Strowman & Ricochet win — Mahjouri (also Brookhouse)