Heading into WrestleMania weekend, I planned to write an article about the best matches. I have in my notes Top 5 Matches Of WrestleMania 39, but sitting here, reflecting on all the spectacular wrestling we saw over the last two days, there was just no way I could keep this to five matches. In fact, there may have been more good-to-great matches on this card than any WrestleMania in history.
That's not to say every single thing we saw was a five star banger, but so many of the matches were either exactly what they needed to be or over-delivered in a big way. I'm so pleased with how the entire weekend turned out, and I'm ready to give out some flowers for jobs well done. So, without further ado, here are the 10 best matches WWE put on during WrestleMania 39...
10. Damage CTRL Vs Becky Lynch, Trish Stratus And Lita
Whenever WWE brings back legends for a big spot match, the name of the game is putting those legends into positions where they look good, even if they’re not quite as athletic as they once were. That involves careful planning, and this match was planned out so well. Damage CTRL did a lot of quick tags and intricate combination moves, while Becky battled on her own for awhile until both Trish and Lita were given their own sequences to look really good.
I also loved how this match was a chance to show off how good Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky are in the ring. They were heavily involved in the action throughout, and while they sold really well to make the legends look good, they also got a chance to get their own moments, most prominently Iyo with a moonsault onto the outside. In the end, we got a Litasault, a Manhandle Slam and the faces went home with a nice little nostalgic moment. This match was exactly what it should have been. Job well done by everyone involved.
Match Rating: 3.5/5
9. Edge Vs Finn Bálor In Hell In A Cell
Obviously the pacing of this match was screwed up by that monster head wound Finn Bálor got. That was an unfortunate fluke situation, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. There are also some who are frustrated about the ending, as they feel Finn needed the win a lot more than Edge as he’s likely to be around longer. But even taking into account all of that, these two dudes just know how to put on a good wrestling match. They’ve got great chemistry, and some of the sequences looked really well put together.
I loved the spot where Edge trapped Finn in the corner. I loved the attempted Coup De Gras through the table. I loved the finish, even if I didn’t necessarily love the pick of the winner. Also, both entrances were also absolute fire and had the crowd really hyped up. In my mind, that counts as part of the match since you’re setting the scene, and the scene here was as good as any on the entire card.
Match Rating: 3.5/5
8. Asuka Vs Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair and Asuka have a really nice contrasting mix of styles. Belair really excels when she’s showing off raw power and athleticism, while Asuka is so clever and intricate with her reversals and submissions. It’s a different spin on the classic big guy vs little guy match, but it worked especially well with these two because Bianca is skilled and technical enough where she can sell those quick combinations and make them look great.
During the match, we got some nice spots, good submission sequences and impressive feats of strength from Bianca. The momentum really built throughout it, and Belair was able to overcome a surprisingly negative crowd to get cheered for the finish. At your average WrestleMania, this probably would have been a top five match, but this year, we got so much great that Asuka and Bianca’s good is only good enough for eighth place. Job well done though.
Match Rating: 3.75/5
7. Logan Paul Vs Seth Rollins
We all knew this match was going to rule when it was announced. Seth Rollins might be the best in-ringer worker WWE has, and Logan Paul has as much natural talent as anyone I’ve seen. Well, spoiler alert: it ruled. Everyone will no doubt talk about Logan Paul’s frog splash onto the table with KSI in the Prime costume and with good reason. It was great, but most of what made this match great occurred in the quieter moments of ring psychology and standout individual moves and sequences.
Logan Paul has all the tools to be WWE Champion some day, but he also likes doing a ton of different things. He podcasts. He boxes. He actively works at being a celebrity. As such, it’s unclear whether he’ll ever commit to the number of events he would need to in order to be seriously considered for a title run, but if he’s willing to do even 35 or 40 dates a year, it would be hard to say no. He’s overdelivered every single time, and his chemistry with Seth Rollins here was terrific. I'm so glad he's just leaning into the natural heel he is.
Match Rating: 4.0/5
6. Dominik Mysterio Vs Rey Mysterio
This is another match that wasn’t necessarily about any of the individual moves. It was about the larger story being told, and the crowd was red hot from the beginning, thanks to fantastic dueling entrances from Dominik (with cops) and from Rey (with Snoop Dogg to Eddie Guerrero’s music). I especially loved Dominik throwing a drink on his sister and getting slapped by his mom, but Rey whipping him with the belt was also top notch parenting.
I also love how this match clearly set up a future program with Bad Bunny when the pop star stole the chain from Dom. It seems likely we’ll get Rey Mysterio and Bad Bunny vs Dominik Mysterio and Damian Priest at WrestleMania Backlash, which Bad Bunny has already been announced as the host for. That’s a great example of setting up a longer-term story but still giving fans a satisfying conclusion at the actual event. This wasn’t an epic WCW cruiserweight bout in the late 90s, but it was exactly what it should have been.
Match Rating: 4.0/5
5. The Men’s Fatal 4-Way Showcase Match
Just an absolute masterclass in how to put together an eight man tag team match. In only eight and a half minutes, every single team got multiple personalized moments to shine, and every single team somehow came away looking like a duo we’d all like to watch moving forward. The crowd was into the entire thing, and some of the spots will be remembered for a really long time.
Here’s an incomplete list of highlights: Chad Gable doing a rolling German suplex on Braun Strowman. Ivar doing a moonsault off the top ropes. Angelo Dawkins derailing the Strowman Express mid-voyage. Ricochet’s shooting star press. The Viking Raiders’ just brutalizing Chad Gable, Ricochet and Montez Ford in quick succession. Braun landing a top rope frog splash. Otis ripping off his shirt to the delight of the crowd, and of course, Montez Ford’s top rope work to end the match.
Most WrestleMania matches need a good build or some real stakes, but now and again, a really well-sequenced ten minutes of high energy wrestling can really get the job done. This was truly a showcase.
Match Rating: 4.25/5
4. Cody Rhodes Vs Roman Reigns
Wrestling fans are going to be debating this finish for years to come. Personally, I loved it. I wanted to see Cody go through some adversity and for Roman to stay on top. Others on social media or around me in the crowd clearly did not feel that way. But regardless, a good match is about a lot more than just the finish, and this match was fantastic. It was paced very slowly but in a way that milked all the emotional investment and interest from the crowd. The table spot was a great who is gonna take the bump tease, and a few of the false finishes at the end really felt like they could have been three counts.
I think the story around interference was also well done. The referee throwing Solo out created a really good crowd moment, and it was bedlam inside SoFi Stadium when Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens ran in to fight off The Usos. Cody may not have finished the story, but all of this created so much to build off for the next chapter. This’ll go down as a heavily-debated but also very well-appreciated main event.
Match Rating: 4.5/5
3. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn Vs The Usos
There are other matches on this list that had better spots or better technical precision, but not every match is about showing off unusual moves or high risk spots (though this match had some of both). The goal here was to tell the next chapter of The Bloodline story, and that next chapter was really damn good. You could feel the passion and the shared history in so many of the sequences, and the repeated finishes from Sami Zayn on Jey Uso was the best possible way to end it.
All four men in this match are incredibly over with the crowd, and all four are masters at knowing when to slow down and when to step on the gas. The initial sequence is a perfect example of that where we got staredowns and a tag-in before anyone even started fighting. The whole match built upon the tension the fans were already feeling and made the whole thing feel even more personal. Also, shoutout to The Usos for being a historically great tag team. Sami and Kevin have gotten most of the love over the last few months, but they make that whole thing go.
Match Rating: 4.75/5
2. Rhea Ripley And Charlotte Flair
If the goal here was to remind everyone that Charlotte Flair is probably the best woman ever and to show off Rhea Ripley’s almost unlimited potential: mission accomplished. This match slapped for more than twenty-three and a half minutes, and it was put together in a really thoughtful way too. There were multiple almost ref bumps that turned into finisher-driven false finishes, and the crowd’s energy level grew and grew with each near fall. By the end, fans were screaming like it was a night two main event, leaving WWE with an interesting Rhea decision to make long-term.
Fans will debate for years whether it should have gotten the honor to close the night, but ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. The match we got, when we got it, was a spectacular five star classic that put Rhea Ripley in the best possible position moving forward to pick up the torch and carry the women’s division for the next decade. Charlotte Flair was the only person who could have helped her with that, and we’re all lucky to have gotten to see it.
Match Rating: 5/5
1. Gunther Vs Sheamus Vs Drew McIntyre
The great thing about WrestleMania 39 is there are legitimately like four matches you could pick as the best one and you’ll find some people to agree with you. For me, the match of the entire weekend was Gunther Vs Sheamus vs Drew McIntyre. There were, of course, a lot of chops, as you would expect, but there were also so many other fun and clever spots too. There were times Drew and Sheamus worked together. There were times they were adversarial. There were times Gunther looked utterly dominant, and there were times in which you thought he might really lose here.
Gunther and Sheamus have delivered every single time they’ve hooked up. The Clash At The Castle match was maybe the best of 2022. The six man tag with Imperium vs The Brawling Brutes was spectacular too. I was worried maybe adding Drew McIntyre here might screw up the formula, but we can all now confirm it did not. Drew was terrific here. By the end, it felt like fans were more cheering for their appreciation of the match than cheering for any specific outcome. This was the best WrestleMania gave us, and given how good WrestleMania 39 was, that makes this one of the best 'Mania matches ever.
Match Rating: 5/5