WWE WrestleMania 39 became the most successful and highest-grossing event in company history over the weekend.
History at Sofi Stadium
WrestleMania is often tagged as the “Grandest Stage of Them All.” The annual sports entertainment two-night extravaganza went Hollywood in front of a sold-out Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles. Approximately 161,892 members of the WWE Universe were in attendance on Saturday and Sunday to generate a gate of more than $21.6 million. The gate gross breaks the previous record by 27%. The event amassed over 500 million views on social media making the global phenomenon the most viewed ever. History will surely have to acknowledge WrestleMania 39 as “the show of shows.”
Celebrities Take Grandest Stage
Since WrestleMania’s inception in 1985, celebrities have played an integral role in the mainstream crossover success of professional wrestling. WrestleMania has seen notable appearances by Mr. T, Muhammad Ali, Cyndi Lauper, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kim Kardashian, Pamela Anderson, Floyd Mayweather and Rob Gronkowski.
It saw the return of ESPN College Football analyst and WWE commentator Pat McAfee. Much to the chagrin of the host of WrestleMania The Miz. McAfee competed in an impromptu match against The Miz made official by rapper Snoop Dogg. McAfee picked up the night one victory with the help of San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle. To make things worse, The Miz was defeated by Snoop Dogg on night two of WrestleMania.
The breakout celebrity performance of the night went to social media megastar Logan Paul. Paul competed in his second consecutive WrestleMania and was defeated by Seth Rollins with rapper KSI as a prime casualty.
The most notable celebrity appearance this year was Grammy Award winner Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny is no stranger to the square circle at WrestleMania. Bunny made his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 37. During the Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio match, Bad Bunny popped the SoFi crowd coming to Rey’s rescue. The artist left the WWE commentator table to prevent Dominik from using a chain illegally. Bunny’s interference was the catalyst to Rey Mysterio’s victory against estranged son Dominik.
WWE COO Paul “Triple H” Levesque on celebrities at WrestleMania and a potential Bad Bunny in-ring return:
Bad Bunny is slated to host WrestleMania Backlash, a WWE premium live event in Puerto Rico for the first time in 18 years.
Champions Cement Legacies
Three historic champion reigns were successfully defended at WrestleMania 39.
The squared circle is sacred in professional wrestling. For over 296 days, “The Ring General” Gunther has been a defender as Intercontinental champion. Gunther reluctantly faced two competitors vying for his title simultaneously in a triple-threat match. Best friends turned bitter foes, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus, along with Gunther, stole the show at WrestleMania 39. The banger of a match had the WWE Universe at SoFi Stadium unglued. Gunther narrowly escaped with his first-ever victory at WrestleMania.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2023
Gunther has embarked on the longest Intercontinental title reign since 1988. His historic title reign is now the third-longest reign of all time.
For over 365 days the self-proclaimed, “EST of WWE” Bianca Belair, has been Raw Women’s Champion. Belair defeated “The Empress of Tomorrow” Asuka in a grueling back-and-forth bout. In the end, Belair was able to avoid Asuka’s Great Muta-inspired blue mist. After landing her signature move the K.O.D. (kiss of death), Belair successfully defended her Raw Women’s title. The victory solidifies Belair as the second-longest Raw Women’s title reign of all time.
When the lights shine on the grandest stage, Belair takes her game to another level. For three consecutive WrestleManias, Belair has been in a championship match. In WrestleMania 37, Belair won her first WWE championship defeating Sasha Banks to become SmackDown Women’s champion. Additionally, it was also the very first time two African-American women were the main event at WrestleMania. Last year, Belair successfully defended her Raw Women’s title against “Big Time” Becky Lynch in a WrestleMania 38 classic.
During the Post-WrestleMania Night Two press conference, Belair was asked about her journey to a three-peat at WrestleMania.
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2023
Belair didn’t shy away from commenting about her own streak during the Post-WrestleMania night two press conference.
During the Post-WrestleMania Night Two press conference, I asked @BiancaBelairWWE if this is the new STREAK after her successful championship three-peat at @WrestleMania?#WrestleMania #BiancaBelair #WWE pic.twitter.com/W0JqpnC56E
— T.J. LEGACY (@legacycoleworld) April 5, 2023
The term “The Streak” is synonymous with WrestleMania. The most famous streak at WrestleMania was The Undertaker’s 21 consecutive match win streak.
The main event at WrestleMania 39 night two saw two professional wrestling family legacies go head-to-head. The “American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, son of WWE Hall of Famer “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, sought to have a storybook ending at WrestleMania 39. Rhodes, the 2023 Royal Rumble winner earned a title match opportunity to dethrone WWE Undisputed Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Reigns is a member of the Samoan professional wrestling dynasty, infamously known as The Bloodline. The “Tribal Chief” holds the longest world title reign since 1988. Rhodes nor any member of his family has ever become a WWE world champion.
The “Head of the Table” Roman Reigns defeated Cody Rhodes in controversial fashion. Rhodes seemed poised to make history at SoFi Stadium when outside interference thwarted his dreams. Reigns would turn Rhodes’ championship aspirations into a nightmare, hitting his signature move, the spear, to be victorious. The shocking conclusion to an Emmy-Award-worthy storytelling match left the WWE Universe stunned. Reigns is now set to close in on 1,000 days as champion. His reign is the sixth-longest world title reign of all time.
Reigns, joined by Paul Heyman during the post-WrestleMania press conference, reflected on his historic title run.
Undisputed WWE Universal Champion @WWERomanReigns & @HeymanHustle list the level of opponents that the #TribalChief has successfully retained against in this championship run alone!#WrestleMania pic.twitter.com/4rwVWvSWD6
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2023
Reigns is now one main event shy of tying the record for most WrestleMania main events. The record of eight main events at WrestleMania is held by Hulk Hogan.