Rhea Ripley of The Judgment Day defeated Charlotte Flair at Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 to capture the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Match coverage courtesy of Matt Boone of Rajah.com:
SmackDown Women's Championship
Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Rhea Ripley
We take a commercial break and return to Michael Cole apologizing for getting worked up at the end of the Mysterio-Mysterio bout. They plug the WWE Backlash 2023 premium live event in San Juan, Puerto Rico and then we shoot to another commercial break.
After that we see the "Road to WrestleMania" video package telling the story leading up to our co-main event of the evening at WrestleMania Goes Hollywood: Night 1. With that said, we return inside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. where the 2023 Women's Royal Rumble Rhea Ripley makes her way out and heads to the ring.
Ripley yells "This is Mami-Time!" after doing her big pyro-provoking stomp at the top of the entrance stage. Michael Cole does an ad-read for the WrestleMania presenting sponsor, Snickers as she heads to the ring. Ripley settles inside and is ready for her title opportunity against "The Queen."
The familiar sounds of Charlotte Flair's theme hits after Ripley's entrance tune dies down. "Bow down, all hail 'The Queen'" comes out of the house speakers and then the reigning and defending SmackDown Women's Champion emerges in a bad ass robe that I'm sure makes "The Nature Boy" proud.
Charlotte gets the dramatic fireworks and pyro treatment as she takes a spin and heads to the ring, walking that aisle like her legendary father for another appearance on "The Grandest Stage of Them All." Michael Cole points out no woman has more wins at WrestleMania than Charlotte.
Now the ring announcer handles the formal pre-match ring introductions for the champion and the challenger. Jessika Carr is the referee for the match, the ring announcer is a female and the two competitors in this co-main event are both females. Michael Cole points out that this is another first in WrestleMania history.
Ripley seems to be the crowd favorite based on the pops during the ring introductions. The bell sounds and we're now officially off-and-running with our second-to-last scheduled match of the evening here at WrestleMania Goes Hollywood: Night 1.
We see some great action straight out of the gate from these two. Ripley shows good strength in muscle-woman spots that pops the crowd early on, as she dominates the action in the beginning stages of this one.
Flair starts to return to form and set the crowd on fire with her athletic display being put on front street, as she takes it to "Mami" and nearly finishes her off on a few occasions. We see Flair start to look unsure of herself as she can't seem to find a way to finish Ripley off.
Each lady goes for a big boot to the grill of the other and in a Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed moment from the end of Rocky II, they connect at the same time and both go down. The crowd rallies behind their favorite as the two slug their way back to their feet.
We see the classic Charlotte kip-up now as she plays to the crowd and then heads to the top-rope backwards as Ripley is laid out. Ripley recovers and heads up after Charlotte. Charlotte back-elbows her way free but Ripley comes right back up and connects with a belly-to-back super-plex that looked close to being a dangerous landing for a super close near fall.
Charlotte recovers and connects with her Natural Selection for a close near fall of her own. Ripley kicks out and immediately rolls out to the floor at ringside to re-group. Charlotte heads out after her and charges at her for a spear, but Ripley side-steps her and sends her shoulder first into the steel steps.
Back in the ring, Ripley hits a modified Rip-Tide for a close near fall. We see replays of Charlotte's vicious impact into the steel steps moments ago as Charlotte recovers. Ripley is shown looking unsure of her ability to finish "The Queen" off now.
Ripley taunts Charlotte and then looks for her actual Rip-Tide finisher this time, but Charlotte counters with a German suplex. Ripley stumbles back to her feet and Charlotte grabs her for another one, which she connects with. She maintains the waist lock and stands up with Ripley looking for a third.
Ripley hits a standing switch and flips Charlotte over-head. Charlotte nearly landed on her forehead and broke her neck. We almost had a paralyzed legend right there. That looked super close to being bad. Brock Lesnar Shooting Star Press from WrestleMania past-style scary.
We see Flair recover and she has mat-burn on her nose from that spot. Ouch. Could've been way worse, so not bad all things considered. Flair hits a big boot for a near fall. We see Charlotte knock Ripley out to the floor and she climbs to the top-rope for a moonsault.
She heads back in the ring but Ripley takes over and stuns her with a Rip-Tide for a super close near fall. Ripley and the fans couldn't believe it when Charlotte kicked out. Ripley utilizes her Prison Squeeze submission, a modified Clover-leaf. Charlotte screams in pain but crawls to the corner.
She crawls up the ropes and with her legs, yanks Ripley into the ref in the corner. The ref hangs in there and Charlotte blasts Ripley with a big spear and goes for the cover but again we see Ripley kick out. Again Charlotte looks on in disbelief.
After failing to lock it in the entire match, Charlotte finally locks in her figure-four leg lock on Ripley. She goes for the figure-8 but Ripley pulls herself to the corner and gets a hold of the ropes, forcing the referee to break up the hold.
Now we see a frustrated Charlotte blatantly ram Ripley face-first into the steel ring post. She heads to the top-rope with Ripley. Ripley drops down and yanks Charlotte face-first into the top of the ring post. Charlotte looks lifeless now as Ripley climbs up after her.
She screams in Charlotte's face, "It's my time!" She hits a super-Rip Tide off the top-rope and covers her for the pin fall victory. The crowd goes nuts as Rhea Ripley wins the SmackDown Women's Championship. Amazing match. Big WrestleMania moment feel for Ripley's victory.
Winner and NEW SmackDown Women's Champion: Rhea Ripley
⚡ WWE WrestleMania 39 Night 1 Live Coverage & Results (April 1st, 2023)
The following are the live results of Night 1 of WWE WrestleMania 39, courtesy of Matt Boone of Rajah.com: WWE WRESTLEMANIA 39: NIGHT [...]— Caylon Knox Apr 01, 2023 08:24PM
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