Rhea Ripely defeated Charlotte Flair in an incredible match at WrestleMania 39 where fans were strongly behind Rhea. Ripley finally scored the pinfall victory with a Riptide from the top rope.
Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley emerged as a favorite to main event Night 1 of WrestleMania, despite other options that were just as good, if not better. With Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes a lock to close out Night 2 as the weekend’s rightful main event, WWE’s improved storytelling in the Triple H Era gave way to many possibilities for a Night 1 main event.
“Well, one, she won the Royal Rumble, so that’s guaranteed a main event spot at WrestleMania,” said Charlotte Flair while making her case to main event Night 1 against Ripley.
“Not solely relying on that, but I think you have two titans, two athletes who—regardless of their story or who have faced each other prior—are gonna put on a main event match solely on that, knowing that they’re capable of the storytelling. And possibly me retaining or crowning a new SmackDown Women’s Champion. I think when a main title is on the line, it’s always main event worthy.”
“So, to me it’s important for that championship to feel that prestigious, to feel that important. But again, like you said, there are a lot of stories that are worthy. So we’re just gonna have to make sure between now and WrestleMania that we give the audience something to sink their teeth into, to feel that the stakes are that high.”
Rey and Dominik Mysterio captivated fans with a slow build of Rey Mysterio refusing to put hands on his son until he was pushed too far when Dominik mouthed off to his mother, and Rey’s wife, Angie.
Benefitting from The proverbial Bloodline dust, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were an even stronger option to main event Night 1. Their reunion and subsequent chase of the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships made fore multiple twists and turns—including a Jey Uso heel turn—that built this tag team feud to a fever pitch.
Charlotte and Rhea did not main event, instead going on in the penultimate spot in favor of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. The Usos.
Flair and Ripley’s tensions slowly built leading up to their WrestleMania match with limited physicality—a staple in the Triple H Era. But the two finally engaged in a wild brawl during the March 17 broadcast of SmackDown. Still, Flair and Ripley were a weaker option to main event WrestleMania than more potent storylines during a piping-hot period for the company. This in spite of Ripley becoming the first woman to win the Royal Rumble from the No. 1 position.
With Rhea Ripley in the midst of an undefeated streak dating back to May 2022, the possibilities are endless for what should be a historic reign as SmackDown women’s champion. If WWE can wait long enough, which they have during the Triple H Era, a Rhea vs. Bianca Title vs. Title match could be in the books should Bianca Belair retain against Asuka in Night 2.