2023 WWE WrestleMania 39 Night 2 results, grades: Roman Reigns retains against Cody Rhodes in classic match (2024)

Roman Reigns' empire was rocked at WrestleMania 39 but the defenses held. Reigns fended off the greatest threat to his historic run by beating Cody Rhodes to retain the undisputed WWE universal championship on Sunday night.

Many expected Rhodes to finally topple the dominant champion, but Reigns endured as he approaches 1,000 days as universal champion and one complete year as WWE champion. Reigns crushed the storybook rise of Rhodes, who returned to WWE a new man at last year's WrestleMania and won the 2023 Royal Rumble.

WrestleMania 39 also played host to just the fourth Hell in a Cell match in the event's near four-decade run, as well as a blistering, all-time great triple threat match for the intercontinental championship.

CBS Sports was with you the whole way through the event, providing updates and highlights as the action went down in the live blog below.

2023 WWE WrestleMania 39 Night 2 results, grades

Brock Lesnar vs. Omos: It is very rare for Lesnar to be physically outmatched, but Omos is an exceptionally rare specimen. The mammoth superstar tossed around Lesnar and effortlessly power-slammed him in the early portions of the match. Lesnar's early spurts of fire were easily extinguished, but the former UFC heavyweight champion finally turned the tables with a trio of German suplexes. An F-5 followed and wrapped the relatively short match.

The match could have benefitted from a couple of additional swings in momentum. It was one-way traffic for Omos up until Lesnar did Lesnar things. Omos has one-of-a-kind size and could have believably kicked out of one F-5. The match was competitive on the surface, but Omos' non-existent defense and durability made him look weak in the end. Lesnar def. Omos via pinfall. Grade: B

Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Natalya and Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville: The participants took the showcase branding to heart by taking turns showing off their skills for the SoFi crowd. Rodriguez lived up to her reputation as the match's powerhouse, effortlessly tossing around the field of opponents. Natalya sent the crowd into a frenzy by wrapping Deville and Green in a double sharpshooter. Morgan quelled Natalya's momentum with a painful codebreaker off the ropes. In an interesting twist that some may consider anti-climatic, Rousey found herself in the ring with her fallen rival Shotzi and the remaining superstars sidelined ringside. Rousey laughed, sauntered over to Shotzi and locked in an armbar for the quick submission.

The men's showcase match was a hard act to follow but the women put in a strong effort. Natalya's double-sharpshooter received a particularly warm reception from the crowd. Rousey did not see much ring time, but her approach to the finish was good heel fodder. Rousey and Baszler def. Shotzi and Natalya, Morgan and Rodriguez, and Deville and Green via submission. Grade: C+

Intercontinental championship -- Gunther (c) vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus: There has been a lot of friction between friends McIntyre and Sheamus over their pursuits for the intercontinental championship. Gunther tried to game the situation by encouraging McIntyre and Sheamus to fight each other. The bruisers obliged but only after McIntyre rocked Gunther with a Claymore Kick. Gunther performed true to his moniker of "The Ring General" once he re-entered the fray, directing traffic and bludgeoning both challengers. Fans expected hard-hitting action and showed their appreciation once the superstars started painting welts on each other with chops and forearms.

Gunther's chest turned black and blue after McIntyre and Sheamus took turns bludgeoning him back and forth against the ropes. Sheamus earned a standing ovation from the crowd after cracking McIntyre with more than 25 Beats of the Bodhran, an assault that continued until McIntyre physically collapsed. Sheamus nearly captured the one championship that has eluded him after landing a Celtic Cross on Gunther and tying up the champion in a Cloverleaf. The friction between Sheamus and McIntyre continued to course through the match. Betrayal read all over Sheamus' face after McIntyre pulled him off a surefire pinfall on Gunther following a Brogue Kick. The longtime friends exchanged big blows but neither could keep the other down for good. Gunther capitalized on the two bulls locking horns. The champion powerbombed Sheamus onto McIntyre and subsequently powerbombed McIntyre for the win.

What a fantastic match that well exceeded the lofty expectations going in. The performers did a masterful job of telling a story of friction and feelings of betrayal between Sheamus and McIntyre. Sheamus was the MVP of the match with the contest primarily focused on him completing his trophy collection in the latter stages of his career. Gunther continued to look like an intelligent killer by taking advantage of the chaos around him. Strictly between the ropes, this is the match of the weekend. Gunther def. McIntyre and Sheamus via pinfall to retain the intercontinental championship. Grade: A+

Raw women's championship -- Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka: Belair and Asuka fought as if they had something to prove on Sunday night. The build to their match lacked heat and they were following a sleeper hit between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair the night before. The match was chock-full of big moves and momentum swings. Asuka countered a handspring moonsault into a triangle choke, Belair rolled through a submission attempt to land a beautiful suplex. The superstars also showed a willingness to put their bodies on the line as was the case when Belair landed a big sit-out powerbomb on Asuka ringside.

The chemistry between Belair and Asuka was undeniable as they fluidly exchanged maneuvers. Belair ducked a cloud of mist, Asuka side-stepped a hair whip, Asuka rolled into an armbar and Belair lifted Asuka into a KOD for the win. The match was a half-step below the SmackDown women's championship in terms of drama, but their ability to work together was top-notch. Belair def. Asuka via pinfall to retain the Raw women's championship. Grade: A-

Snoop Dogg vs. The Miz: The west coast legend booked an impromptu match between The Miz and Shane McMahon. McMahon appeared to injure himself early into the contest, resulting in what felt like an impromptu match between Snoop and Miz. The legendary rapper clocked Miz with two right hands, did his best Dwayne "The Rock" Impression with a People's Elbow and scored the pinfall. I'm not sure what happened there with McMahon, but Snoop's performance was infinitely more entertaining than whatever McMahon and Miz could produce. Snoop def. Miz via pinfall. Grade: B-

Edge vs. "The Demon" Finn Balor (Hell in a Cell): The cell served as an appropriate final resting place for the long, bad-blooded feud between Balor and Edge. There was no feeling out process in this physically intense encounter. Each superstar laid into the other with hard kendo stick shots. In a creative and visually gruesome spot, Edge trapped Balor against the cell by wedging kendo sticks between the links at Balor's chin and chest. "The Demon" enacted a measure of revenge by kicking Edge through a table that Edge had positioned in the corner of the cell. The bout only grew more chaotic from there. The SoFi crowd expressed their enthusiasm after Edge entered a ladder into the equation. The ladder opened a cut on Balor that required attention from the referee and WWE's medical team. Balor found his way back into the match and drove his heels through Edge with a Coup de Grace. Balor attempted to replicate the feat from the ladder, but Edge cut him off with ladder-assisted Edgeuction.

The violence cranked up another gear as Balor tried to hit Edge with a Coup De Grace off a catwalk around the inside perimeter of the cell. Edge moved out of the way just in time as Balor drove himself through the table. Balor was reeling in pain but managed to kick out of a spear from "The Rated R Superstar." Edge reached his breaking point, walloping on Balor with a kendo stick and steel chair before slaying his bitter rival with a con-chair-to.

An absolutely chaotic match, well fit for the rivalry involved and the Hell in a Cell moniker. The feud has been hot and cold at times and this strong performance should spell the end of it. It was well positioned with a slower pace that should prepare fans for an emotionally invested main event. Edge def. Balor via pinfall. Grade: B+

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship -- Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes: Rhodes relied on his amateur wrestling background and speed advantage to control his powerhouse opponent in the early portion of the match. Reigns showcased that power by catching Rhodes mid-air off a springboard attack and planting him with a powerbomb. The action took a spill to the outside as each man power-slammed the other on the ramp. Solo Sikoa made his presence felt for the first time by intercepting Cody ringside, allowing his cousin Reigns to take over. Sikoa quelled Rhodes' immediate comeback by tripping him against the ropes.

Rhodes delighted the crowd later in the match, countering the champion and driving him through an announcers' table with a backdrop. It was the Rhodes show from that point on as he delivered signature moves like the Cody Cutter and a suicide dive that had the crowd roaring with approval. Sikoa continued to be an asset to Reigns and a thorn in Sikoa's side, whipping Rhodes with his own weight belt. The referee continued to miss Sikoa's interjections, but assessed the situation and ejected The Bloodline's enforcer from ringside. An argument between Reigns and the referee primed Rhodes for another comeback. He cracked Reigns with a super kick and landed Cross Rhodes, his finishing move, for a deep two-count. A uranage slam by Reigns and a pedigree from Rhodes both had the referee with his palm inches from a three-count.

The big moves only continued from there. Reigns cold-co*cked Rhodes with a nasty-looking Superman punch as Rhodes bounced off the ropes in pursuit of a Disaster Kick. Rhodes showcased his own savvy counter, sunset flipping over a potential match-ending spear before tying up the champ in a figure four leg lock. Rhodes' indomitable spirit persisted as he kicked out following a piercing spear from Reigns. The challenger's defiance angered "The Tribal Chief" as Reigns began laying in closed-fist punches. Rhodes appeared lifeless trapped in the vice-like squeeze of Reigns' guillotine choke, but he endured and broke free of Reigns' grip. Rhodes roared to life, punching away at Reigns but accidentally kicking down the referee during his spirited comeback. A double clothesline laid out both combatants and opened the door for shenanigans.

The Usos, one night after losing the undisputed tag team championships to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, laid out Rhodes with superkicks and a 1D. The crowd popped as loud as had all night when Zayn and Owens arrived to even the odds. Owens hit Reigns with a stunner and Zayn got a measure of revenge on the champion with a Helluva Kick that sent shockwaves through SoFi Stadium. Rhodes crawled over to Reigns and covered the champion just as the referee recovered. It was a long two-count, one that allowed Reigns to kick out in the nick of time. Rhodes channeled the spirit of his late father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, clocking Reigns with jabs and a bionic elbow that the live audience greatly appreciated. Rhodes appeared to have the match won with two consecutive Cross Rhodes, but interferences by Paul Heyman and Sikoa allowed Reigns to hit the match-winning spear. A truly fantastic outing that had the crowd in the palm of the superstars' hands. The outcome subverted expectations and it will be interesting to see where WWE takes things from here. Reigns def. Rhodes to retain the undisputed WWE universal championship. Grade: A+

2023 WWE WrestleMania 39 Night 2 results, grades: Roman Reigns retains against Cody Rhodes in classic match (2024)


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