WrestleMania 39 saw multiple Match of the Year contenders including the brutal Triple Threat Intercontinental Championship bout, and Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s emotional victory over The Usos.
However, there was a different match that wrestling veteran Jim Cornette thought topped the rest and that was the war between Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Speaking on his Experience podcast, Cornette praised the match as being “several levels above” any other women’s bout in WWE or AEW.
“The best match of WrestleMania Night One was the girls’ match. I’m not talking about the girls’ Tag Team Four Way fiasco. I’m talking about the actual girls’ wrestling match that took place, Charlotte versus Rhea Ripley.
This not only was several levels above any other women’s match in, mostly in WWE, or in AEW, this was above 80% of the f**king men’s matches in any company.
The legendary manager explained that Flair and Ripley looked like stars during the hard-fought struggle.
They both look like wrestlers. They look like stars, they can work. They’re believable. They got personality, both of them are different, so you can easily tell them apart. They laid their sh*t in, it was a back-and-forth struggle.
“It was not smooth by design. They were working stiff and struggling to make a contest and a fight and show emotion. And if anybody thinks I don’t like women’s wrestling, no, I don’t like bad women’s wrestling, which is what most of it is.
“But again, I say this was not only better than all of the other girls’ matches, but most of the guys’ matches, because you had the combination of everything. There’s no little f**king five-foot tall 98-pound made-up Barbie doll twit. No fancy f**king gymnastics and round-offs and tumbling. No girly punches.
“Both these girls, the ultimate compliment that was ever given in the wrestling business to any of the female performers, they work like guys. That’s a positive. That’s a plus. And that’s what they do, and this match was incredible.
“They took us on a ride, some of those wicked German Suplexes and especially Rhea hit one where Charlotte went face first. The only thing in this match that didn’t make sense was after Charlotte got planted face first she was back up moments later on offence.
Cornette also discussed the crowd reaction, saying they got more and more behind Ripley as she edged closer to winning the title.
“They were each hitting their big moves. You know, Charlotte hits the Moonsault off the top to the floor. Rhea hits the Riptide. Rhea flips her shit and gets a standing Cloverleaf and Charlotte gets the ropes. And the more this went on, you could also tell the fans were more and more solidly behind Rhea, the idea she would win, they want to see a title change.
“And it wasn’t because Charlotte was not being a good babyface. It was because they wanted to see Rhea win and they wanted to see a title change.”
The audience did indeed see a title change as Ripley won the bout with a Riptide off the middle rope. In doing so, she made history as the only woman to complete a grand slam that included the NXT UK Women’s Championship.
Charlotte Flair taking hiatus following WrestleMania 39
Following her loss on The Grandest Stage Of Them All, it has been reported that Charlotte will be taking a break from WWE.
The Queen is not expected to appear on the April 7th edition of SmackDown and is said to be going traveling with her husband, AEW star Andrade El Idolo.
If you use any of the above quotes, please credit the original source and give an H/T and link back to Inside The Ropes for the transcription.