WrestleMania 40 winners, highlights from night one: The Rock returns and much more

PHILADELPHIA — The biggest event in wrestling has arrived.

It is time for WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, where WWE will hold its flagship two-day event that will bring wrestling fans across the world to Lincoln Financial Field.

Night one of WrestleMania featured seven matches, three of which were for championships. Highlighting those title fights was the superstar battle for the Women's World Championship between Rhea Ripley and Becky Lynch. But the main event of the night was the return of The Rock, who made his highly anticipated return to the ring to team up with Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.

It's already shaping up to be a thrilling night of WrestleMania, and there's still Sunday night to go. Follow USA TODAY Sports for updates and results from the action in Philadelphia:

The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins

So, what will the stipulation be?

After the legendary entrances, all the stars faced off in the middle of the ring before Reigns and Rollins started the match. The crowd was ready to explode before a single move.

The former SHIELD members tangled for a bit before Rhodes entered the match in a preview of Sunday's main event match. Then Rollins and The Rock came in and locked up.

Finally, we got Rhodes and The Rock facing off. It turned to chaos after that, with Reigns and Rhodes going at it on the ramp and The Rock and Rollins battling it out near the announcer's table. The Rock and Rollins got back in the ring, but that happened just after Reigns had brutalized Rhodes, so the champion attacked Rollins and the two members of The Bloodline did damage. Rhodes later got back to the ring, but Reigns took him out to prevent Rollins from getting any help.

Reigns went for the finisher with a spear, but Rollins countered it. Still, Rollins couldn't tag in Rhodes after The Rock came in and continued the assault. The Rock tried the sharpshooter on Rollins' bad knee, but Rhodes came in and slapped The Rock, and Rollins got up in just enough time to curb stomp The Rock. Rhodes became the legal man and then went to work on Reigns, landing a Cody Cutter and a near pin. Rhodes went for another one, but Reigns Superman punched him and went for the pin, only for Rhodes to kick out.

The Rock grabbed the "Mama Rhodes" belt and taunted Rhodes' mother. Rhodes was able to recover in that time and then used his dad's signature moves on The Rock, but then The Rock landed a spine buster. He stared over Rhodes, took off his elbow sleeve and went for the People's Elbow, but Rhodes got up and hit a Cody Cutter.

Reigns again tried a spear on Rhodes, but Rollins moved Rhodes and he instead got The Rock. Rollins and Rhodes then went for the pin, but The Bloodline kicked out. The Rock and Rhodes went on the announcer's table, and Rhodes used The Rock Bottom on the man himself to send him through the table in an absolutely insane moment.

Rhodes tried doing a Three Cross on Reigns, just like last year, but The Rock used the belt to whip Rhodes and Reigns speared him. The Rock got the tag back into the ring and hit Rhodes with a Rock Bottom, then the People's Elbow. The Rock pinned Rhodes for the win.

The match was a thriller and it lived up to the massive hype. It never had a dull moment. The Rock looked like he had never taken time away from the ring.

And now it will be Bloodline rules for Rhodes vs. Reigns Sunday night. The story Rhodes has wanted to finish, may not be happening.

The Rock makes electric entrance into WrestleMania 40

"The Final Boss" came out with an epic entrance that included his brahma bull logo lit up on fire and him walking into the flame and holding up "The People's Champ," a title given to him by Muhammad Ali's wife, Lonnie, at the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday night.

WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn

This was a very physical match from the start, and "The Ring General" Gunther showed why he is the greatest Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. But Zayn got some good blows in with some chops and a tornado DDT. But anytime Zayn looked for some rhythm, Gunther put it to an end.

Gunther did his dropkick-power bomb combo and looked sure to retain the title, but Zayn became one of the few people to kick out of the sequence. Zayn then surprised Gunther and landed a helluva kick, but Gunther kicked out of it. Gunther then went for the double power bomb, and somehow Zayn kicked out of that as well. After a vicious clothesline, Gunther delivered another power bomb while giving a sinister smile to Zayn's wife, who was ringside. Gunther then got on the top rope for a splash, and he did another, but didn't go for the pin.

Then Zayn found the strength to get up and deliver a helluva kick to a surprised Gunther, and off the top rope, landed a wild brain buster. Zayn did another helluva kick, and then landed a third straight one to get the pin and end the longest Intercontinental Championship reign in WWE history in a shocking upset.

Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill and Naomi vs. Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, and Kairi Sane)

Both teams had electric entrances to set the stage for a classic match, and Sane got the party started with a flying elbow outside of the ring on Naomi. Damage CTRL picked on Naomi for a good amount of time before she was able to tag in Belair, who showcased her strength on every opposing member. She attempted to tag in Cargill, but Damage CTRL took advantage of the slow walk by teeing off on the "EST."

But Belair was able to get Cargill in for her first WrestleMania match, and she displayed the dominance that made her such an exciting signing for WWE. Then Naomi, Belair and Cargill all hit their finishers on Damage CTRL, capped off by Cargill planting Kai into the ground and pinning her for the victory.

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Twin vs. twin goes to the younger one.

Jey Uso couldn't wait to get his hands on his brother, launching himself into Jimmy Uso before he even got in the ring. It wasn't long before Jimmy Uso took control of the match as he toyed around with his brother and the crowd. The brothers then traded blows with the "yeet" and "no" chants going back-and-forth. They then did the same with super kicks.

Jey Uso tried going for the knockout blow, but Jimmy Uso then asked for his brother to stop and said sorry, offering to shake his hand. Jey Uso agreed, but Jimmy Uso turned and delivered a super kick and then a splash off the top rope, but Jey Uso kicked out. Jimmy Uso went for another kick, but Jey Uso used his family's signature spear. He then did his own splash, and this time, got the pin to win over his brother.

Lil' Wayne introduces Jey Uso

He invited him to WrestleMania, and he delivered.

Rapper Lil' Wayne performed and introduced Jey Uso's entrance, getting the crowd hyped and coming down the ramp with the WWE star.

Rey Mysterio and Andrade vs. Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio

We got Mysterio vs. Mysterio to start the match, but it was the son and Escobar that grabbed the early advantage in the match. The duo went after the WWE Hall of Famer and he struggled to get out.

Rey Mysterio eventually tagged in Andrade and he went to work, showcasing the talent he had when he left WWE in 2021. The momentum shift led to Rey Mysterio executing a 619 on Escobar and Andrade taking Dominik Mysterio out off the top rope. They went for the win, but Legado Del Fantasma interrupted.

Two masked men came to the aid of Rey Mysterio and Andrade by preventing Dominik Mysterio from using a chair. Rey Mysterio pulled off the 619 on both stars and a frogsplash on Escobar to get the pin. Afterward, the masked men revealed themselves to be retired Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce and current offensive tackle Lane Johnson.

The Philadelphia stars then celebrated with the winning team while the home crowd went wild to see the football stars.

WrestleMania 40 crowd pays respect to Bray Wyatt

WWE has been paying respect to the late Bray Wyatt all weekend, and it made sure to do so at WrestleMania. As an ad played for the Bray Wyatt documentary played inside the stadium, the crowd lit up the arena with the fireflies that were always part of Wyatt's entrance. His entrance music then played inside Lincoln Financial Field.

Six-pack ladder match for Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship

Twelve people and ladders in the ring is a recipe for chaos, but the structure of this match presented the chance to separate the Raw and Smackdown tag team titles with them separated above the ring.

There were some good spots in the match, but R-Truth once again stole the show when he asked to be tagged in the match, and when he did, went full John Cena mode with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and Attitude Adjustment. He went for the pin, but of course, that wasn't how to win the titles.

Soon afterward, Grayson Waller and Austin Theory went up the ladder and grabbed the Smackdown tag team titles to win the championship, leaving the Raw tag team titles. There were several opportunities to get the titles, and they were all ended with crazy moves done off the ladder. JD McDonagh came to the aid of The Judgement Day to help retain, but he was thrown off the top of the ladder and into tables by The New Day.

R-Truth had the funniest moment of the match, but he ended up in glory. He gave an Attitude Adjustment to Damian Priest and climbed the ladder to give him and The Miz the Raw tag team titles, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Women's World Championship match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch

It was a main event-worthy match to start off WrestleMania, and it lived up to the hype.

Both stars felt each other out in the early minutes of the match, and Ripley was the first one to get on the offensive end, but it appeared she was nursing a left arm injury and Lynch went after it any moment she could, trying to execute the disarm-her. Ripley, showcasing her power, picked her up off the submission and planted her into the mat.

Ripley tried the prison trap submission on Lynch and the challenger was not only able to break out of it, but pulled off the manhandle slam. She went for the pin, but Ripley kicked out. Then Ripley executed a riptide, but Lynch somehow kicked out, much to the disbelief of the champion. Ripley tried to take her off the top rope, but Lynch countered and was able to get the disarm-her again, which was unsuccessful.

The final moments happened when Lynch tried to do a manhandle slam off the top rope. Ripley got out of it, and then used a riptide to throw Lynch into the turnbuckle. For good measure, Ripley landed another riptide, and then did her signature pin. "Mami" stays on top in a fantastic opening match.

Women’s World Championship match between Rhea Ripley (black attire) before she takes on Becky Lynch (red/white attire) during Wrestlemania XL Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Women’s World Championship match between Rhea Ripley (black attire) before she takes on Becky Lynch (red/white attire) during Wrestlemania XL Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

Motionless in White plays Rhea Ripley's entrance music

The Women's World Champion is starting off WrestleMania 40 with a bang, with the band Motionless in White performing her entrance music with pyros and fire emerging from the stage.

Triple H opens WrestleMania 40

WWE chief content officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque kicked off the festivities with an address for the WWE universe, proclaiming that this is a "new era" for WWE and welcomed the crowd to WrestleMania.

Who sang the WrestleMania 40 national anthem?

Grammy Award winning artist CoCo Jones. Her father is Mike Jones, a former NFL player.

WrestleMania 40 start time

WrestleMania 40 night one will begin at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. WrestleMania night two will start at 7 p.m. ET Sunday.

How to watch WrestleMania 2024

WrestleMania 40 can be streamed on Peacock, but you must have their premium or premium-plus subscription to watch. Internationally, it will be available on WWE Network.

How to catch WWE's biggest event without cable

The only way to stream WrestleMania is through Peacock. The streaming service discontinued its free trial option so the only available Peacock plans are:

  • Premium: Stream with ads for $5.99/month of $59.99 for a full year

  • Premium Plus: Stream ad-free and catch local NBC channels as well as downloadable content for $11.99/month or $119.99 for a full year

  • Student Discount: Get the Premium plan for only $1.99/month for 12 months

WrestleMania 40 match card, schedule for Night 1

Matches not in order.

  • The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins to determine stipulations on Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match.

  • Women's World Championship match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch.

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn.

  • Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso.

  • Six-pack ladder match for Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: Finn Bálor and Damian Priest (c) vs. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Miz and R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods vs. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller vs. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.

  • Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill and Naomi vs. Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, and Kairi Sane).

  • Rey Mysterio and Andrade vs. Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio.

WrestleMania 40 Night 1 predictions

  • The Rock and Roman Reigns defeat Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins.

  • Women's World Championship match: Rhea Ripley defeats Becky Lynch.

  • WWE Intercontinental Championship match: Sami Zayn defeats Gunther.

  • Jey Uso defeats Jimmy Uso.

  • Six-pack ladder match for Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship: Austin Theory and Grayson Waller defeat Finn Bálor and Damian Priest, Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, The Miz and R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, Austin Theory and Grayson Waller and Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.

  • Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill and Naomi defeats Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, and Kairi Sane).

  • Rey Mysterio and Andrade defeat Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio.

WrestleMania 40 stage

The WrestleMania stage this year is extra large, with a giant XL on it to commemorate it being the 40th WrestleMania. There are giant screens and on top of it is the word “WrestleMania.”

WWE WrestleMania set reveal of WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field.
WWE WrestleMania set reveal of WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Why is WrestleMania two nights?

The first 35 WrestleManias all happened on one night, but that changed in 2020.

When COVID-19 resulted in WrestleMania 36 being held behind closed doors, WWE took advantage by booking as many matches as possible and stretching it over two nights. It was a success, and when fans returned for WrestleMania 37 in 2021, WWE opted to keep the two-day format and it’s been that way ever since.

Having WrestleMania across two nights was also a relief for fans. When it was just one night, WrestleMania would last around eight hours, and it became hard for fans to maintain the hype in the stadium, while also creating logistical challenges in the host city. With more and more matches worthy of being on the event card, it only made sense to make it a two-day event.

WrestleMania 40 weather

It’ll be a cold night inside Lincoln Financial Field for WrestleMania 40. Temperatures are expected to be 50 degrees when the show begins, according to AccuWeather. With winds up to 15 miles per hour, it will feel like 40 degrees.

By the end of the show, temperatures will be in the mid-40s and it will feel like 36 degrees.

The Rock returns to WWE

For the first time in eight years, The Rock will be competing in a WWE match.

The Rock will be competing in the main event match of night one and it will be a tag team match. He will team up with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins.

The Rock and Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins will impact Night 2 match

The tag team match won't be a regular match, but it will have consequences for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match on Night 2.

If Rhodes and Rollins win, then The Bloodline, the faction spearheaded by Reigns that now includes The Rock, will be barred from the ringside during the championship match. If The Rock and Reigns win, then the match will be under Bloodline rules — a no disqualification match — which means The Bloodline can interfere however it wants. If that happens, The Rock said he will do "everything" to make sure Rhodes doesn't win the title.

Andrade steps in to help Rey Mysterio

The last change to the WrestleMania card came on Friday during “Smackdown.”

Dragon Lee was scheduled to team up with Rey Mysterio against Santos Escobar and Dominik Mysterio on night one. But during a backstage segment, Lee was attacked by an unknown person and suffered an injury.

After the Zelina Vega vs. Elektra Lopez match, Dominik Mysterio and Escobar attacked Rey Mysterio and asked Andrade to assist. Andrade opted out and instead attacked the people he appeared to align with and put himself with Vega and the WWE Hall of Famer.

Later in the night, Rey Mysterio was informed Lee was unable to compete, putting him out of a tag partner. But Andrade stepped up and said he will be his partner for the match.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: WWE WrestleMania 40 highlights: Winners on night one