Matt Hardy Lays Out Rationale For John Cena-Austin Theory WrestleMania 39 Match Placement

There's an old adage in wrestling that says if you can't close out the show in the main event, the next best thing is the opening bout, and that's a sentiment that AEW star Matt Hardy agrees with. Speaking on his podcast, "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy," the veteran shared his belief that John Cena vs. Austin Theory will hit the mark as the first match of WWE WrestleMania 39.

"[Cena is] going to boost the ratings, man," Hardy said. "He's going to make sure the WrestleMania buy ratings are up. I think it's going to be a fun spot for them, especially being the first match on WrestleMania. To me, I feel like if you can't be the last match if you're not the main event, then I'd just as assume be the first match because that's going to be red hot. The crowd hasn't seen anything and they're ready to go nuts."

The former 10-time WWE tag team champion also pointed out that Theory finds himself in a tough spot, having to deliver in such a high-pressure situation. However, Hardy felt confident the 25-year-old WWE star will "rise to the occasion" based on the quality of his recent performances.

Cena and Theory will open up the first night of WrestleMania 39 tomorrow at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. In recent years, memorable opening matches have included Bobby Lashley successfully defending the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre in 2021, Seth Rollins defeating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship in 2019, and Rollins defeating The Miz and Finn Balor in a Triple Threat for the WWE Intercontinental Championship the year before at WrestleMania 34. The veteran Cena and relative newcomer Theory are undoubtedly looking to get the show off on the right foot in the same memorable fashion.