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WWE WrestleMania 38: Nights 1 and 2

credit to: Tom’s Guide

THE BIGGEST EVENT OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HAS FINALLY ARRIVED! The electricity, the animosity, the excitement was in the air! And my god did both nights deliver in not only entertainment but as well as memorable moments. I have plenty to talk about, so let’s jump on in!

Match 1: SmackDown Tag Team Title Match; The Usos (c) vs Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura. (Rating:2.75/5)

Night 1 starts off hot with the blue brand’s tag titles on the line! The Usos are the longest reigning tag champions for SmackDown and they definitely had a huge obstacle in the form of Boogz and Nakamura. The match started off hot with Shinsuke getting the upper hand on an Uso, up until Rick Boogs made his way in the match. The man did his usual spots of showcasing his freakish strength and at one point he had both Jimmy and Jey on top of his shoulders but unfortunately his knee seemed to have buckled because Boogz had lost his balance, sustaining an injury. A double superkick followed by an Uso Splash on Nakamura later and the champs retain via pinfall. This match wasn’t boring nor was it bad by any means but everything did go downhill when Boogz had torn his ACL. Hope for a speedy recovery from the man!

Match 2: Drew McIntyre vs Happy Corbin. (Rating:3.25/5)

Regardless of how asinine the buildup to this was, the match itself was rather great and seemed worth the wait! Both Drew and Corbin are phenomenal wrestlers so I knew they were capable of putting on quite a clinic. Nothing too eventful happened in this match, however history was made: Drew McIntyre became the first (and hopefully the ONLY) man to EVER kick out of Baron Corbin’s End of Days finisher to the biggest shock out of both Corbin and Moss. One Future Shock DDT and Claymore Kick to Corbin later, McIntyre was able to pick up the win! Hopefully this marked the end of this feud.

Match 3: Tag Team Match; Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs Logan Paul and the Miz. (Rating:3/5)

The first of two celebrity matches at WrestleMania this year, and man was Paul able to prove the haters wrong! He channeled his inner Eddie Guerrero in this match: he hit the Three Amigo suplexes to Rey Mysterio and then followed to hit the legend with a BEAUTIFUL Frog Splash dive! Dominik Mysterio, without a doubt, was the second man in this match to have really shine in this. He also channeled his second dad in Eddie Guerrero with beautiful flips and dives. The Mysterios were able to hit a double 619 on Paul and had seemed to have the match won until the Miz was able to break up the pin and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on the young Dominik, allowing Paul to capitalize and get the victory for the heel team! The heels celebrated and all seemed to have ended well for them!… until Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on Logan… for an unclear reason. Weird post match assault but regardless, this was really good.

Match 4: Raw Women’s Championship Match; Becky Lynch vs Bianca Belair. (Rating:4/5)

Women’s wrestling has bad quite the weekend, and MAN did this deliver! Vindication for Bianca Belair as she was able to dethrone Becky Lynch by recapturing the Raw Women’s Championship following the events of last year’s SummerSlam show. Without a doubt this was better in comparison to Belair’s match at last year’s WrestleMania when she dethroned Sasha Banks to capture the SmackDown women’s championship. Amazing chemistry between the two performers. Both were definitely aware of the other’s moves and with a KOD, Belair was able to capture her second women’s championship to an outstanding ovation! Hope for a lengthy title run for her.

Match 5: Seth Rollins vs CODY RHODES!!!! (Rating:5/5)

“Out the curtain, lights go up, I’m home. WOAHHHHHH!” After what felt like an eternity of speculation and rumors, the man that Vince McMahon “personally selected” (in storyline, of course) was none other than the American Nightmare himself, Cody Rhodes! Completed with the familiar Downstait song, Kingdom, Rhodes had triumphantly made his WWE return for the first time in 6 years to one of the loudest pops throughout the course of this weekend at WrestleMania. And this match with Seth Rollins was not a squash match. Instead the two phenomenal athletes had gone the distance and wrestled a 20 or so minute match that was of pure beauty. Near fall after near fall, counter after counter and ultimately it was Cody with multiple Cross Rhodes and a Bionic Elbow similarly to his father the late great Dustin Rhodes that picked up the win against Rollins. This feud is barely getting started and I cannot wait to see how Rhodes changes the landscape once again.

Match 6: SmackDown Women’s Championship Match; Charlotte Flair (c) vs Ronda Rousey. (Rating:3.5/5)

Unpopular opinion but I very much enjoyed this match! I felt it was on par with their first encounter back in 2018 at Survivor Series. And we actually got a clear winner!… sort of. Charlotte was able to retain after pinning Rousey but at the cost of the challenger getting distracted after the referee was taken out in the match. With a big boot to Ronda, Flair got the pin after the ref had woken up. A really weak ending to an otherwise phenomenal match! Both women really put their focus on their technical side of the move-set to take one another to the limit. Ankle Locks, Armbars and Figure Four Leg Locks: this match had it all and it’s one I’d revisit in the future!… but the sudden finish was the downside of it.

Match 7 (Night 1 Main Event): Kevin Owens vs Stone Cold Steve Austin. (Rating:4/5)

This was absolutely insane to even put to words. For the first time in 19 years, Steve Austin actually WRESTLED a match. It wasn’t a squash match, it wasn’t a brawl, it wasn’t anything like that. Kevin Owens challenged Stone Cold to a No Holds Barred Match and Austin accepted. Not only that but he took bumps! Like, actual bumps. Suplexes, chair shots to the back, heck he even took his own Stunner finisher from KO. Austin looked absolutely insane and he did well for someone that hadn’t wrestled for nearly two decades. Stomping mud-holes, drinking beers and dropping Owens on the stack of dimes he calls a neck! With two WrestleMania-sized Stunners, Austin got the pinfall victory in the main event of Night 1. This was more surreal than Cody’s return, by a long shot.

Match 8 (Night 2 Opener): Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship; RK-Bro (c) vs Street Profits vs Alpha Academy. (Rating:3.75/5)

It’s now Sunday which means it’s night number two, and what better way to kick off the second half of an already memorable WrestleMania than the triple threat tag title match! All 6 men had their moments to shine throughout the match: Orton and Riddle with their impressive RKOs, Street Profits with their high octane offense and beautiful athleticism as well as Alpha Academy’s unorthodox offense. Riddle and the Viper successfully retained the gold, and it truly seems that they’ve beaten every single tag team Raw has to offer. Wonder who’d be gutsy enough to step up.

Match 9: Omos vs Bobby Lashley. (Rating:2.75/5)

An impromptu match that had very little buildup considering the fact the only confrontation that happened was on last week’s episode of Raw. However even with the very little buildup, this match delivered! Wasn’t that amazing, but it wasn’t boring and it certainly did entertain me. This was Omos’s first solo match on the WrestleMania card and seeing him compete against a former WWE champion on perhaps the biggest stage in all of pro wrestling, the 7 footer certainly delivered. Lashley wins this bout after delivering a HUGE suplex on the colossus known as Omos for the pinfall victory. I’m very curious to see where this feud goes.

Match 10: Johnny Knoxville vs Sami Zayn. (Rating:3.75/5)

They don’t call it “sports entertainment” for nothing, ladies and gentlemen. This was the second of the celebrity matches that Mania had to offer this year and this certainly was much more fun and exciting than Logan Paul’s tag match with the Miz. Goofy antics, appearances from the other Jackass crew, MOUSE TRAPS COVERING A TABLE, this match had it all! Knoxville took spots left and right and Sami definitely made Johnny look good in the ring as well: even took a body slam from Wee Man which was wickedly hilarious yet memorable! After getting a giant mouse trap, Knoxville and the rest of Jackass were able to get Sami stuck in the contraption; allowing Johnny to score the pinfall victory in a creative way.

Match 11: Edge vs AJ Styles. (Rating:4/5)

The dream matches never stop. An even match between two of the best wrestlers that Monday Night Raw has to offer between a hall of famer and a first ballot hall of famer in AJ Styles. The crowd was evenly split between both Edge and AJ. Similarly to the Charlotte/Ronda match in Night 1, this match was amazing!… yet it had to have a weird ending. AJ was setting up for a Phenomenal Forearm on the Rated R Superstar but a face from Styles’ past got involved. Causing a distraction, Damian Priest was able to give Edge the chance to be able to recover and hit AJ with a Spear out of midair for the pinfall victory. It seems now that Edge and Priest are going to be creating their own stable over on the Raw side. Now I wonder whom else could possibly join.

Match 12: Pat McAfee vs Austin Theory. (Rating:3.5/5)

No words can describe how absolutely INSANE this match was! McAfee put on the performance of his lifetime by putting on quite the clinic on Theory. However Austin was also having his moment in the spotlight as he was the one who took control majority of the match. Pat was able to get the sneaky roll-up and pinned Austin for the three count to a loud ovation. Following the match, Vince McMahon himself seemed that he wanted a piece of Pat McAfee, and his wish was granted… in the form of another impromptu match in which the 76 year old McMahon pinned Pat McAfee for the victory in the second to last match at WrestleMania. Theory and McMahon continued to attack the prone McAfee which led another Austin to come out! Stone Cold came out and stomped mud-holes on both Theory and McMahon; resulting in everybody receiving Stunners. This was the most surreal moment of Night 2 this past weekend, but kudos to both McMahon and Stone Cold to having (hopefully not) one final face to face confrontation.

Main Event: Winner Takes All; Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar. (Rating:3.5/5)

The final match of WrestleMania 38 is here. Brock Lesnar, WWE Champion. Roman Reigns, Universal Champion; only one man can walk away the winner. This was quick, and this was hard-hitting. Lesnar spent the beginning of the match but Reigns wasn’t going to take this lying down. Superman Punches and Spears, Lesnar couldn’t go down. One really sick looking counter to a Spear was when Lesnar locked in a Kimura Armbar, practically giving Roman a really nasty looking ball near his shoulder. However no matter how many F5’s, Reigns didn’t give up and after a Spear to the back of Brock’s torso, Reigns pinned the Beast Incarnate and became the NEW Undisputed Universal WWE champion.

Final rating:4.75/5