|Date: April 3, 2022
|Venue: AT&T Stadium |City: Dallas, Texas
|tweet me: @bastionblogger
Jesse James Decker kicks off the show singing America The Beautiful and fair play, she’s good.
Next up is a recap of Saturday night’s action followed by Mark Wahlberg hyping up tonight’s matches.
Jimmy Smith welcomes us to night 2 of Wrestlemania 38 but Triple H’s music then hits and out walks The Game! Triple H welcomes us to Wrestlemania and a load of pyro blasts off. Triple H leaves his boots in the ring, symbolising the end of Triple H’s in-ring career. Mike Rome introduces Gable Steveson who is sat at ringside.
RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (c) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) – Raw Tag Team Championship triple threat match
Background: Randy ORton and Riddle carried the Raw Tag Team Championships since Summerslam last year but on the road to Wrestlemania would lose the titles to Alpha Academy. Orton and Riddle would then win the titles back but a triple threat match with a super intense The Street Prophets would be announced for Wrestlemania.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these three teams.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Randy Orton is 7-10, Riddle is 0-1, Otis is 1-0, The Street Profits are 1-0 and Chad Gable wrestles at Wrestlemania for the first time tonight.
Match: Montez Ford, Riddle and Chad Gable kick off the match but soon all six men are in the ring until Otis is the last man standing. All six men then go at it again, until they leave Gable and Ford in the ring. Montez Ford then dives over the ringpost and takes out the rest of the field! Chad Gable then takes out everyone with a moonsault. The Alpha Academy takes control from here against Riddle. Gable hits a massive monkey flip on Montez who then tags out to Dawkins who picks up the pace. Riddle hits a bro to sleep on Dawkins and then makes the hot tag to Orton! Orton is super fired up, hitting side slams on Ford and Gable onto the announce desk. Orton and Riddle hit hangmans DDT on the Profits. Gable hits a top rope bulldog on Montez Ford, off Otis’ shoulders. All hell breaks loose now. The Profits hit a double team blockbuster on Gable for a near fall. Dawkins counters an RKO from Orton and hits him with a sky high. Ford goes to the top but Riddle hits him with an RKO off the top! Gable then comes off the top but Orton hits him with an RKO on the way down for the three.
Result: RK-Bro retain the Raw Tag Team Championships by pinfall.
Review: This was a really fun way to kick off the show. You have six very talented wrestlers in this match all with completely different styles. But they went all out tonight, it had a great pace to it and the crowd were particularly hot for Randy Orton who got the pinfall to win the match. This RK-Bro tag team is really working for me and it helps that you can see Orton is loving it.
After the match The Street Profits pour drinks for RK-Bro and Gable Steveson. Chad Gable slaps the drink out of Gable Steveson’s hand, tells him to shoooosh and then gets hit with a belly to belly suplex.
There’s a recap for Saturday’s Wrestlemania.
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
Background: Omos has dominated the Raw roster since he debuted in the WWE. When there looked like there was no challenge left for him, former WWE Champion Bobby Lashley returned to challenge him to a match at Wrestlemania.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Bobby Lashley is 2-3 at Wrestlemania, Omos is 1-0.
Match: Omos dominates in the early stages, fighting off any attempt from Lashley. Bobby keeps getting back up but Omos continues to throw him around. Bobby avoids an attack in the corner and takes control but can’t apply the hurt lock. Omos launches Lashley out of the ring but Bobby continues to fight back, going up top but Omos catches him and throws him to the mat before applying a bear hug. Lashley breaks out and hits a suplex and a spear to the kidneys before hitting on more spear for the win.
Result: Bobby Lashley wins by pinfall.
Review: This match was pretty much what I expected it to be. Omos is a big old boy and there’s only one type of match you can have with him and this was it. I love Lashley, he’s so good so I am glad he won. Omos’ momentum come to a stop, how will he bounce back from this? This match was ok, it wasn’t terrible but it’s not one I’d rush back to watch.
There’s a VT about WWE’s charity work.
Video package next for Johnny Knoxville and Sami Zayn.
Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn – Anything goes match
Background: At Day 1, Jackass actor and stuntman Johnny Knoxville announced that he would be participating in the men’s Royal Rumble match. Sami Zayn took issue of this, claiming that Knoxville was not qualified to compete, nor did he earn the opportunity. After Zayn lost his match on the following SmackDown, Knoxville ran down to the ring and threw Zayn over the top rope, and ring announcer Mike Rome then announced that Knoxville had officially qualified for the Royal Rumble match, much to Zayn’s displeasure. The two faced off in the Royal Rumble match where Zayn eliminated Knoxville. After Zayn had invited himself to the red carpet premiere of Jackass Forever, for which he was kicked out, Knoxville then invited himself to Zayn’s celebration for winning the Intercontinental Championship. Knoxville challenged Zayn for the title at WrestleMania 38, but Zayn declined. During Zayn’s championship defence on the March 4 episode, Knoxville distracted Zayn, costing him the title. An enraged Zayn then challenged Knoxville to a match at WrestleMania 38, which Knoxville accepted. After Knoxville shared Zayn’s phone number, causing a multitude of people attempting to contact Zayn, Zayn changed the stipulation to an Anything Goes match at WrestleMania and Knoxville accepted.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two men.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Sami Zayn is 1-3, Johnny Knoxville wrestles at Wrestlemania for the first time tonight.
Match: Johnny Knoxville is once again wearing gear similar to Andy Kaufman’s gear back in the day. The bell rings and Sami hits Knoxville with a helluva kick right off the bat. Sami then antagonises the rest of the Jackass crew at ringside before turning around into a face full of fire extinguisher from Knoxville. Zayn lays into Knoxville with a cookie tray, crutch and trash can. Zayn reaches under the ring and gets zapped by a mouse trap. It turns out there’s a table full of them! Zayn then suplexes Knoxville through a different table. Zayn attempts another helluva kick but Knoxville sprays an airhorn to put the brakes on. Chris Pontius gets in the ring, rips off his clothes and dances into Zayn who wipes him out. Wee Man then appears from under the ring and lays into Zayn, even bodyslamming the former Intercontinental Champion! Knoxville hits a tornado DDT for a near fall. Wee Man pulls out some sort of kicking device from under the ring but Zayn kicks him in the face.
Sami goes to the top but Knoxville sets off pyro on the ringpost which crotches him. Sami falls to the mat and Knoxville throws a bowling ball between his legs. Knoxville then continues the punishment, using the kicking device to Sami’s balls. Knoxville pulls out a taser, Sami runs but right into a giant swinging hand! Knoxville then throws Zayn through the mousetrap table. The rest of the Jackass crew throw a giant mousetrap into the ring and after a little bit of struggling Knoxville traps Zayn in the mousetrap and pins him for the three! Jesus, what a match!
Result: Johnny Knoxville wins by pinfall.
Review: This was insane. You just don’t see matches like this nowadays. But man it was perfect. It was so much fun. Johnny Knoxville gets the win, which was a result I’m not sure I was expecting but Sami Zayn played his part perfectly.
We’re shown Drew McIntyre beating Happy Corbin from last night.
Carmella & Zelina Vega (c) vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler – Fatal four way match for the women’s tag team championships
Background: Originally supposed to be a straight up tag team match between the champions and Sasha Banks & Naomi, the other two teams would get added on the road to Wrestlemania.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these four teams.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Carmella is 0-2, Sasha Banks is 0-5, Naomi is 1-3, Liv Morgan is 0-1, Rhea Ripley is 1-1, Shayna Baszler is 1-1, Natalya is 1-5 and Zelina wrestles at Wrestlemania for the first time tonight.
Match: Rhea Ripley kicks off the match against Sasha Banks. Now this is a one on one match I’d like to see. It’s a fun start with both girls looking for their finishers. All hell breaks loose with all eight women going at it. Liv Morgan hits a terrible suicide dive. Morgan is looking for her first PPV victory tonight. She hits oblivion on Banks but Natalya tags herself in. It’s hard to tell who’s legal in this match at times. All hell breaks loose again and all 8 girls go at it. Zelina hits a hell of a moonsault on Ripley. There’s two superplexes which involved all eight girls. There’s a nice Rip-tide/backstabber combo from Rhea and Liv on Naomi. Sasha hits a frog splash on Carmella for a near fall and then locks on the Banks statement but Zelina pulls her partner out of the ring. Sasha and Naomi then hits a double team backstabber/facebuster on Carmella for the win!
Result: Sasha Banks and Naomi win the women’s tag team championships by pinfall.
Review: This was a good match! It was well laid out and most of the girls were given their time to shine. Sasha Banks and Naomi winning made sense, they have felt like a proper team and there’s plenty of history with them. They should raise the stock of the titles too. A fun match here.
We’re shown highlights of the match between The Mysterio’s and Miz & Logan Paul from last night.
There’s a video package for AJ Styles vs. Edge.
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Background: On the February 21 episode of Raw, Edge made his first post-Royal Rumble appearance where he issued an open challenge for WrestleMania 38. The following week, Edge came out to see who would answer his challenge, which was accepted by AJ Styles. Edge then stated he was glad Styles accepted as it was a match he had been wanting; however, he wanted the “pitbull” AJ Styles who reigned as WWE Champion, not the AJ Styles who had been Omos’ tag team partner for the majority of the past year. Edge then turned heel and attacked Styles, after which, a conflicted Edge performed two con-chair-tos on Styles.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: AJ Styles is 4-2, Edge is 7-5.
Match: Edge has a very cool entrance on a throne through a ring of fire. It’s a back and forth start to the match with Edge attempting a spear but Styles moving out of the way. Styles looks for a springboard 450 but Edge gets his knees up. Edge takes control from there. AJ runs at Edge at one point, Edge sidesteps and Styles hits the middle turnbuckle hard. Edge avoids a Pele kick and locks on an STF but Styles gets to the ropes. Styles starts a comeback but gets hit with an impaler DDT. Styles suplexes Edge on the ring apron. AJ hits a springboard 450 for a near fall. Edge ducks a phenomenal forearm and AJ leapfrogs a spear before hitting a Styles clash for a near fall. AJ then looks for a phenomenal forearm but gets distracted by Damien Priest who has appeared at ringside. Styles hesitates and when he attempts the move he gets hit with a spear from Edge! Edge hooks the leg and gets the 3. After the match Damien Priest stands with Edge before leaving with him.
Result: Edge wins by pinfall.
Review: This was an interesting match, I think it will divide people, some will love it, some will hate it. I think it went too long and was a little slow in parts. I do think it was a good match but I didn’t love it. It’ll be interesting to see how Damien Priest fits in with Edge going forward.
There’s an ad for WWE replica titles.
Tonight’s attendance is 70,453.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus & Ridge Holland)
Background: This all started with Sheamus and his friends stealing the quad-bike that Big E had gifted Kofi Kingston. Ridge Holland would then break the neck of Big E when hitting him with a belly to belly suplex on the outside of the ring. Xavier Woods would return to Smackdown a week later and a tag match was scheduled for Wrestlemania.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two teams.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Kofi is 2-8 at Wrestlemania, Xavier Woods is 0-3, Sheamus is 3-6 and Ridge Holland makes his Wrestlemania debut tonight.
Match: Sheamus and Ridge Holland attack New Day as soon as they get into the ring. New Day are wearing Big E inspired gear tonight. Kofi and Ridge officially start the match and Kingston hits trouble in paradise straight away before Sheamus pulls him out of the ring. New Day keep Sheamus out of the ring but Sheamus hits Kofi with a brogue kick outside the ring. Butch then gets up on the apron and Sheamus nails Woods with a brogue kick. Holland hits Woods with northern grit and that’s enough for the three.
Result: Sheamus and Ridge Holland win by pinfall.
Review: This was very short. It’s a big win for Sheamus and Ridge who was making his Wrestlemania debut tonight. I expect this rivalry to continue.
There’s a recap of Cody Rhodes returning last night.
The Undertaker is out next. He poses and leaves. There’s then an ad for some Undertaker merchandise.
Video package next for Pat McAfee and Austin Theory.
Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory
Background: On March 3, 2022, WWE Chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon made a rare media appearance for a live interview on The Pat McAfee Show. During the interview, McMahon offered Pat McAfee a match at WrestleMania 38. McAfee primarily served as the color commentator on SmackDown, but gladly accepted and McMahon stated that he would find him an opponent. On the following night’s episode of SmackDown, Raw’s Austin Theory, who had been under the tutelage of McMahon for the past several weeks, revealed himself as McAfee’s opponent at WrestleMania 38. This marked McAfee’s first match since NXT TakeOver: WarGames in December 2020.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two men.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Theory is 0-1, Pat McAfee makes his in-ring Wrestlemania debut tonight.
Match: Vince McMahon is out first and introduces Theory who comes out and takes a selfie with him. Pat McAfee comes out to Seven Nation Army with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders and punts a ball into the crowd. It’s a back and forth start to the match as Pat comes out of the blocks quickly. Theory soon takes control and hits a suplex but tries for another which McAfee counters. Pat grabs a headset and commentates on his own match as he beats up Theory on the outside. The crowd are so hot for Pat McAfee tonight. He goes up top but Theory avoids the swanton. Theory goes up top, Pat goes with him but Theory shrugs him off just for Pat to land on his feet. McAfee hits a superplex for a near fall. McAfee counters a-town down and rolls Theory up for the three!
Result: Pat McAfee wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a fun match. It wasn’t a great one but the crowd was really into it and Pat McAfee is so over. He’s the best commentator in the game right now and brings a lot of energy to his broadcasts so I’m glad the crowd bought that energy to his match. McAfee gets a huge win which may hurt Theory a little.
Vince McMahon isn’t happy and starts stripping off on the outside. He then gets in the ring and it looks like we’re getting a match between Pat McAfee and Vince McMahon. Austin Theory attacks Pat from behind and the referee calls for the bell!
Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon
Previous PPV matches: This is a first.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Pat McAfee is 1-0, Vince McMahon is 0-4.
Match: Vince McMahon hits a couple of soft clotheslines and Pat sells like a trooper. McAfee looks to fire up but Theory crotches him around the ringpost. Vince then kicks a football into Theory and pins him for the win.
Result: Vince McMahon wins by pinfall.
Review: This was terrible. Vince McMahon is a 75 year old man and he looked it here. Pat did a hell of a job selling for him but this was bad.
Vince McMahon and Theory embrace in the ring. Theory’s music hits and McMahon reacts like it was somebody else’s so I’m fully expecting Stone Cold to come out now. And right on cue out he comes. Stone Cold gives a massive stunner to Theory, man he sold that well. Austin grabs beers for him and McMahon, toasts and then stunners his old boss. McMahon was all over the pace and they made a right mess of it. Pat McAfee gets in the ring for a beer and also get a stunner. Another amazing sell there as he spits beer everywhere. The aftermath was far better than the match.
There’s a recap of Bianca Belair’s entrance from last night.
There’s a video package next for Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns – Winner takes all WWE Championship vs. Universal Championship match
Background: For many years, Paul Heyman had been the advocate for Brock Lesnar. After Lesnar took a hiatus following WrestleMania 36 in April 2020, Heyman became the special counsel for Roman Reigns that August, guiding him to win SmackDown’s Universal Championship. After Reigns retained the title at SummerSlam in August 2021, Lesnar returned to WWE and confronted Reigns, also implying that Heyman was still his advocate. Two months later at Crown Jewel, Reigns defeated Lesnar to retain the Universal Championship with help from The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso). A rematch was scheduled for the New Year’s event Day 1, and Reigns fired Heyman as he believed Heyman was working with Lesnar behind his back. The Day 1 match, however, was canceled as Reigns tested positive for COVID-19. Due to his status as a free agent, Lesnar was instead added to Raw’s multi-person WWE Championship match at Day 1 and won the title. On the following SmackDown, Lesnar, who reunited with Heyman, challenged Reigns to a champion vs. champion match, but Reigns declined. At the Royal Rumble, Lesnar lost his WWE Championship after interference from Reigns and a double cross from Heyman, who realigned with Reigns. Later that night, Lesnar entered into the Royal Rumble match and won to earn himself a world championship match of his choice at WrestleMania 38. On the following episode of Raw, Lesnar announced that he would challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship. Still wanting it to be a champion vs. champion match, and also wanting a rematch for losing his title, Lesnar was also added to the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber, which he won. It was then confirmed that their WrestleMania match would be a Winner Takes All match for the WWE Championship and Universal Championship, which was further stipulated as a championship unification match.
Previous PPV matches: This is the fifth PPV match between these two men, they have both beaten each other twice before.
Wrestlemania PPV Record: Roman Reigns is 6-2, Brock Lesnar is 5-5.
Match: The bell rings and Brock Lesnar removes his gloves. Brock Lesnar dominates in the early stages, throwing Roman Reigns around the ring. Outside the ring Brock gets distracted by Paul Heyman which allows Reigns to then spear Brock through the barricade. Back in the ring and Roman hits a big spear for a two count. Reigns hits two superman punches but Brock counters a third with a German suplex. Brock hits four more German suplexes but Reigns counters an F5 attempt and hits another superman punch. Lesnar counters a spear, hitting an F5 for a near fall. Roman counters a second F5 and spears Lesnar into the referee. Roman then hits a low blow and smashes Brock with the Universal Championship before pinning Brock for a near fall. Reigns hits another spear but Brock manages to counter it into a kimura lock! Reigns tells Heyman his shoulder is out but he hits Brock with another spear and pins him for the three!
Result: Roman Reigns wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a good match, I wouldn’t say their best but I enjoyed it. These matches are all about hard hitting moves and finishers. Roman got the win, he unifies the titles and it was definitely the right call. Roman Reigns is on fire at the moment and it’ll be a huge moment when somebody finally beats him. Brock will come back from this but I’m ready to see him with new opponents.
And that was Wrestlemania 38 Sunday. This was a show that for the first half was really quite good but then dipped in quality for the second half before finishing well. There were some really fun moments though. The three way tag that kicked off the show was a lot of fun, a match between six very good wrestlers. RK-Bro won the match and retained the titles as their push continues. Bobby Lashley then beat Omos in the kind of match I was expecting. It was fairly average which is what you tend to get with Omos. Bobby Lashley is amazing though and made the most of it, picking up the win too. Johnny Knoxville then beat Sami Zayn in a match that far surpassed my expectations. Talk about fun, this was just daft spot after daft spot. I loved the big hand and the mouse trap. I don’t even mind that Sami lost. He was the perfect opponent for Knoxville tonight.
The fatal four way tag team match was next with Naomi and Sasha Banks winning the titles. I expected this result to be honest, they were the right team to win and they’ll bring up the prestige of the titles. Edge then beat AJ Styles in a decent match but the interesting part is Damien Priest joining the side of Edge and helping him win. This alliance should be a good one and I think it’ll do Priest the world of good. AJ Styles doesn’t seem to get a lot of wins these days and it looks as though his days as a world champion could be behind him. Sheamus and Ridge Holland then beat New Day very quickly, not much more to say here.
Pat McAfee then beat Austin Theory before losing to Vince McMahon. This was bizarre. I loved the McAfee stuff against Theory, he was so over. Theory is a man on the rise and probably didn’t need to lose this cleanly but I’m kind of glad McAfee won. And then came the match with Vince McMahon which was just terrible. McMahon is in no shape to be wrestling matches. It was unnecessary but it’s a moment we’ll never forget. And in the main event Roman Reigns beat Brock Lesnar to before the undisputed WWE Universal Champion. This was a really solid match and had that big fight feel. I like Reigns winning, he’s unstoppable at the moment. It’s going to mean something big when he finally gets beaten. An interesting night of action which was more “fun” than it was high quality.
Overall Rating: 55/100 (ranked 302nd out of 411)
Match Of The Night: RK-Bro vs. Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy / Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville
Worst Match Of The Night: Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon
Surprise Of The Night: Vince McMahon challenges Pat McAfee
Worst Booking Of The Night: Vince McMahon and Pat McAfee
Superstar Of The Night: Roman Reigns
Wrestlemania 38 Sunday Will Be Remembered For: Sami Zayn & Johnny Knoxville and Vince McMahon in a match
And for this show I will give a combined rating for Wrestlemania 38.
Overall Rating: 58.75/100 (ranked joint 216th out of 411)
Match Of The Weekend: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair / Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes
Worst Match Of The Weekend: Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon
Surprise Of The Weekend: In-ring matches for Steve Austin and Vince McMahon
Worst Booking Of The Weekend: Vince McMahon returning to the ring
Superstar Of The Weekend: Cody Rhodes
Wrestlemania 38 Will Be Remembered For: The return of Cody Rhodes