Welcome to the WrestleMania 38 Sunday Reaction, where I offer my take on the second night of WWE WrestleMania action.
We open the show with Jessie James Decker doing a much better job with America the Beautiful.
It’s time to play the game as Triple H comes to the ring for his retirement speech. He doesn’t say anything but salutes the crowd and soaks in the chants. He welcomes us to WrestleMania before leaving. The parting shot shows his boots in the ring with the mic. It was a really nice way to allow Triple H says goodbye to the fans since his heart condition forced him into retirement. This was the only sendoff he could get. No final match, but it was a nice start to the night.
Our opening contest is the Raw Tag Team Championship triple threat match with RK-Bro defending against the Street Profits and Alpha Academy. The tag match was really good and a great choice for the opener. The action was hot throughout the match. They all pulled off some really great moves. The ending had Riddle RKO Ford off the top rope while Orton caught Gable coming off the top rope with an RKO to retain the titles. That was an amazing visual. Just remember, there is nothing like a WrestleMania RKO. After the match, the Street Profits wanted to have a WrestleMania toast and invited Gable Steveson to join them. Chad Gable knocked the cup out of Steveson’s hand so he could get destroyed. Steveson joins the four on the ramp for their toast. Great opening match.
Bobby Lashley takes on Omos next. The match was alright, given Omos’s limitations. Lashley knocked Omos off to hand him his first defeat. Let’s hope that was the end of the Omos experiment. Yes, he’s tall but did not improve while on his own.
Sami Zayn takes on Johnny Knoxville in an Anything Goes match next. If you were expecting a technical masterpiece, you came to the wrong match. Knoxville’s Jackass buddies randomly showed up and pulled the Jackass stunts out. This is really what the 24/7 title matches should be. This was awesome for what it was, a comedy match doing silly stuff. Knoxville won the match after pinning Zayn in a giant mousetrap. It was quite a sight to see.
Up next, Carmella and Queen Zelina defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships against the teams of Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, Natalya and Shayna Baszler, Naomi and Sasha Banks in a fatal four way match. Ripley and Morgan had a rather unique look for the match. The match wasn’t too bad. It had your usual and expected chaos throughout but they all did well. Sasha and Naomi picked up the expected win and the fans were happy about that. This marked Sasha’s first WrestleMania victory, so that was nice.
The highly anticipated Edge vs. AJ Styles match is up next. The match was really good and lived up to most expectations. The match was really, really good. Some may say it wasn’t as epic as they hoped it would be but you wouldn’t be disappointed either. It told a great story and left you wanting more. Damian Priest randomly popped up at the end to distract Styles so Edge picked up the win. I can see a series of rematches coming and they should be good. Priest is joining a stable lead by Edge so this should help step him up to the next level.
We have a graphics fail with the official attendance announced as 77,453 but the graphic said 78,453. Make up your minds, people!
The New Day took on Sheamus and Ridge Holland next in a true throwaway match. I’m happy they gave them the airtime for their Mania exposure but wow, this was not good. It was a nice touch for New Day to come out in Big E’s gear the night he won the WWE Championship. I’m guessing the injury to Big E making this a tag match instead of a six man tag really hurt the presentation/planning.
Mr. McMahon introduced Austin Theory as the future ahead of his match with Pat McAfee. Didn’t the last guy Vince call the future get beat up by Taryn Terrell and promptly released thereafter? Anywho, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders finally have a winner to escort out as they come out with McAfee. The match was pretty good, despite everyone trying to forget McAfee’s great NXT run. McAfee picked up the win after a successful deployment of the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! After the match, McAfee challenged McMahon to a match and we got it (unfortunately). Theory helped McMahon win, sadly. As Theory celebrated, glass shatters and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes his way to the ring about five minutes too late. Austin passes out stunners like he was Oprah. Theory with an epic over the top sell job. McMahon was absolutely botchtastic. McAfee got to drink the beers before a great stunner sell. Austin celebrated a little more before heading to the back.
It’s main event time with Brock Lesnar taking on Roman Reigns in a winner takes all match. The match was pretty good. They’ve had better ones in the past, though. It looked like Roman suffered a legit shoulder injury and they quickly ended the match with Roman picking up the win. The finish was very abrupt and didn’t make much sense move-wise. WrestleMania goes off the air with Roman standing tall after finally conquering the beast.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.
The Styles/Edge match was really good. It was definitely worthy of its first time ever dream match billing. The addition of Priest to Edge’s new stable could work out great for him in the long run.
The silliness of Knoxville/Zayn was what you would have expected and it was very entertaining. It’s a shame the 24/7 Title didn’t go this route. It may have been more interesting.
The New Day/Sheamus/Holland match just did not work. It was great that they got to go out and do it on Night Two, but it was super short and utterly forgettable.
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That’s all I’ve got, until next time.