Reviews

The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 38 Review – Saturday (Night 1)

wwe wrestlemania 38 night 1 review

It’s WrestleMania 38 night one featuring Steve Austin on the Kevin Owens Show, Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair, Seth Rollins vs. a mystery opponent and so much more.

It’s the fourth WWE Premium Live Event (or pay-per-view) of 2022 and this one is taking place over two nights just like the previous two years of WrestleMania.

This is a review for the Saturday Night 1 portion of WrestleMania only. There were no Kickoff Show matches. That’s fine with me. I don’t watch the Kickoff Show most of the time anyway.

WWE WrestleMania 38 (Saturday – Night 1)
From AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas
Saturday, April 2, 2022

There was a shot of the huge crowd in Dallas to open the show.

Country music singer Brantley Gilbert sang America The Beautiful. It was fine. I’ve certainly heard more enthusiastic versions of America The Beautiful in my life.

The introduction video was narrated by actor (and rapper back in the day) Mark Wahlberg. He was also in the video as well, so that was cool. He talked about some of the matches/interviews on part one.

There was a big display as the show started. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show screaming “STUPENDOUS” as loud as he possibly could.

Hello Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. They danced to “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC on the stage. No complaints there.

The Smackdown commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcomed us to the show. Pat was really excited for his first WrestleMania as an announcer in WWE. They are up first because the Smackdown Tag Team Titles are up first.

Rick Boogs did the introduction for his tag team partner Shinsuke Nakamura and they made their entrance for this title match. Pat McAfee did his usual dancing routine on the commentary table. The Usos were up next as the long-time Smackdown Tag Team Champions. They showed how Rick Boogs beat Jey Uso in a singles match to earn this title shot.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs

Good job by ring announcer Samantha Irvin making the championship introductions before the match. It’s her first WrestleMania. The Usos have been champions for 257 days.

Nakamura knocked down Jimmy with a kick followed by a running knee lift to the ribs while Jimmy was on the turnbuckle. Jey tagged in for a forearm smash to the chest while Jimmy held Nakamura. Jey was in control with an uppercut and both Usos pulled on the legs of Nakamura. Jimmy hit a spinning kick to the head. Nakamura slipped out of a body slam leading to a back heel kick to Jimmy’s face. Boogs tagged in against Jey with a double axhandle to the chest, Jey came back with a punch and Boogs caught Jey with a delayed vertical suplex for two. Boogs lifted up Jey, then Jimmy jumped on them and Boogs collapsed to the mat while grabbing his right leg. Nakamura got the tag and jumped over the top to both Usos on the floor. The referee was doing the “X” sign for Boogs meaning he was hurt while a doctor checked on Boogs. Nakamura hit a sliding German Suplex on Jey. Nakamura charged, but Jey stopped him with a superkick. Jimmy up top and he hit an Uso Splash for just a two count. The crowd popped for that nearfall. Jey tagged in, he held Nakamura by the hair and Jimmy hit a superkick. The Usos hit the 1D (1 and Done like the 3D) on Nakamura for the pinfall win at 6:55.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ** It was okay for a shorter match that likely was cut short due to Rick Boogs suffering a legit knee injury. I feel bad for Boogs in his first WrestleMania. I know he’s not known for being some great in-ring performer, but I like his personality and he’s been a cool addition to Nakamura’s act. I figured The Usos were retaining anyway, so the result is fine with me. The Usos are great champions and one of the best tag teams in WWE history.

The Usos celebrated the win while Nakamura checked on Boogs, who was being looked at by doctors, who got Boogs up to his feet.

A video aired about Sami Zayn’s story with Johnny Knoxville leading to their WrestleMania match on Sunday.

There was a video package that aired for Happy Corbin’s match against Drew McIntyre. They showed the Corbin story about how in 2021 he lost his money, he was bankrupt, his family left him and then after Money in the Bank last summer in Las Vegas, Corbin won a lot of money. Imagine that. Anyway, this feud with Corbin/Moss and Drew McIntyre has been going on since late 2021 and continued for the last three months.

Happy Corbin made his entrance with his buddy Madcap Moss. They showed a clip from Smackdown when Madcap Moss won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Corbin has not lost a singles match since he became “Happy” Corbin. Drew McIntyre made his entrance with Angela (named after his late mother) the sword. The pyro went off for Drew’s entrance and the crowd was hot for the former two-time WWE Champion.

Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin (w/Madcap Moss)

Drew was in control with a clothesline, then a chop, Corbin with a kick to the leg and Corbin ran the ropes with Drew following leading to a clothesline over the top to the floor. Drew drove Corbin into the ring apron. They were on the apron with Corbin sending Drew into the ring post. Corbin was in control after a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Corbin with a suplex followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Corbin worked over Drew with punches along with some celebrating while Moss was on the apron celebrating as well. Corbin yelled at Moss to get down, so Drew got back into it with a spinebuster. Drew got going with two clotheslines, Corbin slid under the ring and back in with Drew hitting a belly-to-belly suplex. Drew with a neckbreaker followed by a kip up back to his feet, which drew applause. Drew with a forearm to the face, then he charged and Corbin hit a Deep Six slam for two, which is what that move usually gets. Corbin wanted a Chokeslam, Drew got out of it and Drew went up top with a clothesline off the top. Drew did the 3-2-1 countdown leading to Corbin bailing to the floor. Drew ran the ropes leading to a somersault dive over the top onto Corbin & Moss. Drew nailed both guys, but he also took a big bump on his back as well. Drew with a belly to belly suplex on Moss on the floor. Drew went up top, jumped off with nothing, Corbin got out of it and Drew hit a headbutt. Drew wanted a Claymore Kick, Corbin moved and Corbin hit the End of Days slam. Cole said he believes that’s the first time anybody has kicked out End of Days. Corbin was screaming at referee Jessika Carr, but she told him it was just two. After Corbin’s complaining, Drew got back up with a Future Shock DDT. Drew did the 3-2-1 leading to the Claymore Kick for the pinfall win at 8:35.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: *** Good match. I know people don’t like Corbin, but he worked hard and kept up with Drew, who is awesome. Drew’s dive to the floor isn’t something he does all the time, which is smart by him. It’s impressive any time he does it. The big spot was Corbin hitting his End of Days finisher for only a two count. That’s a move nobody has ever kicked out of, so having Drew kick out at a WrestleMania is the right time to do it. WWE needs to push Drew to the top soon. Maybe save it for the summer, but the guy is so talented. They need him in the main event picture.

After the match, Drew had a staredown with Madcap Moss on the apron. Drew swung the sword, Moss moved out of the way and Drew hit the top rope, so then the top/middle ropes collapsed. Drew went over to his family at ringside (I believe that was his wife) to celebrate the win.

Analysis: Nice rope slicing there. It gives the ring crew something to do during the show.

They had commercials for Snickers, Cricket Wireless and WWE Shop.

A video package aired for the match between Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul. They had a long-term story going into this.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio made their entrance with Dominik wearing some gear that Eddie Guerrero wore when he was in Los Gringos Locos early in his career.

I don’t know how many more WrestleMania matches Rey Mysterio will have left, but I’m sure it is amazing for him getting to team with his son Dominik in front of a huge crowd at WrestleMania. Happy for them. The Miz and Logan Paul were up next. They were both wearing black/yellow gear. Logan Paul was wearing some expensive Pokemon card around his neck. Cool? I don’t know about Pokemon. I’m old. The Raw commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were on commentary for this Raw match.

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul

Miz worked over Rey a bit in the corner, Paul tagged in and punched Rey in the ribs a few times. Paul ran the ropes with Rey, he did a leapfrog and then Rey kicked Paul in the head. Dominik tagged in for a double team slam on Miz for two. Dominik drove Miz’s neck against the top rope and Dom hit a moonsault. Dominik jumped off the ropes with an armdrag/headscissors combo. Dominik jumped off the middle turnbuckle with a twisting dive onto Miz on the floor. Miz went after Rey on the floor, the referee was looking there and then Paul hit Dominik in the back. Paul hit a running powerslam on Dominik for two. Miz back in as Miz/Paul took turns kicking Dominik in the body for a two count. Miz with a backbreaker, Dominik with a backslide pin attempt and Miz sent Dominik into the turnbuckle. Paul back in with a boot to the face of Dominik. Paul hit a Blockbuster neckbreaker off the middle ropes for a two count. Corey Graves was going on and on about TikTok followers while bragging about Paul. It’s annoying, but he’s a heel announcer, so that’s the job. Dominik punched both guys to fight out of the corner and Dominik hit a Tornado DDT on Miz. Rey tagged in with a hurricanrana on Miz, then up top and a seated senton on Miz. Rey rolled through a pin attempt with a kick to the head. Rey with a shoulder tackle to the ribs and he went up top with a moonsault on Miz for a two count with Paul breaking up the pin. Dominik saved Rey from a double team by hitting a superkick and Rey got an inside cradle for two. Rey tripped Miz into the ropes, Miz back up and Rey hit a Tornado DDT for two. Rey hit two vertical suplexes in tribute to Eddie Guerrero, but Miz stopped the third one and sent Rey into the ring post. Paul tagged in with a kick that knocked down Rey. Paul hit a vertical suplex, then a second vertical suplex (the fans were booing loudly) and a third vertical suplex for the Three Amigos. Paul did a kip up back to his feet as the fans booed him. Paul went up top, he did a shake and he connected with a Frog Splash with Rey kicking out because Dominik was a bit slow to break up the pin. Dominik sent Paul out of the ring. Dominik hit a suicide dive on Miz on the floor. Rey with a headscissors that sent Paul into the ropes. Rey and Dominik hit a double 619. Rey hit a top rope splash. Miz tagged himself in at some point and slammed Dominik onto Rey. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Rey for the pinfall win at 11:15.

Winners by pinfall: The Miz & Logan Paul

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a good tag team match. I was genuinely impressed by Paul’s performance because he looked like he belonged in a wrestling ring. Paul showed that he belongs in WWE. Paul is a bigger guy, he moves well, he bumps fine and he did a lot of moves that looked credible. Dominik impressed me too. He looked better than he has in any match I’ve seen him in before. Rey Mysterio was great as usual while Miz did a great job as well. I enjoyed that.

After the match, The Miz celebrated with Logan Paul. While their arms were raised side by side, Miz stared at Paul and Miz gave Paul the Skull Crushing Finale. The fans seemed to cheer that since they didn’t like Paul.

Analysis: I don’t know why they did that other than to simply have Miz get heel heat for being an egomaniac. I’m not sure if Paul will be around again, but I guess if he is they might try him as a face against Miz. I guess we’ll see where it goes in the future.

A video package aired for Edge vs. AJ Styles on WrestleMania Sunday.

Stephanie McMahon was introduced to the crowd. Stephanie thanked the fans for being to celebrate this thing we all love. Stephanie said it is an honor to introduce a key member of the future of WWE. Stephanie introduced Olympic Gold Medallist Gable Steveson, who is already signed to a WWE contract last year. Big pop for Steveson, who also was a two-time NCAA Heavyweight Champion and Jimmy Smith called him the most dominant heavyweight in history.

Analysis: Gable Steveson is a name to remember for the future. Gable is going to be a big deal in WWE and he’ll be wrestling on TV within a few months now that he’s done college. I’m excited to see what he can do. At 21 years old (22 on May 31), he’s a building block for the future. No doubt about it.

A video aired about Young Rock, which is on NBC on Tuesdays.

The video package aired for the Raw Women’s Championship match between champion Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair. The video did a great job of covering the last year with Bianca becoming a champion at last year’s WrestleMania, losing it to Lynch at SummerSlam in August and all these months later, Belair has a shot to get a title back from Lynch.

“Big Time” Becky Lynch arrived in a truck that drove her onto the stage. Becky has a new hairstyle, she was dressed in black, stylish sunglasses and posed with her Raw Women’s Title.

There was a marching band from Texas Southern University that appeared on the stage and they were playing Bianca Belair’s theme song. That was a really cool entrance for Belair, who had a big smile on her face as she made her way down to the ring. The women stood in the ring as Mike Rome did a great job of doing the championship introductions.

Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair

Lynch with a forearm, she wanted a Manhandle Slam, Belair got out of it, she wanted the KOD, Lynch held onto the hair and Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam for a two count. Close nearfall as they did a spot similar to SummerSlam when Lynch beat Belair in a surprising way. Lynch kept on going for pin attempts, and she was frustrated by not being able to win. Belair got an inside cradle, Lynch went for a pin and Belair kicked out even though Becky had her foot on the ropes. Lynch hit a suplex for a two count. Lynch went up top, she jumped off with a moonsault, Belair moved and Belair went for an armbar. Lynch got out of that and they each went for pin attempts. They kept going for pin attempts again leading to multiple two counts. Lynch pulled Belair’s hair to pull Belair out of the ring. Lynch shoved Belair into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Lynch hit a Bexploder Suplex on Belair three times in a row for a two count. Lynch wrenched Belair’s arm leading to Belair going throat-first into the middle rope. Belair with a punch while on the apron, Lynch with a kick to the ropes and Belair was hung up against the ropes, so Lynch hit a leg drop to the back for a two count. Lynch applied a chinlock, Belair was able to get out of it and Lynch was able to pull Belair down off the ropes. Lynch went for an armbar on Belair, who powered out of it and they went tumbling over the top rope to the floor. They battled on the floor a bit with Belair delivering a suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Belair did multiple shoulder tackles to the ribs of Lynch. Belair blocked a kick, Belair tossed her down and a gutbuster into the knee got a two count for Belair. Lynch avoided a move off the ropes, Lynch on Belair’s shoulders and Lynch countered it into a two count. Belair with a move like a Glam Slam followed by Belair bouncing off the ropes with a standing moonsault for two. Belair went up top, Lynch met her with a punch and Belair had Lynch on her shoulders leading to Belair slamming Lynch across the top ropes. Belair hit a 450 Splash off the middle rope for one…two…and no! That was close. That’s an impressive move to do off the middle rope instead of the top rope, but Belair nailed it perfectly. Lynch to the apron, neckbreaker against the top rope and Lynch knocked Belair down with two kicks. Lynch went up top with a Molly Go Round kick to the head for a two count. The replay showed the heel of Becky’s foot hit Belair in the face around the eye. Belair was okay to continue as she hit a forearm to the jaw.

Lynch came back with a running elbow. Lynch charged right into Belair, who hit a spinebuster and a standing moonsault was attempted, but Lynch got the knees up. Belair got a rollup for two. Lynch countered a move for a two count, Belair countered a move for a two count and then Lynch went for a move off the ropes, but Belair caught her. Belair sent Lynch over the top to the floor in the same motion as KOD slam, but it was not as effective as doing it in the ring. Lynch was by the apron, she grabbed Belair’s hair and pulled on the hair to send her into the ring post. Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on the bottom half of the steel steps. The referee’s count was up to nine and Belair got back in before ten, which drew a pop. Lynch got a pin attempt for two. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for them. Lynch wanted a Manhandle Slam in the ring, Belair did a backflip to get out of it, Belair hit the KOD (Kiss of Death) slam and covered for the one…two…three! Huge pop for that! It went 19:14.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

Analysis: ****1/4 Great match by two talented women with a result that makes the fans happy. It was the right time for a title change after all these months of Belair chasing Lynch for the gold. Lynch dominated the first half of the match, Belair took a while to get going and once that happened the fans really got into it more. Lynch was desperately going for pin attempts throughout the match, then she hit that big move on the steel steps with the Manhandle Slam and it looked like maybe that was it. Nope. Belair kept on coming for more. I liked the finishing sequence with Lynch going for the Manhandle Slam, Belair flipped out of it and Belair hit her KOD finish to win clean. I liked that a lot. They shouldn’t kick out of a finish. Let’s have a finisher end the match and that’s what they did.

Bianca Belair celebrated with the Raw Women’s Title. The fans were cheering while the announcers did a great job of putting it over as a huge WrestleMania moment. I agree. Great moment.

Analysis: I’m really happy for Belair holding some gold again. Lynch was entertaining as a cocky heel champion, but this was the right time and person to win the title from Lynch. It was fun.

A video aired about Sasha Banks showing career highlights and things like that.

There was a video package about Seth Rollins freaking out about not having a WrestleMania. This past Monday, Seth was informed by Vince McMahon that he’ll have a WrestleMania match against an opponent of Vince’s choosing. Here we go.

There was a choir of kids on the stage singing the singalong part of Seth Rollins’ entrance. That led to “Burn it Down” with Seth “Freakin” Rollins making a spectacular entrance in black/blue attire. Rollins was all smiles as he ran around the ring with Graves calling it a spiritual experience.

Seth waited in the ring as there was a long pause and some pyro went off in the building. The lights went out in the building. That led to the familiar song “Kingdom” hitting in the arena and Cody Rhodes made his entrance rising from under the stage. Cody was introduced as “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. What a huge ovation.

Analysis: I’m so glad that the rumors and the reports are true. Cody is a talented guy in the prime of his career. I don’t love the neck tattoo, but he’s a good man and I’m happy to see him back in WWE. Cody left WWE in 2016 as a free agent, he did well in other companies, he helped to start AEW in 2019 and after his deal expired there earlier this year, he has chosen to sign with WWE. I’m happy for him and for WWE. It’s a great signing.

“The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

They ran the ropes, Cody hit an armdrag and Cody did a Stardust cartwheel while doing a hand gesture to say that’s no more. Rollins with a shoulder tackle, Cody with a kick to the gut and an uppercut punch. Rollins got a kick to the gut while going for a Pedigree, Cody slipped out, Cody wanted the Cross Rhodes, they kept avoiding eachother and they did a suplex spot going over the top to the floor. Big bump there for both guys. Rollins sent Cody back first into the ring apron. Cody grabbed the arm of Rollins and pulled him shoulder first into the ring apron. Cody applied an armbar on the left arm, then a short arm scissors submission on the left arm and Rollins rolled through to get out of it. Rollins to the ropes, Cody lifted the legs and delivered a kick to the midsection. Rollins landed on his feet leading to an enziguri kick. Cody did an arm-wringer to send Rollins into the mat. Cody went up top, he jumped off the top and Rollins hit a perfect dropkick to the ribs. Rollins with two running knees to the ribs and Rollins delivered a gutbuster where he drove Cody’s ribs into the knees. Rollins: “Welcome back to the big leagues, bitch.” Rollins hit him with a forearm to the back. Rollins applied a bearhug, Cody got out of that and Cody hit a snap powerslam. Cody with a running clothesline that sent Rollins over the top to the floor. Cody hit a suicide dive that sent Rollins over the commentary table at ringside. Cody sent Rollins back into the ring, Cody went up top and hit a bit of a moonsault that was more of a cross body block for a two count. Rollins left the ring, Cody went for a move off the ropes, but Rollins caught him and Rollins gave Cody a Powerbomb into the barricade at ringside. That was big bump.

Back in the ring, Rollins hit a springboard knee, a superkick to the jaw and Rollins hit a Falcon Arrow slam for a two count. Rollins went for The Stomp, Cody avoided it and Cody wanted Cross Rhodes, but Seth got out of it. Rollins went for a pin attempt, Cody got out of that and Cody hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker finisher on Rollins for one…two…and no! Seth got his left shoulder up. Cody went up top, Rollins was there to shove Cody in the ass to trip him up and Cody was seated on the top rope. Cody with back elbows that knocked down Rollins. Rollins got back up and hit an inverted Superplex followed by a reverse suplex for a two count. Rollins went up top for a Phoenix Splash, Cody avoided it and Cody teased going for a Pedigree, but Rollins got out of it. Cody hit a double underhook Powerbomb. Cody went up top and hit a Cody Cutter off the ropes for just one…two…and no! Rollins got his shoulder up. That was a great nearfall spot. Cody was frustrated about only getting a two count, Rollins got back up and Rollins hit a Pedigree for two. Both guys were selling fatigue since it’s been a long match and they were exchanging punches. Cody with punches, a kick to the face, Rollins with a kick to the injured ribs and Rollins said that this was his company. Rollin with a rolling elbow followed by a forearm to the back. Rollins wanted more, but Cody held on and hit a Cross Rhodes! Cody held on for a second Cross Rhodes! Cody hit some Dusty Rhodes-like punches and the bionic elbow to the head! The fans were going wild! Cody let out a scream looking up at the heavens and Cody hit another Cross Rhodes on Rollins for the pinfall win at 21:40!

Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: ****1/2 That was an incredible match. I don’t know if I’m going to rate it higher when I watch it again, but I really enjoyed it. Cody winning was obviously the right call and I don’t think Rollins was hurt by the loss since it took four Cross Rhodes moves to put Rollins away. I loved the Dusty tribute as well and we know Dusty meant a lot to Rollins too, so I’m sure Seth loved being a part of that. I was a bit surprised that Cody did the Cody Cutter since it’s similar to the RKO and we know WWE likes protecting moves, but I think in a big match it’s fine to use. There were a few moments where it looked like Rollins might win although I thought it was unlikely that Cody was going to lose this match. Cody looked sharp even though he’s been out of the ring for a couple of months. I think he might have hurt a rib or something, but maybe it was just selling and he fought through it. These guys absolutely crushed it. It’s an outstanding match that I recommend if you missed it. Doing a rematch at the next Premium Live Event makes sense to me.

Cody celebrated the win on the turnbuckles and he kissed the middle of the ring as if to say he was back home in WWE again. Cody celebrated some more.

Analysis: You can tell it was an emotional moment for Cody. I’m sure when he talks about it he’s going to share what he felt. The response for Cody was incredible. I loved that WWE gave him the song, the “American Nightmare” nickname and everything else because Cody has evolved from what he was in WWE in 2016, so having this version of Cody in WWE will be fresh moving forward.

A video package aired for the 2022 Hall of Fame Ceremony from Friday night. The Undertaker’s speech was great. It was long, but I certainly didn’t mind and the fans loved it too. I didn’t write a review. I’m just saying I liked it a lot.

They introduced the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2022: The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott), Shad Gaspard’s family, Queen Sharmell, Vader’s family and The Undertaker was last. Huge ovation for The Undertaker, who was dressed in a black suit. The fans were very loud for Taker, which is to be expected and well deserved.

Analysis: Cool moment right there. I know Undertaker said “never say never” at the end of his Hall of Fame speech, but I really don’t think he should wrestle again. Maybe a cinematic fight like the Boneyard Match is doable. Even that I think he should avoid doing it. He doesn’t need to do anything more.

There was a video about Pat McAfee talking about his passion for pro wrestling, which led to him being hired by WWE as an announcer on Smackdown. It also showed how his WrestleMania match was set up against Austin Theory on WM Sunday.

The Smackdown announce team took over again with Michael Cole and Pat McAfee said that Rick Boogs has a torn quadriceps and torn patella that needs surgery.

Analysis: That’s a brutal injury. Best wishes to Rick in his rehab in coming back from that. It could be the rest of the year out of action for him or close to that.

The attendance was announced by Mike Rome: 77,899 people. As we say every year, WWE makes up the number to be higher than what it really is.

A video package aired for Charlotte Flair defending the Smackdown Women’s Title against Royal Rumble winner Ronda Rousey.

Ronda Rousey made her entrance first as the challenger. Charlotte Flair was up next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion dressed in a blue robe. I missed Ronda’s entrance because sometimes a man has to take a bathroom break and a snack break at the same time. The women stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Samantha Irvin. The fans were solidly behind Rousey.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey

There were hard strikes from both women early on. Rousey hit Flair with a knee while Flair was on the apron. Rousey wrapped her legs around the head of Flair by the apron. Flair brought Rousey to the apron leading to a backbreaker and an elbow drop on the apron. Flair countered an ankle lock attempt by sending Rousey to the floor. Good bump by Ronda there. Flair sent Rousey into the ring post. Flair grounded Rousey in the ring with a chinlock, then Ronda broke free and Flair hit a clothesline to the head. Flair charged at Rousey, who hit a knee to the face for a two count. Flair grabbed Rousey’s head and slammed her back first into the turnbuckle. Rousey avoided a knee drop to the leg and Rousey hit a spinning flatliner off the ropes for two. Flair with elbows, Rousey with armdrag takedowns and Flair came back with a Spear for two. Flair hit a belly to back suplex and Flair did a kip up to get back to her feet. Flair went for the double moonsault spot, but she didn’t hit it at all. That was off. Flair with chops to the chest, Flair wanted a suplex and Rousey hit an Exploder Suplex for a two count. Flair kicked Rousey in the ribs repeatedly. Rousey was upside down against the turnbuckle, so Flair caught her in a Boston Crab submission. Rousey sat up, she punched Flair and Flair punched back. Rousey got an armdrag off the turnbuckle for a two count. Rousey had some red marks on her chest from the chops. Rousey hit the Piper’s Pit slam and Rousey wanted an armbar, but Flair got out of it. Flair with a boot to the face. The crowd wasn’t reacting that strongly to them. Flair charged right into a hiptoss takeover by Rousey for a two count. Rousey went for a slam again, Flair flipped out f it and Rousey applied an Ankle Lock. Flair was screaming in pain, then Flair grabbed the foot and applied her own Ankle Lock submission. Rousey countered the hold and sent Flair face first into the turnbuckle. Rousey went for an armbar, but Flair countered into a Powerbomb for two. Rousey applied the Ankle Lock submission again, Rousey went down to the mat with a heel hook on the knee and Flair kicked herself free to get out of the hold. Rousey went for the armbar, Flair got out of that and Flair applied the Figure Eight submission. Rousey got a hold of Charlotte’s leg and reversed the hold. Rousey broke free from the hold and rolled out to the floor. Cole put over that nobody has ever gotten out of the Figure Eight of Flair before. Rousey got a hold of Flair on the apron and slammed Flair onto the mat on the floor. Flair got a hold of Rousey and gave her an Exploder Suplex into the barricade.

Flair and Rousey crawled back in the ring before the ten count. Flair went for a kick, Rousey caught the foot and Rousey hit the Piper’s Pit slam near the ropes, but Charlotte got her foot on the bottom rope. The referee Charles Robinson saw the foot on the rope. Rousey was complaining about that and Flair hit a Natural Selection neckbreaker for two. Flair went for the Figure Eight again, but Rousey kicked Flair in the ass leading to Flair tackling the referee Charles Robinson, who bumped into the ropes. Rousey applied the armbar, Flair tapped out, but the referee wasn’t there to see it. Rousey got the Flair back up, Flair hit a running boot to the face and Flair covered for one…two…and three! Flair wins at 18:30.

Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: ***1/4 A solid, hard-hitting match that took a while to get going, but then they got the crowd into it in the second half of the match. There were some sloppy moments in the match. Charlotte should stop doing the double moonsault. I think that they had a hard time getting the crowd into it after the Cody match before this because the fans were loud for that, so it’s tough to stay hot for the next match too. Plus, fans aren’t as into Rousey as a face. Flair did a nice job the whole way as the heel was relentless in her attack and doing everything she could to counter Rousey. The referee bump isn’t something the fans like to see, but it happens sometimes. It should lead to Rousey continuing to chase Flair for the title. I think Rousey will get the title at some point in the next month or two.

There was a video about Bobby Lashley.

The announcers hyped up the WrestleMania matches coming up on Sunday.

A video package aired for the Roman Reigns-Brock Lesnar match that is main eventing WrestleMania Sunday.

A video aired about WrestleMania 39 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 1, 2023 and Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Analysis: It means two night WrestleMania again next year. That’s fine with me.

There was supposed to be a New Day vs. Sheamus/Ridge Holland match, but it didn’t happen. They pulled it from the show. After the show, WWE announced it is taking place at WrestleMania Sunday.

The video package aired for the KO Show hosted by Kevin Owens with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as the guest. It’s the main event.

Kevin Owens made his entrance to boos from the crowd. Owens was wearing a “KO-Mania VI” shirt since it was his sixth WrestleMania appearance. There were two leather chairs in the ring along with “KO Show” signs. Owens was booed as his music stopped.

KO Show With “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as the guest

Owens welcomed us to the WrestleMania main event edition of the Kevin Owens Show. The fans booed. Owens said that he said a lot of rotten things about Texas and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Owens apologized to every single Texan out there for the mean things he said and then he said he was sorry about telling the God’s honest truth about your state. Owens said he’s been there for a couple of days and it’s worse than he remembered. Owens said he’ll bring out this guy when he wants to because it’s his show. Owens said that Austin is the worst role model in the history of WWE and Owens should know since he used to look up to him. Owens claimed he’ll tell Austin how much he sucks and Austin will not do a damn thing because he’s going to take it. Owens said Austin knows if he doesn’t show KO the respect he deserves, Owens will hit him with a can of beer in the head.

The glass broke and here comes the legendary “Stone Cold” Steve Austin wearing that classic Austin 3:16 shirt. Austin was wearing the blue jean shorts, the classic knee braces and the black shoes. The pop was enormous as Austin posed for the fans on the stage. Austin paused at the top of the ramp to soak in the applause a bit. Austin went to the back, Owens smiled about that and the music kept playing as Austin re-appeared driving an ATV down to the ring. Austin drove it around the ring a few times. He looked like he was having a lot of fun doing it.

Analysis: That crowd reaction was massive. It’s a special kind of pop that Austin got throughout his career and it felt even louder here.

Austin posed on the four turnbuckles like he did throughout his legendary career. Austin tossed the “KO Show” signs out of the ring. Owens called for the music to be cut and KO told Austin that this was his show. Loud “Austin” chants. Owens told Austin to calm down and take a seat. Owens said he’s not there for a fight because he was there for a nice chat. They sat in leather chairs in the ring.

Owens thanked Austin for accepting the invitation to the KO Show. Austin ripped on KO for his stupid haircut, his beady eyes, he looks like a jackass and the fans chanted “WHAT” loudly. Austin got mad at Owens for ripping on Texas and called Owens a “stupid son of a bitch.” Owens said it’s hot as hell in Texas, it’s uninspiring unlike Canada, the people wear dumb hats and boots along with belt buckles. Owens suggested they should take the hats off, take the boots off and move somewhere else. Owens said he would have moved to Mexico since it was “right there.” Austin said in about five seconds you’re going to have 75,000 people calling you an “Asshole” leading to that familiar chant. Owens told Austin not to be like that. Owens said he’s a sophisticated, distinguished French Canadian that will move past the insults and be the bigger man. Owens said he invited Austin on the KO Show to have a talk, but he lied. Owens said he tricked Austin because he doesn’t want to talk, he called Austin out here because KO is looking for a fight. The fans cheered. Owens challenged Austin to a match. Owens said that it’s been 19 years since Steve’s last match with Owens ripping on Austin for having bad knees, a bad back and a bad neck. Owens challenged Austin to a No Holds Barred Match right here and right now. Owens kept on going saying Austin knows he can’t beat Owens. Owens told Austin to get the cooler of beer, get the hell out of the ring, get on the cart and Steve should get his ass back to his stupid ranch. Austin stared at Owens while the fans chanted for Austin and Austin looked around at the crowd.

Austin: “I had my first match right here in Dallas, Texas. I could have my last match right here in Dallas, Texas.” Austin did the promo asking if you want him to face this “sack of shit” then gimme a hell yeah and the fans chanted “hell yeah.” Austin did it again leading to another “hell yeah” from the crowd. Austin called for a referee to come down there. A referee ran out there and the chairs were tossed out of the ring. The bell rang to start the match.

No Holds Barred Match: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens

It started out as a slugfest with Austin taking control over Owens with punches and Stone Cold stomped a mudhole. Austin with a hard whip into the turnbuckle leading to Owens bumping into the turnbuckle. Austin called for a beer, he had a drink and tossed it away. Austin stomped on Owens some more. Austin tossed Owens over the top to the floor. Austin opened another beer, had a drink and Owens sent Austin into the barricade, but Austin bounced back with a clothesline. Austin sent Owens into the top of the barricade. Austin was punching Owens a bit and then Owens whipped Austin into the ring post. I think I saw KO’s parents, wife and kids sitting in the front row. That’s cool. Owens hit Austin with a stand that was in the ring and Owens punched Austin a few times. Owens set up a table against the barricade, but Austin came back with a whip into the table. Austin sent Owens over the barricade and they went fighting into the crowd. They were fighting into the crowd a bit, Austin wanted a suplex and then Owens suplexed Austin on the floor. Austin fought back with punches, Austin hit a knee to the ribs and then Owens managed to knock Austin down. They went back to ringside with Austin slamming Owens onto the commentary table. The table didn’t break. It sounded like a rough landing. Austin had two beers in his hands and drank them over Owens, who was on the table. Austin punched Owens repeatedly while on the table. Austin drank some more beers and tossed Owens back into the ring. Owens with a necksnap sending Austin’s throat across the top rope. Owens went over to the ATV, he tried to start it and then Austin was there with punches. Austin managed to start the ATV, so they went driving up to the top of the ramp. They were fighting on the WrestleMania stage with Austin suplexing Owens on the stage. Austin even gave Owens an eye poke while they were on the stage and Austin hit another suplex. Austin punched Owens a bunch of times to send Owens rolling down the ramp towards the ring. Austin got two more beers, he went into the ring and drank part of two beers. Owens got back up, he did a kick to the gut and a Stunner for one…two…and no because Austin got his left shoulder up. Owens brought a steel chair into the ring, Austin ducked it, the chair hit the ropes and hit Owens in the face. Austin hit a kick to the gut followed by the Stone Cold Stunner! Austin covered for the one…two…and three! Austin wins! It went 13:55.

Winner by pinfall: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Analysis: *** I don’t think the star rating matters that much, but it was still an entertaining three-star level match to me. I enjoyed it. I’m sure Owens had a blast being a part of it. They didn’t go for nearfalls or anything like that. IT was more about doing some fun stuff and popping the crowd. Austin took some good bumps too. Owens getting one nearfall was fine and then Austin got the win shortly after that. Austin looked fine for a guy that’s 57 years old that hasn’t taken bumps regularly in years. Yes, he wasn’t the fastest guy out there, but he did pretty well in my opinion.

After the match, Austin celebrated with some beers. Owens got back up and Austin hit him with another Stone Cold Stunner. Two police officers showed up at ringside and escorted Owens out of the building.

Austin: “It’s good to be back here in Dallas, Texas and that’s the bottom line ‘cuz Stone Cold said so!”

Austin had some more beers and even toasted referee Rod Zapata with a beer of his own. That was funny. Austin saluted the crowd some more, the fans were cheering and Austin kept on drinking. Austin called for Byron Saxton to go into the ring. Austin gave Saxton a beer, they smashed the beers together and you know what’s coming – Austin with a kick to the gut and Austin hit Saxton with a Stone Cold Stunner as well. Graves was so happy about it. The fans loved it too. Austin brought his brother into the ring and they had beers together. They hugged. Austin didn’t hit his brother with a Stunner so that’s nice of him. Austin saluted the crowd again. The announcer signed off saying the night belongs to the Rattlesnake “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Austin drank another beer and that was it.

Analysis: Great celebration. I enjoyed that Stunner on Saxton. Owens sold that post match Stunner so well.

WrestleMania 38 Saturday had a runtime of 4:04:13.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Cody Rhodes
  2. Steve Austin
  3. Kevin Owens/Seth Rollins
  4. Bianca Belair/Becky Lynch
  5. Charlotte Flair

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with an 8.5 out of 10 for this show.

I enjoyed WrestleMania 38 Saturday quite a bit. I thought it was an excellent show with seven matches filling up four hours including the Kevin Owens-Steve Austin talk show segment turning into a No Holds Barred Match. That was a fun segment and match with a hot Dallas crowd popping huge for Austin. There’s ovations and then there’s that Stone Cold pop, which is on another level. I’m happy Austin got that moment, that he got through it fine and that KO did such a great job in his role too.

Best match of night I’d go with Cody Rhodes-Seth Rollins. That was an awesome performance from both guys. I’m glad the wait for Cody’s debut is over, the fans were strongly behind him and he gelled with Rollins really well. I thought Bianca-Becky was very good as well. Some people might say that was the best match, which I’m okay with. Great finish with Bianca finally getting the best of Becky to become the champion again. The Flair-Rousey match got to be pretty good by the end after a slow start. I was even impressed by Logan Paul in his victory with The Miz against The Mysterios. Logan fit in really well. I liked Drew/Corbin as well.

I felt bad for Rick Boogs getting hurt in the opener. The match got shortened because of it, but I doubt The Usos were going to lose anyway. It’s too bad that New Day vs. Sheamus/Holland got cut, but maybe WWE should consider cutting back on some of the video packages that take up several minutes at a time. They could also fit it into the Sunday lineup.

Bring on night two. I don’t know if they will top this, but if they can come close to it then I’d consider WrestleMania 38 a huge success.

As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.

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Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport