Reviews

The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 38 Review – Sunday (Night 2)

wwe wrestlemania 38 2022 night 2 review

It’s WrestleMania 38 night two featuring Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles vs. Edge, RK-Bro defending the Raw Tag Team Titles against Alpha Academy and The Street Profits, plus a whole lot more!

I really enjoyed WrestleMania Saturday and I got a lot of positive feedback from fans that loved the show as well. There were some great matches, memorable moments and a super hot crowd in Dallas. In case you missed it, you can check out my WrestleMania 38 Saturday review right here.

This is a review for the Sunday Night portion of WrestleMania only. There were no Kickoff Show matches just like on Saturday.

WWE WrestleMania 38 (Sunday – Night 2)
From AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas
April 3, 2022

The show began with singer/songwriter Jessie James Decker on the stage to perform America The Beautiful. She did fine. I didn’t pay attention. Just being honest.

They showed some clips of what happened at WrestleMania Saturday. That led to a video package about what’s coming up on night two of WrestleMania 38. Great video as usual with “Marky” Mark Wahlberg narrating the video again.

Time to play the game! It’s Triple H appearing in a suit jacket along with a dress shirt and he did a water spit on his way to the ring. The Raw commentary team of Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton started the show.

Let’s Hear from Triple H

Hunter hugged his three daughters at ringside and greeted Gable Steveson as well. Hunter did his full entrance posing on the apron. The fans cheered him a lot while Hunter soaked it all in. You could see him enjoying the moment. Hunter urged the crowd to cheer some more, so they did.

There were loud “Triple H” chants from the crowd. Hunter had two of his black wrestling boots in his hands. The fans chanted “Thank You Hunter” at him and he saluted the crowd. Hunter: “I just wanted to come out here to say thank you and to show you my love in the best way I know how – Welcome to WrestleMania!” That led to an incredible pyro display on the stage. Hunter left his two wrestling boots in the ring with the microphone. Hunter hugged his three daughters at ringside along with other family that was there.

Analysis: Good to see Hunter. Smart choice to have him welcome us to WrestleMania since he announced his in-ring retirement due to a heart issue. I’m glad he’s doing okay now. It was nice to see him hug his family at ringside. Hunter will still be an executive in WWE that’s part of signing talent and probably be on TV sometimes too.

The Raw Tag Team Title match was up first with RK-Bro getting a great pop. The Street Profits were cheered as well even though they have showed heel tendencies a bit. Alpha Academy were up last with Chad Gable’s “SHOOSH” phrase at the start of their theme song.

Raw Tag Team Championships: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) vs. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

Three guys are in the ring while three guys are on the apron. There are no disqualifications or countouts, so really you don’t have to tag, but the teams will do that.

Ford punched Gable, Riddle kicked Gable and then some big moves as Ford clotheslined Riddle, Gable with a German Suplex and then all six guys got involved as they tossed eachother from the ring. Otis tossed Ford over the top to the floor so he was the only one left in the ring. Ford was in the ring with Gable, so Ford did a somersault dive over the turnbuckle onto four guys on the floor. Gable went up top with a moonsault on four guys on the floor. I think Otis even bumped even though Gable didn’t touch him. Otis was in control of Riddle with a clothesline along with a running splash. Otis with a body slam on Riddle. Gable tagged in with a Northern Lights Suplex on Riddle. Gable wrenched on the knee of Riddle, Ford got back in the ring and hit a dropkick on Gable to break that up. Gable with a monkey flip on Ford across the ring. Dawkins tagged in with a leap over Gable, a back elbow, suplex on Riddle and an Exploder Suplex on Gable. Dawkins with a spinning neckbreaker on Riddle, but Otis tagged in to break up the pin with a splash. Otis charged, Riddle moved and Otis hit the ring post. Gable tagged in, Riddle with a knee, but Dawkins got involved and Riddle hit a Bro To Sleep move looking like a GTS knee to the face. Orton tagged in to a huge pop with Orton hitting multiple clotheslines, then a powerslam and Ford pulled Orton out of the ring. Orton sent Ford into the hood of the announce table and then Orton gave Ford a belly to back suplex on the table. Orton with a belly to back suplex on Gable on the table too. Orton and Riddle each hit draping DDT’s on the Street Profits. The fans were going wild for Orton and Riddle. Gable and Otis pulled Orton/Riddle out of the ring and sent them into the barricade. Otis with a spinning back elbow on Dawkins. Otis had Ford on the shoulders and Gable jumped off the top with a bulldog for a two count. Otis wanted a splash off the ropes, but it was stopped. Dawkins sent Riddle out of the ring. Dawkins tagged in, Ford landed on his feet after a monkey flip and Ford hit a Blockbuster off the top on Gable, who was on Dawkins’ shoulders. That got a two count. A lot of guys were down selling so the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Dawkins with a spinbuster on Orton and Dawkins hit a somersault dive over the top on Otis. Orton was all alone in the ring, Ford went up and Riddle jumped up to the top with an RKO! A jumping RKO off the top rope! That was great. Gable was on the other side of the ring, he jumped off the top and Orton caught him with an RKO for the one…two…and three. It went 11:30. Spectacular finish with the two RKO’s at the end.

Winners by pinfall: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)

Analysis: ***3/4 A great tag team match like I expected it to be because of the triple threat match they had a few weeks ago (it was Rollins/Owens instead of Street Profits). It was a little confusing early with the rules because you can do a Tornado Tag since there are no disqualifications/countouts in this match, but then they just ignored the tags and had a fun match. That leap by Riddle to the top rope was awesome since he jumped from the apron to the top rope to hit an RKO on Ford. That was followed by Gable’s leap off the top leading to the RKO by Orton. What a greaty way to end it in a memorable way. Terrific RKO spots at the end. I liked this a lot as an exciting opener. The triple threat on Raw last month was better overall, but I still enjoyed this a lot.

Post match, RK-Bro were joined in the ring by The Street Profits. They were going to have a WrestleMania toast together. They brought Gable Steveson into the ring and Gable knocked the drink out of Gable’s hand. Chad told Steveson to do one thing: “SHOOSH!” Steveson picked up Chad and gave him a huge belly-to-belly suplex across the ring. Steveson stood tall in the ring.

Analysis: A good way to introduce the WWE audience to Gable Steveson by having him silence an obnoxious heel like Chad Gable. It’s a battle of the guys named Gable, I guess. I think Steveson will fit in just fine.

There was a video package showing highlights of matches from WrestleMania Saturday. It showed some of it ending with Bianca Belair beating Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title and stopped there. I guess they’ll show more later.

Omos made his entrance for his singles match. His opponent Bobby Lashley was up next. They showed a clip from Raw to remind us how the match was set up.

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

Lashley tried a kick, Omos blocked him for a takedown and Omos hit Lashley with a forearm to the back. Lashley with a kick to the ribs, Omos fought back with an uppercut and the dreaded head squeeze. Omos delivered a knee to the ribs followed by a forearm to the chest. Lashley slapped Omos in the face, so Omos kicked him in the face. Omos with a corner clothesline and a running back elbow. Omos charged again, Lashley missed a kick to the leg, so they had to do it again this time Lashley kicked the leg leading to Omos bumping into the turnbuckle. Lashley with a running forearm to the back. Lashley went for the Hurt Lock, Omos broke free and hit a running clothesline. Omos grabbed Lashley from the head, which led to Omos tossing Lashley over the top to the floor. Lashley with a clothesline while on the apron, he tried to jump onto Omos off the ropes, but Omos picked up Lashley on his shoulders. Omos tossed Lashley into the air to send Lashley crashing to the mat. Omos charged into an elbow by Lashley, but Omos took control again with a bearhug leading to Omos slamming Lashley into the turnbuckle. Lashley got out of the bearhug, he came back with some punches and sent Omos into the turnbuckle. The fans were behind Lashley as Bobby teased a suplex and then Lashley hit a suplex! The fans cheered loudly for that. Lashley with a running Spear to the kidneys to tackle Omos. Lashley hit a running Spear for the pinfall win at 6:35.

Winner by pinfall: Bobby Lashley

Analysis: *1/2 A clean win for Lashley thanks to the Spear two times in a row. Omos controlled most of the match, but then Lashley looked impressive in making his comeback. Decent enough for a six-minute match involving Omos. It’s tough to expect anything that good in an Omos match because he’s limited in what he can do in there. I thought Omos would win although I certainly don’t mind seeing Lashley win. I’m glad to see Lashley has avoided shoulder surgery and he’s still competing in the ring.

Lashley celebrated the win with the fans cheering. Lashley is a face again.

There were some commercials and videos about doing some community service work in Dallas.

The Smackdown commentary team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee were there for the next match even though Pat is wrestling later.

A video aired about the rivalry between Sami Zayn and actor Johnny Knoxville, which started before the Royal Rumble. Zayn eliminated Knoxville from the Rumble, then the rivalry continued with things like Sami annoying Johnny at the Jackass Movie premiere. It continued with Knoxville sharing Sami Zayn’s phone number (a fake number that they act like is real). Sami also lost the IC Title because Knoxville distracted Sami and Ricochet is the IC Champion because of that. Sami wanted an Anything Goes Match and Knoxville accepted.

Sami Zayn entered first for the match followed by Johnny Knoxville. Knoxville’s Jackass buddies were at ringside.

Anything Goes Match: Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville

The bell rang and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick while Knoxville went down near the apron. Zayn threw Knoxville into the barricade. Zayn shoved one of the Jackass guys. Knoxville grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed it into Sami’s face. Knoxville brought a trash can and stop sign into the ring. Zayn grabbed a metal cookie sheet that he used to hit Knoxville in the back. Sami grabbed a crutch, which he used to hit across Knoxville’s back. Knoxville threw a garbage can at Knoxville leading to a two count. Zayn went reaching under the ring for a table, so Sami pulled out a table that had mouse traps on it. While Zayn did that, Knoxville recovered to use two garbage can lids to Sami’s head three times. Knoxville hit Sami in the back with a stop sign. Knoxville set up a table against the turnbuckle. Zayn grabbed Knoxville and hit him with an Exploder Suplex through the table against the turnbuckle for a two count. I think Knoxville’s goggles came off, but Johnny was able to put them back on. Zayn charged at Knoxville, who used an air horn to stop Zayn and Zayn kicked Knoxville. Pontius aka Party Boy from Jackass got into the ring with Zayn leading to Party Boy dancing around in his underwear, so Cole made a Naked Mideon reference. Zayn beat up Party Boy and tossed him out of the ring. Knoxville got a rollup on Zayn for two. Zayn knocked Knoxville down again and he sent Party Boy under the ring. Zayn lifted the apron and Wee Man (under the ring like Hornswoggle used to be) went after Zayn with punches. The fans loved Wee Man! The little man Wee Man kicked Zayn in the shin and Wee Man gave Zayn a body slam! Knoxville hit a Tornado DDT off the middle rope for two with Sami getting his shoulder up at two. Zayn fought back against Knoxville with an elbow and Zayn kicked Wee Man to knock him down. I forgot to mention that the Jackass guys got brought some military boot into the ring. Zayn kicking Wee Man got a lot of heat.

Zayn went up top, Knoxville pushed some button on a device and then pyro came out of the ring post. Knoxville with a bowling ball that he rolled into Sami’s groin. Knoxville used the military boot to kick Sami with a low blow to the groin! Knoxville had a taser with him and Zayn ran away at ringside leading to a huge plastic hand that was at ringside. They went back into the ring with Zayn hitting a suplex. Zayn went up top again, he was nervous about pyro and then Knoxville used tongs to the groin! Knoxville tossed Sami off the top onto the table with mousetraps on it! Ouch. Poor Sami. Knoxville got help from the Jackass guys and he brought in a gigantic mousetrap. Knoxville used the taser to the ribs. Zayn was laying on the mousetrap in the ring and Knoxville had to pull on the device to trap Zayn. Knoxville pinned Zayn for the pinfall win at 14:25.

Winner by pinfall: Johnny Knoxville

Analysis: **1/2 I don’t know how to rate this, but I enjoyed it. Some people loved it. Others probably hated it. I laughed a few times during the match. They did a lot of comedy and goofy stuff. It shows how talented of a performer Zayn is and Knoxville did a decent enough job in terms of taking bumps when he needed to. The finish was silly with the mousetrap, but it was a way to have Knoxville using a weapon to keep Zayn down for a three count. The biggest reactions in the match were when Wee Man bodyslammed Zayn and then Zayn booted poor Wee Man in the face. I thought Knoxville would win in what was essentially a comedy match. That’s what it was. It was funnier than the 24/7 Title matches at least. Sami Zayn is an incredible wrestler and he showed it in this match.

Post match, Knoxville celebrated with his buddies while Zayn had to continue to sell that he was still caught in the mousetrap.

They showed a clip of Drew McIntyre beating Happy Corbin on WrestleMania Saturday.

The Women’s Tag Team Title match was up first. Sasha Banks and Naomi from Smackdown entered first driving on the ramp in a colorful convertible. Big pop for them. Liv Morgan was up next in a Catwoman outfit joined by Rhea Ripley looking like Batman a bit and they are from Raw. Shayna Baszler was next followed by Natalya from Smackdown. Shayna and Natalya have each been Women’s Tag Team Champions in the past, but not with eachother. Lastly, the Women’s Tag Team Champions Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella were last. Corey Graves got excited for Carmella since they are engaged to be married. Graves and Carmella are getting married in a few days.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Carmella & Queen Zelina Vega vs. Sasha Banks & Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler & Natalya vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan

Carmella put on her protective face mask to start the match. The rules for this match have two women legal in the ring and the other six women on the apron. First pinfall or submission wins. There are no DQ’s or countouts like the men’s tag, so really they don’t need to follow the rules.

Banks started with Ripley, Banks got out of a Riptide attempt and Ripley avoided a backstabber attempt. Natalya and Baszler attacked Naomi on the apron while Carmella/Vega attacked Ripley on the apron. Banks and Morgan each hit suicide dives on the women on the floor. Banks battled Morgan with some nearfalls for each woman. Morgan with double knees to Banks and the Oblivion move off the ropes, but Natalya made the tag. Natalya kicked Morgan and Baszler tagged in with a knee on Morgan. Baszler stomped on Morgan’s left ankle. Carmella tagged Baszler to make herself legal and Carmella worked over Morgan a bit. Vega hit the Code Red slam for two and Ripley broke up that pin easily. Natalya clotheslined Carmella, Naomi with a Rear View on Natalya, Baszler with a kick to Naomi, Banks with a backstabber on Baszler, Carmella kicked Banks and Carmella hit a hurricanrana on Ripley. Vega jumped onto Ripley with a moonsault on the floor. Banks and Naomi each hit a boot to the face of Morgan. Naomi and Banks went up top on opposite sides, they were stopped by the other women and then there was a double Tower of Doom spot out of each corner. That’s a common spot in WWE multi-person tag team matches. All eight women were down for a bit. Naomi got a cradle on Morgan for two. Ripley tagged in and hit a Riptide onto Morgan’s knees for a two count because Banks broke up the pin. The other women got in the ring leading to some chaos. Baszler tagged herself in with a running knee on Naomi and Morgan made the save. Baszler with a gutwrench slam on Morgan. Natalya tagged in and wanted the Hart Attack, but Carmella tagged herself in and superkicked Baszler. Naomi got a rollup on Carmella, knee by Vega on Naomi and Carmella hit a superkick for two. Naomi fought back with a kick to Carmella’s ear. Banks tagged in and jumped off the top with a Frog Splash on Carmella for a two count. Banks with the Bank Statement submission on Carmella, but Vega saved Carmella. Banks with a double knee attack on Vega on the floor. Naomi with a kick to Carmella and Banks went off the ropes for a backstabber to Carmella while Naomi did a slam, so it was a double team move. Banks covered Carmella for the pinfall win at 10:50. That is Sasha’s first win at a WrestleMania. The fans popped for it.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks & Naomi

Analysis: **3/4 It was a bit of a chaotic match early on, but then they started to clear the ring a bit and it got better as they focused on the action in the ring. Like the men’s triple threat tag team match, you don’t really need to tag in a match with no disqualifications. The right team won here since Banks/Naomi got the biggest reactions in the match. They liked Ripley/Morgan too, but it was louder for Banks/Naomi for sure. Natalya and Baszler didn’t really seem to be threats to win although their presence made the match better. I liked the finish a lot. The right team won here. As I noted, it was Sasha’s first win at a WrestleMania, so good for her.

Banks and Naomi celebrated the win. The fans were happy about it.

They showed highlights of The Miz and Logan Paul defeating The Mysterios on WrestleMania Saturday.

They showed Dallas Cowboys players Ezekiel Elliott and Micah Parsons watching at ringside.

The video package aired for Edge facing AJ Styles for the first time ever. Edge did a cheap attack on Styles when the match was announced and that turned Edge into a heel. Edge’s attack featured a low blow as well as a Conchairto. Edge did promos about how he’s the benchmark in WWE, he’s better than everybody and that includes AJ Styles.

AJ Styles was up first. Good ovation for him. For some reason, Styles was bleeding from the right cheek. I don’t know what happened to him, but there was blood on the side of his face. (I saw a clip that showed he walked into a part of the set when he first made his way onto the stage.) Edge made his entrance on a platform where he rose up on it and was surrounded by flames. It’s weird getting used to this new theme song for Edge, but it is a good song. Cool entrance for Edge, which is not much of a surprise.

Edge vs. AJ Styles

Styles got the first big shot in with a dropkick on a running Edge. Styles with a kick to the left leg leading to Edge going to the ropes. Edge got a takedown on Styles, who went for a backslide into a move, but Edge hit a forearm to the head. Edge charged, Styles moved and Edge stopped himself going into the turnbuckle. Edge to the apron, Styles with a punch and a sliding knee by Styles after Edge tried to trip him up. Styles rammed Edge’s head into the steel steps a few times. Back in the ring, Styles went for a springboard 450 Splash, but Edge got the knees up to block. Edge with running knees to the ribs along with a kick to the ribs. Edge with a whip into the corner with Styles doing a sternum bump. Edge held Styles in an abdominal stretch, Styles fought out with elbows and a hiptoss. Styles with a dragon screw leg whip to send Edge across the ring. Edge came back with a shoulder breaker to the left shoulder. Edge stomped on Styles in the corner followed by a kick to the ribs. Edge tried to do more, but Styles hit him with a punch to the head. Styles charged at Edge, who moved and Styles went crashing into the middle turnbuckle. Styles came back with a suplex into the turnbuckle. Rough landing for Edge. Edge was in control again, Styles wanted a Pele Kick, Edge avoided it and they kept avoiding moves. Edge with a STF submission, but Styles was able to break free to get the bottom rope.

Edge charged at Styles, who was on the apron and Styles kicked him. Styles jumped over the top with a DDT with no cover by Styles since he was in a lot of pain. Styles went up top, Edge went after him, Styles kicked the leg and Styles applied a Torture Rack submission into a Rack Bomb for two. Styles lifted Edge, who slipped out of it and hit the Impaler DDT for a two count. Edge wanted a clothesline, Styles ducked it and Styles hit a German Suplex. Both guys were down again. They got on their knees as they exchanged punches, Styles with headbutts and punches. Styles with a backfist, Edge with a kick and Styles hit a Pele Kick to stun Edge. Styles wanted the Calf Crusher submission, Edge slapped on the Lebell Lock submission and Styles got out of it Edge with a sitout neckbreaker for two. Edge charged, Styles got a boot up, Edge caught Styles in a Powerbomb position leading to Edge hitting a slingshot Powerbomb for a two count. Edge and Styles were on the apron, Styles punched Edge off the top to the apron. Styles suplexed Edge onto the ring apron. It looked like they were going to do the suplex spot to the floor, but I’m glad they didn’t. Back in the ring, Styles hit a springboard 450 Splash to the back, but Edge kicked out when he got the left shoulder up. Styles went for a move off the ropes, Edge moved and Styles avoided a Spear attempt. Styles caught Edge with the limbs hooked leading to Styles hitting a Styles Clash for one…two…and no! Edge barely got his left shoulder up. When Styles was on the apron, Damian Priest appeared at ringside and Styles jumped off the top rope with Edge hitting a Spear on Styles. That led to the pinfall win at 24:05.

Winner by pinfall: Edge

Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good match between two of the best wrestlers in WWE history. It wasn’t some all-time great match, but I enjoyed it overall. Some parts of the match dragged on a bit too much. I guess you could say it was the middle part. It took a while for the crowd to really get into the match. Styles and Edge worked a match that was very even with a lot of counters by both guys. The ending was a bit cheap since Styles was distracted by Priest at ringside and Edge won because of that. It wasn’t the epic, classic match that some of us were expecting. It was still fun to watch although maybe if they cut out about six minutes they could have a faster-paced match that was better. I’m intrigued to see what’s next for Edge’s heel persona with Priest. I wouldn’t be opposed to more matches between Edge and Styles as well.

After the match, Priest went into the ring to stare at Edge. They smiled at eachother and left together.

Analysis: There were reports of Edge leading a new stable with Priest in the group, so it looks like that is happening. We’ll probably see Styles vs. Edge again and probably Styles against Priest as well.

The announced attendance was: 77,453 people. The graphic on the screen said 78,453 people. I guess when you make up the numbers it can be off like that. Some pyro went off to celebrate that.

The trio of Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch entered for tag team action. They showed the history with this trio against New Day. They even showed when Holland suplexed Big E on the floor and Big E broke his neck. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and King Xavier Woods were next, but they stopped calling him King Xavier. It was Cole and Saxton on commentary for this match.

Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (w/Butch)

This was originally scheduled for Saturday, but it was cut for time. Sheamus and Holland attacked before the bell. Kofi and Woods were dressed in attire that Big E usually wears. Woods hit a running flatliner on Holland and knocked Sheamus off the apron. Kofi tried jumping onto Sheamus, so Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Kofi. Woods with a superkick to Holland. Butch on the apron to distract the referee, Sheamus capitalized with a Brogue Kick on Woods. Holland hit the Northern Grit slam for the pinfall win at 1:40.

Winners by pinfall: Sheamus & Ridge Holland

Analysis: *1/2 It felt like a rushed TV match rather than something you’d expect at a WrestleMania. It put over Sheamus & Holland in a big way while New Day didn’t come close to winning at all. The wrestlers won’t say it publicly, but I assume they were frustrated to be in such a short match.

They showed a replay of Cody Rhodes beating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania Saturday. Amazing match.

The locker room door of Roman Reigns was shown.

There was a graphic shown of members of the 2022 Hall of Fame class, except one of them. That’s because The Undertaker was there.

The lights went out, the gong hit and The Undertaker appeared on the stage much to the delight of the fans in attendance. The Undertaker appeared on the stage in an all black suit and stared out at the appreciative crowd. Undertaker walked across the stage a bit. The fans kept cheering. Undertaker turned to the crowd, then he looked back at the fans and said: “Thank you.” Undertaker held up one arm in the air like he did so many times. That was it.

Analysis: That was cool to have him greet the fans for the second straight night. I think it was also longer than the match before it. Just saying.

They showed actor Jefferson White from the series Yellowstone. I have never seen it, but some people have told me to check it out. Maybe some day I will.

A video package aired for Smackdown announcer Pat McAfee facing Austin Theory.

The boss, WWE Chairman Mr. Vince McMahon, made his entrance with the fans singing along to the “No Chance In Hell” song. Vince introduced Theory as a future WWE Universal Champion. That’s something Vince said about Drew McIntyre many years ago and it eventually turned out to be true. Theory made his entrance with his cell phone with Saxton noting that Theory was just 24 years old. When Theory got into, Theory took a selfie with Vince. The fans cheered for Pat McAfee as the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were on the stage for the former NFL player Pat McAfee, who entered to the popular song “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes. Theory was wearing a black tank top, jeans with a hole in them, and sneakers. Theory punted a football into the crowd since he was a punter in the NFL.

Austin Theory (w/Vince McMahon) vs. Pat McAfee

Pat opened up with punches while Vince watched at ringside. Theory with a two-handed thrust to the chest. Theory charged, Pat jumped over him and hit a spinning elbow. Cole was really rooting his friend Pat on. Pat with a hurricanrana for two! That was cool. The fans were chanting “McAfee” as Theory hit a backbreaker followed by punches. Theory hit a suplex followed by another vertical suplex. Pat countered another suplex attempt into a suplex of his own. Theory was on the apron, so Pat hit a running shoulder tackle to knock Theory off the apron to the table. Pat put a headset on saying he was beating up Theory and threw some water/ice onto Theory. Pat sent Theory back into the ring, Pat took a long time to go up top as the fans hummed the Seven Nation Army song, Pat stood on the top rope and jumped off with the Swanton Bomb, but Theory moved and Pat hit the mat. Theory hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Theory slowly climbed the top rope, Pat was up and Pat punched Theory in the face. Pat wanted a superplex, Theory held onto the top rope, he shoved Pat and Pat did a backflip landing on his feet. Pat jumped to the top rope and hit a superplex! Cole yelled “for the brand” which is something Pat says on his Youtube show. It got a two count. Pat went for a punt, Theory moved and did a shot to the knees followed by a forearm to the head. Theory punched Pat repeatedly, Theory lifted up Pat and Pat got ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with a grab of the tights for the pinfall win at 9:40!

Winner by pinfall: Pat McAfee

Analysis: ***1/4 They did a nice job of telling a story where Theory was getting the advantage, but Pat kept finding ways to break free and show off his athleticism. I was impressed by how much the crowd loved the match because it drew huge reactions. I would have liked to see Pat get some more offense in the match, but what he did looked pretty good for a guy that doesn’t wrestle regularly. After seeing Pat in NXT in the past, I knew he was going to be capable enough in the ring. The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! is deadly as we know and also a good move to do to win a match to show that it was a close match rather than a dominant win.

The fans were going crazy as McAfee celebrated the win. They were humming along with Seven Nation Army again. As McAfee celebrated, he was trash-talking Vince and Theory a bit. Pat said he wanted to face Vince. That led to Vince taking off his jacket and his tie. Vince took off his dress shirt to reveal his black tank top and he entered the ring. There was referee Dan Engler in the ring. Theory hit Pat from behind with a forearm. The referee called for the bell.

Vince McMahon vs. Pat McAfee

Vince with a clothesline and then he threw McAfee into the turnbuckle. Vince with another clothesline along with a whip into the turnbuckle. The fans chanted “you still got it” for 76-year-old Vinny Mac. Pat was about to go after Vince, but Theory tripped up Pat and pulled his legs so that Pat’s groin hit the ring post. Theory gave Pat a football, Vince teased punting it and then Vince kicked the ball into Pat’s ribs. Vince pinned Pat for the pinfall win at 3:45.

Winner by pinfall: Vince McMahon

Analysis: -* Bad. It was not really much of a match. It is strange that it’s 2022 and I’m writing about a 76-year-old Vince McMahon winning a match at a WrestleMania. That’s what happened. A reminder that the rich old man can do what he wants. I hope Vince never tries to wrestle again. Move on, pal.

Vince celebrated with Theory with Cole saying it was a disgusting display of sportsmanship. Vince told Theory to celebrate the win, so the fans booed. Theory continued to celebrate, then he gave Theory a hug and Theory’s music played. That’s when the glass broke!

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin made his way down to the ring with the Dallas crowd popping huge for him. Austin got right in Vince’s face about what happened. Theory tried going after Austin, but Austin punched Theory a couple of times and Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Theory, who took a big bump leading to Theory bouncing out of the ring. Austin was alone with Vince in the ring, Vince took a sip of Austin’s beer with Vince acting like he liked it. Vince and Austin had a drink together, Austin kicked Vince, who staggered into the ropes and Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Vince. That was not a pretty bump by Vince. It looked bad. Vince brought McAfee into the ring, they smashed some beers together and drank the beers in the ring. Austin drank some more beers with McAfee, but then Pat let his guard down and Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on McAfee! That was a great sell by McAfee. Austin celebrated some more. McAfee was shown out on the floor and he was still drinking beer! That was great. When it looked like Austin was going to leave, he went back into the ring and the fans cheered him more. Austin left to a huge ovation.

Analysis: That made me laugh and smile. Good call bringing back Austin to interact with Vince just like they did many times in the Attitude Era. We need those kinds of nostalgia moments sometimes. This was a good way to get the crowd back into it after Vince pissed them off. Vince did a terrible job of selling the Stunner as I said, but the man is really old, so I guess we can forgive him. McAfee drinking beers with Austin was likely a dream come true, so I’m sure he enjoyed it even with the Stunner at the end of it.

There was a video of WrestleMania Saturday highlights showing Bianca Belair’s victory over Becky Lynch to become the Raw Women’s Champion.

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

The video package aired for the main event between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns. It did a nice job of covering their long story to get this championship unification match. Over the last few weeks, Reigns has run away from Lesnar, so now we get to see Brock getting his hands on Reigns.

The “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Universal Champion. It’s been 581 days for Roman as the Universal Champion. Reigns was joined by the “Wise Man” Special Counsel Paul Heyman along with The Usos, who are the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. It is Roman’s sixth time in a WrestleMania main event. There was an impressive pyro display. Reigns: “WrestleMania! Acknowledge me!” There were lots of boos.

The familiar music of the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar hit in the stadium and the crowd popped huge. Big pop for the smiling cowboy Lesnar. Pretty impressive to think that he debuted 20 years ago, won his first WWE Title a few months later and now he’s going into this big match as the WWE Champion again. Lesnar is a ten-time WWE/Universal Champion. Lesnar did his slow walk around the ring like he loves to do. Ring announcer Mike Rome did the introductions until Paul Heyman took the microphone to introduce the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Rome was about to introduce Lesnar, but Lesnar took the microphone and introduced himself. Michael Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary for this match.

Winner Take All Championship Unification Match: WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns

The referee Chad Patton held up both titles to remind us what was at stake. The bell rang to start the match with Lesnar taking off his gloves to go with the bare-knuckle look. Lesnar with punches, Lesnar drove Reigns into the turnbuckle with his shoulder and Lesnar lifted Reigns to the other turnbuckle. Reigns with elbows, but Lesnar caught him with a belly to belly suplex. Lesnar with two more belly to belly suplexes, so that was three total. Lesnar with a clothesline that sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Heyman checked on Reigns, then Lesnar scared Heyman and Heyman was screaming about how he loved Lesnar. Reigns capitalized on the distraction leading to a Spear through the barricade. Reigns went back in to break the referee’s count while Lesnar got back in right before the ten count. Lesnar walked right into a Spear by Reigns for a two count with Lesnar getting his left shoulder up. Reigns with a Superman Punch that knocked Lesnar down again, Lesnar stumbled back up to his feet leading to Reigns hitting another Superman Punch. Lesnar was smiling as he got back up, Lesnar got a hold of Reigns and hit two German Suplexes back to back. Lesnar with three more so that was five German Suplexes in a row. Lesnar wanted an F5, Reigns slipped out of it and Reigns hit a Superman Punch. Lesnar was back up, Reigns with a yell and he charged, but Lesnar caught Reigns with an F5 for one…two…and no! Reigns got his left shoulder up. Lesnar wanted an F5, Reigns with an eye rake and Reigns tackled Lesnar into referee Chad Patton, who bumped into the turnbuckle. Reigns with an uppercut punch to the groin. Heyman handed Reigns the Universal Title, Reigns hit Lesnar in the head with the Universal Title and Reigns covered for one…two…and no! Lesnar got the left shoulder up.

Reigns ran the ropes three times leading to a Spear to the back, but they landed by the ropes, so Lesnar got his hands on the ropes to stop the count. That Spear to the back didn’t look good. Reigns ran the ropes again leading to a Spear, but Lesnar caught Reigns in the Kimura Lock submission! The crowd was going crazy screaming for Reigns to tap out and Reigns touched the bottom rope with Paul Heyman pushing the rope a bit leading to Reigns touching the rope. Heyman was shouting at Reigns to rise up saying this was his moment. I think Reigns was saying he hurt his shoulder or maybe it’s just him selling it. Lesnar picked up Reigns again for an F5, Reigns shoved him into the ropes and Reigns hit a Spear for the pinfall win. That was it at 12:15.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Champion (Still Universal Champion): Roman Reigns

Analysis: ***1/2 I would call it a pretty good match, but not necessarily anything that special. It was like a lot of their matches in the past with big moves from each guy. I was hoping they would do more than just the basics. The finish was a bit sudden, so maybe Reigns was hurting in his left shoulder and thought it was time to end it. I don’t know if it was supposed to go longer or what at this point. Lesnar did come close a few times while Reigns also did some heel moves while the referee was bumped. I think maybe they could have had a few more moments with Lesnar looking like he might win. I picked Reigns because he’s the younger guy as well as the man that is more full time in WWE. With all of that said, if I never see Lesnar vs. Reigns for a long time that’s fine with me. It’s happened way too much. Both of them should move on to other things.

Roman Reigns stood on the ramp with the WWE and Universal Titles with Paul Heyman standing beside him while Brock Lesnar was down in the ring. Reigns held up both titles while an impressive pyro display went off behind him.

Analysis: No surprises after the match. Lots of people predicted The Rock might appear at WrestleMania. I certainly thought it was possible. Nope. It didn’t happen. If they want to do Rock/Roman next year, they have a year how to figure out how to do it. Lots of time. It wouldn’t shock me if Reigns gave up the WWE Title and kept the Universal Title only, but that’s something we’ll see how it plays out on TV.

WrestleMania 38 Sunday had a runtime of 3:48:21 on WWE Network.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns – We must acknowledge the Tribal Chief.
  2. RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle)
  3. Edge/AJ Styles
  4. Sami Zayn
  5. Pat McAfee

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.5 out of 10 for this show. I thought Night One was better with an 8.5 out 10, so combining the two shows and WrestleMania 38’s two nights get an 8 out of 10 for me.

This night had more fun stuff than great matches necessarily. The Raw Tag Team Title match was great, Edge vs. Styles was very good although not the epic match some of us were expecting and Reigns beating Lesnar was their typical match we have seen before. There were a lot of fun moments with Sami Zayn selling for all the Jackass guys and Pat McAfee had a great time in his match while also getting to celebrate with Steve Austin. It was silly at times, but that’s okay. Everything doesn’t always have to be serious in WWE. Some silliness is fine with me. I think Vince McMahon did the worst selling job for a Stunner ever, but the man is old, so I guess it’s to be expected.

I’d call WrestleMania 38 a big success. The Dallas crowd was loud both nights. Lots of memorable and fun moments to remember. I enjoyed it.

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

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