- WrestleMania 38 delivers big on the expectations set upon it by pro wrestling fans
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Cody Rhodes’ return take Night 1’s spotlight
- Roman Reigns successfully becomes the undisputed WWE Universal Champion on Night 2
Thes two-night extravaganza of WrestleMania 38 was a reminder that not everything about the business depends on dirt sheets, but solely on entertaining the fans.
Night 1 kicked off the yearly spectacle and it kept its fans entertained all throughout the four-hour run time.
Highlights include Drew McIntyre achieving the impossible and being the first to kick out of the heavily protected End of Days finisher from Happy Corbin, Logan Paul looking like a million bucks in his in-ring debut, and Charlotte Flair taking Ronda Rousey to her absolute limit to defend the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Match of the event certainly goes to Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch’s epic clash for the Raw Women’s Title that kept fans glued to the edge of their seats as the former got her second major WrestleMania moment.
The open secret that is “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes returning to WWE came to fruition when his theme “Kingdom” blared throughout the arena which confirmed him as Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent.
Rhodes was given top-billing treatment at WrestleMania and went on to pick up the victory over Rollins in a match worthy of the big stage.
Night 1 was capped off by the first match that WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had in 19 years, defeating Kevin Owens after the latter challenged him to an impromptu duel that had fans wondering whether he still had it in him.
Austin’s constant beer-chugging during the match gave way to fans comparing it to popular cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man eating spinach.
Night 2, while a step below the preceding event, still had its moments.
Triple H kicked off the entire show with his iconic Motorhead theme playing, said thank you to the fans, welcomed everybody to the event, and left his wrestling boots in the ring as he retired from the sport due to his heart condition.
RK-Bro retained the Raw Tag Team titles in a high-octane triple threat tag team encounter, Johnny Knoxville (plus the Jackass cast) and Sami Zayn put on a purely-fun match, and Sasha Banks ended her WrestleMania losing streak after winning the Women’s Tag Team titles with Naomi in a decent Fatal 4-Way match.
Though AJ Styles versus Edge did not deliver a five-star match that fans were expecting, the pacing picked up as it reached its climax and the in-ring psychology was top-notch from the two all-time great workhorses.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods losing to the team of Sheamus and Ridge Holland was a disappointing outcome, but their tribute to Big E was certainly heartwarming.
Pat McAfee received the biggest pop of Night 2 as he made his way to the ring for a fun, athletic joust with Austin Theory before “The Texas Rattlesnake” came out and hit stunners on everybody.
The main event saw Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar put WWE’s biggest titles on the line in a winner-takes-all match with both men having a hard-hitting affair.
Reigns winning the way he did fell flat in the eyes of many, but it would turn out to be the first time that he would be cheered so heavily at WrestleMania, so it was a win for both“The Tribal Chief” and the company.
WrestleMania, and the pro wrestling industry in general, has one goal in mind: to entertain.
Whether it was celebrities exceeding expectations, a beloved superstar making his return, a former NFL punter performing greatly once again, or a legend of the industry giving lasting memories to his fans, entertainment took centerstage.
WWE has been criticized through the years, whether fairly or not, for some of its booking and roster decisions, but WrestleMania 38 deserves to get its flowers for putting on one of the best events in pro wrestling.
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