Wrestling Review: WWE Wrestlemania 38 – Saturday (2022)

It is the most stupendous, two night Wrestlemania in WWE history! On this first night, two huge women’s championship matches take centre stage while a Rattlesnake returns in the main event segment. Over 19 years since his final Wrestlemania match, Stone Cold Steve Austin will return to confront Kevin Owens on Owens’ Wrestlemania Edition of the KO Show. Owens has spent the last several months badmouthing Texas, including the various WWE legends who come from the Lone Star State, so Austin wasted no time in accepting Owens’ invitation… with the promise of opening one final can of whoop-ass. Meanwhile, Charlotte Flair will be forced to defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against the winner of the 2022 Women’s Royal Rumble, Ronda Rousey, and Becky Lynch will face her SummerSlam opponent, Bianca Belair, with the Raw Women’s title on the line. Rey Mysterio and his son Dominik will also be in action, as they team up to face the due of The Miz and celebrity megastar, Logan Paul in tag team action, and Seth Rollins will face a mystery superstar of Vince McMahon’s personal choosing. Drew McIntyre will finally get his hands on Happy Corbin, following months of theft of a McIntyre family heirloom, a Claymore sword named after Drew’s late mother, Angela, and kicking off the show will be The Usos, defending their record-setting SmackDown Tag Team Championship reign against Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs.

+ The KO Show with Stone Cold Steve Austin: god damn this was great. It was bold of WWE to put this talk show segment in the main event, but for once I can safely say ‘let’s just see where this goes’. Austin may well be 19 years older than when he was last in a wrestling ring in any meaningful capacity, but when that glass shatters, he is still Texas Rattlesnake opposite a guy that very clearly was having the time of his life in Kevin Owens. There has been a lot of returns in wrestling, perhaps most notably that of Goldberg, and this ended up being significantly better than the majority of those Goldberg moments
+ Seth “Freakin” Rollins versus a mystery opponent: it has been incredible obvious who Rollins’ opponent was going to be for a while now, but the match was still good. I made a post on a wrestling forum some eight or nine years ago saying that these two would have a banger, big time match one day, and I was laughed out of the discussion, so I feel a sense of personal satisfaction in being correct despite the wildly different paths their careers have taken since that time. I don’t want to outright ruin the surprise, but if you have been paying attention to the shows in the build to this, it was clear who the opponent was and that opponent did not disappoint
+ Becky Lynch (c) vs Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s Championship): this was really good, and certainly the best match of the show. The live crowd was nuclear hot for everything, and while there was only one spot we didn’t get that I was expecting, the rest of it was great. Numerous call backs to their own previous matches, and their separate paths since their SummerSlam clash added to the story, and rewarded those who have paid attention. I really liked this, and I expect it will rate highly on the overall rankings across two nights
+ Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio vs The Miz & Logan Paul: Rey Mysterio is a legend, and so of course he was fantastic in his role. But dare I say that Logan Paul was the most impressive person in this match? Dominik was dressed like Eddie Guerrero and the crowd hated The Miz, and that’s about all I can give those two, but the match was perfectly fine for what it was, including an absolutely baffling finish and post-match
+ Drew McIntyre vs Happy Corbin (w/ Madcap Moss): after Moss nearly died for McIntyre a few times, frankly I was glad that Corbin was in the match. There was actually one important moment in this match, believe it or not. I like Corbin as a bully, and McIntyre is a major star, so this was fun. But one way or another I really hope this is the end of it. Gove me McIntyre versus Gunther please and thank you

Charlotte Flair (c) vs Ronda Rousey (SmackDown Women’s Championship): this really didn’t do it for me. Ronda looked either lost, or waiting for her next pre-planned spot throughout, and Charlotte was seemingly intentionally working at not her best. I don’t know why, but this just fell absolutely flat; maybe it was following the reveal of Rollins’ opponent, but maybe these two just don’t need to face off again
The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships): this was good but short, but I almost feel it’s not fair to judge it because of an injury to Boogs (later revealed to be a torn quad). Funny that it was in a spot that Solo Sikoa attempted and failed just a few hours earlier. I’ll call it a negative for length and how thrown together it felt at the end, albeit for obvious reasons

> once again, WWE just has far too much downtime on their shows. I skipped all of the pre-match videos, advertisements and (some) entrances, and it made the show go almost 1.5x faster. Not to mention the horrendous USA National Anthem garbage that for some reason an international company does

Should you watch this event: I’m nothing if not fair, and this was overall much better than I was expecting it to be. Austin looked fantastic against Owens, Becky and Belair had the match of the night, and McIntyre and Corbin put on a really good show in what could have easily been something we could just see on Smackdown. I finished this more than satisfied.

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