Sunday, April 3, 2022

WWE Wrestlemania 38 Night Two

By Steve Ward

WWE returned this evening to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX with night number two of Wrestlemania. Last night’s edition was entertaining for the second half of the show and was excessively littered with ads hyping tonight (so many that the tag team match featuring Sheamus and Ridge Holland taking on The New Day was cut). I will admit that last night’s show would not have been nearly as entertaining if not for Stone Cold Steve Austin’s first match in 19 years to close out the evening. Even the “surprise” return of Cody Rhodes seemed to fall flat initially as the WWE Universe was either disinterested, in shock, or felt the same way they did about him in the final months of his AEW run. This evening’s show was promoted with the ability to surpass last night. The card featured eight matches (originally, however, it ended up as nine) with three titles contested and of course the main event would feature WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, versus Universal Champion, Roman Reigns - winner takes all.

The show kicked off in electric fashion as Triple H made his way to the ring to a deafening ovation. Triple H simply welcomed everyone to Wrestlemania and left his wrestling boots in the ring as a final gesture of his previously announced retirement from in-ring competition.

RAW Tag Team Championship

RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (c) vs. The Street Profits vs. The Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis)

Winners: RK-Bro via pinfall

The unlikely duo of Orton and Riddle kicked off Wrestlemania Sunday with a defense of their RAW Tag Team Championship against stiff competition in the form of The Alpha Academy and The Street Profits. The conclusion of the bout saw Riddle deliver an RKO to Montez Ford off the top rope and moments later Orton hit the RKO Out Of Nowhere on Gable as he attempted a dive off the top turnbuckle in The Viper’s direction. Orton then easily covered Gable to retain the titles for RK-Bro.

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

Winner: Bobby Lashley via pinfall

Following months of domination over every man in his path, Omos’ challenge was answered this past Monday night by Bobby Lashley who made his return from injury for the first time since Elimination Chamber. As the their verbal exchange erupted into an all out brawl Monday, Lashley also became the first individual to take the seven footer off his feet. After being thrown around like a rag doll for much of the bout tonight by the 7-foot, 400 lb Omos, Lashley rallied late and executed a suplex on his much larger opponent and finished him off with a devastating spear for the win.

Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn

Winner: Johnny Knoxville via pinall

After months of one upsmanship games with each other, including Zayn crashing the premier of Jackass Forever and Knoxville costing Zayn the Intercontinental Championship, their rivalry culminated with a meeting tonight in Dallas. The encounter quickly evolved into a hardcore match involving much of the Jackass crew coming to the aid of Knoxville. The closing moments saw Zayn laid out on a giant mouse trap which Knoxville triggered to close on Sami allowing him to secure the pinfall.

Women’s Tag Team Championship

Naomi & Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler & Natalya vs. Queen Zelina & Carmella (c)

Winners: Naomi & Sasha Banks via pinfall

In the WWE’s way of packing the majority of the women’s division who did not compete yesterday into one segment, a fatal four way for the Women’s Tag Team Championship was booked for the reigning champs, Queen Zelina and Carmella, to attemp to retain their titles. The conclusion of this match arrived as Carmella fell victim to a tandem version of X-Pac’s finisher, the X-Factor, at the hands of Banks and Naomi which allowed Sasha to cover for the victory.

Edge vs. A.J. Styles

Winner: Edge via pinfall

Edge made his way to the ring on RAW several weeks ago soliciting for an opponent at Wrestlemania with his challenge being answered by “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles. Edge proceeded to go into full-on heel mode as he kicked Styles between the uprights and delivered a one-man con-chair-to sparking a bitter rivalry heading into this weekend. Edge withstood all of Styles’ offense just long enough for his window of opportunity to open in the form of Damian Priest. In the closing moments, Priest emerged at ringside and distracted A.J.’s delivery of the Phenomenal Forearm long enough for Edge to return to his feet and deliver a body breaking spear to Styles in mid flight which allowed him to secure the pinfall.

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

Winners: Sheamus & Ridge Holland via pinfall

This match was supposed to take place last night, however, WWE aired too many promos for tonight’s show and ran out of time. This match didn’t last long as Butch created enough of a distraction at ringside to allow Holland to hit the Northern Grit on Xavier Woods sealing the victory for his team.

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory

Winner: Pat McAfee via pinfall

During his recent appearance on the Pat McAfee Show, Mr. McMahon granted the former NFL punter and current Smackdown commentator a match at the Showcase of the Immortals against his protégé, Austin Theory. McAfee who trained as a professional wrestler following his NFL retirement showed proficient wrestling acumen during the match and in the end found his way off of Theory’s shoulders for a rollup pinfall. 

Mr. McMahon vs. Pat McAfee

Winner: Mr. McMahon

After Theory’s loss, Mr. McMahon took exception to McAfee’s celebration, removed his tie and dress shirt, entered the ring, and challenged McAfee to an impromptu match. The capacity crowd went insane as a jacked and tanned 76 year old Mr. McMahon began strutting around the ring and threw a few clotheslines at McAfee. With a few distractions and cheap shots from Austin Theory at ringside, Mr. McMahon finally took a football and punted it into McAfee’s ribs before he covered him for a pinfall victory.

As McMahon and Theory celebrated, the sound of glass shattering echoed throughout AT&T Field as Stone Cold Steve Austin made his way to the ring! First, Austin delivered a Stunner to Theory. Next, Austin lulled Mr. McMahon into a beer celebration that ended in a Stunner for Mr. McMahon. Finally, Pat McAfee was invited into the ring for another beer celebration and received a Stunner himself.

Champion vs. Champion - Winner Takes All

Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman

Winner: Roman Reigns via pinfall

The main event of Wrestlemania’s stakes could not be any higher as Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, and WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, put their respective titles on the line in a winner takes all affair. This hard hitting encounter was shockingly stopped dead in it’s tracks as Brock Lesnar seemed to be in total control. Lesnar cinched in the kimura, however, Paul Heyman pushed the bottom rope within The Tribal Chief’s grasp to break the hold. Lesnar then hoisted Roman up for the F5, however, Reigns was able to escape and propel Brock towards the ropes setting him up for a spear and subsequent pinfall to become undisputed champion.

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