The biggest event in professional wrestling is ready to take off at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. WrestleMania 38, a two-night affair at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, will spotlight the WWE Superstars with all the promotion titles on the line. Saturday’s celebrations include three title matches, the return of an icon and the first match of a social media superstar.
WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair will face off in a rematch after Belair stunningly dropped her title to Lynch in just 26 seconds at SummerSlam last August. Other notable matches include The Miz with social media star Logan Paul taking on father-son duo Ray, Dominic Mysterio and Seth Rollins against an opponent that Mr. McMahon will introduce once Rollins steps into the ring.
Two other fights on Saturday’s card: The Usos will be looking to retain their SmackDown tag team titles against Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs, and Ronda Rousey will be targeting the SmackDown Women’s Championship, opting for a match with Charlotte Flair after winning the Women’s Royal Rumble in January.
Also, in what is expected to be the main event of the first night, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will walk down the slope for his appearance on “KO Show,” hosted by Kevin Owens. The assumption is that hands will be thrown, the beer will be squeaking and someone will be on the wrong end of the stunt.
Haven’t watched WWE in a while? Find out everything you need to know about the card from our separate fan guide, then catch up on the live stream as we break down each match on the card.
Match in Progress: SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
Cody Rhodes Def. Seth Rollins
American Nightmare helped give us the dream match we didn’t know we needed.
It’s been six years since Cody Rhodes entered the WWE ring, and his match against Seth Rollins was a reminder of what two dynamic personalities with technical excellence within the ring can do when paired together.
– WWE (WWE) 3 April 2022
It felt like Rollins would be held in a tricky match, due to the unknown number of who he would face on Saturday night, but by pairing up with Rhodes, the two put together a match that looked like something out of the attitude era in the late ’90s. Fewer aerial feats, more counters and bear hugs. Compared to Belair-Lynch, Rollins-Rhodes’s pace slowed down, but the drama remained high and tense.
To be fair, speed may have been the thing that gave us the real tension of the competition, as an Iron Man match between two of the best performers in a generation of professional wrestling erupted. Rollins broke an inverted suplex from the top rope and tied it up for a second championship, only for Rhodes to knock it out. Rhodes then landed a flying DDT off the top rope, only to be knocked out by Rollins.
Tonight’s mix went to Rhodes, who tied back-to-back crossovers on Rollins and then decided to channel “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes with multiple hits and the iconic Bionic Elbow to make his dad proud. Cross Rhodes’ third would end Rollins’ night, taking the former AEW TNT Champion’s first three-time win.
What then: Looks like Rhodes is ready to run with the big dogs, right? maybe. But pairing the seasoned Rhodes with Finn Balor or Ricochet will help continue to raise the bar for everyone involved. For Rollins, there’s a story to tell with Reigns, depending on how the weekend festivities play out.
Women’s Raw Championship: Defeat Bianca Belair. Becky Lynch (c)
Between the VIPs, the paparazzi-ready version and the entrances to a performance by Texas Southern band “Ocean of Soul,” this looked like a superstar award fight disguised as a Raw Women’s Championship match between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair.
The drama started early, with The EST showing Big Game Becks the handshake of death from Lynch that derailed Belair’s tournament four months earlier. Lynch, stunned by the show, responded with a punch in the face. The work didn’t stop there.
Lynch remained in the attacking position for much of the match, being the aggressor and quickly eliminating any momentum Beller was trying to build at various points. But Belair wouldn’t stay in place, as her ability to get off several bookings helped keep the match almost level.
That power always stands out, but her sporting feats are taken to another level with her 450-degree machine gun over Lynch’s left mouths. Lynch wouldn’t be outdone, because her Thunderkick roll off the top rope at Belair was equally impressive.
Belair looked doomed late in the match, as Lynch hit her with a Manhandle Slam on the steel steps, leaving her outside the ring and she almost counted. Belair rushed back into the ring on the count of 9, and Lynch was ready to eliminate the challenger. However, Beller summoned another of her powers, lifted Lynch over her shoulders and landed the KOD to bring down the champ.
The benchmark is officially set, with Belair and Lynch arguably putting together their best match of 2022 so far, leaving the rest of Wrestlemania’s weekend cards very high.
– WWE (WWE) 3 April 2022
What then: There is still a lot of meat left on the bone between these two, and if they want to prepare more between the two, let them. Blair is a worthy heir to the throne, but could we see Rhea Ripley rise to the challenge in a show of strength for the belt? For Lynch, she’s held a Nate Diaz-like stature in WWE, where she can earn top billing with or without a belt on the streak. It’s good.
The Miz and Logan Paul defeated. Dominic Mysterio and Rey Mysterio
There was one big question coming up in the tag team match between The Mysterios vs. The Miz and Logan Paul: We know Logan Paul can fight, but can he wrestle?
Paul presented himself well, with liveliness and strength, along with some devious tactics worthy of someone performing in front of an audience not on their side. In fact, the duo from Cleveland showed instant tag team harmony while in control of the match for an extended period of time.
However, the father and son duo will reunite once again as the elder Mysterio will eventually enter the ring to rescue the damaged Dominic and set up a heavy attack on The Miz. Flying hurricane Rey along with a great 619 paired with Hurricane DDT helped restore control of Mysterios. And then, a game broke out in which one outdid the other.
First, Ray’s failed attempt to hit the three amigos was advanced by one by Logan Paul hitting a combo action along with Frog Splash and shimmy. Next, Dominic tackled a Frog Splash on his own to create a double 619 by The Mysterios.
Through all this craziness, The Miz made a mark on himself and landed the Skull Crushing Finale on Rey to cash in on the victory.
Then, The Miz decided to remember the beef he had with Logan last August and handed the Skull Crushing Finale to his teammate.
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What then: For a brief moment, thinking that The Miz and Paul were a legitimate tag team seemed a real possibility. Then Miz sent his partner’s face to the board. A potential split and future individual success seems like the step here. Especially for Paul, who not only held his own for a long time but showed the charisma needed to achieve real success in WWE.
For The Mysterios, their place among the company’s top tag teams is secure, and they must challenge for belts again in the near future.
Drew McIntyre def. happy corbin
Drew McIntyre has been out for revenge since he was attacked by Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss on WWE Day 1. On Saturday night, McIntyre finally got his revenge, though it took Swanton’s dive over the top rope and start of the end of days to get it done.
It’s a shame that McIntyre and Corbin faced each other early on the card, besides, the stakes are nothing more than a personal feud, as both men were nimble and bedridden in the ring while giving a show. Moss, usually with witty jokes, instead interferes with his teammate, causing him serious damage from the distraction.
McIntyre, who was recently back on the court after recovering from a neck injury, finally called Claymore over Corbin to earn the victory. During his celebration, Moss attempted to interfere, but was thwarted by McIntyre who used his massive sword “Angela” and cut two of the ring’s ropes in half while Moss was lost in the process.
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What then: McIntyre’s feud with Corbin and Moss should now be over, and he could be in line for the title shot depending on how things turn out between Reigns and Lesnar on Sunday night. As for Corbin and Moss, how about a legitimate run in the tag team title? They are large and can move around and each can hold its own microphone. Maybe they’re next for Usos?
SmackDown tag team championships: The Usos (c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boggs
Fewer tandems would have been better choices to serve as the WrestleMania 38 opener from the rock and roll duo of Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs, along with seven-time tag team champions The Usos.
Boogs demonstrated his versatility in and out of the ring with his impressive guitar skills and show of strength by raising Jey Uso to a vertical suplex. Unfortunately, Boogs succumbed to injury as his right knee – the same one he had demonstrated a few weeks earlier – stumbled while trying to take the Uso brothers’ load in the middle of the ring.
The Usos eventually finished off the now solo Nakamura in 1D and achieved the pinning victory.
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For Jimmy and Jey, retaining the titles early into the weekend means they can keep their focus on all things The Bloodline and help out their cousin Roman Reigns in Sunday’s main event against Brock Lesnar. For Boogs, a rising star who momentarily shone of brightness to start the show, I hope he has a quick recovery ahead.
What then: Usos’ win helps reset the SmackDown tag team menu bar after WrestleMania. Depending on how well The New Day performed on Saturday night with Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston without Big E, another battle between the two future Hall of Fame teams looks like a real possibility. For Nakamura and Boog, a split and a solo run for both seems likely in the future.
will come later:
‘KO Show’: Kevin Owens welcomes ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
New Day (King Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs Sheamus & Ridge Holland
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