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WrestleMania 38 Reviews

Updated: Apr 18, 2022

Reverse Hipster's Night One Reviews

Nakamura & Boogs vs. The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Championship) 7/10 C-

This was not a good choice to open up night one. It had no heat, and the result was pretty meaningless and predictable. The superstars performed well, but they couldn't get rolling because Rick Boogs sustained an injury while trying to lift Jey and Jimmy. The match gets a C- because it was as decent as it could have been given the circumstances. Nakamura got a big kick out before Usos got out of there with a win.

Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin 7.8/10 C+

Drew and Corbin are good workers, but this feud just wasn't good. Happy Corbin's character hasn't been interesting since he was sad Corbin and Drew just seemed above this feud. This is the second match on the card and the second match that could have been on WrestleMania SmackDown. Drew and Corbin did what they could to make this match entertaining, so at least it wasn't boring. But the highlight was a deep six from Corbin.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz and Logan Paul 8.5/10 B

This felt like the true first WrestleMania match of the card. Rey and Dominik flew around and excited the crowd, and Logan showed everyone how good he was in the ring. I loved the finish of the match stereo 619 from Rey and Dominik plus stereo Frog Splash, but Miz brilliantly tagged himself in while Logan was on the second rope. The Miz then slammed Dominik on Rey's head and won with a Skull-Crushing finale. After that, Miz shocked me by turning on Logan after the match.

Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair (Raw Women's Championship) 9.5/10 A

Becky and Bianca stole the show at WrestleMania. They had the best story leading into their match and delivered the best match of either night. What set this match apart was that they didn't have any wasted motion. Bianca and Becky just kept stacking great sequences together, leading to an exciting finish. Full disclosure: I had the result spoiled, but I still popped when I saw it happen live. The sequence of Bianca suddenly getting Becky up for the KOD was shocking and climatic. Even when Becky accidentally kicked Bianca in the face, it only improved the match. The hit looked rough, and Bianca beating Becky with one eye only made her look better.

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins 9.4/10 A

This might be one of the best debuts in recent history. This is how you make someone feel special. Cody came out with pyro and special lighting, and then he beat one of the best wrestlers in the world. This was the match that both Seth and Cody deserved. There were plenty of false finishes, and I would have been happy to see them fight forever. They also had great sequences and an excellent finish. Cody hitting his finisher three times was exciting to watch, and it honored the war they went through and made Seth look good even in a loss.

Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey (SmackDown Women's Championship) 8.8/10 B+

This match was really brutal. Everything these two did looked like it hurt. It was just a regular match, but it felt like we were watching a street fight because of the level of physicality. It seemed like Charlotte and Ronda were on their way to a classic. However, the finish ruined the match. Charlotte speared the ref even though it was supposed to look like she had been kicked into the ref. Then, Ronda made Charlotte tap out, but the ref was out. Ronda went to rouse the ref and got a big boot by Charlotte. Charlotte won again, and it was sickening. Also, Ronda Rousey, the baddest woman in the world, losing to a big boot is laughable. Honestly, nobody should lose to that move.

First off, if Charlotte was going to win, why have Charlotte tap out? It takes some of the steam out of the win, and if WWE felt the need to do that, how about not having Charlotte win? Charlotte has gone over everybody, and it's ruining her career. She is becoming a Cena Wins Lol meme. Also, Charlotte and Ronda talked nonstop about tapping each other out during the build, and then the match ended on a pinfall. It should have been a submission match.

Add another match to the growing list of matches that were messed up because of Charlotte's need to always win. Like when Charlotte had to win the WrestleMania 32 triple threat for the new title despite being the champion for like a year leading into that match. Charlotte snapped Asuka's undefeated streak. Last, but not least, Charlotte ruined Rhea's momentum at WrestleMania 36 and took the NXT Title.

Kevin Owens vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin 8/10 B-

This was one of a few WrestleMania 38 great Stone Cold surprises. The interview between K.O. and Stone Cold was a trap by K.O. to challenge him to a fight in front of his home crowd, knowing he couldn't say no. This was super risky for Austin, who hasn't wrestled in nineteen years. Wrestlers don't want to end up like Shawn Michaels, coming out of retirement for the wrong match and leaving a bad taste in the fans mouths for your last match, especially when they already had an excellent send-off.

Stone Cold didn't do that. He had a solid match with Kevin Owens. They didn't go too long, but it didn't feel like a blink, and you missed it match. They had some good spots like the suplex to the floor. Also, Stone Cold was able to artfully disguise catching his breath by drinking his beer throughout the match, which also doubled as an advertisement. Stone Cold got one last win at WrestleMania, and it was amazing to watch. It would have been nice to see K.O. win, but he gets the biggest rub regardless for bringing Stone Cold out of retirement for a match.

Rob's Night One Reviews

The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

This was a weird choice to open the most stupendous WrestleMania, with the only notable over superstar being Rick Boogs just for his entrance catchphrase. The action here was a little clunky, and the most memorable spot was a botch by Boogs that resulted in injury when he tried to carry both Usos. Because of the injury, I think the go-home section of the match was modified, and it ended up being a below-average match, especially to open WrestleMania.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Happy Corbin vs. Drew McIntyre

This was another cold feud going into WrestleMania, but maybe it was good to get these out of the way early. Happy Corbin and Drew McIntyre did the best in ring with the feud they had. The spot with McIntyre cutting the ropes was cool, but it wasn’t enough to salvage this feud or match.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

The Mysterios vs. The Miz and Logan Paul

The ring gear by both teams made this feel like a WrestleMania match. Logan Paul continued the trend of celebrity matches being way better than expected. Despite the fact that these teams have been feuding in ring for a month, Paul’s involvement made this match feel novel, and the veteran expertise of Rey Mysterio and The Miz added to the ability to find another gear for this match. I think Dominik Mysterio is criminally underrated in ring too, and he should get spots like this more often. This was a good spot for the heels to win, and the Miz spoiled a happy ending for the Mysterio family. Then, the turn on Paul was executed perfectly by Miz, and it felt like a WrestleMania-worthy moment. This one was way more fun than I expected it to be.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair (Raw Women’s Championship)

Make no mistake about it: these are two of the best women doing it. Becky Lynch is a veteran at this point, and she’s doing some of the best character work of her career. Bianca Belair shines in every big spot WWE puts her in, and she is a worthy champion of the division and still feels like a fresh face in the women’s main event scene. Lynch and Belair pulled off some of the best technical wrestling exchanges of the entire weekend. The booking finally concluded the nearly one-year-long story of Lynch and Belair in the exact way it needed to conclude. Lynch played her role to perfection, and Belair is a certified star and champion again.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes

Seth Rollins managed to carry this feud entirely by himself, and it has to be a tough spot to wrestle someone at the biggest show of the year that you didn’t even have communication with a month ago. Even though Cody Rhodes was the most likely rumored opponent, it was surreal to see him enter at WrestleMania with his American Nightmare persona and theme. Rhodes did everything he said he would after WWE: he is coming back as a certified star, one of the best personas in wrestling, and a top in-ring worker too. In a night where the most over WWE superstar of all time wrestled his first match in 19 years, the biggest buzz online was for the American Nightmare. The match they put together was great, too, as they worked the crowd at the beginning, and there were many memorable spots influenced by their backgrounds in independent wrestling. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of Rollins vs. Rhodes in the future. As for the booking, Rhodes had to win here. It would have looked like his dumbest decision to return in a loss, and now, I am 100% invested in Rhodes’s WWE run and his quest to win the championship his dad never could.

Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing

Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey (SmackDown Women’s Championship)

I was not invested in this feud going into tonight, but I have to admit this is a WrestleMania-sized match. As for the match, I respect the decision to make this a brawl-style fight, unique from everything else on the card, even though I don’t think it plays to their strengths as technical wrestlers. I don’t respect the decision to have a dusty finish to this huge feud, and it was only the second time Ronda Rousey was pinned, off of a big boot from Charlotte Flair. I’m really not sure where either woman goes from here. The juxtaposition of the unique fight and bad finish lands them here.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Kevin Owens vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

Just writing this title felt surreal. A part of me knew WWE couldn’t end night one with an interview segment, but a full-on match felt too good to be true. In kayfabe, it makes perfect sense. Of course, Kevin Owens wouldn’t want to main event WrestleMania with an interview, even if it’s across from Stone Cold Steve Austin. Of course, Owens is smart enough to know that the Austin character, when challenged in Texas, couldn’t say no. They both played their roles perfectly. Owens is perhaps the best promo in WWE right now, and Austin seemed to genuinely be solemnly reflecting if he could still go. When Austin accepted the match, we got possibly one of the biggest OMG pops ever. When the bell rang, it felt like something shifted in the wrestling universe.

Into the match, it was the perfect play that Austin was moving kind of slow until he revealed he could still go. It was a while into the match before Owens got some offense on Austin, and it felt shocking and scary to see Austin take bumps like the suplex on the concrete. The No D.Q.O.M.G. stipulation was the perfect gimmick cover to give Austin some time to catch his breath between spots and cover the gap of in-ring ability to be expected when you haven’t wrestled in nearly two decades. Austin hit K.O. with a stunner, and night one concluded with an insane over-delivery as the legend stood tall. It’s a testament to how much WWE thinks of Owens that he was put in this spot for Austin’s last match, and as a fan, I think Owens took the honor seriously and delivered as Austin’s final opponent.

Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing

Reverse Hipster's Night Two Reviews

RK-Bro vs. Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy (Raw Tag Team Championship) 9.3/10 A

Unlike the previous night, WrestleMania night two started with a bang. These three teams absolutely delivered. Everyone got their stuff in the match, and they kept a fast pace throughout the match. The best parts of the match were Randy Orton's hot tag, where he wrecked everybody, and Montez Ford's dive over the corner onto everybody. RK-Bro also retained with an epic finishing sequence. Matt Riddle hit a RKO on Montez off the top turnbuckle. Then, Randy hit a catch RKO on Chad Gable, who dove off the top rope. RK-Bro won and got the crowd hot. Also, Chad Gable getting beat up by Gable Steveson after the match continued that momentum.

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos 7.7/10 C

Bobby and Omos had a fine match. Bobby was able to slam Omos, which was a highlight of the match. Also, Bobby returning to WrestleMania and beating Omos tells us that WWE hasn't given up on Bobby. I think this was a good spot for both. Bobby was able to show everyone he was still the dominator, and Omos took his first loss on a big stage to a credible opponent.

Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville 8.9/10 B+

I was not looking forward to this match, and I was not a fan of the build. I'm still not a fan of the build, but the match delivered. It was a very silly match, which makes it challenging to grade. However, I was entertained throughout the match. I loved all the wacky stuff they did. I laughed out loud at the giant hand slap. Also, Wee Man slamming Sami was my favorite part of the match. By the end, I didn't even care that Sami lost because the match was that entertaining, and he was protected by the number of people he fought against.

Sasha & Naomi vs. Zelina & Carmella vs. Liv Morgan & Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya & Shayna (Women's Tag Team Championship) 8.6/10 B

This match was exactly what the women's tag division needed. They needed a match that would slap regardless of the build because the division was neglected. The match was a thrill ride to a climatic finish where Naomi and Sasha debuted their finisher, and won the match. Sasha finally got her first win at WrestleMania, and she did it with Naomi, who helped usher her into WWE as part of Team B.A.D. Great come around WrestleMania moment that should elevate the women's tag division.

Edge vs. AJ Styles 7.9/10 C+

AJ Styles hit his head during his entrance and cut his cheek. The image of Styles bleeding on the way to the ring would symbolize the rest of the match. Something was just off. The best spot of the match was a suplex off the top rope to the apron. That was cool, but the match just never got in a rhythm. It definitely didn't feel like the match these two were capable of having. Damian Priest got involved and revealed that he was with Edge now. However, he didn't actually do anything. His appearance was just enough to distract Styles. That's a sucky finish because it's not even cheating. It's just Styles not keeping his eyes on the prize.

Ridge Holland and Sheamus vs. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston 6/10 D

This was easily the worst match of both nights. The highlight was Xavier and Kofi wearing Big E singlets. Everything else sucked. They lost the match while repping for Big E, which was a poor decision on WWE's part. The match was super short, so they didn't have time to do much. Also, the NXT call-up Butch, formerly Pete Dunne, was on the sideline watching during WrestleMania. I know WWE was probably going to have Big E in a six-man, but it would have made more sense to have a handicap match after Big E's injury.

Stone Cold/Austin vs. Pat McAfee/ Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon 9/10 A-

I'm rolling this all into one because it seems unfair to grade it separately. The Austin Theory vs. Pat McAfee match was great and didn't overstay its welcome. Pat got the win, and he looked awesome in the match beating up Austin Theory. Vince McMahon having another match was something I didn't see coming at all. It was a great moment that was more important than the logic of Vince so easily beating up Pat. It's fun to watch and set up the best moment of WrestleMania when Stone Cold's music hit and he came out to confront Vince one last time.

I have to give credit to Vince. He knew we were all waiting for Stone Cold to come out, and he milked that anticipation to the very last moment. Stone Cold came out, and it was magic. Stone Cold hit an excellent stunner on Byron Saxton the night before, where Byron sold like the Rock. Stone Cold had two more stunners that surpassed even that the second night. Austin Theory might have the best stunner sell of all time. The way he sprang up in the air was unique and made the stunner look better than ever.

However, Pat definitely gave Theory a run for his money. When Pat got stunned, he spit a fountain of beer and fell like a tree, and you could see Stone Cold enjoyed it. Last, but not least, there was Vince, who found a way to top his original sell by taking one of the most uncoordinated stunners of all time. Classic Vince, this whole segment took WrestleMania to an eleven out of ten, in terms of excitement.

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship/Universal Championship) 7.9/10 C+

Roman and Brock did not live up to the hype. However, Roman got the win clean, and the fans accepted it, so WWE should just take that and keep them away from each other. We have seen enough Brock vs. Roman matches for a lifetime. The match was pretty lackluster, and while some expected a classic, it was more like a Goldberg match. However, this may have been because Roman suffered a real muscle injury in his arm during the bout. The match still finished, and the right winner won. Given the circumstances, it went well, which is why I gave it such a high grade.

Rob's Night Two Reviews

RK-Bro vs. Alpha Academy vs. the Street Profits (Raw Tag Team Championship)

Night Two started with a much more appropriate opening tag match. It maintained all the momentum of night one’s conclusion. I loved the format of the triple threat tag with three superstars in the ring at a time. They all performed great high spots, and the match concluded with two great RKO spots. I feel like they somehow topped the match they had a few weeks ago, and RKBro was the right winner, as they still feel hot right now. After the match, there was another good WrestleMania moment with Gable Steveson and Chad Gable facing off and Steveson celebrating at the end with RKBro and the Street Profits.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos

This match didn’t have much build, but it was intriguing with how much WWE has put into Omos. Bobby Lashley needed some momentum back after shuffling out of the championship picture. Lashley pulled off the upset, and I think it was overall entertaining, though not as entertaining as it needed to be if WWE wanted to prove Omos can be a real draw in WWE.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn

In wrestling, some matches are classic masterpieces of professional wrestling, and some segments are silly car crashes that are executed so well that they are really really fun. This match was the latter. Sami Zayn has done such good character work that he made it easy to root for Johnny Knoxville. Jackass fans will undoubtedly love the inclusion of other crew members and callbacks to stunts from Jackass. My personal highlight was that Wee Man’s WrestleMania shirt with letters crossed off to spell his name was unironically the funniest thing in wrestling in years. Zayn will be fine in WWE despite losing because everything he does is too entertaining to leave him off the card. I’m not even sure how to rate this, but going on pure emotional joy, this is where it lands.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Queen Zelina and Carmella vs. Naomi and Sasha Banks vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan vs. Natalya and Shayna Baszler (Women’s Tag Team Championship)

The women continued their trend of just having really good wrestling and time to stand out from anything else on the card. They had creative high spots on here that you can only do in a match style like this. All the women had WrestleMania gear and told a good story of teamwork by finding ways to match their gear too. They even debuted some improved tag team offense, including a finish by Sasha Banks and Naomi that landed them the tag team championship. Banks first win at WrestleMania and another feather in the cap for Naomi as one of the most accomplished yet underappreciated women in the division.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

AJ Styles vs. Edge

This had high expectations based on the talent involved, but low expectations based on the story. Like others, I was admittedly distracted trying to figure out how AJ Styles was injured before entering, but he looked pissed, which I think added to the match. It was weird to see Edge enter at WrestleMania to a theme that I’m unfamiliar with. I didn’t love it, and I understand I wasn’t supposed to. They did good in-ring but never hit full stride. The reveal of Damian Priest as part of Edge’s new persona and stable was the highlight of this match for me, and it continued the trend of actual WrestleMania-worthy moments. Clearly, this feud isn’t over, and I’m interested to see what more is to come since this was not on par with the other matches on the card.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

The New Day vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland

This match was moved to this night, and it still cut so much time that it didn’t feel like it belonged at all on the WrestleMania card. I would have preferred to see Butch involved more than just a post-match beat down. It felt wrong to see Big E’s injury replay, and Ridge Holland still got to be on WrestleMania, fight the New Day, and win the match. The only highlight of this match was Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods wearing Big E’s gear. Otherwise, the underbuilt feud and too short a match led to underperformance.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory; Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon; Stone Cold Stuns Everyone

I was surprised to see this match this late on the card, but it felt like a spectacle from the get-go. Pat McAfee’s Seven Nation Army entrance was awesome, immediately over and chanted by the crowd, and the punt into the crowd was a cool spot too. I could tell McAfee was a genuine fan living out everyone’s dream in this moment, and it made for a WrestleMania-worthy match. Austin Theory carried him like a pro, and they carried out riskier spots than most celebrities or athletes would be willing to try. McAfee winning was a good enough moment, but he challenged Vince McMahon to another match, and McMahon accepted.

In his signature tank top, McMahon looked like a freak of nature who hasn’t lost a pound of muscle at age 70+. McMahon worked the hell out of the crowd in this spot, drawing boos and earning a win that just made you hate him. I was already thinking it was crazy that we saw an official match from McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the same weekend. McMahon celebrated for a LONG time which told me someone had to be coming, but he sold it for so long I was starting to give up before the glass shattered. In quick succession, we got maybe the best 3 Stone Cold Stunners of all time: Theory sold the stunner like Rock leaping feet into the air, McMahon took a signature stunner horribly/buckling his knees until Austin chased him down and he collapsed (Austin genuinely broke laughing at this one, and I could watch it forever), and McAfee took a picture-perfect spit take Stunner, spewing beer into the air higher than Theory leaped. You could see the genuine joy on McAfee’s face lying on the ground drinking beer. I think Austin got the biggest pop of all time despite the crowd seeing him wrestle the night prior. As individual matches, these were both good, but as a holistic segment, this was wrestling perfection. After more than a year of reviewing, I can give my first of this grade.

Final Grade: 10/10 Perfect

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship/Universal Championship)

This is supposed to be the biggest WrestleMania main event of all time, but it had a hard spot here, concluding a truly stupendous two-night WrestleMania and the perfect wrestling segment of Austin beforehand. I think Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar worked a hybrid MMA and WWE main event style, the best they’ve done since WrestleMania 31. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t long enough, and it didn’t quite have the sequences I expected to see in a big wrestling match. Reigns continued to use the crutch of heel tactics, and even though I think it made sense in the story, it was kind of disappointing here. Watching the replay, the best spot was maybe Lesnar’s kimura lock, which I think may have genuinely hurt Reigns based on the arm swelling. Maybe that’s why the conclusion was so rushed. Either way, the booking was 100% right, as this is the conclusion of Reigns’ years-long quest to get a clean win over Lesnar and prove that he is the undisputed champion of WWE. As a hardcore fan, it feels right to see someone who is here every week achieve that accolade. Even if Reigns isn’t my favorite wrestler, his character and in-ring work feel like it is on that level right now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roman carry the title for another year and reach more records, main eventing his third WrestleMania in a row on the same title reign.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Stay tuned to find out the overall grades of the week.

Fantasy Booking Chapter 6 Royal Rumble

Find out who I would book to win the Royal Rumble. Also, have you ever wondered what would happen if Brock Lesnar won the IC Championship? Find out the answer to this question as well as how I would book the Bloodline and Women's Tag Titles at Royal Rumble on Patreon. Join the Patreon, support the blog, and get access to this long-term fantasy booking of The Bloodline that will conclude at WrestleMania.

Rob's Overall Grade

For months, I have been on WWE’s case about the lackluster build to the most stupendous two-night WrestleMania. This WrestleMania proved me completely wrong. For the first time in at least five years, they feel truly in tune with what the fans want. This year, the WrestleMania moments were excellent: from small moments like Damian Priest joining Edge to big moments like Cody Rhodes, Steve Austin, and Vince McMahon, everything felt worthy of the biggest stage. WWE concluded long-term storylines and crowned generational main event champions in Bianca Belair and Roman Reigns. This is truly the most invested I’ve been in WWE since the summer of 2015, maybe longer. STUPENDOUS.

Final Grade: 9/10 Amazing

Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts

Night 2 = 81.6, B Night 1 =84.2 B, Overall =82.8 B

This show pleasantly surprised me. There were a lot of problems with the build, but the show delivered. At its best, it was filled with great matches and memorable moments. At its worst, it had filler matches that could be cut and given to high-profile stars who were left off the card, like Alexa Bliss and Finn Balor. Overall, it was a solid WrestleMania that delivered more good than bad.

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