Review for WWE Wrestlemania 38
So ongoing Wrestlemania will be a two-night event, with NXT's Takeover show, Raw and Smackdown that's almost a week of wrestling which it would have been nice to have seen more of. As a two disk set and getting the Blu-ray treatment I expected WWE to push the limits of the format. Sadly, that's not to be.
Wrestlemania Night One was an odd affair with some good parts, some great parts and some parts I would rather forget. The Usos defending their Smackdown Tag Team Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs had its moments, but simply not enough to make it memorable. This would have been better with some form of stipulation. However, I do love that Nakamura has gone back to his old music.
Drew McIntyre against Happy Corbin was a waste of time and though I love seeing McIntyre, this is a long fall for the Scottish Warrior. The Miz and Logan Paul against Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio was pointless and the ending even more so.
Finally, we get to a great match between Becky Lynch against Bianca Belair for the Raw Women's Championship. This match has had a great build and the actual match was a perfect payoff for all of that. Was never a huge fan of Belair, but this past year and this feud with Lynch has been excellent.
Match of this night really should have been the match between Seth Rollins and the mystery opponent and I must say I was shocked when AEW Original Cody Rhodes appeared. However, I was never a fan of him in the ring and though they worked well together and it had its moments, it certainly wasn't the amazing moment it was built to be and within a few minutes with Rollins he showed why he will no doubt never be a World Champion in WWE. I hope he proves me wrong.
Finally, we have one of the worst matches I have seen in a very long time. I was shocked that a match between Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey for the Smackdown Women's Championship was just average. The ending was a slap in the face and left a bitter taste at the end of the first night.
That would be the case if we didn't have this wonderful moment between Kevin Owens and a returning Stone Cold Steve Austin. I will say that I would happily watch Stone Cold stun anyone, drink beer and leave and though this is far from a five star classic, I didn't expect this from Austin and what he gave us was a great moment which is what this night desperately needed.
After the lacklustre Night One, Night Two had a lot to make up for. The Triple Threat between RK-Bro, Street Profits and Alpha Academy for the Raw Tag Team Championship was fine. That is all. Just fine.
Bobby Lashley against Omos reminded me of the bad old days of lumbering Warlord and Dino Bravo matches. This match did nothing for either man. However, the Anything Goes Match between Sami Zayn and Jackass's Johnny Knoxville was exactly what I needed to keep me going. This was a fun match, reminding me of the classic Attitude 24/7 Hardcore matches and I enjoyed every bizarre and crazy moment of it all.
The Fatal 4-Way Match for the Women's Tag Team Championship pitted Sasha Banks and Naomi against Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, Shayna Baszler and Natalya and Carmella and Queen Zelina. This could have been better and with a stipulation like 'Elimination Rules' it would have been much better. Not awful, but not memorable either.
AJ Styles against Edge was fantastic. This is clearly match of the night and probably match of the event and one of the few that I was hugely looking forward to watching again. Both are fantastic and worked so well together and though the ending was a little odd, I still loved all of it.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods against Sheamus and Ridge Holland was fine. Nothing more, nothing less. When you consider who this involved I expected much more than that.
I enjoyed the build of the Pat McAfee and Austin Theory match and it was not a bad match bell to bell. However, we all remember this for the appearance of Stone Cold and Mr McMahon selling one of the worst stunners in history.
Finally, we have the main event between two of the biggest stars to unify the two belts. This should have been one of the pivotal moments in the history of WWE. Instead, what we got was a twelve minute waste of my time to stroke the ego of Roman Reigns. This was one of the few times when I would have been happy with Brock Lesnar winning and as much as I understand them going all in with Roman's Heel-Turn, but this was the time for it all to end. Sadly not and much like Flair/Rousey, I ended the night feeling cheated and unlike the night before, there was no Austin appearance to save it.
The only extra is The Undertaker's Hall of Fame speech in full. I am not saying this isn't great, but it does feel like a slap in the face to the rest of that class. A highlight reel would have been fine with a few extra pieces. Instead, the extras, much like the event was a little lacklustre.
This is possibly one of the worst Wrestlemania's I have seen in a long while. It is hard to imagine much of this PPV making it on Best of Lists, but apart from AJ/Edge, Lynch/Belair and Rollins/Rhodes there is very little on this show that I enjoyed rewatching and this is a huge shame for what should be the greatest nights of the year. Maybe spreading it over two nights has only resulted in quantity over quality and hopefully this is not how 2022 will continue.