Categories
PPV Reviews WWE

WWE WrestleMania 38 Night One Review

Welcome everyone, to SmarKDown’s joint review of WWE WrestleMania 38 Night One, with individual comments followed by an overall average rating for each match.

Advertisements

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship – The Usos (Jimmy & Jey) (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs

IMG credit: WWE & oicanadian.com

Tomás Cunha – Not bad, but not exactly good either. It was relatively short and inoffensive, though I can’t figure out the need to kickout of the Usos’ Splash just to end the match 30 seconds later anyway. Standard tag team match. **1/4

Runn – A pretty generic, by-the-numbers tag opener. It didn’t overstay its welcome, and The Usos winning was the logical decision. Fine enough. **1/2

Viper – Honestly a pretty poor choice to have as an opener. Action is decent, but overall nothing really interesting happens here. Thank God Boogs got like nothing in as he is clearly still very green. Gotta feel bad for Nakamura though. **

Rishabh – It turned into a handicap match soon after due to Boogs’ unfortunate injury. The match is fine but I don’t think it was a good idea to open with this match. This could have been fit in between two long matches later on the show as a cool off match. **1/2

  • Average rating: 2.31/5

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin

IMG credit: WWE & postwrestling.com

Tomás Cunha – Enjoyed some of the reversals and exchanges they had. Nice little match, better than I expected to be quite honest. **3/4

Runn – Nothing really to write home about apart from the End of Days kick-out. This was what it needed to be, pretty much. I’m glad Drew was able to pick up the win without having it to go too long. **1/4

Viper – Another match here that I feel doesn’t belong on the WrestleMania card. Sure maybe the End Of Days kickout is Mania worthy, but other than that this is just a casual Smackdown match. Action is decent, but yeah….who cares? **

Rishabh – I am still trying to figure out the purpose of this match but it was better than expected I would say. It was decent and I was legitimately shocked when McIntyre kicked out of the End of Days. Not much to complain here. **1/2

  • Average rating: 2.37/5

Rating: 2 out of 5.
Advertisements

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul

IMG credit: WWE & TDPel Media

Tomás Cunha – The match was nothing special until the Eddie heat spot was underway, where I honestly was impressed with Logan Paul’s performance. It nicely set up the Mysterios’ comeback, and it was surprising to see the heels win. Especially with Miz turning on Logan immediately afterwards. Pretty weird, but an alright match nonetheless. **3/4

Runn – A surprisingly enjoyable tag bout. Logan did a lot better than I expected him to, and I really enjoyed his heel schticks with the Miz. Dominik made for a decent face-in-peril, building up to his father’s hot tag that got one heck of a reaction. The post-match stuff was whatever, but at least it came across as somewhat shocking. ***

Viper – Good match here. Logan is not that great in the ring. He can pull off the spots, but seemed to struggle when it came to the basic fundamentals. Other than that a very enjoyable tag team contest. ***

Rishabh – Logan Paul did much better than what I expected and I actually enjoyed his work and wouldn’t mind seeing more of him in the ring. I liked the tag match overall but would have preferred the babyfaces to win here. The post match turn from The Miz was pretty weird and confusing but we will see where it goes. ***1/4

  • Average rating: 3/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

WWE RAW Women’s Championship – Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair

IMG credit: WWE & diva-dirt.com

Tomás Cunha – It took them a while to switch gears, and while not everything was perfect (that flying senton from Becky particularly comes to mind), they definitely had the crowd behind them and it got better near the end. Good finish. ***

Runn – It probably went too long for what its worth, but they never lost the crowd at any point in the match. These two worked well together, and Bianca’s title win was a well-deserved conclusion to this long-term storyline lasting from the summer of last year. Pretty good match. ***1/2

Viper – It focuses more on the story of Bianca rising up against the boss battle power of Becky. She suffered a lot, but was able to finally defeat what looked to be undefeatable. Good match and a nice change of mood after those first three matches. ***

Rishabh – The story here was good but I didn’t like the match they put here. The first half of the match was quite boring but it did get better later on especially toward the end. It was a nice victory for Bianca and a great WrestleMania moment. ***

  • Average rating: 3.12/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes

IMG credit: WWE & sportsmanor.com
Advertisements

Tomás Cunha – Pretty much everyone saw this coming, yet still felt unreal watching it unfold. They had a fantastic matchup all the way through as well, culminating with that awesome tribute to Dusty Rhodes and the use of the bionic elbows. Great moment and a great match to boot. ****

Runn – Fan-fucking-tastic. This was a tremendous professional wrestling matchup full of thrilling sequences and incredible false finishes. Cody was especially sublime with all the little things he did, i.e: him intentionally acting like Rollins was gonna hit a Stomp, only to evade it, was great stuff. Both men were determined to make each other look like a million bucks, and I can safely say they definitely succeeded in doing so. The triple Cross Rhodes and the Flip, Flop & Fly to end was an awesome finishing run. Welcome back, Cody! ****1/4

Viper – It’s great seeing Cody back with everything he had in AEW. The match here is great and is a great sign of what’s to come for Rhodes. Loved the tribute to his dad in the end and I am so glad this was the longest match. ****1/4

Rishabh – Cody being the mystery opponent was very predictable yet the moment when his theme song hit and he made his entrance felt so unreal. It was nice seeing Cody back in a WWE ring and the two put on a great match. Great reversals, great moves, great storytelling, I especially liked Rollins constantly mocking and trash talking Cody Rhodes. The finishing sequence was also well done with the great tribute to Dusty and the multiple Cross Rhodes. Welcome back Cody! ****1/4

  • Average rating: 4.18/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

IMG credit: WWE & FirstSportz

Tomás Cunha – This matchup looks wonderful on paper, and we’d already seen them had a fantastic bout in Ronda’s first WWE run. But this time around, it just wasn’t meant to be. The match wasn’t bad or anything close to it, but going 20 minutes after Cody Rhodes’ return didn’t play in their favour. Also, for the love of me, Ronda Rousey looks more tedious out there than me having to sit through these shows live at 4am. Someone in the back, please get this poor girl a Red Bull or something. **3/4

Runn – Even though the execution in this match wasn’t necessarily the best, I do enjoy the physicality and aggressiveness being put on display here between the two women. They were stiffing the hell out of each other in there, and it looked like a real fight at times. Sadly, everything after the Figure-Four false finish terribly dragged, and the ref bump finish did nothing but bring the match down. Overall, a decent outing that was on the verge of being good but flopped along the way. ***

Viper – The build up is terrible I admit it, but I went into this hoping it would be reminiscent of the Survivor Series Match, and I think it’s pretty close to it. Crowd didn’t seem to care, but I did and I enjoyed the action here from bell to bell. Also personally glad that Charlotte won (never thought I’d stoop to that level.) ***1/2

Rishabh – I didn’t care about this match at all heading into it and these two did nothing during the match to make me care either. It wasn’t flat out bad but it was extremely boring and a huge downgrade from their previous encounter at Survivor Series 2018. The finish was also generic and the fact that Charlotte won didn’t help. **3/4

  • Average rating: 3/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.

No Holds Barred – Kevin Owens vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin

IMG credit: WWE & 411Mania

Tomás Cunha – People had mixed feelings regarding Stone Cold Steve Austin wrestling a match at this stage of his life, me included, but well it looks like it happened. WWE booked it as an Attitude Era-like brawl all over ringside, which I feel was a smart decision, with the smoke and mirrors covering Austin’s inevitable weaknesses. Owens bumped around like a ragdoll and really helped elevate this. The moment was amazing, which was to be expected, but honestly, the match delivered as well. Great surprise! ***1/4

Runn – I honestly don’t see the purpose of Steve Austin wrestling a match in 2022, but this was a top-to-bottom entertaining main event brawl to cap off the show, made even better by the super hot Texas crowd. Big props to Owens for working as safe as possible, and even bigger props to Austin for taking some hard bumps he didn’t even need to. It wasn’t the ideal retirement match for Austin (WM XIX…), but I had a great time watching it. And sometimes, that’s all you need. ***1/4

Viper – Beautiful seeing the rattlesnake wrestling in 2022 live. This was such a fun brawl to witness live and I cannot thank Stone Cold enough for agreeing to do this. Also really happy for Kevin Owens even though he got his ass kicked. ***1/2

Rishabh – Another moment in the night which felt so unreal. Steve Austin wrestling a match in 2022. WOW! The match quality didn’t really matter anyways as it was already a treat watching Austin back in the ring but the two worked hard and made for a fun brawl which entertained the hell out of everyone. Props to both Kevin Owens and Steve Austin. ***1/4

  • Average rating: 3.31/5

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Advertisements

Overall Show

Tomás Cunha – My opinion might be a bit different, because of how late it was for me to watch it live. Because of that, the first couple of hours were a real struggle to sit through, especially with all the endless promo video packages that aired 500 times throughout the night. Cody Rhodes returning, while predictable, was a fantastic moment and the match was by far the greatest. Stone Cold Steve Austin was also a highlight. Not a bad night 1 for WrestleMania, but very few matches truly feel WrestleMania-worthy. And please WWE, cut down the video packages! 6/10

Runn – It was a pretty good show, even if the four hours length may be too much. Some big highlights such as Cody returning, Austin having his first match in 19 years, and to a lesser extent, Bianca’s title win. I didn’t think much of the card at first, but it turned out to be a relatively pleasant surprise for me. Mildly recommended. 6.5/10

Viper – First hour or so was kind of boring, didn’t feel like WrestleMania. Then Bianca won the title. Then Cody Rhodes returned and made my night. They had a magnificent match. Ronda lost to Charlotte which I love, and STONE COLD WRESTLED IN 2022. Last hour and a half completely saved this show for me. 6/10

Rishabh – Much better than what I expected. The night had some cool moments, like Cody Rhodes return and Austin wrestling, both felt too good to be true. The event didn’t set the world on fire or anything, but it was fine. 7/10

  • Average rating: 6.38/10

Rating: 6 out of 10.

What did you think of WrestleMania’s first night? Share your thoughts using the comment section down below. Have a great Sunday, and enjoy night 2!

If you enjoy our content and would like to donate, your contribution is greatly appreciated and will help us improve and put out even greater content going forward.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$30.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

We’re thankful for your contribution!

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly