I’ll Review Anything: Wrestlemania 38: Night Two

Hiya!

I gotta hand it to the WWE as Night One of Wrestlemania 38 was highly entertaining. Then again, they did frontload all of the matches I wanted to see then. Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair and Seth Rollins vs. a mystery opponent Cody Rhodes were the ones I was looking forward to regarding this year’s Wrestlemania. This does lead me going into Night Two with some trepidation as I feel they already put all the good stuff out. I do hope I’m wrong, though.

So, let’s go check if the WWE can match or, hopefully, top Night One. Let’s go check out what happened during Wrestlemania 38: Night Two.

They started Night Two with a Triple Thread Tag Team match for the RAW Tag Team Champions. This had RK-Bro going against the Street Profits and Alpha Academy. Thankfully, this was an excellent way to start out the night. I did get confused as this was actually a Tornado Tag Team match since all 3 teams had someone competing at the same time. There were some really neat spots, like Montez Ford jumping over the corner post and into all of the competitors and then Chad Gable joining in with a moonsault. That RKO from the top rope by Riddle also was white hot.

The finish actually came soon after Riddle his the avalanche RKO on Montez Ford. For some unknown reason, Chad Gable decided to perform a splash from the top rope. I guess he might have been going for Randy Orton but he was already standing up by this point. Anyway, Orton snatched the diving Gable into an RKO to get the pinfall victory and retain his and Riddle’s RAW Tag Team Championship. After the match was over, RK-Bro and the Street Profits were celebrating in the ring along with new WWE signee Gable Steveson. Chad Gable wasn’t having any of it and taunted Gable Steveson. Steveson then grabbed the Alpha Academy team member and suplexed him across the ring.

This was a really fun match. It was just chaotic enough to make all of the action look really frenzied but still coherent. I could’ve done away with the post-match celebration as having both Randy Orton and Riddle celebrate their win at Wrestlemania should be enough. I guess they had to do this so we can see why were supposed to be hyped for Gable Steveson. On a side note, I think either he or Chad Gable should change their in-ring names. I mean, one Gable in the WWE should be enough.

The next match has Bobby Lashley take on Omos. I never really got into this feud as it looked rushed but I do like the implications of a returning Bobby Lashley trying to take on the biggest guy in the WWE right now. This had your traditional “big man” moments, with Omos dominating over Bobby Lashley for most of the match. Lashley now had to rely on his agility instead of his power, which did make the match a little more interesting than two powerhouses wailing at each other.

The finish saw Lashley breaking out of an Omos bearhug and shoving the bigger man into the corner. The All Mighty then stunned Omos with several big punches before taking down the Colossus with a suplex! This amped up Lashley as he delivered a couple of spears to Omos and finally getting the pinfall victory.

This was an okay big man match. While deliberately slow, this is oddly the best I’ve seen Omos in a long time. I did like how he overpowered Lashley for most of the match. In fact, I don’t agree with Omos losing here and he should have beat Lashley. Maybe he could’ve taken a shortcut with a rake of the eyes or something to eke out the victory but having him lose at Wrestlemania wasn’t the right call in my opinion. It didn’t exactly hurt Omos’ standing nor did the win help Lashley so I don’t see why they did this.

The next match had Sami Zayn take on Johnny Knoxville in an Anything Goes match. I knew this was going to be a dumb stunt-fest from the very start so I tempered my expectations really early. I knew the rest of the Jackass crew was going to get involved somehow but I honestly didn’t expect all the prop comedy. Sami definitely was made to look the fool as he took a lot of the abuse like getting sprayed by a fire extinguisher, getting smacked with a giant hand, getting kicked in the groin with a robot boot, getting hit in the groin with a bowling ball, getting his groin squeezed with tongs (lots of groin shots, aren’t there?), landing on a table laid out with mousetraps and getting bodyslammed by a little person.

The finish came after Sami Zayn climbed the top turnbuckle but Johnny Knoxville got up and used a tazer on Zayn’s groin. The Jackass crew then took out a giant mousetrap and Zayn got pinched by it, allowing Johnny Knoxville to get the pinfall victory on the trapped Zayn.

This was a dumb but enjoyable match as long as you didn’t take it too seriously. I’m all for dumb and stupid as long as it’s entertaining. Kudos to Sami Zayn for agreeing to take the brunt of the jokes. Heck, kudos to Johnny Knoxville and the rest of the Jackass crew for taking the bumps! I know a lot of hardcore wrestling fans must’ve hated this but I had fun with it because I expected it was going to be silly and I definitely wasn’t wrong. I bet I would’ve loved it more if I watched Jackass, though.

The next match was for the Women’s Tag Team Championships in a Fatal Four Way. This had Queen Zelina and Carmela defending the belts against the teams of Naomi and Sasha Banks, Natalya and Shayna Bazler and Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan. I was hoping this would be a good match and there were some neat moments, like the double powerbomb-superplex on opposite corners by Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan as well as some of the other double team moves. Unfortunately, these just didn’t leave an impression on me as the entire match felt weirdly paced as everything came off as rushed. Even the WWE must be acknowledging this as the only video they featured on this match was Sasha Banks rolling up in a sports car instead of actual match highlights.

The finish came after Carmela kicked out of Sasha Banks’ frog splash. The Boss locked on the Bank Statement on Carmela but Queen Zelina managed to drag her partner to the outside to break the hold. Banks then connected with a meteora to Zelina, enabling Carmela to toss Banks back into the ring. Banks managed to get the blind tag to Naomi and she nailed Carmela with a kick, stunning her long enough to connect with a combination face plant with a Codebreaker to get the pinfall. Naomi and Sasha Banks are your NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions!

I really wanted this match to be fantastic but it was just good. Natalya and Shayna Bazler were basically just there and they didn’t have much of an effect on the outcome. At least the team of Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan were there for some tag team moves. Even Queen Zelina, who was entering Wrestlemania at part of the tag team champions, felt like a general afterthought as she hardly did anything in the grand scheme of things. I’m glad Sasha Banks and Naomi are the champs as I’m a Sasha Banks mark but I still wish the match was memorable in some way.

The next match pitted Edge against AJ Styles. Among all of the matches of Night Two, this was the one I had the most hype for. The two are capable of putting on a good show and, overall, this didn’t disappoint. Lots of good in-ring storytelling and psychology here. Some really cool close 2-counts and near finishers here as well. There were some really hard hitting moves like Styles hitting a superplex to the ring apron as well as a successful Styles Clash.

The finish was a bit of a letdown, though. After the aforementioned Styles Clash, The Phenomenal One set up for the Phenomenal Forearm but got distracted by Damien Priest, who appeared at ringside all of a sudden. This gave Edge enough time to recover and nail a spear on Styles who was coming down with the Phenomenal Forearm and get the pinfall victory. After the match, Damien Priest rolled in the ring and it looked like he was going to brawl with Edge but they both smiled and raised their hands in victory, signifying they’re actually a team.

I get the storyline ramifications for this as it shows Edge building a new stable. However, I just don’t like it when you try to build a new storyline during Wrestlemania. I also dislike it when an extremely good match like this one is marred by a screwjob finish. Sure, Damien Priest didn’t actually do anything to AJ Styles but I just wanted this to be a clean match.

The next match had The New Day taking on Sheamus and Ridge Holland. This was actually supposed to happen during Night One but was postponed to Night Two for time constraints. I don’t understand why this would be the case as this was very quick, lasting for around 2 to 3 minutes only. The only real notable things regarding this match was The New Day’s Big E inspired tights and newcomer Butch just trying to attack everyone.

The finish came after Xavier Woods performed a superkick to Ridge Holland after The New Day member reversed a back suplex attempt. Butch then climbed up the ring apron and distracted the official. This allowed Sheamus to blindside Woods with a Brogue Kick. Holland then finished the job with his Northen Grit move for the pinfall victory. Not much to say here. Shame the New Day and Sheamus only had a few minutes but the card was already packed so something had to give and, sadly, it was their match.

The next match had Pat McAfee take on Austin Theory with Vince McMahon watching at ringside. I will say I was worried as I only knew Pat McAfee as a commentator and I wasn’t familiar with his athletic career. So imagine my surprise when he managed to do things like take a suplex, backflip from the top turnbuckle and leap to the top rope to nail a superplex on Austin Theory. Color me impressed!

The finish came after the superplex. McAfee set up for a punt kick but Theory dodged it and then took the former football player’s legs from under him. The Vince McMahon protoge then pounded McAfee before setting him up for his ATL finisher. McAfee managed to reverse it into a rollup and getting the surprise pinfall victory!

This did not sit well with Vince McMahon who entered the ring and started a match with McAfee. However, before the bell could be rung for this impromptu bout, Theory blindsided McAfee. The chairman of the WWE then knocked McAfee down with a clothesline before smashing the commentator’s head into the top turnbuckle. McMahon took control throughout the match with Austin Theory still managing to pull McAfee into the ring post crotch first in full view of the official. Vince McMahon decided to add insult to injury to the finish, kicking a football into McAfee and getting the pinfall victory.

As Vince McMahon and Austin Theory celebrated in the ring, the glass suddenly broke and out came “Stone Cold” Steve Austin! The Texas Rattlesnake avoided a punch by Theory and took him out with a Stone Cold Stunner. Vince McMahon seemingly made peace with “Stone Cold” and Steve Austin opted to have a few brews with the chairman of the WWE. After Vince approved of the drink, the two chugs the beers… but Austin decided to give Vince McMahon the worst looking Stone Cold Stunner in the history of Stone Cold Stunners! I love it!

After that, Pat McAfee entered the ring and celebrated with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin with a couple of beers… only to eat a Stone Cold Stunner himself. Typical Steve Austin! I was highly impressed with how much I liked all of this. Pat McAfee did look a little stiff and he could’ve been a little more fluid in the ring but, considering he’s not a real professional wrestler, it was good enough. The Stunner on Vince McMahon looked bad but it was also hilarious because of how bad it was. This was just a fun little segment and fit well with the Wrestlemania vibes.

The final match of the Night Two was for all the marbles as Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns would have a match to unify the biggest titles from RAW and Smackdown. This should have a big match feel but, unfortunately, these two have been going at it for so long, they’ve switched who was face and heel! It also didn’t help how long the entrances were. They felt longer than the actual match itself! Anyway, some mind games from Brock right at the start as he took of his fighting gloves. In retrospect, this was dumb since Lesnar didn’t throw a single punch! There was some hard hitting action with Brock steamrolling through Reigns early on with his usual Suplex City shtick as well as some stuntwork with Reigns spearing Lesnar through the barricade. This would’ve been impressive… if they hadn’t done this in previous outings. Now, it’s just repetitive.

The finish came after the Tribal Chief reversed an F5 attempt into a superman punch. Reigns set himself up to spear the Beast Incarnate but Brock managed to snatch Reigns into an F5 for a 2-count. Lesnar went for another F5 but Reigns got out of it and nearly shoved Brock into the official. However, Reigns did spear Lesnar into the referee, taking out the official momentarily. The Tribal Chief took the opportunity to hit a low blow to Lesnar and then clock him upside the head with the Universal Championship belt. Lesnar still managed to kick out after the assault, though.

Reigns speared Lesnar from behind but Brock reached for the ropes to break up the pin afterwards. Reigns went for another spear and it looked like it hit but Lesnar managed to lock in the Kimura Lock during the move. Reigns managed to get to the bottom rope, thanks to Paul Heyman nudging the rope just a smidge. Lesnar went for another F5 but Reigns broke free, shoved The Beast into the ropes, enabling the Tribal Chief to nail his opponent with a spear and becoming the WWE’s Unified Champion.

This match was good for what it was. There were some creative booking here, making it so Lesnar still looked strong despite losing. The match was also blissfully short as it didn’t need to be a barn burner but just long enough for both Reigns and Lesnar to show their stuff.

Overall, I did think Wrestlemania 38’s Night Two was also really good but never reached the heights Night One did. Still, considering how good both Night One and Night Two was, I say the WWE scored it big with this year’s Wrestlemania.

Byee!

What did you think of Wrestlemania 38’s Night Two? Did you think it was better than Night One? Let me know in the comments section below!

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