One of the interesting things about these two-part WrestleMania events is how the WWE’s flagship show ends up competing against itself. Night One was uneven, but the lows (hi there, Logan Paul) weren’t so bad and the highs were many and memorable, and so it set loftier expectations for Night Two.
After skimming through two more pre-show hours of talking heads and promo packages, the distinct impression given is that tonight is more solely focused on one match than Saturday’s show was — and that’s the main event. Let’s see if any of the undercard can steal some thunder.
Mark Wahlberg is back as the introductory host; I thought for sure it would be Donnie for night two. First out before the live crowd, though, is Triple H, replete with bottled water and savoring a lengthy entrance. After two loops of his entrance song he grabs a mic and then takes his time addressing the crowd. It’s fifteen minutes into the broadcast and somebody had better remind him that they’re already trying to fit in the New Day match that was pushed forward from yesterday.
He formally welcomes the crowd to WrestleMania before exiting the ring, leaving his ring boots behind. Gable Steveson is introduced in the crowd, as he was last night, as “future WWE superstar.” High hopes rest on him, to be sure.
RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) VS. (C) VS. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) VS. Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) – Triple Threat for the Raw Tag Team Championship
Gable, Riddle, and Ford begin the match, with Riddle and Ford slapping the “Shooosh” out of Chad’s mouth. Riddle has to break up a pin early as Gable holds Ford in a German suplex, leading to everybody entering the ring and starting fights all over the place. Two aerial attacks to a group outside, one by Ford over the turnbuckles and the other by Gable with a moonsault, knock everybody to the ground.
When things calm down, Gable and Otis double-team Riddle, including a splash by Otis and a leglock by Gable before Ford returns with a high dropkick. He tags in Dawkins who suplexes Riddle around before the Academy takes over. Riddle fights off both Gable and Dawkins and brings in Orton. Orton’s Greatest Hits begins: scoop slam, suplexes onto the commentator’s table, and hangman’s DDT in concert with Riddle on both Profits.
As RK-Bro are thinking of doing a double RKO, the Academy pulls them out of the ring and hit a hoisted bulldog on Ford. Otis prepares a Vader Bomb from the second rope but is pushed to the floor by Riddle and Dawkins. Gable, up on Dawkins’ shoulders, takes a top-rope blockbuster from Ford that was impressively cool, but as Ford looks to follow up with a frog splash onto Orton Riddle sneaks an RKO in on him moments before Orton does the same to Gable leaping off the top rope himself — and that’ll do it.
Winners via pinfall and STILL WWE Raw Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro
After the bell, the Street Profits offer a congratulatory Solo Cup toast to the champs, and they invite Gable Steveson into the ring to join them. He’s about to drink when Chad Gable knocks the cup out of his hand. Chad tells him to watch himself and gets an overhead suplex for his troubles.
There’s nothing happening in between the matches tonight except for recap footage from the previous night’s matches and Hall of Fame segment.
Bobby Lashley VS. Omos
Lashley is down within seconds after a clubbing blow to his back, but after taking a few more shots he gets a kick in on Omos’ knee as the big(ger) man charges towards him in the corner. Lashley tries a Hurt Lock but Omos shrugs it off and dumps Bobby over the top rope to the floor. Lashley tries another tact and comes back into the ring flying from the top rope, but Omos just catches him and dumps him to the mat.
While holding Lashley up in a bear hug, Omos runs him into the corner and Bobby’s head snaps back and hits the corner post. Moments later, Lashley roars back into the match with a suplex and a pair of spears, one from the side and one from the front to hand Omos his first loss.
Winner via pinfall: Bobby Lashley
Johnny Knoxville VS. Sami Zayn – Anything Goes Match
Bell rings … Helluva Kick! Zayn doesn’t go for a cover, but instead takes him to the floor and throws him into the barricade in front of Knoxville’s Jackass crew. After Zayn jaws with them for a bit, he turns his attention back to Knoxville who now has a fire extinguisher and sprays Sami in the face.
Johnny pulls some junk out from under the ring but Zayn ends up using some of it instead: a crutch, a garbage can, a stop sign, and a cookie sheet before he exits the ring and pulls out a table covered with mouse traps and sets it up outside. As Zayn gets back in the ring Knoxville is waiting with two trash can lids and boxes Sami’s head. With another table leaned up against the corner, Zayn suplexes Johnny through it and tries the first cover for a two-count.
Party Boy dances his way into the ring, strips his clothes off and reveals a speedo thong, and gyrates against Sami — should I know what’s happening here? I know nothing about the Jackass crew and I’m relying on the announcers to tell me who these people are. After Sami kicks the intruder away, Knoxville tries a roll-up and gets his own two-count. Next, with shades of Hornswoggle, Wee Man slips out from under the ring and fights Sami into the ring before bodyslamming him, letting Knoxville hit a tornado DDT for a … two-count.
Next, Wee Man hands Johnny a balls-kicking contraption before taking a Helluva Kick. Zayn is knocked off the top rope by Johnny setting off some pyro, and Sami falls splay-legged in the corner, ripe for Johnny to roll a bowling a ball into his nuts. Knoxville chases Zayn to the floor where Sami is laid low by a giant swinging hand from the barricade.
Back in the ring, Sami tries an attack from the top rope again but Knoxville tases him in the groin and throws him onto the mouse-trap covered table. Johnny’s crew helps him to bring a giant mousetrap into the ring, and the trap pins Sami down for Knoxville to cover him for three.
Winner via pinfall: Johnny Knoxville
Queen Zelina & Carmella (C) VS. Sasha Banks & Naomi VS. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan VS. Natalya & Shayna Baszler – Fatal 4-Way for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Okay, this is going to be a busy, busy match, but I’ll give you the highlights. Ripley and Carmella, wearing her protective face mask, open the match — but only for a moment before Banks comes in for Carmella. They tease each other with finishers when fights break out all around, and when the dust settles we have Banks and Morgan in the ring.
Morgan hits ObLIVion, but doesn’t know that Natalya had tagged in off of Banks. Baszler comes in and stomps on Morgan’s ankle before twisting her other leg, then Carmella tags in off of Shayna to continue the attack. Everyone comes in once again with signature moves, and it ends with stereo quadruple superplexes laying everybody out.
Moments later, a Riptide/Jersey Codebreaker combo gets a two-count on Carmella, but she’s soon breaking up another pin by Baszler on Naomi. Carmella also gets a superkick on Naomi but can’t get the win as she’s smacked down the mat and then splashed by the entering Sasha Banks. Banks and Naomi pull of an assisted Codebreaker (the announcer’s don’t call it anything but “knees on the face”) and get the win.
Winners via pinfall and NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Sasha Banks & Naomi
Edge VS. AJ Styles
As Styles is making his entrance, he’s already sporting a cut by his right eye — from what I don’t know. AJ charges at Edge right at the bell, and soon afterwards dropkicks Edge to the mat, bringing him right back down again with an arm drag after he recovers. Attempts at a Styles Clash and a spear go nowhere, and a springboard 450 by Styles backfires as Edge lifts his knees to meet him.
Edge catches Styles in an abdominal stretch for a spell before AJ hip-tosses his way out, but Edge gains control again with a shoulder-breaker, dodging a charging Styles and sending AJ full steam, chest-first into the buckles. The tides turn again, though, as Styles sends Edge into the same corner with a snap suplex.
Styles misses a Pele Kick and soon ends up in Edge’s STF, but he very quickly gets to the ropes and forces the break. From the apron, Styles leaps in and downs Edge with a Johnny Gargano-style DDT, and then hits a rack-bomb. A snap-German suplex lays Edge out and both wrestlers take a breather before they come to their feet throwing hands.
A calf-crusher by AJ gives way to a LeBell Lock by Edge, followed by an Edge-o-Matic. A semi-superplex by Styles lands Edge on the apron in ugly fashion, and as Edge rolls into the ring AJ follows with a springboard 450 that lands this time. Styles dodges a spear and drops Edge with a Styles Clash, but he can’t cover quickly enough and Edge kicks out at two.
As Styles readies a Phenomenal Forearm, Damian Priest arrives at ringside and distracts him long enough that when he finally leaps off, Edge has time to leap up with a spear to get the win.
Winner via pinfall: Edge
Priest enters the ring and takes his place by Edge, apparently having become his disciple.
The New Day (Kofi Kingston & King Woods) VS. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (w/ Butch)
As Kingston and Woods, in their Big E Langston style gear, arrive in the ring, Sheamus, Holland, and Butch immediately attack. Once things calm down enough for the ref to ring the bell, Kingston hits Trouble in Paradise on Holland right away, but Sheamus pulls him off as he tries to make the pin. After a bunch more scrapping in and out of the ring, Sheamus hits Kingston with a Brogue Kick and Holland finishes this short, weird match with his Northern Grit driver on Woods.
Winners via pinfall: Sheamus & Holland
Austin Theory (w/ Vince McMahon) VS. Pat McAfee
McAfee knocks Theory around with some punches right off the bat, while Theory responds with a throat chop. The momentum swings back again thanks to a hurricanrana by McAfee, and once again with a snap suplex by Theory. McAfee knocks Theory off the apron and into the commentator’s table, so he goes to the floor as well and gets on a headset, doing a little commentary about his performance thus far.
He rolls Theory back into the ring and tries a Swanton, but Theory rolls away and follows with a swinging slam. Theory blocks a superplex, McAfee backflips away to the mat, then leaps up onto the top buckle again and he lands the superplex he wanted.
McAfee misses a punt and Theory tries to follow with his ATL finisher, but McAfee wriggles away and rolls Theory up for the win.
Winner via pinfall: Pat McAfee
As a disappointed McMahon starts walking Theory away from the ring, McAfee throws some trash talk his way. McMahon, almost unbelievably, takes off his suit top to reveal his famous black tank top. Vince gets in the ring and gives the smack talk back, allowing Theory to deck McAfee from behind. Since there’s a ref in the ring, let’s have one extra match!
Vince McMahon (w/ Austin Theory) VS. Pat McAfee
McAfee takes a clothesline and makes it look as good as he can, McMahon enjoys a brief “You still got it” chant, and Theory drops McAfee and pulls him back groin-first into the ring post. McMahon plays around with him a bit more, kicking a football into his chest before going for the easy pin.
Winner via pinfall: Vince McMahon
McMahon and Theory strut around enjoying the victory for long enough before someone’s seen enough: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s music hits, still striking fear into McMahon after all these years. Austin hits the ring and Theory gets the first stunner, out-bouncing The Rock by 175%. McMahon tries to talk Austin down and Stone Cold gets him a beer before giving him one last stunner, which McMahon still can’t sell but we’ll give the 76-year-old a break on that one.
— WrestleMania Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 4, 2022
McAfee is invited into the ring by Austin, shares a beer, and sells the stunner he receives beautifully.
Roman Reigns (Universal Champion, w/ Paul Heyman) VS. Brock Lesnar (WWE Champion) – Championship Unification Match
Lesnar is all laughs at the bell, taking off his gloves and staring Reigns down. He then takes him down with a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. As Reigns goes to the floor, Lesnar follows and Heyman says he’s sorry and that he loves Roman. Ah, but it was just a distraction, as Reigns spears him through the barricade. Back in the ring, another spear awaits Brock, followed by a Superman Punch. Then another. Reigns tries a third, but Lesnar steps to the side and catches him, starting a German suplex run.
He gets to five before attempting an F5, but Reigns gets away and hits another Superman punch. Reigns is thinking spear but runs right into an F5. He is soon hoisted for another one but gets away with a rake of Brock’s face. Reigns spears Lesnar into the ref and knocking him down, allowing Reigns to low blow Lesnar. Heyman hands Lesnar the belt and Roman decks him with it, but only get a two-count. I’ve written this before but the matches between these two is like a video game match with infinite finishers turned on.
Reigns hits a spear from behind, then one from the front, but Lesnar immediately cinches in the Kimura Lock, forcing Reigns to reach the ropes. Roman says to Heyman that his shoulder is out, but he manages to escape another F5 and hit another spear … and that’s it.
Winner via pinfall: Roman Reigns
TOP PHOTO: Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. McMahon. WWE Photo
WrestleMania 38, Night Two
A boring main event, featuring more of the same limited moveset matchmaking from Reigns and Lesnar, was the lowlight of the night — and that’s never good. A close second was The New Day being summarily decimated as they paid tribute to Big E. Meanwhile, Knoxville and Zayn went over the top and was entertaining because of it, and if this was the first WWE event you ever watched you would assume that Pat McAfee is the company’s biggest star. A very mixed bag, to be sure, and not nearly as entertaining as night one.