WrestleMania 38 results: Powell’s live review of night one with Steve Austin on The KO Show, Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey for the Smackdown Women’s Title, Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Title, Seth Rollins vs. an opponent of Vince McMahon’s choosing 

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE WrestleMania 38 Night One
Aired April 2, 2022 live on Peacock and pay-per-view
Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium

Ring announcer Mike Rome introduced country music singer Brantley Gilbert, who was accompanied by two additional guitarists as he performed “America the Beautiful” on the stage… Mark Wahlberg narrated a WrestleMania video package…

Powell’s POV: Let’s just say that if this were American Idol and I was a judge, I wouldn’t be inviting Brantley to Hollywood. Meanwhile, it’s pretty cool that they got Mark Wahlberg for the video package.

Pyro shot off and then Michael Cole welcomed viewers to “the most stupendous live event in entertainment.” Cole said there were over 70,000 in attendance…

Rome introduced the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, who danced on the stage to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”…

Cole and Pat McAfee checked in from the broadcast table. Cole noted that it was his 26th WrestleMania and the first WrestleMania for McAfee..

Rick Boogs introduced himself on the stage and then played his guitar after introducing his tag team partner Shinsuke Nakamura. McAfee rocked out on the broadcast table. The Usos made their entrance…

1. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Samantha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Cole noted that it was Irvin’s WrestleMania debut. Jimmy performed a jump-up enzuigiri on Nakamura for an early two count. Nakamura came back with a spinning kick and tagged out.

Boogs worked over Jey, who also tagged in. Boogs put Jey in a bearhug and then held him up for a vertical suplex. Boogs dropped to one knee while holding up Jey and then stood up again and performed the suplex. McAfee did his usual great job of putting over Boogs’ strength.

Boogs put Jey on his shoulders. Jimmy came in and also ended up on the shoulders of Boogs, who collapsed and clutched his right knee. Nakamura tagged in and performed his sliding powerbomb on Jey. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Jey superkicked him. Jimmy tagged in and hit a top rope splash for a near fall.

Jimmy and Nakamura spent some time talking while down on the mic. The Usos isolated Nakamura briefly and ended up hitting him with their 1D finisher for the win. Trainers tended to Boogs afterward…

Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso beat Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs in 6:55 to retain the Smackdown Tag Titles.

Powell’s POV: I thought Boogs was selling his previous knee injury when he collapsed. But all the talking between Jimmy and Nakamura appeared to be them coming up with a different finish on the fly. Here’s wishing the best to Boogs if that injury is legit. The Usos and Nakamura made it work, and Cole was good about telling the story that it became a glorified handicap match, but a fluke injury is a bummer of a way to open WrestleMania.

A video package aired on the Johnny Knoxville and Sami Zayn feud… A video package set up the Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin match… Entrances for the match took place and the broadcast team recapped Madcap Moss winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal on Smackdown…

2. Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin (w/Madcap Moss). Corbin wore white pants and a loud shirt. McIntyre dominated him to start the match and took the fight to ringside. Corbin came back and ran McIntyre into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Corbin talked trash while working over McIntyre. Corbin performed a back suplex and covered McIntyre for a one count.

Corbin played to the crowd for heat, but he didn’t get much. Moss climbed onto the apron and got more. Corbin tried to run the ropes, but Moss was in the way. Corbin told him to get down and then he took a spinebuster from McIntyre. Corbin did his slide around the post spot, but McIntyre suplexed him.

McIntyre charged out of the corner and Corbin caught him with a Deep Six for a near fall. McIntyre came right back and did his countdown for a Claymore Kick, but Moss pulled Corbin to ringside. McIntyre performed a flip dive over the top rope and onto both men on the floor. Nice.

Back in the ring, Corbin ducked a Claymore Kick and then hit him with End of Days for a close near fall. Corbin threw a fit when he didn’t get the pin and Cole said he believed it was the first time anyone had kicked out of Corbin’s finisher. McIntyre came back with a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre followed up with a Claymore Kick and scored the pin.

Drew McIntyre defeated Happy Corbin in 8:35.

After the match, McIntyre spotted Moss as he was about to enter the ring. McIntyre approached him with his sword. McIntyre wound up with the sword and Moss dropped off the apron, then McIntyre swung the sword and sliced through the first two ropes. McIntyre celebrated and slapped hands with the broadcast team…

Powell’s POV: A good match for what it was. It’s just so hard to take Corbin seriously with the Happy gimmick. McIntyre really belonged in something bigger and better than this. Here’s hoping they make it up to him at WrestleMania 39. Meanwhile, Moss got in Corbin’s way again, so they are inching closer to splitting up. It will be really interesting to see where a repackaged Moss lands on the WrestleMania card next year.

After some advertising, a video package recapped the Mysterios vs. The Miz and Logan Paul feud…

3. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz and Logan Paul. Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton were on commentary. Miz and Paul had matching black, yellow, and silver attire to the ring. Smith pointed out that Paul was wearing the most expensive Pokemon card in the world on a chain around his neck.

The heels ended up isolating Dom. Paul performed a running power slam. A short time later, Paul performed a Blockbuster from the middle rope and then covered Dom for a two count. Miz tagged in. Dom ended up dropkicking Paul off the apron and then DDT’ing Miz before making the hot tag to his father.

Rey rolled through a sunset flip by Miz and then kicked him before covering him for a two count. Rey followed up with a moonsault onto a standing Miz and had him pinned, but Paul broke it up. Dom broke out a double team attempt by Miz and Paul. Rey hit a tornado DDT on Miz for another near fall. Rey performed two of the Three Amigos suplexes, but Miz avoided the third and shoved Miz into the corner.

Paul tagged in and knocked Dom off the apron. Paul knocked Rey down and then mugged for the camera. Paul performed the Three Amigos suplexes on Rey, which drew good heat from the crowd. Paul kipped up afterward and then went to the top rope and did the Eddie Guerrero shimmy before frogsplashing Rey. Paul had Rey pinned, but Dom broke it up.

Dom tossed Paul to ringside and then took out Miz with a suicide dive on the floor. Dom chased Paul back inside the ring where Rey performed a huracanrana on Paul, who fell onto the middle rope. The Mysterios hit a double 619. Dom splashed Paul. Rey followed up with a splash on Paul. The Miz slammed Dom onto his father to break up the pin. Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Rey and then pinned him…

The Miz and Logan Paul defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in 11:15.

Afterward, Miz and Paul soaked up the boos. Suddenly, Miz shot a sinister look at Paul and put him down with a Skull Crushing Finale. Miz went to ringside and celebrated while Paul glared at him from the ring…

Powell’s POV: A fun match with Paul getting good heat while performing Eddie’s signature spots on Rey. The Miz attacking Paul afterward was surprising and fun, but it was also cheered and I think they want viewers to like Paul heading into an apparent match with Miz. Every time I think they’ve figured out that the Paul brothers are heels, the do something like this that seems to suggest otherwise.

A video package recapped the Edge vs. Miz feud…

Stephanie McMahon made her entrance. She stood on the stage and thanked the fans while talking about how WrestleMania brings people from different backgrounds. After running through his accomplishments, Stephanie introduced Gable Steveson, who came out wearing a strange sweater with buttons. He played to the crowd and then headed to the back with Stephanie…

A scene from “Young Rock” ad aired with Dwayne Johnson asking his father to train him. Johnson’s mother and grandmother were thrilled, but Rocky Johnson said no…

Powell’s POV: Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that this wrestling thing just might work out for Dewey.

A video package aired on the Raw Women’s Championship match… Lynch made her entrance with her new straight hairstyle. She removed her shades and had red makeup under her eyes. The Texas Southern University marching band came out and played on the stage. Bianca Belair’s entrance theme played and the band played along while she made a fun entrance…

4. Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship. Mike Rome delivered in-ring introductions for the match, which was called by Smith, Graves, and Saxton. The fans came to life when the bell rang. In a play off their SummerSlam match, Belair offered a handshake. Lynch teased accepting and punched Belair instead. Belair stuffed a Manhole Slam attempt. Lynch stuffed Belair’s KOD attempt and then hit the Manhole Slam for a good near fall.

Lynch aggressively went after Belair and covered her multiple times for two counts. Lynch showed frustration. Lynch reached down to pick up Belair, who caught her in an inside cradle for a two count. Lynch came right back with a cover and tried to use the ropes for leverage, but the referee caught her. Lynch picked up another two count and then went to the ropes.

Lynch went for a moonsault that Belair avoided. Belair put Lynch in her own Disarmer finisher. Lynch scrambled and got her foot on the ropes to break it. They continued to trade pin attempts with each resulting in a two count. There was also a spot where it looked like Belair lost her balance while trying to put Lynch in electric chair position, but they moved right on from it.

Lynch pulled Belair by her braid to bring her to ringside where she ended up shoving her into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Lynch performed three Becksploder suplexes and picked up another near fall. Lynch tripped up Belair and sent her throat first into the ropes. Belair tried to come back with a springboard move, but Lynch superkicked her so that she was dangling over the top rope. Lynch leg dropped her from the top rope and got another two count.

Lynch remained on the offensive and put Belair in an arm bar. Lynch also tugged at Belair’s braid and put her in a triangle. Belair got to her feet and powered up Lynch, then walked toward the ropes. Both women fell over the top rope and tumbled to the floor. Belair suplexed Lynch at ringside and then both women returned to the ring to beat the referee’s count.

Belair performed a gutbuster and then covered Lynch for a two count. Belair performed a handspring into the ropes and ended up hoisting up Lynch, who took her down with a huracanrana. Belair came right back with a handspring into the ropes and a standing moonsault for a near fall. Belair dragged Lynch toward a corner of the ring and then went up top. Lynch recovered and cut her off.

Lynch joined Belair on the ropes where they fought for position. Belair put Lynch on her shoulders and then jumped off the middle rope, causing Lynch to crash onto the turnbuckle. Belair went to the second rope again performed a 450 splash onto Lynch and got a close near fall. Belair showed frustration.

Lynch ended up on the apron. Belair went after her, but Lynch clotheslined her over the top rope. Lynch went up top and performed a flip into a kick. The replay showed that one of Lynch’s feet caught Belair in the face. The wrestlers regrouped for a moment. Belair put Lynch down with a spinebuster and then went for a handspring into another standing moonsault, but Lynch put her knees up.

Lynch set up for a Disarmer, but Belair rolled her into a pin for a two count. Lynch sent Belair face first into the middle turnbuckle. Belair hoisted Lynch into Torture Rack position and wanted to go for her finisher, but Lynch held the ropes. Lynch fled to ringside and then used Belair’s braid to pull her head into the ring post.

Lynch pulled Belair to ringside and performed the Manhandle Slam onto the bottom piece of the ring steps. Lynch returned to the ring and was willing to accept the count-out, but Belair raced back into the ring at the last moment. Lynch rolled her into a pin for a two count. Lynch got upset and started throwing punches at Belair while wailing in frustration.

Belair was dead weight as Lynch tried to pick her up. Lynch got her up and went for a Manhandle Slam, but Belair performed a flip off the middle ropes and landed on her feet. Belair hit the KOD on Lynch and pinned her clean…

Bianca Belair defeated Becky Lynch in 19:10 to win the Raw Women’s Championship.

Powell’s POV: The first great match of WrestleMania 38. There seemed to be a couple of spots that went wrong and they were definitely talking at times, but they always got back on the same page and came through with a hot match. The early match callbacks were fun and they did a great job of going back and forth offensively and creating good drama from bell to bell.

A Sasha Banks video package aired (presumably while Peacock went to a break for those who have the tier with commercials)… An ad aired for WWE Evil… The broadcast team set up a video package on how Seth Rollins got to WrestleMania…

Seth Rollins had a group of young singers on both sides of the stage chanting his song. Rollins wore a wild blue rope or cape and wore black and blue gear underneath. Rollins looked at the entrance and got impatient while waiting to find out who his opponent would be. Rollins removed his robe and then pyro shot off and the lights went out.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance to his AEW theme. A black version of his American Nightmare logo appeared on the screen and was then colored in with red, white, and blue. A platform elevated Cody onto the stage and the video wall read “American Nightmare.” Cody walked halfway down the aisle and pyro shot off. Cody pumped his fist and then Mike Rome introduced him as “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes. Graves said it was surreal. Saxton said he had chills. “From undesirable to undeniable, the prodigal son has returned,” Smith said. Graves said a certain son of a plumber was looking down while grinning ear to ear…

5. Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. A loud “Cody” chant broke out before the bell. Rollins glared at Rhodes, who looked back at him. They locked up for a moment and backed off. Rollins laughed. Cody performed an early arm drag and then did a cartwheel to a big pop. Graves said it wasn’t showboating, it was shedding his skin and a new start for Rhodes.

Rollins knocked Rhodes down with a shoulder block. Smith said Rhodes hadn’t taken a shot like that in WWE in six years. Rhodes threw his kick and then dropped onto his back and threw the uppercut punch at Rollins. Another “Cody” chant broke out. Smith pointed out repeatedly that Rollins had no time to prepare for Rhodes. Rollins welcomed Rhodes back and then punched him. Rhodes returned the favor.

Rollins went for a Pedigree that Rhodes avoided. Rhodes set up for CrossRhodes, which Rollins avoided. They took turns trying to suplex one another. Eventually, Cody suplexed Rollins and both men tumbled over the top rope to the floor. Rhodes ended up pulling the left arm of Rollins into the ring post before both men returned to the ring. Rhodes targeted the left arm of Rollins.

Cody caught Rollins holding onto the ropes and kicked him. Rollins came right back with an enzuigiri, but then Cody wrenched Rollins’ bad arm. Rhodes went up top and went for a cross body block, but Rollins dropkicked him. Rollins performed a gutbuster and went for the cover, but Rhodes kicked out at one.

“Welcome back to the big leagues, kid,” Rollins barked before throwing a kidney punch. Rhodes came back with a snap powerslam and then clotheslined Rollins over the top rope. Rhodes performed a suicide dive, which sent Rollins tumbling over the broadcast table. Rhodes picked up Rollins and tossed him back inside the ring. Rhodes went up top and performed a clunky dive onto a standing Rollins for a near fall.

Rollins held his hip and rolled to the floor. Rhode followed and leapt off the ring steps. It looked like Rollins was supposed to catch him and couldn’t but he powered him right up and performed a barricade bomb. Rollins tossed Rhodes back inside the ring and hit him with a springboard flying knee. Rollins followed up with a superkick and a falcon arrow for a near fall.

Rollins set up for the Stomp. “Goodnight, sweet prince,” Graves said. Cody avoided the Stomp. Rollins avoided CrossRhodes. Rollins ended up getting a near fall, but when they stood up Rhodes hit the CrossRhodes for a near fall of his own. Saxton said Rhodes just fired his best shot at Rollins. Another “Cody” chant broke out.

Rhodes went to the top rope, but Rollins followed and took his legs out from under him. Rollins went up behind Cody, who was able to elbow Rollins until he fell off the ropes. Rollins quickly returned and performed an inverted superplex and then powered up Rhodes and slammed him down before covering him for a good near fall.

Rollins went up top and went for a Phoenix Splash. Rhodes avoided it and Rollins rolled through. Moments later, Rhodes executed a double underhook powerbomb. Rhodes went up top and leapt off and hit a cutter on the way down which led to a close near fall. Rollins came back and hit the Pedigree or a close near fall of his own.

“It’s my moment, you son of a bitch,” Rollins barked before punching Cody, who fired back with a punch of his own. They traded strikes in the middle of the ring with the crowd cheering Rhodes’ shots and booing Rollins. Cody dropped onto his back and threw an uppercut shot. Rollins kicked Cody’s ribs and dropped him. Rollins threw several kicks and a rolling elbow, then knocked Rhodes down with a forearm to the back of the head.

Rhodes regrouped and hit Rollins with back to back CrossRhodes. Cody threw the flip, flop, and fly punches and then hit a Bionic Elbow for big pop. Cody looked to the sky and then hit CrossRhodes and scored the clean pin…

Cody Rhodes defeated Seth Rollins in 21:40.

Afterward, Rhodes played to the crowd while celebrating his victory. Rollins stood at ringside and seethed while staring at Cody, who dropped down and kissed the mat. Rhodes went back to the ropes and continued to celebrate…

Powell’s POV: Another great match. Sure, there were a few clunky moments, but the emotion of Cody’s return more than made up for any miscues. It was comical that the broadcast team had to act like the only people in the building who were surprised to see Cody. For those who didn’t see the show, they made no reference to AEW or what Cody did during his time away from the company. Seth welcoming him back to the big leagues was fun while taunting him during the match was great. I’m definitely looking forward to Cody’s first promo this week.

The broadcast team thanked Mark Wahlberg for narrating the opening video and plugged his latest movie. They set up a WWE Hall of Fame recap video package…

Justin Roberts introduced the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2022. They were all on the stage with the exception of Undertaker. Roberts introduced them all. The gong sounded and the lights went out. Undertaker’s entrance played, complete with the pyro. He came out and Tombstoned Cody Rhodes straight to hell!!! Okay, not really, but he did make his entrance in a black suit and tie. One of the color commentators stated that Mark Calaway gave “one of the most extraordinary acceptance speeches we have ever witnessed.” Taker played to both sides of the stadium and then stood at center stage and said thank you. The fans chanted “Undertaker” as he waved to them. Taker walked to the back to end the segment…

A great Pat McAfee video package aired, presumably during a Peacock commercial break…

Cole and McAfee returned to commentary and narrated footage of Rick Boogs being carried to the back following the opening match. They announced that he had suffered a torn quadriceps and suffered a patellar injury…

Mike Rome announced the attendance as 77,899. Pyro shot off in and around the stadium…

Powell’s POV: They have a great crowd and will likely have even more in attendance tomorrow, but keep in mind that WWE officials previously stated that they count everyone, including the various stadium workers in their attendance WrestleMania figures. By the way, I wonder why Boogs was carried to the back rather than taken to the back on a stretcher. Anyway, here’s wishing him the very best in his recovery. What a shame.

A video package set up the Smackdown Women’s Championship match… Entrances for the match took place…

6. Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Samatha Irvin delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Cole and McAfee called the match. Charles Robinson was the referee. Rousey went for an early ankle lock and let Flair go. Flair went for a takedown, but Rousey threw her to the mat. Flair got up and took Flair down. Rousey went for a triangle that Flair avoided. Rousey sent Flair into the corner and she did her father’s flip over the top turnbuckle. Nice.

Rousey applied a submission hold in the ropes and let it go to avoid being disqualified. Flair came right back and drove an elbow into the chest of Rousey while driving her onto the apron. When Flair tried to return to the ring, Rousey applied the ankle lock, but Flair used leverage to send Rousey to ringside to break the hold. Flair ran Rousey’s head into the ring post. Flair brought Rousey back into the ring and covered Rousey, who kicked out.

Flair blasted Rousey with an elbow to the head. Rousey came back moments later with a knee to Flair’s face and then covered her for a two count. Flair came right back by sending Rousey face first into the turnbuckle. Rousey performed what Cole called a modified tornado DDT for a two count. Rousey threw a kick to Flair’s head and then performed multiple judo takedowns. Rousey played to the crowd and got some cheers.

Flair speared Rousey out of nowhere and covered her for a nice near fall. Flair went for the Natural Selection, but Rousey ducked it and set up for a submission hold, but Flair was able to perform a side suplex. Flair kipped up. Flair went to the top rope and went for a moonsault. Rousey had rolled out of the way. Flair landed on her feet and went for the standing moonsault, but it didn’t really connect. Flair fired chops at Rousey, drawing the obligatory woooo’s. Rousey came right back with an explosive takedown for a two count.

Both wrestlers ended up on the ropes and traded strikes. Flair knocked Rousey off with her punch. Rousey returned to the ropes and performed an arm drag that pulled Flair off the top rope and then covered her for a near fall. Rousey followed up with the Piper’s Pit. Rousey pointed to her family as she set up for her arm bar finisher, but Flair escaped. Flair caught Rousey with a boot to the head.

Flair went for the figure four, but Rousey tossed her off. Flair charged and Rousey executed a nice suplex for a near fall. Rousey hoisted up Flair, who slipped off only to have Rousey put her in an ankle lock. Flair rolled out of it and applied an ankle lock of her own. Cole played up the possibility of Rousey tapping out for the first time in her career. Rousey rolled Flair toward the corner and drove her face first into a turnbuckle pad.

Rousey went for an armlock on a standing Flair, who countered into a slam and got a near fall. After a brief series of both women countering the other, Rousey applied the ankle lock. Rousey grape-vined Flair’s leg. Flair teased tapping before kicking her way out of the hold. Flair went for the figure four, but Rousey rolled through and applied an armbar. Flair countered out and the screen went black for a moment, then Flair put Rousey in the Figure 8. Rousey rolled it over to put the pressure on Flair, who rolled over again. Rousey reached the ropes and rolled to the floor.

Flair fired up while seated on the apron. Flair walked toward the ropes. Rousey grabbed her foot, but Flair kicked her away twice. Rousey grabbed Flair’s arm and tossed her onto the floor. Rousey rolled in to break the referee’s count. Rousey charged Flair, who struggled a bit and then performed a fallaway slam into the barricade. Both wrestlers beat the referee’s count.

Flair jawed at Rousey while they were both on their hands and knees. Flair pie-faced Rousey and then shoved her when they both stood up. Rousey caught a Flair kick, then hit the Piper’s Pit in the corner. Rousey got a three count, the referee called it off immediately because Flair’s foot was on the bottom rope. Rousey questioned the referee. Flair hit her with a Natural Selection and got a near fall. Flair showed frustration.

Flair set up for the Figure Eight, but Rousey kicked her and Flair crashed into the referee. REF BUMP!!! Rousey put Flair in an armbar. Flair tapped out, but the referee was down. Rousey tried to revive the referee. Flair hit her with a boot to the head and then pinned her.

Charlotte Flair defeated Ronda Rousey in 18:30 to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

After the match, Flair backed up the ramp with her title belt. Rousey yelled, “You tapped out” at her while standing in the ring…

Powell’s POV: A good, physical match. Flair is going to be feeling some of those rough landings from Rousey’s tosses and suplexes tomorrow. The outcome was surprising. Although the last one was unintentional, that’s two controversial WrestleMania finish losses for Rousey. The live crowd was into the match, but they weren’t as vocally behind Rousey as they have been for some of the other babyfaces. Given that and the finish they went with, they made the right call in not closing the show with this match even though I really enjoyed it.

A Bobby Lashley video package aired during a Peacock break… McAfee thanked Pitbull for the WrestleMania theme song… Cole and McAfee ran through some of the WrestleMania Sunday lineup… A video package aired on the Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns main event of WrestleMania Sunday…

A WrestleMania Hollywood video package aired for next year’s event, which will be held on April 1-2 at SoFi Stadium…

A video package set up the Kevin Owens and Steve Austin segment…

Kevin Owens made his entrance and entered the ring where his KO Show set was waiting. Owens was booed loudly. Owens recalled some of the things he said about Texas. He apologized for telling the truth about the state. He said he’d been there a couple of days and it was worse than he even remembered.

Owens said the fans were anticipating him introducing his guest, but he said he would bring him out on his time because it’s his show. Owens said his guest was a terrible role model and he knows because he used to look up to him. Owens said he would tell his guest that he sucks and his guest wouldn’t do a damn thing about it. Owens said that if his guest doesn’t show the respect that he deserves then he’ll put him down with a Stunner and pour beer on his “stupid bald head.”

The glass broke and Steve Austin made his entrance in an Austin 3:16 t-shirt, jean shorts, knee braces, and sneakers. Austin played to both sides of the stage. Austin headed backstage. Owens laughed, thinking Austin was leaving. Austin returned on an ATV and drove it around the ring a couple times before parking it at the bottom of the entrance ramp.

Austin entered the ring and immediately kicked over a KO Show sign so that he could pose on the ropes and eventually did the same to the other sign. Austin was about to climb onto the ropes when Owens said no, it’s his show, not Austin’s show. Austin used the time to strap up one of his knee braces that came loose.

“It’s my show, take a seat,” Owens said. “Okay, Steve, calm down. Take a seat.” Austin glared at Owens while the fans chanted “Austin.” Owens said he wasn’t looking for a fight, he just wanted to have a nice chat. Both men sat down. Austin questioned the idea that Owens wanted to have a haircut. He mocked his haircut and beady eyes and called him a jackass, then called him a stupid son of a bitch for running down the state of Texas.

Owens said he didn’t really know what was so great about Texas. He said it’s hotter than hell in the summer, the land is flat and uninspiring unlike Canada. Owens also complained about Texans wearing stupid hats, boots, and belt buckles. He looked to the crowd and said you could spot the Texans because of how stupid they look. Owens said he felt for Austin. He said he would have moved to Mexico had he grown up in Texas.

“In about five seconds, you’re going to have 75,000 people calling you an asshole,” Austin said. The crowd chanted asshole. Owens told Austin not to be the typical rude, crass impolite Texan. Owens said Austin should be more like him, a sophisticated and distinguished French-Canadian. Owens said he was going to let Austin in on a little secret. He said he lied about having Austin appear on the show to have a talk.

Owens said he tricked Austin. “I don’t want to talk, I actually had you out here because even though I have a bad back right now, I’m looking for a fight.” The crowd cheered and Austin stared at Owens. “I brought you out here to challenge you to a match,” he said. Owens said he knows it’s been 19 years since Austin had a match and his knees and back are shot.

Owens challenged Austin to face him in a No Holds Barred match. The fans cheered. Owens said Austin couldn’t even talk and he knew it was because Austin was telling himself that he couldn’t beat him. Owens said Austin was right. He said that if Austin wasn’t going to accept his challenge, then he should do himself a favor and grab his beer, get back on his golf cart, and take his ass back to his ranch.

Austin looked to the crowd, then looked back at Owens. Austin looked over his shoulder at the fans behind him. “I had my first match right here in Dallas, Texas,” Austin said. “I should have my last match right here in Dallas, Texas.” The fans popped big. “If you want ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin to compete in a match tonight against the sack of shit, then give me a hell yeah.” Austin had the crowd do it again and then called for a referee. A referee ran out. Austin and Owens cleared their chairs from the ring…

7. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens in a No Holds Barred match. The bell rang and then Austin and Owens jawed at one another in the middle of the ring. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. Austin threw the first punch and they went back and forth with punches. Austin got the better of it and punched Owens into a corner of the ring and then put the boots to him.

Austin stood Owens up and called him a stupid son of a bitch, then whipped him to the opposite corner where Owens took a big bump. Austin went back to stomping a mud hole in Owens. Austin tossed Owens over the top rope to the floor and then followed him. Austin had a crew member toss him a beer. Austin took a swig and then tried to whip Owens into the barricade, but Owens reversed it.

Austin bounced off the barricade and clotheslined Owens. Austin worked over Owens with punches, but Owens spun him around and ran his head into the ring post. Owens picked up a tripod used for his show sign and hit Austin with it. Owens threw punches at Austin. Owens pulled a table out from underneath the ring and leaned it against the barricade.

Owens tried to throw Austin at the table, but Austin reversed it and Owens crashed through the table. Austin took the brawl over the barricade and into the crowd. Austin went for a suplex, but Owens blocked it and ended up suplexing Austin on the concrete floor. Owens stood up and pounded on his own chest, which drew boos. Austin got back to his feet and they traded punches, but Owens delivered a knee to the gut.

Owens tossed Austin over the barricade and back into the ringside area. Austin caught Owens trying to climb over the barricade and tossed him onto the broadcast table. Austin mounted Owens on the table and punched him repeatedly while the crowd counted along. Austin had a beer tossed to him and drank some of it and spat some at Owens. Austin rolled Owens back inside the ring and followed, but Owens rolled out the other side and clotheslined Austin over the top rope.

Owens climbed onto Austin’s ATV, but he couldn’t figure out how to start it. Austin hit Owens from behind with repeated punches. Austin climbed on the back of the ATV behind Owens and drove it onto the stage. Austin and Owens threw punches at one another, and then Austin suplexed Owens on the stage. Austin slammed Owens’ head on the ATV, then marched him to the other side of the stage while playing to that side of the building.

Austin suplexed Owens on the stage a second time. Austin stood up and looked to the crowd, which responded with cheers. Graves pointed out that Austin was barely breathing heavy and said he was in excellent condition. Austin tossed Owens down the long ramp and followed him and continued to work him over with punches. Austin tossed Owens back inside the ring. Austin had more beers tossed to him and brought them inside the ring.

Austin cracked open both beers and took swigs from both cans before tossing them aside. Austin grabbed Owens, who kicked Austin and gave him a Stunner. Owens covered Austin for a near fall. Owens went to ringside and grabbed a chair that he brought back to the ring with him. Owens tried to hit Austin, who moved out of the way, and the chair hit the ropes and bounced back and hit Owens in the face. Austin kicked Owens and gave him a Stunner before pinning him.

Steve Austin beat Kevin Owens in 13:55 in a No Holds Barred match.

Austin had beers tossed to him and had a beer bash afterward while the broadcast team plugged his Broken Skull American Lager, and a close-up shot of one of the cans was shown. Austin went to ringside and tossed a beer to a fan. Austin returned to the ring and took a swig. Owens stood up. Austin kicked Owens and put him right back down with a Stunner. Owens was dragged away by Texas Marshalls while Austin continued to celebrate inside the ring.

Austin took the mic and said, “It’s good to be back here in Dallas, Texas, and that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so.” Austin chugged more beers while the fans continued to cheer. Byron Saxton joined Austin in the ring. Graves said he’d dreamed of this moment since the moment he met Saxton. Austin gave Saxton a beer and they both started to drink. Austin kicked Saxton and gave him a Stunner. Austin’s brother joined him in the ring and they drank a beer together. Austin gave his brother, who was the guy Austin tossed a beer to earlier, a hug and then his brother left the ring. Austin continued his beer bash while Smith and Graves plugged WrestleMania Sunday to end the broadcast…

Powell’s POV: That was really fun. In retrospect, they played this right by not advertising Austin’s return to the ring. It may have set expectations too high, whereas this felt like an added bonus on top of the basic fight that was expected. They wisely overdelivered. And this was the right segment to close with, though I can listen to hindsight arguments in favor of Lynch vs. Belair.

Overall, the show really picked up with that Lynch vs. Belair match and never let up. Jake Barnett, Will Pruett, and I will be teaming up shortly for our Dot Net Triple Threat audio review of WrestleMania for Dot Net Members and our Patreon subscribers. Let us know what you thought of the show by grading it below and by voting for the best match.

Stop back and join me for my live review of WrestleMania Sunday.

WrestleMania 38 Night One Poll: Grade the overall show

 
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Readers Comments (30)

  1. sistersalvation April 2, 2022 @ 7:08 pm

    At least it can only get better after that musical performance!

  2. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 7:12 pm

    Brantley Gilbert had me wishing the interminable kickoff show hadn’t ended.

  3. If all they could get was Brantley Gilbert they should have asked me and THEGREATESTONE to sing. I guarantee we would not have been any worse.

  4. Looked like they definitely called an Audible in the first match. Meanwhile, I think I may be the only one, but I’m kinda sick of seeing Rey Mysterio and Dominick

  5. Dominik sucks so much. Logan Paul was decent!

  6. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 8:30 pm

    That’s a damn superstar WM entrance for Bianca right there. Lynch looks like she’s straight out of a Bladerunner film.

  7. You might want to edit those last few lines in the Miz write up. You have Rey hitting Rey. And Miz hitting Miz.

  8. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 8:48 pm

    It’s going to be tough to top Bianca and Becky. Damn good match between two legit main event stars.

  9. Bianca Belair as champ brings some fresh matches for sure. Ripley, a returning Asuka. Definitely potential good match ups ahead.

  10. Seeing Cody is actually pretty surreal. Even though he was expected, actually seeing him is crazy

  11. Not a huge Cody fan but that intro and the pop he got was big time. Was worth every penny Vince spent

  12. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 9:29 pm

    Cody gets his WrestleMania moment. Now how does he keep from the same problems he had staying a babyface in AEW, or does he embrace being the heel once the crowd wants it?

  13. I hope this is the last Rousey match we have to endure.

  14. One of the last two matches should have been the main event over this turd. Rousey is boring and constantly looks like she just ate a lemon. Her mystique died with a kick to the head in the UFC

  15. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 10:12 pm

    No way I would have believed Rousey was going to do the job there. Good match with a great ending because nobody saw that coming.

  16. The show was off to a rough start with the first three matches that woulda felt at home on the kick off show. Those two follow up matches, however, were pretty darn great. That’s what Wrestlemania’s supposed to look like. I still can’t believe Cody is in WWE. He gave up being a boss for another potential run as Stardust. What really went wrong in AEW?

  17. And that smackdown women’s championship match put the show right back in toilet. Terrible match, worse finish. I really can’t stand Charlotte Flair. Sweet new Dot Net logo by the way.

  18. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 10:40 pm

    Gotta love all the people who can’t hear the crowd and read the quarter hour ratings saying that Rousey isn’t a draw. That match was a good pro wrestling match with two people who spent the whole time trying to win instead of doing a bunch of choreographed bullshit like a couple of little ballerinas or 4’9″, 82lb Japanese fetish girls.

  19. Lil Naitch strikes again. LMAO!!! THAT should be the follow up, but I doubt that’s the angle. I could only hope.

  20. TheGreatestOne April 2, 2022 @ 10:59 pm

    It wasn’t a technical masterpiece, but I didn’t think Austin had even that much left in him. Hell of a way to put a final cap on the career.

  21. That was a great show. Best match was Cody and Seth. Stone Cold took the nastiest bump of the night with a suplex by ko in the fans on the floor lol did they scrap the new day match? Or is that tomorrow?

  22. Did anyone else think Bray Wyatt was coming out to be Rollin’s opponent when the lights went out?Nobody would’ve seen that coming.

  23. TheGreatestOne April 3, 2022 @ 12:00 am

    This felt like an old school PPV. A few decent matches that didn’t overstay their welcome to warm up the crowd and then a sprint to the finish starting with Becky v Bianca.

    Real toss up for me between that match and the Cody v Seth one for match of the night. Charlotte v Ronda would have felt a lot better on many other PPV cards and was still very good. Austin taking those bumps and actually loosening up enough to be fairly mobile after a couple of minutes was a pleasant surprise.

  24. Austin got that fairytale ending, dude deserved it. That was one of the greatest wrestlemania moments ever. KO is a true gem and should get everything he wants in the company from here on out. 10/10.

  25. I am not going to vote it a great show, because a few things didn’t go as planned. Also too many video packages. It was a good show though. None of the matches dissatisfied me

  26. Can’t wait for the inevitable broken skull session with Kevin Owens.

  27. My prescription for Boogs during his recovery: NO HAIRCUTS

  28. TheGreatestOne April 3, 2022 @ 10:48 am

    Yeah, when he comes back Boogs needs to come out looking more Magnum PI than roided up Freddy Mercury.

  29. Owens was clearly having the time of his life and, yeah, I’m looking forward to that Broken Skull Sessions episode.
    Bianca and Becky was the match of the night, for me. I really don’t care about Cody Rhodes, so I was pleasantly surprised at what great work he and Seth Rollins put in. Considering the news that broke re: Ronda being all butthurt about something, I would possibly enjoy a continuation of the feud but am ready to see it move on and have someone else (Sasha Banks, Shayna Bazler, maybe returning Bayley) feud with Charlotte.
    All in all, I had fun; isn’t that what this is supposed to be about?

  30. Did Seth Rollins borrow his ring attire from Nia Jax?

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