WWE WrestleMania 38 Night 1 Review and Match Rating – EWrestlingNews.com

Usos (C) def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Bugs – SmackDown Tag Team Championship

A pretty solid opener is all considered. One of the main things that people remember about WrestleMania is the opener. It was nothing special and was quite tame for a Usos match. I haven’t seen anything very significant other than your basic heel / face dynamics that you see in any tag match. It was really something to warm the crowd, but unlike what started the biggest show of the year, it also felt like a dark match. I don’t know as Rick Bugs, I believe they made an audible call to end it early. His knees seemed to be stuck trying to handle the weight of The Usos. At first, I thought it was part of the match, but the match seemed later. Perhaps this has affected the quality. They tried their best, but in the end, nothing worked. ** 1/4

Drew McIntyre Diff. Good luck

I really thought they would win Corbin here. This match had a lot better strength than the first, although it was not very special. Corbin has never been the best when it comes to carrying a match because he has a very slow, methodical pace and he is not the most athletic. However, once they start the finisher sequence, things get pretty good. Although, again, the match seemed sluggish at first. I think WrestleMania should have been opened instead. A solid, if invisible, match with a basic formula. ** 3/4

Miz and Logan Paul Diff. The Mysterios

A very welcome change of pace and an energetic match that keeps the audience hooked. Last year, it was Bad Bunny who wowed wrestling fans with his amazing confidence and ability. This year, it’s Logan Paul, and he looked very impressive. He controlled the match nicely with his heel demeanor, which comes naturally due to his being out of the ring personality. I was completely transformed into an in-ring setting and it made the offense even more anticipated by the Face team. I also liked the speed at which both Ray and Dominic worked. As far as the celebrity performance goes, it was top notch by Paul, and it resulted in a very well done tag match that exceeded my expectations. Surely the caliber of WrestleMania was felt in the first match of the night. It will be interesting to see if Johnny Knoxville can replicate the same. *** 3/4

Bianca Bellayer Def. Becky Lynch (C) – RAW Women’s Championship

The main event of the women’s section highlights why these two women. We’ve seen the variations of this match before, but they really took it to another level here. It really felt like it could be WrestleMania’s main event and both women wore their work boots for the night. It was some outstanding work, and it started with some nice psychology to start the match by differentiating their finish from SummerSlam last year. This is how you tell a long-term story and start their conflict. High spots, reversals, in-ring craftsmanship, it was all beautiful and heart stopping. The winner was predicted by how long Becky held the belt and in this situation usually Babyface could win, but it did not make the match any less exciting. A beautiful fight among the standard-holders in the women’s section. **** 1/2

Cody Rhodes Diff. Seth Rollins

It still seems unrealistic that Cody Rhodes is in the WWE ring again and he hasn’t really missed a beat. All of his high-level matches at AEW were immediately transformed into a great match with one of the best in-ring generals in the WWE. There was really no story in it, it was just two men planting some natural chemistry with a banger. I remember Cody and his brother interacting with each other when they were arguing with The Shield. They hit extremely impressive moves, kickouts were well done, and they moved well into each episode of the match until they reached the very end, with Cody taking a strong and decisive win against an indomitable WWE man. You have to think that such a victory will somehow get him to the scene of the main event. Overall, another banger in a match. **** 1/2

Charlotte Flair (C) Diff. Rhonda Rousseau – SmackDown Women’s Championship

This match gave me the vibe of 2018 when I defeated Flair Asuka. In WrestleMania singles, Charlotte is unbeaten. I never got a high vote of confidence in Ronder as I was able to defeat Charlotte despite the overwhelming adversity. Of course, this feud won’t end soon, as Randa Flair tapped, but Ref Bump took things in his favor. So I hope there will be a rematch ramp for the next PPV or maybe Summerslam. For tonight, we got a pretty damn good technical match. Not at the level of Bianca / Becky, since there were a few mistakes during the match, but it will still be technically quite good. The submission reverse has been well done, and they seem to bring out the best in each other. So I can’t say the match is disappointing. The result was not surprising to me, but I will take another dose of this match, and I think the next time they will face each other, it will be a deposit match. But we got our money’s worth here. ****

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Diff. Kevin Owens – No Match Matches

Well, it was definitely unexpected. But when there is WrestleMania, you either grow up or my idea goes home. When we received the report of what the segment would be, we were told that it would not be a formal match, but only a fight that would send Austin home satisfied. Okay, they did, but we got a lot more than bargaining. Austin has been known to be in excellent shape for years, and it has shown for sure. I didn’t expect a full-length, 20+ minute fight around the field. While this was certainly not a “match” in the official match, Stone Cold did the best job, and it’s a good old-fashioned fight. The match mimicked much of what Stone Cold did in the late ’90s. Instead of the traditional match and bump in the ring, they would often take the fight out and just throw their hands until the ring was over.

And no matter how old Stone Cold is, he will always do well. Owens was great in the ring and Mike made the match and got a lot more than I expected. Although I don’t think a regular fight around the ring can be seen in a real match as opposed to a real match where the younger KO will be cleared by the 50+ year old Hall of Famer, I don’t object too much. Owens getting Stone Cold from retirement already raises his stock exponentially in my opinion. Realistically, it was about a *** match, but it was amazing. It’s WrestleMania, Stone Cold hasn’t done anything wrestling-related in two decades, and it looks like he could return to the Royal Rumble. I enjoyed myself here. *****

Conclusion:

Tomorrow we have WrestleMania Part 2, but Knight 1 was an irresistible success if you ask me. We started off very slowly, the first two matches were dull and inspiring for the most part. This, unfortunately, resulted in a serious injury for Rick Bugs. But as the night progressed the matches gradually got better and more entertaining and with a legend of Texas in the main event it reached its perfect peak. It completely encapsulates what WrestleMania is all about. We had great matches (arguably 2 matches of the year candidates), perfectly returned, the legends got sunset moments, title changes and an overall big night feeling, and I didn’t feel it at WrestleMania for a while. If you take the first two matches, I think it’s a case of one of the top three wrestlers in history. Overall, I give WrestleMania Night One a huge thumbs up. If you plan to give it a replay, I’ll save your time and start with the Mysterio tag team match. That’ll make the most of your time here.

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