WrestleMania 38 is officially in the history books, having gone down over Saturday, 2 April and Sunday, 3 April from the AT&T Stadium.
The two-night event has received rave reviews thus far, with praise going to the performances of Pat McAfee, Logan Paul, and Johnny Knoxville, who wrestled Austin Theory, The Mysterios (alongside The Miz), and Sami Zayn, respectively, all in winning fashion. Key moments included Roman Reigns becoming the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch delivering a stellar match, and, of course, the return of Cody Rhodes to WWE.
During the weekend, there were a number of hidden Easter eggs that only eagle-eyed viewers could’ve spotted. For instance, did you see Bianca Belair execute the Chicago Skyline, the finisher of current All Elite Wrestling star Colt Cabana, on Becky Lynch? Did you know that the gear worn by Carmella was done in homage to pop icon Madonna? How about that Natalya has now wrestled for the Women’s Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania with three different partners?
Read about the hidden Easter eggs from NXT Stand And Deliver 2022.
Lying, Cheating, And Stealing
There were a number of WrestleMania debuts at ‘Mania 38, including Rick Boogs, Pat McAfee, and the two celebrity participants, Logan Paul and Johnny Knoxville. Joining them was Dominik Mysterio, who made his WrestleMania debut by teaming with his father Rey Mysterio in a loss to The Miz and the aforementioned Logan Paul.
Despite popping his WrestleMania cherry, Dominik had clearly gotten the memo with regards to having special WrestleMania gear, as he wore gear that paid tribute to the late WWE Hall of Famer, Eddie Guerrero. The gear was similar to that worn by Guerrero during his time in Mexican promotion Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion, where he – stylised as Eddy Guerrero – frequently teamed with Art Barr as Los Gringos Locos.
Like father like son 😉@DomMysterio35 🇺🇸#WrestleManiapic.twitter.com/19RIRGyAhR
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) April 3, 2022
Although the likes of Konnan, Chicano Power, and Madonna’s Boyfriend would also join the group, Guerrero constantly claimed that Los Gringos Locos was all about Art Barr, who wore similar gear to the WWE Hall of Famer during his time in the stable. Guerrero and Barr were one-time AAA World Tag Team Champions together.
Dominik Mysterio was famously involved in a 2005 storyline between Rey and Eddie, which culminated in a ladder match at the 2005 SummerSlam pay-per-view for custody of Dominik. Eddie had previously been claiming to be the biological father of Dom, though Rey Mysterio would defeat him at the event.
Back To Darker Times
At the start of 2022, no one could have expected that ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin would have officially come out of retirement for another match, nineteen years after he last competed at WrestleMania XIX in March 2003. Promoted as being a guest on the KO Show, ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ wound up facing and defeating Kevin Owens in a hectic No Holds Barred match, pinning ‘The Prizefighter’ after a Stone Cold Stunner.
After the match, Austin enjoyed a jovial celebration, delivering another Stunner to the former Universal Champion, before inviting Raw commentator Byron Saxton into the ring to share a beer. As was expected, though, Saxton instead took a Stunner of his own from the multi-time WWE Champion, as Austin continued his celebrations to close WrestleMania Saturday.
There was a poignant meaning to Austin’s assault of Saxton, however. It was on the 16 March 2020 broadcast of Raw that Steve Austin made his, until now, most recent appearance on WWE programming. That Raw episode, celebrated as 3:16 Day, saw the WWE Hall of Famer share a beer with then-Raw Women’s and Tag Team Champions respectively, Becky Lynch and The Street Profits, but not before Stunnering Byron Saxton.
This was the first Raw to be broadcast from the WWE Performance Center as the COVID-19 pandemic caused WWE to cancel all plans for upcoming travel and relocate to the PC for every event moving forward, including WrestleMania 36. That WrestleMania 38 marked the first ‘Mania since the world opened back up (‘Mana 37 was a one-off), Austin and Saxton’s moment instantly became more sentimental.
The Long Journey Back
Unquestionably one of the biggest moments of WrestleMania 38 was the return to WWE of Cody Rhodes, who was unveiled as Vince McMahon’s handpicked opponent for Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins. Although ‘The American Nightmare’ was heavily anticipated for a WrestleMania appearance, it took nothing away from the gravitas of his comeback.
A hidden detail behind his return to Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment giant is that he actually returned in the same venue as his final WWE pay-per-view appearance; the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. As Stardust, this is the venue that marked Cody’s last pay-per-view outing in WWE at WrestleMania 32 on 3 April 2016, where he participated in the multi-man ladder match for Kevin Owens’ Intercontinental Championship that saw Zack Ryder walk away as the champion.
Almost six years to the day, Cody Rhodes then entered the stadium as a completely changed person, having spent the past few years reinvigorating both his career and the professional wrestling industry. The former three-time All Elite Wrestling TNT Champion eventually defeated Seth Rollins after a Bionic Elbow, alongside a series of Cross Rhodes’, while also paying tribute to his past as Stardust as he performed a cartwheel followed by the trademark Stardust taunt.
Drew’s Floppy Sword
Drew McIntyre seemed to conclude his months-long rivalry with The Happy Folks at WrestleMania 38, as ‘The Scottish Warrior’ pinned Happy Corbin following a Claymore Kick. In doing so, McIntyre ended Corbin’s unpinned streak, handing him his first pinfall loss since the pre-show of SummerSlam where he lost to Big E, while also being the first to kick out of the End of Days.
Post-match, though, the former WWE Champion caught Corbin’s associate Madcap Moss as he ascended onto the ring apron. Moss, seemingly planning to ambush Drew from behind, had Drew McIntyre’s sword pointed directly at his face, with McIntyre chopping through the top two ropes as he sent Moss – and Corbin, for that matter – scampering from the ringside area.
Although Drew’s sword has shown itself to work effectively, between this instance and having previously chopped clean through a table, Twitter user @newLEGACYslip tweeted a screengrab from Drew’s chopping of the ropes during WrestleMania Saturday, which showed the sword to have flopped when it went through the ropes. The image can be viewed below:
Considering Drew has been allowed to freely swing the sword at Happy Corbin in the past, with the tip being less than an inch away from making contact with the former United States Champion’s face, it’s unlikely it’s a real sword he’s using, but a floppy replacement is a cheap alternative that now makes Drew’s presentation look a tad weak.
The broken neck suffered by Big E saw the professional wrestling community rally around the former WWE Champion, with the injury meaning a scheduled six-man tag team match for WrestleMania 38 pitting E and his New Day comrades Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods against Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch was changed to Kingston and Woods vs. Sheamus and Holland. Even in his absence, though, Big E remained there in spirit thanks to some touching tribute gear.
.@TrueKofi and @AustinCreedWins in the @WWEBigE gear! ❤️❤️❤️#WrestleManiapic.twitter.com/Q4hpY2Jkyv
— WWE (@WWE) April 4, 2022
Both Kofi and Xavier adorned singlets and knee-length entrance jackets for the occasion, rather than their traditional tights, with the colour scheme matching that of Big E’s from the 13 September 2021 Raw episode. That night, of course, saw E cash in his Money in the Bank contract to lift the WWE Championship from Bobby Lashley. Kingston and Woods looked glorious in their (presumably) one-off attire to pay respects to their injured ally.
Read our full WrestleMania 38 Saturday results and full WrestleMania 38 Sunday results.