WrestleMania 38 Night Two Review

Well I certainly hope Night Two lives up to what Night One gave us! I was a fan of what WWE put together on Saturday, and now I’m expecting more quality. You’ve raised expectations, Vince & Crew!

Before we get into the show, I wanted to do a little self-indulgent celebrating. Saturday was not only the first of two days of WrestleMania; it was also the one year anniversary of my podcast, Stew World Order! We had a special anniversary episode with several guests, and I’d be just ever so tickled if you could check it out. Click HERE for links to my show on many of the more common podcast players out there! Or go straight to our site, SWOProductions, and listen there!

I hope you take the time; the episodes are short (well, the anniversary special is longer because of what it is), but I put a lot of work into it!

Okay, enough of that nonsense! Let’s talk WrestleMania Night Two!

6:18pm: Okay, time to settle in for the rest of my life of Pre-Show!

6:27pm: Wait, why am I complaining about WWE giving me four hours of Kayla Braxton? I’m fine. It’s fine. This is fine.

6:47pm: Peacock keeps showing adverts for their shows, and one of them is Bust Down, which apparently stars Chris Redd. And I am obliged to tell you to seek out the movie Deep Murder and watch it. It’s one of the funnest things I’ve ever seen.

7:03pm: Earlier today, I was trying to remember the entire lineage for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles, and I wasn’t even close. Those belts have only existed for three years! Here’s my challenge to you: without looking anything up, run down every team that has had those belts, in chronological order. God be with you!

7:08pm: Booker T just tried to goad Kayla into playing into the whole WWE “Bitches Be Crazy” thing by asking about the women’s locker room, and Kayla wasn’t having it.

7:48pm: Man, Peacock is starting early with the screwing around tonight here. Am I going to watch the whole show on my phone for security?

8:05pm: I didn’t mention this last night, but the stage/entrance ramp area is nuts! I feel bad for the people who have to take that all apart later on.

8:06pm: OH HEY, Marky Mark is back!

8:11pm: After some Peacock chicanery, I’m back and seeing Triple H doing his ring entrance. And it’s great to see him happy and healthy out there after all the news from the last several months. Long live the King of Kings! I wasn’t always a big fan, but he’s an all-time great, and it’s weird to think he’ll never wrestle again.

8:17pm: Gable Steveson is here, and he found a shirt that fits tonight.

8:18pm: The RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH is kicking off the show tonight!

8:28pm: So when exactly did Chad Gable become chiseled out of marble? He definitely did not always look like that.

8:32pm: Riddle with a springboard top-rope RKO. I mean, it’s no Flying Boston Crab, but it was pretty god damn rad. And seconds later, Orton pins Gable to retain the titles. Great match. Nice to see Night Two is not just wilting under the pressure of Night One.

8:37pm: GABLE ON GABLE VIOLENCE as Gable Steveson belly-to-belly’s Chad Gable.

8:40pm: OMOS VS BOBBY LASHLEY time. To the surprise of no one, I’m cheering for Omos. To the surprise of no one, I’m sure I’ll be sad by the end of it. By the way, what’s the Over/Under on length for this match? I can’t picture it exceeding four minutes. Unless it is virtually NOTHING but posing and waiting.

8:49pm: Well it’s definitely been over four minutes since the bell. Good job, Omos! I underestimated you!

8:52pm: Lashley won, which was the easy prediction I noted above. And I guess he is a good guy now? I assume he is going to be one of Roman’s very first feuds as Unified Champion, which makes sense. Fun fact: Lashley is one of the very few men who has beaten Roman 100% cleanly. I know, because I was there (Extreme Rules 2017. Or 2018? One of those)!

8:58pm: Time for SAMI ZAYN VS JOHNNY KNOXVILLE. I mean… it’s also my cats’ dinner time, so would I REALLY be missing anything?

9:15pm: Okay, so that happened. I think I enjoyed McAfee and Cole on commentary more than any other part of it. There were some funny moments–Knoxville WHIPPED a bowling ball into Sami’s groin, and I legitimately did not see the swinging hand bit coming–but yeah… this went from somewhat funny to obnoxiously stupid and back pretty frequently. It just went off the rails every few seconds.

9:20pm: The WOMEN’S TAG TITLE MATCH is here. Hey, how are you doing on that homework I gave you earlier? Did you remember Natalya and Tamina had these titles once? What about that Nikki Cross has had three different reigns? It’s tricky!

There is no way–NO WAY–Sasha Banks is losing at WrestleMania AGAIN, right? No one on Earth more deserves a WM win than poor Sasha. Even in as much of a nothing match as this is. Would she be 0-7 at ‘Mania if she and Naomi don’t win the belts? Is that the right number?

9:24pm: Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan have some weird masks on that look like they were made backstage five minutes ago with whatever an intern could find at Michael’s before they closed. Come on, people. This is WRESTLEMANIA.

9:27pm: Did… did Corey Graves just heavily imply he’s going to bang Carmella in the ring after Mella and Vega win? Calm down there, Edge.

9:33pm: Man, the fans do not care a lick about this match except for when Sasha and Naomi are involved. And even then, just barely. They aren’t hot for poor Liv at all, and it really feels like WWE missed a boat when everyone was so ready for her to hit the next level.

9:39pm: All right, so Sasha did win, and her facial expression after the three count was just great. I don’t think winning THIS mach makes up for her whole history at WrestleMania to this point, but hey… it’s something!

Now can we get Asuka a win next year?

9:44pm: EDGE VS AJ STYLES, and if anything has a chance to beat out Roman and Brock for match of the night, it’s this, right? Gotta be.

I do like that Edge has an annual WrestleMania heel turn these days, apparently.

I do NOT like that the build shows this entire match has been about Edge, and Styles is basically just the guy he’s doing all this against. I hope that’s no a precursor to Edge winning and AJ falling down the card.

9:51pm: Giving Edge new entrance music is the definition of fixing something that wasn’t broken. Metalingus was unquestionably a top five theme ever. Why not change The Miz’ music up next, WWE?

10:05pm: I LOVE ARM WORK IN WRESTLING! Tear the shoulder apart! Apply the hammerlock!

I found out as a kid that the hammerlock is a devastating move, and ever since, it’s my go-to. I always want people to use it more often. I submitted my friend Joey with it in middle school; it can work for you, too!

10:19pm: Edge wins because he has made friends with Damien Priest. But mostly because he worked the arm, I think. I mean, outside distractions are helpful, but working the arm is the key to victory!

Even without a hammerlock.

10:22pm: WWE hates us, so instead of giving us Sheamus and Pete Dunne, we get SHEAMUS AND RIDGE HOLLAND VS THE NEW DAY.

I’ll… I’ll maybe eventually call him Butch. We’ll see. It’s going to take a lot of getting used to.

Let’s put it this way: I’m going to get used to calling WALTER “GUNTHER” before I get used to calling Dunne “Butch”.

10:25pm: Kofi hits Trouble In Paradise immediately, and I was really hoping they’d let this end right away. No such luck.

10:27pm: Ah, the match DOES end quickly, but Ridge Holland gets the pin. I’m going to work tomorrow and breaking one of my coworkers’ necks and seeing if I get a promotion out of it. I’ll let you know how it goes for me, but it’s doing wonders for Ridge!

(That’s not fair; what happened to E was tragic, and I’m sure Holland feels worse about it than anyone else)

Pete Dunne’s new gimmick is that he is feral, I guess? Because he pounces Xavier after the match and claws at his mouth and ear. Whatever.

10:35pm: The Undertaker is here, and you know what? I’m just going to say it: I don’t think there was ever a year in WWE history where Undertaker was one of my five favorite guys on the roster. I’m NOT saying he isn’t a legend! I’m NOT saying he wasn’t incredibly talented and important! His body of work is ridiculous, and he deserves all of his accolades! Let me be clear about that.

I just… I never loved the guy. I could always take or leave him. Never felt the connection everyone else does. Compared to guys like Shawn or Bret or Rock or Austin or Daniel Bryan? I was never nearly as invested in Taker as I was with them.

I know. I’m the weirdo.

10:41pm: It’s time for PAT MCAFEE VS AUSTIN THEORY, and the video package talking about Pat’s journey conveniently leaves out that he has, you know, WRESTLED FOR WWE BEFORE. Probably because they aren’t going to acknowledge who that was against.

10:51pm: There is a guy cosplaying as Bob Ross very vigorously flipping off Austin Theory, and you know what? That’s not very Bob Ross-like, my dude.

10:58pm: McAfee wins with a roll-up, but who cares about the finish? The crowd was BOILING HOT for this match, McAfee is a natural, and Theory was a great opponent for him. This was the high point of the night since the opener.

11:02pm: We have somehow segued into an actual match between McAfee and Vince, and why the hell not?

11:05pm: Vince pins Pat after… gently punting a football into him? I had a hearty laugh at the punt itself, but then it was the finish of the match and I felt weird.

(Yes, I know Theory also viciously crotched McAfee, but still…)

11:08pm: Stone Cold is still here, and it appears as though we are getting another big moment for the crowd. I feel like Vince has fallen for this “Let’s just drink a beer together” thing about a dozen times in his life.

McAfee falls for it, too, and Steve looks absolutely gleeful about that. Just a big ol’ smile on his face. And the crowd loves every single bit of this. Am I just going soft in my old age, or is all of this real fun? I mean, the past two nights have really been more about making this live audience happy than anything else. I can’t hate anything from this segment, especially since it followed a match between two young talents who got to give a fine display.

The whole last twenty-five minutes or so has been joy.

WRESTLING IS FUN GUYS. And sometimes it melts my terrible, cynical heart. I have already forgiven the football punt finish.

11:21pm: ROMAN REIGNS VS BROCK LESNAR is about to officially join Rock/Austin sand HHH/Undertaker as three-time WrestleMania opponents. So far they have had one great match (WM31, which was perfectly good the whole time, but the cash-in ending really lifted it up) and one awful one (WM34). It feels like there is no way this hits the depths of 34, right? Back then, everyone hated and was tired of babyface Roman and heel Brock. With their current and more fitting alignments, this is destined to be more exciting.

11:28pm: Here are my thoughts: Roman should hold this title until WrestleMania 40. I have no idea who should beat him, but you might as well just go apes with this run he is on.

Now that I said that, watch Brock win.

11:32pm: LISTEN TO THIS CROWD. If you’d told anyone this would be the case after WM34, NO ONE WOULD HAVE BELIEVED YOU.

11:45pm: Oh, that was a sudden finish. We went from “OH GOD, MY SHOULDER IS OUT” to Spear and pin in a few seconds. Not a great ending to a very good match, but with these finisher sprints, what else can you do? It just felt like the match was still in storytelling mode when pin happened.

No Brocky Two Belts. Oh well.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Presumably, Roman will be on both shows now. The good of that is that we’ll get some fresh feuds (Lashley, AJ Styles). The bad is the risk of, even as terrific as he’s bad, the fans might get tired of him from overexposure.

How will WWE handle this? That’s the key.

Both nights of ‘Mania were a blast this year. Night One was more balanced, and had the two highest quality matches (Becky/Bianca and Cody/Seth). Night Two had all the McAfee fun segment stuff and some really good bouts with Brock/Roman and AJ/Edge. It also had Sasha FINALLY getting her W.

I’m in the same boat as yesterday. I just had a really good time with Mania this year. There’s always stuff that could have been improved, but by and large… this felt like a Mania to make the live crowd happy, and that makes the whole viewing experience better.

I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Until next time… take care!

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