Wrestlemania 38 embraces ‘sports entertainment’ spectacle

The event took place on April 2-3 in the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


The Couch Critic

By putting on a show that showcased the spectacle and absurdity that is professional wrestling, Wrestlemania 38 managed to be one of the most entertaining.
Going into this year’s Mania I was a bit skeptical. I haven’t kept up much with WWE in a few months and had found the show’s card to be underwhelming.
I thought there’d be too many “celebrity” matches and no space on the card for an Intercontinental or US title match.
Despite my concerns, the show surprised me with the sheer level of fun, entertaining things they did in a way only the WWE can.
To start the card off we had The Usos vs. Nakamura & Boogs. Overall the match was pretty good, but it didn’t exactly set the crowd on fire as an opener as you’d want. I think the match had the potential to be a bit more exciting if not for the knee injury that Boogs suffered.
Following this match, we had another decent but not super exciting match between McIntyre and Corbin.
Where the show really picked up in terms of entertainment value was in the third match; The Mysterios vs. The Miz & Logan Paul. Paul put up a good performance and showed that he’s a natural heel in the ring and the finish didn’t make The Mysterios look weak.
Belair and Lynch put together a great match that showcased Belair’s amazing level of athleticism in the ring. She’s going to be the future of the women’s division for the next five years and her showing against Lynch proves she’s ready to take that jump.
In the next match, we saw the return of Cody Rhodes to the WWE after wrestling most notably in AEW for the last few years. Rhodes and his opponent, Seth Rollins, put on a strong match of the night candidate in their 20-minute bout.
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte was a serviceable match that made neither woman look like the “loser” by the end.
Finally, to close out night one, Kevin Owens took on Steve Austin in a highly entertaining surprise match.
It’s very impressive how well Austin is able to move nearly two decades after his retirement from wrestling.
The next night started with a much more exciting tag match between RK-Bro, The Street Profits and Alpha Academy.
This match had big dives, hard-hitting strikes and a pair of wicked RKOs. A solid opener of the night.
Bobby Lashley took on Omos in the following match which was the first time I’ve ever seen Lashley get tossed around. The match definitely showed Omos’ lack of in-ring experience, as he appeared pretty sluggish throughout.
Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn was the peak of this entertaining weekend for me.
While not being near the best match in a classic sense, it was hilarious and got me to audibly laugh with all the funny gags and surprise appearances.
The women’s fatal four-way tag match was solid with some highly talented women involved. For a while, the division was floundering a bit but it seems like the women’s tag division has turned a new leaf.
Hopefully, this means getting more proper tag teams rather than simply two women’s wrestlers put together for the sake of filling the division.
Edge vs. Styles was probably the match of the night from a wrestling standpoint, but I’d put it as only the third-best match of the weekend. Edge is having a big character shift and I’m curious to see how he’ll do in a darker role.
Sheamus & Holland vs. The New Day was basically a non-match that easily could have happened on Smackdown and accomplished nothing storyline-wise.
Everything that went on between Pat McAfee, Austin Theory, Vince McMahon and Steve Austin was ridiculous and absurd in that awfully stupid yet infinitely entertaining way WWE is at times.
Not to mention, it included the greatest stunner in history.
To close out ‘Mania we had a colossal main event between two unbeatable bruisers. Reigns vs. Lesnar in a champion vs. champion match to unify WWE’s world titles. The match had a lot of hype surrounding it as both Reigns and Lesnar are the most entertaining they’ve probably ever been. Despite this, the match was kind of lackluster. In total, both wrestlers did about five different moves combined.
For some, it may have been exciting, but I was hoping to see more from the pair knowing what they can do.
All in all, Wrestlemania 38 was an event to remember with many memorable moments and for the majority of the show, I was highly engaged in everything happening and I’m hoping for more like this in the future.