After two straight years of having no crowds then a limited-capacity crowds due to COVID-19 restrictions, WrestleMania 38 brought WWE’s flagship event back to normalcy with a full crowd packed inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The highly anticipated two-night event kicked off with a bang, with Seth Rollins opponent revealed to be former-AEW star Cody Rhodes, whose career skyrocketed since he left WWE in 2016.
Night one also showcased the best of the women’s division. Bianca Belair had a repeat performance of WrestleMania 37, winning the WWE Raw Women’s Championship by defeating Becky Lynch in spectacular fashion.
Later, Ronda Rousey will challenge Charlotte Flair for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
The title fights aren’t the only things fans were anticipating to see. Logan Paul impressed in his WWE in-ring debut. Also, WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes his return in his home state, appearing on Kevin Owens’ “The KO Show.”
Here are the biggest takeaways from night one of WrestleMania 38:
Cody Rhodes returns to WWE
The “American Nightmare” has returned.
After helping launch and become the face of All Elite Wrestling, Cody Rhodes made his highly anticipated return to the company his father, Dusty, made a name for himself. It was much speculated, but the crowd erupted into a frenzy when Rhodes’ music hit the speakers of AT&T Stadium and he walked down to the ring.
It was a reunion a long time coming.
After the realization of Rhodes’ return sunk in, the match between him and Rollins showed how Rhodes had made a name for himself. It was clear the wrestlers got tired after performing so many intense moves, but Rhodes paying homage to his father late in the match was something all wrestling fans could love.
Rhodes took the victory, which seemed inevitable. Now, we see how if Rhodes will quickly be inserted into the title picture given his status.
Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch put on a show
What a match.
The build-up for the Raw Women’s Championship match was great, but what Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch did on Saturday was icing on the cake. The match had an electric feel to it from the start, and both superstars showcased why they are both two of the biggest names in the women’s division.
At any given moment, it felt like each star would pull off the victory. The crowd was into it the entire match, but Belair hit the K.O.D. to pull off the victory and send the crowd into a frenzy. With two straight WrestleMania title victories, Belair could soon be the face of the women’s division.
It’ll be hard to top this performance the entire weekend.
Logan Paul plays heel role perfectly in tag-team victory
After rapper Bad Bunny raised the bar of celebrity wrestling last year, the expectations were high for Logan Paul to perform well alongside The Miz, especially with his boxing background.
The viral star had some early botches, but he made up for it later against the father-son duo of Rey and Dominik Mysterio. He hit the Three Amigos against Rey Mysterio, and in true heel form, did the late Eddie Guerrero’s shimmy before landing a frog splash. The Miz wound up getting the win for the duo, but Paul had some bright moments and certainly has a future in WWE should he wish to pursue one.
Drew McIntyre ends Happy Corbin’s unbeaten streak
Ever since his storyline took him from rags to riches in August, Happy Corbin hadn’t lost a match. It looked like it would stay that way against Drew McIntyre after Corbin hit the End of Days, but it quickly turned into McIntyre’s favor, hitting his signature Claymore Kick to defeat Corbin. The win was a much needed boost for McIntyre and it could boost him toward a WWE title picture in the coming months.
We also learned that McIntyre’s sword is in fact quite sharp, courtesy of the ring.
Usos make quick work of Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
We’ve seen little of Rick Boogs in the ring since his call up to the main roster last year, and the chance to see if Boogs could dazzle in the ring was short-lived.
Boogs’ right leg gave out as he tried to pick up Jey and Jimmy Uso, and him never returning even on the side of the ring indicated the injury was serious. With Nakamura on his own, the Usos quickly capitalized on the advantage to retain the SmackDown Tag Team titles.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism