Roman Reigns wins main event

Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Stone Cold Steve Austin stuns WWE owner Vince McMahon during WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Stone Cold Steve Austin stuns WWE owner Vince McMahon during WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

WrestleMania 38 concluded on Sunday night, wrapping up WWE’s biggest event of the year.

The second night of the “Showcase of the Immortals” featured Roman Reigns defeating Brock Lesnar and extending his historic championship reign, a dream match between Edge and A.J. Styles and a classic standoff between Stone Cold Steve Austin — fresh off his victory during WrestleMania Night 1 — and Vince McMahon.

Here’s a recap of everything that happened during night two:

The show kicked off in surprising fashion as Triple H made his second appearance on WWE programming since announcing his in-ring retirement last month. Triple H — real name Paul Levesque — made a brief appearance at NXT’s Stand and Deliver event Saturday to celebrate longtime NXT star Tommaso Ciampa.

Just over a week before WrestleMania, Levesque went into detail with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith about his health scare last year and his emotional recovery. Levesque shared a hug with his and Stephanie McMahon’s three daughters before finishing his classic ring entrance. Levesque took several moments to soak in the adulation of the AT&T Stadium crowd, who showered him with “Thank you, Hunter” chants.

‘I just wanted to come out here to say thank you, and to show you my love in the best way I know how, welcome to WrestleMania,” Levesque proclaimed before leaving his boots in the center of the ring, a longstanding pro wrestling tradition.

RK-Bro (c.) vs The Street Profits vs Alpha Academy for the Raw tag team championship – The match’s early, chaotic, action was highlighted by Montez Ford and Chad Gable both performing high risk moves from the ring onto the outside. Otis would sway things Alpha Academy’s way, beating down and isolating Matt Riddle as the match returned to the ring. Ford jumped back into the fray — the match adhering to triple-threat rules — but Alpha Academy remained in control, neutralizing Riddle, Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Riddle rallied to deliver the hot tag to Randy Orton, allowing the veteran star to launch an offensive against Ford, slamming him into the announce table before doing the same to Gable. RK-Bro delivered tandem DDTs to the Street Profits before Alpha Academy interrupted Riddle and Orton’s celebration.

The action picked up in the closing segment of the match as Alpha Academy paid tribute to new WWE Hall of Famers, the Steiner Brothers, by landing a Super Steiner Drop on Ford. The Street Profits followed that with a tandem Blockbuster before Riddle delivered an RKO to Ford from the top rope and Orton hit Gable with his signature cutter for the pinfall.

After the match RK-Bro and the Street Profits shared a drink in the ring and invited two-time NCAA wrestling champion Gable Steveson into the ring to join them. Gable, an accomplished Olympic wrestler himself, smacked Steveson’s drink from his hand. Steveson delivered a textbook belly-to-belly suplex to Gable in his first official in-ring action with WWE.

Result: RK-Bro wins by pinfall to retain their Raw tag team championship.

Bobby Lashley vs Omos – In a theme that would resurface throughout the match, Lashley attempted a suplex, but the massive Omos quickly shrugged that aside and landed several blows to pick up an early advantage. Lashley then repeatedly teased feats of strength and defiance before ultimately being pummeled by Omos. Trapped in a corner, Lashley moved to chop down his massive foe by delivering a kick to his knee and attempted to put Omos in the Hurt Lock before again being overpowered.

Lashley, a rare risk taker in the ring, looked to land a cross-body but was caught by Omos and hit with a Gorilla Press Slam. Omos put Lashley into a bearhug and slammed him into the turnbuckle, with Lashley’s head hitting the ringpost in a relatively scary moment. Lashley, seemingly OK, rebounded to mount an offensive, finally suplexing Omos and hitting him with two spears to pick up the win.

Result: Bobby Lashley wins by pinfall

Sami Zayn vs. Johnny Knoxville in an anything goes match – Zayn starts with a Helluva Kick and beats Knoxville down in front of his “Jackass” co-stars. Knoxville used the distraction to spray Zayn with a fire extinguisher and introduce a garbage can and myriad weapons into the ring. Zayn hit Knoxville with a cookie sheet, crutch and garbage can but Knoxville kicked out of a pin. The next wave of weapons introduced to the match were two tables — one covered in mouse traps — and a bag containing a bowling ball and taser, among other things . Knoxville gained the upper hand by hitting Zayn with garbage can lids and a stop sign. Knoxville would again get punished as Zayn suplexed him through a table set up in the ring.

Fellow “Jackass” star Chris Pontius joined the fray, reprising his “Party Boy” character before getting beaten down by Zayn. Knoxville used the distraction to land a roll up pin but Zayn kicked out. Zayn, who was looking for more items under the ring, got beat down by Jason “Weeman” Acuna. Zayn was body slammed by Acuna and Knoxville hit a Tornado DDT for another near fall. Zayn looked to land a move from the top rope, but Knoxville set off fireworks and utilized his bag of tricks to deliver a pair of punishing low blows.

After again gaining the upper hand and heading to the top rope, Zayn was sent crashing down through the mouse-trap folding table. The entire “Jackass” crew then revealed a massive mouse trap and place it in the ring, which allowed Knoxville to finally pin Zayn and win the gimmicky match.

Result: Johnny Knoxville wins by pinfall

Carmella and Queen Zelina (c.) vs Sasha Banks and Naomi vs Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan vs Natalya and Shayna Baszler for the women’s tag team championship – Naomi and Sasha were the first to come out, with the “Legit Boss” driving a Lamborghini sports car onto the WrestleMania stage. The other three teams opted for less theatrics during their entrances, but Carmella appeared to be wearing a wedding dress-inspired outfit (Carmella and WWE announcer Corey Graves were set to be married later in the week).

Ripley and Banks — a singles match arguably worthy of a future WrestleMania main event — began in the ring with Banks countering Ripley’s strength with her speed and vice versa. The action quickly devolved as Banks and Morgan delivered su
icide dives to the outside of the ring. Morgan would bear the brunt of the punishment from Natalya, Baszler, Carmella and Zelina before things broke down with all 8 women exchanging maneuvers in the ring. Morgan again became the center of attention, this time by Naomi and Banks. As Naomi and Banks went for top-rope moves, the eight women combined for two huge Tower of Doom spots.

The ring would eventually clear, leaving Naomi and Carmella to exchange near falls and set up the match’s finishing moments. Banks would tag in to land a frog splash and lock Carmella her submission finisher, the Bank Statement. After some brief action outside the ring, Naomi and Banks landed their tandem finisher on Carmella to win the match.

Result: Naomi and Sasha Banks win by pinfall to become the new women’s tag team champions.

Edge vs A.J. Styles – Edge, working heel for the first time since his return to WWE in 2020, emerged from below the WrestleMania stage atop a flaming throne. Edge’s gear and AT&T Stadium being darkened with purple accents gave his entrance a bit of an Undertaker-esque feel and set the tone for the Rated R Superstar’s night.

The match — a dream match that seemingly was never going to happen — got off to a fast start, with the two veterans going back and forth and trying to outsmart one another in the ring. Styles would gain early, albeit short lived, momentum, sending Edge into the steel steps outside the ring before going for a 450 splash that was met with raised knees. As Edge seized the upper hand, he would slow down the action and punish Styles. Edge would focus on Styles’s shoulder — which he hurt earlier this year — but also sold a knee injury from his earlier counter of Styles’s 450 splash.

The match would briefly take on a slower pace, with Styles mounting a more physical offense and Edge continuing to focus on breaking down Styles methodically. As things picked back up, Styles landed a springboard DDT and turned a torture rack into a powerbomb. A near fall provided the momentum for the two superstars to rally against one another and exchange submission holds focusing on the injuries each had been selling throughout the match.

The most impressive spot of the match came when Styles delivered a superplex to Edge onto the ring apron. Both men would barely beat the referee’s 10 count and Styles would successfully land the 450 splash but Edge would kick out. Styles landed his finisher, the Styles Clash, shortly after, leading to another stunning near fall.

As Styles set up outside the ring for the Phenomenal Forearm, Damian Priest appeared ringside, distracting Styles and allowing Edge to deliver a mid-air spear and win the match.

After the match, Edge and Priest shared a moment signaling that they would be aligned with one another moving forward.

Result: Edge wins by pinfall

Between the Edge-Styles and New Day/Sheamus-Holland matches, WWE announced a crowd of 77,453 fans, bringing the two-night total to more than 150,000 fans.

The New Day vs Sheamus and Ridge Holland – New Day members Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods paid tribute to Big E — out of action due to a broken neck suffered in a match against Sheamus and Holland — by wearing singlets and dusters nearly identical to what the former WWE champion usually dons.

The brief match featured early offense by the New Day before Sheamus laid out Woods with a Brogue Kick behind the referee’s back. Holland followed up with his finisher to pick up the win and the trio of Sheamus, Holland and Butch beat down Woods after the bell.

Result: Sheamus and Ridge Holland win by pinfall

WWE again recognized its Hall of Fame class for 2022, with the Undertaker making an appearance for the second night in a row.

Pat McAfee vs Austin Theory – Vince McMahon, who played a major role in this feud, came out specifically to introduce Theory. Theory, selling his self-centered heel persona, took a selfie with McMahon in the ring before McAfee made his entrance along with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

With McMahon sitting ringside, McAfee started off fast, landing a series of punches, a spinning elbow and a hurricanrana. Theory, the obviously more experienced professional wrestler, gloated as he delivered a pair of suplexes to McAfee. Theory’s showboating backfired quickly as McAfee countered with a suplex of his own before delivering a shoulder block and sending his opponent into the announce table and bouncing his head off of it several times for good measure.

McAfee went for a Swanton off the top rope but Theory rolled out of the way and grabbed control over the former NFL punter once again. Theory climbed to the top rope and McAfee quickly met him there and teased a Superplex. A counter by Theory was met with a moonsault and McAfee landing on his feet. McAfee would leap directly onto the top rope and land the massive move for a near fall.

The match’s closing flurry saw Theory go for his finisher, the A-Town Down, only to have McAfee capitalize, reverse the move and score the three count.

Following the match, McMahon berated Theory and then teased a confrontation with McAfee by removing his suit jacket, tie and shirt. The 76-year-old entered the ring and distracted McAfee while Theory hit him. McMahon ordered a referee to ring the bell and started to beat down McAfee, delivering clotheslines and getting serenaded with “you still got it” chants from the crowd.

Theory would again help McMahon, pulling McAfee down and into the ringpost before handing the WWE owner a football to kick into the ex-Colts star. McMahon then pinned McMahon to win the impromptu match.

Results: Pat McAfee wins by pinfall; McMahon wins by pinfall

As McMahon and Theory celebrated, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music hit and the Texas Rattlesnake confronted McMahon in the ring. Theory went after Austin, eating several punches and a Stone Cold Stunner. McMahon, Austin’s longtime rival, pleaded his case before being invited to drink a beer and of course, take a Stone Cold Stunner of his own.

McAfee came back into the ring to share celebratory beers with Austin before becoming the WWE legend’s third victim of the night.

Roman Reigns (c.) vs Brock Lesnar (c.) in a unification match for the WWE and Universal championships – Before the match began, Reigns, flanked by Paul Heyman and his cousins, the Usos, delivered his tagline, demanding that the WrestleMania crowd acknowledge him. Lesnar, who has been the babyface in this feud, came out smiling and as the overwhelming crowd favorite.

During the match introductions — billed as the biggest match in WrestleMania history — Paul Heyman interrupted ring announcer Mike Rome to introduce Reigns. Once Heyman finished his schtick, Rome would again be interrupted, this time by Lesnar, who introduced himself.

Once the bell rang, the two champions stared each other down and Lesnar removed his padded gloves. Lesnar looked dominant early, manhandling Reigns and delivering three belly-to-belly suplexes to Reigns and sending him outside the ring. Heyman begged and pleaded with Lesnar, allowing Reigns to recover and spear Lesnar through the ringside barricade. Lesnar beat the 10 count to get back into the ring and receive another Reigns spear for a near fall.

Momentum shifted dramatically into Reigns’s favor, with the Universal champion delivering two of his Superman Punches to Lesnar. Lesnar, staggering to his feet, laughed off the finishers and resumed his flurry of suplexes, hitting Reigns with five German suplexes. Lesnar’s first F-5 attempt was countered by Reigns, who hit a third Superman Punch on Lesnar. Reigns’s attempt at another finisher was met with an F-5 by Lesnar for a near fall of his own.

The WWE official would be incapacitated after Reigns forced Lesnar into the turnbuckle. With no referee watching, Reigns hit Lesnar with a low b
low and then used his championship belt to knock Lesnar out. The referee stirred in time for Reigns’ attempted pin, which Lesnar kicked out of at two.

Lesnar appeared poised to submit Reigns after countering a spear into the Kimora Lock. Heyman would push the ring rope into Reigns’s grasp, forcing Lesnar to break the hold. Reigns would then counter an F-5 attempt by Lesnar into one final spear and pin Lesnar to win the match and unify WWE’s top two championships.

Result: Roman Reigns wins by pinfall to win the WWE championship and retain the Universal championship