WWE WrestleMania Saturday is here, and say what you want–I for one am excited to sit down and watch. Why not take this journey with me…in bullet point form with my Results & Reaction!
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Rock Boogs & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. The Usos (champions)
Shinsuke Nakamura has a storied WWE WrestleMania history, including a championship opportunity at WrestleMania 34 against AJ Styles. For Rick Boogs, this is his first WrestleMania. The Usos have been around forever–seven time Smackdown Tag Team Champions–and They The Ones.
- Kinda shocked this is going on first–last year we had “big matches” to open each night of WrestleMania.
- Pretty basic to start until Rock Boogs’ knee buckles. There was a VERY VERY close nearfall (superkick/Uso Splash combo) that the crowd bit on big time.
- I feel like we are waiting for the super-human comeback for Boogs.
- But then we get the One-D, and it’s all over.
- Rick Boogs continues to get checked on at ringside, and he’s leaving with help (but not on a stretcher).
Winners, and STILL WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions – The Usos (pinfall on Shinsuke)
Serviceable opener, but honestly this would have been better served as a middle of the card match. WWE has us (me?) conditioned to expect more out of the WrestleMania opener.
Happy Corbin (w/Madcap Moss) vs. Drew McIntyre
Bardon Corbin went from sad to happy, gained a friend in Madcap Moss, and now he’s got a WrestleMania showdown with 2-time WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
- Madcap Moss won the Andre The Royal Giant Memorial Battle Rumble (you’re welcome, PC), but then got knocked out from one punch later in the night. Finn Balor probably should have won that one. Granted, the majority of the prior winners aren’t even with the company, so…..
- Drew McIntyre is a millionaire, but can’t get a proper line-up on his beard. Definitely not a Maestro’s guy.
- Jessika Carr is your referee, and we’ll likely see her again tomorrow for Edge vs. AJ.
- Definitely not your normal WrestleMania match order tonight, at least compared to last year. We seem to be getting the undercard out of the way–although I would expect a “big match” to follow this one.
- I wonder if we will see the barrier screens stick around after WrestleMania–it’s nor uncommon for a WrestleMania upgrade to remain in place afterward.
- Obviously, I am highly engaged in this match.
- Doesn’t help that Baron Corbin Sucks.
- The action has been less than inspiring so far, but the crowd is still hot.
- RING GENERAL BARON CORBIN (slides out to avoid the Claymore)
- Great reaction for Shitty Beard’s dive.
- And I do believe Drew McIntyre is indeed the first person to EVER kick out of End Of Days.
- Crowd bought that one big time.
- Claymore connects and we are done here.
- Madcap teases getting involved and Angela cuts the ropes in half. That’s likely a WrestleMania moment.
Winner: Drew McIntyre (pinfall)
Not a bad affair at all, and the crowd was solidly engaged. Drew McIntyre is still insanely over, and if he is getting ready for a feud with Roman Reigns, he is in the perfect position to do so.
Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz & Logan Paul
The first ever father and son tag team champions in WWE history–Rey & Dominik Mysterio–battle The Miz and mainstream social media star Logan Paul, who is making his in-ring debut.
- Don’t know if you’ve heard, but The Mix is the only two-time Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. Acknowledge him.
- Love the tandem stage entrances for the Mysterios
- Babyfaces out first, but there’s a celebrity on the heel side.
- Love the Mysterios paying homage to Los Gringos Locos–Eddie Guerrero & Art Barr
- Has The Miz ever gone with yellow/black gear before?
- Two straight matches with a female referee–might by a WrestleMania first.
- The Miz & Logan Paul = The Killer Bees.
- Logan Paul, so far, looks just as good as Bad Bunny. Acknowledge him.
- I love how Logan Paul swoops in to hook the leg–he already has signature movements. Credit: The Miz
- That was a BEAUTIFUL kick out of the Sunset Flip by Rey to Miz.
- Rey showing everyone who does the best tornado DDT in the family.
- Aside from a father/son tag team, this match is also basically trainer/trainee vs. trainer/trainee.
- Logan Paul and The Miz win–and clean, too. I really hope Logan Paul sticks around.
- Shocked that Miz turns on Logan Paul right there–they made a great team.
Winners: Logan Paul & The Miz (Skull Crushing Finale on Rey)
Logan Paul looked every bit as good as Bad Bunny, and deserves as much recognition and respect. Shocked that The Miz turned–if Logan Paul is going to stay around, teaming with The Miz is the way to go. I expect them to have a match at Money In The Bank.
Gable Steveson appears on stage, and I (along with plenty of others) realize I have been spelling his name wrong.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (champion) vs. Bianca Belair
Two pioneers battle for the Raw Women’s Championship in a match that could easily close either night of WrestleMania.
- Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch, the only two women to win a WrestleMania main event (show closing style).
- Becky Lynch legit enters and comes off as one of the biggest stars in the world.
- Big time entrances for BOTH women, love to see it.
- I hope Bianca Belair never stops being moved by the reaction she gets in stadiums.
- I LOVE THIS CROWD.
- Fantastic opening sequence, and they bought every bit of it.
- Becky went for the quick win, then tried to use the ropes. All the callbacks.
- Love Becky, the heel, being happy to potentially win via countout.
- Loved Becky not using the hurricanrana and turning it into a roll-up instead.
- Beautiful 450 Splash from the middle turnbuckle by Bianca, and another near fall that had the fans living and dying by the count.
- Bianca out of position there–takes a heel to the face.
- Good cover by Jimmy Smith with the Rolling Thunder Kick call, even if that wasn’t the spot.
- Bianca might have a broken orbital bone.
- THUNDEROUS KOD. Great finish, and given the reaction of the crowd, it was the right choice.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair (pinfall)
This was Bianca Belair’s best match to date, narrowly edging out her WrestleMania 37 showdown with Sasha Banks. Hell of a match that easily could have closed out either night of WrestleMania 38.
— Wrestling Stats & Info (@WWEStats) April 3, 2022
Seth “Freakin'” Rollins vs ???
A storied Road to WrestleMania for the visionary, with rumors swirling regarding his potential nightmare of an opponent, hand selected by Vince McMahon.
- Jimmy Smith calling Seth the last one invited to the dance is wrong–Bobby Lashley vs. Omos was set up after.
- Was Sasha Banks hiding in that choir, too?
- Seth needs to refer his beard guy to Drew McIntyre.
- Notable is the lack of a distinguished “CODY! CODY!” chant by the crowd before he comes out.
- Hell of an entrance.
Seth “Freakin'” Rollins vs. “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes
- Amazing entrance for Cody Rhodes, keeping every bit of his AEW branding (kinda wish he used the past few weeks for tattoo removal).
- Cody looks emotionally torn–and I get it.
- The biggest way in which Cody has grown over the past six years is his in-ring storytelling.
- Cody Rhodes is a 16-year in-ring veteran, back in WWE, and it just feels right. Good for Cody.
- Great main event style match going on here, between two former ROH World Champions.
- Is “Frickin'” an accepted alternative to “Freakin'”?
- Rando on Twitter doesn’t like my Tony Khan tweet.
Tony Khan does not make stupid tweets
— RIP Scott Hall (@xxSDCxx) April 3, 2022
- Urban Meyer lookalike in the crowd SHOCKED by the powerbomb to the barricade.
- CROSS RHODES AND SETH KICKS OUT!
- Top Rope Inverted Superplex!
- Cody kicks out of death like he’s still in AEW!
- Cody not quite in his usual ring shape, but that will change.
- PEDIGREE TEASE by Cody! Give that man a sledgehammer!
- CODY CUTTER!
- This match has had everything. What else do we get?
- Aaaaaaaaaaaand Cody kicks out of the Pedigree.
- 2 Cross Rhodes + Dusty Punches & Bionic Elbow + 1 last Cross Rhodes and we’re done.
- MAJOR PROPS to Vince for letting Cody go over clean.
Winner: Cody Rhodes (pinfall)
The match was fantastic, might end up being match of the night thanks to the emotion involved. Seth is still a notch above Cody as a performer, but Cody being the storyteller he is, he comes in as a top guy in WWE. I think we’ll see this match again, this isn’t one and done.
Welcome home, Cody. You belong here.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair (champion)
Ronda Rousey had a meteoric rise in her first year in WWE, winning the Raw Women’s Championship, main eventing WrestleMania, and opening the door for many “outsiders” to continue to find their way in. Her first run included a match with Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series. Tonight, Ronda enters as the challenger, having won the Women’s Royal Rumble Match, and Charlotte Flair enters as a 13-time women’s champion.
- Nothing different about their entrances, but both are stars.
- I do wonder if New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland (with Pete “Butch” Dunne) is getting bumped to tomorrow–possibly on the Kickoff.
- Ronda Rousey brings an element to the women’s division that no one else has (Sonya Deville is close, as is Shayna Baszler). She absolutely stands out–in a good way.
- Brutal battle early on, crowd has finally died down a little bit.
- Love the Top Rope Judo Throw by Ronda.
- Ronda’s unorthodox style is really bringing out different elements from Charlotte–who is really emerging as a ring general.
- I don’t want to say “like her Dad” because she stands on her own, but…like her Dad.
- Ronda winning with a leg lock would be interesting–since she promised to take her arm.
- After both escape the 10-count on the outside, it seems like we are pumping emotion into this match to match the brutality.
- Charles Robinson’s hand hit for 3, well after Charlotte’s leg hit the ropes.
- GREAT nearfall after the Natural Selection.
- I feel like Charlotte has to win here, but I have no clue how.
- And there’s the ref bump.
- Big Boot, and we’re out.
Winner, and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair (pinfall)
This was a brutal fight between Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey. Both delivered on what was a unique contest, one I really enjoyed. I don’t think it played well on a big stadium, that’s a Chicago arena match.
The KO Show: Kevin Owens with special guest “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Kevin Owens was going to be shut out of WrestleMania, but he laid down a big challenge–for an interview segment. But the man he called out, the highest grossing performer of all time, happens to be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and Owens found himself in a show closing segment.
- It does appear New Day vs. Sheamus & Ridge Holland got bumped–here’s hoping we see it tomorrow.
- Kevin Owens is brilliant, drawing all kinds of heat.
- And that pop–THAT is why this is going on last.
- “I would have moved to Mexico–IT’S RIGHT THERE!”
- After the jokes and the crowd responses, Kevin Owens challenges Steve Austin to a match. A No Holds Barred Match…right here, right now!
- And after some prodding–he had his first match in Dallas, Texas, and he can have his last match in Dallas, Texas.
- A few “Hell Yeah”s later, we have a ref and a match.
No Holds Barred
Kevin Owens vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
- I have never heard such a pop for a bell ringing.
- We got our first beer early into the match–figured we’d save those for the end.
- Think we’ll see any other Texans?
- Austin tosses Owens to the outside, and now the real fun can begin.
- And now we are brawling in the crowd–it’s an Austin WrestleMania match!
- Suplex to the floor on Austin???
- How crazy would it be if Owens wins?
- Now we go for a little ATV ride up the ramp and battle it out on the stage. Austin is pleasing the crowd with everything here.
- STUNNER TO STONE COLD!
- Of course he kicked out!
- CHAIRSHOT, Stunner, and we’re out.
- Beers, Stunner to Owens again!
- Police–in cowboy hats–escort Owens out.
- Lots of beer everywhere.
- Toast and chug with the ref.
- STUNNER TO BYRON SAXTON!
Winner: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (pinfall)
Career highlight for Kevin Owens, and Steve Austin gets to go out in Texas. You have to wonder if we’ll get a Kevin Owens episode of Broken Skull Sessions in the coming months.
— WWE WrestleMania (@WrestleMania) April 3, 2022
Some slow points to start the night off, but once the third match started, it was all killer and very little filler. A satisfying, exciting, enjoyable night of WrestleMania. And we still have another night to go!
King’s Greatest Hits Of Jeff Hardy
As he battles his demons, Chris King looks at some more positive moments in Jeff Hardy’s career!
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the disturbing news that former WWE superstar and recent AEW signee Jeff Hardy, was arrested again for multiple charges including a DUI. Hardy has had a hard and tragic road of recovery throughout the years in multiple wrestling promotions.
Not too long ago, Hardy walked out on WWE after they were rumored to have offered the former world champion to go to treatment for his substance abuse issues. Hardy refused and said that he was better but, as we saw the demons are still lurking and got the best of him again.
I have seen some nasty comments and even some distasteful memes about the AEW superstar and felt compelled to go against the grain. Instead of kicking a man when he’s down, I’m going to put together a greatest hits for the “Charismatic Enigma.”
Jeff Hardy & The TLC Match
Everyone can say that Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon helped innovate the iconic ladder match and you are right, but Jeff Hardy and his death-defying stunts changed the concept of the match forever. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. Edge & Christian and their iconic TLC match should have their wing in the Hall of Fame. The risks all six superstars took for the adoration of the crowd could have ended all of their illustrious careers. In the words of Vince McMahon, It’s such good shit!
Jeff Hardy Earns The Undertaker’s Respect
On the July 1st, 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, Hardy delivered the performance of a lifetime nearly winning the WWE Undisputed Championship from The Undertaker in an incredible ladder match. The young up-and-comer was faced with his greatest task yet, challenging for the most prestigious title in sports entertainment. Hardy showed that without a shadow of a doubt he deserved to be in the main event scene, but came within minutes of defeating Taker. At the time of the match, Hardy was still finding his footing as a singles competitor and earned the respect of the champion and legend.
Swanton Bomb From The Heavens
When I think of the daredevil Jeff Hardy, I can’t help but think of this one crazy-as-hell stunt. At WWE One Night Stand 2008, Hardy faced off against the juggernaut Umaga in a falls count anywhere match. This match was so insane as both superstars fought into the parking lot. Hardy is one of the craziest and bravest superstars, hit a Swanton Bomb off a damn stage truck onto Umaga. It’s one of the wildest things you’ll ever see.
Hardy Wins The WWE Championship
In 2008, Hardy finally made his way to the main event title picture alongside partner Triple H. HHH was Hardy’s mentor in some sort of way which led to the daredevil achieving his lifelong dream of becoming WWE champion. At the 2008 Armageddon pay-per-view, Hardy would face HHH and longtime rival Edge in a triple-threat match for the title. In what was a great match between all three superstars, Hardy delivered a Swanton Bomb to Edge to win the illustrious championship.
Straight Edge Problems For Hardy
The following year, Hardy found himself in the way of young-up-and-comer CM Punk who is looking to make an example out of him. Punk had won the Money in the Bank briefcase for the second year in a row and took advantage of Hardy to win the world title. What started as mutual respect between both superstars changed drastically, when Punk started throwing jabs at Hardy for his drug and substance abuse real-life issues. Punk would form his infamous stable known as the Straight Edge Society. This is a very underrated feud and you should go back and watch it in its entirety. The promos are gold.
The Hardy Boyz Return To WWE
Both Matt and Jeff Hardy found success in multiple other wrestling promotions including Ring of Honor, and TNA during their time away from WWE. Both brothers were struggling with their vices and made poor life choices but straightened up their act over the years. In 2017, the Hardy Boyz would face longtime rivals The Young Bucks in ROH. The following night the adored tag team would make their incredible return to WWE at WrestleMania 33. Matt and Jeff would be named the final team in the Fatal 4-way ladder match for the Raw Tag Team Championships. The pop these two received was insane and very much deserved. They would go on to win the match and win the titles to capitalize on their momentum.
Jeffery Nero Hardy Makes AEW Debut
From 2017-to 2022 Jeff Hardy would find himself pigeonholed in the mid-card title picture. He would have feuds with a plethora of superstars including Samoa Joe, and Randy Orton. Orton and Hardy had a nasty Hell in a Cell match back in 2018. Earlier this year, Hardy was seen running around after the 24/7 Championship, which was disappointing to see. After being genuinely unhappy in WWE, Hardy would make his AEW debut on the March 9th episode of AEW Dynamite. Hardy would come to the aid of his brother and longtime partner.
This week news broke that Hardy had been arrested for multiple charges including a DUI. While it’s easy to beat a man while he’s down, how about we uplift and try to encourage him to get the help he needs.
As a longtime wrestling fan, I have the utmost respect for Hardy and wish him the best of luck in his battle with addiction.
DeMarco’s Things I Learned From WWE Smackdown On FOX (June 17, 2022)
Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!
Greg DeMarco presents what he learned watching WWE Smackdown On FOX for June 17, 2022, featuring Matt Riddle, Vince McMahon, Pat McAfee, and more!
WWE presented Smackdown on Friday night, June 17, 2022, from “Moneyapolis” featuring the “big fight feel” main event between Roman Reigns and Matt Riddle, with The Tribal Chief’s Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the line. We also continued down the road to Money In The Bank in Vegas.
RK-Bro Is Effectively Done
The video package and all of Matt Riddle’s tributes to Randy Orton are just a little bit too much. Riddle does “too much” very well–in fact, it’s his character. But the amount of tribute being played to Randy Orton seems to be a set-up for Orton’s eventual return (whenever that might be) OPPOSITE Riddle. Maybe it’s in the Royal Rumble, maybe after.
Regardless of how it happens (and much of that has to do with his surgery and rehabilitation process), I think we are closer than ever to a heel Randy Orton opposing the babyface Matt Riddle.
Madcap Moss Is Undeniably Over
“Madcap just might be a guy.” – Pat McAfee
Pat McAfee knows what he’s talking about on this one–Madcap is indeed a guy. Riddick Moss always had the tools, just had injury issues. Since making his return to competition as Baron “Happy” Corbin’s sidekick, all Moss has done is prove his worth to WWE. He’s got a good look. He can cut a good promo. He’s vastly a underrated in-ring storyteller. And above all else, he has “it.”
WWE is always looking to add to the main event rotation, but it seems harder to crack that right now. But Madcap Moss has what it takes to do just that.
Montez Ford Is Gonna Be A (Solo) Star
The Street Profits are a fantastic act, and are insanely over. But Montez is a guy–a guy who the company can build around. While I feel bad for Angelo Dawkins, I (along with so many others) see Ford being a solo star.
We’re Getting Baron Corbin vs. Pat McAfee At SummerSlam
It’s the perfect set-up:
- Baron Corbin is highly regarded within the organization as one of the safest workers around, a point that has been made by Randy Orton himself.
- Pat McAfee is a big-moment superstar, and SummerSlam is the moment for him.
And for the record, I love it. While I an a big time purveyor of “Baron Corbin Sucks,” I know what he can do in the ring. And him vs. Pat McAfee would have Nashville rocking–and that is what McAfee in the ring is all about.
Vince McMahon Is Literally A Man Of Steel
If you have listened to any of Bruce Prichard’s podcasts, you know Vince McMahon believes you “don’t sell.” Not in the ring, but whenever the world has turned against you in any way–including lawsuits and investigations–you don’t sell it. You hold your head high, and live above it all.
That’s exactly what the boss did when opening up WWE Smackdown On FOX. It’s entirely possible that the plan changed along the way, and we were going to get “Mr. McMahon” at some point–but what happened is trademark Vince. Not the character, but the man. And if we expected anything else, we haven’t been paying attention.
Matt Riddle Is Now A Made Man
Matt Riddle and Roman Reigns delivered a pay per view (or premium live event…pick your poison) quality main event on WWE Smackdown on FOX, on a night where the world was likely watching. Tonight was his moment, and even in a loss, he delivered.
With a singular world champion–and one who likely isn’t losing anytime soon–it’s hard to say when Riddle could become a world champ. But the stipulation added to tonight’s match (which wasn’t discussed enough on air) means that Matt Riddle now cannot challenge Roman Reigns again (that’s how the graphic showed it). That screams a Money In The Bank or Royal Rumble win to me.
It’s also highly possible that a Seth Rollins wins the Money In The Bank briefcase, and his cash in splits the titles back up, opening the door for Riddle come next spring.
Either way–one fact remains true: Matt Riddle is now a made man, and doing it on his own.
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