Wrestlemania 38 is finally upon us, with this year’s event returning to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This will be a two-night event like the previous two years, with Night 1 taking place on Saturday, April 2 and Night 2 taking place on Sunday, April 3.
Wrestlemania is a tentpole event that brings in everyone from diehard consumers of the WWE product to casual consumers who probably haven’t which since last year’s Wrestlemania. If you belong to the latter group and have not watched since last year’s two-night spectacle, do not fret, we got you. Here’s a refresher of what to look for heading into this year’s showcase in North Texas.
Primary matches, superstars to look out for in the show
This show will be headlined by the main event showdown on Night 2 between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns in a title unification match. Some of you may be asking, “wait, wasn’t Roman Reigns the Universal Champion at last year’s Wrestlemania?” and not only is the answer yes, it’s the same reign!
Month-after-month, the “Tribal Chief” as he’s called these days has mowed down opponent-after-opponent on Smackdown in what has been the longest title reign in modern WWE history. Enter Brock Lesnar, who returned last summer to re-ignite his longtime feud with Reigns. The “Beast” won the Royal Rumble to set this match up and added even higher stakes to it when he went on to win the WWE Championship at February’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Now we have what the WWE is describing as the biggest Wrestlemania main event of all time.
Some of you might be here because you heard that Stone Cold Steve Austin is wrestling and that is correct... sort of. Austin will be fighting Kevin Owens during a special segment of the “KO Show” during Night 1 of Wrestlemania. Owens spent months insulting the state of Texas on WWE television and after not having an official match for the show, he officially challenged Austin to a fight in his home state at Wrestlemania. The following day, the “Texas Rattlesnake” officially accepted the challenge for the show. Match, fight, brawl, whatever you want to call it, roughly 100,000 fans are going to lose their minds when the glass shatters and Austin comes out on Saturday.
You should also pay heavy attention to the two big-time women’s championship matches, both of which are taking place on Saturday. First, Ronda Rousey will face Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Rousey returned to the WWE in January and won the women’s Royal Rumble match, officially setting up this showdown between the two stars on Night 1.
The other is the Raw Women’s Championship showdown between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair. After a year off on maternity leave, Lynch returned at SummerSlam last year and took down Belair for the title in a match that lasted less than 30 seconds. Since then, “Big Time Becks” has mowed down the rest of the Raw women’s division while noticeably ducking the “EST”. Belair earned this opportunity by winning the women’s Elimination Chamber match in February, setting up the long anticipated rematch.
Which celebrities are wrestling at Wrestlemania?
You may remember Bad Bunny killing it in his match during last year’s Wrestlemania. Well there are three celebrities participating this year.
Logan Paul accompanied Sami Zayn in his match against Kevin Owens last year and this year, the YouTube/boxing/social media/whatever you want to call him star is actually stepping into the ring for a mach. Paul and The Miz will team up to take on Rey and Dominik Mysterio in a tag team match on Night 1.
Speaking of Sami Zayn, he will once again be heavily involved with a celebrity this year when he faces Jackass legend Johnny Knoxville in an “anything goes” match on Night 2. This began in January when Zayn took umbrage with the actor/stuntman entering the Royal Rumble. After getting attacked by Zayn on an episode of Smackdown, Knoxville retaliated by costing Zayn the Intercontinental Championship and has proceeded to torment Zayn ever since. Considering that Knoxville is used to taking crazy bumps, we’ll see what insane thing they’ll have him do here.
We’ll also get former NFL punter/Smackdown commentator Pat McAfee stepping into the ring to take on up-and-coming superstar Austin Theory. McAfee did an interview with Vince McMahon on his podcast a few weeks back and McMahon officially granted him a Wrestlemania match right then and there. It was later reveled that Theory would be his opponent and the two have been barking at each other ever since.
Who are the champs?
Here are the superstars that are holding gold heading into Wrestlemania weekend:
WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar
Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
United States Champion: Finn Balor
Raw Tag Team Champions: RK-Bro
24/7 Champion: Dana Brooke
Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Intercontinental Champion: Ricochet
Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The Usos
Women’s Tag Team Champions: Queen Zelina and Carmella
Other programs to keep your eye on
- Edge will face AJ Styles in an icon vs. icon match on Night 2. Edge has turned heel in this feud and has unveiled a new persona as its gone on.
- After weeks of lobbying for a spot on the card, Seth Rollins will get a match on Night 1 of the show and will face a mystery opponent to be revealed by Vince McMahon himself on the night of the show. It has been rumored for multiple months that Rollins’ Wrestlemania opponent will be a returning Cody Rhodes, who left AEW in February. We’ll see who/what the big surprise is on Saturday.