Stone Cold's Last Match and Biggest Night 1 Takeaways of WWE WrestleMania 2022

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistApril 3, 2022

Stone Cold's Last Match and Biggest Night 1 Takeaways of WWE WrestleMania 2022

0 of 5


    Night 1 of WWE WrestleMania 38 was as special as it promised to be. The performances were memorable, the moments were worthy of the huge crowd in attendance, and the event proved WWE can still be the biggest show out there when it's in the zone.

    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin made a shocking in-ring return against Kevin Owens and got to finally end his career on his own terms.

    Cody Rhodes returned to WWE with all the excitement of his All Elite Wrestling run included. He was the exact same performer, complete with his music. It was a special moment for Dusty Rhodes' son, who proved he could be a true star.

    Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair put on the match of the night and, arguably, the match of the year. It was a special performance from both women that also helped solidify The EST of WWE as a lasting act in the women's division.

    Logan Paul was not supposed to shine at WrestleMania, but he competed like an upstart rookie. He looked good working with The Miz and a legend like Rey Mysterio, rarely missing a step.

    Rick Boogs was unfortunate to tear his quad during his match against The Usos. It felt like his moment at WrestleMania and he was ready to become SmackDown tag team champion with Shinsuke Nakamura, but that will have to wait now.

    There were plenty of good takeaways from this show that set a high bar for Night 2 of WrestleMania 38.

'Stone Cold' Steve Austin Looked Great in His Final WWE Match

1 of 5

    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin did not guarantee he would wrestle at AT&T Stadium in Dallas this weekend. He only agreed to appear on The Kevin Owens Show, but the host convinced him to wrestle his final match.

    The two men brawled around the ring and all the way into the crowd. Austin even took a back bump on concrete. While he was never going to be able to compete at his best, he looked as much like the The Texas Rattlesnake as he could.

    This was a great moment for Stone Cold given the disappointing end to his original in-ring career with WWE. This felt so appropriate for The Grandest Stage of Them All.

    It will be tough for almost any moment on Sunday to eclipse the crowd excitement of watching Austin in action one last time in a WWE ring. One of the absolute greats got his deserved spotlight one last time.

Best Wishes to Rick Boogs, Who Looked Likely to Win 1st Title Before Injury

2 of 5

    Rick Boogs suffered an unfortunate knee injury during the opening match on Saturday, which may well have required WWE to change the end of his bout with Shinsuke Nakamura against The Usos.

    The guitarist has showcased his charisma alongside The Artist over the past few months in particular, setting them up for a surprise tag title run that could have shown what Boogs can do in the ring.

    Hopefully, the injury is not too serious, but it did not look good. WWE has initially announced it is a torn quad that will require surgery. No matter how much time he is out, he should return to a similar push toward what seemed to be on the cards at WrestleMania.

    WWE has few new exciting Superstars. Boogs can do something remarkable, going from a limited NXT run to a household name if he can get the right booking. It all should come when he returns from injury.

Logan Paul Proves His Worth to WWE

3 of 5

    Logan Paul walked into his tag team match with The Miz against The Mysterios as an underdog in the eyes of the WWE Universe. He had to sell himself to fans who would only see him as a social media star.

    However, everyone involved helped him to an impressive performance that the crowd bought into. He looked like a capable rookie with an opportunity to hit a higher ceiling down the line.

    The 27-year-old has not shown how well he can sell yet, but that will come with more matches. WWE has already sold the idea of Paul vs. Miz for a future big show down the line after The A-Lister turned on his teammate after the contest.

    Celebrity appearances in WWE have gotten much better in recent years. Paul may not have beaten Bad Bunny, but he looked more capable than anyone could have expected. He put in the work to prepare, and it paid off.

Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair Set the Bar by Stealing the Show

4 of 5

    Bianca Belair has stolen the show on back-to-back WrestleManias. She and Becky Lynch performed like no one else could. Even the SmackDown Women's Championship match was not at the same level.

    The bar for the Match of the Year has been set by these two women, and it is hard to see anything matching it soon. The storytelling sold the legacy of the pair in conflict with one another. Big Time Becks was afraid of The EST of WWE, and Belair proved she should be.

    The back-and-forth sequences were excellent, driven by the athleticism of both women, who had new tricks up their sleeves.

    In every way, this felt like a WrestleMania all-timer. This will stand the test of time more than much of this card even though The Show of Shows largely delivered throughout the night.

    The EST has been crowned again after a rough road to get there. She has earned this spotlight and will hopefully get a long reign as Raw women's champion.

Cody Rhodes Has Chance to Rewrite His Legacy with Gimmick He Created

5 of 5


    All Elite Wrestling was defined first and foremost by a few key stars. One of those was Cody Rhodes.

    The son of Dusty Rhodes was largely disrespected in his late run with WWE, and he left under a cloud.

    He reinvented himself and helped create the closest competition WWE has seen since WCW was bought out. When his contract with AEW expired, there was serious hype for what The American Nightmare would do next.

    A year ago, no one could have believed he would return to WWE with his "Kingdom" entrance theme at WrestleMania, yet it happened. He defeated Seth Rollins in a competitive clash that allowed him to pay tribute to his father in its closing moments.

    This is a chance for Rhodes to evolve the character he created for himself. WWE has allowed him to be himself, and the crowd has bought into it immediately.

    Hopefully, that hype will not dissipate. He could well capture the world championship sooner rather than later with this build, and that would feel like vindication for all he has done in his career so far.