WWE WrestleMania 38 Results: Star Ratings for All Matches from Saturday's Card
WWE WrestleMania is in its third year of being a two-night event, and the opening night set a high bar for Sunday.
As is usually the case with a WWE production, the night wasn't all highlights—and fans of the New Day were disappointed as their match with Sheamus and Ridge Holland was pushed to Sunday. It was an entertaining night overall, though, with its fair share of twists and turns throughout.
As opening nights go, WWE could have done far, far worse.
Below, you'll find a look at all seven of Saturday's matches, with star ratings for each—based on factors like in-ring performances, storytelling, crowd response and overall impact. From Logan Paul's in-ring debut to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's thrilling return, we'll recap everything here.
The Usos def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
This had the potential to be a tremendous opening match for WrestleMania. It featured a fantastic intro and some solid chemistry from Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura early, while Jey and Jimmy Uso flashed their usual tag team chemistry.
However, Boogs suffered a leg injury minutes into the bout, which turned this one into a handicap match. The injury appears to be legitimate. On Saturday, according to Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc., Michael Cole announced Boogs will undergo surgery to repair a torn quadriceps and patella tendon.
According to Bryan Alvarez of F4WOnline.com, the finish of the match was changed after the injury. How the match was supposed to end is unknown, but it feels unlikely that Nakamura and Boogs were meant to go over. Nakamura and the Usos were able to salvage the match, but Boogs' unfortunate injury left this one underwhelming.
Star Rating: *½
Drew McIntyre def. Happy Corbin
This felt like the culmination of a lengthy feud between Drew McIntyre and Happy Corbin, who was accompanied to the ring by Madcap Moss. While fans have seen several matches between these two, Corbin has done a tremendous job of painting himself as an unlikable heel, which kept the crowd invested here.
The match itself was fairly run-of-the-mill, with McIntyre and Corbin trading big moves and momentum swings. The match sagged a bit in the middle, but it featured a strong finish. McIntyre became the first WWE superstar to kick out of Corbin's End of Days finisher. He then hit a Future Shock DDT and the Claymore to end it.
After the match, McIntyre put a little fear into Moss when he cut through the top two ropes with his sword, Angela—which I have to admit, was pretty cool. Nothing spectacular here, but a good ending helped get the crowd back into things after a so-so opener.
Star Rating: ***
The Miz and Logan Paul def. Dominik and Rey Mysterio
This bout had the potential to be a complete disaster and a jokey throwaway. However, social media star and boxer Logan Paul was surprisingly competent in the ring and worked well with The Miz as the heel team.
That said, there wasn't much chemistry or cohesion in this one. Dominik and Rey Mysterio provided a few athletic highlights, but they never really generated any momentum.
The crowd appeared mostly uninterested in this one until the post-match, when The Miz delivered a Skull-Crushing Finale to Paul following their victory, possibly signaling a well-deserved face turn for the WWE veteran.
This was another relatively average match, but it was great to see that Paul put in the work necessary to carry himself well. This probably won't be the last we see of him in the ring.
Star Rating: **½
Bianca Belair Def. Becky Lynch (Raw Women's Championship)
The highlight of Saturday came midway through the card, as Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair put on an absolute clinic.
The crowd was into this one quickly, as both women were given spectacular entrances—Lynch getting a Marvel-inspired video package and Belair coming with the Texas Southern University marching band.
The action got off to a fast start too, with Lynch looking to put Belair away early with a flurry of offense. Lynch defeated Belair in a matter of seconds at SummerSlam, but there would be no repeat of the squash here.
While Lynch didn't take full control early, she managed to keep Belair in check every time the challenger took momentum. However, Belair survived Lynch's early outburst and eventually took over with her strength and athleticism, hitting the KOD for a clean win after both competitors traded pin and submission attempts.
This match had a little bit of everything: high-flying, powerful moves, false finishes and masterful in-ring story work. By the end, it truly felt like Belair had overcome the odds, and the crowd erupted in ovation.
The match of WrestleMania thus far, this one was a joy to watch from start to finish.
Star Rating: *****
Cody Rhodes Def. Seth Rollins
Before the match, a video package showcased Seth Rollins' return to WrestleMania. He was granted a match by Vince McMahon but with the stipulation that his opponent wouldn't be known until Rollins was in the ring.
Many fans anticipated that the surprise entrant would be Cody Rhodes following his departure from AEW. Therefore, his "surprise" return after six years wasn't all that shocking. However, that didn't stop the crowd from exploding when Rhodes' "The American Nightmare" theme hit.
The match was solid, as one might expect. Rhodes and Rollins are both incredible workers, and they appeared evenly matched. They also displayed a fine bit of ring psychology by countering each others' moves and showing that they are indeed familiar foes.
Rhodes outlasted Rollins, winning with a Bionic Elbow and a third Cross Rhodes. It was a great return for Rhodes, who appears poised for an instant push to the top of the company.
"I told Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard and Nick Khan—this very small circle of individuals—I told them what I truly believe and it's that I'm the best wrestler in the world," Rhodes said, per Joe Otterson of Variety "...the opportunity now exists to prove it, and that's what I'm most excited about."
Wrestling fans are here for it.
Star Rating: *****
Charlotte Flair Def. Ronda Rousey (SmackDown Women's Championship)
Perhaps fans were a little exhausted following the two previous matches. Perhaps this one went too long. It was likely a little bit of both, but the energy during the Rhonda Rousey and Charlotte Flair match was lacking.
It wasn't a bad match, as Rousey and Flair traded big blows and submission attempts. However, it wasn't as strong of a technical showcase as it could have (and probably should have) been.
Flair deserves credit for making her approach clear. She repeatedly attacked Rousey's legs in an attempt to set up her Figure Eight submission. Rousey switched between strikes and attempts to lock in her patented armbar—and Rousey worked a far cleaner match than she has at times in the past.
Both women came out looking strong, and it felt the entire time that it could go either way. However, the action up until the finish was just above-average. The finish was the saving grace of this one.
The referee was knocked down by Flair's spear and was unaware of her tapping to Rousey's armbar. Rousey tried to get the ref's attention, and Flair delivered a big boot and the pin for the victory.
Given the finish, this rivalry probably isn't over. Booking deserves credit for not taking too much away from Rousey in her defeat.
Star Rating: ****
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin Def. Kevin Owens
There wasn't a ton of buildup to this match, other than Kevin Owens trash-talking both Steve Austin and the state of Texas. However, WWE set up enough animosity for it to make sense when Austin accepted Owens' challenge of a no-holds-barred match to cap opening night.
Austin was supposed to simply make an appearance on the Kevin Owens Show to follow the main event, but when he came to the ring in his wrestling attire (complete with knee braces) fans knew they were in for a treat.
This was no technical masterpiece, which wasn't a surprise seeing as how Austin is 57 years old. For what it was, though, it delivered. Owens and Austin brawled in and out of the ring, through the crowd and up the entrance ramp.
Both men took hard bumps on the concrete, which fired up the surrounding crowd. While it initially felt like a foregone conclusion that Austin would emerge victoriously, there was more than enough back-and-forth to keep it interesting.
The finish was also strong, as Austin kicked out of Owens' Stunner, dodged a chair shot that ricocheted off the ropes and hit Owens in the face and delivered his own "Stone Cold" Stunner for the in-ring win.
The crowd exploded again after the match as Austin celebrated in the ring. It was a fitting send-off for opening night and a pleasantly surprising return for Austin after a 19-year layoff.
Star Rating: ****