Cody Rhodes Is Back and Top Talking Points After WWE WrestleMania 38 Results

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2022

Cody Rhodes Is Back and Top Talking Points After WWE WrestleMania 38 Results

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    Credit: WWE

    WrestleMania 38 was like any other big WWE event. It had its highs and lows, but it's probably safe to say that there was more good than bad between the two shows.

    Cody Rhodes returned to a massive ovation from the WWE Universe when he took on Seth Rollins as one of the worst-kept secret opponents in wrestling history. 

    Not only did we see him return, but Steve Austin worked his first match in 19 years when he faced Kevin Owens at the end of Night 1.

    Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair stole the show with their performance, and all three celebrity matches with Johnny Knoxville, Logan Paul and Pat McAfee exceeded expectations.

    Let's look at some of the biggest talking points from the two-day event. 

Cody Rhodes Is Back

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    Six years ago, Rhodes decided to take a chance on himself. After growing frustrated, Rhodes requested his release from WWE and set out on a journey to change pro wrestling.

    He went to several promotions like Ring of Honor, Impact, NJPW and other indies to establish himself as one of the best in the business, but it was starting AEW with Tony Khan, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks that changed everything.

    The American Nightmare was a cornerstone of AEW programming in its first couple of years and an executive behind the curtain, so it came as a shock to many people when it was revealed that he was leaving AEW and re-signing with WWE.

    When he arrived on the stage at WrestleMania, the crowd exploded with cheers. The WWE Universe was happy to see Dusty's son back in the biggest promotion in the world, and he got the same love after he and Seth Rollins tore the house down with an incredible performance. 

    Now that Rhodes is back, there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered. How long will Rhodes be here? Who will be his first major feud? Will he ever win the world title? Is he the only star from AEW who will jump ship?

    All of that will be revealed in time, but for now, we can celebrate the fact that in the span of six years, Rhodes turned himself from a midcard character wearing facepaint into one of the biggest names in the industry. 

Steve Austin May Have Worked His Final Match

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    After 19 years, Stone Cold returned to a WWE ring as a competitor to take on Owens in the main event of Night 1 of WrestleMania 38.

    Going into the show, our expectations were low. We all assumed this would be a talk show segment that ended with KO taking a Stunner. That was the most we thought we would see.

    Then, KO challenged Austin to an actual match, and to our surprise, Stone Cold accepted. For the next 14 minutes, the two brawlers fought all over the arena. After surviving a Stunner from Owens, Austin dished out one of his own to score the win.

    Not only did the crowd get treated to a surprise match with a legit legend, but Owens was very generous in how much he sold for Austin. He made The Rattlesnake look like he could take on the world.

    Austin clearly put in the work to make sure he was capable of doing all of this, but KO deserves so much credit for everything he did to make this match fun and enjoyable.

    It's unlikely this will lead to more matches from Austin, but as The Undertaker said at the end of his Hall of Fame speech, never say never. Owens will probably receive a push as a reward for how well he did, so we might see him pursuing a title as early as Monday. 

Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch Stole the Show

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    Belair and Lynch's bout for the Raw Women's Championship took place right in the middle of the show. It was the fourth of seven matches from Night 1.

    Nobody knew what to expect with this one. Would we get another 26-second victory, or would they put on a classic match? People were on the edge of their seats waiting to see how this all played out.

    After this bout almost ended the same way as their SummerSlam encounter, The EST regrouped and went on to win the women's title back from Big Time Becks in spectacular fashion.

    Not only did she get her revenge, but Belair and Lynch may have put on the best performance of the entire weekend. Their match had everything you could want from a grudge match that did not have a special stipulation.

    They had convincing false finishes, incredible chemistry as opponents and several memorable spots. While it made sense to close the show with Austin vs. Owens, the Raw Women's Championship match was the real main event for a lot of fans. 

    Management has something special with these two. This is a feud that could span years if WWE plays its cards right, but that means it has to be careful with how many times it puts them in the ring together. This is not a storyline that should be driven into the ground. The slow play is the best way to go with this one. 

Pat McAfee Can Do No Wrong

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    One of the most surprising things in WWE over the past year has been the rise of McAfee as one of the most popular people in the company.

    Not only does his over-the-top energy help make every show more entertaining, but he has breathed new life into Michael Cole as his broadcast partner.

    His match with Theory on Sunday was almost as good as his bout with Adam Cole in NXT, but what came after would have been hard for anyone to make work.

    Vince McMahon got in the ring and ended up having a match with McAfee that ended with the 76-year-old CEO kicking a football into his stomach to get the pin.

    Steve Austin showed up to hit some Stunners on both men before making his exit, but the funniest moment came when McAfee, battered and bruised on the ground, was shown still trying to pour a beer into his mouth.

    In the eyes of many fans, McAfee can do no wrong. He has earned the love of the crowd and has become one of the biggest babyface acts in the entire company.

Johnny Knoxville and Logan Paul Exceeded Expectations

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    McAfee wasn't the only celebrity to wrestle at this year's show. We saw Paul on Night 1 with The Miz against the Mysterios and Knoxville on Night 2 in a match with Zayn.

    The bout with Paul was much closer to a traditional wrestling bout than what we saw with Knoxville. The Miz and the Mysterios carried the load, but the social media star held his own and hit a few impressive moves along the way.

    When it came to Knoxville's match, it was just pure buffoonery in the best possible way. He and Zayn used tons of props from the Jackass movies and a few classic wrestling weapons to put on a ridiculous and entertaining performance.

    Nobody would have been a better choice to put in that spot than Zayn. He is a seasoned veteran who can not only carry an inexperienced opponent, but he knows how to make the comedy spots work.

    All in all, the three celebrity appearances at this year's WrestleMania might end up being considered three of the best in the history of the PPV when it's all said and done.