WrestleMania 38 Night 1 preview: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin highlights stacked card

WrestleMania 38 Night 1 preview: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin highlights stacked card

WrestleMania will be a two-night event for the third straight year (April 2-3, 8 p.m., Peacock) and the first at full capacity since 2019. The opening night features two women’s world championship matches, a not-so-mysterious mystery opponent, the return of an all-time great and the first of three celebrities having their inaugural match at the Show of Shows.

Here are five things to watch for at the main-event filled Night 1 of WrestleMania 38 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Texas Toast
Only one thing is certain about “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s special appearance on the KO Show, it’s going to end with a beer toast and some drinking by The Rattlesnake – especially with his new Broken Skull lager in stores. Oh, and there will be some ass kicking, which Austin loosely described as a potential match or maybe just a fight.

He even stated that he wants Austin to acknowledge him as the new Stone Cold. All of it has gotten fans more than ready to see him get what’s coming to him. This could be the main event and should be fun, no matter which way this goes.

Welcome to the Big Time

Becky Lynch will finally come face to face with Bianca Belair and truly have to answer for taking The EST’s championship in 26 seconds at last year’s SummerSlam. While another match may go on last at Night 1, this one is truly the main event because of the long-term storytelling.

Their only television singles match since SummerSlam was Belair winning by DQ at Extreme Rules last September.

Becky Lynch

Lynch has done an excellent job as a heel after a stop-and-go start, really sealing it all with a promo two weeks ago on Raw talking about how she’s already sold her soul to remain Raw women’s champion for 600-plus days dating back to her pre-baby reign in 2019.

The two have traded injuries, beginning with an alleged fractured voice box from a live event in Pennsylvania for Lynch that included pictures of her in the hospital. She retaliated by putting a chair around Belair’s throat and pulling her by her braid into the ring post to cause “trauma” and a television absence for the EST.

Belair’s hair has become a focal point after she also whipped Lynch with it and left some nasty scars across her abdomen. They hammered the hair point home this week on “Monday Night Raw” with Belair returning, thwarting Lynch’s attempt to clip her braid then cutting off some of Big Time Becks’ hair to bring things to a fever pitch right before the match.

Step One

Ronda Rousey’s revenge tour officially gets underway. The last time the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion faced Charlotte Flair in a vicious singles match it ended in a DQ finish thanks to The Queen’s use of a kendo stick at the 2018 Survivor Series. The SmackDown women’s champion feels like Boss 1 before a likely Mania match with Lynch next year In Los Angeles.

Rousey, who had her first child with husband Travis Browne in September, returned after nearly three years away from WWE to win the Royal Rumble in January and chose to go after Flair’s title – saying she was just the first. Since then, the two have traded vicious attacks in the parking lot and in the ring with Flair being unable to make Rousey – who has added the Ankle Lock submission to her arsenal – tap out. Look for that to be the story of this match, which certainly has the chance to steal the show. A victory for Rousey would earn her the SmackDown women’s championship of the first time.

Start of something?

Logan Paul’s professional wrestling debut is by far the most interesting of the celebrity appearances at this WrestleMania.

Could this be the start of something for the YouTube sensation-turned-boxer? It’s at least a toe in the water should he eventually decide to join WWE down the road.

So the A-Lister needed a top-notch partner in Paul to even the odds. Miz added the ultimate insult by stealing one of Rey’s famed masks. Miz’s wife Maryse even displayed it in the family trophy case on social media and Paul wore it on Raw this week. It all comes with Dominik trying to earn the right to wear his own mask and carry on the Mysterio legacy. It’s a great wrinkle to amp this up, but this match is all about Paul’s performance.

Logan Paul WWE
Logan Paul,WWE

Nightmare Scenario

WWE has gotten every last drop out of Cody Rhodes’ likely return to the company after the former All Elite Wrestling executive vice president was unable to come to terms with his former company.

Instead, Vince McMahon told Rollins during a segment this week that he has a match, the opponent will be of the boss’ choosing and Rollins will find out who he is when he’s in the ring at AT&T Stadium. If it is indeed Rhodes, it gives “The American Nightmare” a chance for a WrestleMania moment similar to the Hardy Boyz’s return at WrestleMania 33, an enormous crowd pop and a springboard into the upper echelon of the roster. As the first major AEW talent to cross over, this is a very big deal.

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