The WWE staged its premiere event, WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium, in Dallas, Texas. Fans in attendance witnessed two nights of hard hitting and thrilling action. The shows included some shockers, as one would expect from the WWE biggest weekend of the year. One of the top matches of the first night was for the Raw Women’s championship. The champion, Becky Lynch was challenged by Bianca Belair.

One of the exciting things that the WWE does at Mania is stage elaborate entrances for some of its wrestlers. After Becky made her entrance, the Texas Southern University marching band made its way to the entrance ramp and performed Bianca’s entrance theme. It must have been a huge honor for those students, to partake in such a big moment on a massive stage.

The match was a thrilling one. Both women tried to end the contest quickly with rapid-fire pin attempts and submissions. The final sequence showcased Becky attempting her Manhandle slam, which Belair successfully escaped. The challenger then lifted her opponent and connected with the K.O.D. for the win. Bianca Belair became the new Raw Women’s champion after an exhilarating contest. The victory had to feel good for Bianca, especially after losing to Becky in a rapid and stunning fashion at Summerslam in August. With Lynch losing her match, I am sure she hoped there would be a better result for her husband, Seth Rollins.

In the weeks heading to Mania, Rollins was on a mission to find an opponent for the big event to no avail. He met with Mr. McMahon six days before who told him his opponent would be revealed at Mania. Once Rollins entered the ring, there was a buzz. Fans began chanting someone’s name….in hopes it would be him as the mystery opponent. The crowd went insane when the familiar music of Cody Rhodes blared over the stadium speakers. When he entered the ring, the two wrestlers went face-to-face and the audience, energized from the shocking appearance of Cody, went absolutely insane.

The match was lengthy and action-packed. The end came when Cody hit some quick punches to Seth, then in an homage to his late father, Dusty Rhodes, utilized the Bionic elbow. With Rollins shaken and stunned, Cody applied the Cross Rhodes finisher to polish off his opponent. The crowd was ecstatic with the result. Dusty would have been proud of both his son as well as Seth, who was one of his star pupils in the developmental territory of the WWE, NXT. In my mind, that was a great way to end the first night of Mania, but there was still more to come.

The first part of the WrestleMania Saturday main event was a talk show segment. Kevin Owens hosted the KO Show with a special guest. In the previous weeks, Owens kept making fun of the state of Texas. He did that in the hopes of getting a response from someone. When Owens entered the ring that night, he was awaiting his guest. The glass shattered and the fans gave a huge ovation for the arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin. A couple of weeks before the event Owens knew Austin would appear, but he thought it would just be an interview where he would continue the insults in front of Austin. As Kevin kept on going and going, Steve was getting extremely agitated. Eventually it led to Owens challenging Austin to a match, which he accepted to the delight of those in attendance.

The match was no holds barred and was very entertaining. Austin ducked a chair shot attempt by his opponent. Owens became dizzy as the chair ricocheted off the rope and hit KO in the head. Then, Austin hit the Stone Cold Stunner on his opponent for his first win in 19 years. It was the right move to have Austin win and send the crowd home happy after a thrilling first night of Mania. However, there was more excitement, drama and special moments to come the following night.

One of the matches that night was a four-way match for the WWE Women’s tag team titles. All the teams involved staged great performances, but only one would walk out victorious. Sasha Banks and Naomi became the new WWE Women’s tag team champions after a wild and crazy contest. It must have been a great feel-good moment for both women, but especially for Sasha, with the victory being her first ever win at Wrestlemania.

A dream came true that night for former NFL punter, turned Smackdown color commentator, Pat McAfee. He always had a desire to participate in a WrestleMania match. On March 3rd, Vince McMahon appeared on McAfee’s podcast and offered him an opportunity at his dream. After a long pause, Pat accepted, even though his opponent was not revealed at that moment. The following night on Smackdown, Austin Theory (McMahon’s on-screen protégé) appeared and revealed himself as McAfee’s opponent, which began the build for the match at Mania.

Theory entered the ring, alongside Mr. McMahon, who sat on a chair next to the commentary desk. Then, Seven Nation Army, by the White Stripes blasted throughout the arena and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders made their way out to accompany McAfee to the ring, and the crowd went insane for Pat. They kept that energy throughout the match. Whenever Pat performed a move, the crowd and play-by-play announcer, Michael Cole, went crazy. Pat attained the victory after a roll up. McMahon displayed anger with the result. Cole and the crowd were elated then Pat glanced down at Vince, and taunted him. McMahon began to slowly remove his jacket, shirt and tie. The crowd was getting excited, anticipating what may occur. Meanwhile, on commentary, Cole implored his friend to leave the ring. A referee “suddenly” appeared. Vince and Pat stood face-to-face…and the bell rang.

The match was short, involving a lot of taunting from Vince and interference from Theory. As the battle continued, Austin provided his “mentor” with a football, who then proceeded to kick McAfee in the ribs with it to get the tainted win. As the two celebrated, the sound of glass breaking blared in the stadium and the crowd knew it signaled the arrival of Steve Austin. Steve performed the Stunner on Theory. Then Austin and McMahon teased sharing a beer – maybe putting behind past animosity. And, it seemed that they were going to forget the past….until Stone Cold hit his old rival with the Stone Cold Stunner. While all that transpired, Pat McAfee watched at ringside. Austin invited him in and the two shared a beer. Then, as expected, Stone Cold performed the Stunner on McAfee. Pat rolled out of the ring to the padded mats on the arena floor. As Austin celebrated in the ring by drinking a beer, McAfee laid on his back outside the ring, drinking a beer. Pat McAfee realized multiple dreams: He got a Mania match, he received a bonus match against the owner of the company, and shared a beer with Stone Cold Steve Austin. I think that proved to be a very good night for the former NFL punter and current Smackdown color commentator.

The main event featured a championship unification match between the WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. Reigns survived multiple suplexes from Brock, and Lesnar survived a couple of Superman punches from the Universal champion. He even laughed after Roman hit his hard punches – which was very unusual. The end came as Brock attempted to hoist Reigns up for the F5, which Roman escaped. He then hit a Spear on his opponent for the win. Roman Reigns became the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.

The WWE showcased two nights of great action and excitement, which also included a few surprises. Some of the wrestlers experienced WrestleMania Moments. The Cody Rhodes appearance surprised the fans, even though they chanted his name for weeks on Raw when Rollins looked for an opponent, but to see him appear proved to be very exciting for fans. I am sure he was thrilled with the response he received. Pat McAfee, obviously had the night of his life. In my opinion, he should stay as the color commentator for Smackdown – he possesses an unbelievable passion and energy for everything he witnesses. His personality suits the role. The WWE and its performers should be really proud of the spectacular matches they staged on both nights of Mania.

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