Date: April 4, 2022
Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX
Show Recap --
There was a 5-minute WrestleMania 38 video package.
Cody Rhodes segment
The lights went out and people chanted for Cody Rhodes before his music hit.
Rhodes soaked in the crowd reaction and he received a big fireworks display. When he hit the ring, the crowd continued to cheer and chanted “welcome back.”
“So, what do you guys wanna talk about?”
Rhodes said it’s been 47 days since he became a free agent and he’s heard all kinds of stories told about him. People thought it would be hard for him to return to WWE but it was not. He mentioned that he signed a multi-year deal and the crowd chanted “you deserve it.”
Rhodes said any doubts he had were eradicated on Saturday when he rose through the stage and defeated one of the best in the business, Seth Rollins. He mentioned a quote about stumbling before reaching success.
Cody pointed at the tron to a picture of Dusty Rhodes at Madison Square Garden on September 26, 1977. Cody choked up and said that wasn’t just his dad, that was his hero. The crowd chanted for Dusty.
Cody mentioned that Dusty was holding the same belt that Hulk Hogan, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and many other greats went on to hold. (He purposefully paused before mentioning HHH.) That same belt was on his mantle until his very last day. When he was still young, he asked his dad, “I didn’t know you were champion like Hulk Hogan.”
Dusty explained to young Cody that he did not take home the championship belt that night because he won by count-out. At eight years old, Cody knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to win that championship belt. He wanted to place it in the hands of Dusty Rhodes and tell him that nobody can take it away from him.
Cody admitted that this dream died. “That opportunity passed — or did it?” Cody knew that he couldn’t put the belt in the hands of the American Dream, but he could put it around the waist of the American Nightmare. The crowd cheered and chanted “you can do it.” Rhodes chuckled.
Rhodes’ intentions were clear. He was ready. Finally ready. He was going to do it for his family, for himself, for the fans, and for the American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
Seth Rollins interrupted. He pranced out in a pink suit. Cody dropped his mic and offered a handshake. Rollins laughed, shook his hands and said, “welcome home.”
There was a random graphic during the below match plugging a Dolph Ziggler vs. Bron Breakker match for the NXT title tonight.
Non-title match: Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks & Naomi defeated Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan (9:01)
Ripley gave Naomi a delayed vertical suplex early in the match that seemed to last at least 20 seconds. The teams exchanged dives and Naomi came out of it in control. Ripley was randomly in control following the break but Naomi came back with a Disaster kick.
They both tagged out and Banks gave Morgan a Meteora for two. Morgan fought her off and used a double-team powerbomb for two. Naomi chucked Ripley from the ring before she and Banks used their combo Glam Slam/Codebreaker finisher on Morgan for the pinfall win.
A frustrated Ripley walked out on Morgan after the match.
Kevin Owens’ music hit and he entered as Ripley left.
Kevin Owens segment / return of Elias
Owens admitted his plan for Steve Austin might have been a mistake. Turns out, Austin was still great. And you had to be great to be one of the greatest to ever step in this ring (himself).
Owens tricked Austin into wrestling again but he may have tricked himself because he had a bit of a bad back going into the match. Owens hurt his back lifting weight the day before and you could tell by the way he walked to the ring.
Owens said he should have just gone home but the WWE fans needed him and he sacrificed himself for them. He said Austin’s win in the record book should be stricken from the records.
“Ezekiel” interrupted. It was a clean-shaven Elias with long hair. He wore trucks and wrestling boots. (He looks a bit like Hugh Jackman.) Owens squinted and said, “Elias?” and the crowd laughed.
Ezekiel responded by saying he was not Elias, he was Elias’ younger brother. The crowd lightly sang, “walk with Elias.” Owens wasn’t buying it.
Owens said he hated liars and Elias said he must hate himself because he lied to Austin and got stunned. The crowd chanted, “you got stunned.” Owens said he never liked Elias and he likes him even less now. Owens told “Eric” to get the hell out of his ring.
Owens counted down from ten but Elias didn’t budge. Owens marched off.
Owens was great here.
The Miz defeated Dominik Mysterio (w/Rey Mysterio) (0:31)
Miz won clean with a Skull Crushing Finale in 31 seconds. Yes, really.
(It’s Dominik’s 25th birthday tomorrow. He’s older than Randy Orton was when he won the world title for the first time.)
Veer Mahaan entered after the match and attacked the Mysterios. Mahaan laid them both out and made Dominik tap out wildly to a camel clutch.
Bianca Belair promo
Belair thanked the fans. She removed her shades to reveal a significant black eye. She said she stood here tonight with just one eye but wanted to thank Becky Lynch for that because after she lost at SummerSlam, she realized how much better she could be. She also learned how quickly it could all be taken away from her.
Belair didn’t cheat or injure her opponent to get what she wanted. Lynch did everything she could to take her out and even targetted her eye. But no matter what Lynch tried, she overcame it all. The fans came to expect more from their champion so she became better herself.
She said no woman in the back had what it took to beat her because, after Saturday, she was even better. She suggested Lynch use this downtime to find out exactly who she was without the belt.
Belair called herself the E.S.T. and the new Raw Women’s Champion. Fireworks went off as she held up the belt.
There was a Bron Breakker video package.
Bron Breakker defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode) to win the NXT Championship (10:02)
Ziggler slapped Bron before the match began. Bron used a suplex early on but Ziggler outsmarted him to take control. He trash-talked and said, “this is the big leagues, you idiot.” Bron avoided a kick and countered a leapfrog into a great-looking body slam. Ziggler regained control after dropkicking Bron off the top rope and he remained in control through a break.
Ziggler went for a Fameasser but Bron countered into a powerbomb. Bron followed with running shoulder tackles, an overhead suplex, and a clothesline. Roode popped on the apron for the distraction and Ziggler used a schoolboy for a two count.
Bron wiped out Roode with a flip dive but Ziggler hit him with a Fameasser back in the ring for two. Ziggler raked Bron in the eyes and hit a superkick for a nearfall. Ziggler set up for another superkick but Bron killed him with a spear.
Bron followed with a military press powerslam for the pinfall win. Breakker is the NXT Champion again.
The crowd was quiet for the match but they did cheer the win.
Bobby Lashley/MVP segment
MVP put over Lashley’s win over Omos and said he even managed to do it without him. He introduced Lashley. The crowd chanted for Lashley.
Lashley called Omos the strongest man he’s been in the ring with and he started to doubt himself but he knew if Omos made a mistake, that’s all he would need.
Omos interrupted. Omos didn’t bother grabbing a mic to tell Lashley he wanted a rematch.
Omos and Lashley stared each other down when MVP suddenly decked Lashley from behind.
MVP hammered away on Lashley and smacked him. He directed Omos to beat him up. Omos continued to attack as the crowd chanted “you suck.” MVP gave Lashley a running boot in the corner and posed with Omos.
Morgan approached Ripley in the back. Ripley said she spoke to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville and convinced them to give their team another tag title match next week. Morgan was happy to hear it and said that made up for how Ripley acted earlier. Ripley thanked Morgan for being on her side and looked forward to winning the titles next week.
Queen Zelina & Carmella vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler
They advertised this match but it didn’t happen.
Zelina blamed Carmella for their title loss at WrestleMania. She said Carmella was too preoccupied with herself and called Corey Graves a fool for being with her. Zelina did say Graves was handsome.
Carmella blew her off and said nobody cared that she won the Queen’s Crown. Carmella said if Zelina still wanted to go to her wedding, she could be the flower girl.
Zelina attacked Carmella who escaped the ring and leaped in Graves’ lap. Zelina yanked her down before leaving. Graves helped Carmella up and they made out.
There was a video recap of the Pat McAfee/Austin Theory/Vince McMahon/Steve Austin segment at WrestleMania.
The Usos approached Theory in the back. They mocked him for being the supposed chosen one after his performance at Mania. Theory fired up and told them he planned on dropping Finn Bálor tonight. The Usos seemed satisfied.
Six-man tag match: Austin Theory & Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos defeated US Champion Finn Bálor & Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton & Riddle (8:24)
The heels worked over Riddle through a break until Orton made the hot tag. Theory tagged himself in and dropkicked Orton but Bálor tagged himself in and gave Theory a headlock elbow drop. Everyone traded moves until Theory pinned Bálor again with the ATL.
Edge and Damian Priest segment
Edge entered alone. He called himself an honest man. He said AJ Styles would face his judgment day and he did. But he didn’t expect Damian Priest to appear. For years, Priest tried to satisfy the sheep just like him. The crowd chanted “we are sheep” or “we aren’t sheep” (I couldn’t quite make it out.) Either way, Edge called them idiots for proving him right.
Edge introduced Priest. Priest said he was lost for weeks leading up to Mania. The crowd chanted “we don’t care.” Priest said there was a time that would’ve bothered him but not anymore.
Priest tried to please them but that all changed when he heard Edge’s message a few weeks ago. Priest said Edge’s message was for AJ Styles but it sounded like those words were for him. Edge noted that Priest turned heel (not the words he used) the same night he did.
Edge knew that Styles would keep coming. Edge issued a warning and Styles’ music hit.
Styles entered, fought off Priest and sent him over the barricade. Styles posted Edge and grabbed two chairs. Styles set up for a con-chair-to but Priest decked him. Edge and Priest laid out Styles and were about to give him a con-chair-to but a bunch of officials ran in to break it up. (The crowd chanted for Jamie Noble, who was among the officials.)
If you couldn’t tell, the crowd wasn’t taking this seriously at all.
Alpha Academy attacked the Street Profits before their match could start. Adam Pearce entered and said that if these four men wanted to fight all at once, they should’ve just asked him (I guess he wasn’t really paying attention). This was just an excuse to make a Texas Tornado match here in Dallas.
Texas Tornado Tag Team Match: The Street Profits defeated Alpha Academy (8:22)
Montez Ford did a big dive over the turnbuckle to the outside like he did last night. Alpha Academy took control any way and remained in control through a break.
Otis grabbed a table and the crowd cheered for the table. They set up Angelo Dawkins for a Vader Bomb bought he managed to escape.
Chad Gable tried giving Ford a superplex through the table but Ford pushed him off the top. Dawkins knocked Gable onto the table and Ford nailed a frog splash through it for the pinfall win.
Next week on Raw:
- AJ Styles vs. Damian Priest
- Naomi & Sasha Banks vs. Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan for the tag titles
- Veer vs. Rey Mysterio
Roman Reigns segment
Reigns entered with Paul Heyman and the Usos. Reigns held up both title belts while selling his left arm.
Reigns had Heyman speak about the Bloodlines’ success. Heyman attributed WWE’s biggest revenue year to Roman Reigns. He ran down a few other stats and attributed them all to Roman Reigns. The crowd sang along every time he said Roman’s name. Heyman handed Reigns the mic and the crowd chanted for him.
Reigns called himself the last needle mover because he was constantly operating in God mode. Reigns called his shot and he delivered. He said he would smash Brock Lesnar and he did that. Reigns said other men would hang their hats on that but he was moving on because he was a progressive tribal chief. He said we would find out what’s next on Smackdown.
“Dallas, Texas. Acknowledge me.”
That was it.