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    Monday, April 8, 2024

    WWE WrestleMania 40: Cody Finishes the Story as Bayley Defeats Iyo Sky to Become New Women's Champion

    After a stellar night one, WrestleMania 40 night two arrived in styles, and it was headlined by the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes. After Reigns and The Rock won their tag team match on Saturday, the match was under Bloodline rules, making it a large obstacle for Rhodes to win the title. Five other matches will take place Sunday night, including the highly-anticipated WWE Women's Championship match between former Damage CTRL friends Iyo Sky and Bayley.

    It has happned! Roman Reigns' historic reign as WWE champion is over. Cody Rhodes has finished the story with assists from Jey Uso, John Cena and The Undertaker. What an ending. Three crossrhoades and 1, 2, 3. The Cody Rhoades era has begun, the Triple H era has begun. An all new era has begun not just in WWE but in whole of professional wrestling.

    In an explosive start to Day of WrestleMania 40, Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins after 4 Claymore Kicks to be crowned the new World Heavyweight Champion, realising his dream of winning the top prize in front of a packed audience. However, his reign lasted barely minutes as after being attacked by CM Punk, Damian Priest successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to snatch the title away from The Scottish Psychopath.

    Shortly after, Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits defeats Karrion Kross and AOP in a Philadelphia Street Fight that witnessed a bit of extreme as guest referee and WWE Hall of Famer Buh-Buh Ray Dudley directed traffic. In the third match of the day, LA Knight pinned AJ Styles to win his first WrestleMania match.

    Logan Paul defended his United States Championship against Randy Orton and Kevin Owens in a triple-threat match. After Orton RKO'ed Owens, Logan shoved The Apex Predator outside the ring and launched himself on to KO for splash to pick up the win. When it's WrestleMania, let alone with three people battling for a title, with the possibility of an RKO out of nowhere, fewer things top it. And if that wasn't enough, Bayley and Iyo Sky put on a show before the founder of Damage CTRL reigned supreme and won her 4th WWE Women's Championship.

    After a roller-coaster of Day 1, it's time for the sequel as we are live all the way from the Lincoln Field for Day 2 of WrestleMania 40. What must Cody Rhodes be thinking? The odds just got that much more against him as he and Seth Rollins lost to The Rock ad Roman Reigns yesterday. The condition was simple. If Cody and Seth lost, Rhodes' main-event against the Tribal Chief would be a Bloodline Rules match. Which means there are no rules. Anyone can interrupt, anyone can attack, anyone can make his presence felt, making Rhodes' dream of winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion next to impossible.

    Unfortunately for Rhodes, that’s exactly what happened. The Rock laid the Smackdown on The American Nightmare, pinning him after a Rock Bottom and the People’s Elbow.

    Besides Rhodes and Reigns, quite a few other matches promise to steal the show. Rhodes’ teammates from last evening Seth Rollins. Sorry, beaten and banged up Seth Rollins will defend his World Heavyweight Championship against the ravaging Drew McIntyre. The Scottish Psychopath won his last world title at WrestleMania 36 in front of a zero live audience due to the pandemic. Four years later, he has the chance to do it again in front of 72,000 people.

    Pretty sure you have it all covered, but it’s our job to refresh your memory. What an opening day of WrestleMania 40 did we witness yesterday. The Rock returning for his first actual match after 11years and proving he’s still got it as he and Reigns got the job done. It was a match that was hard to top but Sami Zayn and Gunther really gave a stiff fight for the match of the night contender. Zayn pulled off the ultimate come-from-behind story as he ended the Ring General’s 666-day run to be crowned the new Intercontinental Champion. Rhea Ripley defeated Bayley in a high-octane show opener, whereas Jey Uso triumphed over brother Jimmy in only the third-ever ‘Brother vs Brother’ match at WrestleMania.

    There is no day bigger in sports entertainment than today and tomorrow. After months of anticipation and build-up, we are finally here at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia… for WWE WrestleMania 40… also called WrestleMania XL. The 40th anniversary of the holy grail of professional wrestling. WrestleMania is pro wrestling’s equivalent of the Superbowl. Heck, many in the United States believe that it has long surpassed it. Each year, ever since it began way back in 1984, the legend of WrestleMania has kept on growing, to an extent that today it is the pioneer of the entertainment industry. An Icon in its own rights.

    Think about all those moments. When Hulk Hogan body-slammed Andre The Giant in from of 93,000 strong at the Silver Dome. When Shawn Michaels jumped off the ladder in 1994. When The Austin era began. When Brock Lesnar Broke The Undertaker’s 21-match undefeated streak. When HBK retired Shawn Michaels… or when Cody attempts to finish his story. Stay tuned. You may become part of history over the next few hours.

    World Heavyweight Championship - Seth Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre: McIntyre hit a Claymore as soon as the bell rang, leading to a quick near fall. McIntyre took the fight to Rollins on the floor with a belly-to-belly suplex before driving him into the ring post but Rollins came back with a pedigree before a stomp as McIntyre reentered the ring. 

    Rollins countered another Claymore with a second Pedigree and then a second stomp for a two-count. Rollins' injured knee repeatedly troubled him throughout the match, including when he missed a stomp from the top rope, allowing McIntyre to hit a Future Shock DDT for his own near fall. McIntyre taunted CM Punk on commentary by signaling for the Go To Sleep but Rollins escaped only to be struck by another Claymore for yet another near fall. Rollins delivered yet another stomp, this time on the commentary desk and moments later McIntyre hit yet another Claymore but again was unable to get the pin. 

    Another Claymore followed, however, and McIntyre scored the pin to win the championship. These two packed a lot in here, hitting finishers at an exceptionally high rate before McIntyre finally picked up the win, getting a world title win at WrestleMania in front of fans, something he did not get to experience when winning the title at WrestleMania in 2020. Drew McIntyre def. Seth Rollins via pinfall to win the title. Grade: B+

    World Heavyweight Championship -- Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Damian Priest: After the match, McIntyre went to the commentary desk and celebrated while jawing at CM Punk. After some back and forth, Punk swept McIntyre's legs out, causing him to fall on the desk. Punk took off the brace on his arm and smashed McIntyre in the face with it. 

    This brought Priest running out from the back with his Money in the Bank briefcase. After smashing the briefcase on McIntyre's head, Priest cashed in, hit the South of Heaven chokeslam and pinned McIntyre to win the championship. Not much of a match to "grade" here, but the way this will fuel McIntyre's issues with Punk is certainly intriguing. Damian Priest def. Drew McIntyre via pinfall to win the title. Grade: B

    The Final Testament (Karrion Kross & Authors of Pain) vs. Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (Philadelphia Street Fight): Final Testament quickly took out The Street Profits allowing them to triple team Lashley with kendo sticks. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins tried to get back in the action only to take their own beatings from the AOP.. After B-Fab and Scarlett both got involved, The Pride made their comeback with Lashley eventually locking in the Hurt Lock on Kross only for Scarlett to interfere again to make the save. 

    Kross drove Lashley into a chair with a DDT but only got a two-count from special guest referee Bubba Ray Dudley, leading Kross to shove Dudley. Kross was then speared by Lashley. Dudley then instructed Lashley and the Profits on how to finish off the match, eventually leading to them getting tables -- the first of which broke as soon as Kross was placed on it -- and a Ford frogsplash to put Kross through the second finished things off. The match was a mess, and not in a fun way. Snoop Dogg on commentary was an active distraction and everything was clunky and did not work at all. Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits def. The Final Testament via pinfall. Grade: D

    LA Knight vs. AJ Styles: Styles went after Knight's knee from the early moments of the match, grounding him and slowing things down. Knight quickly turned things around with some clotheslines and kicks before a superplex was countered, allowing Styles to take things back over. Knight hit a German suplex from the top rope but shortly after, Styles was back in control, again working over Knight's knee, including wrapping it around the ring post. 

    After Knight fought back, he removed some of the ringside padding but Styles reversed a piledriver into a backdrop and nearly won by countout. Knight countered a springboard 450 by getting his knees up, Styles countered a BFT, nearly hitting a Styles Clash but Knight had a counter of his own. Moments later, Knight countered Styles again, this time setting up the match-winning BFT. The match was nothing special but was, at the same time, perfectly fine as a wrestling match. Knight was the right guy to get the win since he needed the boost and Styles is in the club of WWE's "made guys." LA Knight def. AJ Styles via pinfall. Grade: B-

    United States Championship - Logan Paul (c) vs. Kevin Owens vs. Randy Orton
    : Paul immediately slid out of the ring, telling Owens and Orton to fight. Instead, the challengers followed him outside and delivered punches and chops before taking turns bouncing his head bouncing Paul's head off the ring apron. Orton and Owens continued the double teaming until finally realizing it would have to break down into a fight when both tried to pin Paul. Orton tried to sneak in an RKO on Owens but was fought off and they agreed to "do it now" and started to brawl. Paul took advantage with a double clothesline and the match fully picked up into a standard triple threat flow. Paul eventually tried for a top rope superplex but was countered by Owens into a huge power slam for a two-count.Owens tried to follow up with a stunner on Orton but Orton countered into an RKO for a two-count. 

    Paul reentered the ring with the brass knuckles but Orton avoiding the first attempt to use the weapon before landing his second shot. Despite using the brass knuckles, Paul could only keep Orton down for a two count. Paul then tagged Owens with the knux before trying to hit Orton again, only to be hit with an RKO. 

    Orton took the knux but chose to give them to the referee instead of using them and set up for the punt but streamer IShowSpeed, inside the Prime mascot costume pulled Paul from the ring. Orton hit IShowSpeed with an RKO on the commentary desk. The chaos led to Paul hitting Owens with a huge frog splash for the three count. Overbooked in the right way, the match did what it needed to do, though Paul involving streamers the bulk of the audience -- outside of the youngest demographic -- are unlikely to know will always kind of miss the level of impact they're going for. Logan Paul def. Kevin Owens and Randy Orton to retain the title. Grade: B

    WWE Women's Championship -- Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bayley: Bayley hit a dive on Sky early in the match and began to limp. Moments later, Sky took advantage, ramming Bayley's leg into the ring post and locking her in a modified single crab hanging off the ring apron. Sky continued to keep the pressure on Bayley and her injured leg, at one point knocking her from the top rope where her leg was caught between the top and middle turnbuckles. This led to Sky hitting a top-rope moonsault onto Bayley, who was standing outside the ring. Bayley had to fight off some still offense from Sky, including a German suplex that landed Bayley very high on her neck. Bayley then blocked a moonsault by getting her injured leg up for the counter. 

    Sky locked in a crossface before transitioning to an STF to again put pressure on Bayley's leg but Bayley survived before hitting the Bayley-to-Belly for a two-count. The two brawled before a big backbreaker and moonsault from Sky, but Bayley kicked out before the referee counted three. Sky hit another moonsault and went for another but Bayley rolled out of the way before Sky countered a Rose Plant. Bayley came back with a back suplex and an elbow drop before finally hitting the Rose Plant for the three count. Really, really good stuff in this one, telling a story throughout the match before Bayley finally got her much-deserved WrestleMania moment. Bayley def. Iyo Sky to win the title. Grade: A-

    Undisputed WWE Universal Championship - Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes (Bloodline Rules Match)
    : As the arena filled with "Cody" chants, the two men slowly looked around before meeting in the center of the ring for a staredown. Rhodes locked Reigns up  from behind but ate an elbow and was dropped seconds later by a shoulder block. Rhodes got rolling a bit before moving out of the way of a Reigns spear in the corner, sending Reigns shoulder-first into the ring post. Rhodes slid a table into the ring but Reigns hit a drive-by and slid the table back under the ring. Reigns continued to slide away when Rhodes had an advantage, eventually leading to Reigns grabbing a kendo stick and delivering several shots. Reigns continued to exploit the lack of disqualifications, digging into Rhodes' eyes to break a figure-four.

    The fight spilled out into the crowd, with the pair brawling before Rhodes hit a suplex on an equipment platform. After getting back into the ring, Reigns countered a Disaster Kick into a powerbomb. From there, the match slowed a bit, with Reigns largely taking over the cation in the ring until both men were simultaneously dropped by clotheslines. Rhodes made a big comeback culminating in a powerslam and a Disaster Kick for a two-count. Rhodes came back by hitting Rhodes with his own Cross Rhodes for a near fall. As they went back outside the ring, Reigns hit a low blow and a powerbomb through the commentary desk, throwing Rhodes back into the ring and connecting with a Superman punch for another near fall. A Cody Cutter moments later got Rhodes his own two-count. Rhodes also hit a spear for another two-count.

    After the spear, Rhodes hit a Cross Rhodes before going for a second only to be superkicked by Jimmy Uso. Reigns hit a Superman punch but Jey Uso ran down, battling with his twin brother before spearing him off the entrance ramp. Back in the ring, Reigns hit a spear but Rhodes managed to kick out. Rhodes drove Reigns out of the ring to break a guillotine choke and speared Reigns through the ringside barricade. 

    Rhodes hit Cross Rhodes twice but was hit by a Samoan Spike from Solo Sikoa as he went for a third. Sikoa dragged Reigns on top of Rhodes but Rhodes again managed to kick out. Reigns and Sikoa hit a combination spear and Samoan Spike but Rhodes managed to kick out yet again before John Cena's music hit and he ran to the ring, knocking Sikoa from the ring and hitting Reigns with an Attitude Adjustment. Cena then put Sikoa through the Spanish commentary desk, which brought out The Rock.

    Rock ducked a Cena punch and delivered a Rock Bottom. As Rock took a weight belt off and waited to hit Rhodes, The Shield music hit and Seth Rollins attempted to slide in the ring with a chair but was hit by a Reigns Superman punch. Before Rock could do anything further, The Undertaker's gong sounded and the lights cut out. When they came back on, Undertaker was standing behind Rock and delivered a chokeslam before disappearing after the lights went back out. Rather than attacking Rhodes, Reigns struck Rollins in the back with a chair. Rhodes countered a spear with a kick and delivered a trio of Cross Rhodes before a three count to win the championship.

    The match was insanely overbooked but in the best way. The opening stretch felt a bit plodding, in a lot of ways that was because everyone knew the mess of interference was coming and it felt like there was no way anything too meaningful could happen before we saw Jimmy Uso, Sikoa and The Rock. Rhodes getting help from Jey Uso, Cena, Rollins and The Undertaker was the kind of wild mess that only makes sense at WrestleMania. Cody Rhodes def. Roman Reigns to win the title. Grade: A

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    Item Reviewed: WWE WrestleMania 40: Cody Finishes the Story as Bayley Defeats Iyo Sky to Become New Women's Champion Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BrandIconImage
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