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WWE WRESTLEMANIA 38 NIGHT TWO KICKOFF REPORT
APRIL 3, 20212
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
WrestleMania Kickoff Panel: Jerry Lawler, Booker T, Kayla Braxton, Kevin Patrick, Peter Rosenberg
-Video package: Edge vs. Styles
-Kayla recounted Styles’s appearance on the Bump and how he apologized to the audience in advance for what he’s going to do to Edge tonight. She added that Styles has been thinking of nothing besides Edge the last week. Kevin referenced Edge’s abrupt heel turn, and said it came on like the flick of a switch.
-Video package: Roman Reigns
-Undertaker was shown in a talking head interview and was asked about Reigns vs. Lesnar. “It’s a good question. Brock has a completely different aura to him than most talent. But you know, with Brock, you’re about to be in a really physical match. He was able to do things to me physically that most guys aren’t able to do. Roman just exudes such confidence. When I wrestled Roman, he was still on the rise. Tons of energy, tons of charisma.” When asked to describe their styles, he said Lesnar was more physical and Reigns was more calculating. He added that he’s proud of Roman and the work he’s put in. Undertaker actually referenced the “Happy Brock” persona, and said it’s clear he’s having fun.
-The panel pivoted to Zayn vs. Knoxville. Lawler said that Knoxville promised him that his plans for Zayn would top anything he’s ever done on Jackass.
-Megan Morant was shown backstage with Paul Heyman. She said Paul seemed a little nervous. He said, “I’m more than a little nervous. I’m ill at ease. I don’t feel well. Tonight I have to mourn the end of a friendship and a career that has spanned over 20 years. I’ve been here before. It’s deja vu for me. I felt this way walking into WrestleMania 30 when I knew that I was going to conquer the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania – yes, I give half the credit to Brock Lesnar. The way I felt for the Undertaker at the hands of Brock Lesnar is the way I feel tonight for Brock Lesnar at the hands of Roman Reigns.”
-Video package: 2022 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees
-LA Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd joined the panel. The panel congratulated him on his Super Bowl championship. Floyd said that as a kid, he tried to do the Undertaker piledriver “about a thousand times.” Floyd said he could do a good Booker T impersonation, and stood up to shout, “Can you dig it, sucka?” Booker asked if Floyd had any in-ring aspirations (like Logan Paul). He laughed and said, “Maybe I’ll give it a try.” Booker took that chance to plug his wrestling school, Reality of Wrestling. Peter, turning heel, told the Dallas crowd that this was the closest they’d ever get to a Super Bowl champion.
-Regarding the Raw tag team triple threat: Booker said that Riddle would never get near a championship in his day because he would just step on his exposed feet. He said that he was biased because he likes the Street Profits. Booker added that he ran into Dawkins in catering and that he looked like Dr. Martin Luther King ready to deliver a sermon. Peter, again riling up the crowd, adopted Chad Gable’s catch phrase and “shooshed” the gathering. Booker said that Gable is a motivator and has turned Otis into a monster. Lawler brought it back to RK-Bro and said that he has a lot of respect for Orton.
-Video package: Women’s Tag Team Championship Four-way
-Maria Menounos was backstage with the tag champs, Vega and Carmella. Maria asked how they intend to retain their titles. They said they can win by pin or submission… and that’s how they will retain. Vega suggested to Carmella that they prepare celebratory champagne, and they walked off.
-Kayla said that Naomi and Banks are in sync and confident. Peter said that they have found their footing when they found each other as teammates. Lawler pointed out that while Vega and Carmella and confident, they’ve never been in a fatal four-way match. Booker chimed in to say the women’s locker room “has to be toxic. There’s no way they can work together.” Kayla, bringing the broadcast back to 2022, insisted the locker room is a pleasant, supportive place.
-JBL joined the Kickoff panel. Kayla asked him about Night One, and JBL was very enthusiastic about Austin kicking Owens’s ass.
-Video package: Recap of WrestleMania Night One
-San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle joined the Kickoff panel. He said his favorite part of Night One was the 15 minutes after the show ended when Steve Austin went through 30 beers. He said he was excited to see Seth Rollins, a fellow Iowan, in action against Cody Rhodes. Kittle also said it was interesting to see Undertaker, a man of few words, speak so openly during the Hall of Fame ceremony. Kittle was wearing a Bloodline tee shirt, and complimented Reigns for being a 49ers fan. “I don’t see how Roman loses, unless there’s outside interference.” Booker, out of nowhere, told Kittle he wrote a promo for him: “My name is George Kittle, and just like a Skittle, I’ll make you break down and taste the rainbow.” JBL told Kittle that Booker is “always like this, 24/7.”
-Video package: Lesnar vs. Reigns
-Peter said Lesnar likes doing two things: “Eating delicious meat with his Brock Lesnar Blend, and kicking people’s asses. He’s probably going to do both tonight.” Kayla, drawing a strange comparison, said that nothing makes her angrier than when she’s dating someone and they laugh at her. She suggested that Lesnar’s laughter would anger Reigns in similar fashion. JBL said that Heyman could be an equalizer in tonight’s match, and that Lesnar is a level above the best competitors in the company’s history. Booker described Reigns’s title reign as a “cloak of invincibility.” JBL said that whoever wins this match will be the baddest man on the planet.
-Like with Night One, this Kickoff featured plenty of pre-show fan interaction that really captured the energy and vibe of the event.
Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42