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Highlights, takeaways, and results from a historic WrestleMania weekend in Dallas

Jalyn Smoot

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WrestleMania 38 in DallasDamon Sayles/The Athletic

DALLAS- The latest edition of WrestleMania, one of the biggest annual events in the wrestling industry, kicked off this year's festivities with night one of a two-day pay-per-view event.

WrestleMania 38, which was hosted at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, exceeded the hype and delivered in a major way on night one. The lineup for the event was absolutely loaded and featured three title matches, a celebrity match, the return of one of the most decorated WWE Hall of Famers and Texas native Stone Cold Steve Austin.

With such a jam-packed night one schedule, many wondered if WWE was perhaps biting off more than they could chew, but they managed to exceed expectations for the sold-out show.

Let's take a look back at some of the biggest highlights of the event:

Undertaker inducted into WWE Hall of Fame

Before all the fighting and jousting began, WWE took some time to honor and immortalize the Undertaker.

Undertaker, who wrestled in the WWE for over 30 years, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame to kick off the show.

Inducting Undertaker into the Hall of Fame was a no-brainer decision, as the 'Deadman' has been one of the most iconic figures in the industry since making his debut in 1987.

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WWE

In his three-decade-spanning career, Undertaker won the WWE championship four times, the World Heavyweight champion three times, and was the sole wrestler to star in 25 WrestleMania matches without a loss.

In addition to his title wins, Undertaker provided some of the most memorable moments in WWE history, including a Buried Alive Match with his evil brother Kane and throwing longtime wrestler Mick Foley off the top of the Hell in a Cell structure.

To call him one of the biggest stars in industry history would be a massive understatement and there is perhaps nobody more fitting to be a WWE Hall of Famer than the 'Deadman' himself.

Stone Cold Returns

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Stone Cold downs a beer following a win over Kevin OwensWWE

Speaking of Hall of Famers, another decorated WWE legend made his return to the ring at last night's WrestleMania.

Stone Cold Steve Austin, who hadn't had a match in 19 years before last night, was back to "whip some ass" one last time.

When the glass broke and 'The Texas Rattlesnake' began making his way to the ring, the sold-out Dallas crowd went absolutely berserk. Seeing Austin don the patented knee braces after a nearly 20-year hiatus was an unbelievable moment and watching him toss a beer back following his victory was even more surreal.

Stone Cold likely won't put on another match anytime soon, so it was great to see him put on a show in his native state of Texas.

Bianca Belair arrives in style, wins the Women's Championship

There were a ton of fantastic entrances last night but perhaps none grander than that of Bianca Belair. Accompanied by the band of Texas Southern University, an HBCU, Belair made sure to arrive at WrestleMania in style.

Following her flashy entrance, Belair put on a clinic in her match against reigning RAW Women's champion Becky Lynch.

The epic entrance set the tone for an outstanding match. Lynch and Belair had the pedal to the metal from the first bell to the last. Every move and every moment was dripping with intensity.

Frankly, if it weren't for the return of Stone Cold, this match very well may have been the main event of the night.

In the end, a new champion was crowned, as Belair defeated Lynch by pinfall.

Cody Rhodes returns from AEW

In a bit of a shocking twist, Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE after leaving to begin AEW, a rival company.

Upon being released by AEW, though, Rhodes was eager to prove that he, too, could be a WWE superstar like his father Goldust.

In his match against Seth Rollins, Rhodes dazzled and looked the part of the superstar he aims to become.

Even though the outcome was never in doubt, it was still an entertaining match. They did a great job of keeping fans on the edge of their seat throughout.

After trading several near pin falls, Rhodes was finally able to put Rollins away for good. For someone that hadn’t wrestled in the WWE for six years, you couldn’t ask for a much better return.

Triple H hangs it up

WrestleMania 38 began night two of their loaded pay-per-view card by saying goodbye to one of the most storied wrestlers in WWE history.

Triple H, whose real name is Paul Levesque, has been one of the faces of WWE since his debut nearly 30 years ago in 1995.

Lovingly referred to as "The Game," Triple H was a 14-time world champion as an in-ring performer before beginning a backstage role as a WWE executive.

Levesque recently revealed that he has severe cardiac-related health issues that no longer permit him to compete in an interview with Stephen A. Smith. After enduring a health scare that led to an emergency procedure, Levesque decided to step away from the ring and retire "The Game" for good.

The Rated-R Superstar wins at Mania

In a matchup of two savvy veterans, Edge and AJ Styles delivered one of the best tactical matches of the night.

As they worked to gain the upper hand, the two went back and forth in what was an entertaining match. In the end, Edge was able to defeat Style by pinfall and alluded to the creation of a new faction with Damian Priest following the match.

Stone Cold returns, dishes out more stunners

After defeating Kevin Owens in a one-on-one matchup on night 1, Stone Cold Steve Austin made a surprise return on night 2, dishing out a few stunners on his way out.

Roman Reigns takes down Brock Lesnar to become the unified champion

In a battle of two of the biggest titans in the wrestling industry, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns squared off in a winner-takes-all match to unify the WWE and Universal championships.

Featuring two of the heaviest hitters in the WWE, this match felt like a fitting end to a jam-packed WrestleMania 38 card.

The match began with a long stare down between the two champions. As the intensity grew, Lesnar began taking off his padded gloves, signaling the slugfest to follow.

Lesnar came out of the gates swinging, pummeling Reigns at the offset of the match. Lesnar manhandled Reigns, landing several belly-to-belly suplexes before tossing Reigns outside of the ring.

Eventually, though, after some interference from the ever-troublesome Paul Heyman, the match returned to the ring where Reigns began to show some fight.

Reigns landed several Superman punches on Lesnar, causing him to stagger to his feet. After trading a few finishing moves, Reigns threw Lesnar into the official, causing the referee to become disoriented.

While the official was in a daze, Reigns hit Lesnar with a low blow and cracked up atop the skull with the title belt to knock him out.

Just after, the official stirred back to consciousness in time for the Reigns pinfall victory, making him the unified Universal WWE champion.

WWE officials announced Monday that WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Dallas was the highest-attended and highest-grossing WWE event in the company's history.

According to the WWE, 156,352 fans from every U.S. state and 53 different countries came to Dallas to attend the event. This year's attendance numbers surpassed the previous record held by WrestleMania 32, which was also held in AT&T Stadium.

WrestleMania 39 will be hosted in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park in 2023.

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I write about Dallas and Collin County sports, politics, interesting people, and environmental issues. I strive to shine a light on issues that are still in the dark and help to give a voice to the voiceless

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