6 Match Star Ratings From WWE WrestleMania 40 Night 2

The story is finished, Cody is the Man, and Bayley is rejuvenated.

Cody Rhodes five stars

Extending WrestleMania across two nights was a badly needed and well overdue development - when WWE was actually afraid of the growing wider wrestling world, in the mid-to-late 2010s, and set about warehousing as much talent as possible. 

It's still probably the best way to go about it, even if the scope of the roster is the same size as it was when WWE promoted four-hour one-night stadium shows years earlier. That approach yielded its own issues, in that WWE sometimes struggled to sequence the card properly - more than one match died when it shouldn't have - and, moreover, a lot of emerging midcard acts never got (sorry) their 'Moment'. The two night split is the best compromise.  

Still, a trend has emerged: Night 1 was invariably better and hotter than Night 2.

The line-ups last year were probably ill-advised. The razzmatazz on Night 1 - Logan Paul and KSI, that phenomenal Dominick Mysterio entrance - might have made Night 2 slightly less than the slog it was in the middle phase. By Night 2, you've already seen the stage, You've already seen that awesome vista of fans. You've already felt the WrestleMania magic, and the magic is that it used to feel that bit more elusive. 

LA Knight working a singles match on Night 2 threatened to bring about that three-year pattern. 

Then again, Night 2 was only about one thing. really. 

WWE didn't do it again, did they?!

6. Seth Rollins Vs. Drew McIntyre - World Heavyweight Championship

Cody Rhodes five stars

Seth Rollins Vs. Drew McIntyre was great, the post-match angle was superb, and both set the tone for a mostly brilliant night two of WrestleMania. Seth and Drew got it here, to their credit. 

Over the last however many years, the art of the opener has died off. Very often, a match that is long simply happens to open a big US wrestling show. The old idea - of a lean, action-packed match that does not piss about and gets the crowd immediately on-side - resurfaced here. Drew echoed WrestleMania XXVIII by immediately jumping Seth Rollins with the Claymore kick. That was inspired. The fans weren't asked to squint and concentrate on a distant blur of limb work. Moreover, that 2012 precedent remains so unforgettable that the resulting near-fall was entirely believable. Drew was cocky as Seth recovered, losing focus, taunting CM Punk and taking selfies with his wife. From there, for 10 blistering minutes in an exhilarating match that felt like it could end at any time, Seth fought back but couldn't withstand the pain coursing through his knee to mount a consistent advantage. 

The near-falls were great, the momentum shifted like a vibrating bell, and McIntyre won with a Claymore after Rollins couldn't capitalise after stomping Drew's head on the commentary table. 10 punchy, very loud, super dramatic minutes. 

This ruled, and after the big title win, a sensational angle followed. Drew and Seth shared a quiet, respectful exchange of words. Drew kissed his wife. He wore the opposite of job face; this felt like a genuine title celebration. It wasn't. After Drew stood on the table and crotch-chopped Punk swept his legs, removed from the brace from his arm, and beat Drew silly with it. Damian Priest then cashed in to a mega-pop after an unbelievably high South of Heaven. 

Outrageously good stuff.

Star Rating: ★★★★

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Michael Sidgwick is an editor, writer and podcaster for WhatCulture Wrestling. With over seven years of experience in wrestling analysis, Michael was published in the influential institution that was Power Slam magazine, and specialises in providing insights into All Elite Wrestling - so much so that he wrote a book about the subject. You can order Becoming All Elite: The Rise Of AEW on Amazon. Possessing a deep knowledge also of WWE, WCW, ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Michael’s work has been publicly praised by former AEW World Champions Kenny Omega and MJF, and current Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes. When he isn’t putting your finger on why things are the way they are in the endlessly fascinating world of professional wrestling, Michael wraps his own around a hand grinder to explore the world of specialty coffee. Follow Michael on X (formerly known as Twitter) @MSidgwick for more!