Whenever WWE superstar Charlotte Flair competes, she aims to put on a show for the fans. She’ll get the chance to do just that in front of tens of thousands of people this weekend at WrestleMania 38, the 2022 edition of WWE’s signature event.
“I treat almost every match like it’s a WrestleMania. There’s always an opportunity to make a new fan. And this WrestleMania is no different,” Flair recently told TODAY.
WWE superstars often compare WrestleMania to the Super Bowl —it’s their stage to showcase their skills, make career-defining moments and, if they’re fortunate enough, win a championship. Flair (real name Ashley Fliehr) is already a champion — she will put the “SmackDown” Women’s Championship on the line against UFC champ-turned-WWE superstar Ronda Rousey.
Bianca Belair (Bianca Blair Crawford) is in the role of challenger entering WrestleMania 38, preparing for a match against Becky Lynch for the “Raw” Women’s Championship. Flair and Belair spoke with TODAY in separate Zoom interviews about what to expect this weekend. Learn all about WrestleMania 38 below.
When is WrestleMania 38?
WWE is continuing its recent tradition of staging WrestleMania over two nights. The first half of WrestleMania will take place Saturday, April 2, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and the second half is scheduled for Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Where will WrestleMania 38 take place?
AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, will host WrestleMania 38. It was previously the site of WrestleMania 32 in 2016 — an event that holds special meaning in Flair’s career. In her WrestleMania debut, she won the newly introduced WWE Women’s Championship by defeating Lynch and Sasha Banks.
Flair cherishes the memory of her father, wrestling legend Ric Flair, accompanying her as she walked to the ring for the match. The robe she wore for her entrance incorporated fabric from the robe her dad wore for his retirement match eight years earlier at WrestleMania.
“To think that my father was walking me down the aisle — makes it sound like a wedding — but that there were two Flairs entering a WrestleMania, it’s unthinkable,” she recalled.
This year’s WrestleMania will be held at full capacity after the previous two years either had no fans or a scaled-back live crowd due to the pandemic.
“The fans are the heartbeat of this business and what we do, and to be able to have everyone traveling around the world coming to WrestleMania — it’s our biggest show of the year — I think it means everything to the talent and to the fans,” Flair said.
Belair noted that this will be her first WrestleMania singles match in front of a packed house. It comes a year after she and Banks became the first Black women to main event a WrestleMania. Belair triumphed and captured the “SmackDown” Women’s Championship that night, but she treasures a moment from the beginning of the match, when both she and Banks were visibly moved by the history they were making together. She tears up to this day when she watches it back.
“To be part of that moment is everything to me, and to be a part of a moment where it was more than just being about me or being about Sasha Banks, it was more than just being about us. It was about inspiring the world, inspiring women, men, boys, girls, it doesn’t matter," Belair said. "It transcends across all race, religion, gender, it doesn’t matter. It was able to touch everyone, and it’s a moment that’s going to go down and live in history forever.”
How can I watch WrestleMania 38?
WrestleMania 38 will stream exclusively on Peacock both nights. You’ll need a Peacock Premium subscription ($4.99/month) to stream WrestleMania 38. More information is available here. (Peacock is owned by TODAY’s parent company, NBCUniversal.)
WrestleMania 38 will also be shown in select theaters nationwide. You can check out which theaters will screen WrestleMania by visiting the website for Fathom Events.
What are the women’s championship matches for WrestleMania 38?
There will be not one, but two women’s championship matches Saturday for night one of WrestleMania 38: Flair will defend the “SmackDown” Women’s Championship against Rousey, and Belair will challenge Lynch for the “Raw” Women’s Championship.
Flair has clashed with Rousey before — the two, along with Lynch, in 2019 became the first women to main event a WrestleMania. Flair said Rousey’s MMA background makes her an especially interesting opponent for her.
“What I think is so special about it is that she didn’t necessarily come from this business, right? She wanted to be a part of what we created. And to have this moment with her, iron sharpens iron, and being able to test my skill against hers, and just having two elite athletes face off and go toe-to-toe, I think it’s huge for the industry,” Flair said.
Belair isn’t sure who will win the Flair-Rousey match, but she expects it to be “brutal.”
“They’re going to beat up on each other,” she predicted. “I feel like their match is going to get to the point where I want to watch but I want to look away, but I can’t stop watching because that’s how brutal it’s going to get (laughs). In a good way, in a bad way too.”
Belair has her own heated rivalry with Lynch that traces back to last summer, when Lynch defeated her in a surprise match to take her “SmackDown” Women’s Championship. Now, Belair seeks her “redemption story.”
“I know what it feels like to be champion. I know what it feels like to have it taken away from me,” Belair said. “She knows what it feels like to be champion, she doesn’t want to have it taken away from her. So it’s going to be a battle to the end.”
Flair, who has battled Lynch herself many times in the past, will be rooting for Belair.
“I think she’s an incredible athlete, and I want to see her walk out the ‘Raw’ Women’s Champion,” Flair said.
“But make no mistake, Ronda and I will steal the show the entire weekend.”
What are the other matches for WrestleMania 38?
Saturday’s lineup will also include the return of WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who will “confront” Kevin Owens on Owens’ talk show segment, “The KO Show.” WWE isn’t calling it a match, but it’s virtually guaranteed that Austin and Owens will brawl.
Austin’s appearance is significant because it’s been nearly 20 years since he retired. WWE Hall of Fame class of 2022 inductee the Undertaker (aka Mark Calaway) isn’t surprised that Austin would make a comeback of sorts, saying the man known as the “Texas Rattlesnake” takes “good care of himself.”
“I think the biggest thing that people want to see is they want to see a stunner (Austin’s finishing move), they want to see Steve talk trash, and they want to see Steve drink beer. And in his home state and WrestleMania, it just seems like it fits,” he recently told TODAY.
Also on tap for the first night of WrestleMania 38:
- Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs. The Miz and Logan Paul (more on that below)
- Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin
- “SmackDown” Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
- Seth Rollins vs. a mystery opponent
- Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus and Ridge Holland
Night two of WrestleMania 38 on Sunday will be headlined by a winner-take-all match between WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns. This will mark the third time the longtime adversaries have met at WrestleMania.
Other matches scheduled for night two:
- Edge vs. AJ Styles
- Johnny Knoxville (yes, the “Jackass” star) vs. Sami Zayn in an “Anything Goes” match
- Austin Theory vs. NFL player-turned-WWE broadcaster and radio show host Pat McAfee
- “Raw” Tag Team Champions RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy
- Bobby Lashley vs. Omos
- Women’s Tag Team Champions Queen Zelina and Carmella vs. Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan vs. Natalya and Shayna Baszler
Which celebrities will appear at WrestleMania 38?
As mentioned above, a couple of celebrities will not only appear at WrestleMania 38, but will actually have a match. YouTuber and boxer Logan Paul is no stranger to WWE’s grandest stage, having joined Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn ringside during their match at last year’s WrestleMania. (He took a stunner from Owens, too.) This time around, he’ll tag with The Miz and take on the father-son team of Rey and Dominik Mysterio.
“Jackass Forever” star Johnny Knoxville has been a thorn in the villain Zayn’s side for months on WWE programming. The two will go at it in an “Anything Goes” match.
Country stars Brantley Gilbert and Jessie James Decker will perform “America the Beautiful” to kick off WrestleMania 38 on Saturday night and Sunday night, respectively.
Who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2022 ahead of WrestleMania 38?
One of the annual highlights of WrestleMania weekend is the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year’s edition will take place Friday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas, the site of that night’s episode of “Friday Night SmackDown.” It will stream on Peacock at 10 p.m. ET.
The Undertaker headlines a Hall of Fame class that also includes Vader, Queen Sharmell and the Steiner Brothers.
WWE will also honor late superstar Shad Gaspard with its Warrior Award, given to individuals who have “exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance” and live life with “courage and compassion.” Gaspard went missing while swimming with his 10-year-old son in Los Angeles in May 2020. His body was found a few days later. Gaspard had used his last few words to urge a lifeguard to save his son, the Los Angeles Fire Department’s lifeguard chief told NBC News at the time.