The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 37 Review – Night 2

The John Report: WWE WrestleMania 37 Review – Night 2

Welcome to the TJRWrestling WWE WrestleMania 37 review for night two. I thought WrestleMania Night 1 was a great success (hey Borat) and I rated it out 8 out of 10. From most of the comments and feedback I saw, I think a lot of fans liked it. The big thing was that it was so refreshing to watch a show with a vocal crowd that was interested in everything going on in the ring. It was the first, big live WWE crowd we have seen in over one year, so that really stood out to me. I was happy with a lot of the matches, the booking decisions and big moments as well. Here’s hoping the rain stays away on night two so that WWE can get the show in.

As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I have reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling all year long. We appreciate you. Let’s get to the show.

The Kickoff Show was hosted by Kayla Braxton with Jerry Lawler, Booker T, John Bradshaw Layfield and Peter Rosenberg. It was the usual Kickoff Show talking about the matches and airing video packages. We also learned that Randy Orton vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt is the opening match. There was no match on the Kickoff Show.

WWE WrestleMania 37 – Night 2
From Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida
Sunday, April 11, 2021

The show began with country singer Ashland Craft singing “America The Beautiful.” I had never heard of her before this moment, but she did a good job. I’m just glad there are no weather issues after it rained in Tampa earlier in the day. Hopefully it’s a clear night for everybody involved.

The intro video aired showing some highlights from Saturday night’s show. After that, it was the same sort of thing as we saw on Saturday’s opening video with two different voiceover guys talking about the show except this time it focused on superstars wrestling on Sunday. It was very good as usual.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show with the fans popping for it.

The WrestleMania co-hosts Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan made their entrance on the stage. They were dressed like pirates since Tampa Bay is the home of the NFL’s Buccaneers and they have the pirate ships all over the building. There were boos for Hogan again. They welcomed us to the show with Titus mentioning seven spectacular matches and Hogan noting that they had five title matches. They kept on going on with pirate references. It was bad dialogue. Let’s get to the first match.

Analysis: I don’t think the host role is necessary. However, it wouldn’t shock me if WWE went with Steve Austin next year in Dallas since he’s a Texan and actually popular with the fans.

The announce team of Michael Cole, Samoa Joe and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. They are calling the Raw matches.

Randy Orton made his entrance wearing some white tights with a red design on them. When Orton was on the stage he made a gesture with his arm I think to tell us he got goosebumps hearing the fans again. Orton usually dresses in black gear, so it’s a bit of a different look for him. When Orton did his arm pose on the turnbuckle, some fireworks went off.

There was a video package about the long rivalry between Randy Orton and “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. It went back to TLC in December when Orton burned The Fiend (a mannequin) alive. The Fiend was off for a few months and then helped his “Friend” Alexa Bliss beat Orton in a unique match at Fastlane. That led to this match.

That led to “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt making his entrance. The Fiend was shown walking down a hallway or something like that. Alexa Bliss skipped down to the ringside area with a toy box that she cranked up like a little toy box. That led to The Fiend emerging from this box that was right beside the ring. The fans popped for it. The Fiend was back to wearing more of a regular mask rather than a burnt mask that he has had for the last month.

Randy Orton vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (w/Alexa Bliss)

It took 23 minutes for the first match to begin. The Fiend jumped off the toy box and hit Orton with a clothesline. The Fiend hit a uranage slam. The Fiend did a neck twist on Orton, who was down grabbing his neck. There was the dreaded red light that they use sometimes for Fiend matches. Orton was crouched in the corner, The Fiend charged and Orton bailed to the floor. Orton with a kick to the gut and dropped Fiend on the announce table, but Fiend came back with a Mandible Claw hold until Orton got out of it. Back in the ring, Orton hit a draping DDT off the ropes. Orton sent The Fiend into the toy box and hit another DDT off the ropes. The Fiend came back with a clothesline followed by a running cross body block. Orton managed to hit another DDT off the ropes for the third time. The Fiend blocked an RKO attempt with the Mandible Claw and The Fiend kissed Orton on the head while teasing a Sister Abigail move. There was a fire that went off on the ring posts. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” at that. Alexa Bliss was seated on the toy box with mysterious black liquid coming down her face. The Fiend was distracted by that, so then Orton hit the RKO on The Fiend for the pinfall win at 5:50.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: *1/2 It was a short match with a lame finish fitting the weird story going on. I’ve seen people call this some all-time terrible match. I don’t see that, but I can see why people hated it. I hate the red light and I don’t know why they brought it back since The Fiend had matches without it for a while, but I guess WWE felt the need to bring it back. That finish surprised me with Bliss distracting The Fiend with the mysterious black liquid and then Orton hit one move to win the match. I don’t know many people that picked Orton to win here. I certainly didn’t pick Orton, so that makes me think the feud might continue. It’s not a great feud to me, but they are bigger names on the Raw brand, so I can see them going on for another PPV or two.

Orton left looking shocked about what happened, but he was happy about the win.

The Fiend stared at Bliss, then the lights went out and when they came back on, both of them were not shown again. The fans booed.

Analysis: I don’t know where it’s going. I’m not sure I care either.

There were some commercials.

Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil were backstage standing by with Hall of Famer Eric Bischoff. Bayley showed up calling herself a fellow co-host and said that she is a fan of Eric’s podcast. Bayley said she had her own stories on her own talk show. Bischoff said that match between Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks was great. Bayley wasn’t interested in hearing about them. Bayley talked about how she was the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion and on both nights of WrestleMania. Hogan left with Bischoff, Titus put his hat on Bayley’s head and left.

Daniel Bryan was shown warming up somewhere backstage because he’s in the main event later in the show.

Natalya and Tamina entered for the first title match of the night. They won Tag Team Turmoil on Saturday to earn this title shot. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler entered as the Women’s Tag Team Champions with no Reginald. Corey Graves joined Michael Cole to call this match.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler vs. Natalya & Tamina

They are both heel teams, so that’s an interesting dynamic although the fans seemed to be behind Natalya and Tamina in this match. Natalya did some mat wrestling with Baszler where they exchanged holds, but nothing really happened. Nia Jax faced off with Tamina and they are distant cousins, so it’s a bit of a family here. They exchanged headbutts and punches, Natalya tagged in and there was a double team back body drop on Jax. Baszler tagged in, but Natalya & Tamina were ready with a front suplex where they put Baszler on Jax. Baszler got an inside cradle for two. Natalya with a release German Suplex on Baszler. Tamina was back in with a clothesline. Natalya with a slingshot to Baszler right into a superkick by Tamina and legal woman Natalya got a two count. Baszler came back with some hard kicks along with a huge knee lift to the face! That looked brutal and sounded loud. Jax got a hold of Tamina on the floor and Jax gave Tamina a body slam on the floor. Baszler with a running knee on Natalya against the turnbuckle. Baszler stepped on the side of Natalya’s left ankle. Jax was back in with a leg drop to the left leg followed by some knee stretching. Jax with a clothesline on Natalya while Tamina was still on the floor. Baszler back in with another knee to the face for a two count. Jax was legal, Natalya moved to avoid a shoulder charge and Jax hit the turnbuckle. Natalya with a discus clothesline on Jax for two. Jax with a headbutt and a Powerbomb got a two count as Tamina got back in to break up the pin. Tamina tagged in against Baszler with Tamina with two elbows and a running elbow smash. Tamina with a dragon screw leg whip, Baszler avoided a charge and Tamina kicked Baszler down. Baszler went for a submission, Tamina blocked it and Tamina hit a Samoan Drop for two.

The fans were clapping for Tamina, but Baszler kicked Tamina while on the turnbuckle. Natalya saved Tamina from Baszler. Jax tagged in, Natalya with a clothesline on Baszler and Jax jumped off the turnbuckle with a cross body block on both opponents for a two count. Jax told Tamina she runs this: “I’m King Kong, bitch.” Tamina with a backhand to the face and Tamina hit a body slam for a two count. It didn’t look great, but it was still effective. There was a rare “Tamina” chant from the crowd. Tamina went up top, she jumped off the top with a Superfly Splash, but Jax rolled out of the way as Tamina hit the mat. Natalya got the tag and so did Baszler with Natalya hitting a dropkick on Jax. Natalya put the Sharpshooter on Jax, which looked impressive although Jax was not legal in the match. Baszler went back in with the Kirifuda Clutch on Natalya, the referee checked on Natalya’s arm and she was passing out so the referee called for the bell. The champs retain at 14:20.

Winners by pinfall: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler

Analysis: *** This was a pretty good tag team match with Natalya and Tamina getting plenty of offense while coming close to winning a few times. When was the last time there was a “Tamina” chant during a match? You don’t really hear that because Tamina is usually a heel, but the story worked with Tamina overpowering Jax and Baszler did a nice job of selling for Tamina as well. They got the crowd to care, which is one of the goals of a pro wrestling match. The finish made Natalya look a bit foolish with the Sharpshooter on Jax, who clearly wasn’t legal yet Natalya kept on applying the move even with the referee telling her that Jax was illegal. I would have been happier with a title change. The champs have held the titles for too long.

Jax and Baszler celebrated with their titles while Natalya and Tamina were dejected in the ring.

The video package aired for conspiracy man Sami Zayn against his former best friend Kevin Owens. Zayn has Youtube star Logan Paul supporting him.

There was a special guest commentator for his match: It was 2020 Hall of Famer John Bradshaw Layfield, who had to wait one year for his Hall of Fame induction, so he made a joke about that.

Sami Zayn made his entrance with the crowd humming along to his theme song. Sami Zayn asked for a very warm WrestleMania reception for his special guest of honor tonight. Zayn said this is his only ally against the conspiracy against Zayn. Sami introduced Logan Paul and there were boos for the Youtube celebrity. Kevin Owens made his entrance to a big pop from the crowd with KO doing well as a babyface in the last few months.

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (w/Logan Paul)

Zayn charged right at Owens, who hit a Popup Powerbomb and Zayn bailed to the floor. Logan Paul was seated in a leather chair at ringside. Zayn fought off a Powerbomb on the apron, then back in the ring and Owens suplexed Zayn ribs first into the top rope. Owens with a running clothesline followed by a cannonball against the turnbuckle. Owens up top, Zayn crawled to the apron and Zayn kicked KO while on the apron. Zayn delivered a brainbuster on the ring apron! That looked brutal and also very impressive in terms of the execution as well the bump by Owens. Back in the ring, Zayn hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Cole called it a Blue Thunder Bomb, Graves corrected him to save him from the internet and Cole said thanks because he got enough of that last night. That’s funny, but it’s because Cole thought Sasha Banks kicked out at the end of the main event of WrestleMania and she did not. Anyway, Owens battled Zayn on the turnbuckle with Owens hitting a headbutt followed by Owens hitting a Frog Splash off the top. Zayn avoided a Powerbomb, Owens hooked the arm of Zayn and hit a cradle suplex into the knee for a two count for Owens. Zayn got out of a slam by Owens and then Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, Owens moved, Owens wanted a Stunner and Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. That’s what Zayn usually gets for that move. Zayn with an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle, a Dragon Suplex and then a brainbuster for a two count. Great moves there. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them as Zayn made his crazy faces. Zayn worked over Owens with punches and a headbutt to the chest. Zayn was going for a superplex, but Owens countered it into a Fisherman’s suplex out of the corner into the ring! That was impressive. Owens with two running clotheslines in a row, then Owens went to the turnbuckle and Zayn hit a Helluva Kick. JBL referenced their great match at Battleground 2016. Zayn charged again, but Owens met him with two superkicks that dazed Zayn. Owens hit a Stunner for the pinfall win at 9:20.

Winner by pinfall: Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a great 10-minute match where they earned those “this is awesome” chants with the cool exchange of moves. I wish it went longer, which is something I said about Cesaro/Seth Rollins on Saturday as well. If you would have told me this match would be five minutes less than the women’s tag team match then I would have been surprised.  They had a match that was full of action with the big moves like the apron bumps, a lot of moves that get nearfalls for both guys and then Zayn didn’t capitalize on his Helluva Kick because he failed to go for a pin. Owens came back and finished him off with the Stunner. I expected Owens to win since Zayn loses most of his matches anyway. I’m sure it was a thrill for these best friends to wrestle a singles match at a WrestleMania. They did well.

After the match was over, Logan Paul was in the ring talking to Zayn. Logan wanted to give Owens a handshake, but Zayn got mad at him for doing that. Zayn said that Owens conspired against him with the referee. Zayn said that Paul was his guest, so Paul shoved Zayn on his ass. Paul went to Owens and raised his hand as the winner of the match. Owens didn’t really like that, the fans were cheering and chanting “yes” so Owens hit a Stunner and Paul didn’t sell it well. It was still a Stunner leading to the fans cheering Owens for his actions. After the match, Owens greeted his wife, son and daughter at ringside. I think Owens also hugged superfan Vladimir because everybody loves Vladimir. Logan Paul was helped by referees and officials to the back.

Kevin Owens hits Stunner on Logan Paul: WrestleMania 37 – Night 2 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Analysis: The fans didn’t like Logan Paul, so it made sense for Owens to hit him with a Stunner to make the fans happy. Paul did a poor job of selling the Stunner. Really bad. It’s the thought that counts.

Riddle was shown backstage on a scooter where he went up to Great Khali with Ranjin Singh. Ranjin left. Riddle asked to see Khali’s ring and said Khali’s hands are the size of Riddle’s hand. Riddle said that Khali should open up a giant store. Kahli shook his head no. Rob Van Dam showed up to translate claiming that they need some creative branding. RVD had his “RVD rolling papers.” Khali spoke in Punjabi. RVD told Riddle good luck in his match and they did the “RVD” hand gesture. Riddle left for his match.

Analysis: It was a no-brainer to get Riddle on-screen with RVD since they are two known stoners, so might as well get them together. The fans were into it with RVD chants too.

There were commercials for a few minutes.

Sheamus was up first as the challenger in the US Title match. They showed a clip from Raw a few weeks ago when they got into an altercation backstage to set this up. Riddle got a nice pop as the US Champion. When Riddle kicked off his flip flops in the ring, the animated birds were on the screen again. I’m sure some fans complained about it. That doesn’t bother me. It’s just a brief animation.

United States Championship: Riddle vs. Sheamus

Sheamus was in control in the first minute, then each guy connected with some elbow smashes until Sheamus hit a spinning side slam for a two count. Sheamus hit a backbreaker. Riddle tried to come back with kicks, Sheamus caught his foot and Riddle stretched on Riddle’s arm against the ropes. With Riddle on the apron, Sheamus hit Riddle in the back with a forearm. Sheamus with eight forearm shots to the chest of Riddle followed by Sheamus hitting a suplex for two. Sheamus went up top, Riddle jumped up there and Riddle hit an overhead belly to belly suplex for two. It was almost like a Spanish Fly slam, but it was more like a belly to belly suplex. That got a nice reaction from the crowd. Riddle with a jump kick, two forearms to the face and an overhead throw. Riddle with a broton splash on the chest. Riddle hit a Jackhammer slam for a two count. The first lift didn’t work, but then Riddle hit it perfectly. That is Goldberg’s finishing move and Riddle has had issues with him in the past. Sheamus sent Riddle to the apron, Riddle jumped over the top rope into the ring and Sheamus hit a huge knee to the face for two. Sheamus with an Alabama Slam for a two count. I think Cole called it a Brogue Kick by Sheamus, but it was rising knee to the face. They battled on the apron, Riddle sent Sheamus into the ring post and Riddle hit a German Suplex on the apron. Riddle with a kick to the chest followed by Riddle hitting a twisting splash off the middle ropes onto Sheamus on the floor. Riddle up top with a corkscrew splash for a two count. Riddle was shocked by that only getting a two count. Riddle with an armbreaker submission, but Sheamus powered out and hit a Powerbomb for two. Riddle slapped on a rear naked choke submission with Sheamus getting to the bottom rope to break it. Sheamus with punches to take control again. Sheamus had Riddle on his back, he went to the second rope, Riddle flipped out of it and Riddle went up top with Sheamus. That led to Sheamus holding Riddle on his back. I think Sheamus was going for White Noise off the top, but there was a slip, so Sheamus hit the regular White Noise slam. Sheamus jumped off the top with a knee to the chest for a two count. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, Riddle moved out of the way, Riddle jumped off the middle ropes with a moonsault and Sheamus hit him with a Brogue Kick of sorts for the pinfall win at 10:53. The replay showed how the Brogue Kick managed to connect and Riddle has a bloody mouth because of it.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW United States Champion: Sheamus

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the usual physical match between these guys. They always have good matches. I think I’ve given their matches a rating similar to that in the past almost every time they had a match. I thought it was a smart adjustment by Sheamus when he went for the White Noise slam off the top and slipped, so then he just hit in the ring. It sucks that there was a bit of a slip, but they were smart enough to adjust with Sheamus hitting the move in the ring. I didn’t expect Sheamus to win the title because Riddle only won the title two months ago. However, I get wanting to put a title on Sheamus because he has done really well in the last few months. Hopefully there’s something interesting for Riddle to do in the future.

There were some commercials. Triple H was featured in a commercial with Bad Bunny where he told him he was amazing at WrestleMania and now it’s time to do what you do. They plugged Bad Bunny’s musical tour and listed the dates of his schedule.

The video package aired for the Intercontinental Championship match between Big E and Apollo Crews. The ring announcer Greg Hamilton let us know there are no disqualifications or countouts in this Nigerian Drum Fight. It’s basically a No Holds Barred Match or a Street Fight with a different name.

There was a performance from rapper Wale performing Big E’s “Feel The Power” theme song. Big pop for Big E when he made his entrance on the stage with the Intercontinental Title around his waist. Apollo Crews made his entrance with the Nigerian colors for this match that he has chosen.

Nigerian Drum Fight for the Intercontinental Championship: Big E vs. Apollo Crews

They had a battle with kendo sticks and Big E was in full control of that. There were some drums at ringside along with tables and other weapons. Big E grabbed a gong and Crews kicked it out of Big E’s hands. Crews hit Big E with the kendo stick. Big E managed to send Crews to the apron and Big hit his running Spear to the floor and back in the ring for a two count. Big E set up the steel steps on the floor as he teased doing a move there, but Crews hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron leading to a two count. Crews set up Big on the bottom half of the steel steps and Crews tried to throw the steps on Big E, but Big E moved. They were on the apron again, Crews with a kick and then Big E delivered a uranage slam onto the bottom half of the steel steps. That was a rough landing for Crews, who landed hard on his left arm before his back hit. Big E brought a table into the ring and he set it up. Crews was back in the ring with an enziguri kick followed by Crews hitting Big E with a kendo stick repeatedly. Crews set up Big E on the table, Crews jumped off the top with a Frog Splash and Big E moved. Big E hit the Big Ending. That led to a big man going into the ring to attack Crews. It was the former Dabba Kato, who hit Big E with a punch to the face. The big man delivered a Chokeslam on Big E and then Crews covered Big E for the pinfall win. It went 6:53. The announcers acted like they didn’t know the big guy even though he was on Raw many times.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Apollo Crews

Analysis: **1/4 A much shorter match than I expected it to be, but that’s okay. It was still okay for the time they got. I didn’t expect this title change especially when they just had a title change. However, it’s hard to predict when some random big guy is going to show up to help Crews win a match like that. I figured Big E’s title reign was going to last a lot longer than it did although it went nearly four months, so that was okay. The fans were really behind Big E. Maybe they can put Money in the Bank on Big E this year instead of putting it on a heel. I think Big E would be a great choice. On another note, I’m happy for Crews becoming Intercontinental Champion. The guy works hard, is a good performer and deserves to be holding a title just like the US Title last year.

Apollo Crews celebrated with the title with the big man by his side. There were some fireworks that went off too.

Analysis: Regarding the big man with Crews, they were not calling him Dabba Kato this time. There was a report from PWInsider that former Dabba Kato would be getting a new gimmick as “Commador Azeez” or something like that, so there it is as he helped Crews beat Big E.

There was a video that aired showing highlights from night one of WrestleMania. That was followed by some media coverage of the event.

There was a video for WrestleMania 38 from AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas next April 2022. The original date announced was April 3, 2022, but it was not on the graphic here, which means maybe they go with two nights again. I hope it’s two nights instead of one night.

They showed highlights from the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Class that aired this past Tuesday.

The 2021 Hall of Fame class was shown on the stage: Rob Van Dam (he’s high), Molly Holly, The Great Khali, Ozzy Osbourne (not there so his image was shown on screen), Eric Bischoff and Warrior Award winner Rich Hering. Lastly, Kane got his music play and he got a big ovation from the crowd. Kane set off his pyro on the stage as well and that looked very impressive.

WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021 takes center stage: WrestleMania 37 – Night 2 (WWE Network Exclusive)

Analysis: The biggest pop went for Kane there although RVD got a big ovation too. This Hall of Fame class had less people this year with no tag teams or anybody that has passed away. It’s still a good group led by Kane and RVD. I’m glad that Kane got to be a headline name because he deserved it.

A video package aired to set up Asuka defending the Raw Women’s Title against Rhea Ripley. There was barely any story here, but they get a video package anyway.

Rhea Ripley made her entrance as the challenger for the Raw Women’s Title. A woman named Ash Costello sang Ripley’s “Brutality” theme song. She did okay. Lots of yelling. If I wanted to get yelled at like that then I’d get married. Scary thought! Anyway, Asuka made her entrance as the Raw Women’s Champion and some pyro went off when she got into the ring.

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley

Asuka with a dropkick that sent Ripley to the turnbuckle. Ripley came back with a hard chop, then she missed a corner charge and Asuka kicked the ropes while Ripley was against the ropes. Ripley went to the floor for a breather, then back in Ripley avoided a hip attack. Ripley hit a lifting slam where she sent Asuka into the mat face first. The fans were chanting for both women as Ripley applied a leg scissors around the waist. When Asuka got back up, Ripley hit a dropkick that knocked Asuka down. Ripley did some trash-talking leading to a knee to the ribs and a clothesline. Ripley with a kick, but Asuka caught the right leg and applied a kneebar submission. Ripley was able to power out of that and turned it into a German Suplex for two. Ripley sent Asuka into the turnbuckle three times. Ripley went for a suplex off the ropes, Asuka fought back with elbows and Asuka jumped off the top with a missile dropkick that looked great. Asuka with a release German Suplex, then a running hip attack, a spinning back fist and a spin kick to the head. Asuka with a running hip attack for a two count. Asuka went to the top turnbuckle, but Rhea knocked her down with a dropkick. They were on the apron, Ripley was sent to the floor where she caught Asuka and sent Asuka into the ring apron. They were standing on the apron with Asuka delivering a DDT onto the floor. That looked brutal, but they landed it about as well as you could. It’s a move you don’t see very often, which is smart because it’s dangerous. Back in the ring, Asuka hit a running knee for two. Asuka with kicks to the ribs and then a sliding knee, but then Ripley caught the foot followed by Ripley stomping on Asuka. Ripley hooked the legs of Asuka with her arms into a submission, but Asuka countered it into an armbar. Ripley powered out of that by sending Asuka into the turnbuckle. Ripley with a suplex where she brought Asuka from the apron into the ring. Asuka took down Ripley by the arm and Ripley countered into a pin, but Asuka countered it into an Asuka Lock that Ripley countered. Asuka with three kicks to the chest, Ripley asked for more and Ripley avoided a kick leading to Ripley hitting the Riptide slam for the pinfall win at 13:28.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with a title change for the third straight match on this show. Asuka was on offense for a lot of it, which made it pretty cool most of the way and I liked their big spots like that DDT on the floor. You just don’t see moves like that very often. Ripley could have been heelish in the match, so I don’t know if WWE wanted to go all the way with her being a heel. Ripley basically won after hitting one move. I think Asuka should have kicked out of the first Riptide and then have Ripley hit the move again to make Asuka look stronger. I picked Ripley here because it just felt like the right time for a title change.

Ripley celebrated with the Raw Women’s Title. There were cheers for her even though I think WWE tried to make her a heel going into this match. The fans like her a lot. Asuka looked dejected about the loss.

Analysis: That means that Women’s Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair won the Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania and now runner up Rhea Ripley won the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania as well. New stars on the rise. The NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez is another star on the rise, so that’s three new champions crowned in the women’s division over the last week.

There were some commercials.

They showed highlights of Randy Orton beating The Fiend earlier in the night. I don’t know why they needed to show a few minutes of replays of that match, but they did.

The WrestleMania hosts Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan appeared on the stage. Titus thanked us for watching WrestleMania at home and especially the fans in attendance. They were interrupted by Bayley again. Bayley complained and yelled: “Where’s my pyro?” That led to some pyro going off around the stage and Bayley loved it. Bayley complained about how she was the host of the show, but she had to deal with all of these people disrespecting her and insulted Michael Cole, which I love. The Bella Twins showed up wearing red outfits and Bayley said that they looked like Elmo in their outfits. Bayley told them that John Cena was not here. The Bellas beat up Bayley and threw her down the ramp. The Bellas posed with Titus and Hogan on the stage.

Analysis: Bayley is great. I liked seeing her doing her heel promo there. I think a lot of people were hoping for and maybe expecting Becky Lynch to show up to go after Bayley, but that didn’t happen at all. It was just a rumor and I didn’t know if it was going to happen. Bayley’s line about John Cena to The Bella Twins (since Nikki used to date John Cena for many years) was pretty funny. Anyway, The Bella Twins beating up Bayley was a way to make people happy although there were boos for it.

There was a commercial for Peacock/WWE Network. The next pay-per-view is WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16th. That’s what they are calling it or maybe just Backlash. I believe there was a report that Money in the Bank was next, but Backlash is next instead.

A video package aired for the Universal Title main event with Roman Reigns defending the title against Edge and Daniel Bryan. Great video package covering this story.

Daniel Bryan was up first and he looked ready to go as he led the crowd in the “YES” chants on his way to the ring. As soon as Edge’s music hit, the crowd popped huge for him. It was a HUGE ovation for Edge as he did his entrance running on the stage and getting the big pyro display that looks so impressive in an open air stadium. Even though Edge has been portrayed as a heel going into this match at times, the fans reacted to him like a big babyface. Roman Reigns was up next as the Universal Champion with cousin Jey Uso and Special Counsel Paul Heyman by his side. They used the 8K cameras for Roman’s entrance down to the ring to make it look even cooler. Reigns took a while to get to the ring as usual because that’s what he does as a heel.

The three men stood in the ring for the championship introductions by Greg Hamilton. Based on audience reaction, the fans cheered Edge the loudest, even more than Daniel Bryan who did some “yes” chants as usual. Reigns was booed heavily.

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Jey Uso & Paul Heyman) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan

Triple threat rules are that first man to get the pinfall or submission is the champion. There are no countouts or disqualifications in triple threat matches in WWE. The referee is Charles Robinson.

Reigns went after Edge at first, then Bryan attacked Reigns. Reigns sent Bryan out of the ring and Jey Uso superkicked Bryan. Jey sent Bryan into the steel steps. Reigns sent Edge out of the ring with Jey hitting Edge with a superkick. Bryan hit a suicide dive on Reigns, but Jey was there to knock Bryan down again. Edge fought back against Jey by sending him into the steel steps. Edge whipped Reigns into the side of the ring apron, the barricade and the ring post. Edge gave Jey Uso an Edgecution DDT onto the bottom half of the steel steps. Edge was selling pain himself since he landed hard on the steps too. They had medical personnel check on Jey, so they took Jey away from ringside and that led to Jey being taken out of the match. Bryan faced off with Edge in the ring while Reigns was on the floor. Edge and Bryan exchanged forearms, Bryan with a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle and kicks to the chest. Bryan with a hurricanrana off the top, but Edge turned it into a sunset flip for two. Edge with a neckbreaker drop for a two count. Reigns was back up on the apron, he tried a suplex on Edge, but Bryan tripped up Reigns on the apron. Bryan with a missile dropkick off the top with fans popping for Bryan. Big uppercut from Bryan to Edge. Bryan avoided a clothesline from Edge, then Bryan with a suicide dive, but Reigns caught Bryan and suplexed him on the floor. Edge with a baseball slide dropkick on Reigns. Back in the ring, Reigns with a leaping clothesline on Edge with the fans booing Reigns. Edge hit the Edgecution DDT on Reigns with Edge realizing that Bryan was still on the floor. Edge charged for a Spear, but Reigns came back with a Superman Punch on Edge. Reigns charged, Edge avoided a Spear and then Edge hit a sunset flip for two. Reigns and Edge each ran the ropes leading to both men going for a Spear, so there was a collision in the ring where they basically hit eachother on the shoulder. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them.

Bryan was back into it with a flying headbutt off the top on Edge. Bryan up top and he jumped off the top with a flying headbutt on Reigns for a two count. Bryan delivered the Yes Kicks to Edge and Bryan. Reigns ducked a kick to the head and then Bryan hit a running knee on Edge. Bryan with a roundhouse kick to the head of Reigns for a two count. That running knee by Bryan is a finishing move for him sometimes. Bryan stomped on Roman’s head repeatedly and then Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock on the left arm of Reigns with Cole noting no disqualification so a rope break won’t stop it. Edge ended up making the save by hitting Bryan with a forearm to the back. Bryan took down Edge and Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock on Edge, who refused to tap and Reigns attacked Bryan. Reigns hit Bryan with repeated punches to the head. Reigns gave Bryan a Powerbomb onto Edge. Reigns kicked Bryan out of the ring near where the announce table was. The fans were booing Reigns while chanting “Roman sucks” at the champion. Reigns put the steel steps up against the announce table. Reigns hated the  “Roman sucks” chants from the fans. Reigns picked up Bryan and gave him a Powerbomb through the table while Reigns was on the steel steps. Reigns was yelling at the crowd and then Edge came out of nowhere with a Spear on Reigns while Roman was on the steps. That led to everybody being down on the floor as the fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Edge had multiple chairs as he went after Reigns in the ring, but Reigns got the chair and sent the chair out of the ring. Edge sent Reigns throat first into the top rope. Edge slapped on the Crossface submission on Reigns, but Reigns got out of it. Edge grabbed a metal piece of the chair that he put in Roman’s mouth while in the Crossface, but Bryan was back in to stop Roman’s hand to intercept the tap out. Bryan applied a Yes Lock on Reigns at the same time, so then Bryan and Edge fought eachother with headbutts. Bryan delivered forearms to Edge while they were on the mat. The match was around the 20-minute mark.

Bryan held the arms of Edge and stomped on his head repeatedly. Bryan set up in the corner with the “yes” chants. Bryan charged at Edge, but Edge hit a Spear on Bryan. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, but Edge ducked and Edge hit a Spear on Reigns for one…two…and no because Bryan pulled referee Charles Robinson out of the ring. That is not a DQ in this match with the rules they have. The referee went back into the ring, so it wasn’t a referee bump there. Edge set up two steel chairs on the apron. Edge hit Bryan in the back with a steel chair and sent Bryan into the ring with Reigns. Edge had a crazy look on his face as he went into the ring. Edge hit Reigns and Bryan with repeated chair shots to the back and chest. Edge put Bryan’s head against the steel chair and he grabbed another chair that he put against Roman’s head. Edge did the Conchairto to Bryan, which is just a chair hitting the other chair without really hitting the head, but it’s the thought that counts. Jey Uso was back in, he went after Edge and then Edge was able to get Jey out of there with a Spear along with chair shots. Reigns was back up with a Spear on Edge and he didn’t try to pin Edge. Reigns gave Edge the Conchairto to the head. Reigns stacked Edge onto Bryan and Reigns covered both guys at the same time for the pinfall win at 22:41.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: ****1/2 This was an excellent main event match. I thought it was the best match of the night and the best match of the two-night WrestleMania. The atmosphere of the crowd gave it a big time feel as well because they were popping for everything while rooting for Bryan at times and even Edge at times, but they didn’t want Reigns to win. I thought they did a nice job of utilizing weapons around the ring like the chairs, the steel steps and Reigns putting Bryan through the table. The Conchairto played a big role in the finish with Edge destroying Bryan first, but then after Jey Uso got involved again, Roman Reigns finished off Edge with a Spear and Conchairto. I loved the drama of the near submission wins. See, that’s something that I wish last night’s main event had more of. You need to tease possible finishes a lot and that’s what these guys did. Anyway, it was a finish similar to what we have seen in previous Reigns matches. While Jey didn’t directly help Roman win, the fact that Edge had to deal with Jey is what led to Reigns hitting the Spear and Conchairto for the win. If it wasn’t for Jey being around then Reigns may have lost. That’s going to be the story that they will push. I thought they did a tremendous job in the match and the fact that the fans reacted so strongly to the three guys certainly helped a lot. I don’t think any of the three guys outperformed the others. They all did very well in this match and I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

They showed replays of the key spots in the match. There are people that think Edge was covering Bryan when the pin happened. No. Reigns stacked Edge on top of Bryan and Edge’s shoulders were down at the same time as Bryan, so Reigns covered them both at the same time. It’s a clear win for Reigns.

Reigns celebrated in the ring with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. That led to fireworks going off in celebration of Reigns continuing his run as Universal Champion. The show ended there.

Analysis: When will Roman lose the title? I have no idea. I thought it might be here, but it’s not happening yet and it may be a long time for when it does happen. Roman is doing an excellent job in this role, so I don’t mind it too much. I assume they might do Roman vs. Edge as a singles match at some point. I’d love to see Bryan vs. Edge in a singles match too.

This event had a runtime of 3:18:29 on WWE Network.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Edge/Daniel Bryan
  3. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn
  4. Rhea Ripley/Asuka
  5. Sheamus/Riddle

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.75 out of 10 for this show. That is lower than the 8 out of 10 I gave Night 1, but I will bump the combined score to an 8 out of 10. If you don’t like it, write your own review. My review. My rules!

I’ll be honest in saying I’m pretty tired after writing so much over the last five or six days or whatever it has been. The main event really helped this show go from being just an average three hours to being pretty good by the end. I thought Reigns/Edge/Bryan was clearly the match of the night and also the best match of the two-night WrestleMania. It’s probably one of the best WrestleMania events ever. By that I mean maybe in the late top 10 range or top 15 out of the 37 WrestleManias that have taken place. I’d have to consult my lists and past reviews, but I’m just saying I enjoyed it.

I think Owens/Zayn was next best even though it was short at 10 minutes. Sheamus and Riddle had a good showing as usual and I really liked the finish. They did a lot in the time given. I’m a little surprised by three straight matches with titles and if you consider Rhea Ripley then that’s three straight heels winning titles. There are a lot of heel champions on Raw/Smackdown right now. I got some predictions wrong because I thought more babyfaces were going to win since it’s the first show with fans in one year and instead there were a lot more heel wins than I thought there would be.

It was so great having two nights of shows with a loud Tampa Bay crowd at WrestleMania. It’s going to suck having to go back to ThunderDome shows, but that’s how it is for now and hopefully we can get the real fans back at shows by the summer or later in the year.

Here’s my ranking of WWE PPVs in 2021 so far.

WrestleMania 37 (April 10 & 11) – 8

Royal Rumble (January 31) – 8

Elimination Chamber (February 21) – 7.25

Fastlane – 6.5

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