Wrestlemania XXXVI Night Two
Date: April 5, 2020
Location: WWE Performance Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield
We’re back for more of the same and that might not be the worst thing in the world. Last night’s part one wasn’t half bad but they are going to have a hard time surpassing that main event. There are eight more matches, plus the required Kickoff Show match, tonight so hopefully they can have another good one. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Liv Morgan vs. Natalya
Morgan rolls her up for two to start so Natalya does the same for a standoff. Some more rollups get some more near falls until Morgan sends her into the corner. A running hip attack hits Natalya but she’s right back with her basement dropkick for two more. Natalya clotheslines her to the floor, followed by the surfboard back inside. Natalya: “ASK HER!!!!” That’s broken up and Liv’s Codebreaker gets two. The sitout wheelbarrow faceplant gives Natalya the same and they pinfall reversal sequence with Liv getting the pin at 6:33.
Rating: D+. Imagine that: a Natalya match being technically fine but completely emotionless. That’s been the definition of her career for years now and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. Liv getting a win is fine but there is no way that she is getting anywhere near the top of the division, leaving this as little more than a way to fill time.
Stephanie McMahon welcomes us to the show in a new message.
Same opening video as last night.
Rob Gronkowski welcomes us to the show and throws us to the first match.
NXT Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley
Ripley is defending. The feel each other out to start with Charlotte going straight to the leg. That doesn’t work so Rhea gets in her face, earning some chops into the corner. Ripley is right back with Riptide for two and it’s time for a quick breather. They fight to the floor with Charlotte hitting a double chop but Rhea sends her into the steps. Back in and Rhea hits a dropkick before kicking away at the ribs.
A bodyscissors keeps Charlotte down but Rhea misses a running big boot and hurts her leg on the rope. Charlotte works on the leg, shrugs off a shot to the head, and bends the leg around on the mat. Rhea won’t quit so Charlotte works on the leg again. Back up and Rhea nails a basement dropkick, followed by some shouting at her own knee. The leg is fine enough for an electric chair faceplant for two, followed by a missile dropkick for the same, albeit after a delay because of the knee.
Charlotte chop blocks the knee though and Rhea is down again. The Figure Four doesn’t work again and Rhea reverses into the standing Cloverleaf. That’s broken up as well and Charlott knocks her down with another hard shot. The Figure Four is broken up again so Charlotte goes with a Boston crab instead.
Ripley gets out again and hits a quick big boot (thanks to some editing) for the double knockdown. Rhea takes her up top but gets slammed back down, though she’s able to raise her boots to block the moonsault. A horrible looking spear gives Charlotte two but the Figure Four finally goes on. The Figure Eight makes Ripley tap at 20:26.
Rating: C+. CHARLOTTE! WINS!! AGAIN!!! I have no idea why they needed to have her beat Rhea clean in their first match but I’m sure it has something to do with some kind of tribute to Ric Flair, who hasn’t had one in a while. I’m sick of seeing Charlotte with a title and it almost scares me to imagine how many titles she’s going to wind up with in the end.
We recap last night.
Aleister Black vs. Bobby Lashley
Lana is here with Lashley. Black gets tossed around to start and Lashley hammers away, only to get low bridged to the floor. A running big boot puts Lashley on the floor but Black misses the moonsault. Lashley snaps off the overhead belly to belly but can’t get a suplex back inside. Instead Black kicks him in the chest, only to walk into a snap powerslam for two. Another suplex gets another two and Lashley loads up the Dominator, but Lana tells him to do the spear. That earns him Black Mass for the sudden pin at 7:14.
Rating: D+. This was a way to get Black on the show, and by that I mean a way for him to get beaten up until Lana and Lana alone cost Lashley the match. I’m glad Black won but if you want him to look good, just have him kick Lashley’s head off and win. It’s not like Lashley has anything going on at the moment, but now I’m sure we can get the big fallout with Lana now, because we need another part to that story.
Bayley complains about the elimination match and knows Sasha Banks won’t turn on her. With Bayley gone, Sasha is asked how much she wants to win the title. You’ll have to watch and see.
Money in the Bank ad.
Gronk would like to win the 24/7 Title.
We recap Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler. Otis was going to go on a Valentine’s Day date with Mandy Rose but Ziggler crashed it when Otis was late. Mandy wanted nothing else to do with Otis after that but it turns out that Sonya Deville stole Mandy’s phone and told Otis she would be late (and deleted the texts) so it would fall apart.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Otis
Sonya Deville is here with Ziggler. Otis misses a charge to start and gets superkicked outside in a hurry. That gets one back inside so Ziggler grabs a neckbreaker into the jumping elbow for two. The chinlock goes on but Otis is back up with a catapult. A hard whip sends Ziggler into the corner and a pop up World’s Strongest Slam plants him again. Sonya gets on the apron for a distraction though and Ziggler gets in a low blow. Cue Mandy to take out Sonya and hit Ziggler low, setting up the Caterpillar for the pin at 8:23.
Rating: D+. I was wrong on this one as I didn’t think they would let Otis pin Dolph. I’m rather please by the result and even though it wasn’t much of a match, at least they pulled the trigger on something. You can pencil in the mixed tag coming up and that’s all well and good, though I’m not sure where they can go after that.
Post match Otis picks Mandy up and they get the first kiss.
We recap Edge vs. Randy Orton. Edge came back at the Royal Rumble but Orton attacked him the next night and put him back on the shelf. Orton said Edge was an adrenaline junkie and he attacked him so Edge wouldn’t ruin his life like Orton did. To make it worse, Orton RKOed Edge’s wife (who is a Hall of Famer who wrestled earlier this year so we needed to act like he shot her). Now it’s a Last Man Standing match as this is very personal.
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Last Man Standing. Edge comes out first and glares at the stage for Orton….who is disguised as a cameraman and runs in for an RKO before the bell. The bell rings and it’s another RKO but Edge falls to the floor at nine. They fight back backstage with Orton knocking Edge through some doors. It goes onto the gym with Orton knocking him down again, setting up some choking with a rope on a machine.
Edge gets out and hits a dropkick through some machines before choking away at Orton. Some forearms put Orton in a chair and Edge pulls himself up on a bar for a seated senton of all things. Back up and they slug it out into another room with a red light. Both guys are sent face first into a garage door and it’s back into the arena. Orton shoves him off a platform and into the barricade before they stumble backstage again.
Edge’s head gets bounced off of another wall for a six count and it’s time to go into the office area. This time it’s Orton being sent into a wall but Edge kicks him in the ribs at nine. Orton gets thrown onto the big table so Edge pulls himself up onto part of the ceiling to drop an elbow. The cameraman gets knocked down but another one catches them up in the big storage facility in the back.
Both of them bounce off of various things until Orton knocks him onto a storage crate. Edge gets sent into some steps and Orton starts looking around. That’s good for another nine so they wind up in what looks like the promo area. Edge throws something at Orton’s leg to take him down and some more shots to the face do it again. Orton is placed on a table and drops a huge elbow.
They go to a truck with a cover on the bed and Orton hits the hanging DDT for nine. Edge climbs onto some crates and then on top of an NXT semi truck. Orton and the referee follow them up and it’s a spear to drop Orton. That’s good for nine but another spear is countered into an RKO.
Edge is up at nine as well but Orton has dropped down to the floor next to the biggest ladder I’ve ever seen in WWE (it’s on the floor and is WAY higher than the top of the semi truck). Instead Orton takes some chairs up to the top of the truck to load up the Conchairto. Edge grabs a head and arm choke though and Orton is out. Hold on though as Edge waves off the count so he can hit the Conchairto. Orton is finally done at 36:39.
Rating: B. This one is going to be divisive and I can understand that. If my math is right, this was the longest non-Iron Man match in Wrestlemania history, though it didn’t feel that long. It felt like two guys who wanted to hurt each other and were doing whatever they could to accomplish that. I liked the unique atmosphere and some of the spot, with the Conchairto making for a good finish.
After a quick breather, here’s Mojo Rawley with the Mob chasing him. Gronk shows up and dives off a platform to take out the pile, allowing him to pin Rawley for the title.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Street Profits vs. Austin Theory/Angel Garza
The Profits are defending. Dawkins shoulders Theory down to start and the champs start working on the arm. That’s fine with Theory, who sends Dawkins to the floor, allowing Theory to mock the dancing. Garza gets in a superkick on the floor, TAKES OFF HIS PANTS, and misses a clothesline so Dawkins can tag Ford in.
A DDT gets two on Ford and Garza hits the moonsault onto both champs on the floor. The Lionsault gets two more on Ford back inside but Ford pops up with an enziguri. Dawkins comes in and runs Garza over, only to get caught in Theory’s TKO. Ford frog splashes his way in for the save though and Dawkins gets the cover to retain at 6:23.
Rating: D+. If ever there was a match to cut for the sake of time. This was a weird one as there was no reason to believe the title change was taking place and then the finish felt like something the heels would do to win. There are no teams to challenge the Profits at the moment and I don’t see Theory and Garza changing that anytime soon.
Post match Garza and Theory stay on Ford but Bianca Belair runs in for the save. That means a KOD on Zelina.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Lacey Evans vs. Tamina vs. Naomi vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bayley
Bayley is defending and this is under elimination rules. Tamina shrugs off the gang attack to start so Lacey chop blocks her down. The other four slug it out with Bayley and Sasha double teaming Lacey. Naomi makes a quick save as a mini tag match breaks out. Tamina comes back in to run everyone over and we actually get a Team Bad reunion. That lasts for all of three seconds as everyone goes after Tamina, including something off the top each. A dog pile pin gets rid of Tamina at 6:23.
Naomi dives onto Sasha but Lacey misses a dive onto Bayley, earning a ram into the steps. A sunset flip gives Naomi two on Bayley and Sasha at the same time, followed by a sliding slip to both. The Rear View hits Sasha and a Bubba Bomb into the reverse Rings of Saturn….is broken up by Bayley. The Bank Statement gets rid of Naomi (Bayley: “DANCE TO THE BACK!”) at 10:36 and we’re down to three.
Bayley shouts about Lacey’s daughter though, allowing Lacey to avoid the running knee. Sasha is knocked silly instead so Lacey small packages Bayley for two. Back in and Sasha yells at Bayley, who shoves Sasha out of the way of the Woman’s Right. Lacey hits the second attempt though and Banks is done at 13:23.
After a replay where you can hear Cole shouting commentary, Bayley mocks Lacey with a salute and shoves her face against the rope. Lacey gets posted for two so Bayley ties her arm to the corner with the tag rope. Since that’s kind of a stupid plan, Lacey kicks her way out and hits the slingshot Bronco Busters in the corner. After a slow motion salute, Lacey’s double jump moonsault gets two. Cue Sasha with a Backstabber to Lacey though and Bayley’s weird bulldog driver retains at 19:15.
Rating: D. Well that was long and served little purpose. Bayley has held the title since last May (save for a four day Charlotte reign) and I’m not sure what else there is for her to do. Unless they do Bayley vs. Becky (unlikely), what is the point in keeping it on her much longer? I’m sure we’ll get to Bayley vs. Banks again eventually, but dang that sounds as appealing as watching this match all over again.
Titus O’Neil takes Gronk’s place as host.
Wrestlemania XXXVII is in Los Angeles.
We recap The Fiend vs. John Cena in the Firefly Fun House. After Cena said that he didn’t want to wrestle at this year’s show, Fiend popped up to challenge him. Cena accepted, and then Bray Wyatt went on to say that he blamed Cena for the rise of the Fiend. See, Cena beat him at Wrestlemania XXX and messed with Bray’s mind, leading to the creation of the Fiend. Therefore, tonight Cena goes to the Fun House.
John Cena vs. The Fiend
Cena makes his entrance but the Firefly Fun House pops up, with Bray saying that Cena is about to face himself. Then Cena is teleported to the Fun House (apparently the same way Seth Rollins got there back in October), where Ramblin Rabbit sends him through a door after the Fiend. Cena follows and finds the Vince puppet, asking if Cena has the ruthless aggression to make it in this company.
We see Wyatt copying the Kurt Angle promo to challenge Cena from 2002 and here’s 2020 Cena in 2002 Cena attire. Cena keeps saying RUTHLESS AGGRESSION but misses a bunch of shots. Bray: “You can look but you can’t touch!” And now it’s the Saturday Night’s Main Event opening, with Bray standing behind a cage and imitating Hulk Hogan. Cena (Johnny Largemeat) comes up and starts rapidly lifting weights, apparently destroying his arms in the process.
Vince and the Mercy the Buzzard are on commentary as Bray asks what happens when Cena realizes that Ego Mania has been running wild on him. Bray sends him off camera to the Smackdown Fist where Cena is the Dr. of Thugnomics, with Bray dancing to Basic Thuganomics. They’re back in the ring and Cena finds out that he can only speak in rhymes, including a Husky Harris reference.
Bray calls Cena a bully and a horrible person who takes the weaknesses of others and turns them into jokes. With that, Bray gives him the floor so Cena throws him Deez Nuts. Cena, in the Babe Ruth jersey from last year, misses a charge and gets knocked out by a chain. Now it’s Bray back in the Wyatt Family gear and sitting in the rocking chair as we see clips of Wrestlemania XXX.
The fans wanted and needed him that night and now it’s time to rewrite his own story. They’re back in the ring now with Bray dancing with the unconscious Cena and loading up Sister Abigail. He lets Cena go though and drops down, handing Cena a chair in a recreation of Wrestlemania XXX. Bray tells Cena to fix his mistake from last year but Bray disappears away from Cena’s swing.
And now it’s…..NWO MONDAY NITRO??? Bray is Eric Bischoff (with the jacket and a Wolfpac shirt) and introduces Cena as Hollywood Hogan. Cena takes Bray down and unloads as we see clips of Cena’s past. He wakes up as himself and sees that he’s beating up Huskus the Pig. The Fiend appears behind him and gives him the Mandible Claw to knock Cena out. We hear Cena’s promo about ending the most overrated overhyped superstar ever and the Claw goes back on with Bray counting the pin. Cena teleports away and the Fiend stands alone.
No rating as this wasn’t a match but I got into this. It’s a rather interesting character study of Cena and you can get what they’re going with in Fiend making him face his fears. Back in the day, CM Punk said that Cena had become the New York Yankees: the big bad who held people down and used money to get what he wants (or going from the Real American Hogan to Hollywood Hogan as they used here).
That’s what Fiend is showing Cena here and it scared Cena that he had changed so much and become what he fought against for so many years. Now granted, if you haven’t been glued to WWE for the last….oh eight years or so, this made no sense, but the effort and thought was ALL there and I got most of what they were going for, plus some of the complete insanity that went along with it. Not a match, but kind of a fascinating weird look into the WWE psyche.
We cut to Titus O’Neil. Titus: “I don’t know what I just saw.”
We recap Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre. Lesnar is World Champion but Drew eliminated him from the Royal Rumble and then won the whole thing, earning him this spot. Drew has kicked his head off a few times since then to show he can hang with Brock.
Raw World Title: Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar is defending and gets Claymored for two after about ten seconds. Another Claymore misses and it’s time to go to Suplex City. The F5 gets one and Brock isn’t happy. Another F5 gets two and there’s the third for another two. Another F5 is countered and McIntyre hits two more Claymores. A fourth gives Drew the pin and the title at 4:28.
Rating: D. I’m happy that McIntyre won but GOOD GRIEF STOP DOING THAT SAME MATCH OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER! It’s a cool idea one time and then don’t do it again for years. This is all Lesnar does anymore and now it’s creeping over into other main events too. It loses its impact when they keep doing it again and again and now you’ve grown to expect it every time. Anyway, great moment to end the show and McIntyre as champion is awesome, assuming they don’t have Lesnar win it back in two months again.
Overall Rating: C-. I didn’t like this one as much as last night’s but it still wasn’t terrible. This one definitely felt like the bigger show and had the more intriguing matches (for the most part). I’m not wild on some of the booking decisions but it felt more like a Wrestlemania and that’s what matters. The crowd being gone didn’t bother me as much either, but the wrestling itself just wasn’t as good. Overall, not bad but last night’s felt tighter and more enjoyable.
Overall Overall Rating: C. With something like this, it’s almost impossible to give the thing a fair rating. When you factor in the day in between and the weird atmosphere, the show was pretty much just ok. There were some very good matches but some that made me wonder why I was wasting my time. Overall it’s an enjoyable one off, but I’m still not behind the idea of a two night Wrestlemania going forward. Until WWE can cut these things WAY down and trim off so much of the unnecessary stuff, it needs to be one night and one night only, just for the sake of sanity if nothing else.
Charlotte b. Rhea Ripley – Figure Eight
Aleister Black b. Bobby Lashley – Black Mass
Otis b. Dolph Ziggler – Caterpillar
Edge b. Randy Orton when Orton couldn’t answer the ten count
Street Profits b. Angel Garza/Austin Theory – Frog splash to Theory
Bayley b. Sasha Banks, Naomi, Tamina and Lacey Evans – Bulldog driver to Evans
Drew McIntyre b. Brock Lesnar – Claymore
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