Wrestlemania XXXVII Night Two
Date: April 11, 2021
Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
America the Beautiful: Ashland Craft
It’s time for the second half of the show and hopefully it is just as good if not better than last night. This time we have the main event of Roman Reigns defending the Universal Title against Daniel Bryan and Edge, along with four more title matches. That should make this feel more like a complete Wrestlemania, though I’m still not sure on whether I like one or two nights better. Let’s get to it.
America the Beautiful, with the roster on the stage.
We get the same opening video from last night, again with the Captain Jack Sparrow impersonator though with some fresh visuals.
Here are Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan to get things going….and they’re in pirate costumes. They make pirate jokes and the fans do not seem overly interested as we are thrown to our first match.
Randy Orton vs. The Fiend
Fiend has been tormenting Orton so Orton burned him alive. Now the charred remains of the Fiend are back for revenge. Orton is in white gear in a look I don’t remember seeing before. We see Fiend walking through the hall backstage and he transforms from the burned version into the regular one. Before Fiend appears, here’s Alexa Bliss with a huge jack in the box on the floor (it goes above the top rope). She turns the crank and the Fiend pops out of the box like the boss in a fairly creative game.
Fiend jumps off of the box and clotheslines Orton down as the red lights are back. A release Rock Bottom plants Orton and Fiend shouts what sounds like YOWIE WOWIE. Fiend loads up his own Punt but Orton bails out to the floor. That’s fine with Fiend, who follows him out with the Mandible Claw. Orton rolls inside for the break and there’s the hanging DDT to drop Fiend for all of two seconds.
The RKO is countered so Orton sends him into the side of the box (“box like structure” according to Cole) and there’s another DDT. Fiend is back up with the crossbody and right hands so Orton sends him outside again. That means a third DDT and this time Fiend stays down for a bit. The RKO is countered into the Mandible Claw and Sister Abigail is loaded up….but fire comes out of the posts. Bliss is sitting on top of the box with the black goo all over her. Fiend is distracted enough that the RKO can finish him at 5:54.
Rating: D. And I thought the bugs on the mat were never going to be topped. The Fiend gets to lose to Orton again in another idea that probably sounded great on paper but since this company doesn’t get that there is more to it than that, this is what we get. I don’t know if they’re going with the beauty killed the beast idea or something like that, but good grief man. Is it asking too much for Fiend to be able to get a bit win without doing something stupid? Awful stuff again, and hopefully they get it out of the way here.
Post match Fiend stares at Bliss and the lights go out. When they come back up, both of them are gone.
Bayley comes up to Hulk Hogan, Titus O’Neil and Eric Bischoff as they talk about Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. She offers Bischoff a spot on her show but Bischoff would rather have Belair on. Hogan and Bischoff leave to talk about Hogan’s new boat, though Titus does give Bayley his pirate hat.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Natalya/Tamina vs. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler
Natalya/Tamina are defending after winning Tag Team Turmoil last night. Natalya and Shayna go to the mat to start and it’s an early standoff. Nia comes in and wants Tamina, who gets what I hope are ironic cheers. Tamina’s headbutt sets up an unsuccessful slam attempt so it’s back to Natalya to take Shayna down. A catapult sends Shayna into a superkick from Tamina for two.
Shayna is back up with a knee to Natalya’s face as Jax beats up Tamina on the floor. It’s time to start in on Natalya’s leg, including a nasty stomp to twist the ankle around. Nia comes in to stay on the knee and we get some of the trademark Natalya screaming. A missed charge sends Nia shoulder first into the post but she is back up with a spinebuster with Tamina having to make the save.
The hot tag brings in Tamina (which they miss on the first try because they can’t even SLAP HANDS properly) and the pace picks up. Tamina blocks the Kirifuda Clutch is straight power and Samoan drops Shayna for two. Shayna catches Tamina on top but Natalya breaks up a super Samoan drop from Nia. That sets up a double high crossbody to give Nia two, though she seems to bang up her knee in the process.
Nia shouts at Tamina a lot so Tamina backhands her in the face. A slam (with less rotation than Lex Luger got on Yokozuna) plants (kind of) Jax for two and we get a TAMINA chant because wresting fans are annoying. The Superfly Splash misses and it’s Natalya and Shayna coming back in, with Natalya dropkicking Shayna first. The Sharpshooter has Nia in trouble but Baszler grabs the Kirifuda Clutch on Natalya to retain at 14:21.
Rating: D. What does it say that I’m relieved Nia Jax is still a champion? This went WAY too long as WWE will not give up on the idea of Tamina and Natalya being something. The match was completely uninteresting because of who was in there and it isn’t like the action was very good either. Awful match, as WWE continues to not have the first clue of how to use these titles.
We recap Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. Sami has been going a little bit nuts because he is convinced that there is a huge conspiracy against him. Owens does not seem to buy it but Zayn has even brought in YouTube sensation Logan Paul, who doesn’t quite seem to buy Sami’s conspiracy theory. Paul is here tonight in an undefined role.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
It’s pretty awesome that these two are getting to face each other at Wrestlemania. Sami comes out first and introduces Paul, who does not seem that popular. Owens plants him with a Pop Up Powerbomb at the bell so Sami rolls outside. That means Sami has to grab the ropes to avoid an apron powerbomb. Sami gets dropped ribs first across the top rope and there’s the Cannonball to crush him again.
The threat of Owens going to the top sends Sami outside again but this time he catches Owens with a brainbuster on the apron for a big reaction (egads). Back in and the Michinoku Driver (Cole calls it a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Graves “saves him from the internet” by correcting him. Cole: “Thanks Corey. I got enough of that last night.”) gives Sami two so he puts Owens on top.
Some headbutts send Sami flying and the frog splash gives Owens two of his own. A fisherman’s buster onto the knee knocks Zayn silly for two more but ht he’s right back with the exploder suplex into the corner. The Helluva Kick and Stunner both miss so Sami grabs the Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Another exploder sets up a nasty half and half suplex to rock Owens and the brainbuster gets another near fall.
Sami takes him up again and gets countered into the swinging fisherman’s superplex to crush Zayn and have Paul slumped over in his chair. Back up and Sami hits the Helluva Kick but makes the mistake of trying another one, allowing Owens to hit a superkick. Another superkick sets up the Stunner to pin Zayn at 9:17.
Rating: B-. A lot of what made this work was just seeing Owens vs. Zayn at Wrestlemania. These two have one of the deepest histories in modern wrestling and it must be so special to them to get to do this. Good match too, with Owens getting a win like he deserves after having such a great series with Reigns. Also, thanks for getting the show on track after the awful first hour.
Post match Paul checks on Sami as he gets up so Sami yells a lot and reminds Paul that Owens is the enemy. Paul shoves him down and storms off so Paul raises Owens’ hand. The Stunner leaves him laying so Owens can hug his family. Paul is helped out and asks why Owens did that.
Riddle runs into Great Khali and congratulates him on the Hall of Fame. He thinks Khali should open a store for giant sized people and sell giant toilets and scooters. There seems to be a communication issue so Rob Van Dam comes in to act as a translator. Van Dam says Khali says they need to dominate the market share with good marketing ideas, so Van Dam recommends his brand of rolling papers (to a big pop).
US Title: Sheamus vs. Riddle
Riddle is defending after Sheamus attacked him with Riddle’s own scooter a few weeks back. One day someone is going to have to explain the birds on Riddle’s entrance. Sheamus takes him down with a headlock takeover to start and stomps away but Riddle is back up with a choke on Sheamus’ back. That’s broken up and the swinging Rock Bottom plants Riddle again.
The Irish Curse connects but Riddle is back up with some shots to the face. Sheamus knocks him back and goes up so Riddle catches him with a top rope flipping belly to belly superplex. Some running forearms set up the exploder into the Broton into the Jackhammer for two (he can’t let the Goldberg stuff go) on Sheamus and Riddle is stunned. The Bro Derek is broken up and Sheamus sends him to the apron. Riddle flips back in for a knee to the face (looked like it was supposed to be the Brogue Kick, as Cole called it) for two.
An Alabama Slam gets two on Riddle, who is right back up with a suplex to the floor. The Floating Bro drops Sheamus again and they head back inside. Another Floating Bro gets two but Sheamus knocks him back again. Sheamus goes up top so Riddle follows him, only to have Sheamus load up a super White Noise.
That’s a bit too much though as they slip off, leaving Sheamus to hit the regular White Noise. Sheamus adds a top rope knee for two (proving that Riddle is tougher than Bruno Sammartino) so Riddle tries another springboard flip, which is Brogue Kicked out of the air (in some great timing) to give Sheamus the pin and the title at 10:49.
Rating: B-. These guys beat the heck out of each other, though some of the spots didn’t quite connect as planned. The ending made up for a lot of that though and while I’m not wild on Riddle’s short reign, Sheamus absolutely deserves something after his great run run with Drew McIntyre. Solid midcard match between two hard hitting guys, though I’m not sure where Riddle goes from here. Sheamus isn’t likely a long term champion, but him putting someone over will be a good moment.
HHH gives Bad Bunny a golden microphone to start his world tour.
We recap Big E. vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Title. Big E. won the title on Christmas night and defeated Crews to retain it. Crews thinks there have been shenanigans so he attacked Big E. Then Crews embraced his Nigerian roots and gained an accent, a scarf and a spear. Then Big E. beat Crews to retain it so Crews thought there had been shenanigans so he attacked Big E. Now it’s a Nigerian Drum Fight, which seems to be another hardcore match, in Big E.’s hometown.
Intercontinental Title: Big E. vs. Apollo Crews
Big E. is defending in a Nigerian Drum Fight, meaning anything goes and you can only win by pin or submission. Wale performs Big E.’s entrance live for a bonus. Big E. looks rather emotional and has a Feeding Tampa Bay (charity) logo on his entrance gear. Commentary explains that this has nothing to do with percussion instruments, but rather beating your opponent like a drum, though there is a gong at ringside.
There are also various weapons, including some kendo sticks, with both of them grabbing one to beat on the other. Big E. gets the better of it and they head outside, where there are indeed drums. A superkicks gets Crews a breather and he sends Big E. into the gong. Back in and Big E. spears Crews through the ropes to the floor and it’s time to pick some new weapons. Crews knocks him down and puts Big E. onto the steps. He picks up the other half and goes to the apron to crush Big E. but only hits steps.
Big E. is back up with a release Rock Bottom off the apron and onto the steps for a rather disturbing thud. A table is set up but it takes a bit too long, allowing Crews to hammer away with a kendo stick. The frog splash through the table only hits table though, allowing Big E. to nail the Big Ending. Cue a giant (Dabba Kato of Raw Underground fame) in something like a military uniform to beat Big E. down though, including a chokeslam. The giant puts Crews on top for the pin and the title at 6:50.
Rating: C+. They beat each other up well enough here and the title change was a nice moment, but Big E. being the latest star to have the big moment in his hometown is rather depressing. I’m not sure what WWE’s obsession with that is but it gets a little tiring. Also, for those keeping track, this is the second night in a row where a member of New Day has lost a title in the fourth match of the show thanks to a giant hitting something like a chokeslam.
Video on the first night of Wrestlemania.
Hall of Fame ceremony video.
The Hall of Fame class is presented:
Ozzy Osbourne (not here)
Rob Van Dam
Rich Hering (Warrior Award)
Kane (gets the headliner entrance)
We recap Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women’s Title. Asuka has been champion for most of the last year and Ripley debuted to challenge her. Not much more to it than that and it really doesn’t need to.
Raw Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka
Ripley is challenging and gets played to the ring live by Ash Costello. Asuka starts fast by kicking her into the corner and then counters a charge into a drop toehold into the middle buckle. That’s enough to send Ripley outside for a breather so Asuka follows her out with a knee to the face. Back in and Asuka kicks Ripley in the back as it seems Ripley is a bit shaken up by the pressure to start.
Ripley gets in her own kick and a belly to back faceplant gets two. The fans are split here as Ripley grabs a bodyscissors and shouts about how much she wants this. That’s broken up and Ripley slows the pace for some hard clotheslines. Asuka counters a kick to the chest into a kneebar so Ripley goes with the power to muscle up into a German suplex. Some shoulders in the corner stay on Asuka’s back and Ripley takes her up top.
That can’t go well so Asuka knocks her down and nails a good missile dropkick. Asuka’s German suplex sets up the rapid fire strikes, capped off by the big kick to the head for two. Asuka goes up again but this time Ripley dropkicks her down, setting up a face first drop onto the apron (which thankfully doesn’t smudge Asuka’s eye makeup). They fight to the apron and Asuka grabs a DDT to the floor (GEEZ) with Ripley thudding hard. That gets seven, because dropping four feet from the apron to the floor and landing on your head isn’t worth an eight these days.
Back in and Asuka fires off the Kawada kicks but the sliding knee is countered into some stomps to the head. The Prism Trap is countered into an armbar but Ripley swings her into the corner for the break. A bottom rope superplex (you don’t see that every day) gets two on Asuka so she tries the Asuka Lock. That’s broken up so she misses Ripley’s head, allowing the Riptide to give Ripley the pin and the title at 14:15.
Rating: B-. Perfectly fine match, but there was no story coming in and the ending did kind of come out of nowhere. What matters here though is they got the winner right as Asuka has done just about everything she can with the title. Also, it was kind of nice to not have it be Charlotte giving Asuka a major loss for a change. Good match here, though not exactly a break the door down debut for Ripley.
We recap Fiend beating Randy Orton. That might not be the right thing to recap.
Here are Hulk Hogan and Titus O’Neil to thank the fans and everyone who made this possible but Bayley interrupts. She demands her thank you and pyro because she has been carrying this show on her back for the last two nights…..and here are the Bellas to interrupt. Bayley: “I don’t know what you heard, but John Cena is not here tonight!” Nikki slaps her and Brie gives her a facebuster as the fans are not pleased. Hulk and Titus dance with the Bellas to wrap it up.
Here’s what’s coming to Peacock, with the main focus on the Ruthless Aggression series.
We recap the main event of Roman Reigns defending the Universal Title against Edge and Daniel Bryan. Edge won the Royal Rumble after returning from another long term injury, but wasn’t happy that Daniel Bryan is complaining about not getting his own shot. Bryan won the Elimination Chamber and then had to face Reigns immediately, with Reigns winning in less than two minutes. Bryan wanted another shot and had Reigns tapping at Fastlane but guest referee Edge cost him the match after accidentally getting knocked down. Therefore, it’s a triple threat for the title.
Universal Title: Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan
Reigns is defending and Edge gets a monster pop. Paul Heyman and Jey Uso, with the lei’s, are here with Reigns. We’re ready to go after the Big Match Intros and Reigns decks Bryan at the bell. Edge hammers on Reigns but Bryan is back up, only to be thrown outside. Uso drops Bryan on the floor and then does the same to Edge, leaving Reigns as the only one up. Reigns loads up the announcers’ table but Bryan is back up with the suicide dive.
Uso is right there to take both of them down though, earning himself a whip into the steps from Edge. Reigns gets posted too and Edge is the only one left standing. The Edgecution plants Uso on the steps and medics come in to take him out. That leaves Bryan to hurricanrana Edge off the top but Edge rolls him up for two. Reigns is back up on the apron so Bryan slides between his legs to pull him back to the floor.
Bryan’s missile dropkick hits Edge and he nips up but Reigns counters the suicide dive into an overhead belly to belly. Back in and Edge counters the Superman Punch into the Edgecution but loads up the spear instead f covering. The spear is cut off with a Superman Punch so Reigns loads up his own spear. That’s countered into a sunset flip for two, leaving them to both try spears at the same time and collide.
Bryan comes back in with a Swan Dive each with Reign having to kick out. Edge is knocked outside, leaving Bryan to stomp on Reigns’ head over and over. The YES Lock goes on (and Heyman’s eyes pop up) until Edge makes a save to give us a quick breather. Bryan YES Locks Edge with Reigns making a save this time, setting up a powerbomb to drive Bryan into Edge. Reigns isn’t done though as he takes Bryan outside for a powerbomb off the steps and through the announcers’ table, allowing Edge to spear Reigns off the steps for the three way knockdown.
Edge is up first and grabs a chair to knock Reigns down again. The Crossface, complete with a piece of the chair in Reigns’ mouth, has Reigns in trouble inside but Bryan comes in with a YES Lock to Reigns at the same time. Bryan and Edge headbutt the heck out of each other for the break so Bryan stomps on Edge’s head too. The running knee is countered by Edge’s spear though and another spear gets two on Reigns with Bryan having to pull the referee out.
Edge is incensed so he chairs Bryan in the back. The chair is taken inside so Edge can chair both of them over and over as the psycho eyes are back at full strength (he was always great at those). With both of them down, Edge loads up a pair of Conchairtos, because covering is a little too basic for him. The first Conchairto hits Bryan but Jey Uso is back in to save Reigns but Edge spears him down. Reigns spears Edge down and gives him a Conchairto for the double pin at 21:49.
Rating: A-. I really liked this and above all else, it came off as a Wrestlemania quality match and main event. I’m rather pleased with the ending as well, even if it seemed like the least likely result. You could feel all three as possible winners more than once and that is a great feeling to have. Awesome main event here and by far the best match of the two nights.
A lot of replays and pyro take us out.
Overall Rating: B-. The first hour really dragged this one down a lot but they did what they could to make up for it. The very good main event helped it a lot and allowed it to overcome a fairly weak middle of the show, but that first hour was the big problem. This one felt more like Wrestlemania than the first night, though the real version is somewhere between the two with some stuff cut out. It still isn’t a great Wrestlemania or even very close, but what we got was very good and I’ll take that after last year’s mostly forgotten show.
Overall Overall Rating: B. Two good halves make for a rather good weekend and it felt like WWE was back to normal, if only for two nights. I know it is time to go back to the Thunderdome (even the new one this time) but it was so nice to have things back to normal for a change. The wrestling was mostly (though not entirely) good and we had some memorable moments, though it is pretty clear that they need to fine tune the Wrestlemania formula again before Dallas. Still though, very enjoyable weekend and it made me smile about wrestling for the first time in a good while.
Randy Orton b. The Fiend – RKO
Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler b. Tamina/Natalya – Kirifuda Clutch to Natalya
Kevin Owens b. Sami Zayn – Stunner
Sheamus b. Riddle – Brogue Kick
Apollo Crews b. Big E. – Chokeslam
Rhea Ripley b. Asuka – Riptide
Roman Reigns b. Daniel Bryan and Edge – Double pin
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