The Greatest Live Sports Entertainment spectacle was on night two on Sunday Night. Following up on the previous historic night, including the Sasha Banks-Biance Belair classic, WWE looked to end WrestleMania 37 with a bang. How did WrestleMania night two compare to the previous night? Let’s move forward in this discussion:
Randy Orton vs. The Fiend, Bray Wyatt
The cinematic style of Bray Wyatt’s entrance, with his transformation and coming out of a Juke Box was presented well. If you also noticed in the time out of action, the Fiend lost a considerable amount of weight and looks great for a Satanic figure. We got our first WrestleMania betrayal, with Alexa Bliss distracting the Fiend towards the end of the match, allowing Orton to score yet another win with an RKO. The match was well given a short amount of time to match the long-term buildup.
WWE Womens Tag Team Match: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Tamina & Natalya Neidhart
Tamina & Natalya earned this opportunity at night one of WrestleMania after winning the Tag Team Turmoil Match. This confrontation featured three superstars who are extensions of their hall of fame family counterparts and a legitimate badass in Shayna Baszler. It was nice to see a healthy Tamina shine and show that she can be relied on as a potential centerpiece in the Smackdowns women’s division.
This match could’ve gone on for an hour and been entertaining. What was missing though was some continued dissension between Baszler-Jax and some spots of Reginald or Reggie getting involved.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (Logan Paul, Special Guest Enforcer)
Former best friends, former worst enemies, encounter number 1000, this time at WrestleMania with a guest enforcer who is a celebrity. Sami Zayn proved that he can be one of the most entertaining superstars in WWE and deserves more air time and better storylines. The post-match shenanigans with Zayn-Paul-Owens was meh. If we hadn’t seen Owens-Zayn several times in the past couple of years, this would be worthy of a WrestleMania, but this should have been on Smackdown instead.
Riddle vs. Sheamus
Bro, the 2021 version of Rob Van Dam brings me back to my college days of being an expert in chemistry and plants haha. If you ignore a grown man who is a stoner and rides a scooter, you come away impressed with Riddles’ use of his MMA style and athleticism to be an entertaining superstar. Sheamus does a tremendous job making his opponent look good and feeding off the crowd’s disdain for him. It was very eye-opening to see an assortment of new moves from the Celtic Warrior as he upset Riddle to become the new United States Champion!
Intercontinental Title Match (Nigerian Drum Fight) Big E (c) vs. Apollo Crews
For those of you like myself wondering what the rules of a Nigerian Drum Fight were, the rules were explained shortly before the start of the match. It is nothing more than a no-count out, no-disqualification match. WWE dropped the ball with an opportunity to explain why this was a unique match. What was unique was the vast variety of Nigerian weapons available for use, including bamboo sticks, drums, gongs, and tables!
The return of Dabba-Kato as Commodore Azeez to assist and destroy Big E was an awesome surprise as he is the opposite of RAWs Omos as a monster sidekick. Apollo Crews winning the Intercontinental Title as a legitimate heel, using his ancestral roots makes for a great character who has been handed the rock and he is running with it.
WWE RAW Womens Championship: Auska (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
The RAW Women’s Championship drew the dreaded spot on the card of being right before the WrestleMania main event, historically the worst match of the card. Rhea Ripley fills in for Charlotte Flair, who surely would have been in this match. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards, due to Flair’s Covid-19 diagnosis.
The crowd in Tampa was split in its support between Auska and Ripley. There was also non-stop action inside and outside the ring. With Ripley winning the RAW Women’s Title, the stage is set for future epic encounters with Charlotte and Becky Lynch shortly.
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge (Royal Rumble winner) vs. Daniel Bryan
Three fantastic storylines head for closure in this WWE WrestleMania main event. The Head of the table Roman Reigns has dominated Smackdown and his cousins for the entire year. Edge returned after a decade of forced retirement due to his health, to win the Royal Rumble and earn this spot in the main event. Finally, Daniel Bryan politicked his way into this match, forcing his second triple threat at WrestleMania for the ultimate prize.
All three men at times looked dominant and destined to walk out Sunday night as champion. The crowd is still behind the YES movement, Edge still has “it” and Roman is the number one performer in WWE. The finale with Roman stacking both challengers on top of each other and pinning them both was brilliant in displaying his dominance. Bravo to going with common sense ending and continuing Reigns dominance through the roster.
Overall Night Two Rating
Night two was well-rounded from the top to bottom of the card. Nothing stood out as it did the previous night with Bad Bunny and Bianca Belair with moments that will be talked about all year. Night two did have two title changes and a surprise betrayal from Alexa Bliss to keep the show respectable. Overall, it was a good first show back with a live audience.
Overall WrestleMania Weekend Rating
WrestleMania still brings excitement for all its fans every year, with a live crowd or not. There were a few memorable moments with Bad Bunny exceeding expectations and Bianca Belair/Sasha Banks making history on night one.
Unfortunately though, when you compare 37 years of WrestleMania history, this year suffers from a lack of mainstream WWE Superstars that draw the attention of WWE fans, whether casual or die-hard. This year saw a WrestleMania missing the following individuals: John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, and Ronda Rousey. I would rate this year’s event in the bottom five WrestleMania’s in history, along with last year’s event.