After a historic Night 1, Night 2 of WrestleMania 37 had its work cut out for it.
Although it didn’t reach the emotional highs from the previous night, Night 2 of WWE’s annual event closed with a stellar triple-threat match that saw Roman Reigns retain his Universal championship over Edge and Daniel Bryan.
The show stumbled out of the gate with an underwhelming opener between The Fiend and Randy Orton and an average women’s tag team title match where Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax retained over Natalya and Tamina, but it gathered itself with a solid middle section of matches before a fantastic finale.
Three titles changed hands on this night as it appears WWE has plans for new Superstars to establish their own storylines following WrestleMania.
Here’s what took place, with each match graded.
WrestleMania 37 Night 2 match grades
Randy Orton def. The Fiend
Is there a reason why WWE continues to hang onto this feud? The last time these two met, at WrestleMania 33, we were treated to a historically bad title match with worms on the mat.
Could they redeem themselves here?
It appears as if the nonsensical feud will continue after a baffling ending in which Alexa Bliss turned on The Fiend and her distraction cost him the victory.
The entrances were extraordinarily long. Longer than the match, actually. Bliss cranked a large jack-in-the-box out of which The Fiend rose. The dreaded red light is back. The Fiend is back to not selling. Everything you didn’t ask for, you got in this match. They kind of brawled in a plodding match that fans quickly grew tired of.
The finish came when an RKO attempt was reversed into a mandible claw. The Fiend went for a Sister Abigail but Alexa Bliss appeared with a crown of thorns to distract The Fiend and allow Orton to hit the RKO and pick up the victory.
Postmatch, the lights went out and the crowd rejected with boos.
This was really, really bad.
Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) def. Natalya and Tamina to retain the women’s tag team championship
Just like the women’s tag match the night before, this match was doomed from the start.
With no investment in the makeshift team of Natalya and Tamina, it was hard to buy into them becoming champions. But you can’t deny that the four women involved worked hard. It just wasn’t a very good match.
They had their moments, though. A nice slingshot by Natalya into a Tamina superkick was impressive, but that had nothing on Shayna laying a stiff knee into Natalya’s that seemed to do some real damage. Outside of that, though, the match dragged on and tried to get everyone invested in the idea that Natalya and Tamina could dethrone the champions. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be. There was a lot of cussing from the ladies as Natalya tried frantically to direct traffic.
Trying to emulate WrestleMania 3 with Tamina body-slamming Jax for a near fall was . . . something. Tamina then missed a Superfly splash.
Natalya then locked in the sharpshooter on Jax but Baszler had been tagged in and was the legal wrestler. She raced in, sunk in the rear-naked choke and retained the titles when Natalya passed out.
This was not a good start to WrestleMania.
Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn
With the storied history between these two, there was no doubt they would deliver.
This match was essentially a greatest hits of their ROH matches compacted into minutes. And that was absolutely great because they got to do it at WrestleMania.
It was an absolute sprint with all of their big moves landing in a hurry. Owens started on fire with a pop-up powerbomb and stayed on the assault. Zayn followed with a brainbuster on the edge of the apron. Owens hit an impressive frog splash for a near fall. The action never slowed. Exploder suplexes, a wicked fisherman buster superplex and a package piledriver tease was all stuffed into the match.
A Helluva Kick by Zayn signaled the go-home stretch, He held Owens up for another kick but was countered with a pair of superkicks. Owens stared down Zayn, hit the stunner, and it was over.
Oh, why was Logan Paul there? To eat a stunner from Owens, of course. And that’ll likely get some mainstream press.
This match between two of the best talents in WWE was just a whole lot of fun.
Sheamus def. Riddle for the United States championship
Riddle and Sheamus didn’t have a lot of heat heading into the match but they made up for it with a hard-hitting affair.
Sheamus has quietly had himself a pretty damn good year in the ring and he was rewarded with the United States championship.
As for Riddle, it felt as if we were possibly getting a shift from his aloof “bro” persona into something a little more serious as he served up relentless offense. He cut loose with everything, from a top-rope Spanish Fly to a German suplex on the edge of the apron. Unfortunately for him, Sheamus was up for the challenge and fired back with some of his signature moveset.
The end came when Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick as Riddle flipped off the second rope. It was impressive — and it busted Riddle’s mouth open — as Sheamus picked up the pinfall. Afterward, Riddle stared a hole in Sheamus. Maybe this was a sign that the days of the goofy guy who can wrestle are over.
Apollo Crews def. Big E for the Intercontinental championship
If you wanted to know what a Nigerian Drum Fight is, well, it’s got drums, a gong and kendo sticks. I didn’t know that gongs and kendo sticks were Nigerian, but whatever.
At least they didn’t use the drums in the match. But the gong? The gong got some action.
These two worked with what they had as they pummeled each other with weapons and worked in some offense worthy of a heated feud. The problem with the booking of this match was that Crews hadn’t beaten Big E in a singles match and it was difficult to justify a reason for a match at WrestleMania.
The stipulation was goofy but it was the only way to make sense of this. Fortunately, they gave Crews the victory he needed.
Big E hit his spots that included a frightening spear through the ropes and a brutal Uranage on the ring steps. But Apollo kept fighting back and set E up on the table for a frog splash. E escaped and Crews crashed through the table. It felt as if the end was near as E hit the Big Ending, but Dabba-Kato — from Raw Underground — made his WrestleMania debut, attacked E and Crews picked up the victory.
The loss doesn’t hurt Big E at all as he remains a fan favorite. Crews absolutely needed to win in order to not fall into obscurity. It was a relatively brief, but solid, match that didn’t wear out its welcome.
Rhea Ripley def. Asuka for the ‘Raw’ women’s championship
Asuka has arguably been the worst-handled champion on the entire roster. She hasn’t had a noteworthy feud since winning the title and has often found herself losing to lesser talent for little or no reason despite being one of the most talented women on the roster.
The past several months have felt like a race to see who would get the title off her. Charlotte fell out of what appeared to be a WrestleMania rematch and was replaced on relatively short notice by NXT’s Ripley, who is getting another shot on the main roster after being fumbled last year. Ripley is obviously a star in the making and it was a foregone conclusion that she’d get her WrestleMania moment after falling short last year to Charlotte.
Ripley sunk her teeth into the role as the heel and was in control for the early portion of the match with her power moves. Asuka bounced back with a missile dropkick and got in some significant offense over her bigger opponent. Honestly, this may have been Ripley’s best match since that showdown with Charlotte last year. As for Asuka, she has always been one of the best in the world and had an opportunity to make Ripley look like a million bucks, even in defeat.
The action started to pick up as Asuka hit Ripley with nasty DDT off the apron to the floor. Once they made it back to the ring, some nice counter wrestling ensued and Ripley had her armbar reversed into an Asuka lock. But Ripley reversed it into a Riptide to get the pin and win the title.
Where does Asuka go from here? Who knows? She’s too good to be as misused as she has. But it’s clear that Ripley will be a major force on “Raw” for the immediate future.
Roman Reigns def. Daniel Bryan and Edge to retain the WWE Universal championship
Triple-threat matches are really difficult to do, yet Reigns, Edge and Bryan pulled this one off brilliantly as they did a fantastic job keeping Reigns as the dastardly heel.
WWE spent years mishandling Reigns and his being rejected by fans. But his return as a heel last summer without fans amid the pandemic gave WWE the opportunity to build his heinous character and ensured he’d be lustily booed when fans were back in attendance.
The inclusion of Bryan into the match allowed Edge to be the best version of Edge, which is the Rated-R Superstar, but it also brought in Bryan, who knows a thing or two about putting together an excellent match. The prevailing thought was that Bryan would be the one pinned in order to keep both Edge and Reigns strong. Instead, Reigns pinned them both at the same time. Incredible.
The fact that the triple-threat match was a no-disqualification match was driven home early as Jey Uso hit both Edge and Bryan with superkicks and the early portion of the match was largely fought on the outside. Establishing that anything goes was essential, especially considering how this match would end.
Edge took Uso out with an Edgecution on the steel steps while Bryan put down Reigns, and the two met in the center of the ring with a white-hot crowd. Edge, still seething at Bryan being included in the match, exchanged fists and counters that established that there was bad blood flowing through each of the Superstars.
Business picked up when Edge and Reigns went for spears at the same time and took each other out. Bryan came off with a flying head-butt and took control as he tried to submit Reigns with the Yes Lock. Edge made the save and the action spilled to the outside where Reigns powerbombed Bryan through a table and Edge speared Reigns off the steel steps.
Again, this match was really well done and found a way to keep things moving throughout.
In a wonderful sequence, Edge put Reigns in a crossface and used a leg from a broken chair to increase the torque, Bryan saw Reigns fading and pounced on Reigns’ right arm, sinking in the Yes Lock. This led to Bryan pouncing on Edge with some ground and pound. Bryan went for the running knee and Edge countered with a spear, Reigns was hit with a spear and nearly had the pin but Bryan yanked the referee out of the ring.
An incredulous Edge assaulted Bryan with a steel chair out of anger and then unloaded on both. Completely unhinged, Edge went for solo con-chair-to shots on both. After taking out Bryan and leaving him unconscious, Uso returned to save Reigns and paid by taking a chair shot. But the distraction gave Reigns enough time to collect himself, hit Edge with a spear and follow with a con-chair-to of his own.
And in an excellent display of both disrespect and domination, Reigns dragged Edge’s lifeless body onto Bryan’s and pinned both to retain the title.
Reigns finally got the WrestleMania moment he deserved, but he couldn’t have done it without excellent work by Edge and Bryan. This is about as good as it gets. Although it doesn’t have the historic and emotional significance of Bianca Belair’s title win on Night 1, it cemented Reigns as the top heel in the company, and his sneering performance deserves a round of applause.
How to watch WrestleMania 37
One of the latest streaming services to hit the market, Peacock, is an NBC-driven vehicle. In January, WWE Network and its library were sold to Peacock, which is now home to WWE streamed content.
Peacock has three separate pricing tiers: the free tier, the Premium tier and the Premium Plus tier. In order to watch WWE Network and WrestleMania 37, you’ll have to subscribe to the Premium tier, at $4.99 per month. This will also grant you unlimited access to the WWE Network library available on Peacock, as more content is uploaded to Peacock over the coming months.
Peacock is available on gaming consoles, Roku, Chromecast, Android TV and Apple TV. After logging in, there is a WWE category across the top bar — navigate over to it, and away you go.
WrestleMania 37 matches Night 2
- Roman Reigns (c) vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Universal championship
- Rhea Ripley def. Asuka for the “WWE Raw” women’s championship
- Randy Orton def. The Fiend
- Apollo Crews def. Big E for the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a Nigerian Drum Fight
- Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn (with Logan Paul)
- Sheamus def. Riddle for the WWE United States championship
- Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) def. Natalya and Tamina for the women’s tag team championship
Original source here
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