Wrestlemania 36 crowns new champions and takes us on a wild fun house ride, on night two of the granddaddy of them all, from the performance center.
Wrestlemania gave us their second night, live from the performance center in Orlando, FL on 4//5/20. This was a show was loaded with incredible action, newly crowned champions and one heck of a trip provided to us by John Cena and Bray Wyatt.
Liv Morgan defeated Natalya on the pre-show with a pin fall counter.
Nothing fancy here, just a way to get Morgan some momentum after a rough couple of months since her return.
Charlotte Flair defeated Rhea Ripley via submission with the Figure Eight to become the new NXT Women’s Champion
I echo the two words uttered from my Scrum cohort Josh, “follow this”. Without the live crowd, these two absolutely burned the place down before the show really got legs under it.
This was hard hitting, rugged and ruthless. Charlotte worked the left leg of Ripley the entire match and the now former champ sold it beautifully. Ripley employed her power moves, hitting the Riptide early, which Charlotte kicked out of.
Near-falls were teased throughout the contest, and Charlotte was able to escape the standing cloverleaf applied by Ripley. Rhea fired off the comeback, but it was too little, too late, the damage to the leg was done. Ripley tried her best to fight out of the figure eight, but she eventually tapped.
Ripley might take the strap back down the line, but if she doesn’t, this opens up potential matches with Io Shirai, Candice Lerae, Bianca Belair and many others for Charlotte. Color me intrigued. What a terrific opener.
Aleister Black defeated Bobby Lashley via pin fall after Black Mass.
I expected this to be short, especially since the opener was given over twenty minutes. Black started out strong, and Lashley hit several impact maneuvers.
He came back into the ring and went for a spear, but a well-timed Black Mass spelled the end for Lashley as both he and Lana looked on, shocked, as Black’s hand was raised and he took his leave.
Black has to be the early favorite to win the Money In The Bank briefcase next month.
Otis defeated Dolph Ziggler via pin fall with the caterpillar after interference from Mandy Rose.
This very personally rivalry came to a head at the showcase of the immortals as Ziggler made his way to the ring with Sonya Deville at his side.
Otis was taking it to the veteran Ziggler early and often. We are slowly witnessing the rise of Otis, who has all the potential to be a major fan favorite if given the time to simmer and stew properly.
This had all the trappings of the old Christian/Chris Jericho ‘Mania match which featured Trish Stratus turning on Jericho and aligning with Christian many years back.
Otis went for the caterpillar, but Deville distracted the ref, which allowed Ziggler to hit a low blow, taking the big man down.
Mandy Rose made her presence known as this point, slapping Deville across the face. The ref was tending to Deville, and Rose struck Ziggler with a low blow of her own.
The big man hit the caterpillar and he got the three count, gaining both the win and the girl. Mandy Rose hugged Otis and they celebrated inside the empty arena. He scooped her up, and they stared at each other with bedroom eyes before a big smooch followed. Sometimes, it’s gotta be fun.
Ziggler should be able to develop a new story with the person who revealed the crimes of passion, which might turn out to be Ali with his Mr. Robot style gimmick.
This was fun and had the live crowd been there, they surely would have eaten it up. Hopefully Otis will get a more practical finish down the line, unless he goes back to tagging with Tucker for a run at Miz and Morrison. The time might be right to pull the trigger on that match.
Edge defeats Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing Match after a conchairto atop a truck.
A line I feel like I’ve been meant to type my entire wrestling life. This was uncanny. This was a way to not only see two great veterans, staples of our industry engage one another in a hard-hitting, no nonsense, slugfest, but this was a way to test Edge’s stamina after years off.
He was up to the task. The crafty Viper utilized everything from backstage crates, to chairs, to the bed of a truck, to inflict merciless amounts of damage to the hall of famer. Rights and lefts were exchanged like trading cards in the mid-nineties.
We saw these two spill into the backstage area of the performance center, where they relies on weight machines, leftover ladders and snack tables to unleash brutality onto one another.
The end came after Orton hit a draping DDT into the bed of a truck parked backstage and Edge was able to counter and climb up onto a semi used to take the ring from city to city. Orton looked to bring back the famous punt kick, but a spear countered his attempts.
Edge, looking crestfallen, put Orton’s head atop one chair and he unleashed his fury by bringing another crashing down. Orton couldn’t answer the ten count and the “Rated R Superstar” returns to Wrestlemania with a win. This was tremendous and another quality bout on a fine card so far.
A new 24/7 champion
Rob Gronkowski was calling the action and recapping the fanfare as Mojo Rawley escaped the attempts of a multitude of superstars looking to snatch his 24/7 title from him. An assault ensued and Gronk took to the skies with a splash from atop his raised podium, coming down onto all the talent below.
He covered his friend and secured the 24/7 title for himself on night two of Wrestlemania. We’ve got a new champ!
The Street Profits defeated Austin Theory/Angel Garza via pin fall to retain the Raw tag team titles.
This one didn’t go long, especially after following the LMS match earlier. Theory and Garza got in some great spots, but Ford and Dawkins were up to the task, fending off the would be champions.
Dawkins countered an attempt and Ford went up top, hitting his signature frogsplash for the three count.
The heels, despite having lost, wouldn’t be deterred and an attack ensued, also involving Zelina Vega. Ford’s wife and NXT superstar, Bianca Belair, made the save, hitting her signature move on Vega before all three celebrated the title retention and ‘Mania victory!
Bayley retained her Smackdown Women’s title in a fatal five-way elimination match.
A lot happened here, so we’ll quickly recap the eliminations.
Tamina, who was a house of fire early, ate everyone’s finishes before they piled on top of her, eliminating her first.
Naomi would be eliminated second after submitting to the Banks Statement.
Sasha Banks would be eliminated third after having an unintentional dust-up with the champ. Banks came back in to confront Bayley and Evans looked to strike. Bayley pushed Banks out of harm’s way, but Evans still struck with the Women’s Right, eliminating Banks.
Evans was set to win the match, taking the title for herself, but Banks came back in, hitting the Backstabber, which allowed Bayley to hit her modified version of the Stroke, seizing the victory and retaining her title.
It looked as if Evans might win the strap, but they seemed to tease the Bayley/Banks match that everyone wants. We have plenty of time to see it to fruition!
The Fiend defeated John Cena in a Firefly Fun House Match after a Sister Abigail and a Mandible Claw.
The finish was nothing compared to the journey. In the spirit of PG writing, I won’t echo the three words that puppet Vince quoted in their original form, but this was “such good stuff”.
After the exemplary Boneyard match that ended last night’s show, I was curious how this would follow it up.
Wyatt said Cena would not only have to defeat the Fiend, but his greatest enemy of all, himself.
We then went on an absolute trip that has to be seen to be believed.
We saw “Ruthless Aggression” Cena attempt to attack “Kurt Angle” Wyatt, but he failed.
We then saw an eighties style montage of Cena channeling his inner Lex Luger with Bray Wyatt sounding like Bobby Heenan during “The Narcissist” days.
The “Doctor Of Thuganomics” came out and insulted Wyatt, only to be called a bully who buried talents by highlighting their negatives. Instead of learning from his past mistakes, Cena tossed a pack of peanuts in Wyatt’s direction. There were some amazing rhymes in this by the way.
“Golden Shovel” Cena came out and did his best impression of early 2000’s Triple H by burying all the rising stars including “Eater Of World” Bray Wyatt. Wyatt gave Cena an opportunity to learn from his past mistake where he struck Wyatt with a steel chair, but Cena tried again and missed.
We then see a montage of Eric Bischoff coming to the ring via past WCW footage as Bray Wyatt, in the lesser loved “Wolfpack” colors, introducing the heel that we always wanted, “Black and White nWo Hollywood” Cena. Hogan turned heel and it did wonders for his career, the smart fans wanted this with Cena.
Cena doesn’t learn from any of his mistakes, and this finally brings “The Fiend” into the fold. He applies the feared Mandible Claw and hits a Sister Abigail before reapplying the claw. Firehouse Bray counts the pin fall and this ends the match.
That doesn’t even remotely do this work of art justice. Get the network. Watch it for yourself.
Drew McIntyre defeats Brock Lesnar via pin fall with four Claymore Kicks to win the WWE world title.
I actually felt bad for this two after having to follow the Funhouse match, but they kept it short, sweet and memorable.
Lesnar kicked out of an early Claymore at two and then McIntyre kicked out of two F5’s, the first at one, the second at two.
The german suplexes would follow and it looked like the end might be at hand. Lesnar went for another F5, but Mcintyre escaped, and then proceeded to hit three running Claymore’s and a fourth grounded Claymore while Brock was in a prone position.
A three count followed and Drew McIntyre is your new WWE champion!
This was anything but an ordinary Wrestlemania, but it felt rewarding. We crowned many new champions, we had fun and we were entertained during these trying times. For that, I not only commend the fed, but thank them for allowing us six hours to escape over two nights. This was worth it.
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